Many years ago, a little 2D dog burst on to the PlayStation scene bringing one of the earliest games of the music and rhythm genre. It featured addictive songs and funky characters including a flower, a chicken and an onion. I remembered PaRappa the Rapper to be one of the most-played games in a party setting, even though it was only single player, because my friends and I so enjoyed rapping along with the little guy. It was like karaoke taken to the next level.
Twenty years later and PaRappa is back on the stage with a remastered HD version. With better graphics, sound and now trophy support, I was excited to replay one guy’s quest for the love of his life.
It was great to see how the classic PaRappa was still there, kicking off with my favourite rap of the bunch: Kung Fu with the Onion Master. But therein also lies a problem. Because you can finish this game in an hour. Half an hour if your rhythm is better than mine. Which it’s bound to be. And maybe this was okay twenty years ago, but today with games being so much more advanced, it feels like it’s missing quite a lot. Especially if you’re paying $23.95 for it. I feel like at this price, the remastered version should have been the same game but with more to explore…more levels, different clothes you could earn for PaRappa, alternative endings…whatever. Just something.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Sony’s mockumentary produced to support the re-release had more bang for the buck (it was free, but you know what I mean).
I’d still recommend this title for families with kids though. The story and 2D style is still pretty charming and the gameplay is something that is simple enough for kids (and parents) to follow. There’s even clean toilet humour thrown in for good measure. But for me, I may let the good old days with PaRappa and Sunny Funny rest as bygones of my (happy) gaming history.