Review: Parappa the Rapper Remastered (PlayStation 4)

Parappa the Rapper Remastered: Official GBAtemp Review

PlayStation 4 2,423 views 2 likes 18 comments
Reviewed by Austin Trujillo, posted May 10, 2017
May 10, 2017
  • Release Date (NA): April 4, 2017
  • Release Date (EU): April 4, 2017
  • Release Date (JP): April 4, 2017
  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Developer: Japan Studio
  • Genres: Rhythm
  • ESRB Rating: Everyone
  • PEGI Rating: Three years and older
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
    Co-operative
Kick, Punch, It’s all in the mind! If you wanna read this – I’m sure you’ll find… it’s not a good “remaster.”
Austin Trujillo

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I adore Parappa the Rapper. I wrote a recommends when the second game came to PS2 classics, and I've been dying for a new one for years now. The little beanie wearing dog is credited with the beginnings of the rhythm game genre, a genre that has brought on some wacky and colorful varieties over the years. But it all comes back to Parappa in the end and boy does it show with this new remaster.

To start with, I never actually saw Parappa as a game that could be remastered. There isn’t much to work with here aside from making the already sort of timeless art style a little more vibrant and smoothed out. You could also tweak the sound a bit and digitally enhance it, which seems to be the option Sony went with.

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All of this culminates into a slightly better looking and better sounding Parappa game. Other changes include bringing over the background song options from the PSP version of the port, a nice little option for those that want to insert some variety to the music.

There are also new options that allow you to both, “See and Feel the beat.” Seeing the beat makes the Parappa icon that goes across the screen to the prompts pop larger to help players know what they’re accomplishing. Feel the beat vibrates the controller to the music, a feature that I got very quickly annoyed with as the game went on and kept off for the remainder of the story.

Variety is nice and all, but it does not help Parappa with its glaring issues now that it has been brought to PS4.

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For starters, this game just feels incredibly old. It’s that kind of situation where you play the first ever 3D game or first shooter, and it feels leagues different than anything you’ve played today. Parappa suffers the same fate, and a lot of this is thanks to the noticeable lag that hinders the rhythm. In a game of timing delay is the mortal enemy and trying to compensate for it makes the experience incredibly frustrating. Fans of the original may be able to make up for the lag thanks to their past experiences with the game, but trying to introduce Parappa to new audiences will only leave them with a bad taste in their mouth.

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This rang incredibly true when I attempted to get my girlfriend to play who had never touched Parappa before despite owning a PlayStation when she was younger. She’s a huge rhythm heaven fan, so I figured this game would be right up her alley. Instead, she spent most of the game being unable to work with the messed up timing. She told me I must have had my nostalgia glasses on when I was initially talking about the game which I can’t deny after watching her try to enjoy it.

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There are not enough new features to help the old game pass along on a modern console. Most remastered games help fix control options, sometimes fix old bugs or do something to make the experience replayable in today's standards. Parappa, on the other hand, does none of this.

As nice as it sounded and looked there was no denying that Parappa is an old dog that you can’t slap a new shiny beanie on to make him young again. What worked all those years ago has come too far to work today. I'll always enjoy the original for what it was but as a modern remaster this game just doesn't cut it.

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Verdict
Pros
+ Looks crisper and sounds a bit better
Cons
- Timing lag
- Not enough done to compensate for the age of the game
- Still incredibly short with little replay value
5 Presentation
Parappa looks decent but a shiny coat of paint can't hide the game's glaring issues in its presentation.
4 Gameplay
The gameplay is clunky and hindered by lag. It rarely works well unless you compensate for the lag which should not something I need to say for a rhythm game.
3 Lasting Appeal
There is almost no replay value and barely any reason to want to complete it in the first place.
4
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
I'll always love Parappa. It's due to this love that I have to be harsh here because I expect better from the origin of rhythm games. We'll just have to believe if he ever comes back he makes a debut that feels like a modern rhythm game should.
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