Review: Parappa the Rapper (Retro)

Parappa the Rapper: Member Review

Retro 2,060 views 1 like 6 comments
Reviewed by Robfozz, posted Mar 18, 2016, last updated Sep 12, 2017
Mar 18, 2016
  • Release Date (NA): December 1, 1997
  • Release Date (EU): September 26, 1997
  • Release Date (JP): December 6, 1996
  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Developer: NanaOn-Sha
  • Genres: Rhythm
  • ESRB Rating: Everyone
  • Also For: PlayStation Vita
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
I had only heard of PaRappa the Rapper a few times before so I went into this completely blind with no idea what to expect. What I found was not good to say the least...


PaRappa wants to impress a girl, Sunny Funny, but Joe Chin, a smooth talkin', rich dog-man, is making it tough. PaRappa needs to believe and win over Sunny.

PaRappa the Rapper is a Rhythm game. Or at least it tries to be. Every song has a mentor character and every line they rap, you need to repeat in button presses. That's the whole game. Sounds simple, right? Well it is and it DOES NOT WORK. There is a visual aid at the top of the screen that has a PaRappa head and the buttons you need to press. When the PaRappa head floats over the button, that indicates that you need to press it. I have tried every way of pushing the buttons, early, on time, late, it never registered properly. Even when looking at the visual aid and it clearly shows that I pressed the button on time, it still counted it against me. But being a Rythm game, you shouldn't need a visual aid. Pressing the buttons on time to the actual beat of the song does not work. I am very good at other rythm games, such as the Rythm Heaven games for example, I doubt its just me being bad.

You need to press the correct button when the Parappa head is ontop of the prompt, just like Guitar Hero or Rock Band

I had read online that it's a problem of paying the game on modern TVs. While it definitely is not helping, it's not entirely true. I went and played the PSP re-release and its in the exact same non-playable form(the FMV's are in an actually watchable quality though).

Imagine Paper Mario. That game is looks pretty good right? Alright, now put that on the PS1. Well, it looks a bit less good but still decent. Ok now remove all animation from the game and make everyone just stretch their arms and legs all over the place like a rubber band. That's PaRappa the Rapper.

I get what they were going for but the execution of it feels disgustingly lazy. The 3D animation they use in the FMVs look like it was rendered 10 years earlier.
They should have just done the cutscenes in-engine. The heavy FMV compression does not compliment the already poor graphics.

The songs are all really catchy and good. However, sometimes the lyrics don't make any sense and almost come off as engrish from a bad translation job, this is especially apparent in the Chicken song. The voice acting in the FMVs is the worst ever. That's all there is to say about that.

Theres only 6 stages in the whole game, you can finish it in under 30 minutes depending on if the game decides to likes your button presses. Theres no reason at all to actually replay the game, just pop it in a CD player if you want to hear the songs again.
+ Genuinely catchy songs
- The game does not work
- Only 6 levels(songs)
- Lazy animation
3 Presentation
While character designs are cute, everything else looks awfull. The animation of said characters are practically non-existant, all they do is stretch their arms around and have 1 frame of lip flapping. The 3D in the FMVs looks awfull and really dated, even for the time. The voice acting outside of the music is terrible. Again though, good music.
- Gameplay
Gameplay gets a zero. It literally does not work.
- Lasting Appeal
There's no reason to go back. After you beat the 6 songs, thats it. Its over.
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
There are some good songs to listen to, but good luck even hearing them. You're better off watching a TAS on YouTube or something.
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