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Parappa the Rappa
Review By: Jesse Mason
Developer:   Sony Music Ent.
Publisher:   Sony
# of Players:   1
Genre:   Uhhh...
ESRB:   K-A (Everyone)

In the vast unique world of video games there has always been a secluded group of games that dared to be different. Most were thrown out and forgotten over time but a select few have been marginally different enough to get media attention and eventually great sales. The Sentinel, Elite, Metal Gear and Populous are among this Elite group. Well there's a new member folks. And his motto is "I Gotta Believe!"

If you stripped down the graphics, the story, the pizzazz, and the character of PaRappa the Rapper, yes, you would have a drab and dull game. On the gameplay side of things PaRappa doesn't fulfill much. The gameplay is the ever simple push the button at the right time. A master will tell you what to rap first on a bar at the top of the screen. Then you rap it. The control is simple enough. Push the correct button at the right time. But I suppose the developers were so busy on the other side of things that they didn't worry much about the control. The control is kind of slow. You must push the button before the head moves onto the target in order to get it to work. When the button push is to be made at the beginning of the sequence, it is very confusing.

However, when get past the pretty much stupid gameplay and when you get to the aesthetics side of things, PaRappa is a true gem. The story (which seems to come straight out of a good storybook) is wonderful. It's simple, too. You're a flat dog and you are trying to woo a flat flower (kinda strange but we're in imagination land here). It's chock full of humor, fantasy, and exaggeration (one of the levels requires you to rap your way through a line leading to a toilet). The characters and their world (who were created by storybook author Rodney Greenblat) beat the heck out of pretty much every game on the planet. And then there's the music. The music is what the game is centered around, and they surely did a good job with it. You'll find yourself humming the music for days. Well done singing (and some regular talking) fits the characters perfectly! If they ever release a CD of the audio in this game, I'm buying it.

If you want to play this, I must tell you that this is a good rental not a good buy. The fact is that it's too short to grant a $35 purchase. You should breeze through it within a couple of hours. An extra mode afterwards helps but not enough. Only buy this if you are EXTREMELY interested.

All in all I cannot stress the fact that if you are an average game player, or are afraid of games, that you will hate this. But for everyone open enough to have the courage to play this have a good time. Oh and to have a cheesy little closing. "You gotta do what? I gotta Believe!!!" You sure do.

Overall: 8.7
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