20 years ago today, Sony released a video game about a rapping dog in Europe. The rhythm game wound up being an iconic moment for PlayStation as the namesake of PaRappa the Rapper quickly became a PlayStation icon. He hasn’t been seen too much lately, although PaRappa the Rapper Remastered, an updated version of the PlayStation title came out for PS4 earlier this year.
For more on PaRappa the Rapper history, I recommend checking out this excellent piece by Jeremy Bibaud that goes into the series’ history. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Wrapped in sparkling paper under my family’s Christmas tree sat the familiar squared outline of what was surely a PlayStation game case. It was 1997 and my brother tore the paper off likely expecting to see the familiar orange fur of Crash Bandicoot or the two triangles that represented Lara Croft at the time. Instead, he was met with a mess of color mashed into a 4.75-inch frame.
The cover image showcased a dog with an orange hat, blue shirt, and baggy jeans, holding a mic leaning in at an awkward angle in front of an array of bewildering characters – a flower, a cat, a moose, a karate master with an onion head.
It was a simple story about a rapping dog who liked a girl who looked like a flower. But more than that, it was about learning to believe in yourself. I played it. I loved it. I beat it and unlocked the ability to freestyle and played it some more. I memorized the lyrics. I bought it years later to play again on my PlayStation 2 and then again to play on my PS Vita. The world had charmed me like few games had at that time.
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