The PlayStation Classics: PaRappa the Rapper
Welcome to PlayStation Classics, where each week we talk about some of the best older PlayStation games out there. Today’s pick is a title that proves you can’t keep a good rapper down. It’s a game so beloved, people begged for it to become a PSOne Classic and show up on the actual PlayStation Classic. Unfortunately, neither happened. But that’s okay, because there are still plenty of ways to play PaRappa the Rapper without an actual physical disc, and each one is both comprehensive and affordable.
PaRappa the Rapper is a story following one of Sony’s most iconic characters. PaRappa, a dog with a talent for wordplay, is determined to prove himself and succeed. But the current pressing problem is that Sunny Funny, an adorable sunflower girl, is the woman of his dreams. However, another dog is his possibly-more-attractive-but-also-a-huge-jerk rival. How can he get the confidence to express himself? He has to train under an assortment of memorable characters who also drop some incredible rhymes.
Sometimes, rhythm games can be intimidating. PaRappa the Rapper isn’t. It is incredibly accessible, thanks to some clever and great songs, a bright and colorful world, and gameplay that helps you find patterns and successfully spit back the right inputs. It takes a call and answer approach where one of the other rap masters will drop a line with displayed button presses, and you will parrot it back to have PaRappa continue the track.
I mean, look at these lyrics.
Kick! Punch! It’s all in the mind. If you wanna test me, I’m sure you’ll find the things I’ll teach ya, is sure to beat ya, but nevertheless you’ll get a lesson from teacher. Now, kick! Kick! Punch! Punch! Chop! Chop! Block! Block!
That is magic.
Don’t Call It a Comeback
What’s really lovely about PaRappa the Rapper is that it is one of those games that was so good, Sony kept bringing it back. Not just once, but twice. The first time, it went portable. Ten years after the debut of the original game, the PlayStation Portable iteration appeared. Instead of Japan Studio and epics just putting the PlayStation version on the handheld, it added lots of extras. The music is amazing, and the game celebrated that by allowing you to grab remixes of its songs. Years ago, people were able to download eight extra versions of the songs as free DLC. You can’t officially get them now, but the manner of PSP game data means it is possible to find these songs from certain sites that backed them up and pop them into the into the PSP\SAVEDATA’s “UCUS98702MUSIC” folder. This version also had four player ad-hoc multiplayer, which is fun enough if, well, you can get together four people with the game locally.
So what happened when PaRappa the Rapper turned 20? PaRappa the Rapper Remastered appeared! This is the PlayStation 4 version, which is actually the earlier PlayStation Portable version with high resolution textures. Which is all well and good! This is a great game where it is the music that matters, and this gives people a new chance to enjoy it. I’d even say it gives us an easier time too, since it includes the PlayStation Portable version’s eight extra songs without having to hunt them down, runs in 4K, and even gives you a demo to test out the best song in the game, “Chop Chop Master Onion’s Rap.”
Got the Got the Funky Flow
PaRappa the Rapper is great for so many reasons. It is a bright and colorful game that is brimming with positivity. It has hilariously catchy songs. It excels on any platform it is ported to. It is also a great beginning rhythm game, thanks to its call-and-answer gameplay that gradually eases you into more complex patterns. The PlayStation Portable version is $14.99 on the North American PlayStation Store. Or, if you have a console, you can spend $14.99 for the PlayStation 4 version.