When Sony released “PaRappa the Rapper” for the original Playstation, many thought the game’s idea was ridiculous. Using two-dimensional cartoon style graphics and silly rhymes, the game seemed destined for doom in America – where music themed videogames had previously failed. Nevertheless, “PaRappa” received praise from the press and gamers alike for its Simon-like gameplay (remember the old game with the different color bars you had to hit?), quirky characters and hilarious music. Since “PaRappa,” music themed games have become very popular in America, as seen from the success of games like “Frequency” and “UnJammer Lammy” (the semi-sequel to “PaRappa”). As a result of the growing demand for such games, it was just a matter of time before Sony released a true follow up to the game that redefined a genre. Unfortunately, “PaRappa the Rapper 2” for Playstation 2 plays like a broken record.
Similar to the original, “PaRappa 2” revolves around the life of PaRappa, a hip-hop dog who wears a stocking cap, and his friends, which include a cat, a bear and a sunflower. But while the original game kept gamers wanting to play more to see if PaRappa would get the girl of his dreams, Sunny Funny, the storyline of “PaRappa the Rapper 2” will make gamers sick the same way eating a bunch of ramen noodles does. This makes sense as PaRappa’s quest this time around is to stop Colonel Noodle from turning the world’s food supply into noodles. This storyline definitely feels like a stretch and will make you want to throw the game to your dog and say, “fetch.”
In addition to having a storyline that is lame, the levels of “PaRappa 2” are sure to defame the hip-hop dog’s name. Once again, PaRappa runs into difficult situations in which he’s gotta believe by imitating the raps of hip-hop masters such as Chop Chop Master Onion and emcee King Kong Mushi. Sadly, these levels don’t seem quite as unique or funny as the original, with many using the same or similar characters from the original. In addition, every level begins with PaRappa deciding he can beat the level by yelling, “I Gotta Believe!” And while fans of the first game could be heard repeating the each level’s addicting tunes, those who do the same with this game might get their ass kicked by goons.
Speaking of ass, “PaRappa 2” suffers from problematic gameplay that will leave gamers not wanting to come back for another day. As in the original “PaRappa” and “UnJammer Lammy,” the goal is to mimic the level masters’ raps by pressing different buttons in a particular order. But unlike these games, “PaRappa 2” does require a whole lot of accuracy. Gamers are likely to beat the game in their first or second try, making them wish they hadn’t paid $49.99.