PaRappa the Rapper was created by Masaya Matsuura (the former leader of the Japanese "Hyper Pop Unit" PSY S) and his NanaOn-Sha company. It was one of the very first rhythm video games released at the time.
The game is named after its protagonist, PaRappa, a rapping dog, with the motto "I gotta believe!"
For a list/links of the songs in this game, please view: Songs
The player takes the role of Parappa, a rapping dog trying to win the heart of his friend Sunny Funny. However hecomes intimidated by the presence of Joe Chin who goes overboard with trying to impress Sunny. In hopes of impressing her, Parappa learns to fight at a Kung-fu Dojo and take a driver's education course to get his license.
After crashing his dad's car, Parappa has to earn money at the flea market to pay for it...
When Sunny's birthday comes up, Parappa has to get cake, but ends up ruining it after an encounter with Joe. He makes a new one by watching a cooking show and at the get-together he eats a lot of it. Later as he spends time alone with Sunny, he is suddenly overcome with the need to use the bathroom and has to rap against his former teachers to get to the front of the queue!
Then one night, Parappa is invited to Club Fun, and asks Sunny to go with him, to which she agrees. Parappa then raps on stage with everybody, rapping solo at the end of the song and expressing his feelings for Sunny.
Considered ahead of its time in its day, PaRappa the Rapper is somewhat similar to the classic 1980s game Simon, in which the player is required to repeat a sequence of sounds and buttons. PaRappa the Rapper demands that the player not only get the sequence correct but also the timing of the sequence. The game provides small portions of spoken vocals that are triggered when the appropriate buttons are pressed. Pressing the buttons in the correct order, with the correct timing, provides an intelligible imitation of the words spoken by the character; pressing the buttons in an incorrect order or with incorrect timing rewards the player with nothing more than unintelligible gibberish.
Points are awarded for correctness and "style". By simply following the given sequence, the best a player can attain is the "U rappin' GOOD" rating. To get a higher rating, the player must "freestyle"; that is, to deviate from the given sequence but still keep in time with the song's rhythm. Through this method, the player can attain a "U rappin' COOL" rating. A player needs to have completed a level first before a COOL level can be obtained (this is not the case in its sequels). Alternately, if the player continues to play poorly, they may lose points and attain "U rappin' BAD" and "U rappin' AWFUL" ratings. A player drops down a rank after playing 2 wrong lines in succession, or on occasion an utterly ridiculous line, and can only go back up a level by getting two consecutive good lines.
If the stage is completed with a BAD or AWFUL rating, or if at any point the "U rappin'" meter falls below AWFUL, the stage is failed and the player is offered an option to try to attempt the stage again or to quit. If the stage is completed with a GOOD or COOL rating, the player continues to the next stage. If all stages are completed at COOL rating, the player is awarded with an alternate game ending, and a bonus song can be accessed.
Rank-changing aspects of a level are only apparent during the first of every 2 lines. If the player successfully times the first line of a pair, but fails on the second, the rank meter will not blink BAD or AWFUL. Likewise, once the game has been cleared, a good play is only necessary on the first of every two lines to get a shot at COOL mode on the second line. This is fixed in the game's sequels, but not in the PSP remake.
While the gameplay is simplistic on a certain level, the game is remembered for its unique graphic design, its quirky soundtrack, and its bizarre plot.
Spin Off and MerchandiseEdit
PaRappa became somewhat popular in Japan. Spawning plenty of merchandise, a spinoff in 1999, a widget-series anime, and a direct sequal for Playstation 2 in 2002.
Four years later, a PlayStation Portable (PSP) port of the original game was released in Japan in December 2006 and in North America and Europe in July 2007.
- When the game was featured as a challenge on Gamesmaster in 1998, the contestants, a team of two people, were given an extra large controller to make the game harder. The size of the buttons were that of the palm of a hand.
- The very year it was released in Japan, Parappa was the 7th top selling game.
- There has also been speculation regarding another sequel, though PlayStation has been quoting as saying, "People aren't going to pay $50 for 5, 6 stages." They also expressed interest in doing another sequel, however.