Late last year Sony announced they’d be bringing PS2 games to the PS4 with graphical enhancements and trophy support. One of those games, launching on December 16, 2015, was PaRappa the Rapper 2, which originally debuted on the PS2 on January 21, 2002. Fourteen years later, how does it hold up?
To begin, the game stars budding rapper, Parappa, on a quest to not only impress his girlfriend Sunny on how grown up he is, but also save the town from an army turning everything into noodles. Literally. It’s as silly as it sounds. The voice acting ranges from okay to obnoxious and the plot kind of rushes through everything. It’s camp pure and simple and that’s okay. PaRappa wears it’s weirdness on its sleeve and was never trying to win best narrative anyway. The shining jewel here is the gameplay.
PaRappa is one of the earliest rhythm games long before Guitar Hero and Rockband popularized the market. Through a course of eight episodes, Parappa will square off against opponents, or learn from masters. The music is fantastic! Some tracks are better than others, but no matter the song, this writer couldn’t help getting into the groove. However, the HD port may have fixed some transgressions with input delay, but it still felt like missed notes were due not to this guy’s fault, but because of lag. In an ever-growing medium with new technology every year, it’s worrisome when trying to preserve the classics. No other medium suffers from this.
Otherwise the game performed fine, with the HD upgrade enhancing an already beautiful, cartoon world. It’s a game that wouldn’t be made today if not for digital releases. Paying $40 to $50 in 2002 for this game is kind of a high given that the game can be completed in about two hours. There’s replay value in mastering stages, tackling other difficulties, and playing versus matches against friends, but even with all that P2 is a light package. However, at an amazing $10 on PSN, it’s a steal.
PaRappa the Rapper 2 may be short, but at $10, it’s well worth the price of admission. It’s a showcase to Sony Japan’s more creative side in an age where it’s hard to see them take a chance sometimes. Not just Sony, but developers across Japan. It may have been fourteen years since his last adventure, but the world is still hungry for more adventures starring Parappa and his pals. Not as an AAA $60 game, but a cheaper, digital only title. Let’s make it happen Sony!
Score: 3/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on February 8, 2016 via my Examiner account before the website shut down. Check out the supporting video review on the accompanying YouTube Channel, ReActionExaminer.