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Playstation 2












E (Everyone)



Q1 2002



- Catchy music

- Nice visuals

- Refreshingly lighthearted story



- Too short

- Too easy



Review: Mad Maestro (Playstation 2)



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PaRappa the Rapper 2

Score: 6.9 / 10

Itís nice to see a lighthearted game come along after the deluge of titles pushing their heady subject matter and complicated plot twists.  A pleasant little tale of preventing an evil mastermind from replacing every culinary dish in town with noodles is the order of the day in PaRappa the Rapper 2.  Now it doesnít get much more lighthearted than that.  With this story come some great voice acting and some catchy tunes, but unfortunately this music game is just too short and too easy to really hold oneís attention over a prolonged period of time.  It easily makes for an excellent weekend rental, but no more than that.

parappa-the-rapper-2-1.jpg (35348 bytes)          parappa-the-rapper-2-2.jpg (31177 bytes)

The story is very light throughout the game and it does a good job of bringing a little humor and a Saturday morning cartoon-style to the character interaction, as PaRappa tries to figure out whose behind the outbreak of noodles so he can put a stop to it.  It's nothing terribly fancy, but it's a fun ride.

The gameplay is your standard musical gaming fair.  Commands for which buttons to hit on the controller show up on screen, presented in a similar manner to that one may find on sheet music and players must copy what the computer controlled opponent specifies in that same rhythm.  The more out of sync it is the more your score is hurt.  Itís a very simple process, but unfortunately itís left a little too simple as the game is very forgiving and the rhythms are not all that difficult to learn.  This results in the game being a breeze to get through.  Thankfully there are additional modes in the game like two player versus and a sort of versus mode where players 




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get a fair amount of artistic license in how they perform.  Essentially the computer gives you a root beat and itís up to you to embellish on this adding little extras here and there, and then the opponent must do better still.  Itís sort of like musical gamesí response to wanker guitar solo showdowns.  This brings a little bit of replay value, the depth of which depends on the playerís musical proficiency.  Sadly, it just doesnít sink its hooks in deep enough, so after three or four days PaRappa and the gang really begin to ware their welcome.



Of course itís the music that is the other key factor in this game, and for the most part it is quite good.  The tracks all have catchy beats with good hooks, though the lyrics are somewhat silly at times, but perfectly acceptable when you take into account the spirit of the game.  While PaRappa himself raps to everything, the tunes he does this to have a good mix of jazz and funk to them as well to allow for a far more groove-oriented style to the tracks, instead of being pummeled with your typical 4/4 time, robotic beats.  These are the sorts of tracks that are easy to get stuck in your head.

In so far as the visuals are concerned, the game takes on the same sort of aesthetic as that found in the original PaRappa the Rapper and UmJammer Lammy with itís two dimensional, paper cutout-esque character design.  Itís a quirky, fun approach to the graphics and an always-welcome change to the constant striving for photo-realism that so many developers try to present us with time and time again.

parappa-the-rapper-2-3.jpg (30932 bytes)          parappa-the-rapper-2-5.jpg (28462 bytes)

Despite the nice visuals and toe tapping tunes PaRappa the Rapper 2 just doesnít have that long-term appeal to warrant running out and buying the game.  Itís definitely worth experiencing though, especially if you are into musical games.  A weekend rental is more than enough to get some good, fun mileage out of this title.

- Mr. Nash

(February 15, 2002)

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