Kick, punch, it’s time to bust rhymes. With a rapping dog, you’ll have a grand time. Pick up a controller to play and have fun. Keep up with the beat, until the song is done. Over 10 years since his very last game. It’s time for this pooch to rip off his chain. When it comes to rhyming he has no equal, so PaRappa the Rapper – where’s my sequel? 

PaRappa the Rapper came out in 1997 for the original PlayStation and was the first rhythm-based game I ever got my hands on. Before the Rock Band, dancing, and karaoke game craze this was all I needed to showcase my musical prowess. The game received positive reviews and was on my weekly rental list at my local Blockbuster. 

The series spawned a spin-off title, UmJammer Lammy, for the PlayStation in 1999 (featuring a guitar-playing sheep name Lammy) and PaRappa the Rapper 2 for the PlayStation 2 in 2001. Both were unable to capture the magic of the original game and were not well received. Since then there has been a void in the universe where a rapping dog with mad skillz should be. 

The Concept
PaRappa is just a teenager trying to get by in life; hanging out with friends and hoping to win the heart of Sunny Funny. To do this PaRappa gets his driver’s license, and learns karate and other various things through six rap-filled levels from his various teachers. These instructors of life recite well-written and catchy raps that you then have to repeat back using the button prompts on the screen. The game is unforgiving; miss a few beats and your “U Rappin” meter drops down to bad, but if you’re a real OG you are certified cool status. 

The Flavor 
The art style of PaRappa is similar to that of Paper Mario. Two-dimensional shapes make up a 3D world. The art is very colorful and extremely reminiscent of the '90s. The characters all have different personas and are imaginative in the sense that any and everything could be a rapping pro. From Chop Chop Master Onion, who is indeed an onion, to Prince Fleaswallow, the reggae frog, every character helps make the world an outlandish and unforgettable place.   

The Music

Despite how some people may feel about rap, the game is very family-friendly. Catchy tunes and clever wordplay keep the game light and fun at all times. Even in the start menu, PaRappa grooves to the beat as you select your options. 

You can learn something too; to this day, I always remember I have to step on the gas and check and turn the signals to the left while driving my car. PaRappa’s infectious tunes still hold up today, and have inspired parodies and his appearance in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.

The Potential 
Music rhythm games are not as popular as they use to be, but the niche is still there. PaRappa combines the colorful world of games with music. It would fit right in with the games of today, and with the current popularity of rap, I wouldn’t mind seeing a 2-D Jay-Z instructing PaRappa how to pilot a submarine. How about Snoop Lion, who would actually be a lion, ordering food in a drive-thru? The possibilities are endless. 

PaRappa the Rapper deserves a comeback tour in an industry that has become polluted with music and rhythm games. We need a fresh but familiar face to show the new generation how it’s done. Sony, I know you haven’t forgotten about PaRappa, so stop teasing me and bring him back. I know he will come back – I gotta believe!