The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
As a huge PaRappa and Um Jammer Lammy fan, I was very excited about this reunion of designer Masaya Matsuura and artist Rodney Alan Greenblat. What the hell happened? The game starts by casting you as a cartoon drum major who leads a marching band through town by moving the Wii remote up and down to the beat like a baton. Unfortunately, that's where it ends, too. This is the shallowest game design I've seen in years. Even worse, the infectious music and lyrics of PaRappa (the real draw of that game) are replaced by forgettable marching band instrumentals. If I'm going to spend a long period of time with my hand wrapped around an oblong object, moving my arm rapidly up and down, it sure won't be with this game.
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