PaRappa the Rapper!
Thanks to Kalyn, I was able to put down my old-school Game Boy color that I had loyally brought from home and try my hand at some more modern forms of gaming technology, namely the PSP and the Nintendo DS. Kalyn had told me that women tended to gravitate towards the rhythm and music type games which at once made me want to gravitate away from it, and try something different……except, that didn’t happen.
Since I don’t like many fighting games (Soul Calibur being an exception!) and an RPG would take too long, I wasn’t left with many other interesting choices, so I ended up playing a rhythm and music type game (that I have forgotten the title of…EDIT: “Elite Beat Agents”) for the DS. Needless to say, I didn’t enjoy the game very much and I did pretty badly once I got out of tutorial mode, so I called it quits early on and tried a different game.
And then i struck gold with…Parappa The Rapper! Okay, yeah I was pretty skeptical when Kalyn explained that the game was about a little dog who rapped. It just sounded kind of strange. But I decided to go along with it anyway, cause It couldn’t (in theory) be worse than the last game I played anyway, and also I wanted to try the PSP.
To my serious surprise, I found myself getting very into the game and I found Parappa (the dog) ADORABLE. I wasn’t amazing at it (I saw the “TRY AGAIN?” screen more times than I want to admit) however, what was cool about this game was that it was FUN to mess up.
The way it worked was you always rapped with someone. They would rap first and you would answer them in the same rhythm, using the circle, X, triangle, square, left and right keys of the PSP. Each button equaled a word in the rap so if you press the wrong button at the wrong time, Parappa’s raps a jumbled mess….and it’s funny. As Kalyn did her homework she would sometimes stop to laugh at me (or shake her head), as I laughed my with through the game. There were even little videos that happened before and after the rap to give context and provide a little storyline, which was really nice.
In terms of gender, I suppose the game is marketed to young boys, since you have no choice but to be Parappa who is male, and throughout the game he is trying to win the heart of a girl he likes (who happens to be a flower), and I was glad to see that she wasn’t the damsel in distress type.. In another version of the game, apparently, there is an option for a female cat (EDIT: make that female LAMB) character, however. Furthermore, one thing I liked was that the characters you rapped with were both male and female. Honestly do not think the game really tries too hard to reel in one gender over the other; I can see both young boys and young girls really enjoying it because the raps are silly (in one stage you have to rap in order to be first in line to use the bathroom), the characters are funny, and the storyline is engaging even thought its short (which was a plus for me! I almost beat the game, even!), plus I suppose the rhythm & music part of the game would attract more girls to it, in theory. Either way, I’d recommend it 🙂