Could anything be cooler than a rapping dog who learned kung-fu from an onion freestyling with an ant in the living room, after being zapped to bug-size by a malfunctioning TV remote? What if he was drawn in cardboard cut-out style graphics? It's from Japan as well, so CVG's got to love it, right?
The gaming world's favourite hip-hop hound is back, doing pretty much exactly what he did on PSone. Cartoon animals rap Japlish lyrics that – intentionally or not – feature hilarious rhymes and stacks of innuendo. The aim is to stop a mad professor from changing everything into noodles, ensuring the dog can eat burgers once again. You do this by pressing buttons on the pad in time to music.
JABBA THE MUTT Parappa 2 looks cool enough and it's entertaining the first time you play through, but is tapping X along to some music really what you bought a PS2 for? If all you want is quirky charm and a game to impress girls, then Parappa 2 is fine, but next to the likes of Devil May Cry and Grand Theft Auto III the whole rhythm action concept is a bit of a joke. There are only eight stages, the two-player Freestyle mode is an annoying disappointment, and there's no incentive to replay the game except to hear the tunes again. But we're guessing you put CDs on when your sole desire is to hear music.
Yes, it's cool to see Parappa growing and shrinking as he rhymes with an ant and doing an army bootcamp on a BMX, but it's all too shallow to be worth forty quid. The bonus game is cool – you get to chop tiles held by Master Onion's students like those 'hit the mole' games in the arcade – but the tunes here can't match up to the awesome 'kick, punch, it's all in the mind' from the PSone game.
We know the appeal lies in the quirkiness of it all. But we're not about to big up a short game with naff-all gameplay just cos we're supposed to.
The cool canine can still spit a funny rhyme, but gameplay is as shallow as ever.
Parappa The Rapper 2 isn't the most complicated game ever made, to say the least. If you can hit X then Square on a pad without having to look down at it, you're game-on. The rhythms you have to copy get harder as things progress, and every mess-up takes you a step closer to Noodlegeddon.