Whoever greenlit this remaster was definitely not the man with the masterplan, if I may paraphrase the game's hip-hop guru Chop Chop Master Onion.

Parappa the Rapper is an iconic PlayStation 1 title that came out of nowhere to kickstart the entire rhythm game genre.

It has to be one of the weirdest games ever to become a hit. You play Parappa, a charmingly naive pooch who battle raps his way through six stages to win the heart of popular girl Sunny Funny.

The stages have him rapping his way through learning kung-fu, getting his licence and working at a flea market. The best - and strangest - is battle rapping your way to the front of the toilet queue before Parappa pees his pants. No, I am not making this up.

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Screenshots for Parappa the Rapper, to go with game review in TimeOut.
Screenshots for Parappa the Rapper, to go with game review in TimeOut.

The game is basically a G-rated 8 Mile. Parappa doesn't rap about mum's spaghetti but you will need the funky, funky flow to successfully rap your way through baking a cake.

You play by pressing different button combos in time with an on-screen meter. On the PS1 and old CRT televisions this was no problem. Sadly no effort has been made to adapt the timing for today's HD screens.

There is noticeable lag between the meter, pressing the button and Parappa rapping. Progressing through the game was more luck than skill. My luck ran out at level four. I couldn't get past it, no matter how much I tried to account for the lag.

When your whole game concept is based on timing this is completely unacceptable.

The other downer is that only half the game is HD. The levels themselves look brilliant with Parappa's cartoon world realised in vibrant colours. The cut scenes, however, are a dog's breakfast. Ripped straight from the PS1 and not updated at all. They look terrible.

Fortunately the songs are still really fun. Their mid-90s beats and oddball lyrics still standing up and not failing to get you bopping along.

Screenshots for Parappa the Rapper, to go with game review in TimeOut.
Screenshots for Parappa the Rapper, to go with game review in TimeOut.

This HD remaster should be dope. But its half-assed execution and game killing lag make it a hugely wasted opportunity and an insult to Parappa's legacy. No matter how much you want to believe.

Parappa the Rapper

PS4

2 Stars

Verdict:

This 90s hip-hop hero won't be hitting the charts with this comeback effort