When games are released they are usually categorized into a certain genre. There are fighting games, racing games, platform games, RPGs, and so on. Most every game has definite predecessors and similarities to other games in its genre. Then once in a while a game comes out that defies any kind of classification and in doing so creates its own genre. Such was the case with Parappa the Rapper. Inevitably when a game such as this is released and is successful there will be a whole slew of copycat games trying to ride the wave of originality and success. Then the game will produce a sequel with the idea that they were first and therefore they are the best.
Well, after all of the imitation dancing and music games to be released on the Playstation and in the arcades, the people that brought you Parappa are back with their sequel to one of the most fun, most innovative games ever made. Thankfully they have chosen not to repeat the old game with different music, but instead completely changed the characters and style of the game while remaining true to the play and the format of the original.
If you never played the first one then this game will still seem very innovative to you. You play the part of Jammer Lammy, lead guitarist for the girl band, Milk Can. In each stage you must hit the correct guitar riffs with flawless timing to get points. If you achieve enough points you can move onto the next stage. Mess up too much and you must repeat it until you get it right. While this may seem like a frustrating task, it turns out to be really fun because the songs are really catchy and you have a lot of freedom with the way you play your guitar as long as it sounds right. In each stage you have the option of reaching the rating of "Cool". If you do you will instantly be allowed to freely riff and as long as you keep up a cool riff you will stay in cool mode.
The game goes through all different kinds of rock music from pop to punk to head-banging metal. Each stage has a very distinct flavor and this gives each stage its own personality. And just when you think you have seen everything you can go back and play though each musical mode with Parappa who adds a funky rap beat alongside the blaring guitar riffs. Probably the most fun new feature is the option to play with two players, a mode that was seriously desired in the first one. This option makes this a true party game. You can play cooperatively or in a head-to-head battle. Who is the true rock star (or rap star as the case may be)? Another innovation that comes with Lammy is the "easy mode". If the button configurations are too difficult to use, just put it is this mode and it will not matter what button you press as long as your timing is correct.
Out of all of the cheap rip off games that try to match the level of fun that was so simply reached in the 2 dimensional world of Parappa, nothing compares to its own sequel. No other games have songs that will be in your head all day. And no other game will have you playing the same levels over and over, not to win, but just because they are fun. So if you are up for something completely different than the regular boring ole fighting game, I suggest you check out Um Jammer Lammy. Think of it as expanding your mind and video game playing field. Or you can just think of it as a rockin' good time.
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