Gadling's resident pilot explains what life in the cockpit is like

PaRappa character creation winner crowned

Sony wanted fans to create a brand new PaRappa the Rapper character -- and they've finally selected a winner! Character designer Rodney Greenblatt will redraw the winning creation, the "Metragnome," and send it to Dominik K with a free copy of PaRappa the Rapper for PSP.

Congrats to the winner, and great job to all the contestants. To check out the other finalists, click here.

New PaRappa contest has you creating a new character


How could you not get excited hearing that you're being asked to create a character for PaRappa The Rapper? Sony has posted the contest on their website and the rules are basically this: make a character. That's it. Be creative, be unique, be insane with your ideas. If you need help brainstorming, we'd love to assist you. How about a tap-dancing octopus who needs help finding this rhythm? Or perhaps a sentient rock who just wants to roll, but can't get pumped enough without some good tunes?

If your creation is chosen as one of ten finalists, you'll get a PSP skin, a keychain, and a beanie. If you're the ultimate champion, your character will be redrawn by Rodney Greenblatt and framed just for you -- and you win a copy of the PSP game. Have fun!

Rodney Greenblat reveals his inspiration for PaRappa

Although PaRappa's return to PSP hasn't met the best reviews, the character remains one of gaming's most iconic. What inspired the design of music gaming's premiere mascot? Rodney Greenblat, famed artist and creator of the PaRappa character explains: "In the case of PaRappa they wanted a character that was trustworthy, loyal, hardworking, romantic and a little insecure. That made me think of a dog. I made several sketches of dog rapper characters. We all worked together to pick the best design." Thinking back about the game's inspirational "you gotta believe" mantra, it's clear that Greenbalt's design really works.

Greenbalt reveals other details in a lengthy interview at the PlayStation website.

[Thanks, Random!]

Father-daughter team wins PaRappa rap contest


Sony asked PaRappa fans to submit videos of their performances for a chance to win a trip to Penny Acade Expo. Well, it looks like one team rose above the rest. Adam S (and his daughter?) took home the gold with their cheap cake rap. It's cute, and sure to brighten up your Sunday morning. Check it out.

PSP Fanboy review: PaRappa the Rapper


We all have fond memories of PaRappa the Rapper when he first arrived on PlayStation 1 a decade ago. Now, our beloved rapping puppy is back on the PSP. However, nostalgia doesn't make a good game. Although PaRappa fathered the modern music game genre, it simply doesn't offer enough content or gameplay to compete with modern games.

Gallery: PaRappa the Rapper

Continue reading PSP Fanboy review: PaRappa the Rapper

Make PaRappa tee, win $2,000


PaRappa <3 Threadless.

The trendy t-shirt site is now running a contest where designers can create t-shirts inspired by Sony's classic music game. The Grand Prize winner will get $2,000 in cash and various PaRappa prizes.

This Master Onion tee is just one example of what a Threadless regular has created. Will you design something?

PSP Fanboy presents: PaRappa the Rapper soundtrack

Unfortunately, we've distributed as many downloads of the soundtrack as we could. We didn't expect this to be such a huge success! Thanks for checking out PSP Fanboy and remember ... PaRappa the Rapper for PSP is now available in stores.

Vote for your favorite PaRappa the Rapper video


Did you enter the PaRappa the Rapper Chop Chop Master Onion's Rap Showdown? Hope so. Contestants performed their own renditions of their favorite PaRappa songs for a chance to win some pretty awesome PaRappa swag. In addition, the grand prize winner will get an all-expenses paid trip to the Penny Arcade Expo. But, who's going to win?

That's where you come in. Visit the official PlayStation website to vote for your favorite. Heck, you don't even have to vote ... it's funny enough to see these classic songs get the real-life treatment by fans. Check it out.

PSP Fanboy hands-on: PaRappa the Rapper


PaRappa the Rapper used to be the coolest kid on the block when he came out ten years ago. Although this game was the pioneer of a genre ten years ago, our recent hands-on with the upcoming PSP version has left us underwhelmed. PaRappa is back, but he's just not as cool as you remember him. Like parachute pants, PaRappa hasn't aged very well.

The greatest flaw we see with the game so far is its awkward input mechanism. Sure, music games have always been about pressing buttons at the right time. The problem with PaRappa is that its hard to tell if you're doing well or not ... until it's too late. In Dance Dance Revolution, for example, one would receive a confirmation of a "Great!" or a "Bad" immediately after pressing the button. Without an instant response, its hard to tell how you're performing ... and how to improve yourself.

Also, navigating the menus is a chore, and it's far from intuitive. We're also disappointed to see that the cinematic sequences in the game are bordered horribly: where's our full-screen video? There's still a lot of potential in the game: the game is charming, moves at a brisk pace, and the downloadable content will be available immediately at game's launch. We still have to play through the game some more, but our initial impressions are far from glowing. Stay tuned for more. Until then, check out new images in our gallery.

Gallery: PaRappa the Rapper

U rappin' good? Go to Penny Arcade Expo for free


U Gotta Believe!

Sony is hosting a new contest, encouraging wannabe rappers to perform their best PaRappa rap. It just takes some ambition, a camera, and some YouTube know-how to enter. Choose one of three songs provided on Sony's official contest page, and swallow your pride.

There are some awesome prizes: PaRappa PSP skins, PaRappa PSP charms, PaRappa's signature beanie and a copy of the game. The first 100 entrants will get the awesome PaRappa tee. Finally, one winner will get to go to Penny Arcade Expo with a friend ... absolutely free. If you're thinking of entering, definitely show us. We'd love to see your moves!

Limited edition PaRappa tee by Paul Frank


Want this ill-lookin' PaRappa the Rapper tee? We sure do. To help promote the upcoming PSP version, Sony has contracted Paul Frank Industries and PaRappa's "co-creator and artist", Rodney Alan Greenblat, to create a limited edition t-shirt. The shirt will display Paul Frank's signature character Julius and Sony's adorable PaRappa the Rapper. According to Sony, there will be several PaRappa promotions throughout the summer: both online and at numerous PlayStation promotional events including Wizard World, ComiCon, LollaPalooza, PAX and more.

We begged Sony to give us a couple of shirts to give away to our readers. Let's hope they've heard our pleas.

PSP Fan Art Fridays: PaRappa the Rapper

Do you want to share your PSP-related fan art? Send us an . A new piece of fan art will be shared every Friday.

Seeing new info on the PSP rendition of PaRappa at Sony's Gamer's Day, makes this particular fan art even sweeter. This hippin' and hoppin' piece comes from illjules. Impressively made in the online Oekaki art program. I like the more realistic and 3D take on PaRappa, though I do worry that he might try to throw down if I got on his bad side. I'd take that chance though, just to see him work his magic in the club.

Let illjules know what you think of this PaRappa fan art in the comments or go to her deviantArt account and see more of her colorful and beautiful art.

Gallery: Fan Art Fridays

SGD '07: PaRappa the Rapper


Sony Gamer's Day was filled with tons of goodies, such as the new PSP version of PaRappa the Rapper. There isn't much new to see here, considering its simply a port of a PS1 classic. Regardless, feel free to check out some screens in our new gallery below.

The game hits PSP systems this July.

Gallery: PaRappa the Rapper

Battle of the ports: PaRappa versus Crazy Taxi

Battle of the ports: which do you want more?
PaRappa the Rapper
Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars
Neither: PSP doesn't need any more ports!
Free polls from Pollhost.com

If you haven't noticed, the PSP Fanboy team is totally "t3h b145!!!1" We've been bashing Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars for its sloppy Dreamcast-era graphics. However, we've been going totally gaga for the barely enhanced PaRappa the Rapper. Isn't that unfair? We're going to let you, the PSP Fanboy reader, tell us which of these hotly anticipated PSP ports we should be more excited for. Just check out the videos after the cut, and tell us which one you want more. If you're digging both of them, feel free to vote for both. Of course, if you're feeling particularly jaded today, you can also admit that maybe we shouldn't get so excited over ports--don't we have too many already?

Continue reading Battle of the ports: PaRappa versus Crazy Taxi

A brief history of PaRappa the Rapper (with screenshots)

PaRappa the Rapper is largely accredited as the first modern rhythm game. More than ten years after its first release on PS1, gamers will be able to relive the game on PSP. In light of the US announcement, we wanted to take a brief look into the history of the game, and offer you some new screenshots (after the break).

The game was developed by NanaOn-Sha (roughly translated as Seventh Sound Company), and has seen release in over 70 countries. The story of the rapping dog that "gotta believe" became so popular that the series branched off into new areas. For example, McDonald's promotions. It eventually transformed into a 30-episode anime series in 2001. The franchise grew with the eventual sequels, PaRappa the Rapper 2 and Um Jammer Lammy.

Its initial release was met with nearly universal critical acclaim. Rodney Alan Greenblat, a popular artist in Japan, created illustrations that came to life in a way the gaming world had never seen before. The music was also unlike anything the gaming world had experienced. It wasn't long before it built a dedicated fan community. We hope the upcoming PSP version will revive the long-dormant franchise. Isn't it time for an entirely new addition to this series?

Continue reading A brief history of PaRappa the Rapper (with screenshots)

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