Console yourself: CONSOLE REVIEW

PaRappa the Rapper (sony) playstation
Every so often, a game comes along which is so brilliantly original that the entire games-playing world has to sit up and take notice. PaRappa the Rapper is just such a game. However, be warned: it is also completely and utterly insane. The eponymous hero is an adolescent, hip-hop loving Jack Russell terrier. The game follows his desperate attempts to win the affections of Sunny Funny, a beautiful young daisy, by learning the ways of rap. To this end, PaRappa enlists a number of tutors, including Chip Chop Master Onion and Instructor Mooselini. It is the player's job to help PaRappa develop his lyrical skills, which is done by pressing the joypad buttons in time to the music.

Although this might not sound particularly enthralling, the game is hugely playable. Admittedly, the player's involvement is limited, but there is something strangely addictive about this computerised karaoke. The graphics are of the cutesy, cartoon variety and won't impress the "serious" games player, but then this isn't a game for the serious games player. The tunes are probably the catchiest you'll hear on any format, and I defy anyone not to chuckle at the antics of Chip Chop Master Onion. The only real problem with it is that it's too short - there are only six levels and they are relatively easy to complete.

If you are looking for something a little, or a lot, out of the ordinary, that will brighten up your day, go and pick up a copy of PaRappa the Rapper.