Musical rhythm games don’t come along very often, but when we do get them they’re great. PaRappa The Rapper, Gitaroo Man and Elite Beat Agents are the only big offerings of the genre in the last 20 years, and they’re all regarded as treasured cult classics. So when the two creators behind ALL those games announced they were joining forces for something new, we took notice right away.
Keiichi Yano (Elite Beat Agents, Gitaroo Man) and Masaya Matsuura (Parappa the Rapper) have announced their new game, temp-titled Project Rap Rabbit, will be in development for Playstation 4 and PC soon — and they’ve launched a Kickstarter to gather most of the funds. Unlike the other revival projects we’ve seen from Japanese developers over the past few years, Yano and Matsuura aren’t aiming to simply recreate the games that made them famous — they want to evolve the mechanics further and deliver something new.
“The key to battle rap is the ability to defeat your opponent with lyrical jabs and rhyming uppercuts, which is why Project Rap Rabbit ensures YOU are in control of the raps,” they say. “Songs aren’t just a series of linear lines to tap through, but full dialogue trees of variable verses filled with creative put-downs, bragging and clever rhymes.” The songs will be different every time because players will have the power to choose from many different possibilities, using an “emotion wheel” menu.
The bad news is that if players want a Switch version (and most commenters seem to), they’ll have to find a way to scrounge up over 5 million dollars. Project Rap Rabbit has multiple stretch goals and a Switch port is at the very top, right after an XBox One port. There is no answer yet from Yano or Matsuura as to why that cookie jar was placed too high to reach, but one popular theory is that the high cost of Switch cartridges may have forced them to make the Nintendo port a distant option.
UPDATE: The team has responded to complaints and lowered the stretch goal for the Switch to $1.5 million, which is doable.
The Project Rap Rabbit Kickstarter has only just begun and it’s earned over $63,000 in a few hours, as of this writing. Contribute to it here.