UM JAMMER LAMMY / Sony / Playstation

Lammy is the follow-up to Parappa the Rapper, and the fundamentals aren't much different. You're in control of a shy lamb girl who plays a mean guitar but has serious self-confidence issues rather than a rapping puppy, but the game is still about pressing buttons in time to the music while watching crazy animated scenes.

Unfortunately, this means nothing's really changed in terms of strengths and weaknesses, since the game basically uses the identical engine from the first one. If you didn't care for Parappa's off-the-wall humor, Babelfish'd lyrics, frustrating button press timing, and general lack of replayability, this is just another dose of the same.

It's sad, but I'm in the same position here as I was with Parappa - I love both games, but honestly, they were really better as rentals than something to own. Lammy adds a few new modes of play - once you've cleared all her levels, you can play co-op or competitive in a split screen with either her evil twin Rammy or Parappa. Parappa also gets to go through a set of remixed solo levels as a bonus after you finish the game. But these things only add maybe a day or two's more worth of content for the solo player, and it may be hard finding a second player willing to put up with the quirkiness of Lammy's timing.

As with Parappa, you can seemingly be exactly on the beat and playing something that sounds great, but get ranked down by the game for it. Conversely, you can botch a line and get rewarded, and it's never really totally clear how the game mechanics work. The "cool" mode that can be launched into by successfully improvising on two consecutive lines is just as oblique as it was in the previous game.

On the plus side, the game had a huge print run for some reason, so obtaining a used copy in good shape doesn't cost much more than a three-night rental anyway at this point. I'd have to say it's for established Parappa fans only, however.

Links :

* Rodney Greenblat interview

Videos :

* Gameplay Video
* The hilarious "Hell" level censored in the U.S. release