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Doujin, Experimental, Japanese, Music Production

Rap Rabbit from PaRappa, Gitaroo Man Creators launches on Kickstarter

Rap Rabbit from PaRappa, Gitaroo Man Creators launches on Kickstarter

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Rap Rabbit from PaRappa and Gitaroo Man Creators launches on Kickstarter

Two of the most well known forces in rhythm gaming teased a collaborative new title called Project Rap Rabbit late last week. Now they’ve pulled the wraps off of their pitch and launched its kickstarter campaign, shedding more light on the game and those involved.

Fronted by Masaya Matsuura and Keiichi Yano, Rap Rabbit will also include their respective studios: Nana-OnSha of PaRappa the Rapper fame for Matsuura, and iNiS J for Yano, best known for Gitaroo Man and the Ouendan series. The pedigree is obviously there, they just need the funding and support to create what the pair defines as “rhythm-action 2.0”.

As Matsuura explains in the kickstarter video, he got some flack for referring to PaRappa the Rapper as a hip hop or rap game back in the 90’s. Sure, PaRappa had some opportunities to freestyle but the game really only required the precise, “Simon Says” callback of patterns to succeed. What rap fans wanted was a game where they could change the lyrics while playing, and that’s what Rap Rabbit hopes to offer. Drawing inspirations from both RPG dialog wheels and the YouTube series Epic Rap Battles of History, combined with the back-and-forth gameplay of both PaRappa and Gitaroo Man, you can start to picture what the game might play like.

Rap Rabbit from PaRappa and Gitaroo Man Creators launches on Kickstarter

Based on their past works, it’s probably least surprising to hear that the game’s story trades on finding the strength to do  what’s right and conquering adversity; only this time it’s set against traditional Japanese art and folklore. Inspiration here comes from 16th Century Japanese picture scrolls all the way up to films like Spirited Away, Tekkonkinkreet and Kung Fu Panda.

That leaves only the music to address which Matsuura himself is heading up as Music Director and core composer. Despite the traditional look of the visuals we’ve seen so far, the music hopes to fuse Japanese and Western styles while incorporating the Epic Rap Battles mix of beats, unexpected encounters, and comedy. Obviously, music is the most important part of a rhythm game and as a fairweather fan of Matsuura’s work in the past, this is the part that really determines where I fall on Rap Rabbit.

Rap Rabbit from PaRappa and Gitaroo Man Creators launches on Kickstarter

As of this writing the project is nearly $100,000 of the way towards a $1.1 million goal with initial releases on PlayStation 4 and Steam. Some lofty stretch goals would see the inclusion of more content and eventually ports to Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. No estimated release window has been mentioned so far but it looks like European publisher PQube is already on board to ship the game when it reaches its goal.

Take a look at the campaign video and kickstarter page and let us know in the comments if you’re already on board or patiently waiting for more details to emerge.

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