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PaRappa and Gitaroo Man creators take their new rhythm game to Kickstarter

Project Rap Rabbit will come to PS4 and Steam if they meet their goal

Project Rap Rabbit 
NanaOn-Sha/iNiS J
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

The people behind rhythm action video game classics PaRappa the Rapper, Vib-Ribbon, Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan and Gitaroo Man are taking their new game, Project Rap Rabbit, to Kickstarter. Developers NanaOn-Sha and iNiS are seeking at least $1.1 million to fund development of what they’re calling “rhythm-action 2.0.”

Described as an “explosive mix of Japanese folklore and traditional artwork, hip hop and humorous battle rap face-offs,” Project Rap Rabbit stars rhyming rabbit Toto-maru. The game’s protagonist is described as a “simple farm boy” who uses music as his weapon in the battle to save 16th century Japan from a unspecified calamity.

“With a combined 54 years of development shared between studios NanaOn-Sha and iNiS J, we’ve had plenty of time to master the art of rhythm-action,” the developers said on their Kickstarter project. “And it’s all been building to this: Project Rap Rabbit’s unique rapping gameplay represents the culmination of our experience across the genre’s biggest and best hits, and a true evolution of rhythm-action mechanics.

“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. 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.”

Project Rap Rabbit
NanaOn-Sha/iNiS J

Project Rap Rabbit will feature branching songs that players can change based on an “emotion wheel” inspired by the dialogue tree options of game series Mass Effect and Fallout.

“Do you want to hit back with a boast, with a joke, by dismissing the attack or by coercing your opponent?” the game’s Kickstarter page explains. “Select the emotion you wish to unleash to preview the upcoming rhythm and your foe's reaction: There's no wrong choice, but different emotions will inflict different levels of damage to your adversary's Swag Gauge.”

Project Rap Rabbit will be released on PlayStation 4 and Windows PC via Steam if the developers meet their crowdfunding goal. Other platforms, including Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, are listed as stretch goals at $3.1 million and $4.95 million, respectively.

Backers who pledge at least £30 — Project Rap Rabbit is being published by U.K.-based PQube — will get a digital copy of the game. Physical copies are available to those who pledge £35 (about $45). Other backer levels range from £60 to £7,950, and include collector’s edition-style goods like a soundtrack CD, art book and night of karaoke in Tokyo with the developers.

More information on the game is available in the video below and at the Kickstarter campaign.

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