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Retro Vault: Mario Kart, Maniac Mansion, PaRappa The Rapper 2

Plus: WWF WrestleFest and a horrible Street Fighter 2 promo video

Retro Vault is our regular weekly feature in which we dive into gaming's past and share five classic nuggets of retro nostalgia. If you missed last week's Retro Vault you can read it here.

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January 2002 - PaRappa The Rapper 2 print ad

The original PaRappa The Rapper is widely regarded as one of the first modern rhythm-based video games. Released in late 1996 it became something of a cult favourite among PlayStation fans.

Designed by Japanese musician Masaya Matsuura and developed by his studio NanaOn-Sha (with character designs by cult American illustrator Rodney Greenblat), PaRappa told the story of a streetwise dog who used his rapping abilities to give him the confidence to deal with life's problems.

The sequel, released on PlayStation 2, has PaRappa trying to figure out who's turning all the food in Parappatown into noodles, a food he's grown tired of since winning a hundred years' supply of them. Naturally, he does this by rapping a lot.

Other than a guitar-based spin-off called Um Jammer Lammy and a PSP port of the original game, PaRappa hasn't starred in another game since PaRappa 2, though he did appear as a playable character in Sony's Smash Bros clone PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.

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