Um Jammer Lammy
RODNEY'S THE PERSON WHO'S BGHLBGLHGBLGHLGBL
Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America Genre: Music Players: 1-2 Memory Blocks: 1 Discs: 1 Analog: Yes Dual Shock: Yes ESRB: Everyone Difficulty: Hard
Dojo, casino, it's all in this one disc, Um Jammer Lammy! Another brilliant accomplishment by Rodney Greenblat and Masaya Matsuura, Um Jammer Lammy stretches the Playstation's limits with great full motion video, so many features and so many options. Many will notice that this game is the sequel to the ever-so-popular PaRappa the Rapper. The only thing is, it stars someone different, it's got more of a Rock genre than Rap, and it's about five times as hard/fun.
Gameplay-- The gameplay in this game is very similar to PaRappa's, in which you have to repeat buttons in an order, and in a timely fashion. You basically have to repeat what the teacher does. In PaRappa, if you pressed the right buttons, PaRappa would repeat what the teacher just said. In Um Jammer Lammy, Lammy uses her guitar skills to play chords that correspond to the speech. It's okay, it's less confusing than it sounds. Also, you're graded on how good you're doing. If you're doing well and Lammy's handling the guitar like a pro, you're doing "Good". If you're not really improvising on what the teacher says or you're off beat, you're doing "Bad". Keep that up and you're doing "Awful". If you improvise on what the teacher says by repeating button combinations or mixing buttons around, the teacher may leave the screen, putting you in "Cool" mode. That's when you can just rock out and totally make up stuff. But, if the teacher doesn't like it, you'll go back into "Good", where you have to follow along. A new feature in this game is two-player mode, where you and another person can either cooperate on a level, trading off verses, or versus each other on a level, where you just have to rock better than the other person. If you beat all the levels (it takes a couple tries), a little secret awaits...
You get to play as PaRappa! Not only are there new level introduction movies, but all the levels are remixed into more of a Rap-like genre. And PaRappa raps, he doesn't play the guitar.
Graphics-- I love the grapphics in this game. Since the whole thing is supposed to be a cartoon, all the characters are just paper this in a 3-D world. It's a pretty cool style, when you're trying to be 2-D on a 3-D system. All the characters are humorous, and compared to PaRappa, I think they've improved a lot. On a side note, all the characters are designed by Rodney Greenblat, one of the weirdest artists out there.
Sound-- If I gave this section a bad review, there'd be no reason to buy the game. The whole game depens on music. There's a hechuva lot of it, though. None of this synthesized garbage, all the music and voices are recorded. The songs are wonderful. Not as easy to memorize as PaRappa's, but they're humorous, still really catchy, and downright weird. I already mentioned that they change sounds when PaRappa plays.
Storyline-- Lammy is the guitarist for the all-girl band, Milk Can. She wakes up late one morning from a strange dream about Chop Chop Master Onion (yup, he's back in stage 2), and notices that she only has 15 minutes to get to her gig. So she rushes outside, but all the roads are blocked, because a fire has broken loose at the pizza factory. If Lammy really wants to get through, she has to help put the fire out with Chief Puddle (stage 2). After she puts the fire out, Cheif Puddle lets Lammy have some pizza from the building, but she stuffs herself. She keeps running now that she's let through, but is stopped by Nurse Cathy Piller when her stomach (from all the pizza) looks like she's in labor. So she's taken into the hospital. When Cathy finds out that she's not in labor, she has to put all the babies to sleep so she can leave the hospital (stage 3). Lammy rushes out of the hospital, and trips on a skateboard, making her fly into a plane. On the plane, the schizofrenic Captain Fussenpepper mistakes her as a pilot, and she has to help fly the plane (stage 4). When they crash land, Lammy thanks him and goes on her way, when she remembers that she left her guitar on the plane. So, she goes to a local carpenter, Paul Chuck, and after a hilarious line of mistakenings, she goes into the forest with him to make a guitar out of a tree (stage 5). When she's on her way out the door, her shirt collar gets snagged on the doorknob, and she's launched into the air and lands on a desert island (she dies and goes to hell in the Japanese version). Then she meets Terri Yaki, a singer on the island, and has to be her guitarist to get transported off the island (stage 6). When she's finally back, she gets to the stage on time and plays her performance with the vocalist of Milk Can, Katy Kat (stage 7).
Fun Factor--This is a REALLY fun game. It's hard at times, but definitely makes up for it with the sing-along catchy music. I think anyone would find this game at least amusing.
Overall Satisfaction--Um Jammer Lammy is now one of my favorite games, mostly because of the originality. I suggest getting PaRappa the Rapper first, not because it's better, but because it's more simple, and easy. Only when you've mastered that game will you find this game playable. It's that hard. But overall, Lammy is definitely one of the highlghts of the Playstation.
Highs:Wonderful music, many options; Chop-Chop, PaRappa and the gang are back!
Lows: Really, REALLY hard.