Project Rap Rabbit gets shelved.

Project Rap Rabbit gets shelved.

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By: Johnny Big Fudge Marcondes

Project Rap Rabbit was an up and coming crowd funded game from rhythm game creators Masaya Matsuura of PaRappa The Rapper fame and Keiichi Yano of the Gitaroo Man series. Although not much was really known about the game other than what the character designs were and a few possibilities in term of actual gameplay, it’s kind of a let down that we won’t get to see more of this game. There aren’t a lot of rhythm games currently out and with the recent re-launch of the first PaRappa the Rapper game in HD this could of been the beginning of people wanting more of these type of games. After all, Project Rap Rabbit has all the potential to be a great rhythm game considering the creative forces behind them. Even though details on the game weren’t really known as it was incredibly young in it’s development cycle, there were some interesting ideas being thrown around from the dev team. With mentions of “counter raps” which could of combined some of the familiar controls of PaRappa with the creativeness of Gitarroo Man, there’s no doubt in my mind that Project Rap Rabbit could have been a pretty challenging rhythm game.

The fact that Project Rap Rabbit couldn’t be fully funded is a little bit of a let down in a lot of ways. From the concept image alone the game looked different than anything that’s currently out. Character designs look fun and have this east meets west like look to it that complements the use of watercolor we’ve seen in promo photos as well as a more modern take to a historical Japan. Conceptually the game stands out but looking past character designs we’ve only seen prototype gameplay footage that show’s off the direction the game could take. Using a “prototype scenario” encounter between four characters with with the voice/raps done Keiichi himself and we’re shown that Project Rap Rabbit uses a dialogue wheel before you start to rap back similar to games like Mass Effect. While only a rough behind the scenes and prototype look at the game there’s enough there to give us a picture of what could have been. Even though the prototype didn’t have detailed backdrops and full animations there’s no denying the charm behind Project Rap Rabbit.
 
Even with all it’s charm, at the end of the day when a game or anything gets thrown into Kickstarter or any other crowd funded site there’s always that chance that it won’t happen. Unfortunately Project Rap Rabbit couldn’t meet it’s goal of £855,000 ($1,081,788.75) meaning that the developers could no longer continue to work on the game. The dev team behind the indie project released the following statement
“Sadly we are not in the position to be able to fund further production for a future crowd-funding relaunch involved a title deeper in development, and wouldn’t want to scale back our vision. As a result, work on Project Rap Rappit cannot continue at this time”. 
When the campaign for the game ended on Kickstarter the team were only able to raise about £162,057.00 ($205,042.62). Although the game couldn’t be funded at this time the team behind it are still optimistic as they attended meetings and spent much of E3 trying to guide the project to new light. Personally speaking I hope to see Project Rap Rabbit in full development soon, I loved the Gitaroo and PaRappa series. There’s this overwhelming sense of nostalgia behind those two titles and from what was shown of Project Rap Rabbit I can tell that it would of had the same charm, comedy and challenge as those two titles. Be it a full game or just episodic arcade releases it would have been nice to once again see this rhythm genre come back to light. Here’s hoping production picks up sooner rather than later with Project Rap Rabbit.

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