Introducing PS4’s next rhythm-action hero: Project Rap Rabbit

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Introducing PS4’s next rhythm-action hero: Project Rap Rabbit

The creators of PaRappa The Rapper and Gitaroo Man join forces for an all-new adventure

Just over 20 years ago, Masaya Matsuura and NanaOn-Sha released rhythm-action classic PaRappa The Rapper on PlayStation. Like many gamers, I was enthralled by this pioneering narrative music game; it inspired me to pursue a career as a rhythm-action game developer and, ultimately, to co-found iNiS and create Gitaroo Man on PlayStation 2.

Over the years, Matsuura-san and I have had many requests to bring back PaRappa The Rapper and Gitaroo Man respectively. We are both so grateful for the outpouring of love from the fans of these titles. At the same time, we’ve long-discussed a concept we’ve been referring to as ‘rhythm-action 2.0’: an evolution of music gaming that will pave the way for the future of the genre.

Now, we’re ready to share that vision with you.


It gives me great pleasure to unveil the Kickstarter campaign for Project Rap Rabbit. The first-ever collaboration between NanaOn-Sha and iNiS J, Project Rap Rabbit is a brand-new type of rhythm-action game that fuses elements from our past titles with mechanics fresh to music gaming. Our adventure is the story of rapping rabbit Toto-Maru and his sidekick Otama-Maru as they travel through a world recovering from a great catastrophe. By fighting the leaders of neighbouring factions via the medium of rap battles, our heroes can bring about peace to their troubled lands.

To truly convey the dynamic nature of rap battles, we realised we could no longer be constrained to the established linear song templates of older titles. Instead, we had to invent a system that enables players to pick and choose how their raps unfold: a spider web of lyrics, rhythms and emotions that players can steer through depending on their wishes and the opponent’s moves.



There are no wrong routes through our songs – the heart of Project Rap Rabbit’s gameplay mechanics still involves rhythmic beat-matching – but different paths through each battle will unlock bespoke bonuses and outcomes. It’s a system that draws inspiration from the dialogue wheels of Mass Effect and Fallout 4, as well as the classic call-and-response gameplay established two decades ago in PaRappa The Rapper.

We believe that Project Rap Rabbit represents the future of rhythm-action gaming, and we hope to make it the first instalment of our return to story-driven music adventures. With your assistance, we cannot wait to bring our mash-up of musical styles, cultures and gameplay systems to life. Our intent is to establish a new benchmark for the genre, and a music game without equal.

Thank you for your continued support of our titles, and with your help we can make rhythm-action great again.



Early concept art for Project Rap Rabbit

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4 Author Replies

  • Yes!

    Is it exclusive to PS4 or where’s the KS link?

  • *Raises hand* Question! Why doesn’t Sony just fund this game?

    Looks really cool.

  • Kinda wished it wasn’t a kickstarter project and it was just the announcement that it was coming.

    Ill have a look look at your goal and rewards when it’s live but I dunno if I’ll back it – I’ve lost money before on games that aren’t as described and never came out (not that I think you guys will do that, but I’m cautious with crowd funding now)

    • Hi turniplord (great name!).

      We totally understand apprehension about crowd-funded projects, which is why we’ve been incredibly realistic and upfront about the costs needed to make a AAA rhythm-action game and the mechanics of Project Rap Rabbit. That way we deliver the very best game possible.

      Matsuura-san and I intend to make Project Rap Rabbit the new benchmark for all rhythm-action games!

  • NinjaIceClimber

    Why does it have to be a Kickstarter? Kickstarter ruins games…

    • Hi NinjaIceClimber,

      Kickstarter is fundamental for us to raise the funds needed to develop Project Rap Rabbit. Kickstarter certainly doesn’t ruin games – it’s bad planning and cost and resource management that will do that!

      We’ve spent a lot of time ensuring Project Rap Rabbit is properly costed out and that we’re all set to make it a game that our fans will embrace. In the future, when people talk fondly about NanaOn-Sha and iNiS J titles from the past, we want Project Rap Rabbit to be the first game that pops in their minds!

  • This exclusive to PlayStation?

    Hope so, don’t want no fake exclusive like timed or ‘console exclusive’

    • Go to the kickstarter page. Its coming to Steam too. Xbone if they get a 3,000,000 stretch goal, Switch if they get to the 5,000,000 stretch goal.

    • Yeah I just saw that. Why on earth is Sony promoting this then?

      Not exclusive to PlayStation means you don’t get my support. Don’t care less.

    • Why not? Sony put up a lot of games here on the Blog. Even crap like Ghost Recon Badlands or the next mediocre Ubisoft or EA games of this gen. I don’t see why you are singling out this paritcualr game that has more close signifiacnce to Playstation since the creators are classic PlayStation developers.

    • You are actually comparing Ghost Recon with this title…!?

    • @fain2daniel No I am using another game that isn’t made by Sony as an example of the point I am making (I just thought I would jokingly use a game that doesn’t interest me whatsoever and got plenty of mentions on the blog over the last 2 years.)

  • Looks like it’s not even exclusive to PlayStation. Not gonna fund this now pass, PlayStation needs more exclusive mascots representing PlayStation.

    • Needs? Why? Would this game really benefit that much from the exclusive supercharged current gen GDDR5 architecture of the PS4? Probably not and it can be scaled down to other platforms with ease if need be.

      Now a game like Horizon Zero Dawn needed to be a PS4 exclusive so it could become the stunning, uncompromised, juggernaut that it is, even on the standard PS4.

      These 2 rhythm game visionaries are making this game on their own, maybe Sony didn’t want to fund it because its a very niche type of game. Your attitude alone is utter proof why Sony know some people won’t buy this game. Its like you are making excuses why you won’t touch it. You’ve made yourself sound so childish.

      So say Sony does 100% fund the game and make it a PS4 exclusive. What if the main character is wearing a colour that you don’t like? “Not gonna fund this now pass” lol. That’s pretty much what you sound like already.

    • What are you talking about. It’s not about system power it’s simply wanting it to be a known Sony franchise instead, more real exclusives more flair for PlayStation.

      If it has ports on PC or anywhere it is NOT exclusive Sony should stop with that ‘Console exclusive’ it’s either exclusive to PlayStation systems or not.

    • But this won’t be a console exclusive anyway if it reaches its higher stretch goals. And system power is important. For example, I would have loved for Tekken 7 to have been a PS4 exclusive BUT only if it was built from the ground up for the next gen ready GDDR5 architecture like most PS4 exclusives.

      Tekken 7 was announced as being developed on Unreal Engine 4 so, 2 years ago I was saying, it BETTER be coming to other platforms too since the potential for it being absolutely stunning on PS4 has already been lost to a degree.

      And an adorable little game like this needs to come more platforms if it can. Why is it so hard to understand that Sony didn’t want to pay for the entire game up front? And without Kickstarter there would be zero chance for this game to exist.

  • Sony needs to stop promoting multi-platform games.

  • Hope the game has some great voice actors, NOT real life rappers.

  • What possible difference can it make to your enjoyment of a game if it is an exclusive or not? You all sound like Cartman when Kyle and Stan got the same present as him. Can youonly enjoy a game if you know someone else is missing out. I dont get it.

  • This is a dream come true for me, I’m loading all my money into a wheelbarrow for you right now

    • Gillen McAllister
      Gillen McAllister

      *Sticks on Gitaroo Man’s ‘The Legendary Theme’*

    • We’re glad you like it, ZONOYEMI! We’re just as excited about this project too – it’s something Matsuura-san and I have been discussing for a very long time.

  • Not gonna fund this unless it has Vita in the stretch goal…

  • Is there any chance at all this will get a PS4 Gitaroo Man remake/rerelease? I’m all in on this but I want that so bad too!

  • Sold! I backed at the Phat Edition level. This looks really great, and i bet the soundtrack will be AMAZING.

    • Thank you FifthDream – we’re definitely putting our all into it and into the soundtrack!

  • Reminds me of Usagi Yojimbo

  • You people can go to hell. Sony may have scammed Shenmue fans out of their money but I honestly hope to God that you are out of your league on this one!

    Crowdfunding is a tool for INDEPENDENT developers who do not enjoy the backing of major publiashers. By contrast, YOU ARE EMPLOYED BY SONY! A company that is enjoying unprecedented levels of success as we speak! IF YOU ARE EMPLOYED BY SONY, IT IS SONY’S JOB TO FUND YOUR GAME! NOT OURS!

    What you are doing is even less dignified than begging for pre-orders. This is extortion, plain and simple.

    You people are giving Sony, yourselves and crowdfunding a bad name, and I hope your little campaign goes up in flames!

    • What are you talking about??? The likes of NanaOn-Sha and iNiS J ARE independent game studios and always has been. They can do whatever the damn they want. Know what your talking about before opening your mouth again please.

      And then people wonder why mods and developers don’t want to comment around here.

  • Make that both Sega AND Sony in Shenmue’s case. Indefensable either way.

  • Make that both

  • I was super excited when this was first announced GITAROOMAN is a personal favourite of mine, however the fact it’s on kickstarter has dulled the excitement somewhat due to being stung before so will have to hope it makes its project goal and then actually gets released!! I would be more interested in a PSVITA stretch goal!

    Also can we have GITAROOMAN on VITA/PS4 please !!!!!!

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