Back in 1997 PaRappa the Rapper was released for the PlayStation which was a rhythm video game published by Sony and developed by NaNaOn-Sha, it was a success on sales worldwide and even won a few awards for having some of the best music in a video game. Um Jammer Lammy was released on March 18th 1999 in Japan and would later be released a few months later for the rest of the world soon after. This was also a follow up to PaRappa the Rapper, once again featuring the collaboration of music producer and game designer Masaya Matsuura and artist Rodney Alan Greenblat.
This follows the story of a left-handed guitarist called Lammy, who is a shy lamb and has joined a rock band called MilkCan, alongside bassist and vocalist Katy Kat and drummer Ma-san. Although normally a nervous wreck, Lammy becomes much more confident once she has a guitar in hand and also confronting her fears in front of a crowd on stage.
This does follow on from the gameplay of PaRappa the Rapper, with a stronger focus on guitar playing. Each of the levels sees Lammy playing alongside a teacher, with play alternating between the teacher and Lammy. Symbols appear on a scrolling score at the top of the screen; with an icon depicting whose turn it is which feels more like a pattern. After the teacher sings a line and the player's controller vibrates, the player must hit the corresponding buttons to make Lammy play a response on her guitar. You can either follow the symbols exactly, or attempt to freestyle to earn some extra points and have your saved recorded gameplay on a memory card to watch.
This may take you at least over an hour or so to get through the main story but 2 player Co-op is added in to make the game more fun and feels like you are both in a band together. However, like PaRappa the Rapper this still has the same 2D styled Anime when it comes to animation for both cutscenes and gameplay not saying there's something wrong with that, but it does have some of the best visuals for a PlayStation game when it was released in 1999; even the soundtrack on its own is worth the purchase or to listen through some of the levels have some of the best music you'll hear in a long time-
Um Jammer Lammy wasn't only released on the PlayStation, it was also released in Arcades using a unique guitar controller so this may have given other companies the ideas and inspirations for later games or even games in the future if they have stumbled upon the arcade version of this in Japan or possibly somewhere else maybe. Since its release in 1999 it has gotten some very positive feedback from gaming sites and magazines, but since then there hasn't really wasn't much of a sequel for Um Jammer Lammy, there was a sequel for PaRappa the Rapper 2 back in 2002 for the PlayStation 2 apart from that it has pretty been forgotten over the years and impossible to find a copy of it brand-new or even pre-owned but it finally caught the light of day after being re-released for PSN which you can buy and download onto your PS3, PSP or PS Vita.
If there ever was a sequel or even a reboot could you see Um Jammer Lammy using the same idea of what Guitar Hero and Rock Band has had in the past with gameplay style and buying the instruments including DLC? Or do you think it's better kept as it was in the original used in 1999? Or if not a remaster would be better than nothing for the PS4 celebrating the 20th Anniversary.
Did you play this forgotten classic? Have any favourite levels?
Let us know in the comments-