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Feature: 'Interview: Rodney Greenblat, The Mother Of Sony's 'Almost Mario''

In today's main Gamasutra feature, Matthew Hawkins talks to the graphic designer for the cult PaRappa The Rapper game series, New York-based visual artist Rodney A...
In today's main Gamasutra feature, Matthew Hawkins talks to the graphic designer for the cult PaRappa The Rapper game series, New York-based visual artist Rodney Alan Greenblat. In this exclusive interview conducted at his studio, Greenblat discusses the genesis of the Masaya Matsuura-designed games from his perspective, his work on the sequels and resulting Japanese animated series, and just why UnJammer Lammy looks like Natalie Imbruglia. As the feature explains in its introduction: "Ten years ago, Sony brought three dimensions, as well as the concept of “maturity”, to the video gaming masses. And yet, when many people think back to the “PlayStation era”, a hyper realistic character in a 3D landscape doesn't necessarily come to mind. Instead, they think of a flat cartoony dog that could rap. We're referencing, of course, the PaRappa The Rapper series of games for the PlayStation 1 (and subsequently sequelized on PlayStation 2), created by Masaya Matsuura and his team at Japanese developer Nanaonsha. The original PaRappa took Japan by storm in the late '90s, selling over a million copies and birthing a significant cult following in the West for the series' brand of goofy humor and good-natured Daisy Age-style rhythm action, which pre-dated the rhythm game crazes of Beatmania and Dance Dance Revolution." You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).

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