"And now, introducing our feature act of
the evening! Please welcome the the world-
famous all-girl band Miiiiiilkcaaaaaaaaan,
starring none other than the world famous
riff jammin' southpaw,
MilkCan in concert
You won't be hearing an announcer
exclaim those words at an arena near you,
despite Lammy's guitar playing merits. If there
were ever a game deserving of a concert tour,
Um Jammer Lammy is it. Foot stomping tunes
and psychedelic scenes bring
to life the rather eccentric yet incredibly
enjoyable title in a game that, while short
in length, is high in energy and fun.
Um Jammer Lammy, the sequel to the
sleeper hit PaRappa the Rapper, plays
much like its predecessor. Outlandish
characters give Lammy groove-filled challenges
she must complete to arrive on time at a big concert her band
is giving. To meet the assorted challenges, players must hit
the controller's buttons in time with the icons
displayed on the screen.
Leave it to LLLLaaaaamy!
Hit buttons and Lammy plays her guitar; hit them
correctly, and her lead guitar part melodiously
intertwines with the stage's background music. The
background music also gains instrumental depth as
Lammy successfully grinds out her riffs; players can
this as an aural clue toward their progress.
A text progress meter is omnipresent as well,
rating Lammy's guitar playing as either "AWFUL", "BAD",
"GOOD", or "COOL". Achieving a "GOOD" will give
Lammy clearance to proceed to her next challenge,
but a "COOL" is the ultimate goal.
Players really feeling the groove can
ad-lib bridges and fills into the song and get
a "COOL", which allows a jam session
apart from the normal stage. For an extra-cool sensation,
you can play with the guitar stomp-effects Lammy earns
after certain stages. The Effectors, such as flanger,
wah wah, and reverb, make Lammy's guitar sound funkdefied.
Jimi Hendrix would be proud.
The paper-thin 2-D characters are a mostly likeable
bunch, and Sony has made minor changes in the
story to ensure that players of all ages can
enjoy it. But most players don't play Um Jammer
Lammy for its plot; rather they revel in the tightly
interacting music and gameplay.
Now put these kids to sleep, will ya?
Um Jammer's simple gameplay, vivid colors, and
addictive music make the game accessible to a wide
audience. A friend and I decided that to
properly play the game, we needed a bigger TV
and more space in which to jump around. We thus
took my PlayStation to the spacious dorm lounge, where
we attracted a medium-sized crowd of college
students. Glances at their faces revealed obvious
puzzlement regarding why there were two guys jumping
around like freaks in front of some video game. We
let them play. They quickly understood.
The game's biggest drawback is that you'll find
yourself celebrating Lammy's smash hit concert in
no time at all. Ideally, the game would have more
levels to clear, and a slightly more intricate plot.
Despite its short length, the game offers plenty of
enjoyment, as there are various two-player modes and
a bonus quest involving PaRappa himself that increase
There can be only one.
Multiplayer fans will enjoy facing Lammy off against
her evil twin or PaRappa. Lammy's opponent can be played by
either the computer or a human, the latter being far
more fun. Musically challenged competitors can
finally settle who is truly the most hip. A suggestion:
give bonus points to the player who thinks up better dance moves.
While playing as PaRappa, the guitar-based music is remixed to a more
rap-friendly style. Fans of the original will no doubt dig this bonus,
which effectively doubles the length of the game (a needed boost).
Um Jammer Lammy is a must-play for anyone who's
ever dreamed of being a rock star. Guitar playing
not in your dreams? No worries, as Um Jammer Lammy
is still an enjoyable game that proves simplicity
can still be fun.
Review by Andrew Kaufmann, GIA.
|Um Jammer Lammy
||Sony Music Entertainment|
|| 03.18.99|| 08.17.99
|Um Jammer Live at the Roxy
|64 English screen shots
|Milk Can concert poster
|North American box art