It's that time of day, folks. Today, I'll be touching on how to fight another character, as I did on Sunday with Radec. This time around, I'll be talking about how to handle PaRappa. Let's get right into it. To be effective against PaRappa, you gotta BELIEVE:
BOOMBOX: Don't let PaRappa use his Boombox attack. It's one of the easiest ways for him to get easy AP. However, you want to give him at least a small bit of...
ELBOWROOM: Most PaRappas I've seen work on one of two basic strategies. Either they Boombox spam at range or they do some devastating close-range hits. If possible, you want to keep him at medium range, as he has pretty much no effectiveness here. If he tries to use his Boombox, then you have just enough of a distance that you can get up close and stop him before he makes too much of a profit, and if he tries moving close, you can knock him back a bit with some of your combs. So essentially, give him a bit of elbowroom so that he can't get too close or too far away. Next, you have to make sure to watch for his...
LVL2: While his lvl1 is surprisingly useful (especially with his Circle-Button mic-grab attack to hook you right into it), his lvl2 is where his damage comes from. If you see his Super Meter getting close to a lvl2, you may want to get close and do some throws in quick succession or use an available AP Knockout item, if possible, to take him down a notch.
IMMENSITY: When using ranged items against PaRappa, such as the RPG - or projectiles in general, for that matter - think twice. PaRappa is just too short to be hit by many of the projectiles; he's, well, not immense. (I know, I know, cut me some slack; you try finding a synonym for small that starts with an "i".) I've missed quite a few RPG shots because they flew over PaRappa's head. It's a bit tough to accommodate for this with projectiles, but if you have to use one on him, try to make sure he's even an inch in the air. In general, you should want to use some low attacks against PaRappa, just in case. That doesn't mean you should ONLY use them, by any means, but throw one or two in there if only for the sake of making yourself less predictable.
EVADE: This goes with elbowroom. You want to make sure that when he does get close, you're able to quickly give a counter to his every move. A quick block and roll should allow you to evade his quick attacks and get a few hits of your own in to take him back to an acceptable range.
VARIATION: For some reason it seems that PaRappa players are only rivaled by Kratos in terms of adapting mid-match to their opponents. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like most Sweet Tooths, Fat Princesses, and especially Radecs always have a set-in-stone strategy that barely changes when in action. PaRappa, while he doesn't have many good combos, has a ton of moves that can be used in many situations. You must act accordingly, and be willing to vary your strategy when needed. Don't follow your own method spot-for-spot, and don't follow this thread exclusively, because preparation only gets you so far against PaRappa. Be willing to use moves or combos that you otherwise might not, and to take a few risks if need be. I know that I tend to stick with a lvl3 with Kratos, but when I see a PaRappa I tend to go with the flow, because you never know what he's really going to do (this usually leads to a lot more lvl1s on my part).
EXPLOIT: If you see a weakness, go for it. Don't give him any leeway because you won't get any yourself, I can guarantee that. If you see an opportunity for an easy kill or advantage, do it. Don't hold back because you're saving for a lvl3 if a lvl1 can net you two or three kills in a given moment. That being said, I'm not advocating cheap gameplay. If you're going to win, do so honorably. I don't want people to misunderstand my use of the word "exploit," because I have a feeling at least one person will come to me complaining that they got yelled at by a friend for Radec spamming "because DP told me to." Exploit PaRappa's weaknesses, not the gameplay itself.
That's pretty much it as far as PaRappa goes. If you guys have anything to add, make sure to do so in the comments below. In addition, as I pointed out in another thread earlier today, I'm looking for people who are willing to assist me in my strategy threads for Sweet Tooth and Fat Princess, so if you're interested, let me know in a PM! Hell, if you have an idea for any thread or a topic that you want to rant about, PM me with details, and you could be in my Second Opinion Segment! And, as always, be sure to ask questions for next Monday.