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Image credit: Eurogamer

Vib-Ribbon (1999)

  • Gamepage
  • Developer: NanaOn-Sha
  • Publisher: Sony

Here's a rarity - a cult PlayStation game which appeared in Europe, but not in North America. Popular legend holds that this is down to SCEA's refusal to launch mucky old 2D titles on their shiny new 3D console - if true, that has to be one of the most ludicrous policies ever enforced by a games company (right up there with SCEE's long-held policy of not allowing Japanese voice track options in its games, in fact). Regardless, our US readers definitely missed out on something a bit special with this title.

The idea, like every great idea, was simple. You control a rabbit called Vibri - displayed as a simple line drawing - and your task is to hit the right buttons on your controller to allow her to navigate various obstacles on the simple line she's walking along on screen. Those obstacles appeared in time with the fantastic, trippy music of the title - which remains one of the most wonderfully bizarre game soundtracks ever created, with sections which play with tempo in ways which are just as unexpected to the ear as they are to Vib Ribbon's gameplay.

Perhaps one of the cleverest things about this eminently surprising little game is that you weren't restricted to playing the tracks which came on the game disc itself. Vib Ribbon was so simple in its perfection that the entire game could fit into the PlayStation's memory, without any loading - allowing you to take the disc out of your console and pop in any music CD you fancied, so you could walk along a ribbon made from the sounds of your favourite tunes. Next time we see Rodger Sony, Owner of Sony, doing the rounds, we'll be sure to ask him if there's any chance of a downloadable version on PSP or PS3 which works with our MP3s...

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