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|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
Vib-Ribbon (ビブリボン Bibu Ribon?) is a rhythm video game developed by NanaOn-Sha and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. The game, designed by Masaya Matsuura, was originally released in Japan in 1999 and in Europe in 2000. The game was re-released as a PSOne Classic on PlayStation Network in North America and Europe in October 2014.
The game was unique in that the software loaded into RAM, letting the player use any music CD to play against; the game could generate a unique level from any track. The graphics for Vib-Ribbon are simple, consisting of straight, white vector lines forming crude, angular drawings of the level and the character, a female rabbit named Vibri.
Vib Ribbon is a rhythm game in which players guide the main heroine, Vibri, across a line filled with obstacles tied to the song. There are four basic obstacles; block, loop, wave, and pit, which require players to press the L, R, X, or Down buttons respectively at the right time to navigate. Sometimes two obstacles will be merged together, requiring the player to press two buttons at the same time (for example, a block with a pit will require players to press L and Down together). Getting hit by obstacles too many times will degenerate Vibri from a rabbit into a frog, followed by a worm. Getting hit too many times while in worm form will end the game. Successful actions will help Vibri recover back to her higher forms, and clearing enough obstacles in succession while in rabbit form will evolve Vibri into an angel, increasing the player's score until Vibri is hit.
The player's score is tallied via symbols during gameplay, which is then converted into points at the end of the run, during which bonus points may also be rewarded. Earning a high score will cause Vibri to sing a congratulatory song based on their position. The base game features six songs performed by Japanese group Laugh and Peace, which are divided up into bronze, silver, and gold courses containing two songs each. Additionally, players can generate levels using songs from music CDs, which difficulty varying depending on the intensity of the music.
The game spawned two sequels: Mojib-Ribbon, which focused around rap music and calligraphy, and Vib-Ripple, which was similar to Vib-Ribbon but instead used digital images loaded into the game to generate the levels. Both were released exclusively in Japan for the PlayStation 2.
Game creator Masaya Matsuura has stated interest in working on Vib-Ribbon again, either through a sequel or a remake, and showed interest in downloadable services. When quizzed about the possibility of bringing Vib-Ribbon to other consoles Matsuura said he could buy it from Sony. When asked about the possibility of a port for PlayStation 3, Matsuura stated "We are discussing the possibility of making a downloadable version of Vib-Ribbon for Sony, but, I don't know yet - Sony only recently launched their downloadable service in Japan, so maybe we need to wait a while before releasing a title with that kind of appeal."
In 2012 the game was collected for an exhibit on videogames by the Museum of Modern Art.
As of September 2014; Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited filed a trademark for 'Vib Ribbon'.  It is not yet known if this is just for the re-release of the original PSOne Classic or for a remake.
On October 6th, The president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America Shawn Layden confirmed that Vib Ribbon would be coming to the PS3 and Vita in North America on October 7th and a week later in Europe. This announcement came 15 years after the game's original Japan release and marks its first release in North America. In a post on the PlayStation Blog, SCEA president Shawn Layden apologized for his E3 2014 tease, when he took the stage at Sony's PlayStation press conference to wax nostalgic about Vib-Ribbon.
Layden's mention of Vib-Ribbon was interpreted by some to herald a revival, sequel or re-release, but — much to the disappointment of Vib-Ribbon fans — was actually nothing more than a fond remembrance. Until today. "It was not my intention to rub salt in the Vib-Ribbon wound, but to express my admiration for it as the genre-busting title it is and was," Layden wrote. "My mistake was that I had assumed that everyone who had been around in the original PlayStation era would have had their chance to play the game. I had forgotten that the American gamer was effectively denied the opportunity. To mention it at E3 was to delight some and to squirt lemon in the eyes of others. For this, I apologize. It was not my intent to dangle the delight of Vibri in front of those who longed for but could not have." Layden says Sony's engineering team is bringing Vib-Ribbon to PS3 and PS Vita, and is currently working to make it available on PlayStation 4. The PS3 version will support the use of audio CDs to build unique levels. The price, he says, will be "attractive to both Vibri virgins and the rare few amongst you who found a way to experience the Singing Spline back in the day."
The game was initially an advertisement for the Mercedes-Benz A-Class car.
- Laugh and Peace on Myspace
- Matsuura Got Rhythm: The State Of NanaOn-Sha's Founder
- Late Night Consoling - Vib Ribbon may roll along to PS3
- 2014-09-05, Sony trademarks PSone rhythm classic Vib-Ribbon, Computer and Video Games
- Retro Gamer, issue 76. The making of Vib-Ribbon (pages 64-67).