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|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Release date(s)||JP December 12, 1999
EU September 1, 2000
NA October 7, 2014 (PSN)
JP October 8, 2014 (PSN)
PAL October 15, 2014 (PSN)
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 character, Vibri, across a line filled with obstacles tied in correspondence to the beat of 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, requiring the player to press two buttons at the same time (for example, a block and pit combination 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, with difficulty varying depending on the intensity of the music.
The game was initially an advertisement for the Mercedes-Benz A-Class car.
Legacy and Rerelease
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.
At E3 2014, Vib Ribbon was singled out by Shawn Layden, then the new CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America. Layden did not realize that the game had, at that point, never been released in America, and many on the internet saw the mention of the game hinting at a North American release despite the company having no plans to do so. As such, many people on Twitter became displeased when there was no further mention of the game during the press conference. When Layden realized his mistake, he asked his team to work on perfecting a North American port for Playstation Network. The port was released in 2014 with Layton writing an apology for the confusion on the Playstation Blog.
- Laugh and Peace on Myspace
- Retro Gamer, issue 76. The making of Vib-Ribbon (pages 64-67).
- Matsuura Got Rhythm: The State Of NanaOn-Sha's Founder
- Late Night Consoling - Vib Ribbon may roll along to PS3
- Kohler, Chris. "How Sony’s Blunder Revived Vib-Ribbon, a Long-Lost Classic". Wired. Retrieved 16 June 2015.