Hydrogen tanks or battery packs at will, C-pillars, 390 liters of cargo capacity, over five different four-cylinder engines available, 72 different sitting variations, and the pièce de résistance : the "sandwich structure", an inclined cabin floor that made the whole thing roomier and the car shorter than its competitors while providing more safety in the case of an accident.
The brand-new Mercedes-Benz A-Class W168 (first generation) only needed top-notch advertisement to go along with, and who else than Masaya Matsuura, game designer, but most importantly key member of Japanese quirky New Wave and Synthpop band PsyS was more suited to provide some ?
They had everything, from technological innovation to a racing/rhythm game from the game designer of PaRappa the Rapper, what could possibly go wrong ?
That car sucked so bad when it came to emergency maneuver NanaOn-Sha simply aborted the project and would go on turning it into Vib-Ribbon, a surreal rhythm game that unsurprisingly fits much more Masaya Matsuura's usual style, and was the bad press worth it.
Now, what might struck you at first when launching Vib-Ribbon
is probably gonna be the minimalistic art direction, not only is it reminiscent of early (and most often for scientific purposes) computer graphics
and provides great readability, but it also allows the game to be loaded entirely from the PlayStation's RAM, while such experimentations weren't anything new (see : the famous Banjo Tooie Stop n' Swop
), succeeding in them was much more of a rare thing,
By swapping the game disc with another music CD, the game will generate a whole stage based on the selected track.
How does it work ? Pretty easy, an obstacle is randomly generated whenever the track hits a pronounced frequency (note that this does not exclusively refer to either the drums or bass, as separating these frequencies was already a hard task for a game that had to fit in so little space, but it would also lead to very "bland" levels), which means you can play either your favorite songs or the most batshit insane stuff you could think of, making lots of rhythm games enjoyers' dream reality !
And it also works well with an emulator by simply turning your mp3 file into an iso one before switching between them, I tried it out with Ground Zero Revolutionary Pekinese Opera
and Eliane Radigue's Trilogie de la Mort
just to experience the full spectrum !
(I mean, there's even a video of Death Grips' Get Got
, anything is possible).
Vib-Ribbon did not sell well at its release, but, unsurprisingly, quickly gained a cult following outside of Japan after it came out digitally for the PS3. Yeah, it might not have a lot going on outside of its fun gimmick, but come on, you can't tell me you're not even curious about it, at the very least for how adorable Vibri is.