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Everything retro - big and small! Live from Perth, Australia!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Re-reaching Childhood Interests

It's the funny thing about being an adult. You have the ability to drive a one-tonne metal death machine unsupervised, you can drink, you can smoke and you can (within reason) do whatever the flip you want. One thing that you mostly have access to as an adult that was out of reach as a child is money, and even though I've been employed continuously for over three years now, it's still a concept I'm yet to grasp. No matter what you're suppose to spend it on however, doesn't fall away from what you sometimes actually do.
There were many games and consoles in my childhood that I wanted, but since I was well below the legal working age and my salary (ie, pocket money) was somewhere in the region of eight to ten dollars a week, they were out of reach. One such game is what you see above and below: Vib Ribbon.

I always had this on demo disks and played the one included level over and over, but never got a chance to purchase the full game. In my defence it wasn't because of poorness, most games could be attained after months of vigilant saving, but in PAL-land this game is rarer than a RPG review on my YouTube channel. Okay, maybe not that rare. But rare. Rare enough that a kid with no internet connection had no chance.

For those unsure, Vib Ribbon has you playing as a small, happy character named Vibri. The concept is quite simple; the levels are presented on simple colourless 2D vector plains. You control Vibri as she traverses various shapes, with each shape corresponding to a certain button on the PS1's controller. Sounds simple right? Well, the shapes are generated by music. The crazier the music gets, the faster the shapes come flying across the screen. Eventually the shapes will merge meaning that the two relevant buttons have to be pushed at the same time, and over that the vector plains will start vibrating making it hard to see while the gameplay camera pans and rotates all over the place.
I know it may sound easy-peasy on paper, but trust me, this games gets hectic. The main selling point is that you can load up your own CD (as the game can reside in the PS1's RAM) meaning that there is an endless amount of levels possible (as long as you have a decent CD collection). Personally, I loaded up KoRn's Take a Look in the Mirror and basically gave up after three songs.  

I'm not too sure why the PAL copy of Vib Ribbon is so rare (it wasn't even released in America), but expect a price close to $60 on eBay. That sort of money for a PS1 game in my mind simply will not fly (no matter how much I want it) so luckily my Japanese PlayStation has yet again come to save the day. I pay'd something like $25 for my complete Japanese copy, as the game was a lot more common in Japan. Still too steep for me really, but better than the only alternative.
There's heaps of cool shit in the box like promotional pamphlets and posters, but most importantly a little booklet that explains which shape corresponds to what button push. This is mandatory to have next to you when you first start playing.
Over those, the actual game case is weirder than the game its self. Everything seems to be upside down and back to front. It's kind of hard to explain, but I'll give a demonstration in my upcoming review of the game.
I know I'll actually release that video since I've said it here now too, as I've already written a page of notes and recorded a whole heap of game footage. I know I usually don't if I say that, but I'll be damned it will happen again like it's the worlds lamest curse.

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