277: The Thin White Line

The Thin White Line

Standing outside the rainbow of rhythm titles like Rock Band and Guitar Hero, NanaOn-Sha's unusual music game Vib-Ribbon is content to paint it black.

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Holy crap, as soon as I saw the main image for this weeks issue I was like, Holy crap, someone remembers Vib-Ribbon! And they wrote an article about it! Wahoo!

Nice!

Edit: Bah... I should have waited a little longer before posting this... I hate being first, it's got such a stigma to it... But... the bunnies!

Haha i brought Vib Ribbon up in a thread recently

I was scared for life, bought it when i was 10 paid $40 bout 30 minutes later back at store crying eyes out

DeXusLM:
Haha i brought Vib Ribbon up in a thread recently

I was scared for life, bought it when i was 10 paid $40 bout 30 minutes later back at store crying eyes out

I must admit, as a kid it's not going to do much for you, but aside from the fact that I grew up as a musician (and by the way, I can't believe I still haven't played Umlammer but I've played this) there's a certain flow to it as you watch the music slowly (or not so slowly) come towards you... It's a pretty cool thing that not many other companies seem to grab on to, this ability to make the game follow the music. Audiosurf was one of the few I can think of that really took your music and made it part of the gameplay. Vib-Ribbon may have been a very simplistic, early attempt to do so, but it was groundbreaking for what it was.

Plus, loop the loop!

As much as it pains me i have to admit i am grateful for this,
it actually taught me to never judge a book by its cover and to research before i buy anything.

I can say it made me who i am today lol

Probably the most exciting thing about Vib-Ribbon was the freedom to take the disc out and put your own CD in. This was almost unheard of in the days before widespread Mp3 use and consoles that were hooked up to the internet.

You could also play through an entire album. I think rhythm games are missing a trick when they don't let you choose your own music. DLC for things like Guitar Hero is one thing, but that's still someone else's choice. Audiosurf was very good in that you can play it with music from your own MP3 library.

I learned about Vib-Ribbon from a Cinematech spot back in the G4 days. I'm a bit ashamed to say that despite my love of music, the game's visual aesthetic looked so much like something out of my nightmares that it still frightens me, to this day.

A very cool game and well worth a cult classic status, but I admit I can't bear to look at it. Something about the way the avatar is designed and the weird sounds it produces just freaks me out (dsepite my usual love of minimalism and retrogaming).

Brendan Main:
Here, the simple videogame actions of leaping, tumbling and ducking become codified, containing their abstracted meaning if not their literal fact. To someone new to the game, it would seem like meaningless scribbles across the screen. But to the trained eye, they serve as something else: a notation.

So glad you picked up on this. I love music and really enjoyed games like Vib-Ribbon and Lammy, but I have some kind of brain-block when it comes to actually understanding musicality. I have nothing but admiration for musical people, but left to myself I struggle to judge which of two similar notes is higher, or even to tap a beat. Is there a music dyslexia?

What games like those, and Guitar Hero and the ilk do is take music and translate into something familiar, something I can partake of. It can be revelatory. I realise, of course, that playing these games is a long way distant from playing an instrument, but what they provide is a way of perceiving something I couldn't previously comprehend.

I take an interest in languages and etymology. What these games remind me of is when you track an unfamilar word's history and find relationships between it and its counterpart in your own language. Its a way of looking past the surface of a signal and exploring its meaning.

-Bim

There's a game, Cosmic Fozmik, that has crazy music. The background pulses with the beat and even new obstacles appear as certain notes are played. It's one of my faves on Newgrounds.

Great article... it's always nice to be reminded of long-forgotten games that I loved back in the day. I still have my copy of Vib-Ribbon knocking around in the back of a cupboard somewhere, if only I still had the Playstation I'd drag it out for a quick spin.

I remember going over to play this at a friend's house. we did practically nothing else the whole day.
on a seperate note, WHY did you have to remind of parappa the rappa? i had hoped the diminuitive dog with his naruto-esque catchphrase and songs about crapping were long-buried

Man, I have to try this game. As soon as I read about reading a level like reading music, I was in.

I love Vib Ribbon, I played it at a Game On! 2.0 expo this year and I've since tried to find a PS1 emulator that can simulate the swapping of discs... to no avail. Maybe they should remake this for PSN/XBLA/Steam? I mean, it'd all be for PS1-less me, but at least one sale is return profit for a re-release.

In the rain or in the snow. This article's got the funky flow.

"To be is to do" - Socrates,
"To do is to be" - Sartre,
"Do be do be do" - Sinatra Vibri!

Bunny woman thing? I always thought it was...like a bug or something. Look at those compound eyes!

marygoodden:
I think rhythm games are missing a trick when they don't let you choose your own music. DLC for things like Guitar Hero is one thing, but that's still someone else's choice.

You hit on the answer and didn't realize it. If people had the freedom to use their own music, why would they put up with being nickel-and-dimed by DLC? Three cheers for the marketplace!

I remember being able to put in your own music on this game, something that you can't even do in today's games. It was Awesome!

I really hope they put this on the PSN some time.

Fronzel:
Bunny woman thing? I always thought it was...like a bug or something. Look at those compound eyes!

marygoodden:
I think rhythm games are missing a trick when they don't let you choose your own music. DLC for things like Guitar Hero is one thing, but that's still someone else's choice.

You hit on the answer and didn't realize it. If people had the freedom to use their own music, why would they put up with being nickel-and-dimed by DLC? Three cheers for the marketplace!

Oh yeah...

Three cheers indeed.

I feel priviledged to have played even just a demo of this because this was one of the things that started steering music games in the right direction... well... this, DDR and that kinda prototype for guitar hero that I forget the name of where you gradually reconstruct each layer of the song with vocals instruments etc by playing them.

Also are you high? From a buissness point of view why would they ever add a play your own music feature? The only games in recent memory to do that are Beat hazard and Audiosurf, not only are they less well known then guitar hero etc but both of those have missed out on massive possible dlc profits as a result.

S_K:
I feel priviledged to have played even just a demo of this because this was one of the things that started steering music games in the right direction... well... this, DDR and that kinda prototype for guitar hero that I forget the name of where you gradually reconstruct each layer of the song with vocals instruments etc by playing them.

Frequency and Amplitude! Those are still some of my favorite music games out there!

Man, I'd completely forgotten about this game, I spent long days of my summer hols as a kid playing it :)

Pity I don't still have the playstation.

Hulyen:

S_K:
I feel priviledged to have played even just a demo of this because this was one of the things that started steering music games in the right direction... well... this, DDR and that kinda prototype for guitar hero that I forget the name of where you gradually reconstruct each layer of the song with vocals instruments etc by playing them.

Frequency and Amplitude! Those are still some of my favorite music games out there!

Well those allowed the making of your own music which in response to what the first quote says means a more guaranteed sale. Would I rather buy a game where I have to buy DLC for new songs or a game that will give me new songs for free and even let me make my own in-game with an editor and no limits.

This is why modding exists anyway. :P

Damn I remember this. I only ever had the demo but I remember loving it. Was thinking about it recently but couldn't for the life of me remember the name of the game.

An updated version should be released on PSN to play songs from the HDD...

 

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