Vib Ribbon, a bit of a dark horse in the PS1’s great lineup of Rhythm games that was sadly overlooked by a lot of people back in the day! Delve into the intuitive world of Vib Ribbon!

Vib ribbon start screen

Vib Ribbon is a Rhythm game in the same strain as PaRappa the Rapper, Rhythm Paradise and even a little bit of Dance Dance Revolution that released on the PS1 in the late 2000’s – On the surface, Vib Ribbon seems like your standard Rhythm game; catchy tunes, quirky visuals, basically no plot at all, and pressing a combination of buttons in time to music.

In many ways Vib Ribbon is just this, but under the thick layer of genre-based stigma and assumption lies something truely precious – During the game, you control a small wireframe character named Vibri, who walks through the screen on every song against a black background – There is next to no colour in this game, so players have to rely on identifying the shape of Vibri’s path to see what button to press in time with the music, leading to some confusing mistakes and confusion along the same strain as The Impossible Game.

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; all of which can be merged together in a confusing graphical mess that requires that both or all respective buttons are pressed down at the key time.

Vibri & Toadi

Upon playing the base game, however, you may find that the content of the game is a little on the short side, however, as the game only contains 6 songs, split into 2 Bronze courses, 2 Silver, and 2 Gold.

This, though, is just the surface of Vib Ribbon. Despite all of its’ content being described above in just 4 paragraphs, Vib Ribbon has an ace up its’ sleeve…And it’s one of the most intelligent aces I’ve ever seen in a videogame.

Using a piece of conversion software on the disk, Vib Ribbon can take any information being passed into the Playstation’s RAM and utilize it. Now, you may ask “Alright, but what the hell does that mean?” – It means that Vib Ribbon allows players to load any music CD by putting it into their disk tray once Vib Ribbon is open, and lets you play your favourite music tracks as levels! Even today’s disks still work!

vib-ribbon (1)

Want to tap along to a bit of The Beatles? A bit of Metallica? Some Sia or Beyonce? Or maybe even try your hand at attempting Dragonforce’s infamous Through the Fire and Flames! ANY music CD can be used, from their inception many years ago to now, allowing for Vib Ribbon to have near-unlimited replayability, near-unlimited levels, and near-unlimited experiences…

Truly a forgotten gem.