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Rhythm Game Iniquities: Bring These Games Over!

After an agonizingly long wait, Vib-Ribbon, a seminal rhythm game classic for the original PlayStation, has made its way to North America, finding a home on the PlayStation Network as a PSone Classic. Though PAL territories received a release of the original, for some reason it took over a decade for rhythm game fanatics to have a chance at controlling Vibri. Now that years of yearning have been rewarded with the best possible result (save for a retail release), what's next? We look to the catalogue of music titles still waiting to go west, and long to see them emerge from the shadows as viable, playable, and easy-to-purchase re-releases, whether digital or physical.

Mojib-Ribbon

Platform: PlayStation 2
Release: 2003 (Japan)

It would make sense to include Vib-Ribbon's sequel, Vib-Ripple, except Vib-Ripple is an entirely different beast. Eschewing the rhythm game label entirely and using players' photographs rather than tracks from CDs as a personalized element. Instead, the spin-off Mojib-Ribbon focuses more on the lyrical content of the songs, which make it rather difficult to localize for an English audience unless the lyrics themselves were altered or given subtitles. The art style focuses on traditional Japanese calligraphy and sumi-e paintings, and players guide lead character Mojibri down a path to become a famous rapper. It's a bizarre yet wholly beautiful game, though it's understandable as to why it may never receive a Western release. Those wishing to give it a try can do so by importing, and unfortunately that might very well be the only way it'll see a localized release in the future.

Dance Summit 2001

Platform: PlayStation 2
Release: 2000 (Japan)

While Square Enix (then Enix) saw fit to release Bust-A-Groove and its sequel, for some reason the next-gen successor Dance Summit 2001 was overlooked entirely. Following in the vein of PaRappa the Rapper, Dance Summit 2001 boasted a varied mix of tracks ranging from trance to disco and everything in between. You input a string of arrows on the PlayStation’s d-pad followed by one of the four face buttons, all in time with the music, of course. It stars a crazy cast of characters, featuring bold and colorful environments, as well as catchy tracks that mimicked the out-there personality of games prior. Unfortunately, it never left Japan despite its status as next in line for the Bust-A-Groove franchise. Perhaps someday we'll see it emerge, but that's not likely.

ParaParaParadise

Platform: PlayStation 2
Release: 2000

In the same genre as Dance Dance Revolution or Dance Central, Para Para Paradise asked players to dance with their arms--para para dancing--to Eurobeat and popular DDR tunes with the aid of six floor sensors for the PlayStation 2. Taken from the arcade release, it was a fantastic facsimile of the experience with memorable songs and a peripheral that could easily be eliminated for a release with today's Kinect or PlayStation Move in some way or another. Succeeded by the eerily similar Dance Masters, which incorporated many of the same moves, it was one of the first authentic arcade experiences that was replicated in the home, and happened to come in an awesome pastel pink box.

Pop'n Music

Platform: Multi
Release: PlayStation (Original)

Like Taiko: Drum Master and Beatmania, Pop'n Music did get a Western release, though in the form of an impossibly crippled Wii version without its own peripheral. It never received a proper release through any of the normal channels, despite the wide variety of music and the Guitar Hero boom Harmonix and RedOctane propagated a few years ago. The colorful controllers with rainbow buttons, the addictive nature of pushing said buttons, and the myriad of songs included with the game and its expansions made it a formidable alternative to other titles on the market at the time. The original and its successors surpass the Wii version in every way, but it's unlikely we'll ever see a release here in the States.

What about you? Are there any rhythm gaming diamonds in the rough that you’ve been patiently waiting for? Let us know!


Look at you, hacker. Brittany is fueled by horror, rainbow-sugar-pixel-rushes, and video games. Until her dying breath she'll be wielding a BFG made entirely of killer drive and ambition. Check out her work at PfhorTheWin.com. Like a fabulous shooter once said, get psyched!

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