#555 Mojib Ribbon

Posted: 16th December 2019 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

830th played so far

Genre: Music
Platform: Playstation 2
Year of Release: 2003
Developer: NanaOn-Sha, Ltd.
Publisher: SCEI

I feel like Vib-Ribbon was one of the weirder rhythm game. There’s still the track you come down, but the presentation was unique and made it both more interesting and more difficult. Its sequel, Mojb Ribbon, seems to be equally stylish, but the gameplay itself has changed. Whether it’s for the best is a second thing.

One of the biggest challenges is that the entire game is in Japanese. I hope the game doesn’t become too difficult because of it.

Our Thoughts

At its core, Mojib Ribbon is actually a very simple rhythm game. As the music plays, you put a pen to paper to write the lyrics of the song on a scroll. These are, as I said, all in Japanese, but while knowing the text might help a bit, you don’t actually need to do that to play the game. If you follow the on screen prompts, it’s possible to play. It is, of course, not quite as easy as that. First, you need to dip your pen in ink (or, I think, have it rain down from the sky or something? The metaphor doesn’t quite make sense, but the pen gets filled with ink). You then press it to the paper as a phrase starts and lift it up when it finishes.

While it sounds simple, the timing to do that is incredibly precise and missing it, in my experience, usually gets punished twice: Once for pressing down at the wrong time, then a second time for missing the start of the phrase. Since the fall animation is lengthy, getting that twice puts you off the rhythm for the next one and I ended up struggling a fair bit in response.

Stepping beyond that, the game does look lovely, with the circles of Japanese text working effectively at creating the right atmosphere. There’s something natural about the calligraphy that suits the flow of the game. There is a lot of variation in the music as well, although the computer generated speech that’s used for the vocals gets quite repetitive and gets in the way of the experience. Of course, the stories the game is trying to tell don’t apply to me, so it’s possible they would draw me in further, but it doesn’t feel the game needs it to be interesting.

Final Thoughts

As a rhythm game, Mojib Ribbon feels quite simple and lacking, while requiring too much precision to feel natural. As a way to create an atmosphere and a mood however, it works well to accomplish that. I can see why the game was never translated – even if you could do that to the system, I’m not sure the game would translate well enough to work for a western audience. It’s a shame, but it’s nice to have seen what I could get.