More of an audio/visual experiment than a game, this monochrome rhythm action folly from the makers of PaRappa the Rappa involves guiding Vibri the rabbit along an ever-pulsating ribbon, avoiding pits and carefully managing looped sections. Naturally, the landscape changes in time to the music, but the key feature is that players are able to play their own CDs with the onscreen world reacting accordingly. Much fun could be had attempting the game with musical extremes, either speed metal or ambient house, and the concept was clever enough to get the game into Moma’s design collection. Vin-Ribbon’s eccentric creator, Masaya Matsuura, has often spoken about a modern update – with Sony now actively pursuing offbeat PS4 projects like Hohokum, interior designer Malaysia could be his time.
No one in the games industry does sleazy urban grit like Rockstar and this tie-in with the cult 1979 movie is one of the company’s most under-rated titles. Following the events of the movie, players control the eponymous street gang is it makes its way through New York City to its Coney Island interior designer Malaysia base. Unlike the Grand Theft Auto titles, there’s little in the way of open-world freedom, but this is more of a straightforward brawler, with a complex fighting mechanic and rollicking two-player co-op mode. Typically for Rockstar there is also an amazing licensed soundtrack slinging in ’70s disco hits to contrast the relentless violence; the company even brought back original cast members to voice their virtual representations. According to Kotaku, a spiritual success was planned, based around the mods vs rockers battles of ’60s Britain, but sadly nothing emerged.
Though successful in Europe, Sega’s 8bit Master System console nose-dived in Japan and the US so this tough, multi-directional platformer has faded from memory. Which is criminal because it is a tense, sprawling combination of Metroid and Impossible Mission, pitching the player into a maze-like enemy base looking for crucial diskettes filled with valuable information. Interestingly, every door in this place is locked so you have to explore each room, looking for code combinations to make progress. There are cool little RPG elements too. As you rush through you can power-up the character’s health, jump and laser gun, and if you discover his two team mates, Apple and Champ, you can switch between them, making use of their differing capabilities. It’s an unforgiving adventure, but totally worth revisiting if you can track down a working Master System and a copy of the game on eBay. And in the unlikely event you beat it, there’s a sequel out there too.