It's unlikely to hold your attention for longer than five minutes at a time, but afterall, this is what PlayStation Minis were designed for.
Our favourite thing about Vibes is likely to be everyone else's least favourite: the tracklisting. This isn't a product packed to the brim with Lady GaGa, Calvin Harris and a mixture of rock "legends" (who aren't really rock legends). No, this has Sonic Boom Six and Fake Elegance. For clarification - a friend of the site's band supported Sonic Boom Six.
So basically, this has music you've probably never heard before. Which is always cool in our book. But it's a good variation — there's some hip-hop, some punk, some pop, some classical, some J-pop — Laughing Jackal have really thought about their track selection. If you only listen to rock, then you're not going to find many new tunes you enjoy here, but if you're open-minded there's plenty to like; especially if you dig learning about new bands.
The game plays over a vivid and psychadelic stage. This stage is usually animated in line with the beat, and the visuals really pop on both the PlayStation 3 and PSP.
In the middle of the screen is a circular graphic with an arrow. Rotating the arrow is achieved by moving the analogue stick. As the music plays, various PlayStation face buttons will come flying at the circular graphic in time to the music. In order to play the note, you have to line up the arrow with the direction of the incoming beat and correctly press the corresponding face button. It takes some dexterity. To shake things up a bit, held notes will require you to correctly hold down the face button, while rotating the arrow through a swirling line. It's a neat mechanic that takes time to master, and with three difficulty settings on offer there's a lot to learn.
Perhaps Vibes' achilles heel is that it has nothing much else to offer. The mechanics are addictive, sure, but after playing through a few songs you feel like you've seen everything the game has to offer. And if you didn't like the tracks first time around, you're unlikely to want to keep coming back to those tracks multiple times.
Vibes definitely is enjoyable though. The art-style's rich and unusual, the rythmn mechanics are fun and the track-list's varied and well selected. Just don't expect this to be a Mini that you'll keep returning to on a frequent basis.
- Sonic Boom Six - Back 2 Skool (Punk)
- Taro Gold - Itsuka (J-Pop)
- Korasakov/Rossini - Flight of the bumblebee/ William Tell medley (Classical)
- RedCloud - Traveling Circus (Hip Hop)
- The Words - FAG (Indie)
- Fake Elegance - Hello (Pop)
- Minimalist Orchestra - Flicker (D&B)
- Jamsons Nook - Sway (Rock/Indie)
- Acidman - Tekno (Techno)
- Soundtrap - Secret Lover (main mix) (Electro)
- The Jancee Pornick Casino - Dom Perignon Blues (Psychobilly)
- Spit at Stars - Innocent Breathing (Alternative rock)
- Papa Ross - Tiririri (Latin)
<object id="viddler" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" width="468" height="280" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="flashvars" value="fake=1" /><param name="src" value="http://www.viddler.com/simple_on_site/8cbb1840" /><param name="name" value="viddler" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><embed id="viddler" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="468" height="280" src="http://www.viddler.com/simple_on_site/8cbb1840" name="viddler" flashvars="fake=1" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always"></embed></object>