November 5, 2002
10:58 AM   Subscribe

Rez, a Japanese title for the Playstation 2 that was supposedly inspired by Kandinski's ideas on synaesthesia, comes packaged with a piece of hardware called a "trance vibrator."

Here's an entirely NOT SAFE FOR WORK guide to how one couple came to refer to the game as "Tron on Ecstasy."
posted by Pinwheel (33 comments total)
It's a broom, you say?
posted by byort at 11:06 AM on November 5, 2002

"We, uh...couldn't get the licensing rights to release the title
as "Lawnmower Man Oblivion: Jobe Gets Pissed."

"But we invested a lot of money on this thing; without a strong selling point, we'll be off on our quarter numbers!"

"Well, there is, uh, one alternative we could, consider..."

"It better be good...let's hear it."

"Okay. The game has lights and and a lot of...colors. Maybe we could say
it was inspired by, um....contemporary art?"

"...You mean, like that Kandinsky fella? It might work..."
posted by Smart Dalek at 11:28 AM on November 5, 2002

You know, byort, I was just so hoping that we'd all be smart enough to realize that this was the one thread where we really didn't need to say it.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:33 AM on November 5, 2002

I made it to the next level!

Our youth, at least they are having foreplay.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:36 AM on November 5, 2002

I suspect the same thing happened when my sister stole my vibrating football game. I'm sure Joe Namath was never happier though.
posted by Stan Chin at 11:40 AM on November 5, 2002

Byort...master of the obvious!!!!!

Bow before me, son of XQUZYPHYR...kneel before byort!
posted by byort at 11:45 AM on November 5, 2002

....... How much does a regular vibrator cost?
posted by password at 11:47 AM on November 5, 2002

hnnrs gave it a good review :D but in a more platonic way!

game studies also had an article recently on "the intimacy of the physical encounter with the safety of distance." h0h0! (via missingmatter :)
posted by kliuless at 11:58 AM on November 5, 2002

The author, maybe.
posted by four panels at 12:01 PM on November 5, 2002

Same girl from the body scan.
posted by four panels at 12:05 PM on November 5, 2002

Seems as if the game has become a collector's item of sorts.
posted by jeremias at 12:22 PM on November 5, 2002

I played the not so special edition of Rez... what a *cough* hard game and very short.
posted by oninochuck at 12:24 PM on November 5, 2002

I played the (japanese) Dreamcast version a while back. this game is truly unique... I highly recommend.
posted by reverendX at 12:45 PM on November 5, 2002

yeah i really dig rez. it's hypnotic and soothing.
posted by jcruelty at 1:07 PM on November 5, 2002

Unfortunately, it's out of print, at least for Playstation 2. eBay copies are going for about $50. I'm debating. Needless to say, the US version does not include the extra bit of hardware.
posted by SealWyf at 1:17 PM on November 5, 2002

100pp and KEI for rez, will drag to you.

bah! on posting Not Safe For Work links while I'm at work. I always forget to go back and look at them when I get home.
posted by tolkhan at 1:25 PM on November 5, 2002

Welcome to last fall, kids! Nice to see everyone is catching up with consoles. :P

Anyways, yeah, the game is out of print for both Dreamcast and Playstation 2. However, anyone with a pre-mod BIOS Dreamcast can just pull it off a newsgroup, burn, pop it into the DC, and play to their hearts content. Ah, the days of absolutly no burn protection.

While we're on trippy music based games, Rez is by far not the first, though it's one of the prettier ones:

- Vib Ribbon - PSX1 - Japan and Europe only - You play a wire bunny that hops down a... wire over objects. However, the objects are generated by music CDs you put in the playstation, so the music creates the game. The music that actually came with the game is from a band called Laugh and Beats, it's pretty wacky Japanese stuff.

- Nitrous Oxide - PSX1 - International Release - One of the original "Let's drop psychedelics and play!" games for the PSX1, featured a soundtrack by Crystal Method, and is really the only time I ever liked their music too. Also features the "custom levels based on music CD" feature. Fly down insect made tunnels shooting mushrooms and avoiding big spiders. God only knows how many sheets of acid were consumed in the production of this game.

There's many others too (Goo Goo Soundy, Baby Universe, etc...), but all of these are very hard to find these days. Most of this stuff doesn't fly too well in the US, so their product lives get cut short.
posted by qDot at 1:38 PM on November 5, 2002

Ahh EQ jokes, heh.

Interesting article. Retrospectively, it is surprising this hasn't appeared sooner.
posted by rudyfink at 1:43 PM on November 5, 2002

Oh yeah, and for those actually thinking about buying the game, AVOID THE TRANCE VIBRATOR unless it comes with the game and doesn't jack up the price any. It's just a glorified rumble pack that really, really, really, really sucks and costs way too much. Your best bet from rumbly goodness with this game is a good soundsystem (set your sub under your couch too), and if you have a Dreamcast, get a MadCatz lighted rumble pack, that thing puts out some serious shakage.
posted by qDot at 1:44 PM on November 5, 2002

Donno man. After that "review" of the Trance Vibrator...
posted by rudyfink at 1:58 PM on November 5, 2002

If you own a Mac you can play Tranquility . . . . same idea, but nothing *that* fun I'm afraid.
posted by josh at 2:08 PM on November 5, 2002

So let me get this straight -- the videogame, it vibrates?
posted by crunchland at 2:22 PM on November 5, 2002

posted by sgt.serenity at 3:44 PM on November 5, 2002

The videogame itself doesn't vibrate (unless you have an unbalanced PS2. :) ).

It triggers an event that makes something known as a "force feedback unit" (or "rumble pack") in the controller spin, which makes the controller vibrate.

So, a beat of music plays in the game, your controller rumbles to the beat, and a level of user interaction is added. Wheee.
posted by qDot at 4:58 PM on November 5, 2002

It's just a glorified rumble pack that really, really, really, really sucks

Sucking is good...
posted by five fresh fish at 5:19 PM on November 5, 2002

Rez is a relatively rare European Dreamcast release, but not all that rare for the Playstation2. It's going for 30-40 on ebay, but I think that's just because it's really not that old.
posted by Kevs at 5:47 PM on November 5, 2002

A good friend was the lead artist on Rez. I thought the title was groundbreaking - really original. But Jake said it stiffed. Only 25K copies sold. So I'm happy SEGA is re-releasing it, even if it is going to be remembered as the first techno-pleasure game.
posted by Zombie at 6:56 PM on November 5, 2002

I've got both Rez and Vib Ribbon and I'd have to say that they're both very derivative. Rez plays just like Panzer Dragoon and Vib Ribbon plays just like any given dance beat game.

The only differences are that the graphics are abstract and the music is really good.

For a trippy party PS2 game I recommend Fantavision. At least that has a two player mode.

For a slightly less trippy, but equally bizarre party game, Baku Baku is pretty decent -- I have it for the Saturn. Or the Saturn's *10 player* version of Bomberman is probably the ultimate party title.
posted by krisjohn at 7:07 PM on November 5, 2002

Could just turn up the bass on the hi-fi.
posted by mook at 12:11 AM on November 6, 2002

Frequency is a pretty good multiplayer rhythm action game. Four can play at once, and the music selection is pretty damn good, at least from my perspective...
posted by Swandive at 3:00 AM on November 6, 2002

Call me a cheapskate, but I prefer to sit on my phone and wait for and SMS...
posted by backOfYourMind at 5:36 AM on November 6, 2002

Oh thanks. I already had Rez on my wish list, now people are going to snicker :P
posted by Foosnark at 8:08 AM on November 6, 2002

Thank you!!! I've just started my dissertation on the future of videogames and I believe, no matter how derivative (hey, it's postmodern) Rez is, it certainly looks and feels like the future. It's really great to get both a female and sexual perspective on videogames as well.

Also, here in the UK there was a new ad on TV for Sony's WEGA widescreen TV and it was the first thing I've seen that was 100% influenced by Rez. Look out for it and you'll see what I mean, hopefully there's more of the Rezthetic to come...
posted by hnnrs at 8:13 AM on November 6, 2002

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