Rabi-Ribi is a retro-style 2D platformer that puts great focus on non-linear exploration and bullet-hell gameplay. The game takes the Metroidvania approach often not allowing you to progress until you have unlocked a certain item or ability. The exploration in the game feels great and never feels too drawn out, unlike some other Metroidvania types.
Rabi-Ribi puts you in control of Erina, who awakens in a box and discovers that she is not with her master. Not only that but she has been transformed into a human; A human girl with rabbit ears and a little bunny tail! Erina sets out in search of her Master Rumi & along the way befriends a fairy, Ribbon.
The gameplay is where this game really stands out. Looks can be deceiving, despite its cute anime style and carefree plot, it is difficult AS HELL. I personally enjoy ‘Difficult’ games, but Rabi-Ribi offers a variety of difficulty options and I wussed out this time and went for normal! Rabi-Ribi is so damn fun, sometimes it feels like you’re playing a 2D hack ‘n slash or some kind of Devil May Cry / platformer hybrid.
All of these elements seamlessly mix platforming & exploration with manic, fast-paced bullet-hell style action. There were many times throughout my play-through where I was reminded of some of the good old platformers of years past, especially Megaman & the Megaman X series in particular.
Rabi-Ribi lets you unlock a plethora of different powers and items (Over 60!), which can be bought an amount of EN a currency used in Rabi-Ribi and they come in a lot of offerings: Health Boost, Speed Boost etc.
Fighting mechanics are fantastic, different moves are executed with the direction pad and the attack button allows you to throw enemies into the air with aerial attacks & come smashing back down on top of them. Mixing the melee style combat of your trusty Piko Hammer with aid of Ribbon’s projectile magic makes the fighting highly enjoyable. The controls are nice, fluid & intuitive, the tutorials are simple instructions that appear whenever you learn new skills and never overstay their welcome.
Rabi-Ribi is mostly presented in a pixelated art style except for the menus, main character dialogues, and a few very impressive anime stills. It avoids a lot of problems I have with other ‘retro’ style platformer games by having fantastic animation, The way Erina squints her eyes when using the Piko Hammer is adorable and the overall attack animations are very, very cool! The game is colourful and offers an awful lot of variety in the levels, enemies are well designed and the bosses well thought out, In fact a lot of the bosses will fill pretty much every inch of the screen with their pixel projectiles and hazards which offers an experience which I think is under-represented on the PS4 except for probably Resogun.
The cast is a colourful bunch and bosses are plentiful, there are over 40 bosses to fight, each with their own patterns to memorise. There is an unlockable boss rush mode if you truly want to put your skills to the test, but by the time you unlock that you will be pulling off all types of moves with your hammer and the rest of your arsenal. With the 6 different difficulty modes and all the collectable items, there is a TON replayability.
The soundtrack in the game is absolutely fantastic, it changes from area to area, as expected but really helps to differentiate the feel and also a nice addition for the PS4 version is the inclusion of the soundtrack!
Here is some gameplay of the opening hour or so: –
In conclusion, I would definitely recommend you to pick it up if you are a fan of bullet hell, great soundtracks and love item hunting with RPG elements. in fact, I would go as far to say its the best bullet hell game on the PS4 hands down & with some of the most ridiculously hard trophies to unlock you will be playing for easily 100+ Hours!