“Pixel Ripped 1995” invokes nostalgia for ’90s

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By Aidan Finn, Staff Writer

Despite being born in 2001, I always get a neat kick out of ‘90s nostalgia. The ’90s was seemingly the last decade where there was optimism for the future. The Cold War was over, things weren’t constantly on fire and we saw the likes of “Super Mario Bros. 3” and “Metal Gear Solid” come out in the same decade. It was a time of Pizza Bagels and Nirvana, of blissful ignorance and seductive consumerism, solidified by the desire to make the American family “more like the Waltons and less like the Simpsons.” With the 1999 release “The Matrix” being a proper finale to the 20th century. 

“Pixel Ripped 1995” is a 2020 VR game that is a complete love letter, not just to ‘90s culture but to feelings of childhood simplicity and joy. The gameplay loop has you playing a game within a video game, creating a meta-experience that truly flips the VR experience on its head. 

We had the opportunity to speak with VR developer Ana Ribeiro of ARVORE Immersive Experiences to talk about the game and what developing for VR is like. 

buzz: How would you describe “Pixel Ripped 1995 to someone unfamiliar with it? 

Ana Ribeiro: “’Pixel Ripped 1995′ is a virtual reality game that pays homage to the games that left a mark on the generation of gamers of the ‘90s. It is the year 1995 and you are Dave, the best player of the popular adventure Pixel Ripped. Only he can save the video game world from the evil forces of the Cyblin Lord. As in movies like Inception, you will jump into the worlds of David’s games that Cyblin Lord is corrupting. ‘Pixel Ripped 1995’ mechanics contain numerous references to the genres that were popular during the time. Fighters, RPGs, platformers or racing games will have a strong presence in your adventure to save the game’s world. At the same time, players will remember that classic feeling of adrenaline when trying to play post-bedtime without getting caught or the thrill of finally finding that brand new game at the local store. Pixel Ripped is like a time machine in modern VR technology and with that magic of the adventure teenage-films many of us who grew up during the ‘80s and ‘90s watched.”

buzz: How long was the development cycle of “Pixel Ripped 1995” from the first idea for the game to the release of the final product?

AR: “Around one year and a half.”

buzz: Having experience with the medium, what do you see for the future of VR? 

AR: “It will be hard to imagine a life without VR/AR in five years from now. This medium is becoming part of our lives, especially now during the pandemic, and it has already proven to be a great tool to get us where we want to go, bring us closer to people and to be able to achieve the unimaginable.”

buzz: Advice you would give college students aspiring to be game developers? 

AR: “My first tip would be to develop an idea that you feel totally connected and passionate about and that is relevant to you. Trust your guts, imagine doing a game you would like to play but it has not been done yet. And if it is a VR game, I would advise to look for an idea that you couldn’t do outside virtual reality, something that can go far and beyond thanks to this technology. I believe many developers are trying to convert ideas that already exist in regular games and to VR, and that generally doesn’t work very well. I advise them to ‘break the boundaries’ of VR, something that has always motivated me much more.”

buzz: Favorite old-school games? 

AR: “Megaman 2,” “Super Mario World” and, of course, “Sonic The Hedgehog.”

“Pixel Ripped” 1995 is available on PS4, PC, and Oculus Quest. 

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