Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Fluid (Playstation)

I don't know how well-known they are outside the UK, but there were a couple of music sequencing programs on the original Playstation entitled Music and Music 2000. They weren't the first on the system, though: that title (as far as I can tell) goes to this weird dolphin-themed thing. I've seen other sites write about this game, tying it into that whole cringewrothy "Playstations in nightclubs" thing Sony were doing in the mid-90s, that laid the ground for the awful trying-to-be-cool writing seen in games magaines of the era, parodied by Digitiser's "Cyber X" character. But Fluid came out a couple of years after that whole thing had mostly wound down, and I'd place it more alongside the Japanese experimental art-game movement of the time, along with the likes of Kaze no Notam.

Anyway, what is Fluid? It's an attmept to tie a simple, accessible music sequencer to a videogame. I don't know much (or anything) about making music, but I'd say the sequencer part is probably too simple, since it limits the player to creating a very short (about 4 seconds) loop of irritating beeps and buzzes.

The videogame part sees you guiding a dolphin around the sea, until you touch one of the slowly-rotating rock sculptures, each of which sends you into a different streaming FMV world wherein you can tap or hold the triangle, X and circle buttons to have the dolphin emit weird noises. While you're doing this, you can also move the dolphin round with the dpad, simultaneously changing the way the noises sound so you're playing the dolphin like a weird underwater theremin. Once you've spent enough time in a world, you can move on to the next one, and at any time, presing start takes you back to the ocean, where you can also find a spinning DNA thing that takes you to the sequencer, where you can mess with the BGM that plays in the FMV worlds.

I should really talk about Fluid's most appealing aspect: its aesthetic. It's like a perfect slice of vaporwave aesthetic cliche: you play as a low-poly dolphin, swimming through an ocean of abstract stone sculptures, which transport you to shiny, dreamlike worlds full of crystals and marble pillars and the like. If you decide to make all the music as slow as possible, that adds to the effect even more, of course If that sounds like enough to make Fluid worth your while, then go for it , I guess. I didn't really get much enjoyment out of it, and I can't see myself ever loading it up again after posting this review.


  1. a low-poly dolphin ? I've seen models in recent games having less polygons than this dolphin.. because in recent games we use technics using texturing and normals and light.. that dolphin has so much polygons for a playstation game, and consider it is a music game makes this dolphin even more well realized. I think you don't know what you are talking about.. this article is an insult for the people who spent so much time to make this piece of art, that kind of games were not very famous because other 3d and war games were taking all the spotlight but playing this game nowadays you really can see how great it was, using the 3d capacities, the control and combination of keys, assembling notes and effects like reverb to make a music, using the full potential of the playstation plateform.. really ? That game should be in a museum because it also showcase all what playstation 1 could do, it is a masterpiece. Even if peers would try to make a game like that now they would get a lot of pain to figure out the algorithms. Your article is full of pessimistic and stupid hyperboles..

    1. This guy is a fruitcake.