Indulge in the fusion of puzzle, lights and music! The latest instalment to the blockbuster franchise from Tetsuya Mizuguchi and Q Entertainment comes packed with brand new skins and new modes, exclusive to the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system.
Released: 2008 (JPN and US only)
Review – January 2009 by Keith Murray.
Q Entertainment, the company set up in the aftermath of Tetsuya Mizuguchi leaving Sega, has embraced downloadable gaming with a great deal of success. Before the move into this area, the company graced the launch of the PlayStation Portable with the seminal Lumines (pronounced loo-min-ez), a puzzle game of great originality befitting the auteur status of the man at the helm. Having already been released on the XBLA as LUMINES LIVE!, it now makes its way onto the PSN as Lumines Supernova.
For those who have been living under a rock since 2005, the basic premise of Lumines is that two-tone blocks, which are always arranged in a block of four, fall from the top of the screen. The player must arrange them into segments of four matching colours, which are then swept away by a line which fluctuates in frequency depending on the beat / rhythm of the current skin (or level). It’s a simple, yet fiendishly addictive title which belies the depth that isn’t apparent on initial contact with it. Lining up huge swathes of blocks (which will in turn add up to a bigger multiplier and bigger score) is definitely the way to go, but there are bonuses for clearing the entire skin and getting the remaining blocks down to just one colour.
Music and skins on offer in Supernova are a mixed bag – there are some old favourites from previous games and some brand-spanking new ones. The Little Big Planet themed skin is a joy to behold and with everything running in HD it certainly adds a sparkle to proceedings.
The main modes are present, from the usual Basic and Advanced Challenge mode, but new to Supernova is Dig Down mode. Made up of 20 different skins, the idea is the opposite of Challenge mode in that the skin is full and you must clear away two columns within the time limit. It sounds simple, but in practice proves fiendishly difficult as you’ll be dumped back to the very beginning if you fail.
Another new addition for this release is the sequencer, which does exactly what you would imagine – the player can set-up beats, trigger points, beats per minute (BPH) and the like. Considering that some retail games ship with such creation software in music based titles (such as the Guitar Hero series) it’s a very generous addition which will no doubt lead to some excellent user generated content. At this stage it’s uncertain if they can be shared with the wider community, but let’s hope so.
Overall Lumines Supernova is a welcome addition to the PSN and hopefully there will be constant DLC, vital in order to keep it fresh.