Lumines Supernova

By my reckoning this is the fifth iteration of the mighty Lumines. Making it’s debut as a PSP launch game it has since spread across several platforms but essentially it has remained unchanged. This is a very important fact when it comes to  reviewing this game because I consider Lumines to be one of the best puzzle games ever made. Actually I can’t think of a puzzle game I enjoy more, so I guess I consider it to be the best puzzle game ever made. Lumines Supernova presents itself to PSN users quite a few years after Lumines first took a hold of my soul, it is very likely that there are PS3 owners that have never even heard of the series let alone played it. That being so I consider Supernova to have done one thing very well, it’s Challenge Mode. This is the one solid game mode that has remained unchanged in every iteration, in Supernova it is present, correct and again unchanged.

In Challenge mode you play through a set of stages (Skins) that flow into one another as you clear blocks from the play area. You do this by positioning and dropping quad-blocks into the play area to form square and rectangular shapes sized 2 x 2 or larger. Quad-blocks are made up of four smaller squares in varying one or two colour patterns. The shapes you have formed are cleared by a vertical timeline that sweeps across the stage. The colours, music and speed of the timeline are all determined by whatever skin you happen to be playing at the time. If this sounds complicated, and I fear it does, then I have given you the wrong impression. The theory behind Lumines is very simple but playing it well requires you to develop a symbiotic link to the core of the game, you must let the game take you over. Thankfully this doesn’t take long and the sense of achievement that comes from playing the game non-stop for an hour and racking up a crazy score is hard to beat.

So what makes Supernova different from Lumines and Lumines II on the PSP, Lumines Plus on the PS2 and Lumines Live from the Xbox Live Marketplace? Well we have an all new Sequencer and Dig Down modes that I’m sorry to say didn’t hold my attention for long. There are also the various mission and puzzle modes that have been offered before but again these really don’t appeal much and end up serving merely as a minor distraction. Lumines is all about Challenge mode and Supernova has 40 Skins on offer, some are new and some are old and one even features a LittleBigPlanet theme. One thing that is noticeably absent is the online Vs mode from Lumines Live, which is probably the only mode besides Challenge that ever held my attention for more than half an hour.







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