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July 12, 2005
Lumines - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
1/9/2005UbisoftQ Entertainment1-2$79.95

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This really is impressive.
Rez. One of the greatest games on the Playstation 2, but also one that managed to sell in the numbers it deserved. Well now that games creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi is about to unleash another title - this time on the Playstation Portable. That game is Lumines a game which could be describe as the opposite of Rez. While that game was essential the building of a world, this game is the destruction of it. In both titles music plays a major role in creating the pulse of the game.

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Graphics are quite clean.
Essentially Lumines is a rather simple puzzle title. Users are challenged to control a block until it lands on the ground, creating a square using blocks of the same colour. In order to delete the shape from the field, it must be larger than 2 squares by 2 squares. The larger the square you delete, the higher your score. Any expanded square regions will be deleted when the Sequencing Bar passes by. A player’s success is determined by how far you can expand the square regions in order to delete large boxes at once.

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Is that Ulala?
In my opening I mentioned that music plays a role in the game. While playing each key action generates sound effects. The flow of the Sequencing bar and the speed of the descending block are synchronized with the beat of the background music. Once a block is deleted, a music file is played. The more blocks destroyed in a sequence, the better the music.

Lumines includes four different gameplay modes. The first of these is the single player Challenge mode which is set across 24 levels each has its own unique musical theme and sound effects. The second mode is the Time Attack which has you racing the clock, the third is a Duel Mode where you compete against the CPU to unlock avatars adn graphical skins. The final mode is a Vs mode for Wi-Fi battles against another human player.

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An oriental themed level.
Users can earn graphical skins as they clear various stages throughout the game while players can also increase their collection of characters by beating CPU characters and clearing stages. These defeated characters can then be used to show off their trumphs. The music is led by J-pop artist Shinichi Osawa brings light yet funky tracks adding a depth to Lumines.

I have to say that of all the launch titles Lumines is one that shines near the top of my list. It may look like tetris but Rez looks like a Amiga or very early Spectrum title. The reality couldn't be further away. Tetsuya Mizuguchi (who was also the creator of the Space Channel 5 titles as well) is a genius and this is his next masterpiece.