Review by rapt00r

"In the Light"

Lumines for the PSP is an extremely addictive falling block puzzle game that fuses light and sound together to create an unforgettable gaming experience.

The blocks in Lumines are four by four, and each of the four parts will be one of two different colors. There are six different possible types of blocks. To eliminate blocks, you need to create a new four by four box of one solid color. Place more than four together, and you will create a combo. A music bar sweeps across the screen in sync with the music. Once the bar sweeps by, it will count up and clear your combos. The larger the combo, the more points you will score. Once you get used to the concept, you will be able to create gigantic combos that span across the screen.

When you reach certain levels, you will begin to unlock new skins. The new skins will change the colors of the blocks, sometimes making it easier to find new combos. New music will also accompany your newly acquired skin.

As you move on, the blocks will of course begin to descend more rapidly. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Because the music changes as you progress, the music line may slow down. This can allow you to build up massive combos very quickly.

Two of the most fun modes in Lumines are vs. CPU and Puzzle. In the vs. CPU mode, you will take on the computer. The screen is split in two and you will need to eliminate blocks quickly in order to compete. As you gain momentum and remove more blocks, the computer's screen will begin to shrink, and yours will expand. Eventually your screen will expand so much the computer will no longer have room for their blocks, and you will win. The more matches you win, the more skins and characters you unlock. You can also play the Versus mode against a friend (they'll also need a copy of Lumines) using the Wi-Fi support.

In the Puzzle mode, you are given a shape, such as a cross, a checker board pattern, and in some cases, a dog or giraffe. You have to create these shapes in one color, and make sure the outside is completely surrounded by the opposite color. For example, if you create the cross in orange blocks, all surrounding blocks will need to be silver. This is one of my favorite, yet also one of the most difficult modes in the game.

The graphics and sound in this game are both very good. All the images look very crisp and clean on the PSP screen. The music, whether you like the songs or not, sounds very good coming out of the system.

Lumines is an instant classic, and immediately joins the ranks of the top games in the puzzle genre. A must have for all PSP owners.


Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/29/05

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