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Lumines: Electronic Symphony - PlayStation Vita
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon February 16, 2012
Whether you are new to the world of Lumines or a veteran, this is a game that you should have in your library. Once again, Ubisoft, Q? and Rocket Studios have set the bar for action/puzzle games in this genre. From the gorgeous, fluid graphics to the awesome soundtrack, this game will keep you occupied for hours; it is an addictive, fun experience. Music ranges from electronica to old school like The Pet Shop Boys. You control blocks of colour to form a group of four of the same to clear that block; as the game progresses, so does the speed of the blocks, let it reach the top of the screen and game over. Each level looks different, the blocks are different shapes and colours, adding to the challenge, each level also has different skins and music. I only wish I could buy the soundtrack, it is that good.
There's different game modes, including, Master, Duel, Stopwatch and Playlist. The main game mode is called Voyage, where you basically go through numerous different levels unlocking skins, avatars (in game avatars) which have powers once applied and of course ranks; once you clear a level, you can come back and play it without having to go through the whole bunch.

Think of Lumines as Tetris grand grand grand child, well, more like Tetris on acid to be honest lol, a much more modern, better looking, faster paced, extremely fun, challenging, musical and graphical gem of a game and a MUST have for any Vita owner. Buy it, you won't regret it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 21, 2012
When the original PSP launched, eager gamers weren't really given many choices in good launch titles. Most hardware launches are saddled with ports and quick money grabs that lack the quality of games released months later. So it was with the PSP, and this eager gamer couldn't care less because it had one awesome gem: Lumines (pronounced luminous). When I had that game in my hands, it didn't bother me that the PSP didn't have a single other great game that appealed to me. I'd just sit there happily bobbing away to the infectious music and the addicitive puzzle experience. So now we have the PS Vita launch and, surprisingly, there's quite a few launch games that are actually really good. But, again, this eager gamer could care less because I have Lumines: Electronic Symphony. And I don't need anything else.

Electronic Symphony is very similar to the Lumines I've known and loved. Squares containing differing patterns of two colors still fall from the top of the screen. The object is still to make a block of four or more of the same color. A bar still moves horizontal across the screen. The music and images still mix perfectly with the action on the screen, building as you string combos together until you're assaulted in an audio-visual splendor of sound and graphics. And it's still the most addictive and fun puzzle game I have ever played. You don't mess with perfection.

Although developers Q? Entertainment did. Incorporating some of the Vita's defining features, Q? added some interesting functionality to the game. You can control the action the traditional way with the directional pad and buttons, or you can also use the touch screen. I'm not a fan of touch screen controls for puzzle games and I don't think it's very practical once the speed picks up in the later levels (or "skins"). A more substantial gameplay affecting addition is a new special gem that rearranges the board. I'm not sure how I feel about this new addition because sometimes it can completely destroy my complex design that I'm building; however, in later skins, it can sometimes be a difference between game over and continuing if it comes at the right moment and rearranges your quickly filling up board.

The final unique change is that your avatar can present you with special abilities. For example, the beginning avatar will give you a special block with a jewel in the middle that allows you to chain touching colors together, even if they aren't in a 2x2 block. Your avatar's skill needs to be filled to 100% before it can be deployed, requiring you to chain skills together to fill it up or by using the other Vita functionality: the rear touchpad. If you tap on the back of the PS Vita, it will slowly recharge your ability even faster. While I do like the concept of it and it ties directly into the whole musicality of the game, I wish it was used a bit more intrinsic to the songs. All you do is tap on the back as fast as you can. It can be distracting at times and I think Q? missed a golden opportunity in not requiring you to tap in time with the beat to fill the ability quicker. As it is, just tapping away furiously fills it, which seems to go against the whole presentation of the action, sound and visuals tying together.

As for the song list, I'm glad to see Lumines go back towards its electronic roots. Q? brought together quite a diverse array of artists and songs to make up the 34 track list, including some well-known artists like LCD Soundsystem, The Chemical Brothers, Faithless, Aphex Twin and Mark Ronson, as well as artists I've never heard of like Kaskade, The Go! Team and others. It's a very diverse and impressive electronic list.

Ultimately, while I find my time pulled in different directions with my Vita since it actually has a surprisingly good launch line up (Uncharted, Rayman Origins and Escape Plan are stealing a lot of my time), I still keep going back to Lumines: Electronic Symphony. It's fantastic and just as much of a puzzler masterpiece as it was when it launched on the original PSP. Definitely a must purchase for your new Vita.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2012
A must buy for PS Vita. This is the best falling block puzzler on the planet. I hate Tetris, but I love this. Awesome sound track, great graphics, and highly addictive. The only thing that is missing is an online vs mode. Prepare yourself for sore eyes and thumbs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2013
Before we go into this review, let me ask a few questions.

Do you now, or have you ever, owned a PSP?
If yes, then do you now, or have you ever, played Lumines 1 or 2? Or both?
If yes, did you enjoy it?
If yes, your dilemma is over. Buy this game. You are so very welcome. Have fun!

If you've missed out on Lumines, allow me to ask another question:
You DO know what Tetris is, yes?
Of course you do.

Lumines is a LOT like Tetris in principal, just... decidedly more musical. Unlike Tetris, where the goal is to form complete rows to eliminate them for points, Lumines has you forming single color blocks, and chaining them together for larger combos, all set to rhythmic electro-pop beats and trippy visual effects. You can also unlock player icons, but these are far from just giving you a face in online play; they also apply certain abilities, from randomizing incoming and existing block patterns to outright controlling (albeit briefly) what sorts of blocks you get. They apply in Single player as well, and in order to recharge the abilities, you must be good enough to not fail the stage as the powers regenerate with each cleared block.

The game is smooth, the music is addicting, and it's almost dangerous to play this on a bus; you may very well miss your stop!

The series was born along with the PSP, and it is only fitting that a new installment was there to help ease the Vita past its difficult arrival into the market. If you own a Vita, you can be assured that this is an absolutely quality title, and you will not walk away disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2012
Lumines is at the top of the puzzle game list.

Using music to augment the same-ol' "connect 4 or more to remove them from the screen" puzzle formula is just fantastic.

There are a few new things that significantly change the Lumines experience. You can now have a power-up on reserve for when things get real hairy, and the character you select determines which power-up that might be. This is great, and allows for much longer games and less frustration.

If you like puzzle games, pick this up, for sure.

The only thing that's wrong with this iteration of Lumines is the lack of multiple paths in "Voyage" mode. You'll always start from the same puzzle and progress through the levels in the same way. The experience is always different, sure, and the music is great, but it gets a little monotonous after 2 playthroughs. You can create a playlist and play through those, but that can only last so long.

I would've been totally thrilled had they included the 2-path system they came up with for Lumines: Live! That keeps it fresh every time.

Nonetheless, this is a fantastic puzzle game, and if you like music, and who doesn't, you'll go nuts for Lumines: Electronic Symphony. If it kicks your patootie the first time, give it a chance to grow on you. You'll like it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2014
A few years back, when I owned a PSP, I frequently heard that one of the console's must have titles was a little game called Lumines. For one reason or another, I never had a chance to give Lumines a shot. Despite friends, and the occasional game store clerk, telling me that it was worth whatever the game cost back then, I just didn't have any interest in what looked like just another puzzle game.

However a few months ago, I noticed that Lumines: Electronic Symphony, the PlayStation Vita title, was going for under $10 on Amazon. I felt that I could justify spending $10 on such a highly regarded franchise, so I went ahead and ordered a copy of the game. A few days later, the game was in my hands and I was immediately hooked on Lumines.

Lumines is a puzzle game where the player has to create blocks of four matching colors. Matching four of the same color will clear those blocks from your "well" and if your "well" becomes full, you lose the game.

The game might sound simple, but Lumines offers quite a challenge as the blocks fall on your screen to the beats of a satisfying variety of fast paced, electronic music. The PlayStation Vita installment of the game offers power-ups, known in the game as avatars, and some surprisingly well integrated uses of the rear touch-pad.

The game makes use of the PlayStation Vita's full resolution and the various levels, or "skins", are beautiful when paired with the Vita's OLED screen. The game is colorful and eye-catching as each "skin" is uniquely designed from the others.

The Lumines series is known to have an excellent electronic soundtrack, and there is no doubt that Electronic Symphony stays true to such claim. I enjoyed most of the songs in the game and those that I wasn't so keen of at first, grew on me and became some of my favorites. I felt like the game's music choices paired perfectly with the pacing of the gameplay.

Lumines is certainly a staple for the PlayStation Vita. The game is well designed, beautiful, and perfect on a handheld. The game controls well on the Vita and does a great job of integrating its use of the rear touch-pad. Lumines: Electronic Symphony is a must buy that offers you a ton of gameplay and with its cheap price, buying the game is easily a no-brainer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2013
I've played every single Lumines game since the original, which I got on launch day in, what was it now, 2004? It was getting towards the end of high school at the time, and I played tons of this game beneath the desk, head to head with other players who also had a PSP, peer pressuring folks into buying it and consequently losing to me. I just picked up a Vita recently, and figured I'd pick this up.

At this point, when I pick up a Lumines game, I have some expectations, I suppose - specifically, in regard to the music/score/soundtrack. For one, there's always gotta be those crappy pop songs in there, the Gwen Stefanis and whatever else that Q? includes for... Reasons. Maybe there are Normals out there playing these games that just love pop music, I'm honestly not sure, but I never got it, and always disliked those levels immensely. I also expect there to be a large percentage of the game's music that is original and scored, probably by Takayuki Nakamura or H. Ueda if my memory serves me correctly. (To their credit, I did really like a lot of those songs, particularly Urbanization from Lumines I.) That all being said, this game is pretty much the great defiance to my expectations.

The soundtrack here is amazing. Seriously, the title doesn't lie or really set up any false expectations. This truly is an Electronic Symphony, with the likes of Underworld and Orbital. BT's "Embracing The Sunshine" is in here, for goodness' sake. When the first few notes of that level hit my aural canals, I was in heaven; I don't think I've been so excited in a long time. Q? Games deserves a round of applause for curating an excellent selection of music here.

Oh yeah, gameplay and stuff. The shuffle blocks are just mean, I kind of like them for that reason alone. Anything to make the game more difficult, right? I'm glad they introduced a couple new things, and the characters make more sense than they have previously with abilities and stuff, although so far there seems to be a disappointing variety of powerups. Then again, honestly, the game is pretty darn straightforward, so heck if I can think of what those additional powers might be. The removal of puzzle mode is a bit tragic, but for me, as a music aficionado, well worth it for the great soundtrack. I'd say the game had a difficulty problem, as the first time I started Voyage mode, I cleared all the levels before dying (only once though..), but successive playthroughs and the shuffle blocks have assured me this is not really an issue, I'm still plenty rusty in spots.

Graphics look great, but that's no surprise on this system, with this game, is it? They've always looked good and the Vita's screen'll bring how good (or bad) any game's gfx are straight to your attention.

Overall, I highly recommend this game, but I am also willing to be that if you're here, you pretty much know what you're getting into. If not, I'll simplify for you:

Did you like Tetris? Did you play it just a bit more than you probably should have?
Are you interested, even tangentially, in electronic music?
DOOO EET.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2013
If you're a fan of Tetris or any game similar to Tetris then you will LOVE this game! First let me say that the music is phenomenal in this game! The background scenery is awesome too and can be distracting at times. The graphics are well done for a Tetris style game. The level changes are smooth. I really think this game is a must have especially for the price. There's also a leveling system in this game and you can unlock avatars, skins and more soundtracks. Haven't looked into what else there is to unlock yet. I highly recommend this game!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2012
The Vita has a some great launch titles, but Lumines may be the best of the bunch. While the touchscreen elements feel shoehorned in, they do not detract from the game in any major way. The music, whether you are a fan of electronica or not, can be quite soothing, and can really get you into a puzzle solving rhythm. The "worldblock" online component is a fun, yet non-invasive, way for single player gamers to feel like a part of a larger community (there is also an online "duel mode" for a more traditional vs. experience). All in all, this game is a great launch title for the Vita, and definitely worth having it in your collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2012
Lumines is a really fun game but it is a little overpriced for what you get. It can be pretty addicting with a good design and sound track.
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