Lumines: Electronic Symphony - PSVita

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Lumines: Electronic Symphony (PSVita)
Requires: PS Vita Memory Card
Viewed: 2.5D Side-on, Static screen Genre:
Media: Cartridge Arcade origin:No
Developer: Q Entertainment Soft. Co.: Q Entertainment
Publishers: Ubisoft (GB)
Released: 22 Feb 2012 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+


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Blocks. Moving, arranging, matching, disappearing blocks. There’s something strangely addictive about them, particularly in a portable video game. Indeed, a portable console is only worth considering at all if it has a block-based puzzler in its launch lineup. Enter Q? Entertainment and Ubisoft to save Sony’s bacon here then, as they present a new entry in the Lumines franchise just for the PlayStation Vita.

Created by the musically-inclined genius of Rez creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Lumines stood out from the rest of the puzzler crowd due to its emphasis on chilled, exotic sound production and fantastic artistic presentation. Electronic Symphony isn’t just a port of its predecessors - Mizuguchi is heavily involved in the game’s development, and this has brought along some extra bits and pieces that take advantage of the Vita. Mostly it boils down to a selection of brand new tracks, some funky new visuals and some touch screen control mechanics.

Lumines is played by dropping blocks of four differently-coloured squares into a grid, arranging them so that squares of the same colour are touching one another. If you manage to create a 2x2 block featuring squares of the same colour, it will disappear once a timeline (which runs to the rhythm of the background music) bar sweeps over it. You can rack up a high score by creating larger blocks of the same colour inbetween timeline passes.

To keep the experience fresh, Lumines has a variety of different ‘skins’ that swap over after triggering various events. The soundtrack will dynamically change to your block-busting antics and will transform with the background to a different track once a new skin is loaded in. The timeline bar will move across the grid at a modified pace to suit the tempo of the new soundtrack - meaning that some stages will be harder to rack up points on than others.

Electronic Symphony is perhaps more compelling than any previous Lumines title before it. The Vita’s OLED screen really draws out the vivid colours of the skins, and the sound direction really adds impact to your gameplay experience. Q? has said that it wants to ‘tell a story through sound,’ and as such the tracklist - which is comprised of artists like Underworld, Orbital, Mylo, Aphex Twin and Faithless - has been arranged so that you can play through a non-stop 140BPM megamix if you so wanted.

Electric Symphony is a must if you like to get more out of your falling blocks.