Release: December 23, 2008
Developer: Q Entertainment
Available Platforms: PlayStation Network download (about 470mb)
Players: 1-2 local
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Lumines Supernova is Q Entertainment’s latest entry to its popular puzzle series. But Lumines isn’t a ordinary puzzle, outside of the normal gameplay of matching blocks the players actions change the music and visual aspects of the game.
In Challenge mode, 2×2 blocks consisting of two different colors fall from the top of the screen and your goal is to match them into squares of the same color. Once squares have been made you can add to them until the Time Line, a vertical bar that moves across the screen, reaches the blocks and clears them from the screen. Once you get enough points the game will transition to a new skin, Lumines’s version of levels, which each have their own unique color scheme, background art and music which can vary between graffiti art with techo music to clean cut black and white blocks with classical music. As you rotate, move and create blocks sound effects will play, such a a simple drum beat, a cry of ¡ARRIBA! and hundreds of others. Moving blocks will also create waves in the background which flow across the screen. Once you unlock skins you can go into Skin Edit Mode and place them in whatever order you like and create your own playlist. Lumines Supernova also has Time Attack, Mission (which has you playing towards a specific goal), Puzzle (where you create pictures using blocks) Dig Down ( new addition to Lumines) and Two player battle (Local play only)modes.
Lumines Supernova succeeds in letting the player interact more but does not quite deliver on new features. The game features 40 skins, some of which are recycled from other Lumines games, a new tool called Sequencer and a new mode called Dig Down. There are 40 missions and 100 puzzles but they are identical to the XBLA Lumines Live version.
The new mode called Dig Down is a survival type mode where you must clear rows to the bottom of the screen and as you get farther the pre-placed blocks get deeper and deeper and the time limit gets shorter. I spent some time with this new mode and came away very unimpressed. Its identical to a level in mission mode but put on loop.
The other new addition, Sequencer, also feels tacked on. Sequencer is a tool that lets you create your own music to play with in the game. You get 5 categories of beats and sounds with about 20 sound loops in each category which you then place in a timeline. It was very easy to use but its extremely limited in depth. You can only have a maximum of 20 loops per category after which the song repeats, you also must obtain the same tempo throughout the song and can only have one sound loop from each category playing at once.
Whats still lacking from Lumines is a save feature, something it desperately needs. Challenge mode starts at the first skin every time even after you’ve beaten the game so to unlock everything in the whole game you have to do it in one sitting which can take up to 2 hours.
Overall Lumines Supernova is great for new players to the series but if you own another Lumines games nothing about Supernova sticks out enough to warrant its $15 price tag.