Lumines Supernova for PSN

I have been addicted to Lumines ever since I got my Playstation Portable in 2005, and have played most versions of the game since its release, except for the Lumines Plus for the Playstation 2. I have sucked hours into playing the game on the PSP and on Lumines Live! on the XBOX360 Live Arcade. I am glad to have Lumines Supernova for the Playstation Network to add to my repertoire. As with each iteration of the game, Lumines Supernova offers new skins and new features, but, sadly, excludes a few that I miss.

As for the basic details, Lumines Supernova was released on December 23, 2008 on the PSN. It features Dolby Digital surround sound and is published by Q Entertainment.

The general premise of Lumines is to create solid color squares from falling blocks. Blocks come in different patterns and colors and you have to match them up. If the screen fills up too much with those blocks, the game ends. A line move across the screen clear the solid square as it passes over them.

The game’s strongest features is how well it flows with the beat of the music ands its beautiful visual effects.

Lumines Supernova has some unique improvements, and disappointments, than its previous versions. The fantastic music that Lumines is known for is present, as well as eye-popping colors. An improved Sequencer Mode has been added, as well as a Dig Down Mode that is pretty fun to play. What is missing, though, is the VS. the CPU mode, and that makes me a sad panda. Coming in at $14.99 on the PSN, Lumines Supernova is a decent deal, with all modes immediately available to the player, unlike XBLA’s nickel-and-dime approach to weaseling more money out of the player for more content and modes. Perhaps there will be more paid add-ons later, but right now the basic content is all there.

Here are the basic details about Lumines Supernova.:

40 unlockable skins

Challenge Mode includes both Basic and Advanced sets.

Skin Edit mode, which allows you to make your own playlist

Time Attack mode: Clear as many blocks as you can within the time limit.

Puzzle Mode: Make the shapes with the blocks

Mission Mode: Reach a goal by clearing blocks

Offline Player v. Player

New Dig Down mode: Clear a column with a certain amount of time.

Make your own music to play to with the Sequencer Mode.

The free Holiday Skin pack adds 20 more skins to unlock.

What’s missing from the game is disappointing. :

No online Player v. Player

No VS. the CPU mode

Again, where are the tunes by Mondo Grosso?

What can be good or bad: The difficulty is ramped up.

There are lots of great new skins to unlock in both Challenge Modes. Player beware, though: if a skin was in the XBLA version, it may behave completely differently in Supernova. One example is the Aoi skin in Basic, which is much more difficult and fast than it was in the XBLA Challenge set. Don’t let familiar skins trick you!

Skin Edit Mode is pretty self-explanatory; make your own list from skins you’ve unlocked, play the list, be happy.

Time Attack Mode is still the same as it was in the previous versions. In each option in Time Attack mode, you can unlock different characters when you reach certain goals. No new content here, really, but it’s good to play when you only have a few minutes, and easy to caught up playing over and over again if you do have the time.

I hate Puzzle Mode, but that is purely my opinion. I’ve always have had a difficult time with it and avoid it. Games are supposed to be fun, and that part is not fun for me.

Mission Mode is a different story. Another addition from Lumines 2, Mission Mode is pretty cool. You are given a certain number of blocks and steps that you have to clear them in. It makes you try to think visually and can help you improve your game in Challenge Mode, too, by realizing there are more than just a couple of ways to make blocks.

Dig Down Mode is new to Lumines Supernova. This mode gives you 180 seconds to clear a column in the lines of blocks that are set up in the beginning. As you progress, it gets more challenging to clear that column, but it’s great to play when you only have a few minutes.

Offline Player v. Player is something that I haven’t had a chance to play yet because I only have one PS3 controller.

Sequencer Mode is pretty cool. You can pick from a variety of music options to make your music to play to. The skin you play on just loops around and around and can get a little tiresome after a bit, though.

The Holiday Skin pack is exactly like the one on XBLA. Still, it’s worth the download because it’s free, and you do get 20 more skins.

There are some things missing from Supernova. Since PSN is an online network, why no online play? It just doesn’t make sense to leave that out, unless it’s going to be an add-on later.

I also miss the VS. the CPU Mode. That gave you more opportunity to work faster, harder, and improve at the game, as well as the opportunity to unlock more skins. Again, maybe this will be a future add-on, but I haven’t heard anything yet.

Those of us who played that first the original Lumines on the PSP sigh with nostalgia when we first started the game and “Shinin” by the Japanese band Mondo Grosso came on as our first skin. As the lights pulsed and blocks shone, it was pure joy. If only that skin were to reprise again on a new version of the game, just like other recycled skins.

One fun new skin that is added is the Little Big Planet skin. It’s fun to play with Sackboy running in the background while the music is sound effects play from the game.

There are two noted improvements over the XBLA version that I do want to mention. First, the PS3’s D-pad is less sucky for playing Supernova. It’s very nice, in fact. And second, it’s much nicer to have the combo alert-thinger pop up at the bottom of the screen, rather than the top over the skin as the XBLA one does.

And yes, there are achiev…I mean trophies for Lumines Supernova.

If you like puzzle games, bright colors, shiny things, and good music, Lumines Supernova would be a welcome choice to your PSN collections. It’s addicting and you will definitely get your money’s worth. Crank up the music and play!

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