Giant Bomb Review


Lumines Supernova Review

  • PS3N

If this is your first Lumines game, you'll probably enjoy it. But as the latest in a long line of rudimentary updates, it gets old quick.

You can play around with the sequncer to make your own basic beats.
Lumines was a huge smash when it launched alongside the PSP back in late 2004. The cube-dropping puzzle game brought a sense of rhythm and style to the genre that that you don't see too frequently. Since then, the game has been lightly iterated for a number of different platforms, with the latest version landing on the PlayStation 3. This version is a $14.99 digital download called Lumines Supernova. It plays around with the modes a bit and offers options that the other versions don't, but the core game is still the star of the show.

As you play, you'll complete stages and the entire skin will change. This has an impact on the music (including its tempo), as well as the entire look of the blocks, the background, and so on. Unlocking these different audiovisual styles is the most rewarding part of Lumines, as some of them are pretty spectacular. If you've played the games before, you'll probably recognize some of the skins used here, though Supernova does have some new ones, as well.

In addition to just playing through and unlocking skins, the game also has a time attack mode, a playlist mode that lets you set up which skins you want to play, puzzle and mission modes, and so on. New to Supernova is a mode called Dig Down, where you have to clear away blocks to empty out a set number of columns before proceeding to the next, more-difficult level. There's also a sequencer that lets you piece together your own background music for a somewhat-custom skin. You'll assemble a 32-bar loop out of prefab bits and pieces of drums, basslines, and so on. When I heard that there was going to be a sequencer in the game, I got all excited. But the reliance on prefab pieces, while easy to use, doesn't give it enough range.

Breaking blocks to the beat can get mesmerizing.
The game also has a multiplayer component, but unlike its Xbox 360 counterpart, Supernova is limited to offline play. The implementation on the 360 wasn't much fun, though, so this isn't a gigantic loss.

While I think that anyone with a reasonable level of interest in puzzle or rhythm games should absolutely own Lumines, there's really no good reason to collect them all. If you've somehow managed to dodge the series until now, Supernova's a fine place to start. But as someone that's been playing it since it was originally released on the PSP in Japan, I got tired of it almost immediately.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
19 Comments Refresh
Posted by GMoneyCricket

Why did the review go from 4 stars down to three?

Posted by Cameron

Isn't the game $15? Maybe they are just screwing Canadians again.

Posted by sloppyjoe

1 less reason to get a PSP... i should just stop counting.

Edited by chogi

bought this game and got a bunch of trophies already but i'm having a hard time understanding the puzzle mode

Edited by LordAndrew

This is a PS3 downloadable game, not a PSP game, sloppyjoe.
Jeff clearly thinks Lumines is a good game, so if you want one of the PSP versions, go right ahead. You have Jeff's blessing.

Posted by thedeusmachine

Damn, I still haven't touched a Lumines game but I want to so dearly.  I mean Meteos must be some indication of it's awesomeness.

Posted by lordofultima

He's saying there's one less reason now that it's on PSN (I think, anyways).

Posted by Ho_Blivion

Cameron: It's $14.99 in the US too. I'm sure they will fix this in the review text shortly.

Posted by MeatSim

I'm not a fan of Lumine.

Edited by AsKo25

I love the first Lumines. I'd probably get a new one if it was entirely new skins or if it had a feature like saving a block. Some sort of positive change to the gameplay.

Posted by JackSukeru

I played some Lumines on the PsP,
great game!
This one though,
I think I'll pass.

Posted by Keeng

I think this'll be the game to get me into Lumines. 

Posted by sloppyjoe

Yup, I mean Lumines and the FFVII game were one of few reasons I wanted a PSP, now a PSP is no longer needed for Lumines!  Which is good news for me, I guess.  I may this up on PSN now.

Posted by SimonM7

It's hard to really recommend any of the "sequels" over the original PSP game or the PS2 port of it called "Lumines Plus".  A lot of what made Lumines special in the first place - like for instance its reliance on the player's performance to have the songs actually progress - was removed immediately with the arrival of Lumines Live. Since then all you really do is play a puzzle game mostly independently of its funky background effects and tempo save for some "part of the song" sound effects for moving the blocks around.

The fact that they repeatedly release new updates to Lumines without aknowledging that your participation in the music was a big part of its appeal is kinda bewildering. And disappointing. And technically good reason to pass on them all and just go straight for the original and best.

If I'm allowed to be a bit nitpicky in addition, the first Lumines had an overall sense of progression and the sensation of being on an audiovisual journey of sorts, whereas every entry since then has just kinda emptied a bucket of skins on top of your head. What used to have a pretty tangible sense of beginning and climax is just a complete mess now. Ah well.

Posted by PJ
Edited by DiGiTaL_SiN

Lumines with built in RaveDJ

How is it that I can't find any info on that epic sequencer anywhere on the web? Does anyone here remember RaveDJ other than me?

EDIT: Oh, it was called Rave eJay, part of the eJay series:
A much more awesome name! I messed around with Rave eJay 4 more than any normal human being should. My friends and I used to make beats and send them to each other all the time. I'm actually surprised they're still alive (eJay guys not my friends, maybe a little surprised about my friends too, but that's a different story). Here's something created with Dance eJay 4, not that different from Rave eJay 4.

Posted by Media_Master

so get the psp version

Posted by Dan_CiTi

I LOVE this game, easily the best Lumines game,

Posted by Oemenia

This isnt as stripped as the 360 version is it?