Shock Value: Lumines Live

By Kenneth Richardson

January 29, 2011

[Shock Value is a bi-weekly segment which runs down inexpensive titles that are more than worth the money spent.]

  • Title: Lumines Live
  • Developer: Q? Entertainment
  • Publisher: Q? Entertainment
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • Release: January, 2007
  • Platforms: Xbox 360
  • Pricing: Download Only, $10 (800 MSP)

Lumines Live is a colorful, entertaining and downright addictive puzzle game from the arguable masters of the genre, Q? Entertainment. While their name may not ring a bell, I’m certain some of their critically acclaimed titles will, such as Peggle and Rez HD.

Lumines is an exercise in what happens when accessibility and depth join forces. You should know that there are variations of Lumines available on the PSP, PC and PS3, though this particular iteration is exclusive to the Xbox Arcade.

The premise of the game is deceptively simple. Players stack multicolored squares on top of each other, gaining points for matching them with squares of the same color. When you match squares, aside from gaining points, the square vanishes, making room for more squares. When the screen is filled and you cannot place another square, the game is over. That’s pretty much the game, in a nutshell, but rest assured that it is much more fun than I can describe in words.

Aside from this insanely fun game play, the game’s presentation is pretty tight to. The soundtrack is all kinds of awesome, mixing tracks from many different genres. It’s got some techno, some electronica and I was even introduced to one of my current favorite artists playing Lumines; their name is Genki Rockets.

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The graphics are sharp and eye catching. The visual illusions that transpire in the background are colorful and intoxicating. Expect a very hard time paying attention to what’s taking place on the screen. The sharp lines and bright colors are simply magnificent on an HD set, thanks to the game running in handsome 720p.

One of the strongest points of the game is how the music and visuals come together to create the addictive and exhilarating atmosphere. As you position your squares around the screen, you create sound effects. These are normally some kind of percussion or synth and it’s pretty cool how they fit right into the song that’s playing.

Along with a snazzy soundtrack and luscious presentation, Lumines Live isn’t too light on content either. The game features numerous single player modes, like challenge, time attack and score attack. Not only that, it also features both local and online multiplayer modes, although multiplayer can get extremely nerve wrecking against skilled opponents.

The online mode is barren and dry, with no signs of life. Unless you’ve got a friend who owns the game, the multiplayer really isn’t an attraction worth coming for, but it certainly doesn’t subtract from the phenomenal game.

Then you’ve got the skin edit mode, which I believe is exclusive to this version of Lumines. Basically, you can create a play-list of the different skins, which are just the combinations of song/background visuals/color scheme. It’s a neat feature, at least.

When it’s all said and done, anything else in this package aside from the score attack mode is just a distraction. You will stack squares, you will aim for a high score and you will fail, but every moment of it will be glorious, mind numbingly meticulous and just plain awesome. Lumines Live gets an A+ in my book.

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Kenneth Richardson

Kenneth is a Graphics and Game Design student who's worked as an author for since June of 2010. His favorite gaming genres are Fighting, Role Playing and Sadistic Action games like Ninja Gaiden and Bayonetta. In addition to gaming, he is also strongly interested in music, fashion, art, culture, literature, education, religion, cuisine, photography, architecture, philosophy, film, dance, and most forms of creative expression.

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