Lumines: Electronic Symphony Review
The critically acclaimed puzzle series is as addictive as ever on the PSVita.
The original PlayStation Portable’s launch was not one that was remembered with having a large array of quality games. It did however bring the first Lumines game to the world which quickly became one of the most addicting and unique puzzle-games ever made. The series combines solid gameplay mechanics with vibrant visuals and a set of amazing music tracks to create a highly engaging experience. Overtime the Lumines franchise expanded onto more platforms and received a variety of additions to its formula. Lumines: Electronic Symphony for the PS Vita continues the series’ excellence by adding brand new features to the mix that make this title a must-have for any PS Vita owner.
Lumines: Electronic Symphony is a puzzle game that resembles titles from the likes of Tetris and Columns. 2×2 Squares containing 4 blocks start falling in as the stage starts and each block consists of one of two color pallets. You must connect 4 blocks of the same color together in order for you to clear them off the stage. The more blocks you clear the more points you get increasing your overall score. Electronic Symphony also features two specialty blocks you encounter while playing. The first one clears all blocks of the same color that it touches, while the other switches up the colors of all the blocks it comes in contact with. Having those two special blocks gives a different spin on what kind of way you should arrange your blocks to take advantage of each of their abilities.
Electronic Symphony introduces a few additions that tweak the Lumines formula in a new direction. The first one being that the avatars, which were previously mere aesthetic choices, now have their own special abilities which can be activated by filling the avatar gauge. The gauge can be filled by tapping the back-touch panel of the PS Vita. This addition, although useful, can get pretty annoying because of the forced tapping mechanic being implemented in order to use it. Another addition to the game is the fact that everything you accomplish in the game gives you XP which add up to increase your in game level. By increasing your level you are able to unlock more avatars and skins (stage are called skins in Lumines) to use in different game modes.
The main “arcade-like” mode in Electronic Symphony is called Voyage. This mode basically has you going from one skin to another until you either lose or complete all skins available. The game also includes a time-attack mode, a playlist mode which gives you the options to choose which stages you want to play, as well as an ad-hoc Duel mode which allows multiplayer over Wi-Fi. The diversity of the modes available keeps the game interesting as it gives you a variety of ways to enjoy Lumines. All scores and stats in the game are uploaded to the servers and can be compared with both your friends list and players around the world.
The visual and audio aspects of Lumines: Electronics Symphony are one of the main reasons as to why the game is so compelling to play. Q Entertainment, the studio behind the game, does an astounding job of making sure all three parts (visuals, audio, and gameplay) fit together perfectly and it pushes this combination to new heights with Electronic Symphony. This time around the blocks being used are actual 3D-Blocks rather than the 2D sprites that were used in previous games. Having 3D-Blocks allows for more unique and interesting design choices for the blocks and adds a ton of skin diversity to the game. The soundtrack of the game complements the stages extraordinary well making playing the game all that more fulfilling to play.
The first Lumines back on the PSP introduced an amazing game that many spent countless of hours playing. Lumines: Electronic Symphony refines the Lumines formula to all new levels and adds a variety of features to make the game quite the outstanding package. The PS Vita was launched with a large amount of titles to pick from, but Lumines: Electronic Symphony stands tall as one of the must-buy games in the PS Vita’s current library.