Content Type: Gaming Reviews
Date: July 10, 2018
Lumines Remastered is a music rhythm puzzle game available for download from the PlayStation Store for the PS4. Lumines originated on PSP with Lumines: Puzzle Fusion releasing in Japan on December 12th 2004 before arriving in America in March 2005 and in Europe in September 2005. Lumines was later ported to Xbox 360 in the form of Lumines Live! from late 2006 to early 2007, while a PS2 port titled Lumines Plus released in February 2007. Lumines received a sequel titled Lumines II on PSP that released between November 2006 and February 2007 in America, Europe and Japan respectively, while Lumines Supernova released digitally on PS3 in December 2008 in Japan and in other regions in October 2009, alongside Lumines: Electronic Symphony on Vita as a launch title in February 2012 and April 2012 in Japan as well as ports and exclusives on mobile platforms. Can Lumines Remastered deliver the ultimate Lumines experience on a home console gaming environment on PS4?
Challenge mode contains three modes including basic, endless and shuffle each with their own set of styles in playing through the levels as the player attempts to master the gameplay elements to reach level 100; accompanied by an efficient five step tutorial. Skin Edit mode allows the player freedom and customisation to create their own playlist of anywhere from 1 to 10 unlocked background and block skins as well as music tracks, while the player can also choose to take a single lap or endless play through an individual song or multitude of songs. Background skins and blocks, alongside music tracks can be unlocked by reaching designated levels on a basic challenge within challenge mode, winning stages against A.I. controlled opponents in Vs. CPU mode, completing all puzzles and completing all missions.
Time Attack mode tasks the player with erasing as many squares as possible within 60 seconds, 180 seconds or 300 seconds respectively. Puzzle mode provides the player with a particular shape to recreate in blocks within a time limit of usually one, two, three or five minutes including 100 puzzles comprising of 40 easy puzzles, 30 hard puzzles and 30 super hard puzzles.
Mission mode comprises of 50 missions including 15 easy missions, 15 hard missions and 20 super hard missions. Missions include erasing all blocks in one step, two steps or three steps in a variety of scenarios with the positioning of blocks on the board and the types of blocks, erasing a certain quantity of blocks within a particular period of time and more besides. Vs. CPU mode allows the player to pit your wits against an A.I. controlled opponent as both competitors attempt to make it as hard as possible for their opponent by reducing the width of their available play area. If the player succeeds in defeating an A.I. controlled opponent, then the player can progress onto the next tier of competition.
Lumines Remastered will not be releasing on Vita, but fans of Lumines in a portable gaming environment; can experience Lumines: Puzzle Fusion and Lumines II on PSP and Lumines: Electronic Symphony on Vita, while Lumines Remastered does support remote play functionality. Lumines Remastered’s remote play performance is excellent as the graphics, audio and general performance maintains the quality of the PS4 version. Remote play controls do not require any optimisation due to the DualShock 4 control scheme naturally fitting onto the Vita; therefore resulting in a comfortable remote play experience for Lumines fans that are used to Lumines games on PSP and Vita.
The controls are appropriately mapped to the DualShock 4 controller consisting of pressing X, O or R1 to rotate the block to the right; pressing square, triangle or L1 to rotate the block to the left; changing the direction of the left analogue stick or alternatively pressing left, right or down to move the current block to the left, right or downwards faster; pressing the share button takes you to the share feature menu; and pressing the options button to display the pause menu. The type B control scheme swaps the face buttons around for rotating the block to the right to the left. Vibration can be customised to be in rhythm to the music and blocks dropping or alternatively when blocks drop or no vibration at all. There is no touch pad implementation that could have provided an alternative to the left analogue stick and d-pad in moving the blocks by swiping the touch pad to the left or right and downwards, while tapping the touch pad could have rotated blocks, while there is no light bar support that could have displayed the colour of the blocks within each skin.
Graphically, Lumines Remastered is exactly as players would have originally remembered Lumines, albeit fully remastered in HD on PS4, so the background skins and blocks really pop out beautifully, while PS4 Pro support offers 4K resolution that makes Katsumi Yokota’s (art director of Rez) concept and art direction look better than ever. The majority of the background skins look amazingly well designed, although there are certain backgrounds such as Roundabout that is a still image that is rather off-putting when it shakes as the player focuses on matching blocks together.
The presentation of the game is solid with a great user interface across various menus such as the title menu, main menu, game mode menus, local multiplayer menus, online leaderboards, options menus and gameplay menus with support for navigation via the left analogue stick, directional pad and face buttons, although it does not include support for navigation via the right analogue stick and touch pad. Menu backgrounds focus on a different design depicting background skins or gameplay from game modes that are highlighted.
Lumines Remastered utilises the original audio quality from the PC release whereas the PSP version had lower quality downsampled audio and music; therefore if you have only ever played the original Lumines on PSP, then Lumines Remastered will sound better in direct comparison. Music is composed by Takayuki Nakamura as he composed the music and sound design on Lumines, Lumines Live!, Lumines II, Lumines Plus and Lumines Supernova, while having previously worked on the sound for such games as Streets of Rage and Ghost Hunter. Sound effects are caused by moving blocks from side to side when looking to position them or matching blocks together in a fashion that harmonises notes and vocals with the music; in fact if the player was to turn the music off, then the sound effects would be reminiscent of music notation in itself. There is no DualShock 4 speaker support which could have produced music or additional notes and vocals from the overlaid sound effects.
The trophy list includes 30 trophies with 9 bronze trophies, 15 silver trophies, 5 gold trophies and 1 platinum trophy. Easier trophies include the Welcome to the LUMINES! bronze trophy for completing the basic challenge using the first skin and the Feels Great silver trophy for clearing all blocks on the screen by completing the first easy mission in missions mode. Harder trophies include the Puzzle Master silver trophy for completing all super hard puzzles; the Mission Accomplisher silver trophy for completing all super hard missions; the Full Throttle gold trophy for clearing at least 320 squares in 300 seconds in time attack mode; and the 42.195km gold trophy for completing the shuffle challenge for all skins. It is estimated that depending upon skill and a good trophy guide to provide some helpful tips that it would take between 25 to 35 hours to platinum the trophy list.
Puzzle mode and mission mode have three difficulty levels including easy, hard and super hard that gradually increases the complexity of the respective puzzles and missions. However, every mode is as challenging as Tetris and every Lumines game that has came before it due to the quick thinking and fast hand-to-eye co-ordination required when efficiently matching blocks together to progress through every stage of each mode.
Local multiplayer precisely follows the multiplayer contained within Lumines Plus on PS2 as it allows two players to compete against each other in a battle that is the equivalent of the Vs. CPU mode in which the opponent’s play area is reduced by the amount of quickly matched blocks on skins that are unlocked during single player modes. It could be considered a positive that local multiplayer is included; although it is quite stripped back from what it could have been as it is a single battle mode instead of being spread throughout the challenge, skin edit, time attack, puzzle and mission modes. However, there is also the omission of any online multiplayer battle mode as seen in Lumines Live! on Xbox 360 or any form of potentially expanded multiplayer.
Online leaderboards focus on the highest score from each player with rankings covering the total highest score in individual modes including basic challenge, endless challenge, shuffle challenge, skin edit and time attack in 60, 180 and 300 seconds variants with each leaderboard containing each player’s rank; high score; and name (PSN ID), while players can compare their positioning on the leaderboards with players globally, to immediately find your score within the global rankings, friends from your friends list and retro styled local offline rankings.
Lumines Remastered’s replayability originates from challenge, skin edit, time attack, puzzle and mission modes, alongside a battle mode in the form of Vs. CPU and local multiplayer, while there are further elements of replay value including online leaderboards and 44 avatars to collect through achieving objectives such as getting three score bonuses in a row, winning stages or completing missions that will collectively keep players returning for quite some time, especially in single player and competing to improve your positioning in the online leaderboards. However, Lumines Remastered cannot be classed as the definitive Lumines game as it does not include the sequencer from Lumines II that allowed players to create their own music from sound effects for skin edit mode and Vs. CPU mode, while there is no online multiplayer, although it was previously featured in Lumines Live! on Xbox 360.
- Title: Lumines Remastered
- Developer: Resonair
- Publisher: Enhance
- System: PS4
- Format: PSN Download
- Cross-Buy: No
- Cross-Play: No
- Players: 1-2 (Same Screen Local Competitive Multiplayer)/Online Leaderboards
- Hard Drive Space Required: 1.66GB (Version 1.01)