Lumines Live


posted 10/20/2006 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
One Page Platforms: 360
Lumines Live is not just for single players, it also allows you to play against all of your friends (and perfect strangers) online. In the two-player mode you both share the same board, depending on who is doing better their side will increase, while the other player has to deal with a smaller section to work with. While I’m sure there are people that enjoy this dynamic, I personally hate the multiplayer aspect of the game. The average two-player match only lasts a few minutes, and if you get behind early there's practically no way for you to come back.
Just like the PSP game you can also play this multiplayer mode against the computer, which isn't bad if you're already a fan of the multiplayer mode. Oddly enough there are only a few different levels in the Vs. CPU mode, the rest you will have to buy when they are available on the Xbox Live Marketplace.
Although the game is essentially the same as it was on the PSP, the graphics and sound have been slightly upgraded for the Xbox 360. The game has a nice new hi def (720p) look to it that looks stunning on my television. On top of that the music is just stunning, thanks in large part to the system's 5.1 channel support. Hearing the outstanding music all around me was a real treat, but I couldn't help but be a little disappointed that there wasn't more music in the game. As more music, videos and skins hit the marketplace this won't be a problem, but it's sad that players who already spent $15 will have to fork over even more money just to get a decent variety.
While the Xbox 360 managed to improve the audio and video portions of Lumines Live, I found the controls to be a bit unruly when compared to the PSP. The biggest problem is that the game just doesn't feel right on the Xbox 360's control. The D-pad is too small and not very responsive, while the analog stick just doesn't work for this type of game. I found myself opting for the analog stick in hopes that I would eventually get used to it, but even after spending many hours with the control I ended up making simple mistakes I would never have made on the PSP's pad.
I have somewhat mixed feelings about Lumines Live, on one hand I'm excited that I'm finally able to play one of my favorite puzzles games on my television, but to do so comes at a high price that frankly isn't worth it. With control issues, only a handful of skins and a $15 asking price, it's somewhat hard for me to say the game was worth the wait. Those gamers out there that don't see themselves buying a PSP should check the game out to see what all the fuss is about, but everybody else should just pick it up on the PSP … or simply wait for Lumines II to hit stores in a couple weeks. 

Lumines on the Xbox 360 is just as much fun as it was on the PSP, but due to its high price tag and awkward control scheme it just doesn't feel like much of a bargain. If you don't mind paying $15 for an incomplete version of this puzzle game then you will end up having hours of fun trying to beat your high score.

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