the Horn Farm Paste Mob

Lumines Plus (PS2)

I played Lumines last summer on J’s PSP while I was recovering from an awful sunburn and it was great. This is apparently identical, except that a few skins were removed (one I loved, one I hated, and one I can’t remember) and several more added, maybe from Lumines II. One of those new skins, Tiny Piano, consistently ends my game– I think usually I’ve staggered on to the next skin, but it was Tiny Piano that did me in.

And there’s the one big problem with Lumines: its genius is in taking a falling-block puzzle game and making it FEEL qualitatively different for each level you complete. New background music, new colors, new block design, new sound effects. I certainly care about these ‘skins’, these cosmetic changes to the game, more than I’ve ever cared about choosing a skin for any program on my computer, and I see Firefox a lot more often than I see my Playstation. But these skins are so different from one another that I want them to be rewards for doing different things, like the variation in levels with Katamari Damacy or the merit badges in Fizzball (whose design was so good that I kept playing even after it was clear that it wouldn’t get any harder and was thus essentially boring). Instead, you get new skins for doing the same thing over and over, better and better.

If you haven’t even seen this, though, you have to.


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