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Lumines II review

Falling blocks and groovy tunes are even more mesmerizing the second time around

The basic interface will look familiar to anyone that's downloaded Lumines Live! for the Xbox 360, but rest assured there's no cheesy microtransaction extortion to contend with here. $30 gets you the whole kit, from forty puzzle boards that progress from a simple cross to an impossible tulip shape, to the fifteen simple mission boards. The challenging "versus CPU" mode is back, with new opponents and some remixed surprise visits by old conquests, but this time you can choose to continue endlessly rather than starting from scratch. Time trials still come in predictable increments, but you can save your minute-long game replays to a memory stick, and trade your best performance with friends.

Most players will probably spend the vast majority of their time facing off against human opponents via the Ad Hoc wireless mode, or playing one of the excellent tiered difficulty challenge tracks, but that's missing out. By far the coolest new addition is the sequencer mode, which lets closet musicians create their own simple electronic tunes for use in the game. Depending on your passion for music, this mode alone could mean the end of all your free time. Simply move your cursor across a piano roll of musical notes and percussion sound effects, and place cues of varying strengths. It's ridiculously fun, and could easily be expanded into a full-fledged sample-based musician's tool.

More info

DescriptionPSP puzzler sequel currently rumoured for PS3 release
US censor rating"Rating Pending","Rating Pending"
UK censor rating"",""