Lumines II (ルミネス II Ruminesu Tsu) is a puzzle video game, the sequel Lumines: Puzzle Fusion. The game was released in November 2006 in Europe and North America, and on February 15, 2007 in Japan. The objective of the game is to move and rotate 2x2 blocks to form colored squares of the same color. Points are awarded to the player when the Time Line erases the colored squares. The game expands previous game modes from the first game and adds new modes such as Mission Mode, Skin Edit Mode, and Sequencer. Lumines II includes licensed music videos as background skins for the game.
The game was well received among critics, though a few reviewers criticized the song selection.
The gameplay in Lumines II is the same as the original Lumines: Puzzle Fusion with new added features. The objective of the game is still to rotate and move blocks and form 2x2 of the same color (referred to as a colored square). Once the Time Line sweeps over the colored squares, they will be eliminated and points will be added to the player's overall score. Deleting four or more squares will add a bonus multiplier to the player's overall score. If the blocks reach the top of the board, the player loses the game. All the modes from the original game return: Challenge Mode, Time Attack, Puzzle, VS CPU, 2P VS Mode (renamed Duel Mode). Challenge mode has been modified and expanded to four classes: B, A, S, and Enduro. Class B is for beginners, Class A is for intermediate players, and Class S is for advance players. These classes can be played up to three full laps. Enduro class uses all the skins and has no time limit. Enduro can only be unlocked after completing at least one lap of the first three classes. Time Attack adds a new feature that allows players to record and save their playthrough to be viewed in the Replay Theater.
Three new modes introduced in Lumines II: Mission Mode, Skin Edit Mode, and Sequencer. In Mission Mode, players are tasked to solve specific missions. In Skin Edit Mode, players can create their own custom playlist using skins previously unlocked in Challenge mode. Skin Edit Mode is divided into two settings: Single Lap and Endless Lap. In Single Lap, players can select up to ten skins and compete for the top score. In Endless Lap, players can select as many skins as they like and can play endlessly without a time limit. Sequencer allows players to create their own original background music and sound effects from one of four unique base music types. With each base music, Players can save up to 20 original music sequences with each base music used. They can also be ported up to four skins into Skin Edit Mode. Additional new feature include the option to customize the HUD and a tutorial with tips and strategies as well.
Development and release
During development of Lumines II Tetsuya Mizuguchi wanted to add the concept on how to combine music and music videos into the game. Mizuguchi explained in order to showcase his vision for Lumines II, the development team needed to find music and videos with the right tone, mix and energy to incorporate into the game. For the original development of Lumines: Puzzle Fusion, audio had to be completed before finalizing the skin's design. Yokota decided to do a different approach with Lumines II and Lumines Live!. Instead, skin designs took priority in order to provide more concrete suggestions for the audio. Yokota stated this made greater variation possible for the music tracks. A total of 100 songs were initially planned during development of the game. Mizuguchi emphasized the content in Lumines II over the first one with it having more skins and songs than the original and further explained that he wanted to push the UMD to its limits. Mizuguchi also emphasized that he wanted the game to have its own original atmosphere and stylistic experience, different from the original. Mizuguchi described Lumines II as a party and described himself as a party organizer to make the biggest party experience on the PSP.
A deluxe version was released on the same day of the standard version. The standard version came with decorative stickers and the deluxe version included a CD soundtrack titled, "Techriders / Exclusive Tracks for Lumines II". To Commemorate the release of the game, Q Entertainment collaborated with Angel Love Online to promote the game. Players could implement Avatars from Lumines II as their character profile picture. A PC demo titled, Lumines II: Taster version was released on November 22, 2006 from the game's official website.
The game was released in North America on November 6, 2006 and in Europe on November 17, 2006. The Japanese version was released much later on February 15, 2007. The Japanese version contains additional tracks from artists such as Ken Ishii, Genki Rockets, and Def Tech, however songs from New Order, Missy Elliot, and Beck were removed.
Another soundtrack was released by series composer Takayuki Nakamura on December 31, 2007, titled "L.II remixes". The album was released by Nakamura's sound design company Brainstorm and included eleven tracks appearing in the game. The mastering engineer on the project was Kenji Nagashima and the package design was by Katsumi Yokota. Nakamura used his experience as a sound effects designer to make such noises as crashing waves and ticking clocks an integral part of the Lumines remixes albums.
Lumines II was well received among a number of critics and received an aggregated score of 81 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 46 reviews. Pocket Gamer praised the new features introduced in Lumines II, specifically the Sequencer and called it "brilliant"." IGN gave similar praise to the new features and claimed it is better than the original, stating "Lumines II has managed to expand on just about every facet of the first game" GameSpot also gave the game a favorable review although had minor criticisms of the new modes for not feeling fresh. One particular feature that was criticized was the skins that use music videos for their respective licensed songs, due to not able to enjoy them as much as during gameplay. Eurogamer was more critical and were also aimed particularly at the choice of including western songs into the game and the original was the better option.
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