Lumines Remastered Nintendo Switch Review – A Perfect Portable Puzzler

It’s been 14 years since the first Lumines title came out called “Lumines: Puzzle Fusion” and that was also on a rather new portable at the time called the PSP. My first taste of the Lumines series was actually Electronic Symphony on the PS Vita back in 2012. Since there was no Tetris on a PlayStation portable at the time I had to opt for Lumines to fill my puzzle needs. Fast forward and Lumines has reworked their first time simply calling it “Remastered”.I went ahead and picked it up from the Nintendo eShop for $14.99. Has it aged well after almost a decade and a half?

Overview

Lumines was built for PSP in mind based on its tech and design and thought it would be a perfect fit for the game. While Lumines is a puzzle block drop game in the vein of Tetris it also takes rhythm in mind to go alongside it.

Gameplay

Lumines plays as a block dropper where you have 2×2 blocks that can be spread out across a 16×10 gaming grid. The objective is to take these 2×2 blocks and match up the same color and they will be eliminated once a “Time Line” comes across the grid. The Time Line works for and against you as you can use it to stack up blocks before it comes back around creating killer combos. This Time Line also works with “Skins” or levels that will change the design of the game and will provide faster or slower tempo which could help or hinder your progress. The games are pretty endless and the further and more you score the more Skins you unlock.

Likes

Just like I played Electronic Symphony, Remastered is just as addicting. Colors and lights flash across the screen and it makes it visually stunning as you progress through Skins. Its pretty fluid and runs great on the Switch. There are various modes such as Challenge, Skin Edit, Time Attack, Puzzle, Mission, Vs Cpu, and 2P Battle. I have played all of them except 2P Battle. Each mode brings it own obstacles but adds a nice deal of replay value. You will spend hours trying to get all the skins which I believe are around 40 and spread across the different modes. You can also collect Avatars which glow and pulsate in the lower left hand corner while you play. My favorite mode to play is Shuffle mode within Challenge mode as it takes whatever Skins you have and mixes them up.

For the Nintendo Switch version they have vibration modes for “Blocks” or “Blocks & Rhythm”. It’s supposed to help you really feel the music and immerse deeper in the game. I used it for a deal but eventually turned it off from holding the console and the combo of the vibes.

Dislikes

Load times are pretty brutal with Lumines Remastered. This is whether you are going to play a game or even hop through menus in the options section. I have counted maybe 20-30 seconds intervals. Also while there is a 2P Battle on there I’m surprised you can’t play this against others online. Online gaming has taken leaps since the early portable days of the PSP/Vita versions. I also found the CPU to be insanely hard in the Versus mode or maybe I’m just rusty.

FYI: Lumines Remastered does not support Nintendo Switch’s video capture feature. 

Verdict

When I first saw the game being released I was excited and didn’t think I be addicted to it as much as I have. It’s an awesome game to have in your arsenal of Switch titles and can definitely kill some time especially on the go. Load times are probably my biggest gripe with the game. I’d hope to see them add more content or even do a remaster of Electronic Symphony down the line.

Update 7/19/18: After posting this review Enhance Games released a patch looking to remedy some issues I had talked about such as long load times and have made playing the game possible with the analog stick. There are a list of changes made via the patch HERE.