Lumines PSP unlikely to appear on PSN

Publishing and licensing complications.

Japanese developer Q Entertainment has said it wants to see PSP titles Lumines and Lumines II appear for download on the PlayStation Store, but a mixture of licensing and publishing issues are getting in the way.

"We would love to bring Lumines/Lumines II to the PSN store, but there are complications, music licensing, was published by Namco, etc," the developer tweeted this week (thanks GamePro/Kotaku). "That said, we're obviously looking into it."

"To clarify, we don't have any problems with Bandai Namco," the developer said a day later. "It's just not as simple a matter of slapping Lumines I/II up on PSN as it seems... The songs 'Shinin'' and 'Lights' were licensed for the UMD version of the game. To re-purpose the game for PSN, we'd need to re-license, etc.

"And since Bandai Namco is the publisher of Lumines I, it's basically up to them to put on PSN. We'd love to see it as a PSN game, though!"

It probably gets even more complicated in Europe, too, since Ubisoft published the first Lumines on PSP and Buena Vista Games (now Disney Interactive) published the second.

At least there are plenty of other ways to play Lumines. Apart from owning one of the original brick PSPs and the UMDs, which are around a fiver each at retail, there are the Xbox Live Arcade (Lumines Live) and PSN (Lumines Supernova) versions, and there are even PC and PS2 ports of the original.

Never heard of Lumines? It's a 2D falling-blocks puzzle game played out on a wide horizontal grid. Blocks tumble in two colours and the idea is to create squares or rectangles, which can overlap, that are at least two blocks deep on both axes.

The gimmick is that blocks only disappear when suitable shapes are strafed by a vertical line, which sweeps left and right across the play area. Q mixes things up from level to level by changing the pace of the block-tumbling and line-sweeping, and gives each level its own sound effects that appear to feed back into the soundtrack song.

It's really very excellent. And if you still don't get it, why not amuse yourself with a morning's worth of reviews? Here's Lumines (Japanese PSP import), Lumines (European PSP launch version), Lumines Live! (Xbox Live Arcade) and Lumines Supernova (PSN for PS3).

Oh yes, and we'll have a review of the iPhone version up soon.

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