Today, if you start playing a game on your smartphone that places a heavy emphasis on music and sound, chances are you'll receive an advisory warning. It'll ask you to please insert your headphones for the "best experience". It doesn't matter if you're home alone on the sofa or your head is scrunched between numerous standing thighs on public transport, headphones are important. And we can all blame this warning on Lumines and the way it helped change our relationship with games.
From Sega Rally to Child of Eden, the past, present and future of the influential designer.
16th August 2011
11th July 2011
12th October 2005
30th August 2005
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Lumines, Tetsuya Mizuguchi's brilliant music-infused puzzler, is coming to Nintendo's Switch this spring - and it will include the ability to turn your JoyCons into Trance Vibrators.
It looks set to be a remastered version of the PSP original, first released in 2004 by Q Entertainment, the studio Mizuguchi founded in 2003. The former Sega producer has had a varied career since, leaving Q Entertainment in 2012 and taking up the role of a professor before returning to games in 2015 with his new company Enhance Games and, in 2016, releasing Rez Infinite on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR.
Enhance Games is behind Lumines Remastered, and the new game looks to recreate the PSP original on new hardware. That means enhanced visuals, of course, but on the Switch it also means the resurrection of one of Mizuguchi's more notorious innovations - the trance vibrator, which debuted alongside the PlayStation 2 version of Rez. By turning on Trance Vibration, you can sync a number of JoyCons and place them around your body in order to feel the music, if that's your kind of thing.
In the sweat mist of a late 90s techno hall, Tetsuya Mizuguchi got his first glimpse of what would become his life's work. The young Japanese designer, still fresh from the success of creating one of Sega's biggest arcade hits, found himself on a balcony at Zurich's Street Parade - an offshoot of Berlin's celebrated Love Parade - watching out over a crowd lost to the rhythm. "This DJ is playing, and 100,000 people are moving with the music. The sound changed, and the movement changed. I watched from the top, and was like 'wow, what is this?'" What if you could play this, Mizuguchi thought to himself. What if he could turn this into a game?
Lumines and Meteos producer Tetsuya Mizuguchi said he was leaving game development in 2012 when he took up the role of a professor, but now he's back and he's making a new Lumines game.
Rayman Origins, Assassin's Creed and Lumines are among the titles Ubisoft is bringing to the PlayStation Vita, the publisher has announced.
Asphalt, Dungeon Hunter Alliance and Michael Jackson: The Experience are also "currently in development" for Sony's new handheld, according to its Gamescom announcement.
No word yet on exactly what form that Assassin's Creed game will take, but we'll update as soon as we find out more.
There seems to be a near-universal acknowledgement that the iTunes App store is, to put it bluntly, a bit crap. So why on earth hasn't Apple done anything to evolve it?
Perhaps the overwhelming sales numbers has convinced the company to stick with this 'winning' formula, but you can't help but wonder aloud how much more successful it could be if it made browsing a less painful process.
When browsed from a computer (where I tend to browse), a simple task like selecting iPad games is a bizarrely convoluted process, but the storefront itself must be a complete travesty to anyone actually trying to get their games in front of people.
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.
Q Entertainment has revealed that it's to release its hypnotic musical block-puzzler, Lumines, for the iPhone, reports 1up.
Tucked away in one of central Tokyo's sprawling, bustling regions, Q Entertainment's office building is small and incongruous - but impossible to miss, thanks to the striking logo on the side. "Q?" it asks. "Hopefully," responds the somewhat lost foreign journalist.
Q Entertainment has added its acclaimed puzzler Lumines to the ranks of titles available from Steam.
Q Entertainment has put its musical puzzler Lumines on PC casual gaming site WildGames.
Q Entertainment has apparently only just begun its evolution of the hypnotic puzzle game Lumines, with creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi hinting that yet another version could be in the works for PlayStation 3.
If you count Ninety-Nine Nights, which has yet to be released in the West, Tetsuya Mizuguchi had six games at E3 this year. Four of them were Lumines titles, including a brand new Xbox Live Arcade version announced during Microsoft's pre-E3 conference - featuring Madonna, of all people. But it was actually Gameloft who helped us track him down - the French company had Lumines Mobile on display on its stand, and we arrived just in time to see them attaching a few "Best of Show" nomination plaques to the display.
Tetsuya Mizuguchi's updated his Japanese blog with some interesting stats. Apparently, despite a ten-month delay and countless imports, his musical puzzler Lumines has already sold 180,000 units in Europe. Well done you lot! That's on top of 300,000 or so in North America since March and a rather disappointing 70,000 in Japan since last December.
Just as interesting though is the latest update to his English-lanugage blog, including discussion of the Tokyo Game Show and an interesting tale of his experience flying from Tokyo to Paris on a Pokémon plane. Complete with pictures. Wireless LAN access meant he was able to beam photos of the wings to a fellow developer while flying over Russia.
Wireless LANs on planes, eh? We've seen it ourselves on Japan Airlines. Not as expensive as you'd think either. If you fancy finding out what Pikachu looks like stuck to a wingtip, or whether pokéballs add anything to the sight of a jet engine, or indeed whether 31,000 feet helps circumvent the banality of instant messaging exchanges, we suggest checking out the update.
Imagine if you could ask Tetsuya Mizuguchi anything, anything at all. Where the idea for Meteos came from, for example, or how he made Lumines so good it's like musical smack, or what he thinks of those Internet photos of that lady dressed up as Ulala that we can't link to here due to legal and probably ethical reasons?
We've already reviewed Lumines. We did so just after its Japanese release last December. Our view now is very much the same. In fact, all we really need to do here is change some of the names (Ubisoft distributes the game here, not Bandai) and mention that some of the glitches have been fixed (you no longer lose your final score if you turn off the PSP and then resume a game later, for example) and that we're adding another point on that basis. How, then, can we justify spending more time writing about it? Surely anything else is parenthetical at best.
Most of us here at Eurogamer bought Lumines on the same day we bought our Japanese PSPs about nine months ago. We're still playing it.
Tetsuya Mizuguchi has become one of THE names to look for in Japanese game development; so much so that Microsoft has even made a big song and dance about the fact that he's developing a game for Xbox 360. In this brief interview supplied by Ubisoft, Mizuguchi discusses his PlayStation Portable puzzle title Lumines, which will be released on September 1st in Europe alongside the PSP itself.
French publisher Ubisoft has confirmed that it has signed a deal with Bandai to bring Q Entertainment's critically acclaimed PSP title Lumines to Europe as part of the launch line-up for the platform.
The game, which was created by former Sega designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi - whose other credits include Space Channel 5, Sega Rally and cult classic REZ - will be launched at the same time as the PSP itself at the start of September.
Lumines is a relatively traditional block-based puzzle game which uses custom musical and visual "skins", unlocked as you progress through the game, as its hook, and features music from well-known (in Japan, and in my house) Japanese artists Mondo Grosso and Eri Nobuchika.