Lumines: Electronic Symphony

Key events

Lumines Remastered will turn your Switch JoyCons into trance vibrators

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.

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Two new Lumines games will launch this year

You wait ages for a new Lumines game and then, like buses, two turn up in the same year.

2016 will host a pair of new Lumines experiences - but both of them are for mobile (thanks, Destructoid).

Lumines 2016, not titled because it follows 2015 others, will launch this summer and cost money up front.

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The Vita is dead - or is it?

Sony's ceased first-party support, it seems, but the Vita's vital signs are still ticking over.

"Did you hear about the Vita? It's dead." That was a friend's greeting on Friday morning. (Actually, he started off by asking if I'd brought in any Pop-Tarts. The Vita came second, but lead to a more interesting discussion.)

In media Rez: the return of Tetsuya Mizuguchi

From Sega Rally to Child of Eden, the past, present and future of the influential designer.

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: Electronic Symphony dev wants your help getting DLC

Rallies fan support to add original Lumines' song Shinin'.

Q Entertainment would love to bolster its Vita exclusive Lumines: Electronic Symphony's soundtrack with the song Shinin' from the original Lumines, but it needs to first gather support from its fans to convince publisher Ubisoft that this is a good idea.

Lumines: Electronic Symphony Review

Lumines: Electronic Symphony Review

Everybody's shufflin'.

For two games that are forever being lumped together, there's plenty of mechanical variation separating Tetris and Lumines. The former's purely about spatial sense, for starters, while the latter piles rhythmic elements and colour-matching on top.

One of the biggest differences, however, is actually structural. Ask any falling-block fan and they'll tell you that Tetris is a sprint while Lumines is a marathon. By the time you're any good at Q Entertainment's stylish puzzler, you're going to be able to play it for hours at a time off the back of a single life.

That's probably where the skins came from. Lumines' ever-changing audiovisual backdrops offer a smart way of keeping things fresh, while also allowing the game's developers the opportunity to alter the pace of the drops and the speed of the sweeping timeline. It gives players something new to think about every few minutes while they stoically sort blocks and arrange colours - and skins have also been a bit of a boon when it comes to sequels. With a game that puts music and art design right at the heart of the experience, providing a handful of new sights and sounds has meant that Q can release a series of entirely agreeable follow-ups without ever having to risk ruining everything by tampering with the crucial elements of the concept.

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What would happen if GAME died?

An investigation into how it would affect you.

Does anything really matter until you're personally affected by it? It's easy enough to ignore financial reports and credit warnings and gloomy editorials - but try ignoring an empty shelf. Try ignoring GAME, the UK's largest specialist video game shop chain, being unable to to stock Ubisoft's PlayStation Vita games (until today), Wii role-playing game The Last Story and Tekken 3DS.

GAME stocking Ubisoft's Vita launch titles from tomorrow

GAME stocking Ubisoft's Vita launch titles from tomorrow

No word on The Last Story or Tekken 3DS though.

GAME will stock Ubisoft's Vita launch titles from Tuesday, 28th February.

The high street specialist confirmed the introduction of the stock in a short statement issued this afternoon to VG247.

"To confirm, the Vita Ubisoft titles will be available in all of GAME's channels from tomorrow."

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GAME won't stock Ubisoft Vita launch games

GAME won't stock Ubisoft Vita launch games

Lumines, Michael Jackson, Rayman: Origins, Asphalt Injection and Dungeon Hunter Alliance get the chop.

GAME has confirmed it will not stock Ubisoft's Vita launch games.

Lumines, Michael Jackson, Rayman Origins, Asphalt Injection and Dungeon Hunter Alliance will not be available to buy from GAME stores across the nation when Sony's PSP successor launches at midnight tonight.

"All customers affected by this decision have been made aware of the situation and we will continue to communicate any updates to customers through our Twitter and Facebook feeds," GAME said in a statement issued to VG247.

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PlayStation Vita games: where's cheapest?

Eurogamer investigates the best prices for Vita's launch line-up.

Picking up a PlayStation Vita tonight? Already checked for the cheapest Vita retailer? You'll probably want some Vita games then.

Lumines Vita Preview: History Repeating

Lumines Vita Preview: History Repeating

Is Electronic Symphony the first true sequel to the PSP's best launch game?

Lumines wasn't any old PSP launch title. It was the PSP launch title, and arguably the best pure puzzler since Tetris (a title it held onto until Drop 7 came along, of course). The synesthetic concerns of Q Entertainment, which first strutted along in ten-inch platforms in 2000's Space Channel 5 before taking a turn for the metaphysical in the following year's Rez, were melded perfectly with simple, grid-based puzzling. Like Rez before it, Lumines felt like a celebration of club culture - or, with its lazy rhythms and ability to consume whole hours, more a celebration of post-club culture.

It was the launch title in part because of its brilliance, and in part through a lack of anything else worth getting particularly excited about. For a year at least, the PSP was a Lumines machine - a situation that, in light of the Vita's bustling launch line-up, is unlikely to be repeated this time out.

The years since have seen Lumines spread like a sweet virus, although its appeal has been watered down a little, its rhythms gradually becoming easier to resist. Sequel has piled upon sequel, and each new iteration has struggled to add much of substance to the original - which is always a problem when you get it so very, very right the first time around.

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Ubisoft confirms Vita launch line-up

Ubisoft confirms Vita launch line-up

Plus, dates for Rayman Origins 3DS and Future Soldier.

Rayman Origins, Lumines, Michael Jackson: The Experience, Asphalt and Dungeon Hunter Alliance will all be available from the Vita's 22nd February launch, publisher Ubisoft has announced.

A new release schedule sent out today includes one other Vita game - an undefined Assassin's Creed title marked for "calendar 2012".

Elsewhere on the publisher's revised slate, the 3DS version of Rayman Origins is down for 16th March, while PC and console versions of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier arrive some time the same month.

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