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Xbox chap defends Lumines

"This is about choice" - Canessa.

Xbox Live Arcade group manager Greg Canessa has defended Q Entertainment's decision to include just a handful of levels for three of Lumines Live's main game modes and then sell more later, arguing, "if you criticise Lumines for this, you gotta criticise a whole bunch of other games".

Speaking to 1UP, Canessa said that Q's approach was "about choice". "Now, in the case of Mission mode and Puzzle mode, for example, there are a certain number of levels and at a certain point there are no more levels. Now, if you want to consume more levels, because it's more of a level-based play mode, if you want to consume more levels, if you want more puzzles, you've gotta get some downloadable content for that. That's fine."

"It was a complete game in every way," he argued. "We were not a fan of, 'Hey, we'll put these two modes in the basic game and we'll sell these two other modes in downloadable content.' We would not allow that. We wanted the basic game and all of the play modes to be available in the basic game. And that is what we pulled off."

Canessa's protest appears to be that Lumines Live offers plenty of gameplay in the Mission, Puzzle and Vs. CPU modes by default. At one point, he claims that you can play the Vs. CPU mode "as much as you want" and that additional levels are "not going to change the gameplay in any significant way". But Vs. CPU mode offers just one level, after which you're told to buy a premium downloadable "Vs. CPU Pack" for additional content. Playing that one level repeatedly is tedious, to say the least, with the variety brought about by additional skins sorely lacking. Based on that, and similar measures in Mission and Puzzle modes, a lot of gamers have argued that Q is doing precisely what Canessa claims they're not doing - putting a few modes in the basic game and selling the vast majority of the other modes' content after the fact.

That's been compounded by two things: firstly, Lumines Live's price, joint highest on Live Arcade, of 1200 Microsoft points (GBP 10.20 / EUR 13.96), and second, the knowledge, in many cases, that the original Lumines PSP game offers much more content out of the box, and Lumines II, due out on PSP next month, also includes extensive runs of Mission, Puzzle and Vs. CPU levels, as well as other new features not found in Lumines Live.

Nevertheless, Canessa says that Microsoft and Q Entertainment are "going to listen to customer feedback overall and we're going to look at the sales of the title" - the implication being that the companies may consider adapting their plans to fit the models with which consumers are happiest.