The one big problem that I think Lumines has is that the single player “challenge mode” doesn’t ramp up the difficult fast enough. The challenge mode becomes as more of a game of attrition than a game of skill. I just finished a game (new high score!) that lasted nearly 40 minutes! Non-stop.
This is alright when you are playing a console, reclined on the sofa; but when you’re holding the device for so long and staring at such a small screen for so long, it starts getting uncomfortable. Hands start to cramp and eyes get sore. Sure, you can always pause it and resume later — but what if your battery is low? And for games like this, games that you need to get into a certain groove with, pausing and restarting every so often can be very disruptive.
Luckily, Lumines does offer a few time-limited modes of play, like a 60 second or 3 minute time attack. These are perfect for a portable device. You can pull the system out and play a full game during a commercial break or on the streetcar (though *I* wouldn’t reveal my PSP on public transit, or public anything really). These work well. But, if you want to unlock all the various skins, you have to play the challenge mode and you have to play it for a looooooong stretch of time. Annoying.
Speaking of Q Entertainment‘s puzzle games, their DS puzzler, Meteos, has been officially announced for domestic release… published by Nintendo, no less. Though, sadly, it won’t come until the end of June. Time to consider the import option again, as my last such consideration turned out great (Band Brothers).