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Sunday October 22, 2006 6:58 pm

Lumines Live Is A Huge Disappointment

Lumines Live hit Xbox Live Arcade yesterday, and is easily one of the most anticipated games to hit Microsoft’s game service.  Up until now, DOOM was at the top of the charts as the biggest rip off ($15 for a years-old game), but that title is now squarely on the shoulders of this puzzler from Q! Entertainment.  At least with DOOM, the game was there in its entirety.

Despite ringing in at half again the cost of most other Xbox Live Arcade titles (1200 points, or $15), Lumines is not a complete game.  Within an hour, I was bumping into messages telling me that I needed to purchase additional content (which is not yet available, incidentally).  Outpost Kaloki X offers far more gameplay at half the price.  Coupled with frustratingly imprecise controls, and an experience that isn’t as portable as it is on the PSP, I’m instantly regretting having hoarded points for this game.

Ironically, if this experience had simply been the trial (or if the game had been free, with additional packs (available day and date with the game) it would have been satisfying.  Yet the trial version is even more limited.

I loved Lumines on the PSP, and it was the only reason why I regretted trading my PSP a while back (there isn’t a single other compelling game for the handheld, as far as I’m concerned), which makes it all the more frustrating that the experience on the more expensive Xbox 360 is such a disappointment.  Of course, there are no refunds for Xbox Live Arcade purchases, but I can’t see that delivering a $15 game with hardly any actual gameplay is going to convince people to pay even more (600 points, or $7.50 per pack, reportedly) later.  In fact, I’d hazard a guess and say that if the additional packs don’t come out without a week or two, Lumines Live will be long forgotten by the time games like Small Arms arrive.

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