Now it takes a lot to make the Black Eyed Peas bearable, so possibly the greatest praise we can heap on Lumines 2 is that it does just that. Yes, the sequel to the block-shuffling puzzler features music from all sorts of chart acts - the worst being the Peas. We were concerned. We didn't want the world of pop pointlessly intruding into our fun. But after playing Lumines 2 for a few hours, the tedious strains of Pump It melted into the action. It was almost tolerable. Almost.
The best thing about this sequel is that Q haven't messed with the mechanics, so you still have to wipe out sparkling combos of multi-coloured squares before your towers topple over your allotted space. But in the background you'll notice a selection of famous faces and videos. Somehow, however, the sight of Gwen Stefani prancing around in a sexy cheerleader outfit isn't too distracting - the game still demands you look at its pretty squares and glancing at anything else is a surefire way to make a mistake. Our only problem with the licensed tracks is that - like it or not - you've got to play that song's stage. So no 'matter how well you do on Hoobastank's achingly bad Born To Lead, you won't be able to leave until it's over - it's like being stuck in one of their gigs, desperately waiting for the noise to stop.
Other new things? Lumines 2 also comes with new skins, including a lovely Hawaiian one with a lush video of sandy beaches and blue seas. Beautiful. Then there's a Mission mode where you have to clear blocks in a certain way - like using a single square-drop to clear an entire screen. It's tricky, but you'll want to keep plugging away. Sadly, however, they've made the Versus mode much easier with only about ten characters to play against.
Still, Lumines remains one of PSP's best games. The controls are simple, the gameplay is hugely addictive and the entrancing skins and music will make you slip into a, well, trance. Not even the Black Eyed Peas can detract from its brilliance. A must-have, quite simply.
Games like this are what your PSP was made for. Hypnotic puzzle action that you'll play for ages. Just great.
- Hours of square-filled enjoyment
- Contains New Order
- Contains Fergie