Ubisoft confirms Lumines deal

Publisher formally announces agreement with Bandai to bring its puzzle game to North America.

It's official: Ubisoft has confirmed that it will publish Lumines for the PSP and bring the puzzle game to the United States in March. Yesterday, the French publisher revealed that it has reached an exclusive deal with Japanese toy manufacturer and game publisher Bandai to bring the game to American audiences. The news confirms what had been suspected since January, when online retailer GameStop.com listed the game as coming from Ubisoft.

Though it's reminiscent of Tetris and other block-puzzle games, Lumines adds music and luminescence to the mix, taking advantage of the PSP's high-resolution LCD TFT screen. The game, already available in Japan, also offers single-player and wireless multiplayer modes. Players can unlock bonus modes, earn changeable skins, and collect different characters as they rack up points.

Of note is a statement from Ubisoft that addresses changes due for the US version. The company says the upcoming version will include "new enhancements including a quicker loading time and skin changes." The game comes from the hand of Space Channel 5 and Rez designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi.

"Ubisoft is extremely excited to partner with [codevelopers] Bandai and Q Entertainment to bring Lumines for the PSP handheld system to consumers," said James Regan, director of new business development at Ubisoft.

Though Ubisoft didn't provide a specific release date, it's likely the game will be available around the time of the PSP's US launch on March 24. For more on Lumines, see our previous coverage.

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