There’s been few casual games that has shared success across multiple platforms and have managed to stay in the spotlight while doing so. Luxor is one of those casual games, next to Lumines, that could spark a high interest from just about any market on any platform. And the same applies for its latest appearance on the PSP...sort of.
Luxor 2 Wrath of Set for the PSP isn’t quite as ambitious as it could have been (like Lumines or Mercury Meltdown). And while you might be inclined to think that I’m going to rip on this game like KOF’s Iori trapped in a foam room, I’m actually inclined to say that this game is redeemable only because it’s a decent portable puzzle alternative for the PSP. And while other casual companies may have newer Luxor-esque games looming around the corner for computer gamers, it might seem a bit dated to have a portable version of an older PC game for a handheld device. But remember, dated or not, you can’t put your PC in your back pocket.
Luxor’s gameplay on the PSP is the same as its PC counterpart. Players are in control of a little winged device that shoots off colored spheres through stages set in colorful Egyptian themes. The object of the game is to clear each stage of all sets of colored spheres that roll through the course. If the spheres manage to enter the pyramid at the end of the stage then the player loses and has to re-try. There’s plenty of power-ups, though, to help players complete each stage. And combos are a good way to receive special bonus items and power-ups.
Some of the power-ups include reversing the string of spheres in the stage to give players more time to rid the screen of them. While other power-ups include freezing time, lightning attacks to destroy rows of spheres, and bonus spheres to make for quick combos. Each special item is as standard as any other special that you might find in any other game of this kind, such as Zuma or more recently, Fizzball. The biggest difference between Luxor and the rest of its casual PC competition is that...it’s on the PSP.
Graphically, Luxor 2: Wrath of Set isn’t a bad looking game. But in all honesty it shows its age. Newer games mimicking the Zuma formula have taken steps in appropriate directions to visually standout from the rest the bunch by simply doing something a little bit different. Luxor, however, doesn’t do anything different because it’s still the same game that it was on PC. So PSP owners won’t be treated to anything special, but they will end up with something that at least looks portably acceptable.
As for the game’s sound...all the effects are audibly acceptable and match the fast gameplay and quick pace. Now I’m a pretty big music enthusiast for casual games, and Luxor’s music isn’t bad by a milestone. The tunes are of puzzle-game quality, with just enough depth to each melody that grants gamers with a moderate sense of immersion while playing. So aesthetically, while Luxor 2 for the PSP doesn’t quite nail all its targets – perhaps the way Atlantis Sky Patrol does for PC – it does follow through all the appropriate motions with moderate success.
Overall, MumboJumbo’s PSP port of Luxor 2: Wrath of Set won’t break any new ground for avid puzzle gamers, given that it’s a single-player experience. But if you’ve already played Lumines or Mercury Meltdown, Luxor’s 100+ levels, easily replayable stages, colorful Egyptian themes, and fast gameplay wouldn’t make it a bad addition to your family-friendly gaming stash.
For purchasing information regarding Luxor 2: Wrath of Set for the PSP you can check it out at the budget price of $19.99 at Best Buy, EBGames or Gamestop.