Expectation is a dangerous thing. Take the May bank holidays, for example: make plans and they're bound to be scuppered by a combination of weather and traffic.
Perhaps the trick is to not think about May Day and Whitsun until they're right upon you – then you get that buzz of excitement the Wednesday before, and the prospect of a three day weekend, even if spent doing nothing, is a good one.
We probably should have adopted the same approach to Lumines Mobile. After frothing over the original on PSP, and about which we're still as rabid now, we had high expectations for this, the mobile phone version from Gameloft.
But, after having played it exhaustively, we're left feeling a bit anti-climactic.
If you're new to the concept of Lumines, think falling blocks of differing colours. They drop to the bottom of the screen and, if you can arrange four or more blocks of the same colour in a square or rectangle, they disappear when a radar-like vertical line sweeps across them. This line moves from left to right continuously and your coloured groupings don't disappear until they're swept away by it.
The line starts quickly, enabling you to keep the screen relatively clear at first, but it slows down, so much so that the blocks begin to build up and fill the screen. Unless you're crafty enough to build combos – multiple agglomerations of similarly-coloured blocks – you'll run out of space and lose.
While this isn't in itself revolutionary, the way that the original combined this action with a club-like ambiance featuring snazzy backgrounds and edgy electronica mixed by pro DJs turned the experience into something unique.
Granted, a game that places as big an emphasis on the visuals and soundtrack as it does the puzzle-based action was always going to struggle on a device with such a small screen and inadequate sound quality.
And struggle it does, although Lumines Mobile gives it a good shot: the backgrounds and music tracks – referred to as 'skins' – are pretty impressive. But they're wasted, each by their own particular flaw.
The wonderfully-detailed backgrounds, for instance, are obscured by the on-screen action, almost to the point where you'll fail to enjoy them at all.
And as for the sound, well, let's just say that you won't be missing anything by turning it off. It's not bad as far as mobile phone game sound goes, but it's composed of the same chirping tones as you'd hear anywhere and doesn't do the Lumines concept justice.
Neither of these shortfalls is Gameloft's fault, they're simply the side-effects of transferring a game from the multimedia-friendly PSP to the limited capabilities of the mobile phone.
So we're left no other option but to treat Lumines Mobile simply on the merits of its gameplay. And, sadly, un-enhanced by pretty looks and sounds, it's found somewhat wanting. The dropping block/colour matching shtick has been done elsewhere, and more successfully, too: PileUp!, for one, is a far more entertaining experience.
It's the Experience, with a capital E, of the PSP original which Lumines Mobile is lacking.
There's plenty of content here, with all the features except for the multiplayer mode of the PSP included, so it'll keep you busy for a long time. But, at times, it will seem a little bit more like work than play.