Who ya gonna call?
Appeals to: Fans of Exploration and hate Mario.
Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon is the long awaited sequel to the 2001 Gamecube game Luigi’s Mansion. Armed with his Poltergust 500 vacuum cleaner Luigi is back to go chase down those mischievous through the many nooks and crannies of Evershade Valley. Does Luigi’s 2nd adventure prove he’s better than his famous brother or is it Ghostbusters 2?
Story: Unlike the repetitive story with Mario’s games, Luigi’s Mansion has a really good story. Luigi is (reluctantly) called into action by his good friend Professor E. Gadd. It seems the peaceful ghosts that the professor was researching have turned evil when the sacred Dark Moon disappeared. It’s up to Luigi to investigate the mansions and suck up any ghosts along the way. The story doesn’t go too deep (It’s Nintendo so don’t expect the Odyssey here…) but the writing is witty and each character is bursting with personality. After playing Luigi’s Mansion other Mario games felt bland since Luigi is such a likable character. The way Luigi moves and reacts to his world is natural and also pretty hilarious. He doesn’t move really fast and acts like the awkward kid in your middle school. Luigi is also creeped-out and paranoid of his awful situation. This creates a unique character that you never see in video games anymore and mainly puts a smile on your face as you play.
Design: Luigis Mansion Dark Moon is a game that will keep you coming back for more. Each mansion is filled with tons of secret rooms, collectibles, coins, challenges, etc. It is very impressive how much care went into each level. So much so that each level does feel like it has it’s own personality. The game is broken up into a short mission structure, which is perfect for on the go gamers. E. Gadd also keeps in contact with you via Nintendo 3DS Skype call to give Luigi tips and advice. This does get annoying though as E. Gadd CONSTANTLY calls you and it stops the game to hear his gibberish. Navi has competition in the annoying sidekick department. There is also a great co-op multiplayer that pins 4 Luigi’s together in a roguelike mansion. It’s addicting, but finding other players may be difficult.
Gameplay: The main gameplay of Luigi’s Mansion is exploration and ghost hunting. Luigi uses his vacuum to suck up money, collectibles, window curtains, whatever. However, when he comes across some ghosts the fight is on! Luigi has to suck away the ghost’s health bar until the ghost is weak enough to capture. This can become especially challenging as more ghosts can overwhelm Luigi and beat his butt. Luckily, Luigi can use numerous gadgets to stun the ghosts such as the flash which makes hidden ghosts appear and freezes them in place. It does seem like the combat is less of a focus here, but that is mainly because the exploration and puzzles are extremely well done.
Presentation: I’ve already commented about the games charm and personality, and the presentation only adds to that. Luigi’s animations are top notch, the way he hums along with the game’s music when he’s nervous is so charming, the ghosts are funny and the environments are original and expertly created. Simply put, this is one of Nintendo’s best presented first party games.
Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon is an absolute must play for 3DS owners. From the game’s charm and personality, to it’s brilliant level design and exploration. This is Nintendo at its best. If I had one nit-picky complaint about Luigi’s grand adventure…its WHY ISN’T THIS FOR THE WIIU!?
Final Score: 9.2/10