Video games featuring Luigi as the main protagonist are few and far between, starting with Mario is Missing and Luigi’s Mansion, the latter of which was released for the Nintendo GameCube over a decade ago. Thus, fans of the green clad plumber would be excited to know that there is now a sequel to Luigi’s Mansion, and it will put together once again Professor E. Gadd and the “other Mario brother”.
Luigi’s Mansion 2, also known as Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon will be available exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS, and it is able to fully utilize the 3D capabilities of the platform, something that the original game aimed to capture for the GameCube. Now, all the elements in each room as well as the ghastly ghouls pop up to full, giving the game its shoebox diorama feel, much like Paper Mario and others before it.
Luigi’s Mansion 2 captures most of the elements of its predecessor that made it one of the biggest selling Nintendo GameCube titles of all time. Quirky and humorous rather than downright creepy, the game feels like a game where Boos and other spooky creatures are more prevalent rather than the usual Goombas and Koopa Troopas. It seems as if Luigi has found his niche in the macabre, as compared to “big” brother Mario’s more fantastical element. Of course, no Mario title would be complete without some characters from the Mushroom Kingdom, such as Toad, making cameos as well as possibly lending a hand every now and then. King Boo, the main protagonist in Luigi’s Mansion, is also reported to be making an appearance.
Professor E. Gadd and his quirky inventions would also be making a comeback. The Poltergust 5000, an updated version of the previous game’s Poltergust 3000, will be featured, with its ability to suck in ghosts as well as treasures strewn all over the mansion. The Game Boy Horror, Luigi’s PDA that acts as a portable communicator and map, has also been revamped and is now replaced by the Dual Scream, a converted Nintendo DS.
Gameplay pretty much remains the same. Luigi must stun enemies using his flashlight and then aim to suck them in by using the Poltergust 5000 and draining their health. Some improvements in this iteration include being able to tug in low level enemies with low health as well as the ability to dodge even while using the vacuum cleaner. Luigi also has the ability to charge his flashlight, giving the light to have an area effect, stunning nearby enemies.
The game was also able to allow players to control the character and his movements in a variety of ways. They can choose to control Luigi either through button presses, or the Nintendo DS’ inherent motion controls and sensors. This is yet another example of Luigi’s Mansion being able to take advantage of the various technological advances that its new home console is capable of providing.
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon also focuses more on being a puzzle game rather than an out-and-out platformer. Thus, players must be very attentive of their environment and how each element interacts with each other. The Dual Scream device would now be more important than ever especially when investigating objects within the game. At latter levels, hidden objects and pathways can even be revealed once your equipment has been upgraded.
Luigi’s Mansion 2 provides ghost catching action and room exploring action, those very same elements that made its predecessor such a huge hit over a decade ago. Luigi’s Mansion 2 also ups the ante by providing the game with a much deserved visual improvement, leaving gamers enthralled with the beautifully rendered environment and creatures. Of course, the combined fun and not-quite-so horror is there, giving the game its quirky yet charming appeal.
It’s Mario Bros. meets Ghostbusters in one neat little package. Go exploring, capture ghosts, and discover the mystery of yet another mansion with Luigi given his much deserved spotlight after so long out of it. Though Luigi won’t be usurping Mario as the perennial Nintendo King, it’s quite refreshing to see the fatter Mario brother take a back seat from time to time, and Luigi, with this new lead title, will not aim to disappoint. Players who have grown along with the original Luigi’s Mansion will definitely be clamoring to get their hands on Luigi’s Mansion 2, if not to see if one of their favorite games’ successors can match or even exceed their expectations, but to at least see if there are any creepy Easter eggs to be found such as in the original game.
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is being developed by Next Level Games and published by Nintendo. It will be released exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS. Release dates, as scheduled, are March 2013 for Europe, spring 2013 for North America, and the first quarter of 2013 for Japan.