Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon Review
It’s no secret, I haven’t been a fan of the direction Nintendo have been taking their company, and I feel let down by both the 3DS and WiiU. In fact the last time I actually loved a Nintendo console was the Gamecube. One of the games which defined my Gamecube experience was Luigi’s Mansion. A story about the lesser loved plumber, trying to save his brother from a haunted mansion was both hilarious and captivating. When I found out about Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon coming to Nintendo 3DS I had my doubts, and hoped that Nintendo would not butcher a game I had fond memories of. I am glad to say they haven’t, but have created a game that may just win me back.
Dark Moon takes place some considerable years after the events of Luigi’s Mansion, which makes sense considering it’s been 10 years between the titles release dates. Professor E. Gadd has spent the time working with Ghosts, which have been acting calm and helpful under the watch of the Dark Moon. But King Boo, the antagonist of the series, destroys the moon, causing the ghosts to stir trouble, leaving E. Gadd only one option, to call the only ghost wrangler he knows. Luigi sets out to become a true hero, by collecting all the pieces of the Dark Moon, capturing ghosts in his vacuum cleaner (the poltergust), all while literally shaking in his shoes.
The gameplay has slightly changed compared to its predecessor, which is expected considering the game is on a completely different console. Controlling Luigi is done through the control stick, as would be expected, and sucking up the ghosts is done with the right shoulder button, which again makes sense. Unlike the original, this time Luigi cannot turn his flashlight on and off, it’s just always on, instead he has a power up, which allows him to create a flash strobe in order to stun ghosts and trigger some locks. Aiming the Poltergust (I still love that pun) and flashlight is done in two ways, either by using the x and b buttons to move it up and down, or by moving the 3DS around. These are the only controls I don’t like. I don’t like the 3DS’ gimmicky way of using the inbuilt gyroscope, in fact I hate it, hence why I use the X and B buttons to move the tools around, unfortunately using them makes the controls feel a bit fiddly.
Presentation wise, Dark Moon has improved quite a bit from its predecessor, which again considering the 10 year gap, is to be expected. The character models and the environment both look a lot better, and smoother than they did on the Gamecube, which is quite impressive considering the 3DS is a handheld console and the Gamecube was a home console. It really shows how much consoles have improved. The audio hasn’t really changed that much, infact the music is almost exactly the same, something which makes me very pleased. There was nothing I liked more than playing Luigi’s Mansion with Luigi slowly creeping through the haunted halls humming the theme song to try and distract the player from his fear, and I am happy to report this feature is back. Another gimmick that the 3DS is known for is, well what it is named for, its 3D capabilities which can be quite frustrating when you have to hold the device in the perfect angle to see it. Although this is still the case with Dark Moon, the 3D effects are really quite aesthetically pleasing, and I prefer to play it with them switched on.
Overall Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon is a fun, loving little title with lots of fun to be had. Amongst a sea of rubbish games (just opinion), Dark Moon is a shining stone that shows Nintendo still do have the ability to create a game that isn’t just the same thing renamed or slightly improved. If you have a 3DS, Dark Moon is a title you shouldn’t miss.