Luigi sucks…..ghosts, that is.
Luigi’s Mansion is surely one of my favorite GameCube titles. It was a very original game that took Luigi out of the shadow of his older brother Mario. This time he traded in his platforming skills for ghost hunting and treasure seeking. The only flaw the game might have, in my opinion, is it’s length. The game could be completed in merely 15 hours. Has the sequel taken care of this problem? Maybe adding some new things to te mix? I let you find out in my review.
Much in the same vein as it’s precessor Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (LM:DM) sets you off in a scary mansion equiped with nothing but a flash light and a vacuum cleaner (the Poltergust 3000). The story is a little different however. In the first game Luigi won the mansion as a prize and was send out to look for Mario who had mysteriously gone missing. This time there are a total of 5 different mansions who are all inhabited by peacefull (though quirky and playfull) ghosts. Someone however has destroyed the dark moon. Appearently this makes all the ghosts go berserk. With the help of professor E. Gadd it is Luigi’s task to collect all the pieces of the dark moon and restore peace in the land. After all, he is the most experienced ghost buster in the mushroom Kingdom.
On his journey he is given a little less freedom than on his first ghost hunting adventure. The different mansions are divided in form of missions and professor E. Gadd keeps in touch with you by calling you on your DS. This doesn’t mean that you can’t wander of exploring. The game still rewards you with gold and treasure if you search in every nook and cranny and it is advised to do so. Collecting money nets you a better grade for you mission. As is capturing a lot of ghosts, taking little to no damage and finishing the mission as quickly as possible. There are also a large numbers of hidden gems in each of the mansion. Finding all of these gems in a mansion let’s you unlock a 3D throphy. This all adds up to the replay value the first game was clearly missing.
But what is replay value without good gameplay? Rest assured the gameplay is absolutely brilliant. This game is very unique for a Nintendo title and altogether even more unique as a Mario title. There is no jumping to be done. You capture ghosts by finding there hiding place, flashing them with your flashlight (hence the name) and sucking them up with your vacuum cleaner. Different ghosts bring in different tricks and different ways to expose there weakspot. Some clever ghosts, for example, wear shades to protect them from your flashlight. And there are a lot of different ghosts and excellent boss fights to boot.
Some new mechanics are also introduced later on in the game. Your flashlight can be equiped with a special ray ability. This will let you reveal hidden objects and it is used to solve many of the great puzzles. Because that is what the game is mostly about. Solving puzzles and proceeding to earlier unreachable areas. Mix this up with some ghost battling action, exploration and treasure seeking and you’ll have a pretty good idea what LM:DM is all about.
As for the graphics and the audio I have to give Nintendo two thumbs up. Every single room in every mansion is so full of detail and almost every object reacts to your vacuum cleaner. You can suck up coats that are hanging inside of a closet. Lamps , paintings and books shake when you try to suck them up. All brilliantly done. The audio even adds to the atmosphere. Spooky background music with the occasional scary ghost noises. Even Luigi often gets caught up by singing along with the music. And believe me, that is truly hilarious.
Regarding my biggest concern with this game, the length, I was very well pleased. It took me about 27 hours to finish the game. This includes some backtracking for gems and a multiplayer game or two. And I haven’t even found all of the collectibles yet. Aside from the gems a mentioned before, there are also Boo’s to be found in every level. Often you have to stray of the given path to find them. Finding and capturing them is very satisfying. And you can look at the captured Boo’s and al the other ghosts in the vault section of the game. Very nicely done.
And yes, as you have probably noticed, this game supports multiplayer. And it is a very fun addition. Playing in a team of up to 4 Luigi’s you can work together to capture ghosts and advance from floor to floor to see how far you can go. All these floors are randomly generated so you’ll never play the exact same game twice. This mode even has bosses and unique ghosts not seen in the story mode. It encourages players to work together. Reviving fallen team members and sometimes splitting up to find your goal duet to a time limit. Between floors power ups are awarded to players to keep you doing your best at bustin’those ghosts.
I can honestly recommended this game to everyone. The game isn’t as fast paced or action based as your typical Mario game, but it’s highly production value, gameplay and atmosphere will have you playing it non-stop in no time. And it is a blast from start to finish. Add the replay value of collecting every treasure, achieving the highest rating on every misson and the fun multiplayer and you’ll have the best 3DS game so far in my opinion.
So, who you’re gonna call? Luigi!
Replay Value 8.5
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