luigi's_mansion_dark_moon_box_artStep aside, Mario. It’s Luigi’s time to shine.

Way back in 2001, Nintendo released Luigi’s Mansion for the Nintendo GameCube. Over a decade after the original game’s debut, a sequel, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, known as Luigi’s Mansion 2 outside North America, was finally released. Was the excruciatingly long wait worth it?

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon starts with the goofy and very talkative scientist Professor E. Gadd studying friendly ghosts in Deepshade Valley. The Dark Moon, which hangs in the not-too-distant black sky, is shattered by the scary King Boo. After it shatters, the ghosts in the area immediately begin to behave mischievously and uncontrollably.

Meanwhile, our hero Luigi is sitting at home, minding his own business, taking a nap, when suddenly, Gadd appears on his TV screen and forces Luigi to his bunker, via teleportation. Gadd quickly tells Luigi of his predicament and the Dark Moon. Without much of a choice, and no way to get home on his own, Luigi agrees to help retrieve the missing segments of the Dark Moon, each of which is hidden within a mansion. To help him rebuild the Dark Moon, Gadd happily gives Luigi a Flashlight and a ghost-sucking vacuum cleaner, the Poltergust 5000, which is also a nifty puzzle-solving tool.

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is an action-adventure game, in which puzzles must be solved to advance on a quest. There are multiple puzzles within each mansion. Practically all the puzzles are solved using the Poltergust 5000 or the Flashlight, which includes a Dark-Light Device that is built for finding invisible objects, including ghosts, hidden doors and chests. Vacuuming things with the Poltergust 5000 is a blast, and with it you can interact with almost anything in the mansions, which means you have a massive amount of things to play around with.

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Don’t be scared, Luigi. As long as you carry your Flashlight and vacuum cleaner, you’ll be all right.

Fortunately, the game is much larger than its predecessor and boasts five robust mansions, each of which contains unique puzzles and a distinguishing theme. The first mansion, Gloomy Manor, is what you’d expect a typical haunted mansion to look like. The second mansion, Haunted Towers, is built around a huge tree and is packed with gardens and exotic plants.

In each mansion, there are multiple peepholes on walls, doors and windows. Luigi can look through them to search for hints, or he can spy on ghosts to see what they’re up to or where they’re hiding key items. In one mansion, Luigi spies on ghosts via a peephole, and one ghost notices him, then it displays an angry expression, and blocks his view. This mechanic is brilliant and makes the experience more interactive.

To find the Dark Moon piece in each mansion, the player must complete a set of missions in order. While this structure is fairly organized, it restricts exploration, which is a shame, because you want to thoroughly investigate each beautifully crafted mansion at your own leisure. You can try to explore mansions within missions, but some doors and passages are inaccessible during certain missions.

Each mission is quite lengthy, and you must complete an entire mission in order to save your progress. I frequently paused the game and put my Nintendo 3DS in Sleep Mode between missions. When I’d resume playing and open my Nintendo 3DS, multiple times, the game froze and I had no choice but to restart missions… It would have been nice if there was a quick save option or automatic saves during missions.

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Boy, this would be much harder if one of  us decided to leave…

Unlike its predecessor, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon includes a multiplayer mode – ScareScraper. In ScareScraper, up to four players can work together to take on challenges in a tall, haunted building. Although the multiplayer mode is tailored for four people, if one or two players drop out during a session, the game goes on, making the challenge even harder for the remaining players. You may even end up all alone. To fully enjoy the multiplayer mode, play with friends or people who you know won’t purposely quit.

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is one of the prettiest games on the Nintendo 3DS. Its visuals and 3D effect are dazzling and are easily comparable to Super Mario 3D Land; you want to play with the 3D depth slider turned all the way up. Similarly, its soundtrack and sound effects are appealing. Hearing the chuckles and grunts of ghosts and Luigi’s quivering voice adds to an already immersive experience.

Despite the restrictive mission structure and lack of a quick save option, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is a great game – one that manages to provide a better experience than its predecessor. It has a simple albeit entertaining story, features clever puzzles, top-notch graphics, great sound effects and a high replay value. The folks at Next Level Games have done a wonderful job developing the title, and they’ve started the Year of Luigi with a bang.

8/10

161 Comments »

  1. I agree with the save option and being forced to do missions instead of exploring on your own. One thing i dont like in the multiplayer mode is that the rooms dont have a lot of furniture in the rooms like in single player but obviously thats for all the luigis can spread out easily. Nintendo has made another hit in there 3ds library.

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      • I don’t have a 3DS at the moment but I never really played Luigi’s mansion before. I have a GameCube actually so I gave it a try, it’s pretty fun. I’m getting a 3DS in October though because that’s when pokemanz come out, so I’ll get around to get Dark moon by then.

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        • That’s cool. By then, I would recommend Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, Kid Icarus Uprising, Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance, Fire Emblem Awakening, Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon, and Ocarina of Time 3D and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D if you don’t have the other versions of those two games already. Mario and Luigi Dream Team sounds cool so far, along with Animal Crossing New Leaf, although I don’t care for it. There are other games that I haven’t played such as Castlevania and Paper Mario Sticker Star. And of course, E3.

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          • I actually already have an eye on everything you mentioned, I have the Wii version of DKCR because I hate the shake control, that’s why I’m looking forward to the 3DS one. Don’t really like animal crossing, too, Dream Team is awesome, Castlevania Mirror of Fate was a disappointment (played the demo on another 3DS) and Paper Mario looks good.

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            • I never got the Wii version, so I will be getting DKCR on the 3DS. Yeah, Castlevania was a disappointment going from the demo. I’m going to get Paper Mario later after I’m finished catching up on other games. I hear that in order to like the game, just don’t compare it to the others and just enjoy it. I love that they are giving Luigi more love with Dark Moon and Dream Team, summoning a lot of Luigis to kill the enemy is awesome. I hope that they give him a couple more games, preferably him having a big role in 3D Mario Wii U and a Paper Luigi U. I give Kid Icarus Uprising a 9.5 (great except for controls), Fire Emblem a 9.5 (nearly flawless), and Luigi’s Mansion a 8.5 (fun but it sucks that it is divided into missions).

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  2. ign gave luigis mansion a 9\10 and their waaaaaaaaay better than gamespot because they suck up to sony and microsoft always giving those games 9 or 10 while they never give nintendo games anything more than 8 there crap.

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  3. Good review.
    Just started playing it now.
    Honestly if i had to reccomend any game to buy right now it wouldnt be this, but its a very fun game.

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    • It’s between LM2 and Bioshock. Different things anyway. This is is the best Handheld game out this year so far along with Fire emblem. Console games are console games. Bioshock would be the obvious choice. Lego city and Monster Hunter would be obvious choices for Nintendo fans!

      Luigi’s mansion 2 should have circle pad pro support !

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      • Luigis Mansion 2 is fun, although Fire Emblem is going to be better.

        But Bioshock Infinite is a masterpiece.
        It’s literally perfect, i have no issues with it, the story is amazing, the atmosphere and game world is incredible and believable and is full of character and themes both subtle to extreme and dark, the combat is insanely fun, and adds life to this tired FPS genre, and Elizebeth is literallythe best compain ever, easily one of the most memorable character in any game ive played.
        Anyone who doesnt play it is either too young or a fool.

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        • Good grief, Bioshock infinite is a 9.5, propaganda much? There is a game that is going to redefine the FPS genre. It is yet to be showcased, and it is not even ‘Destiny’. My mind amazed upon getting a glimpse of it.

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          • It got a 9.5 to stop butthurt from people saying “ohh, wellllll, i didnt like it”, from silly little trolls and people like you.

            Its not ” propaganda” you twat, its how i amongst many many other people feel about the game.
            And dont say “well reviews got paid”. What, every fucking review site got paid? Shut the fuck up *facepalm*

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        • I’m gunna buy bioshock next week , just bought Luigi’s Mansion 2 , Lego city undercover and Monster Hunter ultimate for 3DS and Wiiu and Need for speed most wanted U. All of which are fantastic games.

          I’m trying to pull another £40 out of my arse , believe I am. But the thing is red raw with all the money that’s being pulled out of it. I played Bioshock for an hour and a half in my gamestore today , and it seems Borderline perfect!
          Console versions have to be a 0.1 less than PC version cus it looks and plays THAT much better.

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  4. The first one had the better bosses in my opinion ol boys not main bosses but the mini boss you fought the boos look kinda ugly in this game compared to luigi mansion plus the game feel less adventurous compared to the first one. but i like the ghost u fight in this jolly ol game they have personalty compared to the happy go lucky roughens in the first one the game over all has personalty compared to the last game. i do hope u see luigi’s mansion 3 on wii u so the game has the ability to have the atmosphere from the first one

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  5. Personally, I feel that it should receive a 9/10. It’s one of those games that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. I feel only one point should be docked for the save system and that’s it.

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  6. Up to the third mansion and still loving it.
    It’s almost perfect.
    My one wish was that there were more upgrades to earn and abilities to unlock.
    I didn’t think I’d miss shooting fire, ice, and water so much.

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  7. The Xbots and Sony Units can’t stand people who actually knows how to have fun since they lost their touch with their inner joy…

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  8. So I’m not sure if I should get this or not…I didn’t play the first Luigi’s Mansion game and when I first learned about the second one I wasn’t too excited, but now I’m interested…Who thinks I should get it?

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