It’s the Year of Luigi in the Nintendo Universe and what better way to honor Luigi than his titular and memorable first adventure for the GameCube Luigi Mansion (2001). Luigi Mansion was a unique game that came out in 2001, which brought Mario’s famous brother into the spotlight and introduced us to the wacky Professor E. Gadd. The game focused on Luigi capturing ghosts, going from room to room and using his trusty Poltergeist 2000. Now, Luigi, the Professor, and the Poltergeist are back on the 3DS and ready to save to everyone from evil ghosts trying to take over the world.
Luigi Mansion: Dark Moon’s story takes place in Evershade Valley, an area Professor E. Gadd lives and studies with other toads and ghosts (friendly ghosts). During the opening sequence of the game, the Dark Moon, an object that hangs above Evershade Valley, is broken by a mysterious figure, which in turn, causes the ghosts to suddenly become hostile. Under distress, E. Gadd calls Luigi, to re-collect the six pieces of the Dark Moon, which have been scattered to different mansions, in order to restore peace to Evershade Valley.
The gameplay in Luigi Mansion: Dark Moon plays close to its predecessor but adds some changes to the ghost hunting game. First off, with your new Poltergeist 5000 you can use absorb ghosts faster by charging your meter and pressing the A button. This shocks the ghost and let’s you capture them quickly by reducing their life/time meter greatly. As you collect more money in the game, you unlock upgrades for your Poltergeist increasing your charge power. The next big change is your flashlight, which is always on like the first game, but in this game you can charge your flashlight. To clarify, you can charge your flashlight to create a bigger flash, increasing its radius, thus in turn allowing you to stun more ghosts! The flashlight also gets the ability to find hidden objects later in the game, which is essential to capturing those pesky Boos.
Luigi Mansion Dark Moon plays in mission-based level types. Unlike the first game where you explored only one mansion, Luigi explores various areas in Evershade Valley which stretch from Cold Mines to Mansions. In addition, because each level is mission-type you can’t explore the entire mansion until the last mission for each area, because various story-plots unlock new areas in each level. Each area has a final boss mission, in which you fight a Possessor ghost who has a piece of the Dark Moon lodged inside of him.
Other things to be known about Luigi Mansion 2 is you can still suck with your vacuum in any direction, and can almost vacuum anything. For example, if a coat is on a coat-hanger then it is possible to suck it up and find money. Money also makes a return, although plays differently as it goes to your vault at the end of each mission. Collecting Coins, Dollar Bills, or Gold Bars is found through items or collecting many ghosts at the same time, as an reward. The game also features a Ghost Vault and Multiplayer.
The Ghost Vault is just an area where you see every Ghost you captured and how heavy they were. The multiplayer features three modes that sends you into a randomized mansion with a group of two to four players. You must clear each floor, track invisible ghost-dogs, race to find a hatch, and fight a boss every 5 floors. Multiplayer can be played local or online.
Luigi Mansion Dark Moon graphics are a thing of beauty for the 3DS. While the 3D isn’t as great as some games, the animation and settings in each level are well done and look just as good or possibly even better than the original for the GameCube! Like most “darker” type games, music isn’t the strongest of points and we don’t have Luigi whistling the game’s theme song, making it less than memorable. Those looking for a game with strong replay-value can look the other way unless they want to get the three E.Gadd medallions for fully completing the game.
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Luigi Mansion 2/Dark Moon was a fun game with some addicting parts and challenging puzzles that make you think. The game features many bonuses and leaves you wanting to explore every room in each mansion, even if your mission is to go in the complete opposite direction. Luigi is such a funny character that you never want to skip out on the cutscenes because he always doing something wacky. A problem with the game though is it gets dry as each mission is very VERY similar to the next, thus in turn repetition just in different areas.
- Great Graphics
- Makes you want to explore
- Repetitive Missions
- Some puzzles were annoying
- Gets too easy with full upgrades
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