Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon – Let’s begin the Year of Luigi!

Luigis-Mansion-Dark-Moon

It’s 2013 and Nintendo has declared that this would be “The Year of Luigi”, hoping to have him break out on his own. We’re starting it off with Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for the 3DS.

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Developer/Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: March 24th, 2013
Price: $39.99

This is the sequel to the Gamecube game of the same name, and although I miss the dual stick control, you’re still just as effective as a ghost buster, but I’ll get to that in a minute. The story’s pretty simple: Dr. E. Gadd is continuing his study in paranormal jibber jabber in Evershade Valley, when all of a sudden the Dark Moon, which keeps all the ghosts pacified in Evershade, gets shattered and they all go berserk. The doc has to retreat to his bunker outside of the valley, and of course the only person that can help him out is Luigi, who’s trying to relax at home. But like his previous adventure, Luigi gets forced (via a Tron-like teleportation) into the fray and has no choice but to help the doc and restore the Dark Moon.

MUST. RUN. FASTER!!!

MUST. RUN. FASTER!!!

The game features 5 different worlds instead of just being stuck in 1 big house this time around, each with its own objectives and challenges to complete with their own individual ranking systems. However  having played the first game, I do miss the ranking system it had at the end of the game where it would give you a mansion to call your own, based on how well you did and how much money you collected. But instead of that , the money you collect upgrades your vacuum and flashlights, making it easier to capture ghosts and making it a lot easier to complete challenges in early levels and get higher ranks.

The controls are the same from the prequel: Simple, precise but will take some time to get used to for some of the more advanced skills like multi-caps. Unfortunately you’re forced to use the joystick while the D-Pad just does random voice commands. The reason why I say it’s unfortunate is for 2 reasons; the first being not everyone likes to use the joystick, and second is some gamers like myself get sweaty hands and when you’re in the later levels capturing a ghost that has a massive amount of HP and you can’t keep a proper grip on the joystick, you end up having to pause every few seconds.

The graphics are the same cartoony style like Super Mario Wii U, only with a darker shade in color. Thankfully it never hinders sight of the levels and you have to love all the little touches they made with the shading, backgrounds, lightning strikes and window shadows. The frame rate, however, likes to jump around between 40-60 fps, and you will notice the difference (although it never really presents a problem in terms of game play). The 3D in this game works well….80% of the time. Reason for this is that in some spots you can see “clipping” of an object and when you tilt the 3DS for certain parts, everything becomes distorted due to the hardware, so use it wisely.

Although taking a break every now and again doesn't hurt, especially to see Frosty.

Although taking a break every now and again doesn’t hurt, especially to see Frosty.

The sound and ambiance fits in very well, from the background music of each world to all the little creaks and other noises that happen all around you, although one noise that will bring you infinite frustration and anger is the Toads. Oh do I hate their constant whining whenever they’re around you.

This game also features a fun multiplayer mode called “ScareScraper”, where you can work together or compete with up to 3 other Luigis to see how far up the tower you can get, clearing each floor in either the Hunter, Rush, Pulterpup or Surprise modes. Although you can go online, I’ve always found it to be a more enjoyable experience with friends in a Local Match.

The game does have some bugs. Sometimes the money you get from opening up a drawer will fly out and get stuck behind a wall, another object or just straight up fall off a cliff. Others include Toads pathing not working properly, Boos getting stuck in certain objects (once I had to wait 5 minutes for a Boo to move out of the piano so I could get it into the vacuum), and of course, there’s the escort missions involving Toads.

I swear if you don't shut up I'm going to put you back in that hole where I found you!

I swear if you don’t shut up I’m going to put you back in that hole where I found you!

Those nitpicks aside though, this is definitely a good start for the “Year of Luigi”. Let’s just hope the year keeps getting better!

Grade: B+

Pros

  • Easy learning curve but game keeps it at a decent difficulty level
  • Good length, not too long or too short
  • Puzzles ranging from easy to somewhat difficult

Cons

  • Bosses lack presence vs. original/prequel
  • No more portrait ghosts, instead stuck with generic ghost types
  • Toad escort missions
  • No extra reward for 100% completion
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