GAME NAME: Luigi’s Mansion 2
DEVELOPER(S): Next Level Games
RELEASE DATE(S): 28 March 2013
There’s something strange in the neighbourhood… who ya gonna call? LUIGI! Luckily Luigi’s Mansion 2 isn’t nearly as lame as the opening line to this review. As a matter of fact it is the complete opposite and is possibly one of the most inventive, well designed titles to grace Nintendo’s 3DS.
In Luigi’s Mansion 2 the main goal is to collect the shattered pieces of the Dark Moon which is destroyed during the opening cinematic of the game. Adding to the main plot there are many other hidden gems that can be collected by solving a puzzle of some sort. Some are simplistic where as others will keep you searching for hours on end. You’ll often find yourself returning to past missions to either complete the level at a higher rank or to search for those pesky hidden gems.
Luigi’s Mansion 2 takes place in Evershade Valley, a very different surrounding when compared to the colourful and vibrant Mushroom Kingdom. However the environments of the various surroundings (and the rest of the game) are far from dull. The colour pallet used can be compared to that of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, while bright they help to create a spooky feel to the mansions. This assists in creating tension in the game but at the same time the experience remains fun rather than gloomy considering that you are faced with ghosts as your primary opposition. The ghosts themselves are far from threatening, going by their appearance at least. Instead they are more mischievous than anything else but don’t think for one moment that these spooks don’t pack a punch.
Luigi is equipped with the ‘Poltergust 5000’, a specialized vacuum cleaner which is used to capture the ghosts that stand in his way. In addition to this a modified flashlight is used to stun your enemies before capturing them. The flash light is also used to emit dark light which helps to reveal hidden objects and pathways. The amount of puzzles that make use of these two objects in itself is truly amazing. The creator of these objects is none other than Professor E. Gadd who reprises his role as the narrator/victim of the game. E. Gadd keeps contact with Luigi throughout the missions via a modified DS system or as he calls it a “Dual Scream device”. His sense of humour is quirky and overall he is a lovable character which provides you with updates on your various tasks for the game. In the early missions this can be frustrating but these interruptions do gradually become more intermittent later in the game.
The mansions are packed with hidden coins, notes and golden bars. Clearly the previous owners didn’t believe in the banking system and rather took an ‘invest your money under your mattress’ approach. By collecting this cash you increase your rank for each level as well as secure funds to upgrade your Poltergust 5000. Players can also unlock the multiplayer mode. This is a fun addition to the game that can be played either online or locally with other players. Players spawn to a random location where they are tasked to work as a team to capture an abundance of ghosts. While this addition is a lot of fun the main campaign overshadows it in every way imaginable.
Outstanding game design is very often contributed to attention to detail. This is where Luigi’s Mansion 2 truly excels. Everything from Luigi’s character design to the marvelous use of 3D is in a class of its own. Small things make the world of difference. Small things like Luigi nervously humming along to the background music and suffering from a minor heart attack every time the slightest thing spooks him round off the experience more than any other 3DS title currently available. Not only is Luigi’s Mansion 2 a must have title for any 3DS owner, it’s a reason to buy a 3DS if you have previously had any doubts about Nintendo’s 3D handheld console.