The original “Luigi’s Mansion” is one of the top five best-selling GameCube games and was an innovative and fresh idea for its time. The game highlighted the brilliance of Luigi having a leading role through its humor and creative game mechanics. Now, 12 years later, a sequel has finally been made for the 3DS entitled “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon”.
The object of the game is to explore five different mansions and catch the ghosts that haunt them. Luigi must enter these mansions and capture the ghosts by using the Poltergust 5000, which is essentially a glorified vacuum cleaner. Players must strategize on how to capture a plethora of different ghosts and must explore each mansion thoroughly.
It is this exploration that makes the game so much fun to play. Each mansion has its own theme that makes it different from the rest. While the first mansion may fit the qualifications of a stereotypical haunted mansion, there are also other awesome level tropes such as a mansion covered in snow and a western mansion completely filled with clocks. Not only that, but each individual room within these mansions has its own personality to it. From nurseries to dining rooms, each room makes the mansion come to life.
The best part about exploring the mansions is the interactivity. It’s surprisingly fun to check each individual piece of furniture and vacuum up things within the room. A new game mechanic, called the Dark-Light device, adds to the exploration by revealing invisible objects that can also be interacted with. By doing these things, the player can find money scattered around each room that can be used to help improve Luigi’s abilities.
Unlike the original, “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon” is heavily focused on puzzle elements. Almost every single room has at least one puzzle that must be solved to progress. When the player isn’t solving puzzles, they will be trying to capture all of the ghosts that are trying to attack them. This makes game flow quite nicely, and makes for an overall satisfying experience.
However, the flow is eventually bogged down by the game’s mission based format. The original “Luigi’s Mansion” had a very open world feeling to it, as it had very few breaks in action that hindered the experience. In “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon,” the experience is constantly halted. Luigi is always sent out of the mansion after a mission is completed and sent back when the next one starts. Not only that, but the missions themselves are dull and uninteresting due to the clichÃ©s they employ, such as fetch quests and escort missions.
The ghosts themselves also have little to no personality. The designs are not that detailed, and encounters with the same types of ghosts are frequent. The first game did harbor these types of ghosts as well, but they also had plenty of ghosts with detailed designs, interesting backstories, and fleshed out personalities. This is a crucial element that is missing from the game.
A surprising, but welcomed addition to the game is the multiplayer component. In this component, four people can co-operatively take on ghosts either locally or online in three different modes. Each mode is fun in its own right, with the objectives of catching all ghosts, finding exits, and chasing after and finding a ghost dog. While the traps and enemy placement are completely random, the structures of the rooms are often the same and come off as repetitive. Despite this, the multiplayer still remains relatively compelling to play.
With tight and creative game mechanics, “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon” offers a solid experience. Even though the game does not feel as cohesive and unique as the original, it’s still very fun to play and is worth the experience.