Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon

It’s easy to see why 2013 is Luigi’s year when it brings games like Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for Nintendo 3DS. I was certainly excited to finally get my hands on the game and play it. Poor Luigi has always ridden on the skirts of his more successful older brother Mario, but with this title we almost forget that Mario exists. With a great and entertaining portion for a player and a multiplayer more than adequate, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is a must have for any 3DS owner.

The last time we had a Luigi’s Mansion game, dates back to the release of the Nintendo Gamecube in late 2001. It was incredibly unique to have a brother Mario without running around and smashing goombas for a change. The setting took place in a very creepy haunted mansion and it was Luigi’s job to get rid of all the ghouls. It’s one of my all-time favorite games and I’m happy they made a sequel.

The main story begins when the pieces of the Dark Moon are scattered throughout the Valley of Evershade and poor Luigi’s mission is to recover them. He is quickly teleported by the appropriately named Professor E. Gadd. The teacher will digitize Luigi in various parts of the map and give him missions to find the pieces to restore order in the area. As you progress, Luigi will have to find 5 different areas with increasingly dangerous spectral beings and there are several character cameos from the Mario franchise along the way. It’s definitely not a Cohen brother plot, but it does have a few twists and turns.

Those who played the original Gamecube smash will feel right at home with the gameplay. In the first mission, you will receive the now famous Poltergeist 5000, also known as a strange vacuum cleaner. With this device you will capture ghosts, just like in the movie Ghostbusters. By simply holding down the R button on the 3DS, you can absorb spectral beings along with various items in the rooms you explore.

That is one of the main characteristics of Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon: exploration and discovery. The game rewards those who take the time to absorb everything with the Poltergeist 5000. You can discover various things like coins, or even the special types of ghosts known as Boos. They are hidden throughout the entire campaign and surprisingly all have varied personalities.

Not only will you have the vacuum cleaner at your disposal, you will also get a flashlight right from the start. This acts almost like a flash bang, where you can stun ghosts making them easier to catch. There is also a special light that you will receive in the first hours of the game called the Dark-Light device, which you can point to the world by uncovering hidden secrets as important puzzle solutions. I just wish Luigi had access to more tools and maybe a little more customization on what he would accomplish in missions. After a while, the tools felt bland, especially since you acquired them so early in the game.

With that said, most of the game is focused on catching ghosts and solving puzzles. It doesn’t really deviate from the main aspects of Gamecube’s success. Which is somewhat respectful of the original, but also doesn’t add anything to make the game its own as a sequel. At the end of most of the five areas, of course, you will face the bosses. These fights test your reflexes along with all your skills as a ghost hunter. They were extremely fun but also uneven. Some of the bosses were incredibly easy and some were quite difficult.

There are many things that remained the same between the two Luigi’s Mansions but what they did add was a multiplayer segment. Like most Nintendo games, online modes are nothing to play over and over again. You’ll team up with other Luigis as you fight ghosts as you progress through the mansion floors. It was an added feature, but I got bored after a few races. You won’t be spending much time here.

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon it’s a great game. Even though it doesn’t actually add anything but a new part for single player and added multiplayer, I’m still glad I experienced it. After this year, Luigi is slowly becoming one of my favorite video game characters. They added a lot to his personality and the game was really fun. Luigi doesn’t want to be there, but with this great Nintendo game, you’ll definitely want to extend your stay at the mansion. Satisfy all of your various Luigi and Nintendo related needs at your local Slackers: Luigi plush and collectible figures, purses and lanyards, and of course, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon Y New Super Luigi U for Wii U!