There are 12 years between the first Luigi’s Mansion game & this sequel. Since Luigi first put on the ghost sucking vacuum cleaner all those years ago Nintendo have come a long way in both the console & handheld markets. The Nintendo 3DS is a hugely popular & powerful handheld console which is why the all green wearing hero makes his return on it.
The plot of this sequel surrounds the powerful Dark Moon that hangs in the sky above Evershade Valley. King Boo shatters the Dark Moon which turns the ghostly inhabitants of Evershade Valley hostile. Professor E.Gadd calls in Luigi to help him collect the scattered pieces of the Dark Moon. The pieces are spread across 5 different mansions in the Valley which Luigi will have to explore.
Spreading the game across 5 different mansions is one of the better decisions involved in this sequel. It allows variations in mansion themes & a clear increase in difficulty & challenge.
Gameplay is mission based with each mansion having several to complete. Each mission will have a number of objectives that can be as simple as retrieving an object or fighting a powerful boss ghost. Once the objectives have been met the mission is over & Luigi will be transported back to the Professor’s Lab.
A welcome difference from the original, at the end of each mission you will receive a score based on treasure collected, damage taken & ghosts captured. This adds some serious replay-ability to the game as you strive for the highest score possible.
Luigi’s Mansion 2 wouldn’t be much of a game without the ghosts though & the work in a similar fashion to the original here. As Luigi you must first stun a ghost using the flashlight (difference here is you can emit a bright strobe flash rather than having to keep the light trained on them). Once stunned they become vulnerable with exposed hit points & they can now be vacuumed up. Attempting to suck them up will see their hit points begin to decrease but the ghost will still struggle so it is up to you to keep Luigi in control so the ghost doesn’t escape.
Later variations of the ghosts will have shields & other types of protection that have to be dealt with before you can successfully stun them.
The Poltergust 5000 isn’t just for dealing with ghosts though…Luigi’s Mansion 2 has many more puzzles that require solving using the suck & blow function of the vacuum cleaner. They rarely tax the brain but offer some new gameplay for fans of the much simpler original.
The Poltergust 5000 also gains several important upgrades as the game progresses with the most important being the Dark-Light Device that can reveal invisible doors & is invaluable when it comes to defeating Boos.
So with this being a 3DS game you might think that it would be a graphical step-down in comparison to the GameCube original but it isn’t. It sometimes looks a little jagged & the 3D effect isn’t the best I’ve seen but beyond that it is, at times, superior to the original game.
The top screen of the 3DS showcases the game with the bottom touch-screen being used for the map of the mansion you’re currently in & mission stats. It’s simple & easy to understand.
The controls work well with throughout & I never found myself struggling or needlessly taking damage because of them.
There is loads to do in Luigi’s mansion 2 that it is a real pity we don’t have more variation with ghosts. Gone are the super-ghosts of the original which is disappointing but understandable (they wouldn’t have made sense here) but a few more variations would have been nice.
The main story of Luigi’s mansion is great value for money & can last anywhere between 10 & 20 hours. In addition the game has a multi-player mode called Thrill Tower. 4 Luigi’s work together through randomised floors of the Tower with several different modes available…Ghost hunting, chasing Polterpups & racing for the exit against the clock.
A vast improvement over the original by just being a much more detailed & interesting game. Let’s hope it’s not another 12 years until the next game comes along.
Luigi's Mansion 2