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Luigi's Mansion 2 (Nintendo 3DS) Review

Review for Luigi

Luigi's Mansion has a special place in the hearts of many Nintendo fans that bought into the GameCube more than a decade ago. The idea of sucking up ghosts with a vacuum cleaner was a wacky one, and somewhat of a risky game to launch a brand new Nintendo console with, instead of a traditional Mario adventure. However, Luigi's scaredy-cat personality and the incredibly fun gameplay of the title combined to leave such a satisfying little quest when all was said and done. Despite the sequel skipping the perhaps well-suited Wii Remote and Nunchuk set-up, Luigi's Mansion 2 arrives on Nintendo 3DS, a little over three years in the making, with Next Level Games (Mario Strikers Charged Football, Punch-Out!!) at the helm.

The wait for Luigi's Mansion 2 has been quite a long one, with it being touted as one of the Nintendo 3DS' big titles early on in the system's life, but getting pushed further and further down the release line. Therefore, with quite a hefty time in development, those that have been following the game may be expecting great things. What a pleasure it is, then, to discover that Luigi's Mansion 2 delivers on almost all levels, and can most definitely be added to the list of "must have" titles on Nintendo 3DS.

Luigi's Mansion 2 sees the return of the loveable younger brother of Mario in a plot that is not that far removed from the first game, which may come as little of a surprise. In keeping with the timely gap between the first and second game, it has been a while since Luigi ventured into that spooky mansion, vacuum on back, and sucked up those cheeky Boos. Professor Elvin Gadd now lives alongside ghosts and continues his research on them, but of course, for peculiar reasons, the Dark Moon shatters and turns the spooks evil, leaving the Professor little choice but to recall the one man who knows best how to deal with them.

Screenshot for Luigi's Mansion 2 on Nintendo 3DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Instead of the one large mansion to tackle, this time around sees players venturing through multiple smaller manors, split up into bite-sized missions. On each occasion that Professor E. Gadd sends Luigi out to the current mansion, he is usually tasked with locating a particular item or key, needing to defeat particular ghosts to obtain them and clear a variety of puzzles. The majority of missions don't normally last much longer than 20 to 30 minutes, which has surely been designed with the game's portable nature in mind. For those with a bit of time on their hands that would rather explore the whole of a mansion in one sitting, the going back and forth between mansion and E. Gadd's base of operations might become a slight annoyance. That said, the mission-based formula has been worked into the game very well, and keeps track of players' high scores and the gems and ghosts captured upon completion, allowing for the chance to replay them and achieve the best ranks possible. There is never really a moment of down time, nor at any point does the game become boring, so the mission-based gameplay and varying themes of the mansions definitely prevent that from happening.

The puzzle element of Luigi's Mansion 2 seems greater than its predecessor, but the game itself is more linear up until the last couple of mansions, which require a little more dashing between rooms and floors. E. Gadd's constant communicating with Luigi, which breaks up gameplay, also could be a bit off-putting for some. A solution could have been to let players have the option to call E. Gadd themselves if they needed a hint. However, the majority of players really won't have much difficulty getting through the game, so it would have been great to have a few more challenging puzzles like those that really only seemed to crop up in the latter stages. Anyone that does lose all of Luigi's life has to restart the whole mission over again, which can prove to be rather frustrating. However, since it doesn't take long to redo everything and that the chances of dying don't happen very often, this doesn't become much of a problem.

Screenshot for Luigi's Mansion 2 on Nintendo 3DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Worth a positive mention are the bosses waiting at the end of each mansion. Some of these battles are very clever and diverse affairs, which are a refreshing change of pace from the regular ghost-vacuuming players are made to do throughout the rest of the game. A bonus that the mission format brings here is the option of then re-fighting each boss to relive those moments and finish in a quicker time.

Luigi's Mansion 2 does not support the Circle Pad Pro attachment, but this actually rarely becomes a problem. Luigi's Mansion players may find instances where wanting to swivel around using an invisible C-Stick comes into play, but it quickly becomes second nature in how to adapt. Pointing the vacuum up and down is achieved with the X and B buttons, but by charging the flashlight, Luigi can emit strong blinding flashes that stun ghosts anywhere in front of him, meaning the need to point up and down a lot isn't necessary. Anyone accustomed to the GameCube controller may have doubts, but the 3DS set-up works remarkably well and, for the most part, is quite comfortable.

Luigi has established a personality quite different to that of his daring brother Mario's, which kicked off primarily in his GameCube debut. Luigi's Mansion 2 takes advantage of his humorous character traits and goes even further to portray his frightened antics in a more hilarious light. From his honest shakes of the head when E. Gadd asks him if he's ready to enter the mansion, to his wonderful animations and laugh-out-loud vocal expressions, Luigi makes it hard not to fall in love with his character. It is easy to see why he has gained such a huge following over the years - one which will only grow bigger with this game. It doesn't stop with Luigi, either. In fact, the cheeky ghosts that players will be able to spy on throughout the course of the adventure throw in many funny moments, delivering a massive amount of charm and many smiles.

Screenshot for Luigi's Mansion 2 on Nintendo 3DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Animations are enhanced greatly through the stereoscopic 3D feature of the 3DS, and the overall game is much better because of it. The greater sense of depth and distance does help certain situations, but also becomes more engaging and attractive - particularly in the snowy mansion. Crosstalk problems do sadly crop up on occasions, unfortunately, but is less noticeable during gameplay.

Luigi's Mansion 2 isn't too far off from the GameCube game visually, and it is certainly full of colour and impressive lighting effects. However, the game never actually feels "scary" at any point. There aren't ever any rooms where everything is so dark that only the light coming from Luigi's flashlight is enough to see what's ahead. Luigi's Mansion on the GameCube managed to give off a spooky vibe to unexplored areas, but the sequel seems to be a lot brighter, which reduces the fright factor. No one's asking for the Silent Hill treatment here, but that eerie feeling from the original is absent.

Local and online multiplayer is introduced this time around - something Nintendo wanted to achieve in the first game, but never managed to in the end. It may seem a bit tacked on for the sake of it, but it can actually be a fun deviation from the main quest in short bursts. Working in a group of up to four players, there are different gameplay modes to choose from, with each taking place in a tower of varying numbers of floors and difficulty, which can be chosen by the host. These include simply hunting ghosts in Hunter mode, locating the hatches in Rush, and searching out the pooch ghosts in Polterpup. Combining as a team, players clear each floor one by one and fight a boss at the end. Key shout-outs are assigned to the D-pad to communicate with one another, which work well enough - voice chat isn't really needed and would likely ruin the experience. The competitive element is there, too, with extra rewards for the more efficient players that collect more coins or catch the most ghosts. Multiplayer is necessary for players looking to complete the full ghost collection, since certain types can only be found in the harder difficulties, but it is a rather fun addition that adds on a few extra hours to the play time.

Screenshot for Luigi's Mansion 2 on Nintendo 3DS- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

It really doesn't take long to become accustomed to the 3DS set-up, despite lacking a second Circle Pad. Just as with the first game, sucking up ghosts with a vacuum never gets old and is a joy to come back to time and time again. Most players won't find much of a challenge through the course of the game, but what is guaranteed is lots of fun from beginning to end.

Graphics

Apart from the image ghosting that a few games suffer from on the 3DS, this looks gorgeous, and isn't a million miles away from the heights of the GameCube title. Very colourful and detailed, but the brightness stunts the eeriness a little. Fantastic, fluid animations from Luigi and the ghosts make for a lot of enjoyment.

Sound

That great classic from Luigi's Mansion returns, and there are a good few new tunes that will embed in players' heads, too (and Luigi's! Yes, his humming and whistling are back). It's a pleasure to hear Luigi being more vocal, and never fails to crack a few smiles and laugh-out-loud moments.

Value

Easily a good 10 to 12 hours of gameplay for the story mode, with a chunk of replayability in searching each mansion for extra collectibles and Boos. That's not including the online multiplayer, which is needed to complete the ghost collection. After the amount of fun had playing through the story, it's very likely players will want to come back to find everything else this has to offer.

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

About this score
Rated 8 out of 10

Some may find the lack of challenge from both the enemies and puzzles a bit of a shame, and it could perhaps have done with a bigger mansion to explore freely, but from start to finish, Luigi's Mansion 2 is nothing but pure enjoyment, full of that wonderful Nintendo charm and magic that has made so many of its games such a joy to play over the years. If ever you needed a reminder just why you play video games, or indeed have been looking for a game that will bring more than just a smile to your face, look no further than Luigi's Mansion 2.

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24.03.2013

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Also known as

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon

Developer

Next Level

Publisher

Nintendo

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (2 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Good review Az, sounds like a really solid and well-rounded experience. Am curious about the multiplayer, wasn't expecting it and does sound like it helps boost the length quite a bit. Am wondering if they'll add some DLC options for those who perhaps want a greater/extra challenge after completing the main game?

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Let me say that such was the amount of enjoyment I had continuously from start to finish, I almost gave this a 9. It was difficult to find many faults, but just a few personal gripes may have knocked it down a touch. This is certainly one of the best on the 3DS, and anyone that plays it will crack many smiles and laughs. It was a good reminder of that charm and just plain old fun that I may not have felt from Nintendo for quite a while, but this definitely gives you that special Nintendo feeling all over again. Massive credit to Next Level Games in achieving this. They've proven themselves very well now, so I'm looking forward to their next title.

Multiplayer is a nice distraction, although I've only played games where we tackled 5 floors. You can choose towers with 10 or 25 floors, but I was worried they would take a good deal longer to complete! So there's a good level of replay value there, just in the online side of things. If anyone from Cubed3 is picking this up, be sure to give me a shout if you fancy some online co-op! In the main quest you can go back and try to achieve 3-Star ranks in each mission by grabbing cash, finishing quickly, not getting hurt, etc. Plus trying to find the Boos. There's a lot to come back to.

DLC is an idea to add in a new mansion, but I don't think there's been any hints to it. Can't see it happening, but I would definitely support that. The separate mansions concept is great, but I was left wanting to explore a bigger mansion at times, in a more non-linear fashion, without E. Gadd stopping to speak to me every time something happened.

But the gripes are quite small - the game has been adapted to 3DS brilliantly and is, as I say, just a lot of fun from beginning to end.

( Edited 24.03.2013 16:18 by Azuardo )

Cubed3 Staff :: Senior Editor
Follow me on: Twitter | YouTube | Backloggery
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I really hope another developer does what these guys did, and comes straight to Nintendo with a prototype of a game they want to see reinvented!

Sounds like a labour of love, definitely...

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Maia Jones (guest) 25.03.2013 16:00#4

this game really fun this my first time ever playing a luigi game but I herd some good things about the game I decided to preorder it at my local gamestop awhile back  it took me a long time to pay it off But I was able to pick it up on launch day  which was  Sunday March 24 th 2013  Smilie

dav (guest) 26.03.2013 00:40#5

luigi is incredibly hard to control and manuver.  very frustrating!!!

Sandy (guest) 28.03.2013 17:20#6

Hi can someone please tell me how to save a profile? i bought the 3ds game today,inside was only a leaflet about ghost catching not a proper booklet!!!! my son is 7 and cant seem to save a profile.ThanksSmilie

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Sandy (guest) said:
Hi can someone please tell me how to save a profile? i bought the 3ds game today,inside was only a leaflet about ghost catching not a proper booklet!!!! my son is 7 and cant seem to save a profile.ThanksSmilie

You have three save profiles to choose from each time you start the game. The game saves every time you finish the current mission you are on. You cannot save your position in a mansion and then come back to it later - you have to complete the current mission to save your progress. The other option is to pause the game and close the 3DS to put it in Sleep Mode, but just be sure to come back to it within the next day or keep the 3DS on charge since it lasts about a half day to a day in this mode.

( Edited 28.03.2013 19:19 by Azuardo )

Cubed3 Staff :: Senior Editor
Follow me on: Twitter | YouTube | Backloggery

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