Tag Archives: Luigi’s Mansion

Luigi’s Mansion 2 (3DS)

Developer(s) – Next Level Games & Nintendo SPD

Publisher(s) – Nintendo

Director – Bryce Holliday

Producer – Shigeru Miyamoto

PEGI – 7

Released in 2013 to worldwide critical acclaim, Luigi’s Mansion 2, or Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon as it’s known in the US, is the sequel to the much-loved GameCube launch title, Luigi’s Mansion. It takes the formula of the original game and expands upon it, as well as introducing gameplay elements that were ultimately cut from its predecessor. My verdict is that whilst I didn’t enjoy this game as much as I did the first, it’s still a particularly good game in it’s own right for a variety of different reasons.

Graphics – 7/10

On a technological level, the second game is about on par with the first, but what makes this game different from it’s predecessor is that the player is not just confined to one place to explore, but rather there is a much wider variety of locations in and around the mansion to explore in addition, such as a museum, a mining area and a botanical garden; all with their own unique look further adding to the lore of the series. The biggest problem I had with this game’s visuals in comparison to the first is that there is much less effective use of lighting to create the same kind of atmosphere that the first game had; mainly due to the fact that there is more light shone in each area even before ghosts are subdued. As a result, it doesn’t have the same sense of wonderful foreboding that the original game had. The soundtrack to this game is also much less imposing too, which to me further bogged down the experience.

Gameplay – 8.5/10

Luigi’s Mansion 2 provides players with a very different experience to the first game, structured as individual stages within each area of the map as opposed to letting the player come and go around the individual areas as they please. This is to encourage replay value, as previous stages require newly acquired items to explore in full. There are also much more side quests, with collectibles rife throughout, along with further incentive to collect coins, as this is now done to upgrade Luigi’s equipment, giving the game a small RPG feel to it. There is also the addition of boss fights located in each area of the game; boss fights being a element that Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto wanted to put particular emphasis on. The further scope provided for backtracking throughout the game was a good idea on Nintendo’s part; it made the overall experience far more interesting than what I thought it would be going into it. Although I miss being able to explore the given areas at will like in the first game, the new structure of gameplay nevertheless made this game an extremely enjoyable experience, and it made me glad that Nintendo decided to expand on the series further. The boss fights are just as creative as they were in the first game, if not more so, as some require more varied strategies to defeat.

Controls – 10/10

With the second game, there also came the refinement of the control scheme. In my reviews of the original Luigi’s Mansion, I mentioned that it could take some time to adjust to the control scheme, as there was simultaneous action required to direct Luigi whilst capturing ghost with both the C-stick and main control stick on the GameCube. But the second game doesn’t have these issues, with players having a choice between using the 3DS’s gyroscopic controls or using the X or B buttons to look up or down respectively. This play style makes it much easier to capture ghosts more easily than it was in the first game.

Lifespan – 8/10

The second game can also be made to last considerably longer than the first. To complete this game to 100%, players must invest at least 16 hours into it, as opposed to the mere 6 hours it can take to complete the last game. Since the original Luigi’s Mansion was an unjustifiably short game, the lifespan certainly needed to be extended on, and with the sequel, Nintendo have not failed to deliver; not only is there a longer game to enjoy, but there’s also many more things to do within it to keep players occupied.

Storyline – 7/10

The story of Luigi’s Mansion 2 takes place some time after the events of the original Luigi’s Mansion. Professor E.Gadd has found a way to pacify ghosts using a device called the dark moon. However, trouble soon starts as King Boo shatters the dark moon causing the ghosts to once again become hostile. Gadd immediately enlists Luigi’s help to re-capture King Boo and all of the other ghosts in and around the mansion and restore the dark moon to working order. Although the series is kept fresh with a new story to again further expand upon the lore of the series, and by proxy Luigi’s part in the Super Mario series in comparison to Mario, the problem I found with it was a problem I find with many other survival horror sequels; I knew what to expect going into it. If the threat remains the same, the sense of tension or horror doesn’t. The fact that the game is less atmospheric also contributed to the marring down of this game’s story. But nonetheless, it is a solid plot line that does also contain a small comedic element to balance the scales.

Originality – 8/10

Whilst the overall concept of the series has remained relatively the same with the release of the second game, the elements within the series have been kept fresh with the introduction of new ideas and elements in most of every value that players can come to expect. It introduces new ideas in terms of gameplay, it introduces more scenery and more enemies to match and it also constitutes for a longer in-game experience; something that this series desperately needed if it were indeed to be expanded upon.

Happii

In summary, Luigi’s Mansion 2 is one of the best Nintendo-exclusive experiences on the 3DS. It delivers on everything that players can come to expect from a sequel and more. It’s not quite as good as the original game, but it’s close.

Score

48.5/60

8/10 (Very Good)

Luigi’s Mansion (GameCube)

Developer(s) – Nintendo EAD

Publisher(s) – Nintendo

Director – Hideki Konno

Producer(s) – Shigeru Miyamoto & Takashi Tezuka

PEGI – 7

Released as a launch title for the GameCube after undergoing an extremely in-depth and long-winded development cycle, Luigi’s Mansion took on a much darker and grittier tone than anything seen in the Super Mario series prior, featuring Mario’s brother Luigi as the main character, as he traverses through a creepy mansion, wielding nothing but a vacuum cleaner to clear the house of a ghost infestation in the style of Ghostbusters. Going on to become the best-selling game of November 2001, and garnishing a great deal of critical acclaim, the game has rightfully earned its place among the best of Nintendo’s repertoire, and is a game I have personally come back to again and again.

Graphics – 8/10

Unlike any other Super Mario game, the title took the scary and dark atmosphere of the many ghost house levels found in the rest of the series, and ran with it. Not only is there a huge haunted house with many twists and turns, but the surrounding area is also extremely morbid and out-of-place, signifying death and the foretelling of death with elements such as crows and dead trees. But of course, it’s inside the mansion where the majority of this game’s chills are housed, featuring not only a wide range of eerie apparitions haunting the place for Luigi to dead with, but extremely effective use of lighting throughout. In areas that have yet to be explored thoroughly, light is limited only to Luigi’s torch, and it does an extremely good job of building tension, which is one of the most popular tropes of horror in general; be that in books or films as well as games.

Gameplay – 9/10

The objective of the game is to clear the mansion of as many ghosts as possible using Luigi’s newly acquired weapon, the Poltergust 3000. There are many hidden areas in the mansion, as well as a fair few side quests in each stage, including tracking down 50 Boos hidden within different parts. The game also has somewhat of an arcade feel to it, with players having to collect as much money and treasure as possible throughout each segment, and thus racking up as impressive a high score as possible. It plays out unlike any other Super Mario game ever developed, or any other Nintendo game ever developed for that matter. It’s extremely satisfying to do everything there is to do, and uncover every secret there is to find.

Controls – 9/10

In terms of controls, the game doesn’t pose too many problems. It can take a little bit of time to get used to how Luigi both moves and aims with the Poltergust 3000, since the c-stick is used to move him around whilst he is using the weapon to collect things like money and treasure throughout each room. But thankfully, this does nothing to hinder the quality of the combat system, as control is then swapped out for the main analogue, making things much easier without the worry of over-complication.

Lifespan – 6.5/10

Disappointingly, the game can only be made to last around 5 to 6 hours. Early in development, there was talk of the inclusion of an RPG element to the game, and I’ve always wondered how that would have worked out. As a fan of the genre, I can’t help but think that the introduction of such mechanics would have drastically improved the game, and made it even more interesting than what it turned out to be, and most definitely adding much more longevity to it.

Storyline – 8/10

The story follows Mario’s brother Luigi, as he wins a mansion in a competition he strangely didn’t even enter. Upon arriving at the mansion, he soon discovers that it is wrought with danger, and he meets a new character to the series, Professor E.Gadd. Gadd trains Luigi to use his invention, the Poltergust 3000 to rid the ghosts inside, and to free his brother, who is trapped somewhere inside the creepy haunted house. Whilst it does ultimately play out in the fashion of a typical Super Mario game (only this time, it’s Mario who’s in danger), it’s the dark and gritty atmosphere that keeps it interesting and unique to every other Super Mario game, and it showed that the series’ creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, was not scared to take risks by taking the normally innocent series in a more interesting artistic direction.

Originality – 9.5/10

Aside from standing out from the rest of the Super Mario Bros games that players have been challenged with over the years, this game also offers an extremely unique twist on the survival horror genre, which at the time, was becoming increasingly popular after the advent of both Resident Evil and Silent Hill. The genre would go on to become extremely prominent on the GameCube itself, with the likes of Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, as well as a ton of Resident Evil games released for the system. But out of all of them, none had quite the same atmospheric feel as this game did, and consequently, I think it’s the best experience of it’s kind on the console.

Happii

Happii

Overall, Luigi’s Mansion is not only one of the best Super Mario games released, but also one of the best games to have ever been released by Nintendo. It showed that Luigi didn’t have to constantly live in the shadow of the more commercially successful brother, but instead, he could be made to traverse through shadow in order to rescue him.

Score

50/60

8/10 (Very Good)