Luigiʼs Mansion 2

Review: Luigi's Mansion 2

Luigi’s original ghost-hunting adventure launched alongside the Nintendo GameCube back in 2001 and for the first time Mario’s little brother was at the forefront, and boy did that scare the 80’s dungarees right off him!  Fans have been clamouring for another chance to hoover haunted houses, and they finally have been allowed with the 3DS’ Luigi’s Mansion 2 (known as Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon in the US).

You don’t need to have played the original in order to understand what is going on in Luigi’s Mansion 2, but it helps to provide a better understanding of what is going on.  The game starts with Professor E. Gadd forcing the reluctant Luigi into more vacuum-based action, equipping him with a Poltergust 5000 and a stroboscope to stun and suck up the spectres that haunt the five different mansions he visits.  You must reclaim the pieces of the Dark Moon in order to return peace to Evershade Valley, but as usual the story merely acts as a backdrop for the gameplay.

Many aspects of the original remain, but the overall experience has been fine-tuned and improved.  Luigi's Mansion 2 includes more puzzles to challenge you, and gameplay tweaks to increase the difficulty slightly.  For example, you must now flash ghosts with a burst of light, rather than just shining it upon them, to begin sucking them up.

Luigi's Mansion Dark MoonAnyone who has played the original will feel right at home. As before, ghosts come in a variety of sizes and colours and the amount of hoovering you need to do varies between them. Captured ghosts can be viewed later if you so wish, but there is no real incentive to do so.  As you collect money, the professor will reward you by upgrading your equipment allowing you to capture ghosts more easily.

The first few stages introduces the gameplay and central concepts, with annoyingly frequent phone calls from the professor explaining what is happening and what to do next. They are sometimes useful and other times disruptive as you must pause the action and listen to the academic's advice. In fact, the frequent pauses in action, when opening doors or receiving phone calls, can sometimes slow the gameplay down.  

Nintendo has worked hard to ensure LM2 is more challenging and lasts longer than its predecessor, with several missions found in each of the mansions that Luigi explores. Several of the challenges will require some real thought, as you’re left searching for that particular switch, hidden item or flammable object needed to progress.

Luigi's Mansion Dark MoonLuigi is controlled using the analogue stick, while pressing L or R results in the hoover either blowing or sucking (respectively).  The face buttons are dedicated to running, using your stroboscope, dark light and looking around or interacting.  While the 3DS’ gyroscope is used to direct the Poltergust, the touch screen is only used in order to interact with the map.

After you’ve played a few missions the multiplayer mode will become unlocked, allowing you and three friends to explore Thrill Tower as Luigi in various shades of clothing.  There are numerous modes to try out with the option to play across a set amount of floors (or infinite).  The various modes challenge you to capture all of the ghosts to progress, race against the clock or hunt down Polterpups.  Being able to play online, locally or through download play mean you can enjoy the fun with your friends easily,  providing a welcome break from the singleplayer mode.

Luigi's Mansion Dark MoonThe animation in Luigi's Mansion 2 is a joy to watch, with a lot of attention to detail paid to the plumbers actions. Luigi has always played the Mario universe's answer to Roscoe Arbuckle, overshadowed by his more well known companion but still a joy to watch. Luigi stumbles, shakes and screams in a comically child-like manner, seemingly never completely adapting to the situation he finds himself in.

Likewise, the sound adds a nice atmospheric touch to the title.  The background music is a perfect accompaniment to the haunted happenings, while the sound effects add a lot of charm.  Luigi hums the game’s theme song to himself, adding a great meta joke to the package.

Overall, Luigi’s Mansion 2  is a refreshing change in the Mario franchise and differs itself not only from the Super Mario games, but also from its predecessor.  Many elements remain similar, but the fine-tuning that has taken place means that it is a much improved title worth checking out.


N-Europe Final Verdict

Luigi's Mansion 2 is a refreshing challenge, with plenty of puzzles to perplex and please you. Whether you've played the original or not, you should consider picking this title up. If not, Luigi will probably cry.

  • Gameplay5
  • Playability4
  • Visuals4
  • Audio5
  • Lifespan4
Final Score



Plenty of challenges
Multiplayer mode is a welcome addition
Over 15 hours of gameplay
Animation and sound are spot on


Action can sometimes be slowed down

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