Iggy’s World Halloween Month: Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon
Halloween month rolls on with and of course I am back with yet another Nintendo related review. It’s like I must like their brand somehow, crazy right? Well now I’ll be looking at a sequel to the cult hit Luigi’s Mansion. Now I haven’t played Luigi’s Mansion since 2004, so this review won’t be focusing the progression the series made but rather as a stand alone game. So what exactly does Nintendo have in store for the best sidekick in all of gaming? Well grab your vacuums and lets suck up some ghosts for Luigi!
So since this not a Mario game the story isn’t about a princess being taken a hold of by Bowser. Rather Profressor E Gadd was studying in Evershade Valley, when an unknown force broke the Dark Moon. Forcing Luigi to once again go on a Ghost Hunt to retrieve the missing Dark Moon pieces. The story is simplistic but that’s to be expected when dealing with one of the Mario Brother’s adventures, which leads to the story writers to fall back on the classic Nintendo charm that we all know and love.
With that being said, this game just lacks of all that. Sure Luigi’s interactions with Professor E Gadd are fun, but they are reused over and over again to the point of exhaustion. This however is only a problem multiple playthroughs, but it is noticeable during the first adventure. Since this is a ghost hunting game, one would think that Nintendo would turn up the creepiness factor to mess players as they’ve done in the past. Since Nintendo won’t publish a game that’s filled with jump scares and gore, subtlety is where Nintendo thrives.
It’s just that the subtlety comes at the second half of the game and is few and far between. There are glimpses at it in the earlier levels but evaporate before the player could catch on what the developers were trying to achieve. In the final act of the game it’s revealed that Mario has been kidnapped once again by King Boo: King of the Boo’s, thus retreading the same story from the original. It feels like an after thought for the writing team to simply rehash Mario being kidnapped. Why not bring in Princess Daisy who hasn’t been in a major game since Mario Land, sure it would have been another rescuing princess game but at least with Luigi and the games setting it would be somewhat different.
Luigi’s Mansion 2’s biggest strength is also it’s greatest weakness. Why you may ask? Well let’s look on what actually makes this game fun to play. This game loves to reward explorers with either more cash, a secret bonus room, hidden gems or even wandering Boo’s. The game is practically screaming for someone to actually explore the haunted areas of Evershade Valley. The big problem is with how the game is that it’s mission based from start to finish. Which means that despite the game wanting you to explore, whenever you are given a new mission by E Gadd, some parts of areas will either be blocked off or E Gadd will tell you to move the plot forward. You’re only allowed to explore the given sections, forcing the player into a linear path from start to finish. This is by far the best and worst aspects to Luigi’s Mansion 2.
A great positive for this though are the boss battles as each of them are unique to each other. There isn’t a sense of doing the same thing over and over again but because of the games progression these are things that you look forward to. With that being said, it’ll take you a detour and some more before you could actually fight against them because this game loves to pad out the length. You’ll be chasing the same ghost dog over and over again, or finding that one key item that gets stolen just before it could be used. It becomes tedious and just makes the overall game feel more uninspired.
Nintendo actually gives Luigi upgrades via money you collect while hunting normal ghosts and you as the player will feel the power behind said upgrades. Plus it makes sucking up boss ghosts when the Polterguist 5000 is fully upgraded, think of it as god mode of Dark Moon and just run with it. A bright spot in an otherwise bland game.
To conclude this, there was actually a multiplayer mode for this game. So now you could ghost hunt with up to four friends in three modes, it’s not a bad experience either as you and your friends will either work or compete against each other. It’s a nice distraction from the main game, but most players will play it once and then move on.
Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon is a mixed bag. It does several amazing things right that remind why you love ghost hunting as Luigi, but when you take a closer look at it and you begin to see the flaws that standout like sore thumbs, it only serves to hinder the overall experience. It sadly doesn’t look like a first party Nintendo game with the graphics used which is a shame. This game is fine with the first time, but unless you’re into collecting all the Boo’s and gems then this game will be a one and done.
Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon earns a 5/10.