Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon Review


For some reason it’s only called “Dark Moon” in North America

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is a fun and exciting ghost catching game that (finally) remembers Luigi is a frightened force to be reckoned with…

luigis_mansion_dark_moon_box_art_large Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon

Developer Next Level Games

Publisher Nintendo

Platforms 3DS

Released: 03/24/2013

Verdict: An excellent sequel that hopefully turns into a new franchise.

Score: 8.5

I hope you’ve all thrown out your Chinese calendars because Nintendo has decided this is the Year of Luigi. An entire year of content aimed squarely at bringing the often forgotten Mario brother into the spotlight, starting with the release of Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (Simply called Luigi’s Mansion 2 elsewhere in the world). If this game is any indication of the love and attention Luigi will receive this year, than I’m happy to ditch the red hat for the green one.

The game’s premise revolves around Professor E. Gadd calling in his old friend Luigi, top ghost hunting pal, to help him with the mystery of the Dark Moon. The plot should feel very familiar to any fan of Mario’s adventures, but that’s probably not why you’re interested in the game. See, the professor had been studying the Dark Moon in residential Evershade Valley and its power to pacify ghosts and make them friendly until the night when the Dark Moon simply falls from the sky and shatters into 5 parts which, you guessed it, fall into 5 different mansions for Luigi to explore. Each mansion has a subset of missions that will tour you around the ghost infested domicile collecting the baddies in Luigi’s newly upgraded Poltergust 5000.


Very early on you gain a new ability for the Poltergust; The Dark Light. This special bulb reveals hidden items and boos throughout the 5 mansions, adding an extra dimension to the puzzles. There is a new wrestling mechanic also upgraded from the original that allows you to power up the vacuum and get rewarded with money after a successful capture. One thing about the controls that was a bit jarring was the fact that the game does NOT support the Circle Pad Pro which seems like an odd omission being that very few games utilize it currently. Without it, the controls are still some of the tightest on the system and within an hour in you won’t even pine for the option of a second stick. Still, the option would have been appreciated. It also helps to note that the 3D here is very well done and with the slider all the way up is the best way to experience the game. It truly gives the feel that you are looking into a shoebox diorama of each room as Luigi explores.

The charm and polish really show here as Nintendo brings its forgotten brother to the foreground. It should also be noted that Charles Martinet does some of his finest work here as Luigi and really goes beyond the typical, “WaHOO!” to deliver a stellar performance that makes Luigi feel all his own. Overall though, if you’ve played the original then you will instantly want this game. If not, for $40 you get 5 times the amount of content as the previous title with plenty of upgrades and modern gaming sensibilities.


*AUTHORS NOTE* As of this writing I’ve finished the main game but have not touched the multi player modes so I abstained from writing on that but didn’t want to wait longer to review the game.


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