Developer: Next Level Games
Release Date: 3/24/2013
Rating: Everyone 10+
Available Exclusively On
The Good: Fantastic visuals and attention to detail, great combat systems, exploring the areas is fun
The Bad: Repetitive objectives and enemies, gets too frustrating towards the end, game runs out of steam less than half-way
Luigi’s Mansion was a cult hit back on the GameCube, but didn’t see much commercial success. The 3DS seems like a perfect home for the sequel so Nintendo went for it. You play as Luigi who is tasked with dispersing a small town of ghosts with the help of Professor E. Gadd. You take your Poltergust 5000 and suck and blow anything in your path. Be it cloth on walls, rugs, pulleys, or using your other powers to reveal hidden objects or even your flashlight to help battle ghosts. There’s quite a few elements in play here and they are done fairly well. Ghosts don’t just stand around and let you suck them up. Some are protected by objects or are inside other objects and require coaxing out in various ways. This with the inclusion of puzzles makes Luigi’s Mansion a fun trip.
It isn’t without its problems and there are more than meets the eye like most recent Nintendo games. Sure the game looks great and plays well but it gets repetitive half-way through and gets frustrating. You’d expect tougher ghosts to come into play at some point, but instead you get the same ghosts with bigger life bars and more thrown at you. As you progress you find cash throughout the game to upgrade your equipment so this isn’t a problem. I was nearly maxed out towards the end of the game. The issue is redundancy and constantly revisiting the same areas just to fight different ghosts. Some puzzles are hard to figure out and some require insistent backtracking that gets very dull. The game had the Mario charm thrown in, but I expected more variety. After the third area you really start getting tired of the game, but that doesn’t mean its terrible.
There are some hidden items in each area and they aren’t too hard to find if you explore every little area. These range from gems to cash to a hidden Boo in each level. It feels less like a collectathon and more like exploring an area. The objectives are clear and your map is useful. With that said, many objectives are also repeated throughout like chasing down a ghost dog to find a key and getting back parts from various ghosts. It just got old and I just kept telling myself, “Not this again!”
Dark Moon is one of the best looking 3DS games out there. The game has high-resolution textures, great looking models, and some impressive lighting effects and physics. I almost felt like I was playing the Wii U. The 3D effects are nice, but don’t add anything to the gameplay. I loved the attention to detail from Luigi’s voice to his animations. The game has great production values but could have used a better variety of gameplay elements.