For over 10 years, we have seen Luigi make mere appearances in Mario games and other Mushroom Kingdom based adventures, however Luigi hasn't ventured out on his own since the days of the original Luigi's Mansion. Still, 10 years later, Nintendo have finally given Luigi's Mansion the sequel it truly deserves.
Anyone who played the original Luigi's Mansion all those years ago, will be quite familiar with the premise here. You play Luigi, the little green dude, known solely because of his brother, Mario. As before, Luigi is tasked with taking on various ghosts and bringing them back to the guy we love to hate, Professor E. Gadd. We really can't work out if that guy is clinically insane or just has a strange sense of humor?
The game sees Professor E. Gadd teleport Luigi to various mansions, of which there are five in total. We were very impressed that Luigi's Mansion 2 now allows players to travel to a few mansions, compared to the single mansion offered in the original. In these mansions, you as Luigi must find certain keys to work your way further into the mansion. There's also a wide variety of puzzles on offer as you travel through the mansion.
Everything is controlled from Gadd's bunker. Here you may choose the mansion you wish to travel to and the mission you wish to complete. These missions will take typically 15 - 30 minutes to complete each and include a large number of puzzles to tackle.
We loved how Gadd is able to keep in touch with Luigi through a special device that he calls the 'DS'. Yes, you have heard that before! This device is essentially an original DS console that Gadd can use to telephone call the player. The ringtone for this device by the way, is absolutely gorgeous.
Onto more gadgetry, an opening mission will see you looking for Professor E. Gadd's famous (strangely though, we've never heard of it before) Poltergust 5000. This is essentially a heavily modified hoover. It allows you to stun ghosts and then suck them up, so to speak. The physics used for 'ghost sucking' are absolutely amazing, we found.
The control system in Luigi's Mansion 2 is absolutely water tight. The circle pad can be used to control Luigi, naturally. Whilst the L and R buttons are used to operate your Poltergust 5000 and the A button can be used to use the light zapper on the device. Furthermore, we loved the way that the D-Pad can be used the make Luigi carry out small gestures, that was a cute little addition. However, we should also mention that the X button is used to interact with items. Phew.
In terms of the game's plot, it's quite a simple one, however, it's still very inventive. Luigi has been summoned by Professor E. Gadd to help restore pieces of the Dark Moon, that appears to be missing. Hence, where the North American version gets it's name.
Ghosts play a big part in Luigi's Mansion 2, which we didn't really need to say. There's a large variety of them available to find throughout the mansions, and what makes it better is that you are able to collect these ghosts, so to speak. All the data from the ghosts you encounter will be sent back to Gadd, who will keep it in a handy place for you to head back and look at.
Luigi's Mansion 2 is absolutely full of lovely little aesthetic touches. We love how you can wander up to a window and peer through and then use Gyro controls to look around. We also love how the game gives you the ability to interact with your environment greatly and find hidden little items, which you can view from the bunker.
The graphics throughout Luigi's Mansion 2 are chunky and gorgeous, they're everything we loved about the original graphics of Luigi's Mansion, but they just feel a little more filled out if we're honest. In terms of graphics, it really feels like Nintendo have really gone that extra mile to include great detail and no corners were cut here.
After completing a set amount of the main storyline, players will be given the opportunity to unlock a special multiplayer mode. Multiplayer takes place through four modes, which include: Hunter, Rush, Polterpup and Surprise. From what we tried, they all worked well and were quite a pleasure to play. However, what we loved most is that Nintendo have added functionality for the game to be played by both local and online multiplayer through Nintendo Network.
It really would be wrong to let this review go by without mentioning the gorgeous sounds and music of Luigi's Mansion 2. Everything about this game sounds beautiful. We could quite happily shut our eyes and listen to someone else playing this for ours. As aforementioned, everything from the DS' ringtone to the ghostly sound effects are gorgeous.
In conclusion, it's been over 10 years since we last saw a Luigi's Mansion game and we can easily say that every minutes wait has been completely worth it. Luigi's Mansion 2 compiles together what we loved about the first game, with an absolute sense of perfection that isn't even present in most Mario games. We can only convey how much we love this game, through the below score. + Josh Moorcroft-Jones
10/10 - Mario games are well and truly a thing of the past. What Luigi's latest solo adventure is able to offer, is an awful lot better than a Mario adventure can.
Review copy provided by Nintendo
Luigi's Mansion 2 is also known as Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon in North America.