Enjoying the original, it was certainly worth the wait. Arguably the best title in the 3DS library to date.
King Boo has shattered the Dark Moon that hung above Evershade Valley, home to several haunted mansions. Professor Elvin Gadd has been studying the peaceful paranormal specimens until the destruction of the moon caused the ghosts of the valley to lose control and become evil. Gadd knew only one fellow who could find all of the Dark Moon pieces that were scattered across the valley and restore it. His name is Luigi.
Luigi is forced to use the Poltergust 5000 again, though he had to fetch it from a spooky mansion this time. The vacuum is now equipped with several new attachments. Attachments include the strobe bulb, which is needed to stun the new types of ghosts and the light-dark device, which reveals invisible objects throughout each mansion. Attachments can be upgraded by collecting treasure along the way.
The Professor gives you a DS Phat, nicknaming it Dual Scream, to map out each mansion and to call you. Gadd calls you a little too often at first, making you want to let a polterpup gobble it up and run far, far way. Thankfully, his calls become predictable and less frequent.
Many small details in this games gives Luigi character and realism, such as his trot like run and humming to the background music. Using the gyro sensor and turning first person view when looking into small cracks also makes it feel very realistic.
There are five mansions to explore this time around. Each mansion is divided into several missions. This makes exploring a little easier and more focused on one task at a time, rather than being sometimes lost and overwhelmed in the original.
Each mansion you explore is very detailed and full of secrets to discover. All five mansions stand alone from each other, giving you some variety. Every puzzle you encounter is well thought out and uses the environment cleverly. Most of them are only used once, keeping the experience fresh every time.
There are many types of ghosts that live in Evershade Valley. "Greenie" ghosts are the most basic, though they eventually grab sun glasses or a shovel to protect them from getting captured. All of the ghosts have a different way of defending themselves, needing to plan a strategy to catch them.
Graphics of this sequel are very crisp, especially in the cut scenes for a handheld game. The 3D effect does bring some depth in both gameplay and cut scenes, but not as much as I would like.
The controls of Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon are quite straightforward. Moving Luigi with the control pad feels smooth and effortless. The vacuum is used with the L and R buttons, L for blowing out air as R is for sucking. The A buttons is to use the strobeblub to stun a ghost, then catching it by holding R and pulling back with the control pad. X and B buttons allow you to point the strobe light upwards and downwards. The B button is also used to run, which is necessary when you're being chased by ghouls.
The music and sounds effects of each phantom really bring the spooky tone to life. Some of the background music sounds similar to the original, giving the experience a little nostalgia.
Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon includes a multiplayer mode called ScareScraper, which lets four players locally or from around the world, battle your way up many haunted floors. With three different modes, Hunter, Rush, and Polterpup, makes you want to hunt some more ghouls all the more.
Even though ScareScraper mode is co-op, it feels rather competitive at times. When trying to capture a ghost, then another player steal it from you, or on when dashing for a red coin and someone takes it before you. This mode, and the Boos and gems scattered around each mansion, give Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon high replay value.
Pros and Cons of Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon
+ Thrilling gameplay
+ Tons of charm
+ Very high replay value
- Average 3D effect
Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon was certainly worth the wait, with the oodles of charm and engaging gameplay. The best 3DS title to date in my opinion, without a doubt.
I gave this title a solid 9.