|Dev: Next Level Games|
|Release: TBA 2012|
|Screen Resolution: N/A|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
I have a confession to make. Ten years ago, I ran out to get a launch GameCube as soon as I could. It wasn't for Mario, and it wasn't for Zelda. No, I wanted to play Luigi's Mansion. And once I finished playing it, I started again. Most recently, I even replayed it on my Wii.
What made this game so endearing? Well, you've got Luigi, who always seems to play second fiddle to his shorter brother, and you've got a ghost-busting vacuum. Do you need anything else? Luigi's Mansion had such a keen charm about it that it was hard not to absolutely fall in love with what I thought would be a burgeoning new series for Nintendo.
But flash-forward ten years and two console cycles and Luigi's Mansion is still just the name of a single GameCube game. However, at Nintendo's press conference this year, they finally announced the game I have been waiting a decade for: Luigi's Mansion 2.
Initially, I was a bit disappointed that this game was announced exclusively for the 3DS. Why not release it for the Wii? The Wiimote already looks like a flashlight, and motion controls seem like they would be fairly easy to implement in a game like this. However, once I got my hands on it, I started realizing why the decision was made to bring this game to Nintendo's new portable instead. Luigi's Mansion 2 retains all of its original charm on the 3DS, and I think the change from console to handheld feels like a natural progression for the game.
When I started up the game, I was immediately struck by the 3D effects. The look of the mansion contrasting against the dark of the night made for an overwhelming first impression. Luigi's Mansion 2 is truly the best-looking thing I have seen on the 3DS so far.
Once I got inside the mansion, it was time to consult everyone's favorite mad scientist, E. Gadd. After giving a primer on how to use the Poltergust 3000 vacuum (it has been a long time, so everyone needs a refresher), I was off. At this point, I was again struck by the game's gorgeous visuals. I was in a room with a long hallway with stairs and suits of armor. All of these elements stood out at various depths against the background, and the scope of the room's dimensions was presented extremely well.
As for actual ghost-busting, that began in the next room. There was an old garage filled with plenty of loot and some hidden collectibles. However, after poking around the old car in the corner, I found my first ghost. Using the Poltergust is very simple, but a little bit different than you may remember. Before sucking up the ghost, you'll have to stun it with your flashlight and then follow it as it tries to flee around the room. However, a quick shock from a stun tool will stop the escaping ghost dead in its tracks (no pun intended). The countdown timer is still the same in Luigi's Mansion 2, and the ghost will only be vanquished once the number gets down to zero.
The only problem I had with Luigi's Mansion 2 was that it relied a bit too heavily on the gyroscope function of the 3DS. Aiming Luigi's flashlight up and down requires moving the DS. While this feature is fine to use with the 3D feature off, it can be very jarring with the 3D on. Since the 3D is done so well, it would be a shame to have to turn it off just because of a motion control feature. Hopefully there will be an option to turn off the motion controls in the game's full release.
Luigi's Mansion 2 has been a long time coming. Nearly a decade after the cult classic was released on the GameCube, we're finally getting a proper sequel. Though I won't say that I wouldn't like to see Luigi return to consoles at some point, Luigi's Mansion 2 on the 3DS looks like it will be a triumph for the platform. Even if you missed the original GameCube game, Luigi's Mansion 2 will be a great jumping off point for new players. The ghosts may not be all that scary, but this is one haunted mansion that will stick with you. The only downside? We're going to have to wait till next year to experience the full game. Uh-oh, indeed!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer