Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark moon
Genre and time?
It’s a kids’ game, by which I mean rated 7+ (It’s not for Kids, NOTHING is for kids!) but it’s a kind of horror-esque dungeon crawler, with small puzzle parts. In fact it could even be called a mission based survival horror for kids, or should I say for those who don’t want to be haunted by nightmares. Tt does actually get quite difficult to survive sometimes and who knows when a ghosty might pop out and laugh at you? It’s a direct sequel to Luigi’s Mansion for the GameCube, because Nintendo don’t like change. It’s recent, released in March for the 3DS. It’s definitely a horror; it’s got ghosts in it!
Is it scary?
Of course not, it’s got the world’s most adorable ghosts.
It’s still scarier than Paranormal Activity though.
How about the story?
Story is not exactly the top point of any Mario based game but it’s not terrible. Basically the boos come back to cause chaos by destroying the Dark Moon, which I guess is some sort of ghost brain control device as once broken they all go hostile and stop doing Professor E. Gadd’s bidding. So the boos can be seen as a sort of ghost revolutionaries throwing off their living oppressors! Anyway it’s up to Luigi to collect the pieces and bring order back to Evershade Valley (or return the poor ghosts to their servitude more like!) He is qualified for this as, well, he’s done it before and if it ain’t broke et cetera.
Characters and settings any good?
While Luigi is just Luigi at least he isn’t Mario. By this I mean he actually has a character, I’ve never really liked Mario all smug and superior off rescuing princesses from giant spikey tortoises stuff. Luigi doesn’t have to deal with that crap (at least not so much) so he has time to emote. He is terrified of the ghosts and shows it frequently, he hums nervously to the music, opens doors cautiously and jumps and shudders at the slightest movement. All this emotion really makes you feel sorry for the poor guy, I mean he’s supposed to be a plumber why should he have to take care of the ghost infestation? When your character is into the game I find it a hell of a lot easier to care myself, it’s what bothered me about ‘Silent Hill: origins’ by far the worst of the series, Travis never reacts to anything that’s going on: ‘I just stepped through a mirror into an alternate and incredibly unsanitary dimension what ev’s’, it really bothers me! But Luigi hates every minute of his task which just makes it all the more captivating. Good for you Luigi, you go Luigi!
Professor E. Gadds, while he doesn’t do very much except give Luigi a quick briefing throw some gadget at him and send him on his way, I can’t help but think he’s a bit of a tool. He has no compassion for Luigi’s clear strife and why can’t he deal with the ghosts, ey? He’s the one they bother so much. What makes him so special? I like to think of him as the villain of the piece using Luigi and the ghosts as his minions while he sits on his chair and studies them. This of course makes the game very depressing as, alas he is a boss you cannot defeat.
The ghosts themselves even have personalities as bright as their glowing eyes. Each one has different traits and they all seem to be fun loving mischievous sorts (Apart from the big red ones, those ones are moody). So all in all they make the game a pleasure to play. My personal favourite ghosts are the green ones they are very imaginative guys and it’s fun to figure out how to get those sunglasses or shields off them so you can vacuum them up.
The setting is pretty standard, as the name suggests it is set in a mansion or more accurately 5 mansions each one with its own theme and different feel. There is so much to do and find in them that they keep you interested. I take great joy knocking a vase and watching the coins fly out. It even makes cleaning fun as you never know which cobwebs might be hiding a secret.
Any other Redeeming or condemning features?
It is a lot of fun and if you’re into 100% completion then it will keep you going for a long time, particularly if you want to get a three star rating in all the levels. If not it still isn’t painfully short and the multiplayer mode is a lot of fun and will entertain you for longer still. I guess the levels do get a bit samey as there are multiple missions in each mansion, but there are always new things to figure out so you shouldn’t get bored. It’s not too easy either so you shouldn’t get bored that way either and it has an effective difficulty curve so you should be entertained throughout.
The original Luigi’s mansion had some rather harsh press but it was a good game. I haven’t met anyone who’s actually played it who didn’t like it, it’s only the people who think that there weren’t any good games on the GameCube who say it’s bad and those people know nothing! The second instalment is just as good and while you don’t quite have the in-depth exploration you had in the first one there is still plenty to do and find.
A definite recommendation for anyone who loves fun.