Luigi in a game without Mario? What madness is this? And just how does the Italian plumber becomes a Ghostbusting hero anyway? Only in the world of Nintendo can we see such tales and I guess that's why this particular publisher and it's latest 3DS title, Lugi's Mansion 2 is so unique.
The story behind Luigi's Mansion 2 is a bit of a strange one. Mad Professor E Gadd from the original Luigi’s Mansion has been spending the time since the first game researching paranormal activity, however when his supernatural subjects turn on him and shatter the Dark Moon, he calls on the only man he knows to fix it, Luigi.
Luigi is a rather reluctant hero and doesn't really seem very keen on taking up the role of ghostbuster, however given there is no listing on checkatrade for paranormal battling plumbers, he'll just have to do. So, with the Professor having convinced his friend that he's the man for the job, Luigi heads into the first mansion to find the first of his ghostbusting equipment. Accompanied by spooky music and strange paranormal activity, it's enough for him to bite his nails to the bone, however he gets through the job like only a good tradesman knows how.
The five mansion's which Luigi finds himself wandering through are fantastically designed, with plenty of nooks, crannies and secret compartments playing host to hidden coins and life giving hearts. There are also plenty of cracks, from which Luigi can peer through and watch ghosts comically playing out cutscenes. Throughout the game Luigi only really has two pieces of equipment to fight off the ghosts: a Dark-Light torch attachment which reveals illusions and hidden objects, and the Poltergust 5000 vacuum. The latter is mainly used to capture ghosts using a mixture of the analogue stick and the face buttons, however you can also use it to solve puzzles and open otherwise hidden compartments. The flashlight too gives access to doorways and reveals otherwise hidden ghosts.
Obviously the most fun to be had in Luigi's Mansion 2 is the ghostbusting. It's brilliant. Using your flashlight you can stun the enemies, before hoovering them up. In order to do so you'll have to pull them in your direction using the analogue stick, although failing to do this properly will result in them pulling Luigi around the room, causing damage as a consequence. You also have to be careful to stun the ghosts quickly, otherwise they'll give you a thump. It's best to be careful because if you fail a mission you are sent straight back to the start of it, which is probably the most frustrating thing about the game, however once you get a hang of the controls this doesn't happen too often.
The level design in Luigi's Mansion 2 is absolutely fantastic, you'll spend an age trying to find hidden coins, keys and more. The only frustrating thing about it is that the game isn't completely free to explore, as once you complete a mission you'll get beamed back to the Professor's studio, before once again heading back into the game to take part in the next mission. This will see you exploring more than one room on more than one occasion, however the game does mix things up a little, so you won't notice this too much.
Another interesting addition to the game is multiplayer. There are three modes in all which send you into a randomised mansion in a group of two to four players. You can stick with your companions throughout the 25 levels, with a boss level every five levels helping to mix things up even more. The multiplayer is fun enough, although not strictly a necessary addition in order to make the game worth paying for.
Luigi's Mansion 2 offers a nice little change on the 3DS. For one, it's not Mario, and secondly it's actually quite different from any other game out there. Luigi's Mansion 2 is wonderfully designed, quite humorous and a lot of fun to play. If 'bustin' makes you feel good', then you are going to love this game.
(Version Tested: 3DS)
- Great Fun
- Well designed
- Slightly repetitive
- Levels are broken up