Luigi's Mansion 2 - Review

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Release Date: 03/04/2013

Luigi's Mansion 2 Review for Nintendo 3DS at GAME

Silbling Rivalry

Poor old Luigi. He's usually portrayed as Mario's idiot brother, a clownish figure riding the coat-tails of a character who's become an icon to millions. And although he often appears alongside Mario in games like New Super Mario Bros. or Mario Kart, he rarely gets his own game - unlike other Nintendo second-stringers such as Donkey Kong and Yoshi.

In fact, Luigi's last starring role was all the way back in 2001. The first Luigi's Mansion game saw him shouldering the responsibility of launching the GameCube console in Mario's absence. It was a spooky comedy caper in which Luigi had to hoover up all the ghosts (and money) in a haunted house. It became something of a fan favourite, but it wasn't a huge game - or a huge hit. And so Luigi returned to his brother's shadow for another decade.

It's taken this long for him to get a sequel, but it was well worth the wait. Luigi's Mansion 2 loses nothing - and, in fact, gains a great deal - in moving to a handheld format. It's bigger, better, more beautiful and even more charming than the original, and one of the best games you can buy for your 3DS. Also, there's been nothing like the original Luigi's Mansion since it came out, so this feels unusually fresh for a sequel.

Luigi's Mansion 2 Review for Nintendo 3DS at GAME

Ghosts In The Machine

Luigi's Mansion 2 reunites the man in green with Professor E. Gadd, the pint-sized mad scientist and inventor of the Poltergust, a vacuum cleaner modified to trap and contain mishievous ghosts. While the first game took place in just one mansion, Luigi's Mansion 2 spans five locations across Evershade Valley, a haunted vale where the Professor's been studying the local population of spooks. After King Boo steals and shatters the Dark Moon that shines over the valley, the ghosts run amok, and Gadd promptly presses an unwilling Luigi into service to clean up the mess.

Each location - starting with a mansion, but moving on to places like a factory and a mine - is split up into half a dozen levels and a boss fight. There's plenty of game here, in other words, but Luigi's Mansion isn't really a game where size matters. Rather, it's about exploring every nook and cranny of the insanely detailed interiors, uncovering the myriad secrets and interacting with anything and everything using your trusty Poltergust. You never know - sucking that poster off the wall or pulling the chain on that toilet might reveal a hidden room or a surprise fountain of coins, banknotes and gold bars.

You're given plenty of opportunity to do this as most of the levels involve moving through at least some rooms you've visited before. But using your expanding knowledge of all their tricks and secrets - and spotting where things have changed - is all part of the fun.

When you eventually encounter ghosts - which come in a variety of shapes, sizes and personalities - you need to stun them with a flash of your torch before locking on with the Poltergust and engaging them in a frantic, slapstick tug of war as you try to reel them in. It's part fishing, part Ghostbusters, and an absolute hoot.

Luigi's Mansion 2 Review for Nintendo 3DS at GAME

All The Old Haunts

It's the attention to detail in Luigi's Mansion 2 that really impresses. The game wasn't made by Nintendo's in-house studio - instead being put together by a Canadian outfit called Next Level Games - but you wouldn't know it. It has the dedication to polish, playability, surprise and sheer fun factor that you expect from the best Nintendo games.

The level design, animation, sound, music and lighting are all of sky-high quality, giving the game the feel of a playable animated movie. The way Luigi's torch beam illuminates the scene while lightning flashes outside, for example, is amazingly atmospheric. And the 3D effect is just lovely, turning those painstakingly detailed interiors - all crumbling and ramshackle and cobwebbed - into a tiny, believable diorama in your hands. There's even a pretty decent multiplayer mode with online, local and download play options, in which four of you compete and collaborate to clear randomised levels in the Thrill Tower.

But above all, it's Luigi himself that delights. He's still a bit of a clown, but he's a completely loveable one, tiptoeing around and humming the game's theme tune nervously to himself as he hunts down ghosts and treasure. Animated with exquisite care and hilariously voiced by Charles Martinet, in Luigi's Mansion 2, Mario's brother finally becomes a star in his own right - and not before time.

GAME's Verdict:

The Good:

  • Stunning presentation and great 3D really sells the idea of a playable cartoon
  • Amazingly detailed levels are crammed with one-off gags and secrets
  • The exploration and slapstick ghostbusting action are truly original and never get old

The Bad:

  • Multiplayer mode is fun, but doesn't really require players to work together
  • One or two recycled ideas, and a couple of levels that feel like padding
  • Even though it's much bigger than the first game, it'll be over sooner than you want
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Pegi Rating:

Suitable for people aged and over.

Genre

Action/Adventure

Customer Rating:

No rating yet

SKU:

Reviews-214809

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