Luigi’s Mansion 2 – Charm Factor 11

Luigi's Mansion 2 boxI loved the original Luigi’s Mansion – I bought a GameCube at launch, and Luigi’s Mansion was one of the first games I got for it (along with Bloody Roar: Primal Fury, in case you’re interested). I can’t believe that was all the way back in 2002 – Nintendo sure took their sweet time in making a sequel. And come to think of it, when’s the next Bloody Roar game coming out? I loved that game. I mean you could turn into a giant metal mole. A metal mole. Just think about that for a second and tell me you don’t want to play it.

Anyway, I’m glad Ninty finally got round to revisiting Luigi’s Mansion, and I’m pleased to say it’s a brilliant update. The major problem with the original – i.e. its brief length – has been fixed with the addition of a clutch of new mansions, and the rest of the game has been polished to a brilliant shine. Best of all it simply oozes personality, from Luigi’s cowardly shivering to the ghosts’ cheeky behind-the-scenes shenanigans (I’m glad I managed to get the word shenanigans in here at some point). It’s like Nintendo termed the charm factor up to 11 for the sequel, and if the game doesn’t make you smile then you clearly don’t have a soul.

Yep, that's right, an ice mansion. Sort of.
Yep, that’s right, an ice mansion. Sort of.

Yet again, Nintendo have shown the way when it comes to 3D visuals – the 3D is fairly subtle, but it really adds to the atmosphere, giving you a reason to keep that slider turned up to full throughout. It’s a shame that so few other developers have managed to get as much out of the 3DS as Nintendo – the 3D really does add to games when it’s done well. Bodes well for the new Zelda at least.

One thing that Luigi’s Mansion 2 does really well is encourage exploration – every new room presents curtains that can be sucked up, paintings that can be zapped or carpets that can be rolled back, and half the fun is just poking into every corner of the mansions to see what’s there. It’s just a shame that the fiendishly hidden collectible gems give you so little in return for hunting them down – collect every gem in a mansion and you receive… a statue. Great, thanks Nintendo. Still, the hidden regular cash lets you save towards upgrades for your Poltergust 500, so that’s reason enough to hunt it out.

The graphics look fantastic - definitely one of the best-looking 3DS games so far.
The graphics look fantastic – definitely one of the best-looking 3DS games so far.

Speaking of disappointments, the bosses are a bit all over the place. In particular, the final boss of mansion two is a dull affair at the end of a stinker of a level, although other bosses show a real flair of imagination. Thankfully, the meat of the game – the mansion levels themselves – are brilliant fun, and I happily chugged my way through them with a big ‘ol grin on my face.

Now we start the wait for Luigi’s Mansion 3… try not to keep us hanging on so long this time Nintendo: with games this good, Luigi deserves an outing a bit more often than once a decade. More shenanigans from the man in green please, and make it snappy.

Twice in one review!

[As penned in glee by Lucius Merriweather.]