Poor old Luigi. He’s always playing second fiddle to his brother Mario but in Luigi’s Mansion 2 he actually gets to be star of the show for a change instead of just showing gamers how to complete a level of a more traditional Mario game.
I never played the original game back in the day. I knew the premise was to catch ghosts by sucking them up with a big vacuum cleaner whilst exploring spooky mansions by torchlight but what I wasn’t prepared for was one of the most charming games featuring either of the brothers in a long time. The thing that hits you immediately is how much personality they’ve managed to put into the green outfitted plumber. You see the thing is, he’s actually terrified of ghosts and so plays the role of the reluctant hero as the baby-faced Professor E. Gadd sends him a series of fetch quests into haunted mansions in order to retrieve pieces of the Dark Moon he needs to get back for one reason or another.
Luigi makes a variety of noises as he’s scared out of his wits by the ghostly goings on around him and even hums along to the theme song that plays as he explores. Animations are also great whether he’s wrangling with a ghost to get it in the bag on his back, finding new secret doors or falling through floors. It’s like watching a cartoon, especially with the dynamic lighting which really gives the game a different feel to the usual Mario fare.
As you make your way through the mansions you’ll get more and more tools to help you catch ghosts and explore the environment around you. A flash light is used to operate light sensitive machinery and stun ghosts, a dark light is used to reveal hidden areas or follow ghostly foot prints and you can suck and blow the environment around you to pull sheets off beds, spin fans or even lift the carpet to look for keys and coins. If you like games where you are rewarded for exploring every nook and cranny then this game is definitely something worth trying out. You’ll definitely feel rewarded!
There are some frustrating moments where you may be wandering around wondering what to do next but eventually you will work out what to do, so you decide whether this is something that would have a negative impact on your enjoyment. The 3D is also something that doesn’t really work. There are frequent moments where you use the gyroscope to look about and unless you keep your head in an exact sweet spot, the picture will go all funny on you. It’s really best to keep it switched off on this one, the added benefit being you’ll have some extra battery to play with too.
If you’re looking for yet another decent adventure on your handheld this is definitely worth adding to your collection. It gets a quality 8 out of 10.
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