Luigis 2

Will Luigi’s Mansion 2 be another triumph for Mario’s twin brother?

Cast your mind back a decade (plus a little bit) and see if you can remember when console announcements came with the company showing off the console they were launching. Yes, back in 2001 Nintendo launched the replacement for the N64, the GameCube. Cubes were all the rage! Just a year before Apple had released the G4 Cube. So when the GameCube came along, packing a PowerPC processor, expectations were high.

A short anecdote; When my friend got his GameCube we had planned to play the new Resident Evil all night and see if we could scare ourselves silly. When I got round to his for the night, he broke the news to me that our local blockbuster didn’t have any copies left (and you wonder why they are going out of business). Instead, we had Mario Sunshine. Horrifying.

Before Mario got his backpack / water cannon in Sunshine, his brother Luigi, got his own backpack and his own game. This was Luigi’s Mansion. A bit of a twist for the series, being that it was set in a haunted house and had some really impressive lighting effects to add to the spooky nature of the game. Think Doom 3 done by Disney. Well, in this case, Nintendo.

So as the years have moved on, Nintendo have decided to bring back Mario’s brother for another spooky adventure in Luigi’s Mansion 2.

Though he’s often been consigned to a background role in other Super Mario Games, we found out back in 2002 that Mario’s twin brother Luigi had in his locker to prop up his own title – when Luigi’s Mansion arrived on GameCube.

This year, a spooky sequel is heading to Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL and the early signs on Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon look pretty good.

As adventure games go, the original GameCube title had plenty going for it. The atmosphere of the creepy old mansion was incredibly immersive and creeping around sucking up ghosts using Luigi’s Poltergust 3000 vacuum cleaner was a great deal of fun. It looks like Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon will have more of the same, with that immersive aspect amplified by the incredible 3D graphics of the 3DS.

The E3 demo revealed that despite overcoming his fears in the last game, Luigi is still something of a nervous hero. It also showed off the basic moves of the game, with X being used to look up, B to look down and A to activate your flashlight. Once you’ve had a wander through a few rooms, you’ll stumble upon your trusty Poltergust and get set to busting some ghosts.

We’ve also seen that, while this is no Professor Layton-style mission, there is a bit of deduction and thinking you’ll need to do to get through the various levels. Luckily, there’s a new gadget to help you out in the green vacuum attachment known as the Stroboscope. This will not only allow you to stun ghosts when you need to, it will also open hidden doors and secret areas that you’ll need to progress.

As well as needing to keep a close eye on your coin reserves – which will deplete the more you use your ghost catching equipment – you’ll also need to make use of motion control to pull of some moves. Other things that the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL bring to the table include multiplayer games using Nintendo Network where you’ll get to explore a special ScareScraper mansion.

Overall, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon looks like a great way to improve on a game that was already a lot of fun. It looks highly polished, has loads of new features and is set to be even more interesting thanks to the added element of 3D. It’s definitely one to look out for.