A Sequel For the Fans –
Luigi is always left in the shadow of his bigger brother Mario as he rarely gets his own game. Uniquely, Nintendo put their faith in Mario’s taller and skinnier brother when they launched the Gamecube 2001 with Luigi’s Mansion, a 3D adventure style game that was more focused on puzzle solving and a cartoon spooky atmosphere as opposed to a typical platformer. It wasn’t what fans were expecting but established a cult following nonetheless.
For the first time over a decade, Nintendo is bringing players back to a haunted mansion with the sequel Dark Moon for the 3DS. Although an official release date has not yet been established, Spring 2013 is the target window.
Professor E. Gadd returns and aids Luigi with usual ghost busting tools like the Poltergust 5000, a vacuum that sucks up spirits, and a Dual Scream, an original DS that is modified for communication. Just like in the original game, Luigi must first use his flashlight to stun ghosts, then finish them off with the suction power of the Poltergust. However, new gameplay elements have been introduced to enhance gameplay and to work with the 3DS hardware. First, the 3DS effect works to the game’s advantage by offering a greater depth a field which helps enhance the spooky atmosphere and works with puzzle solving. Next, sucking up enemies is a little different this time around as a meter fills up the longer a ghost is being pulled in. Once that meter is full, the player can them finish up the process by tapping a facebutton to perform a stronger tug of suction power. Also, when in a tug-o-war with a ghost, Luigi now as the ability to dodge damage by tapping the B button. Finally, his flashlight has also been tweaked as it can now be charged up to shoot stronger shotgun-like blasts of light to stun a wider area of ghosts.
The title of Dark Moon is somewhat of a mystery as the game doesn’t seem to take place on the moon. However, a dark light enhancement can be added to Luigi’s weaponry that can uncover secret locations and objects hidden in the environment. Puzzle solving still takes a front seat. The map on the bottom screen should help with navigation as the developers are promising many secrets to uncover.
Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon is shaping up to the be sequel that fans of the original are hoping for. And just to be clear, this is an entirely new game, not a port of the original GC title. Also, there are supposed to be multiple mansions to explore which should increase replay value. Will there be multiplayer support or an online component? Probably not, but given this game is delayed until well into 2013, there is a possibility.