Without a doubt, Luigiís Mansion 2 was the big surprise in Nintendoís 3DS lineup at E3 this year, and a very pleasant one it was too.
Nintendo was keen to stress that this isnít just an extension of the original Luigiís Mansion
, but after playing it I can safely say that this sequel... well, plays a bit like an extension of the original Luigiís Mansion
. But thatís no bad thing at all. Hell, the 2001 Gamecube launch title was criminally overlooked, anyway.
Luigi returns with his trusty Poltergust vacuum device, but this time he has to deal with hauntings in multiple mansions. Just like the previous game, your aim is to seek out and suck up ghosts in old Victorian-style settings. Many of these poltergeists will be hidden in the dark, so you have to interact with objects and solve quirky furniture puzzles to make them come out.
The Gamecube controls have been translated well onto the 3DS, with the triggers used for Poltergust sucking and blowing (no sniggering at the back) and the X and B buttons for performing actions and running respectively. Your torch has a bit more of a kick to it this time around - itís always switched on in Luigiís Mansion 2
, but pressing the A button will let you flash a burst of extra light which can be used to stun ghoulies.
You might notice the lack of a second analogue stick on the 3DS and wonder how exactly Luigi can aim around the room with his vacuum weapon. Thatís where the handheldís gyro controls come in, with a tilting of the machine translating into an up or down angle for your torch/sucking antics. It works pretty well and feels quite natural to do.
Each room contains a number of secrets and hidden treasures that you can collect - coins, notes and gold bars are among the things that Luigiís Mansion
completists will fondly remember. Sucking up tablecloths can reveal some extra cash, while knocking on a wall may uncover a hidden passageway to another section of the mansion. As you discover ghosts, youíll also find keys that will open up new areas and give you new challenges.
Speaking of ghosts, the animation is absolutely fantastic in Luigiís Mansion 2
. The game really tugs at your inner child when you see mischievous little ghosts flap their tongues out at Luigi while the cautious plumber has his back turned. When Luigiís in a darkened room, his usually cagey demeanour turns into outright terror as he wobbles in fright with every step you take.
Seeing these ghoulies pop up in 3D, along with the usual transparency effects weíre used to from the last Luigiís Mansion game, makes this feel like something out of a Pixar film.
My ten-minute playthrough of an opening segment in the game had me strolling (and chaotically running) through corridors, avoiding tricky chandeliers and battling two types of ghost - one that tries to sucker-punch you and another that simply tries to bulldoze you - to reach the library, where a boss battle occurred. This was a simple case of trying to predict the path of a large geist that would flitter between visible planes and catching him with the torch before it lobbed a hefty book in your face.
It was easily completed, but I was left wanting more - much more. This game truly works to the handheldís strengths, and its charm is just classic Nintendo. Luigiís Mansion 2
has very quickly shot up the list to become my most wanted game on the 3DS, no mistake about that.