Luigi's Mansion 2 HD

Review: Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD

Nearly a decade after Luigi’s Mansion launched the GameCube into homes came the sequel Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. Professor E. Gadd once again tasks Luigi to revive the Dark Moon, which has shattered. Calling upon bumbling and loveable Luigi, armed with the Poltergust 5000 and a flashlight, he is responsible for restoring the Dark Moon, which is used to soothe ghosts.

In Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD , players guide Luigi through various haunted mansions, each with its unique theme, puzzles, and ghosts. The primary gameplay revolves around Luigi using his trusty Poltergust 5000, a specialized vacuum cleaner, to capture ghosts. The Poltergust is also used to solve environmental puzzles and uncover hidden treasures, which adds layers of depth and interactivity to the game.

Mansion Sitting

The story of Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD begins with the destruction of the Dark Moon, a mystical object that pacifies the ghosts in Evershade Valley. When the Dark Moon is shattered, the once-docile ghosts become hostile. Professor E. Gadd, the eccentric scientist from the first game, calls upon Luigi to retrieve the missing pieces of the Dark Moon and restore peace to the valley. Despite his cowardly nature, Luigi reluctantly agrees and sets off on a ghost-busting adventure.

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Luigi’s journey takes him through five distinct mansions, each with an eerie atmosphere and unique ghostly inhabitants. The mansions range from gloomy mansions filled with suits of armour to icy mansions with frozen rooms and slippery floors. Throughout his adventure, Luigi encounters various quirky and memorable characters, including the mischievous Polterpup, who often helps Luigi unexpectedly.

The narrative is light-hearted and humorous, often highlighting Luigi’s comical fearfulness and clumsiness. Cutscenes and in-game animations further emphasize Luigi’s charming personality, making him a relatable and endearing protagonist.

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Luigi’s Mansion 2 is a timeless, beloved classic

Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD is beloved for several reasons. First and foremost, the game successfully captures what made the original Luigi’s Mansion enjoyable while expanding and refining its core mechanics. The gameplay perfectly balances exploration, puzzle-solving, and ghost-catching, keeping players engaged and entertained throughout their journey.

The game’s atmosphere is another standout feature. Each mansion is meticulously designed with attention to detail, creating a spooky yet whimsical ambiance. The lighting, sound effects, and music create a captivating and immersive experience that draws players into Luigi’s ghostly adventures.

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Luigi’s Mansion 2 is also super charming and humorous. Luigi’s character is brought to life with expressive animations and minimal voice acting, making his reactions to the spooky scenarios hilarious and heartwarming. The game’s humour appeals to players of all ages, providing a light-hearted counterbalance to the ghostly theme.

The game is divided into missions, each with specific objectives, such as locating essential items, rescuing a Toad assistant, or defeating a boss ghost. The mission-based structure encourages replayability, as players can return to improve their completion times or discover hidden secrets. Luigi’s Mansion 2 also introduces new gameplay mechanics, such as the Dark-Light Device, which reveals invisible objects and hidden pathways, adding an extra layer of intrigue and challenge.

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As a remaster, Luigi’s Mansion 2 feels modest at best. I can’t find anything explicitly new in the port to the Switch. That isn’t a knock by any means, though, because when Dark Moon launched over a decade ago, I remember how much fun I had playing it on my 3DS.

A Modest Remaster

This time, there is more life in the world, and the port feels closer to Luigi’s Mansion 3 — the updated textures, models, and animations, adding Rumble, breathe new life into the classic.

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Another thing I noticed is that with the loss of a second screen, the 3DS offered, Luigi now uses an in-game 3DS to show the map and information needed to move forward. It’s a neat slight adjustment from the original, and the port on new hardware makes sense. The map also moves to the corner of the screen instead of how it was represented on the 3DS.

I’m disappointed that the save system in Luigi’s Mansion 2 wasn’t addressed. Saving only happens once you finish a mission, so you can’t stop mid-game to take a break. If a ghost knocks you out, you’re brought back to the start, which can be frustrating. Of course, the most essential item you can own is gold bones, which are lives Luigi can use to continue his trek through mansions. However, it feels dated to rely on items when free time is often limited.

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This may not be an issue if you own your Switch, but if you share one with family, this can easily be a nuisance if you want to hand off the Switch to a relative.

Fans looking to play together can head to the Scarescraper. Three modes are available for those wishing to play with a friend at home or online — Hunter: where you work together as different Luigi to take on ghosts on each floor. You face the clock and try to complete the mission within five minutes. There’s also the Polterpup Mode available, which takes advantage of the Dark-Light Device to find Polterpups within the time limit. Then, Rush Mode is a race against the clock while working to add extra time to the clock by catching ghosts. I have fond memories of playing these modes years ago; I was excited to see them return as part of the HD remastering.

Lastly, I’m slightly disappointed with the price point as a remaster of Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon. For a game that offers little more than upgraded visuals, the sore spot is that Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD retails for $79 in Canada. Whether or not you find this acceptable is really up to you, but I’m having a hard time digesting the fact that this is priced so high. This isn’t a knock on the quality of the product, as I’ve loved Dark Moon for years, but it’s a hard pill to swallow if you’ve already played the original.

Verdict

Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD is a delightful blend of spooky adventure, clever puzzles, and charming humour. Its engaging gameplay, atmospheric design, and lovable protagonist make this a classic from the get-go and, even a decade plus later, showcases Luigi as an excellent character who can lead out of the shadows of his more famous brother.

Recommended

[The publisher provided a copy of the game for review purposes.]

Reviewed on: Switch

Luigi's Mansion 2 HD
Review: Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD
Summary
Luigi's Mansion 2 is a delightful blend of spooky adventure, clever puzzles, and charming humour. Its engaging gameplay, atmospheric design, and lovable protagonist make this a classic from the get-go and, even a decade plus later, showcases Luigi as an excellent character who can lead out of the shadows of his more famous brother.
Liked
An upgraded version of Luigi's Mansion 2
Tons of hilarious moments
Didn't Like
Overpriced for what you're getting