Christa Speranza Staff Writer
It is time to be spooked with the much anticipated Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, which was released for the Nintendo 3DS on March 24. Dark Moon is a sequel to the 2001 GameCube version of Luigi’s first game, Luigi’s Mansion, which became one of the biggest cult hits in the gaming world. Its sales were minimal, and the reviews were lackluster, but true fans begged for a sequel. It took Nintendo 12 years to give them the game they wanted. Ear- lier this year, Nintendo’s head designer and producer, Shigeru Miyamoto, announced on the company’s website that this was the Year of Luigi and Dark Moon surely delivers as one of the 3DS’ strongest titles to date.
The game opens with Luigi sleeping in his house. He is abruptly woken up by his television. What are the odds that Professor E. Gadd, the maniacal scientist to whom Luigi called for help in the first game, needs his help in the sequel? Like the scene in Poltergeist, Luigi is sucked into the television and transported to Gadd’s lab. The sidekick instructs Luigi to search for pieces of the “Dark Moon,” a mysterious jewel that allows ghosts to be emotionally controlled for the benefit of mankind. With ghosts now floating rampant in the town of Evershade Valley, it is up to Luigi to save each mansion by “cleansing” the place with his trusty flashlight and Poltergust 5000, a nifty vacuum cleaner that traps ghouls and spirits so they can no longer wreak havoc.
Within the first few minutes of the game, I could see that the controls use every button on the 3DS, so nothing goes to waste. What is convenient about the camera view is that the player can control Luigi’s perspective without the usage of a second joystick. Players simply move the 3DS around and check your peripherals in an instant.
Another smart move on the developer’s part was the use of the second screen. It acts as a map letting the player know which rooms are locked or open and where to go to reach the next objective. A quick look at the bottom screen allows the player to have a nearly full top half experience of the system without any distractions.
Another minor detail I will note is the modeling in the 3DS games. The programmers have yet to find a way to smooth out rounded edges. Nonetheless, it is a colorful game. Even the ghosts are not a typical white or gray hue. They vary in color and they are given personalities. For example, red ghosts are big and abrasive while green ghosts are tiny and mischievous.
A great introduction to the game is the new multiplayer mode. Players can go online locally (between linked systems) or worldwide to compete in a variety of mini-missions like timed ghost-hunting or a survival mode missions where spirits are on a non-stop rampage.
Fans of previous Mario games or the first Luigi’s Man- ision will not be disappointed by this game. In fact, this game is completely revamped. While the first Mansion paved the way for Dark Moon, this new adventure provides fans with a new defini- tion of the word “hero.” Taking into consideration the minor graphic setbacks, this game has received a lot of positive feed- back. Luigi is starting to look like a major contender for future Nintendo games.