2013 will be a huge year for Nintendo, possibly their most important yet, with games such as Mario Kart, Wind Waker HD and Pokemon all gunning for top spot. It might come as a surprise then, to find a game featuring the lesser known Mario brother on this list, but have no fear, for all the games coming in the few months, few look to have as much magic as Luigi’s Mansion:Dark Moon. – the 3DS exclusive that will once again see the return of the little green plumber and his ghost busting misadventures.
It’s been twelve years since the original was released on the Nintendo Gamecube, a title that is still remembered as a classic and I expect this glorious looking sequel to be no different. Nintendo could very well have its strongest line-up of games in years so it’s only fitting that Luigi will once again, be the first to get things started.
Why It Could Be Amazing:
It’s obvious that Luigi’s Mansion is best suited to 3D and Nintendo are going all out with this new iteration – it looks amazing. The graphics look to be some of the best produced on the 3DS so far with highly detailed rooms, pitch dark shadows and incredible lighting effects. If it can increase the length of the single player adventure, it could be the first 3DS seller of the year for Nintendo.
The one area where the original failed was its lack of replayability. Nintendo look to be dealing with this problem by making the worlds more open. Interaction is the main focus of the game so it should be possible to tackle rooms in a variety of different ways. From the demos, we have seen that combat has been revamped, as has Luigi’s Poltergust 5000. Puzzles too have been given a more important role this time around as the level design benefits from some Zelda-esque inspiration.
Nintendo’s decision to include multiplayer (both online and local) could yet prove to be a masterstroke. Most online games don’t encourage genuine teamwork so it will be a nice change to see real cooperative features implemented by the masters of immersion. What could be more fun than hunting ghosts with 4 Luigi’s?
If Nintendo can keep things fresh, as well as add more depth to the levels (a feature hinted at by multiple paths as you upgrade your arsenal) then Luigi’s Mansion should offer the same hilarious hi-jinks of the original, with more to do and better ways to do them. The fact that there is 3 mansions this time around means we should get a more varied experience too.
Why It Could Be Terrible:
Nintendo have been coy when discussing the actual length of the game, which should probably worry fans of the original. Luigi’s Mansion on the Gamecube was barely 6 hours long which is quite ridiculous by today’s standards. Quality over quantity is only acceptable for arcade titles, such as the phenomenal Walking Dead series. It doesn’t matter how good as game is, people want value for money and seeing as Luigi’s mansion is a full priced retail release, it will have to justify its cost in these recessionary times.
The demos have hinted that backtracking will be a huge part of the game and while this does add more depth, I personally hate retreading old ground, even if it means missing out on some collectibles. The original suffered from formulaic, predictable gameplay and from what we’ve seen, it does appear that Nintendo might have made the same mistakes again.
There has been no mention of other playable characters so Nintendo might be missing out on some classic cameos. It’s understandable that Nintendo might want to give Mario a rest but there are others in Mushroom Kingdom who would be even better. Yoshi would be perfect for a cameo as would Luigi’s nemesis, Waluigi.
Potential Rating: 3/5
I still can’t see the simgle player adventure being more than 10 hours long so hopefully Nintendo can add some unique challenges and different modes within the main game. From the trailers, Toad looks set to have a starring role so hopefully he can add some much needed comic relief. We haven’t heard enough about multiplayer to know whether it will work or not, but the concept is interesting enough to warrant a purchase.
2013 could very well be the year Luigi overthrows older brother Mario and becomes king of the plumbers. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon looks set to be one of the most innovative games of the year, highlighted perfectly on Nintendo’s marvelous 3D console. If Nintendo can nail the multiplayer aspect of the game, then 3DS fans should have the years first must own game.
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This article was first posted on January 28, 2013