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Luigi's Mansion 2 HD | REVIEW | NINTENDO SWITCH

''WHO YOU GONNA CALL!?'

 

Developed: Next Level Games

Published: Nintendo

Genre: Adventure

Release Date: June 27th, 2024

Platforms: Switch


*PRODUCT PROVIDED TO ME BY NINTENDO


Luigi's Mansion 2 HD is a high definition version of the 3DS title, Dark Moon and it is developed by Next Level Games and published by Nintendo. With Switch being in the twilight years of its life span and the consoles successor on the way shortly, Nintendo decided it needs to bolster the Switches library for its final swan song. But, was remastering Luigi's Mansion 2 the proper move? or should another game have been chosen? Only one way to find out, so lets get scared!


STORY:


The magical Dark Moon that hangs over Evershade Valley seems to calm the ghosts that live there. But when it suddenly breaks apart, the once-friendly ghosts become unruly! Luigi must stumble into action and find his courage to restore the Dark Moon to its rightful place in the sky.

''M...M...M...MARIO?''

 

GAMEPLAY:


Its been 11 whole years since the original version of Luigi's Mansion 2, subtitled Dark Moon, arrived on our handheld devices in 2013, and since that time, we've also received a brand new entry for this franchise as well with Luigi's Mansion 3, also on the Nintendo Switch. Needless to say, if you're a fan of scaredy cat Luigi with his solo ghost hunting adventures since the days of Gamecube, then its safe to say everyone is eating as good as Kirby right now. Only, were not as cute and squishy as the little guy, but at least it gives us something to strive for. I'm going to be upfront though, I never finished Dark Moon on the 3DS. ''Gasp! by the nine divine, surely you cant be serious''. Yes yes, I know its blasphemy and I am serious when I say that, but please, don't call me Shirley. The 3DS was a weird time for me as a gamer, it was at the time where I was leaning way heavier into console strictly gaming over my handheld days growing up, and since I don't travel a lot, I'd have a tough time sitting down in the comfort of my home staring down at my tiny 3DS and giving myself permanent neck damage like I was a long neck from The Land Before Time. But I did play through the first half of the game and even a fare share bit of Scare Scraper as well with people, so I wasn't completely shut out of it entirely. Mostly my thoughts when playing it were like ok this game is pretty good, its not as good as the original game on Gamecube, but for a handheld, its enjoyable.. however it wasnt until I had played and beaten Luigi's Mansion 3 that I felt part 3 deserved the moniker of a Luigi's Mansion 2 sequel over the sequel we actually got with Dark Moon. Wait wait, I know what you're thinking ''How dare thee compare a game thy havent beaten to one ye hast? hast thou no honor? what say thee? thines words and spells shall find no shelter or comfort here or on the morrow! thou is nothing more than a crooked-nose knave!''. First off holy crap, that was rude and secondly, why am I being insulted in Medieval talk?. If you'd let me finish, then I was going to say I came to that conclusion after fully completing the game now on Nintendo Switch and that doesn't mean saying it makes this title a bad game, quite the opposite, its a very enjoyable experience, but there are quite a few hiccups along the way that werent streamlined enough from the 3DS version of the game, which I will get into now.

When Dark Moon released, it felt like a game that should've been on a home console, lots of big ideas were used, different mechanics, online multiplayer aspect, it felt like a big deal, however it was also limited by the 3DS itself, when, a console starving for any game at all, like the Wii U, should've been the place where it shouldve been playable to begin with, but now that problem is rectified now that its on Nintendo Switch, for better or for worse. With recent titles being remastered like Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door, Links Awakening, Metroid Prime, Super Mario RPG Remake and now here with Dark Moon, the quality itself hasn't been an issue, but its the content provided that raise the eyebrows of some people. Why? well the big ''controversy'' now in gaming is price points, should games be $40 for a remaster and is $60 too high for them?. Honestly it all depends, some games are fully rebuilt from ground up like a Links Awakening, Super Mario RPG, others getting a really good graphical overhaul like Metroid Prime remastered and then other stuff like Paper Mario getting a new paint job with new quality of life features. How do you determine what should be $40 and what warrants $60? if you find out McFly, then let me know. But if you're ''standing on business'' on hating the $60 price point, yet buy another game remaster you ''make an exception for'' at $60 while hating on another game for doing it, then Tell Me Why are you like this?. Yeah Backstreet boys reference, bet you didn't expect that one, huh?. So my own griping about gripers aside, where does Luigi's Mansion 2 fall in category compared to the other remasters on the market from the Nintendo? Honestly pretty much with Paper Mario with qualify of life fixes, tweaks to gameplay and fresh coat of paint. So I guess I cant gripe TOO much right? Swiper no griping!. But what do you do in this game, granted not everyone has played the 3DS version so no one should expect to just be up to date, so I'll quickly fill you in and give you the general idea of just want the little bro of Mario is doing in his next solo adventure.

 

''ITS BEHIND ME... ISNT IT?''

 
Here in Luigi's Mansion 2, our favorite wuss and silly boy Luigi must collect all the shattered pieces and fragments of the Dark Moon that was destroyed and scattered all across the valley by the evil King Boo in order to make all neighboring ghosts in the air turn evil, with the sole purpose being to take over the world, YeEeEeE-HaHaHa. Sorry, I can't do the Boo laugh very well, I tried. Using the power of your trusty Poltergust 5000, a versatile gadget given to you by the mad and borderline crazy, Professor E-Gadd, as you travel from mansion to mansion using the vacuum to suck up ghosts to store in a vault, solve environment themed puzzles to unveil mysteries using your dark light to find stuff the ghosts are trying to hide, find hidden secret mini games, which im terrible at, and find jewels to rack up money to purchase upgrades for the Poltergust, etc et. All this is done as you navigate these haunted halls alongside your handheld communication device called the Dual Scream, which is basically a Nintendo DS or 3DS style of communicator that keeps you in contact with the professor at all times to get helpful hints like showing you objectives on the map or the dangers that lurk deeper inside the depths of the houses. Although, he does tend to get just a tad bit annoying because the bro REALLY loves to talk, like I mean, its like walking through the grass in a Pokemon game and being paranoid you're going to get into a random battle, same energy and vibe here - walking around and telling four steps and you just KNOW you're going to hear the dang Do Do Do Do, Do Do Do Do jungle, for all eternity. But at least its not Sonic Adventure bad with the train lady never leaving you alone with telling you the train is departing for the Mystic Ruins soon. ''The Train heading for the Mystic Runs is departing soon''. No! GO AWAY. Sorry. Back on topic. The great thing about Luigi's Mansion 2 and also a negative too, is that this game allows you to navigate and solve really clever environmental puzzles like using the gust of your vacuum to turn handles to raise levers, pull on web cocoons to get them in range of fire, then proceed to use the gust to spin a fan around, make it hit fire and then proceed to hit nearby spider webs to burn it all down in one smooth puzzle - and its pretty awesome. But how is that both a good and bad thing exactly? simple, it doesnt hold your hand and you're basically left to figure stuff out for yourself for the most part, which is great... however, on the flipside, there are no check points or save spots so if you spend 30 minutes or even 40 minutes going through a level and then you die.... well time to bust out of the wall in rage like the Kool Aid man because once you die, you start the level ALL THE WAY OVER again, unless you find a dog bone. Its VERY annoying. But we'll come back to that in my dislikes section, trust me. It makes me want to hit them with that Sabaku Kyuu. Naruto fans will know what I'm talking about.

In stark contrast to previous titles like the original Luigi's Mansion on Gamecube, here in Luigi's Mansion 2, you're structured in a very semi linear way for all your ghost busting needs. Instead of more open ended settings, you are now pixelated and dropped through five very different and distinct mansions with all of them ending with a boss fight that makes you use every ounce of intelligence that you have in order to slay them due to every single one using a different mechanic like lighting pieces of them on fire, fight on top of a clock by dodging its arms and moving at the right time, throwing Boo's into oncoming trains so that you can use your dark light to reveal their bodies so you can pull on their tongue and capture them, etc etc, you get it, the boss fights are pretty dang awesome, even with the levels themselves adhering to a more linear style. For comparison, think of Super Mario Galaxy to Super Mario Galaxy 2 and you get the idea. Every level you play, which through the first three mansions having 5 levels and then a boss fight, are extremely short if you know what you're doing. If youve played the game before on 3DS and have beaten it then you can run through each level in probably like 10 to 15 minutes tops, however if you're brand spanking new and just starting, then you're looking at levels taking you anywhere from 30 minutes to 40 minutes to beat, depending on if you die and get a gamer over or choose to be a very sneaky sneaky person and peep the cracks in the wall of the haunted mansions to see what is going on in there on the other side. Caution though, what you may see, could be very disturbing. Don't let level linearity get you down though, the silly and funny Mario style slapstick humor that you know and love from this loveable goof Luigi is still front and center with Luigi constantly whining that he just wants to go home and at this point would probably be scared of his own fart if he heard it. Oh ya, he's that much of a wuss, but... hes OUR wuss, so he gets a pass. Despite its linearity though, the game and its atmosphere aim to shine through the darkness of that negative with each mansion offering a distinct biome of an environment with areas taking you through traditional mansions, clockwork towers in the desert that have you finding gear pieces to get the clock working, snow filled cabins in the woods where you can enact revenge on Frosty The Snowman for making you cry after watching the movie Jack Frost, etc etc. You dang Snow Man. You were supposed to uplift my feelings! NOT DESTROY THEM. Bad frosty.

Even though I said the game overall is linear, which is true, exploration however is possible even if that exploration is limited in the overall structure to the levels, however, thinking outside the box and veering off path can be extremely beneficial to you as the player as you can find hidden treasures by blowing away rugs or pulling curtains off walls, looking in the mirror to see reflections of a gem, find a jewel stuck in ice and use wooden logs to break the ice to grab it, find hidden boos that are tucked away in secret hiding spots to send them to your vault in Gadds lab, using flash light to destroy plants or other objects to make them throw out dollar bills or coins to gain the currency needed to upgrade your Poltergust vacuum, etc etc. Its definitely worthwhile to ignore the objective sometimes and try to discover all the hidden rooms and secrets that you can. But whats the point of upgrading the poltergust, its just a stupid vacuum right? scaredy cat Luigi isn't a Mary Poppins after all. I mean you can call him a maid too.... but I WOULDNT. Upgrading the Poltergust is KEY because a lot of these ghosts become such a chore to deal with. By flashing your light at them to stun and then suctioning them and using left stick to pull them in like a fishing reel, you can capture them with easy, at least early on, but then soon as you encounter blue jerk ghosts who hide in appliances and throw stuff at you, green ghosts that have armor or swords on that makes you time your dodges before stunning, big red brute ghosts who have over 200 HP to drain from them as you pull and press A as the Gust meter fills, gigantic fat glob yellow ghosts that spit toxins at you that have a gigantic amount of health, etc etc, yeah I'm thinking you need ALL of the upgrades or you are going to fail VERY fast, so exploration and money gathering is absolutely key. This is also the case with sucking up throwable objects as well and aiming them and using the blow feature to shoot or toss an item at an objective, simple. But me? nope, I used it mostly to throw around Toad everywhere. Annoying little guy. If the potential 15 to 20 hour Dark Moon quest isnt enough to keep you occupied after being the main game, well lucky for you that they kept the multiplayer mode called ScareScraper. In this mode it lets you play both local and online as you team up with others to clear out ghosts from rooms, racing to exits before your friends, finding good doggy's named Polterpups and cooperating with each other instead of trying to get overly competitive to win like I tend to do. If I can survive in a game, sorry, yall are getting left or you're coming with me. I know, I'm a jerk, I'm sorry, but dont worry, here in Scarescaper, I'm your friend to the end! hidey-ho!. The variety in the online mode makes it an extremely fun choice to pick up and play with all your friends, so if you have tons of friends, unlike me, who's a loner, then gather them around for a pizza and soda night, because you're in a for an extremely silly time.

 

''WERE THE LUIGI BROTHERS AND... BUSTINS OUR GAME?''

 

DISLIKES:


Oh no. Its the dreaded and spooky dislikes time. I always hate doing these for games I cover, but not everything is sunshine and rainbows and there's good and bad to everything in video games, including this one. While my dislikes might not be complete game breakers, I did tend to run into some things that ticked me off quite a bit at times. My first gripe has to do with the motion controls that come into play when you make Luigi cross narrow gaps to keep his balance and to me it feels borderline broken on the pro controller for the Switch. By making Luigi walk across the gaps and walkways, you have to tilt your controller left and right like you're Swerve Stricklands manager Prince Nana in AEW doing his little entrance dance. It gets increasingly more annoying when you try to do it moving back and forth but then get told you must press the right stick to jump to another platform right next to you while youre doing that, which majority of the time you'll fall, which drains your HP. I got so annoyed that I was like forget this, I'm disabling it in the menu and then proceeded to use the left stick only to move around and did it with ease first try. Second gripe is the lack of quality of life fixes in this title that was present in other games like Paper Mario. Leaving in the ''start the level over'' mechanic is also pretty annoying as I touched on earlier. You can spend 40 minutes getting through a level and then dying near the end and then having to re-do that entire level ALL over again, all objectives, all ghost captures, all treasures lost, etc, its as gut wrecking as getting the YOU DIED screen a Souls game. The only way to get around is is finding a dog bone hidden away in each mansion that gives you one revive. Definitely ticked me off a few times, even though I only died like 3 times. But still, this should've been improved upon at least a little bit. Wait till you're near the latter half of the game and end up having to take on like 30 ghosts at a time on one health meter and spending like 30 minutes fighting them, dodging, pulling, with no way to gain health, to just die right at the end and have to re-fight them all OVER again. Yup, that's what you are in for and that's exactly what happened to me, but luckily for me, I had a bone at the time, otherwise I would've had to re-do the same section over once more. ITS YOUR FAULT TOAD!

 

''PIXAR PRESENTS: NINTENDOS ''UP'', OUT NEVER ''

 

OVERALL:


At the end of the day, Luigi's Mansion 2 ends up being a quality remaster and port of Dark Moon from the 3DS with a brand new coat of paint and improved control work for your Poltergust. Obviously its far from perfect with some questionable motion control features for walking along narrow bars or for aiming, a game over system that feels like it punishes you rather than encourages you to keep playing by making you start over again after a death, which is old school style, load times in sections of the main game and even Scare Scraper being a tad bit slow at times, which shouldnt be the case since this is now on stronger hardware, etc etc. However, even with those annoying elements, the core gameplay is still extremely tight with all the varieties of ways to use your Poltergust to find secrets, catch new ghosts, find secret entrances to mini games to collect red coins, use dark light to unveil secrets that prankster ghosts try to keep you from, make your brain work in overdrive as you find creative ways to solve each levels puzzles, fantastic boss fights that feel fresh and unique compared to regular ghosts, plethora of things to do after beating the game such as fun multiplayer and going back to levels to earn more medals and collectibles to fill up your vault that houses all your ghost friends that you caught and shows you all jewels you managed to discover as well. There's just a ton to do and it is a genuinely enjoyable experience. The only real question do I think its worth $60 . Honesty I would say yes only for the simple fact that its not just an up-rez game, its not just a simple upscaling of a 3DS game and instead takes a Super Mario RPG approach or Metroid Prime and gives it a bit of a overhaul of polish to make it look way better than a simple upscale in resolution. For that reason alone I'd say $60 is warranted, but I certainly dont blame people either if they say they wait for a price drop, that is quite understandable. But for people that may have beaten Part 1 and Part 3 and want to finish this trilogy, I say give it a go, lots of fun ghost bustin awaits ya. So with all that having been said, my verdict is clear, GameNChick says BUY NOW




 





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