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on March 24, 2013
Being a fan of Dark Moon's predecessor, Luigi's Mansion for GameCube, I've been anxiously awaiting the release of this game. It's been a long wait but I'm happy to report it was well worth it!

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon takes the basic concepts of its predecessor and brings them to life in a stunning 3D world. Really. I think this is the most impressed I've been with the utilization of 3D on my 3DS to date. The graphics are gorgeous and not a single detail was overlooked.

The Poltergust 3000 has been upgraded to a Poltergust 5000 in Dark Moon and other additions bring this sequel to a fresh new level, like the new strobe and lightning bolt features. If you loved sucking up ghosts in the original you'll enjoy doing more of the same here with a few fun upgrades.

I was a bit worried about the use of the gyroscope in this game but it incorporates well. By tilting the screen you're able to aim your tools into every nook and cranny of the room. The tilt feature compliments game play nicely without being obnoxious.

If you're familiar with the GameCube version you'll pick up on the game play here quickly. If not, you won't be faced with a daunting learning curve. The controls are pretty straightforward and quickly begin to feel natural as you get comfortable with the game.

I found Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon to be a perfect marriage of innovation and recognition from the original, and it's worth mentioning again just how truly amazing the 3D experience in this game is. Oh, and of course it's loads of fun! Highly recommended, excellent title!
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on April 22, 2013
Gamecube’s Luigi’s Mansion (one of my old personal favorites) finally got itself a sequel after more than a ten year long wait. In the Mario franchise where it’s grown to be mostly mindless multiplayer action with a plethora of endless minigames and reboots, Nintendo gave Player 2 another chance to shine with Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon.

In the last game, a mysterious letter congratulates Luigi on winning himself a mansion in a contest despite never entering one. He rings up Mario to meet him there to celebrate and by the time Luigi arrives, he finds his brother missing. He gets help from the quirky Professer E. Gadd and searches the spooky mansion armed with the Poltergust 3000 (a powerful ghost sucking vacuum) and a flashlight to save his brother.

In Dark Moon, Luigi returns with an admittedly less interesting reason other than the ghosts are acting up, doing what ghosts do and all. But as you progress in the game, you piece together a whole other reason for the sudden increase in paranormal activity. He’s back with new gadgets (and an upgraded Poltergust 5000) to take down those pesky ghosts, new areas, and with a variety of new ghosts to wrangle.

The 3D’s bells and whistles surprisingly doesn’t hinder gameplay, but makes it rather fun. For the Gamecube, a lot of Luigi’s movements were controlled via the second analog stick like aiming the flashlight or wrangling ghosts into your vacuum of doom. The 3Ds cleverly uses its gyroscope and accelerometer capabilities in a way that really adds to the movement. If you’re not up for moving the 3Ds up and down to aim, the same can be achieved with a button press and I like how it allows you the freedom to choose which you prefer.

Luigi tip-toes through the dusty corridors in a state of nail biting terror, nervously humming along to the background music in a way that makes me wanna pet the screen to calm him down. The ambiance is just as great as the last game with great lighting and sound effects. Everything responds to your exploration as you go through the game and there are many puzzles to solve reminiscent to the Legend of Zelda series, something that I felt is an improvement. Ghosts now have different strategies you have to figure out when trying to clear a room. Some like to hide in furniture like a game of hide-and-seek while some use head gear or items to keep from getting dazed by your flashlight and it makes the game more challenging and never boring.

My only complaints are the lack of checkpoints and the grading system. When your health drops to zero, you restart from the beginning and you have to go through all the stuff you discovered before which can be a pain. The grading system, while fair, judges for your time and I felt that was a bit much considering that I’m one of those OCD kinda players where I have to look through everything in every room so getting a bronze made me grind my teeth in frustration. It was my first playthrough and I didn’t feel the need to rush, but I’ll gladly play it over again to reach the best score since you’re able to replay areas and missions you’ve unlocked in the past so it kinda makes up for it.

Despite those small annoyances, it’s one heck of a game I feel that any Nintendo 3Ds player would enjoy it even if they haven’t played the last one. Gamers who played Luigi’s Mansion the will love Dark Moon because it improved everything they loved without losing anything that made it awesome in the first place; a formula every sequel should follow.
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on April 9, 2014
The Good: Fantastic visuals and attention to detail, great combat systems, exploring the areas is fun

The Bad: Repetitive objectives and enemies, gets too frustrating towards the end, game runs out of steam less than half-way

Luigi’s Mansion was a cult hit back on the GameCube, but didn’t see much commercial success. The 3DS seems like a perfect home for the sequel so Nintendo went for it. You play as Luigi who is tasked with dispersing a small town of ghosts with the help of Professor E. Gadd. You take your Poltergust 5000 and suck and blow anything in your path. Be it cloth on walls, rugs, pulleys, or using your other powers to reveal hidden objects or even your flashlight to help battle ghosts. There’s quite a few elements in play here and they are done fairly well. Ghosts don’t just stand around and let you suck them up. Some are protected by objects or are inside other objects and require coaxing out in various ways. This with the inclusion of puzzles makes Luigi’s Mansion a fun trip.

It isn’t without its problems and there are more than meets the eye like most recent Nintendo games. Sure the game looks great and plays well but it gets repetitive half-way through and gets frustrating. You’d expect tougher ghosts to come into play at some point, but instead you get the same ghosts with bigger life bars and more thrown at you. As you progress you find cash throughout the game to upgrade your equipment so this isn’t a problem. I was nearly maxed out towards the end of the game. The issue is redundancy and constantly revisiting the same areas just to fight different ghosts. Some puzzles are hard to figure out and some require insistent backtracking that gets very dull. The game had the Mario charm thrown in, but I expected more variety. After the third area you really start getting tired of the game, but that doesn’t mean its terrible.

There are some hidden items in each area and they aren’t too hard to find if you explore every little area. These range from gems to cash to a hidden Boo in each level. It feels less like a collectathon and more like exploring an area. The objectives are clear and your map is useful. With that said, many objectives are also repeated throughout like chasing down a ghost dog to find a key and getting back parts from various ghosts. It just got old and I just kept telling myself, “Not this again!”

Dark Moon is one of the best looking 3DS games out there. The game has high-resolution textures, great looking models, and some impressive lighting effects and physics. I almost felt like I was playing the Wii U. The 3D effects are nice, but don’t add anything to the gameplay. I loved the attention to detail from Luigi’s voice to his animations. The game has great production values but could have used a better variety of gameplay elements.
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on September 6, 2013
I have been an avid gamer for 45 years and this is a great game to play.I personally think it's better than the Gamecube version.Great graphics and they're in 3D.This is a great addition to all of the other Mario and Luigi games that Nintendo has produced.This game will definitely go into my collection !!!
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on August 30, 2014
Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon is the sequel to the 2001 Nintendo GameCube game Luigi's Mansion. It is an action-adventure game developed by Next Level Games and published by Nintendo. It was released in Japan on March 20, 2013, and in North America on March 24, 2013. Should Luigi's sequel be a must have or should we just send Luigi back home?

In Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, you play as Luigi, who is once again capturing ghosts. This time around though, he's equipped with the Poltergust 5000, which is described as a specialized vacuum cleaner used to capture ghosts. In single-player mode, the overall goal is to retrieve the pieces of the broken Dark Moon, which is a magical object that has a positive effect on the ghosts, making them peaceful. You are trying to retrieve them in the game's main setting or region, Evershade Valley, by finding one of each in the five haunted mansions.

The graphics look great for a Nintendo 3DS game and really show that the 3DS' graphical capabilities can be pushed much more than it has before (just look at Fire Emblem: Awakening). The 3D ability is great too, I definitely encourage you to have the 3D depth slider all the way up for the greatest effect.

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon is pretty similar to its predecessor. It focuses on Luigi, who is recruited by Professor E. Gadd (through teleportation this time) to explore several haunted mansions and capture the ghosts that hide inside using the Poltergust 5000. This specialized vacuum can also suck up treasure hidden in various rooms as well. Once you clear a room of ghosts, you are awarded with a key, which allows you to access deeper parts of the mansion. And of course, the main antagonist, King Boo, is once again filling the role as Luigi's nemesis.

Unlike it's predecessor, Dark Moon is level based in each mansion. I personally did not like this due to the fact that it makes the game feel less exploration based and more structured (similar to Paper Mario: Sticker Star). Each mission is pretty lengthy, and you have to complete the mission to save, you cannot just quit and it will auto save for you. It would have been cool if there was such thing as an auto save option.

There is also an online multiplayer mode, which lets up to four players take control of Luigi in different color palettes, allowing you to explore the "ScapeScraper" mansion. There are four different multiplayer modes: Hunter, Rush, Polterpup, and Surprise. Multiplayer mode can be played by LAN, WiFi, and Download Play (which is where the host is required to have the game).

Overall, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon is a lot of fun to play both Single Player and Multiplayer. Besides the few gripes of structured levels instead of exploration based game-play and an auto save feature, this game will give you hours of entertainment whether you have played the predecessor before or this is your first time jumping into the new series. Nintendo has done it once again by applying its inventive game-play mechanics into their new Luigi only game, reinventing what was thought couldn't be done with just Luigi. The team at Next Level Games have done an excellent job at developing the game, and they really started "The Year Of Luigi" off strongly.

8/10

Pros: Cons:
Amazing visuals Individual levels instead of one big exploration
Tight controls Too linear
Outstanding 3D Mission based which were tedious, forcing you to come back to old levels with little difference
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on April 3, 2013
To be honest, I've never played a Mario game or anything along those lines. (Crazy right?) So this is coming from an unbiased, new 3DS owner. I've only owned the DS Lite and never bothered to upgrade, but Nintendo's Buy-One-Get-One tempted me over. (Which is still going on, until April 30th, I believe. You have to buy either Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon or Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity to be eligible) But enough of the formalities, it's time to get down to the heart of the matter.

CHARACTERS: 5/5
I went into this game knowing NOTHING about Luigi, but I learned so much about his mannerisms and personality. I am in love, he is just the most adorable scaredy-cat ever. The Prof. and the Polter-Pup have such a refreshing nature, it makes me tap into my inner child.

MUSIC: 5/5
The music is great and very catchy, I won't be forgetting it anytime soon. It really fits the mood of a haunted mansion. It feels as if the main theme (the one used on Nintendo's website for Luigi's Mansion)is used more often than I'd like, but it's a great soundtrack so I don't mind.

IMAGERY: 4/5
The 3D use is spectacular during normal play, but distracting when using gyroscopic activities. During scenes like walking the rope, I think it is best if you turn the 3D off.

GAMEPLAY: 5/5
As I've stated before, I'm not an expert on the ways of the 3DS, so I don't know much about the console, but I do know that the controls were extremely easy to grasp. In my opinion, that simplicity is what makes the game really fun. Press L to puff out air and press R to suck things into the vacuum. Use the other buttons to explore objects in the Luigi-verse. Fun!

DIFFICULTY: 3/5
I don't think the game was particularly difficult, but I've died a couple of times. (That spider boss was pretty tricky.)
It gives you many rooms to explore and I love that it gives you some puzzles to solve. Took me a while to figure things out, but it is extremely rewarding to have solved it.

SUMMARY: 5/5
The work Nintendo put into this game shows. Every mansion is crafted with so much love and detail. I really appreciate little things like that, nice job Nintendo! If I could say anything bad about it, I'd have to say I dislike having to start the entire mission over when Luigi's health drops to 0. I also hate that the cut-in's and Prof's calls are still in effect when replaying the mission. It is really annoying when I want to replay for a higher rank or to find a boo. But despite that, it's an absolute blast to play with, I am addicted! I don't regret picking up this game at full price. If you haven't already, go buy it now! In my opinion, it is a 3DS MUST HAVE staple!
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on December 7, 2015
Got this game on a whim out of boredom and after I started it I was hooked. I loved it so much and couldn't stop playing it. I actually completed it, which for me (someone who gets bored incredibly quickly) it's a huge surprise. The learning curve was gentle, but there were enough puzzles and collectables that it doesn't feel super easy. There are the occasional cheap shot in the game, either in the form of "there was no way to avoid damage" or "that shouldn't have hit me", but they are few and far between. I did finish this game pretty quickly though. That's pretty much my only complaint. Still there is replay ability with the scare scraper, the multiplayer function of the game. And even if the person you want to play with doesn't have a copy of the game, if they have a 3ds they can download a free (limited) version of the game so at least they can link up to your game and play with you. Two copies of the game are not needed.
10/10, this is a fun game.
Side note: I am a 20 year old female, and my two younger siblings (14 year old boy and 10 year old girl) also love the game, so it does reach a nice age range.
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on February 28, 2016
I had a lot more fun with this title than I expected. Luigi, unlike Mario, is allowed to have character development and it shows! You really come to enjoy him and his ghostly misadventures. Plenty of level replay value with so many macguffins to find.
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on April 5, 2013
If you were a fan of the original Luigi's Mansion on the Gamecube then you'll love this game. There are slight differences such as the way the game is structured and some of the mechanics. The game is filled with that classic Nintendo charm and personality. Exploring the mansions in this game is just fun. From hidden cash and gems, to finding the hidden boos. There is plenty to do. I also find myself going back time and time again to make sure I get the highest rating on each mission.

The only complaint I have about the singleplayer portion of the game is that there is a lack of unique ghosts like you had in the original game. That's not to say the ghosts it has do not have personality. They have a lot of personality but they tend to have the same one since they are the same ghosts over and over. Sure you have a few spots that you have some more unique ghosts but those are but just a couple of instances. I'd also say I liked the final bosses of each mansion except the boss of the 4th mansion. They're all the same basic boss but they always have differences to the fights in either how you get to the boss or the mechanics of the fight.

One of the best additions to the game though is the multiplayer mode. You can hook up with 3 other people either online, via local play, or even download play from the cart. The mode has a couple of different options and they are decently fun too. I would like more variety in the floor of the Scarescrapper though..

All that said if you loved the first then you will love this game.It's without a doubt going to remain in my collection for the rest of my life alongside the first game.
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on March 30, 2013
I was pleasantly surprised at how cute and fun Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon turned out to be.
(Having played the first Luigi's Mansion in anticipation of the game, I've also included some comparison between the two.)

---STORY: 4/5 - 5/5 (Predictable but still very enjoyable.)
The story is very predictable, but, nonetheless, I enjoyed it. The dialogue, expressions, and reactions are cute, funny, and entertaining. The story starts with Professor E. Gadd working in his lab with some friendly ghosts, but the ghosts quickly turn hostile when a "mysterious" Boo shatters the Dark Moon. Luigi is then recruited by Professor E. Gadd to help reconstruct the Dark Moon.

Story vs. Luigi's Mansion (GCN)
Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon is a sequel to Luigi's Mansion on the GameCube. You don't need to have played the first game to enjoy Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, but playing the first one will help with understanding references. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon has a different but similar story, alluding to the first game a bit. There are many returning characters. As already stated, Professor E. Gadd returns--more eccentric than ever--along with some other favorite characters.

---GRAPHICS: 4/5 (To be expected.)
The graphics aren't anything special; it's in the style you pretty much come to expect from a modern Mario game. Luigi has some great expressions though, which added to the game's charm. I don't play with the 3D on but from what little I saw of it, the 3D seemed good. Although, there are a few situations where you have to tilt the 3DS, which might make it hard to focus on the 3D.

Graphics vs. Luigi's Mansion (GCN)
The graphics in Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon are brighter and more colorful than in Luigi's Mansion, where it was almost impossible to see in the dark without the flashlight.

---CONTROLS: 4/5 (Good but not perfect.)
Most of the action occurs on the top screen of the 3DS, the bottom screen is used for displaying information like your health, quest items, treasure collected, and the map. Once you get used to the controls, it's fairly easy to control Luigi. The only thing I had a lot of trouble with was aiming the flashlights. There are two different types of flashlights in the game, which you use with the A or Y buttons. To aim up or down you can either tilt the 3DS the way you want Luigi to look, which can be awkward, or press the X or B buttons, which is difficult because you'll already be pressing the A or Y buttons.

Controls vs. Luigi's Mansion (GCN)
If you're coming straight from the first game, there are some changes in controls that will take some getting used to, for example, you now have to hold B to run. The main change is the inability to turn when vacuuming (or charging the flashlight to stun a ghost), you can only sidestep. This seems intentional, to make the game more challenging, but when coming from the first game, where sidestep is an option, some practice was needed.

---SINGLE-PLAYER: 5/5 (Fun and easy to replay.)
The game is mission based. Missions are around 5 - 30 minutes each, depending on how focused or distracted you are. Almost each mansion has five main missions, followed by a boss and a secret mission you unlock by finding all the Boos in the mansion. There are five mansions, but since the story is linear, you only unlock a new mansion after you've completed the previous one. Each mission has a different objective, ranging from finding an object, to chasing a ghost dog, to rescuing a Toad, to (of course) catching ghosts. You'll encounter many different ghosts throughout the game, along with other non-ghost creatures. Bosses are fairly challenging and all have unique mechanics. You get ranked for each mission you complete, and you can replay missions at any time, allowing you to get a higher score, search for hidden gems, or re-watch the story. Most scenes can be skipped as well, making replaying levels less tedious and more enjoyable. The game actually isn't very scary. Some young kids might be scared by certain parts, which are scary only because they're startling. Overall, the game is more funny and cute than scary.

Single-player vs. Luigi's Mansion (GCN)
The Luigi's Mansion for the GameCube was a fairly short game. It could be beaten in six to eight hours (or less), even when trying to achieve the highest end-game rank. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon is about twice as long as its predecessor. It took me about fifteen hours to beat the game, and that's not even including the secret missions. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon also has a lot less backtracking than the first game did, and when you do have to backtrack to previous rooms, it is less of a chore because there are usually changes in rooms from mission to mission. With that said, there are a few parts that borderline tedious. Unlike in the first game, money doesn't play as big a role--money is still everywhere--but it's mainly used for upgrading your tools. Elements also no longer play a role. Instead they've been replaced by the Light-Dark Device, which allows you to see invisible ghosts, make invisible objects visible, and release objects and people from portraits.

---MULTIPLAYER: 3/5 - 4/5 (Interesting but shallow.)
Multiplayer is essentially co-op mini-games, although there is a competitive aspect, as you are ranked against your teammates depending on how useful you were. You can play with up to four players, or you can play by yourself. There are three main game types, each with different objectives: capture all the ghosts, catch all the ghost dogs, or find the exit. Each type lets you select the length and difficulty of the game. Starting multiplayer is simple. You can play locally (you can play with people who don't own Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon via Download Play but it's a limited version) or you can play online with friends or strangers. However, multiplayer must be unlocked by completing the first four story missions. There is no voice or text chat in game; your interactions are limited to four sayings ("Thank you!" "Hey!" "Help me!" "Good Job!"). One problem I encountered online is a result of there being no penalty for leaving; if one player leaves, it sometimes results in everyone else leaving--especially if you're playing on the hardest difficulty, which is made specifically for four players. Otherwise, I had fun with multiplayer, but it doesn't seem like it would have long-lasting value.

Multiplayer vs. Luigi's Mansion (GCN)
There was no multiplayer in the original game.

---OVERALL: 5/5
Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon is a solid, well-made game. I cannot say enough how charming and fun the game is. I would definitely recommend Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon to kids, Nintendo fans, and children at heart.
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