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Luigi's Mansion 2 review

If there's something strange in your cartridge slot, who you gonna call?

In the Poltergust, meanwhile, we have the most versatile item never to appear in Link's rucksack. Applied in the right way, the nozzle can roll carpets, trigger explosions, heave objects, stoke flames... even play ice hockey. Actually, screw Link - the Poltergust puts his similar Gust Bellows to shame. Wait, what's that? The Gust Bellows blow sand? Ha! The Poltergust blows sand for breakfast. Then washes it down with some wallpaper ripping and carpet yanking.

And it's all done with such a tangible sense of tactility: the stretch of a spider's web, the swift yank of tablecloth or the rattling rotation of a ceiling fan blasted by a gust. We spent many minutes just marvelling at the animations, aimlessly sucking up wisps of shower mist or rattling pots on a spice rack. Combat is livened no end by the crunchy flash of the Strobulb and the sense of snarling bite when you hit the A-Pull sweet spot. And if you don't grin when you take down your first Boo, there's no helping you.

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Gorgeous 3D feeds the physicality. Viewing the game in cross-section is akin to peeking into an ornate dollhouse; an idea the developers borrow for one brain-frying sight gag. Tilting the rooms using the gyroscopes only furthers the illusion of a physical place held between the hands. Even light has a sense of depth, in the way a body of dust is lit by a Strobulb flash or how torchlight appears to bounce off the front screen. It's Nintendo's best 3D to date.

It's partnered by visual trickery - particle effects, lighting and shadows - that shouldn't be possible on the humble handheld. An icy level, full of tumbling snow and reflective glaciers, is a standout, as are the hulking brutes unleashed for boss encounters. Some may mourn the loss of the first game's gothic murk - spooks are more generic than the portrait ghosts - but the world is too lip-smackingly lush to stay mad at.

Spook Too Soon

This isn't a world you want to rush through. Each stage is crammed with crannies, hidden rooms and secret portals that whisk you to 15-second bursts of madcap fun - not unlike Super Mario 3D Land's isometric hidey-holes. Stages are littered with breadcrumb trails of trinkets - gold stashes, hidden gems and secret Boos - requiring you to really engage with your surroundings and pick over every single prop. It's a subtle means of enforced art design appreciation, and why not?

If the game does slip up, it's due to a disjoint between this meticulous nit-picking and Waltzer blur of arcade combat. Death, though rare, forces Luigi to restart missions from scratch, punishing 30 seconds of weak defence with up to half an hour of collecting treasure and solving puzzles for a second time. On the plus side, it offers some impetus to hunt down golden bones (offering a restart) and gets adrenaline pumping in later stages, but it feels like rough justice when you make a silly mistake in a surprise ambush.

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We're not fans of Luigi's Dark-Light, either. With the ability to fill in invisible objects and highlight spectral trails, the lens is meant to add a hint of CSI to the proceedings. It's CSI, alright: a Crummy Spectral Irritation. Dark-Light puzzles mainly involve pointing at obvious gaps or tracking paw prints to one of two possible rooms. A Boo-hunting side-quest is a particular pain: shining a torch on every surface until you find one missing pixel isn't our idea of fun.

Even this faffy device redeems itself in the end, however, playing a key role in a moment that had us grinning like simpletons. For as much as Luigi's Mansion 2 acts like the class clown, all shrieks and pratfalls, it has more heart than any game in recent memory. When it isn't yanking them out of ghost chests, naturally. So man up, Luigi and embrace your applause. The only thing to fear is that it takes another 10 years to return.

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Luigi's Mansion 2 is one of the best 3DS games.

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25 comments so far...
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  1. lazy_by_choice Monday 25th Mar 2013 at 11:35

    I pre-ordered this game like a month ago and I'll be playing it later this week :) this review justifies me buying it.

  2. vix_chan Monday 25th Mar 2013 at 11:36

    It's so great to know this game is finaly comeing, hopefuly will have mine this week, but with all the bad weather, i am not counting on it.

    well, been waiting years for it, whats a couple more days.....

    I hope it makes it on time.....

  3. smikey666 Monday 25th Mar 2013 at 12:40

    had an email this morning saying mine had been dispatched so it should be getting here on time just have to split my day between luigi and lego city though

  4. toffeeman30 Monday 25th Mar 2013 at 13:42

    a near high/perfect review score. are games advancing or our expectations lowering?

  5. KH81314 Monday 25th Mar 2013 at 14:06

    Wanted this game before but nows its a must buy. Cant wait to get it.

  6. MatthewONM Monday 25th Mar 2013 at 14:08

    a near high/perfect review score. are games advancing or our expectations lowering?

    It's a fair bit off perfect, to be fair. In this case, the game has definitely advanced - Nintendo know more about game-making than they did 10 years ago when the original came out.

  7. me4ndubz Monday 25th Mar 2013 at 15:36

    I wasn't sure whether I was gonna wait for this game or not but then Anthony Padilla got it so...

  8. Pyron12 Monday 25th Mar 2013 at 16:13

    Pleased with this score. I thought that if it didn't get a Gold or Silver Award the world would end. :lol:

  9. AaronMclaren Monday 25th Mar 2013 at 16:49

    Looking forward to playing this and Lego City Undercover Thursday morning :) That's my gaming fixing till exams are over. Hopefully revision won't suffer too much just from these two...

  10. Twinkle Monday 25th Mar 2013 at 17:30

    Can't wait to get this game! Hope it turns out better than expected! :wink:

  11. sgu07dh Monday 25th Mar 2013 at 20:35

    OMG its finally here! This is the only game I've really wanted for two years! :mrgreen:
    Even Twilight Princess seemed quicker!

  12. vtheyoshi Monday 25th Mar 2013 at 21:19

    I'll be getting this eventually.

  13. LuigisBiggestFan Monday 25th Mar 2013 at 23:55

    im getting this for easter!
    cant wait! :o
    my favorite ghosts are the Greenies! :mrgreen:

  14. Rawful Tuesday 26th Mar 2013 at 16:58

    i am not trying to spoil myself with this game as it looks good. may buy this one day.

  15. Waldy565 Tuesday 26th Mar 2013 at 21:15

    That score seems about right actually! This sounds like everything I want from a game, all be it missing my favourite genre, the RTS. I wasn't sure I'd want this, and it wasn't on my list at one point, but now I know I'll be picking this up... As soon as I have the money!

  16. Maia 34 Friday 29th Mar 2013 at 16:11

    I preorder my copy a while back and it took me a while to pay it off but it was worth it . this my first time ever playing a Luigi game but I herd so many Good things about it that I just had to get it and so far I am loving it playing this will get me through my exams, papers finals . now I can't wait for animal crossing new leaf to come out I also preorder it at gamestop can't wait until June this will be my first time playing an animal crossing game But this another game that I herd so many good things about . :mrgreen:

  17. Herbert_Rarr Saturday 30th Mar 2013 at 10:30

    Really enjoying this game atm, especially the thrill-tower.
    But has anyone else noticed a glitch where the sound effects for Luigi stop working for a while? I was re-playing the first mission to find the boo and all of a sudden the Poltergust and any objects I interacted with stopped making any sound. And a lot of the time I have trouble connecting to a player's tower over the internet.
    Only problems so far though.

  18. Mineturtle Thursday 4th Apr 2013 at 18:14

    Cant wait to get this game !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Adam Rowley Thursday 18th Apr 2013 at 08:07

    this is game is very good, i got it last week and played for hours, the orginal was great but this was better.

  20. toffeeman30 Thursday 18th Apr 2013 at 12:12

    also remains atop the japanese chart

  21. 1singie Friday 19th Apr 2013 at 18:51

    would be good if i could buy it! no stock here in Belfast in tesco, argos, asda etc. and i won't be getting it in rip off GAME at Ł40! was one of the games i've been looking forward to play! is it nintendo not having stock, or the stores not ordering it? who knows!

  22. MadNintendoFan Tuesday 30th Apr 2013 at 20:09

    I played the original and loved it, even though it was hard. I wish to get Luigi's Mansion 2, or Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon or whatever they call it... only if I had a 3DS. :cry:

  23. PT PRANA Thursday 2nd May 2013 at 19:48

    This is such a good game, but those blasted Boos are so hard to find!

  24. ProfPikachu Tuesday 4th Jun 2013 at 18:45

    Damn, this is definitely a game I'm getting!!

  25. dustinb12 Tuesday 15th Oct 2013 at 21:26

    im working this game now and i highly suggest it. this is very original, the exploration is a blast. it's like ghostbusters+scooby doo+Luigi. this gives Luigi a ton of depth as a character. who didn't want to be a ghostbuster as a kid?

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