When Nintendo released the GameCube back in 2001, it was their first console which did not launch alongside a proper new Super Mario Bros. game. Because of this, the Mario-related game it did launch with, Luigi’s Mansion, was the target of a lot of misdirected negativity. That was bullshit, because Luigi’s Mansion was awesome! I can distinctly remember exploring the game’s spooky mansion setting for the first time, and feeling like I was playing a Resident Evil game, except set in the whimsical Mario universe. Which is, like, the fucking perfect formula for a video game! It also had beautiful visuals, and really defined the hilarious personality that Luigi still has to this day.
So, as you can imagine, I was pretty stoked that Nintendo finally released a 3DS sequel to this overlooked gem, and I’m happy to report that Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon lives up to its predecessor’s legacy and then some! The developers wisely realize that the first game’s formula works just fine, so instead of trying to overhaul it in any major way, they just offer up more of everything. More mansions, more ghosts, more power-ups, and most importantly, at least double the playtime of the first game.
From the minute I started playing Dark Moon, I fell immediately back in love with Luigi and his vacuum cleaner, and I plowed through most of the game relatively quickly. Then I got to a point in the final mansion which really tripped me up… It involved using warp portals to move between various rooms, facing a barrage of ghosts in each one, all under a strict time limit. It overwhelmed the fuck out of me, and so in my usual fashion, I stopped playing.
When I started playing again nearly two years later, I tried to pick up where I left off. But if this part of the game had been challenging back when I was fully acclimated to the controls and the level’s layout, it was now close to impossible. So I decided to start the game over from scratch. This wasn’t a decision I made begrudgingly – I was looking forward to playing through it again. Plus, since I had done it all before, I now breezed through most of the game pretty effortlessly. The whole time, I was dreading getting back to the section that had stumped me previously but once I did, I got through it in one try! That sort of thing has happened to me with a lot of games this year, so I guess the lesson I should take away from this is to stop giving up so damn easily!
Anyway, from there it was pretty much a cakewalk to get to the end of the game and – SPOILER ALERT – save Mario from the clutches of the lord of the undead.
Here are my stats:
I don’t remember what a few of those things mean (FO? Huh??), but I am pretty proud of my completion time. According to the website How Long To Beat, the average player takes 14 hours to finish this game, so hooray for me! And hooray for Luigi for overcoming his cowardice to face a thousand disembodied souls! And hooray for Nintendo for making this game!
By the way, my friend mc chris has an awesome song about Luigi’s Mansion on his album Foreverrr that you should check out: