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3:01 PM on 11.29.2014

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon Review

So, this is my first review on this site, as I'm willing to start posting reviews again. This one's quite old, for a game that has also been around for one and a half years. My english might not seem that good, simply because I am german and only control the basics of the language. I do believe and hope that since this review, my english has been improved by a little. I'm also looking forward to post more reviews on this site within the future, and I hope to soon review more current games. If you spot mistakes, feel free to point them out.



2013. Year of Luigi. What better game to start off the year than with the long awaited return of Luigi's Mansion; with Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, not only are we treated with a sequel of this long missed game, but we are treated with one fantastic sequel. While containing both charm and unique gameplay, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon also fixes the two main troublemakers of it's predecessor: repetition and short longevity.


Back then, Luigi's Mansion really pulled of some outstanding visuals that pushed the console to some limits, even with some not so pretty textures across the mansion's interior and exterior. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon takes similar steps for the 3DS, featuring some of the best visuals seen so far on the system, showcasing the graphical capabilities of it. Not only does the game look very sharp with good textures, but the surroundings are all incredibly detailed and well polished, with great lighting and nice visual effects. Combine this with one of the best 3D effects of any 3DS game, and you have a glorious looking video game. Rare occasions induce slight frame rate drops, but that's hardly a noticeable complain to be had with the game. The only noticeable issue regarding the visuals are the visual glitches like flying little objects or money disappearing through walls or other objects, which cause a slight dent in an otherwise terrific presentation, standing slightly in the way of the incredible atmosphere these mansions create.

The story is as simple as expected. Among an area called Evershade Valley, where the well known Professor E.Gadd studied ghosts for quite a while, the dark moon that keeps all ghosts normal has been shattered by no other than King Boo personally, and so E.Gadd asks for help from his old buddy Luigi to travel through the mansions and find out what is causing all the trouble and extinguish the dangerous source.
In this case, even more important than the incredible visuals is the returning humor and charm of the original Luigi's Mansion. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon offers many, many different cutscenes, each full with humor and/or personality. The game's story, while not complex at all, is enjoyable throughout the whole adventure thanks too the many different cutscenes that mark interesting events, creating a narrative that is extremely simple, yet very well told.
The game doesn't lose any of it's charm and humor outside of the cutscenes, though, with wonderful ghosts to battle that contain fantastic personality, multiple mansions that are wonderfully designed, both gameplay wise and graphically, and of course, with Luigi as well, being afraid about pretty much everything he encounters. Farther adding to the game is the music, which contains some really good tunes. And while the main theme of each mansion is the same melody, each mansion gets their own one or two remixes of that melody, keeping things fresh.


Of course, the most important aspect here is still the gameplay. And without a second control stick, Luigi controls a little different in Dark Moon than in the original. That's not to assume the game controls worse. With an upgraded poltergust, the poltergust 5000, Luigi makes his way through the haunted mansions, busting all kind of ghosts, however this time Luigi will have to stun the ghosts with a flash beam coming from a new attachment to Luigi's torch; the strobulb, which is found at the beginning of the game. This can be charged with the A button, and the longer you charge, the bigger the range of the flash is. However, when using this, just like when Luigi tries to vacuum up ghosts, he won't be able to turn directions effectively, and instead is locked on to one strict direction. Despite the little time to get used to this, these controls work fantastically, and definitely more precise than the controls of the game's predecessor. Therefore, fighting ghosts is even more fun than it ever was, thanks to precise controls as well as a variety of different ghosts that each have their own attack patterns, as well as specific kind of ghosts that use multiple different techniques to fight Luigi.

And for those who are wondering, the strobulb isn't the only equipment you will face in the game. Another one is the Dark light, which reveals invisible objects when pointed on these objects. This makes for a lot more hidden collectibles as well as some nice puzzles.

And speaking of which, Dark Moon features some nice and clever, yet little demanding puzzles that are nevertheless fun to solve and master. And that's by far not all; thanks too many new and clever ideas, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon will feature a lot of variety within good 15 hours of gameplay. And that's not counting the time you will spend with the game afterwards, trying to find all secrets and mastering extra levels. One mission for example will have you hunting down a mighty ghost, while another one will have you trying to rescue a Toad who got lost in the mansion. Every mission is fun and creative in it's own way, to make sure the game never gets boring, and each mansion offers up design that can be best described as masterfully.

And before going on, I must mention that yes, unlike the original, Dark Moon's mansion visits are divided into missions. Between these missions, Luigi always finds himself within the bunker of Professor E.Gadd, who will then send you on multiple missions in each mansion. And while it adds a bit more of a narrative, some might find it a bit disappointing that you can't just explore the mansions on your own. This comes especially to notice since E.Gadd is a lot on your back throughout each mission. Luckily though, there are a few missions that make up a little for this.

If there is anything that boggles down Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon significantly, than it has to be the lack of check points or availability to save the game within missions. You see, a lot of missions take easily around 30 minutes, some a little fewer minutes, and some even more, a couple even about 50 minutes. And without a save system, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon isn't very portable suited. Also, if you die in a mission, you will have to repeat the whole mission again, which can make for some unnecessary long stretches, since Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon is the most fun when discovering the interior and exterior of the mansions for the first time. On the bright side though, it's quite hard to die in Dark Moon. The game isn't the most challenging game, and you are treated with many hearts that heal Luigi, as well as a dog bone for each level, that revives the player if he dies once, so he can continue on from where he had died.

Okay, so we're almost done here, but there are two more aspects that shouldn't be left out; one of them being the boss battles. At the end of each mansion, you will encounter one boss, and there is a total of eight or seven bosses in the game. I have never seen a game before with such variety between bosses; it's quite clear what the developers went for: they wanted to create all kind of different boss battles, from a puzzle based boss battle to a “mash it up” boss battle and finally to an “avoid attacks and then counter” boss battle. Sadly, this also makes up for some inconsistency.

Toads are also part of this fresh adventure.

I was treated with an immensely creative puzzle based boss battle at the end of the first mansion, but got nothing more than a simple and plain boss battle that had me simply avoiding it's easy to avoid attacks and then attack back once it's weak point is revealed at the end of the second mansion. Also, the most unique boss battle of the game, the one at the end of the fourth mansion, features a great concept, but suffers a bad implementation. Not only does it get boring quite easily, but it can also become quite frustrating thanks to a glitch that doesn't let the game register some of your hits against the boss correctly. Which is a shame since the boss design and battle concept are quite fabulous. Despite some issues though, the boss battles that remain good are in the majority, and these feature challenging, fun and epic battles, especially the first and last two boss battles.

And at last, the totally fresh multiplayer component must also be mentioned briefly. Called the scarescraper, this mode, that can be played with up to 3 other people both locally as well as online, let's you team up or compete in a set of different rooms to bust ghosts, catch dog ghosts or race against each other. Each flat of the scarescraper contains a new set of rooms, and the leader of the group may choose between the different options of how many flats should be played or what kind of mode should be played. It's a fun extra, though also a little bare bones in the end.


Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon isn't only a gift to the many fans of Luigi's Mansion who were starving for a sequel, but also to any 3DS owner who is ready for an exciting, gripping, charming, entertaining and enjoyable adventure that is unlike any other. The game features wonderful visuals, incredibly well designed mansions, fun and entertaining ghost busting as well as an immense load on personality. It's a strong recommendation for any 3DS owner and an absolute dream for the fans of the original Luigi's Mansion, even if they have to deal with some crucial changes that can be seen as both good and bad.
The Good
  • busting ghosts is as fun as ever
  • wonderful visuals and an outstanding 3D effect draw you into the world of the mansions
  • Many well hidden and clever secrets that add a lot of replay
  • the mansions are excellently designed
  • game is full of personality and charm
  • both variety and a solid length vanishes the problems of the original Luigi's Mansion
The Bad
  • a few parts of the game seem a little unpolished
  • no saving option or check point system within mansions





9:34 AM on 12.26.2013

Problems with the Blog Editor (need help)

I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, or if I'm doing anything wrong, but for some reason uploading images doesn't work right. Instead, the blog just shows off the url of the image, not the image itself. Changing fronts doesn't work either. It seems as if nothing is really working. I can't even create a table, instead it leaves me with some weird codes.

I know this probably doesn't even belong into the blog section, but honestly, I don't know where else to ask for advice. If there is any help section or otherwise here on the site, than I'm sorry, but I didn't find it. Anyways, if someone could help me here, that would be great. I've looked at several other blog posts but those all have images, so it can be hardly a general problem with destructoid's blogs. Maybe I'm just doing something wrong, or maybe it's just the pop-up preview that doesn't display my blog correctly. I simply don't know.

Anyways, help is very appreciated. Thank you.   read

4:36 PM on 11.21.2013

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Early Impression

Just yesterday, my copy of The Legend of Zelda: A Link between Worlds arrived, and since it arrived, I've been doing hardly anything else outside of school than enjoying this gem on my 3DS. I'll be honest, the game was actually just planned as a time filler for me, until I could get my hands on Super Mario 3D World. After all, though, Super Mario is still my favourite franchise.

That's why A Link Between Worlds comes as a huge surprise. Sure, the reviews of the game had been overly positive, but I didn't expect to be sucked into the game as much as I am right now.

Too keep things clear, while I'm not in love with the franchise, I've always respected the Zelda games. I never witnessed games like Ocarina of Time, A Link to the Past or Majora's Mask when they were released. In fact, the first Zelda game I played fully was the 3D remake of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. And it was a blast, I'll admit. I also played parts of Twilight Princess, at times where my brother needed help or I just wanted to give the game a try. The other 2 Zelda games I played were Phantom Hourglass and Skyward Sword. Phantom Hourglass was quite disappointing. It wasn't bad, not by a far shot, but it wasn't particularly good either. It was simply okay. Skyward Sword is a completely different case. As it was my first console Zelda game for me too tackle, I was pretty excited to play this game. And it received outstanding scores. In the end, however, I was a little disappointed with the overall package. That doesn't mean it wasn't good in my opinion, it had lots of great and outstanding moments, like the temples and the boss battles that followed. But it also had many flaws for my taste that ensured both frustration and exhaustion, especially towards the end. Up until now, I actually never quite finished the game.

But with that, let me get to the main topic here. I'll keep my impressions short, since I don't have too much time. So, A Link Between Worlds is quite a surprise for me. But there are reasons. Now first of all, the only game that I had played that seemed to have a bit of the same style and camera perspective was Phantom Hourglass, which as you know now wasn't my favourite game of all time. However, the newest adventure of Link is much more appealing than I initially thought it would be. The controls are spot on, but it's the rather simple yet extremely effective world and dungeon designs that make this game a blast. Instead of having an epic plot with rather spectacular storytelling and the more epic, grand feeling like the console Zelda games have, A Link Between World treats these features as secondary and treats the gameplay as it's one and only primary. With A Link Between Worlds, you get as little of a tutorial as possible, instead letting you right away into this big world full of surprises and collectibles. The story is definitely present, and quite interesting, but it focuses more on the pure enjoyment that comes within exploring the world at your own.

Up until now I've already experienced 3 dungeons, each one with outstanding design, as well as the following bosses of each dungeon, which weren't as equally impressive as the dungeons. The first boss battle was fantastic, presenting an epic and exciting battle in a classic way. The second boss battle was over within seconds, without any kind of a lasting impression. The third boss battle was better, with a much bigger length and more challenge, though that battle wasn't really memorable as well. Yet, none of these boss battles were bad in a way of being to lackluster or boring. Just not memorable at all, except the first battle.

Of course, wondering around the hub world of the game took away the majority of my playing time up until now. It's incredibly well designed, with many secrets and collectibles to find. The more items you have, the more can be found within the world, and it's just incredibly fun exploring the world and taking down all enemies in your way. Of course, I can't say anything about the comparison of the hubworld of A Link to the Past and this game, since I never played A Link to the Past.
Also adding to the game is the ability to rent items. Unlike past Zelda games, items that are mandatory for beating dungeons can all be grabbed at once, very early into the game. This makes for a level of freedom that hasn't been present in a Zelda game until now. And it's an incredibly good feature that let's you tackle dungeons and other areas within the hub world in the order you want to tackle them.

Presentational wise the game is quite solid as well. It's a great looking game, even if the environments can look a little inharmonious at times. The soundtrack is also quite good. While I'm not sure, I think most of these tracks are just remastered versions of the old game, either way, the game has some great music playing along the adventure.

And that sums it up for right now. I was expecting a fun, entertaining experience with this newest Zelda title, but I wasn't expecting it to be this good. I hope to post a review as soon as possible, though who knows when that will be. But one thing is sure: A Link Between Worlds has the potentional to be one of the best titles of the 3DS in my eyes.   read

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