Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon

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Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon
Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon (Boxart).png
Packaging artwork used for all regions
Developer(s)Next Level Games[1]
Nintendo SPD[2]
Publisher(s)Nintendo
Director(s)Bryce Holliday
Producer(s)Shigeru Miyamoto
Artist(s)Neil Singh
Composer(s)Chad York
Darren Radtke
Mike Peacock
SeriesLuigi
Platform(s)Nintendo 3DS, arcade
Release
  • JP: March 20, 2013
  • NA: March 24, 2013
  • EU: March 28, 2013
  • AU: March 28, 2013
Genre(s)Action-adventure
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, known in Australia, Europe and Japan as Luigi's Mansion 2,[a][3] is an action-adventure video game developed by Next Level Games and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS. It is the sequel to the 2001 GameCube game Luigi's Mansion. The game was released in Japan on March 20, 2013, and later in that same month in most other major regions. It is the third Mario game where Luigi is the protagonist, after Mario Is Missing and the original Luigi's Mansion.

In Dark Moon, the player controls Luigi, who is equipped with the Poltergust 5000, a specialized vacuum cleaner used to capture ghosts. In the game's single-player mode, the main goal is to retrieve the shards of the shattered Dark Moon, a magical object that has a pacifying effect on the ghosts who live in the game's setting, Evershade Valley, from the five haunted mansions located therein. Dark Moon offers a cooperative multiplayer mode that can be played locally or online via Nintendo Network. The game received critical acclaim from critics, praising the games 3D visuals and new features, but some criticism was given for the game's lack of checkpoints.

A sequel, tentatively titled Luigi's Mansion 3, was announced by Nintendo in September 2018 and is slated for release in 2019 for the Nintendo Switch.[4]

Gameplay[edit]

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon is an action-adventure game in which the main player character is Luigi, who is sent by Professor E. Gadd to explore abandoned haunted mansions and capture hostile ghosts using the Poltergust 5000, a specialized vacuum cleaner. In the main single-player mode, the player explores five different mansions designed around a specific theme, such as an overgrown greenhouse and a clock factory built over an archaeological site, to retrieve the Dark Moon fragment hidden within.

Luigi capturing a ghost. To successfully capture, the player must vacuum the ghost until its hit points reach zero. The touchscreen shows the player's location in the current mansion being explored.

Exploration through a mansion is divided into multiple mission-based levels that focus on completing a number of objectives, such as retrieving an object, accessing a particular room, or defeating a stronger boss ghost. At the end of each mission, the player is scored based on various factors such as the treasures and ghosts collected. If Luigi takes too much damage from ghost attacks or environmental hazards and loses all his heart points, he will faint and the player must restart the mission. If the player finds and collects a golden bone, Luigi will be revived and continue the mission instead of starting over. The Nintendo 3DS touchscreen shows a mini-map of the mansion's layout, with locations of both locked and unlocked doors. The character Toad accompanies Luigi in certain missions. When the player obtains the Dark Moon fragment hidden in a mansion, they can progress to the next mansion.

To capture a ghost, the player first stuns the ghost using Luigi's flashlight equipped with the Strobulb attachment. While Luigi's Mansion required the player to shine the light on the ghost, in Dark Moon, the player charges the Strobulb to release a burst of light that acts similar to a flashbang. When stunned, the ghost's hit points are exposed, allowing Luigi to vacuum the ghost to decrease its hit points until it is weak enough to be captured. Luigi can vacuum up to three ghosts simultaneously. Some types of ghosts wear protection against the Strobulb and need to be tricked into becoming vulnerable.

In addition to capturing ghosts, the suction and blowing functions of the Poltergust 5000 are used to manipulate and carry objects in the environment. Many of the game's puzzles are designed around this concept. For example, the player uses the vacuum to carry buckets of water, yank pull switches, spin valve handles, and propel small objects. Other objects, such as certain types of switches and locks, react only when exposed to the Strobulb flash. Early in the game, the player obtains the Dark-Light Device, which reveals invisible doors and furniture.[5]

Dark Moon features a cooperative multiplayer mode called "ScareScraper" (Thrill Tower in Europe), in which up to four players each control a differently colored Luigi. The players explore each floor of a mansion and complete the specified objective within a time limit. When the objective is completed, the players ascend to the next floor. The floors are all randomly generated, with different floor layouts and placement of ghosts and items, and the players may select whether the mansion has a limited or endless number of floors. Four different objective types are available: Hunter, in which all the ghosts on the floor must be captured; Rush, where players race to find the exit to the next floor; Polterpup, where players pursue and capture ghost dogs; and Surprise, in which one of the other three objectives is randomly chosen per floor. "ScareScraper" can be played locally or online via Nintendo Network.[6]

Plot[edit]

King Boo, who escaped his painting after Professor E. Gadd sold it at a garage sale, shatters the Dark Moon, which has a pacifying effect on the ghosts that inhabit Evershade Valley, using the magic jewel embedded in his crown. This causes the ghosts to suddenly become hostile, forcing the Professor to take shelter in a bunker while dark, eerie fog covers the valley. The Professor immediately contacts Luigi and sends him to the bunker. He then tells Luigi to collect the five pieces of the Dark Moon, which have been scattered to different mansions, to clear out the fog and restore peace to Evershade Valley[7] and capture and contain the ghosts before they leave the valley and wreak havoc on the rest of the world.

Luigi makes his way through five different mansions in the valley, proceeding to recover Dark Moon pieces from Possessor Ghosts in each mansion and saving the professor's Toad assistants, whom King Boo turned into paintings. The Toads produce security images that provide valuable clues, and one image shows two Boos carrying a bag with a painting inside. Eventually, Luigi and the Professor find out that Mario was turned into a painting and that King Boo is behind the whole crisis. However, after Luigi obtains the final Dark Moon piece in a parallel dimension, King Boo intercepts him as he is being returned to the bunker. King Boo states he destroyed the Dark Moon and reveals his intentions to use the corrupted ghosts to conquer the world. Luigi then battles and defeats King Boo.

When Luigi returns to the Treacherous Mansion, he frees Mario from the painting and reunites with the Professor and Toads. They rebuild the Dark Moon, which returns the ghosts back to their friendly selves. The professor releases the captured ghosts from the Vault, and they celebrate by taking a photo. The game ends as Luigi returns home with his newly adopted Polterpup.

Development[edit]

Dark Moon was developed by Next Level Games, a Canadian developer who had previously worked on Nintendo-published titles Punch-Out!! and the Mario Strikers series. Development of the game started in late 2010 with producer Shigeru Miyamoto overseeing the production.[8] Miyamoto stated that he chose to work on the sequel because he "wanted to" after designing a prototype Nintendo 3DS version of the original game to test its hardware,[9] which later became a reality in October of 2018.[10] The original game for the GameCube was tested for 3D effects, but the feature did not come to fruition[11] until Mansion's 3DS port was released in 2018. The North American title of the game was revealed to be renamed from Luigi's Mansion 2 to Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon at Nintendo All-Access during E3 2012.[12]

Miyamoto served as a producer for the game and would check in with the team every two weeks and provide feedback and suggestions.[13] Miyamoto at one point threw out the designed bosses in the game and encouraged the team to come up with bosses that "could only appear in Luigi's Mansion".[13] The team also experimented with the Circle Pad Pro, but could not find an adequate use for it, as capturing ghosts no longer required dual analog control.[13]

Dark Moon was released in Japan on March 20, 2013, in North America on March 24,[14] and in Europe and Australia on March 28.[15][16]

An arcade game based on Dark Moon titled Luigi's Mansion Arcade was released on June 18, 2015 in Japan, which was developed by Capcom and published by Sega under license from Nintendo.[17] It is an on-rails light gun game with a vacuum controller and support for two players.[18] Location tests were conducted during the 2014 Halloween weekend from October 30 until November 3.[19]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic86/100[20]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Destructoid9.5/10[21]
Edge8/10
Eurogamer9/10
Famitsu35/40[22]
Game Informer8.5/10[23]
GameSpot6.5/10[24]
GamesRadar+4/5 stars[28]
GameTrailers9.3/10[25]
IGN9.3/10[26]
Joystiq3.5/5 stars[27]
Nintendo Life9/10[5]
Nintendo World Report9.5/10[29]
ONM92%
Nintendo Insider95%[30]
Digital Spy5/5 stars[31]

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon received critical acclaim, gaining aggregate score 86/100 on Metacritic.[20] IGN gave the game a 9.3 out of 10, citing that it was "Nintendo at its inventive best."[26]

Matthew Castle of Official Nintendo Magazine UK gave it a 92%, praising the game's 3D visuals and mix of old and new features. However, he also criticized the game for its lack of checkpoints, stating that "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 which feels like rough justice when you make a silly mistake in a surprise ambush." He concluded on a positive note, stating "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. Funny, gorgeous, crammed full of surprises... but enough about Luigi. Nintendo renovates one of its more oddball offerings into a must-have title. The only thing to fear is that it takes another 10 years to return."[32]

Matthew Reynolds of Digital Spy gave it 5 out of 5 stars, commenting positively that "Practically every room in this expansive follow-up feels lovingly handcrafted and crammed full of things to tinker with, filled with playful animations and spoils to discover. While combat is less complicated but wholly enjoyable, the game's real priority lies in exploration and puzzles."[33]

Conversely, GameSpot gave it a 6.5 out of 10, citing "difficulty spikes and a lack of checkpoints," as well as the stiff controls, but praised the multiplayer functionality.[24]

Sales[edit]

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon debuted to high sales worldwide, becoming the sixth best-selling game of April 2013 in the US selling 415,000 units (375,000 of which were physical copies)[34][35] and selling 515,975 units in Japan by April 14, 2013.[36] In July 2013, the game sold 150,000 copies in the United States, and by the end of July it had sold 750,000 units in the US,[37] which grew to 1.33 million copies by August 2014.[38] In the United Kingdom, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon charted fifth in the All Formats chart, a position it held for three consecutive weeks, becoming the first 3DS exclusive title of the year to chart.[39]

As of September 2017, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon has sold 5.45 million units worldwide.[40]

Sequel[edit]

In September 2018, Nintendo announced a third entry in the series, tentatively titled Luigi's Mansion 3, to be released in 2019 for the Nintendo Switch.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Japanese: ルイージマンション2 Hepburn: Ruīji Manshon Tsū?

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ronaghan, Neal (June 7, 2011). "Next Level Games Developing Luigi's Mansion 2". Nintendo World Report.
  2. ^ "TOAD IS ZELDA: THE UNTOLD STORY OF LUIGI'S MANSION 2". IGN. April 3, 2013.
  3. ^ "Behind you!". Nintendo of Europe GmbH. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  4. ^ a b Frank, Allegra. "Luigi's Mansion 3 brings the franchise to Switch". Polygon. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  5. ^ a b Watts, Martin (March 21, 2013). "Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon Review". NintendoLife. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
  6. ^ Phillips, Tom (2013-01-25). "Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon include local multiplayer". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 2013-02-21.
  7. ^ "Official Site - Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon for Nintendo 3DS (Story)". Nintendo. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  8. ^ "Like a Shephard". Iwata Asks: Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. Nintendo of America. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  9. ^ Behrens, Matt (June 8, 2011). "E3 2011 event: Shigeru Miyamoto reveals insights at Nintendo Developer Roundtable". Yahoo! News.[dead link]
  10. ^ "Luigi's Mansion Remake Announced for 3DS in Nintendo Direct". 2018-03-10.
  11. ^ "Iwata Asks". Iwataasks.nintendo.com. Retrieved 2013-02-21.
  12. ^ "Luigi's Mansion™: Dark Moon : Nintendo All-Access @ E3 2012". nintendo.com. Archived from the original on 2012-09-20. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  13. ^ a b c "Toad is Zelda: The Untold Story of Luigi's Mansion 2". IGN. April 2, 2013. Retrieved Jan 10, 2014.
  14. ^ Madden, Orla (2013-01-17). "Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon Scares Its Way Onto The 3DS March 24th". Nintendo Life.
  15. ^ "Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon". nintendo.co.uk.
  16. ^ "NINTENDO AUSTRALIA ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE DATE FOR SEVERAL HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED NINTENDO 3DS GAMES". Nintendo Australia. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  17. ^ Regan, Tom (February 2, 2015). "SEGA Officially Reveals Luigi's Mansion Arcade". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  18. ^ "Luigi's Mansion Arcade is a first person lightgun game". Metro. DMG Media. February 2, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  19. ^ Pitcher, Jenna (November 3, 2014). "Luigi's Mansion Arcade Game Tested in Japan During Halloween". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  20. ^ a b "Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon for 3DS Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
  21. ^ "Luigi's Mansion 2 review". Retrieved March 21, 2013.
  22. ^ "Japan Review Check: Luigi's Mansion, Castlevania, Disgaea". Polygon. Mar 13, 2013. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  23. ^ Turi, Tim (March 21, 2013). "Bustin' Makes Me Feel Good". Game Informer. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
  24. ^ a b Petit, Carolyn (March 21, 2013). "Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon Review". GameSpot. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
  25. ^ "Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon - Review". GameTrailers. March 21, 2013. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
  26. ^ a b MacDonald, Keza (March 21, 2013). "Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon Review". IGN. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
  27. ^ "Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon review: Ghouls' Gold". AOL. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  28. ^ Gilbert, Henry (March 21, 2013). "Luigis Mansion: Dark Moon Review". GamesRadar+. Future. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  29. ^ Ronaghan, Neal (March 21, 2013). "Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon Review". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
  30. ^ Seedhouse, Alex (March 25, 2013). "Luigi's Mansion 2 review". Nintendo Insider. Nintendo Insider. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  31. ^ "Luigi's Mansion 2 review". Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  32. ^ "Luigi's Mansion 2 review". Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved 2013-07-31.
  33. ^ "Luigi's Mansion 2 review (3DS): A must-have lovingly crafted adventure - Gaming Review". Digital Spy. 2013-03-30. Retrieved 2013-07-31.
  34. ^ Whitehead, Thomas (April 19, 2013). "NPD Results Show Success for Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon". Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  35. ^ Makuch, Eddie (April 17, 2013). "Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon US sales hit 415,000". Gamespot. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  36. ^ Ivan, Tom (17 April 2013). "Japanese Charts: Luigi's Mansion 2 and 3DS Hold Firm". CVG UK. CVG. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  37. ^ Win-Poole, Wesley. "Nintendo hails 3DS, Animal Crossing sales in the US". Eurogamerdate=July 19, 2013. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  38. ^ Wawro, Alex (15 August 2014). "Pokemon beats Mario to most popular 3DS game". Gamasutra. UBM plc. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  39. ^ Whitehead, Thomas (15 April 2013). "Luigi's mansion 2 Refuses to Get Scared Out of Top 10". NintendoLife. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  40. ^ "IR Information: Financial Data - Top Selling Title Sales Units - Nintendo 3DS Software". nintendo.co.jp. 30 October 2017. Archived from the original on 31 October 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2017.

External links[edit]