The Final Countdown: Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon
Welcome to The Final Countdown, GameZone's newest series where we get hyped about games that are just around the corner! With only a week to go, we're counting down the hours, and the reasons you should be excited (or worried) about upcoming major releases.
It looks to build on the success of its predecessor, which was the most successful GameCube launch title. Luigi's Mansion was the best-selling game of November 2001. With 2.19 million copies sold, it is the fifth best-selling Nintendo GameCube game in the United States.
Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon releases on March 24, and we couldn't be more excited for it. When Miyamoto wore a Luigi hat during Nintendo Direct and called 2013 the "Year of Luigi," he wasn't kidding. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon looks to have the makings of an amazing action-adventure game with spooky elements. Dark Moon is going to bring Luigi out of the shadows of his brother and into the spotlight.
Atmospheric and comedic
This is Luigi we're talking about. He's not as serious as his red-clad brother. Luigi is a charming, nervous mess -- eager for bravery and to be a hero, but scared of his own shadow. Dark Moon will be set apart from typical Mario games with a fresh sense of humor -- one that only Luigi can deliver. I won't call it straight out slap-stick comedy, but you can expect your fair share of Three Stooges moments from Luigi.
It won't all be laughs, however. Dark Moon is a game about ghosts and ghouls. It takes place in creepy mansions, with dusty, dark rooms for you to explore. Lighting will play a big part in creating a spooky atmosphere. It's not all looks, however. The music will play an equal part in molding the world in which Luigi's adventure takes place. It'll be whimsical in a haunted way.
Exploration? More like revisiting and retrieval
Whereas the original Luigi's Mansion had you exploring one Resident Evil-like mansion, Dark Moon will take place in multiple mansions. It's more mission-based, which is good for a portable title. As you get more items, revisiting older missions will yield greater results. Exploration is handled in the form of revisiting previous areas, where you could then access new areas you couldn't the first time through. Like I said, it'll all be for the better now that the game is on a handheld system instead of a home console.
Large emphasis on puzzle solving
Like any spooky mansion, the ones in Dark Moon will have plenty of puzzles. Not only are encounters with ghosts a puzzle in itself, but finding out how to get gems, keys and coins are also puzzling. The mansion is sprawling and full of secrets. It'll be up to you to figure out how to get to a door that's hidden behind a fish tank, or find your way to the library for that inevitable boss battle. The fun part is the challenge of getting to that point.
I could easily wrap this part up by mentioning Luigi, but the real memorable character that fans of the first game will love to see is Dr. E. Gadd. The founder of Gadd Science, Incorporated first appeared in Luigi's Mansion. This short, old, bald with a tuft of white hair professor speaks in a language that I can only describe as 'Ewok' in its nature. Seriously, he sounds like one of the Ewoks from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
Dr. E. Gadd makes appearance or is mentioned in numerous Mario and Luigi titles -- from Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time to Super Mario Sunshine. His inventions have helped members of the Mario universe for quite some time. He plays a prominent role in Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, as he'll be used as a base of operations as he guides Luigi on his adventure through the mansions. He also provides information on the ghosts and communicates with Luigi through a DS. Without Gadd, Luigi wouldn't know where to find the professor's inventions to combat the ghosts.
For the first time in the series, multiplayer mode makes its way to Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon with four modes for players to tackle together. Multiplayer is referred to as the ScareScraper, and four players can work together across three difficulty settings. The great thing is, it's not just local multiplayer. That's right, Dark Moon has local or online multiplayer through LAN, WiFi and Download Play. Also, the mode contains options for the number of floors -- including infinite!
The four modes are:
- Hunter - Use teamwork and your trusty Poltergust 5000 to completely rid the floor of ghosts before the clock strikes zero.
- Rush - It's a race to the top! Pick up clocks along the way to extend your time, as you rush to ascend the tower before time runs out.
- Polterpup - Track down those pesky Polterpups with your Dark-Light Device and capture them all before time runs out.
- Suprise Mode - A combination of Hunter, Rush and Polterpup modes.
Needless to say, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon is prime to make an impact on Nintendo's handheld. It releases March 24 both a digital download from the Nintendo 3DS eShop and in retail.