I didn’t know what to expect from Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. I knew it involved vacuum cleaners and haunted houses but I had no idea how the game was structured. I had no idea it was going to be chopped up into morsels and spoon fed to me. Perhaps this partitioning of “levels” stemmed from the original or perhaps it was thet nature of going portable — I don’t know. All I know is Luigi Mansion: Dark Moon went out of its way to disrupt any momentum I had going into each play session.
I would be able to accept the notion of diyvying up the haunted houses for portable reasons if I wasn’t I was spending upwards to 40 minutes exploring each “level”. I spent the first half of the game retreading and exploring; I took my sweet time tugging every coat and poked every drawer that saw. The number of items to interact with was impressive.
Interactions were centered around Luigi’s “Poltergust” vaccum cleaner and flashlight’s capabilities. The ways which Luigi manipulated everyday objects with his vaccuum were clever. It sounds crude and reductionist but the solution to most of the puzzles in this game boiled down to flashing, sucking or blowing an object. It was up to me to use those abilities in the right order or in surprising ways. Unearthing a hidden gem through these unorthodox means was gratifying; it was like uncovering a hidden “missile upgrade” in a Metroid game.
My mistake was treating Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon like an open “Super Metroid” styled adventure. I mistakenly believed I could unlock each room without interruption and not have to check in with Professor E. Gadd and his drivel. I was tolerant of the constant interruptions during the first mansion because I chalked it up to Nintendo’s infamous early hand holding. Unfortunately they kept interrupting me with check-ins and warps back to the professor’s base. I just wanted to explore and unravel each mansion on my own — stop interrupting me!
I considered putting the game down and calling it quits after numerous sessions but I kept with it. The game continued to drip feed new ideas until the end. New bosses and a new twists on established ideas were just enough to keep me going but by the third mansion, I had grown weary of capturing ghosts of all shapes and sizes. Each new twist would wear out its welcome quicker than the last.
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon wasn’t compatible with me. It felt very constrained and compartmentalized to a fault. I felt the game was cutting me off at every turn. At the very heart of this is game is quality monotony. The fundamental mechanics were fine, the visuals were fine and it did me smile at times with its quirkiness. I just wasn’t able to stomach all that it had to offer.
Worth a Try
For more information on Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, visit the official website.