Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon Continues Super Mario Bros. Saga
Mario and Luigi, the mustachioed plumbers that battle their way across the Mushroom Kingdom to save Princess Peach from the clutches of the evil Bowser, have become synonymous with the term Nintendo and often with video games in general. Indeed, Mario and Luigi’s adventures in Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System played a large role in the successful adoption of video games in homes across America. The plumbers are still at it again over 25 years later with Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, released for the Nintendo 3DS handheld video game console. It’s an official sequel to the 2001 game Luigi’s Mansion that was released for the Nintendo GameCube.
Those who’ve played the first Luigi’s Mansion title will notice a number of familiar gameplay elements. Indeed, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is very similar in that regard to its predecessor. The new game primarily focuses on Luigi as a main character, as opposed to focusing on Mario like other games in the main Super Mario Bros. series. In the new adventure, Luigi is sent by a professor to various haunted mansions on a bit of a research expedition. While exploring these areas, gamers will have to capture ghosts using an updated version of the ghost trapping vacuum cleaner system that was such a large part of the first game.
The game isn’t all about catching ghosts, however. Players will have to use those captured spirits to collect treasure items that are hidden across various rooms throughout the haunted locations. As players completely clear a room filled with ghosts, they will be awarded keys that help them journey deeper and deeper into the mansion. The game places a heavy emphasis on these types of puzzle-based objectives.
Familiar characters from both the Luigi’s Mansion series and the larger Super Mario Bros. series will make appearances throughout the game. One such example is Toad, who acts as Luigi’s on screen assistant throughout his adventures. Additionally, the character of King Boo is also scheduled to make an appearance. The exact nature of the ghost king’s appearance, who was last seen in the original Luigi’s Mansion, has yet to be revealed.
The act of capturing ghosts in Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is actually a multi-step process. Players, while controlling Luigi, must first stun a ghost using a device called the stroboscope. This is one of the big changes from the first game; in Luigi’s Mansion, players only had to shine a light on the ghost to begin the capture process. When ghosts in the sequel are stunned with the stroboscope, the total amount of hit points that the ghost in question has are revealed to the player. Luigi must then wrestle with the ghost, depleting its hit points and allowing it to be captured.
Another big change is that Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon makes use of the gyroscope and accelerometer built into the Nintendo 3DS system. Instead of only using analog sticks and buttons to play the game, the way the player is holding the handheld system actually affects the movements on screen. These features add an unprecedented level of interactivity to the proceedings.
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon also features an online multiplayer mode where players can team up to unlock the mysteries of the ScareScraper mansion. Three distinct multiplayer modes including Hunter, Rush and Polter-pup are available to all players via the Nintendo Network. The multiplayer modes are available to all users via either local area network, Wi-Fi connection or Download Play. When using the Download Play feature, only the person who initiates the multiplayer session actually has to own the Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon game cartridge.
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon will be released exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS system on March 24, 2013 in the U.S. The game will be available during the same week in both Europe and Japan.