Published on July 2nd, 2024 | by Nay Clark

Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD Review (Switch)

Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD Review (Switch) Nay Clark

Summary: The Luigi's Mansion series lives on with this HD reconstruction of the second game that successfully coats on a new paint that assures the games will never give up the ghost.


Graveyard Shift

The cowardly, green wearing, ghost busting Mario brother is back tackling another distressing job of capturing foolish ghosts! Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD is an action adventure game developed by Tantalus Media, published by Nintendo, and released on June 27th of 2024. The original game, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, was released on the Nintendo 3DS 11 years ago and this HD recreation captures that experience in a faithful way. A graphical overhaul through higher resolution and the ability to play this game on a modern console sheds some new light for this haunted mansion romp of a sequel. Help Luigi track down these frivolous foes and restore balance by collecting the shards of the fractured Dark Moon.

King Boo has escaped his framed captivity after the events of the first Luigi’s Mansion and successfully breaks the Dark Moon; a crystallized, magical object that placates the local ghosts of Evershade Valley. Now, with the spooky beings untamed and unhinged, havoc breaks loose across the Valley. Professor E. Gadd tasks Luigi in gathering up the pieces of the Dark Moon to successfully control the chaos before it gets out of hand and spreads across the world. In Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD, you travel to 5 different locations and complete missions to usurp the position of power of the ghastly fiends and to find the shards to bring everything back to normal.

The gameplay plays out in the same fashion as the original game as well as the other two Luigi’s Mansion games. Controlling Luigi’s spright steps feels responsive and the same gyroscope-like actions are still present if you choose to use them. Luigi has to run around a large building that usually hides hidden treasures to scavenge, secret passageways to wander, and perilous traps to dodge. The professor equips Luigi with the Poltergust 5000, a vacuum that can suck up ghosts and deposit them back at E. Gadd’s bunker. The handy device can do a multitude of commands and is helpful not only at exercising spirits, but also at blowing carpets down hallways to uncover hidden coins, cleaning up cobwebs collecting dust in corners, or grabbing hold of out of reach levers to complete a puzzle.

Each mansion provides new avenues to traverse, environmental puzzles to complete, and ways to take down your foes. Upgrades can be found, like the Dark-Light Device that can make invisible objects appear, and are used to untangle the mystery of the manors even more. The money you have collected will be accumulated at the end of a mission and is used as experience. Leveling up will net you with some useful techniques like being able to have a longer period in which you can suck enemies up, making it easier for you to complete your goals in a more efficient way. You get a rank after every mission based on the time it took you to complete it, how much health you lost, how many ghosts were captured, as well as how much gold was collected. Creating optimal routes to gain the best rank adds some nice replay value if you want to become an expert ghost hunter. Another form of replay value is the Scarescraper, a multiplayer mode in which you and friends can take on tasks and see how far you can ascend each floor in this wave-based tromp to the top.

The combat in the game provides a fair challenge that is fun and engrossing while not being too monotonous or irritating. You use a flashlight to stun ghosts before you can start the fight to suck them up into the vacuum. It’s pretty simple at first until different ghost types appear like ghosts that wear sunglasses so they can’t be blinded, slender ghosts that hide in objects and throw banana peels at you, or bigger ghosts that are heavy hitters that can do more damage. The layout of your environment is also worth to note while you are flailing around the room with these incorporeal beings. You never want to get caught up on the corner of a table or be pulled into a vase while skidding on the tail end of a ghost being vacuumed so that another ghost can give Luigi a free smack. The game is never stressful though, and provides nice needed zaniness that manufactures enough levity to keep the ride joyful.

Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD looks great in all of its 1080p crispness. Everything is the same from the 3DS game, but this HD port has added so many little details that really make this game feel brand new. It has better shaped shadows, enriched particle effects, and characters heads are less blocky and more smooth. Other things like less blurry backgrounds, updated models, and clearer text help this rerelease shine even brighter. Transferring this game into this new age of gaming has given it a more robust image quality and makes the game overall have more texture. It definitely feels more aligned and in tune with the other two games now and fits perfectly on the Switch.

The audio work here in Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD sets the scene and creates the charming and bubbly time you will be having. Everything sounds great, but I wish it was more distinctive and casted more of an uneasy feeling rather than being farcical. While the instruments that are used, like organs and violins, play in a way that exude a horror undertone, the music that is produced is something more in line with merry and lighthearted tunes. Even sounds like opening creaky doors and the jingle for picking up key items feels egregiously cartoony. The first Luigi’s Mansion game had a particular style that the sequels have been distancing themselves from and I wish they would go back to it. The sounds used to feel more crunchier and the music was a lot more foreboding. It made Luigi’s Mansion really feel like its own franchise instead of just another Mario game.

A downside this game hasn’t shook off is the entire structure which makes it the less cohesive of the three titles. The mission based design of the game is good for an easy pick up and play approach, but it devalues your actions while playing. Since the game is split between missions, you are constantly being thrown out of a level to talk to Professor E. Gadd and then thrown back into the same level to do the next mission. As a sequel to the first Luigi’s Mansion game, it takes a “bigger is better” approach and adds multiple venues to visit, but that sort of makes the journey feel less impactful. Uncovering secrets in the congested mansion of the first Luigi’s Mansion and figuring out how the layered floors are connected in the hotel of Luigi’s Mansion 3 feels purposeful because you are unraveling these events in the same playing space. The environment is almost a character itself. In Luigi’s Mansion 2, it feels more like short burst excursions. You aren’t actually trapped in these buildings. It makes it feel like there are no stakes or consequences.

Final Thoughts?

Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD is a great rerelease of the 3DS classic and is able to make it even better through its graphical and gameplay renovations. It’s nice to see something like this surface to a new audience and gain the love and appreciation that it may have not deserved with its earlier release. Although the game feels a bit more consumable in bite sized chomps, the enjoyment of apprehending these phantoms in bemusing ways is unique and incomparable to anything else. The structure may be restrictive and some quality of life features are sadly unaccounted for, but Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD is far from a soul-sucking adventure and delivers by being a pleasure to play.

About the Author

Gaming holds a special place in my heart and I never stop talking about video games. I really love all types of games and have an interest in games that have complicated stories and lore because I enjoy untangling the mystery of it all. When I'm not gaming, I unsuccessfully try to control three amazing and incredibly bright kids.

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