Delays aren’t a bad thing. Sometimes a game just needs more time in the oven. Even if the people making it decided, you know, this is finished, we have literally placed all that and a bag of chips into the ROM, sometimes waiting a little bit longer to get it out is the best idea. Then a good game can be polished to the point of greatness, or it can be released at a time when there will be fewer high profile games jockeying for people’s attention and dollars.
The Nintendo 3DS has been no stranger to delays over the past year. Kid Icarus: Uprising was supposed to be ready for launch and it ended up releasing nearly a year later this past March. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon was also supposed to be ready for the Nintendo 3DS quite a long time ago, but after a couple of delays, Nintendo announced at E3 2012 that it would be out in time for Christmas. None too soon based on my time with it in June.
Luigi’s Mansion won’t be out in time for Christmas though. Nintendo released an expansive release calendar detailing the 3DS and DS line up through the end of the year and Luigi’s Mansion did not make the cut.
In this case, Nintendo is wisely giving Luigi room to breathe. Between now and Christmas, Nintendo alone has New Super Mario Bros. 2, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, and Paper Mario: Sticker Star just to name a few and that’s on top of a few third-party games that Nintendo is aggressively marketing itself like Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion.
Next Level Games has been working on Luigi’s Mansion for around two years now and the game is nice and polished in demos. It’s not a game that’s going to really steal people’s hearts and minds away from even a Paper Mario game. Best let it breathe on its own.
Konami’s Castelvania: Lords of Shadow—Mirror of Fate, formerly scheduled for October, will join Luigi’s Mansion in 2013. That game however could use the extra development time. When I played it at E3 2012, Mercurysteam’s first handheld Castlevania was a mess. It looked like a bowl of chunky soup and played like a stiff old man. It lacked the vivacious color of past portable Castlevanias but even its dour atmosphere lacked the polish and sheen of the original Lords of Shadow. A few more months will do the game nicely.