Possibly Nintendo’s best 2012 Game: Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon preview


nintendos possibly best 2012 game luigis mansion dark moon preview luigi s 2

Naming your game is a delicate act. It need to tease as much as it informs, creating just enough of an air of mystery to make potential players wonder about specifics beyond the game’s basic premise. Sequels, especially those that follow years and years after their predecessors, are even trickier. Slap a number behind a name and people may think that they need to have played the first one to get in on the latest action.

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon used to be called Luigi’s Mansion 2. The original title would have been appropriate. This new Nintendo 3DS game is very much a sequel, an expansion on and refinement of the 2001 Gamecube launch title’s ghost hunting goodness. Dark Moon is its own beast though, a special game as evidenced by a 20-minute demo offered up at a post-E3 2012 Nintendo event in New York City.

Once again, Professor E. Gadd is helping Luigi bust some ghosts. In this demo, unlike in the original game, Luigi isn’t exploring his own mansion but the professor’s. E. Gadd sends you in to take care of a ghost infestation with just a flashlight and a communicator shaped amusingly like a 1st generation Nintendo DS (the Nintendo DS Phat for those with long memories). After the little scientist chatters at you like an Ewok—the guy doesn’t even have Luigi’s monosyllabic vocabulary—it’s off to the mansion where your first task is to find the Poltergust 5000, the professor’s vacuum cleaner-slash-backpack ghost busting tool.

Once you find it in the mansion’s garage, it’s off through the mansion. Doors on the mansion’s first floor are locked, so it’s up to you to find keys. One’s attached to a rat that you have to chase to retrieve. (Dark Moon has happily added a run button, speeding up the pace nicely.) Another is secreted away on a ceiling fan, which you have to spin by sucking air through it with the Poltergust. You can use the 3DS’ gyroscope to explore each room, as much is hidden in wall cracks and the ceiling, but the same maneuvers can be done with the X and A buttons on the controller.

Before you start catching ghosts though, you have to find a new item, the stroboscope. This attachment is found in the mansion’s main hall and serves two purposes. You charge up a flash with the attachment by holding A and the shock is used to stun ghosts so you can catch them as well as open doors secured with photosensitive locks. In battles with ghosts, the stroboscope makes the tug of war sucking up of specters a tricky rhythmic challenge. I almost died figuring it out, a sign that Nintendo’s new game won’t be a pushover.

The game feels wonderful, with controls smoother than those in the original and a look equal to that decade-old Gamecube game. Shuffling through each room available in the demo and uncovering its secrets—like vacuuming aside a carpet to reveal a switch that opens a hidden safe flush with cash—is a delight. More upgrades like the stroboscope are promised later in the game, in addition to a variety of different mansions to explore as Luigi hunts for the Dark Moon, the game’s titular, still-unexplained Macguffin.

nintendos possibly best 2012 game luigis mansion dark moon preview luigi s

It’s more than just the feel and look that makes the game so special though. The small details of Dark Moon reek of attention and quality. In the front yard of the mansion is a tree with coins in it, and sucking on the branches with the Poltergust brings down the loot, but it also rattles some wind chimes that spookily clank in the quiet air. Craft and care make this game sing, even in a sample size.

Even with the Wii U out this fall, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is the most exciting first-party game on the company’s slate. It’s an aptly named game, familiar but still perfectly mysterious.

Home Theater

Bose’s technology patents could save an earbud’s battery life

Possibly taking a cue from Apple's popular AirPods, Bose filed a patent application for earbud IR technology that could save battery life, improve sound quality, and possibly help people locate lost earbuds.

Enjoy Windows on a Chromebook with these great tips and tricks

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only software.

Sony’s weird Wena isn’t a smartwatch, it’s a smart watch strap

Sony's Wena smart watch straps have been around since 2015; but the company has now decided to launch them outside of Japan, starting with the U.K.. The straps convert traditional watch straps into smart watches.

Feel the love this Valentine’s Day with these 12 romantic video games

In celebration of Valentine's Day, we take a look at games that offer heartfelt romances. From the Mass Effect series to Stardew Valley, each of these romantic video games offers a layered depiction of love and relationships.

These are the best weapons for taking down mutants and bandits in Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus is a very difficult game, and choosing the right weapons is key for surviving the post-apocalyptic Russia that 4A Games has created. These are the best weapons in Metro Exodus.

Exotic Masterwork Weapons are in Destiny 2. Here's how to upgrade

Destiny 2's new Masterwork gear offers a number of special bonuses. Here is what you need to know about it, including how to find the gear in the game and even create it yourself.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

How to keep a PS4 in your pocket with the PlayStation Mobile app

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can get the most out of the system while on the go.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.

Razer Game Store to shut down at end of February, less than a year after opening

The Razer Game Store will shut down on February 28, less than a year after it opened. Games purchased from the digital store will continue to work, but purchased keys will need to be used before its closure.

Niantic promises to make Pokémon Go less troublesome for homeowners

Niantic is looking to settle the lawsuits filed by angry homeowners who were affected by hordes of Pokémon Go players trespassing on their properties. Niantic promised to resolve complaints within 15 days, among other things.

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC