Feature: Luigi's Mansion 10th Anniversary

No longer the other brother

The ghosts of Luigi’s future – Corbie Dillard

While many gamers will tell you that Luigi's Mansion was little more than a tech demo for Nintendo's GameCube controller, it's still difficult to argue that it really was a great title. Sure, there was simplicity to the tasks involved, especially given that you spent the entire game in one giant mansion, but its engaging gameplay was enough to keep us coming back for more.

Considering the game was a huge seller for Nintendo, it's been quite surprising that it's taken nearly a decade for a sequel to be announced. Many of us assumed that this generation had passed the concept by, especially given that Nintendo was already talking about its next console at E3 in June, so it was rather surprising to see the demo for Luigi’s Mansion 2 pop up onscreen at their press conference. Of course what was even more surprising was the fact that this release was not for the Wii or Wii U consoles at all, instead making its debut on the portable 3DS.

Even after seeing the gameplay trailer during the press conference, nothing could prepare us for just how well the game looked and played on the smaller screen of the 3DS. And when you toss in the 3D depth, it really gives the game a whole new feeling of realism. Even things like moving around and tracking ghosts was made so much more realistic by the depth of the onscreen presentation.

After putting in a good half hour or so on the E3 show floor, one thing stood immutably clear: Nintendo might have waited a long time to develop a new Luigi’s Mansion title, but they were doing everything in their power to make it up to fans with the game itself. The demo levels on hand showed just how well the game actually performed on the 3DS screen and even with the different control setup of the system, it played as silky smooth as ever. Even controls such as aiming the flashlight without the use of a second analog stick was quick and painless. Any hesitancy about how the game would fit in on the 3DS was quickly dissipated after our initial test run.

Another facet many people were worried about in bringing Luigi’s Mansion to the small screen was regarding how the game would perform visually. We all know that the 3DS is perfectly capable from a visual standpoint, but it was still rather surprising just how good the game looked. Even having to eat up processing power to display in full 3D, the game looked as detailed and vivid as ever. In fact, it was actually a little shocking to see just how close to its GameCube predecessor it actually looked; yet another example of Nintendo really pouring in the time and effort to get it just right.

It’s a relief to see that Nintendo isn’t just copying over many of the same gameplay traditions from the original release, instead introducing a host of new gameplay tweaks to not only the play controls themselves, but also the way the levels are set up. It's clear that Nintendo wants to kick things up a notch and given the rather lengthy wait for a sequel, it's nice to see them swinging for the fences on this one. One thing is certain, come 2012, 3DS owners are going to get a steady dose of portable poltergeist poaching, and it’s been a long time coming.

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