When a sequel to a game is released you may think that this means the original was a success and the developers will have made an even better job of the latest issue. Experience from sequels to other games shows that this improvement is not always the case. There is also the situation where the initial game was indeed very good and the sequel is a bit of a let down. Luigis Mansion Dark Moon, for me, is something opposite. This edition is good enough to make me want to play the original. Unfortunately I do not own a GameCube to play it on.
Luigi, familiar to many gamers, obviously features in both games, and in Dark Moon Luigi, again has the task of getting rid of annoying ghosts using the patent and aptly named Poltergust 5000, an improved version of the Poltergust 3000 from the original Dark Moon played on the Nintendo GameCube, a ghost hoover upper vacuum cleaner. However this time it is not so easy, as first the ghosts need to be stunned before being sucked up, by activating a strobe function.
The game is simple in concept. In the single player mode Luigi needs to find and collect the pieces of the broken Dark Moon whose magical properties can pacify the ghosts. Ghosts of various kinds haunt various themed mansions in Evershade Vally and Luigis task is to beat each of them and discover hidden secrets and by doing so unlock new game areas and treasure caches. There are five mansions to visit and these mansions are split up into stages and after each stage you must return to base and start the next stage. unfortunately there is nothing else to explore except that which is necessary for the task in hand. There is also a coop multiplayer mode playable either locally or using the Nintendo Network.
The Poltergust is not limited to sucking up unfriendly ghosts. It can suck up piles of leaves to reveal hiden objects. It can tear away at wall coverings and other materials covering hidden clues, coins or treasure. The enemy does not only consist of ghosts. In the Scarescaper there are to be found all manner of other worldly creatures. In other modes up to four players, each with a differently colored Luigi, can hunt in combination against Ghosts in a time limited mission. In team modes there are upgrades to be earned and a certain degree of customization as to the game's functions such as the number of floors in the towers in the timed competition and the general degree of difficulty for new and experienced players.
In more detail the plot runs as follows. Professor E. Gadd has a lab in which he observes and studies the normanly friendly ghosts living locally. The Dark Moon is an object that hangs above Evershade Valley and is shattered into six at the beginning of the game. This, unfortunately, has the effect of rendering the friendly ghosts unfriendly. The professor engages Luigi to collect the pieces so that they can be reassembled and so return the ghosts to their previous amiable state..
There is a problem. After recovering the sixth and final Dark Moon shard Luigi meets and old adversary from the original game, King Bob. Luigi is captured and transported to a parallel dimension. It transpires that King Bob was responsible for the breaking of the Dark Moon and King Bob also shows that Mario, Luigi's brother, has been trapped in a painting by him. King Bob offers to restore Mario for the pieces of the Dark Moon so that he, Bob, can use their magical powers to capture the Mushroom Kingdom. Luigi refuses and finally battles with Bob and wins. He returns to Evershade Valley, frees Mario, and meets again with the Professor. They rebuild the Dark Moon and by doing so return the ghosts to their previous friendly behavior and Luigi returns home.
The 3D graphics are quite impressive, but not altogether necessary and I do know that some players find them annoying to the eye, not just in this game, but of course they can be switched off. The sound is pretty much as you would expect or have been used to with Mario and Luigi games, Plenty good enough. This game does not have the in depth content of a Battlefield or Assassin's Creed game and so has no immense replayability value. But the developers make no pretense to make it out to be other than what it is, but there is plenty to do and, what is there, is good uncomplicated fun.