Sunday, July 10, 2011

E3 Impressions: Luigi's Mansion 2

Luigis-Mansion-2-Impressions.jpg (570×300)
A 3DS sequel to this Gamecube launch title was something that almost nobody expected to see, but when it was announced, it created a lot of excitement. The demo station for Luigi's Mansion 2 was one of the most packed at the 3DS booth, along with Mario Kart. Does this new title compare to the Gamecube original?
The core mechanics, naturally, are very similar to the original Luigi's Mansion. Luigi, armed with a flashlight and the Poltergust 3000, wanders into various rooms in a dark mansion, looking for ghosts to startle and vacuum up. Unlike the original game, you'll be exploring several smaller mansions instead of one enormous one; assuming the house in the demo is the standard house size, we're looking at about six or seven rooms per level, but that might not be a fair assumption.
There are a couple of changes to how ghosts are nabbed, as well. In the original game, simply catching a ghost in your flashlight was enough to stun them. This time around, the ghosts are a bit hardier, so you're now equipped with a powerful strobe; you hold down the button to charge it, and releasing it emits a powerful flash to stun the ghosts. During the vacuuming, you'll occasionally be prompted to hit the A button quickly; success will drain a bunch of life from the ghost at once, but failure will break the connection.
The controls are very similar to the original game; circle pad moves Luigi around, and the shoulder buttons suck and blow. The ABXY buttons do their own variety of things; in the original game, they let you view the menu and the Game Boy Horror and other things, and I assume the same is true here but I'm not entirely sure. What is different is that the 3DS only has one circle pad, while the Gamecube controller had two sticks, one for orienting Luigi while vacuuming. The 3DS gyroscope is apparently responsible for turning while vacuuming this time around, but while I was playing I had a lot of difficulty getting this to work. Tilting up and down worked fine, but I never was able to effectively turn Luigi around.
LM2 is apparently going to be a bit more puzzle-oriented than the original, and you can tell with the demo that there's a bit more trickery going on. You'll find locked rooms that you'll need to come back to later, and I even encountered a staircase that would turn into a slide, forcing me to take out a rather annoying ghost before I could go on. Cooperation with Toad will be necessary, as well, in order to complete some of the puzzles.
So far the game is shaping up to be very solid and entertaining, but my difficulty with turning while vacuuming was a bit of a letdown. I hope that this becomes more viable in the final build, as it was really my only complaint with the demo. This game is currently slated for a 2012 release.

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