What a year 2013 was for the Nintendo 3DS system. Beleaguered by a lukewarm launch and a barrage of criticisms ranging from the handheld’s low resolution screens to the lack of a second analog stick (on the original models, anyways), 2013 was the year the 3DS went on the offensive to earn itself some respect. There was a very strong games lineup that year anchored by titles such as Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Fire Emblem: Awakening and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. 2013 was also deemed “The Year of Luigi to give credit to a character who for decades had mostly existed within the shadow of his more popular brother, Mario. One frightful little title starring the plumber in green also made its way to 3DS in 2013. That would of course be Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon.

It seems that King Boo has managed to shatter the Dark Moon and now all of the ghosts in Evershade Valley have become rather aggressive as a result. Professor E. Gadd has taken refuge in a safehouse and contacts Luigi to help. The Professor tasks Luigi with retrieving the five pieces of the Dark Moon which has been scattered among several different mansions – each with their own theme. Luigi will not have to take on this task bare-handed though. Professor E. Gadd gives Luigi the Poltergust 5000, a sort of vacuum device which can suck ghosts into its storage area. He also gets a flashlight which can be equipped with several different types of bulbs and the Dual Scream, a communications and mapping device which looks very similar to the Nintendo DS.

Luigi captures ghosts by stunning it with a burst of light and then using the Poltergust 5000 to reduce its life points to zero. It always cracks me up to see the ghosts “air swim” in an attempt to escape the vacuum. Some ghosts will use items to protect themselves requiring you to to use your vacuum to hurl stones or other objects in order to dislodge their defenses.

Luigi will not explore these mansions freely, however. The game is mission based meaning that the hapless plumber will have to visit each mansion several times to achieve specified objectives. There is no multiplayer mode for the campaign however the game does offer a “Scarescraper” which challenges groups of players to ascend a tower of randomly generated rooms.

I really love the detail given to Luigi’s personality in this game. He is a nervous little fellow who constantly fidgets and mutters to himself. As he progresses through the game he slowly becomes more confident in his abilities.

If you have a 3DS system handy and looking Halloween-ish to play, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is certainly worth a look. Especially with Luigi’s Mansion 3 coming to the Switch at the end of the month.