Preview: Luigi’s Mansion takes a 3DS curtain call

August 21, 2011

The original Luigi’s Mansion was a game that didn’t get much credit. Out at the launch of the GameCube, the title made design decisions based on showing off the system’s tech, didn’t have the epic scale of his brother’s adventures and had the riveting twist of a vacuum cleaner. So it was quickly overshadowed by Super Smash Bros. Melee and Pikmin, left to fade into obscurity. Here’s the thing, though: behind the waving curtains and transparent ghosts was a solid game experience with a formula no one has really duplicated.

Slated for next year, Luigi’s Mansion 2 brings the series to the 3DS where, um, yeah, it’s going back to showing off gimmicky tech features of the system. You’ll be tilting, looking behind and around things to show off depth, switching between screens and generally feeling schizophrenic. This time, it may be a little too much for the green-clad guy to salvage. We’ve talked before about the issues with using both 3D and tilt, and this game has them. It seems, though, that you may be able to manage ignoring the motion controls.

Besides that, it’s good to see Luigi back in action. You’ll move around, capturing ghosts, opening things and smashing things to get what’s inside. It seems the series may have borrowed a bit from the Lego games, adding a handful of  just-wander-around rewards. We didn’t get much time with it, but most of the time, we were looking around for hidden coins, exploring nooks and crannies and generally not progressing very much in any sort of story or plot.

We’ll see the full version of the game in 2012, assuming the handheld game industry and/or entire world doesn’t implode before then.