Review: Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD


As someone who always preferred Luigi to his inferior siblings, Luigi’s estate was a priority purchase when the GameCube launched in 2001. I still have great fondness for him, as befits him.

By the time Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon was released in 2013, I had given up hope that we would ever see a sequel. I was extremely excited about its announcement, and even more excited when I found out that Next Level Games was fresh off of working on an excellent game Breakout AND Super Mario Strikers charged games for the Wii, were responsible for its development.

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And since I don’t like playing on a handheld and I haven’t left home since the game’s release, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark MoonI was content to see that the game was ported to Switch. As it turns out, Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD it’s a great way to experience everything I liked about the game, as well as everything I didn’t.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD (Switch)
Developer: Next Level Games
Publisher: Nintendo
Released: June 27, 2024
Suggested retail price: $

After successfully rebuilding Luigi’s ruined mansion, his friend and tormentor, Professor E. Gadd, works with all the ghosts he helped evict. Suddenly, an extremely obvious antagonist appears and shatters a floating moon crystal, causing the spirits to turn and take up arms against their employer. Luigi, being the only hero E. Gadd has in his rolodex, is called back into action to find out what’s going on.

A more apt name for the game might be “Luigi’s Mansions” since there are five of them. Actually, even this is quite misleading, as some of them are not actually residences. Additionally, I think focusing on the number of residences would be somewhat misleading because these are not just microcosms Luigi’s estate a formula that was something like a key hunt combined with the actual work of a cleaner.

Luigi is equipped with an upgraded Poltergust, or ghost-busting equipment, based on your Mother’s memories of how Ghostbusters the equipment worked. This means that it is literally a vacuum cleaner strapped to Luigi’s back. Original Luigi’s estate it basically involved eliminating boss ghosts room by room, each of which usually had a micro-puzzle that you had to solve in order to suck them in. Luigi’s Manor 2 it’s mostly made up of smaller enemy ghosts that you hit with your flash before capturing them.

In a way, this is a disappointment. There was a lot of charm in it Luigi’s residence cast of ghosts, and seeing them in the portrait at the end of each chapter was satisfying. On the other hand, it allows Luigi’s Manor 2 it feels more action-based and less maintenance-like, and manages to add its own charm elsewhere.

More specifically, the animations are amazing. More specifically, Luigi’s animations are a delight. The game is full of cutscenes, and each of them really reflects the character’s personality. Luigi is borderline heroic, but above all he has trouble setting boundaries and has been forced to facilitate. It’s not that he’s constantly terrified like in the original game, but that he’s layered with it. He doesn’t want to be there, but he just can’t say no, and E. Gadd takes advantage of this by not caring much about Luigi’s well-being.

What I’m saying is that it’s fun to watch the universe defeat Luigi. Many of his interactions with those around him end with him looking like a fool, and his physical humor is incredibly varied. The people behind the animation clearly had a lot of fun making it, because a lot of things are not repeated. There isn’t one animation of Luigi throwing a secret switch and being thrown into the next room, it’s different every time. This is not necessarybut considering that the cartoonish charm largely makes up for the game’s shortcomings, this is extremely essential.

Toad saving Luigi's Mansion 2 HD
Screenshot by Destructoid

I mentioned that the residences aren’t really consistent with the previous ones Luigi’s estate formula and this is one of Luigi’s Mansion 2 biggest problems. I want to be clear: changing the formula is not the issue here. That’s what they decided to do.

Instead of being a series of mansions that you can explore, you instead get a series of chapters where you drop into the mansion, reach your destination, and then get dragged away by E. Gadd. You are then treated to an expository monologue by E. Gadd (which is often hilarious) and then sent back to take a different route to a different destination. All of these routes are largely linear, and while there is some degree of exploration, it’s mostly probing the outskirts to find things that will spit out treasure at you.

Starting and finishing a chapter-based project is bad enough, but focusing on linear progression requires a lot of freedom on your part. The original also had chapters, but you were largely free to wander around the area to find meetings that were open to you, or aggressively hump furniture to find keys and the like. The repetition became tiring after about two-thirds of the way through the game, but an alternative was offered by Luigi’s Manor 2 it’s somehow even drier.

The structure could work if it served diversity. If each chapter provided some vigorous moment specific to that chapter, I would understand the decision, but many chapters feel mostly the same.

Luigi's Mansion 2 HD Carrying a bucket.
Screenshot by Destructoid

That doesn’t mean it is Luigi’s Manor 2 This is not amusing. It actually feels good from moment to moment. The puzzle design in particular is fantastic. It’s accessible, but still requires sturdy observational skills. It won’t offer unwanted guidance as you spin your wheels trying to find a solution, which makes the whole experience feel more rewarding than if it was holding your hand the whole time.

Although I miss the more elaborate spirits of the original game, the overall combat sequences Luigi’s Manor 2 they are also, generally speaking, pleasant. While some of the enemies, such as the one that scares Luigi into breaking his control over the other ghosts, can be irritating at times, it still ensures a fairly high level of difficulty throughout. What’s more, catching multiple ghosts in a choke stream is rewarding in a way that makes you feel good about your skills.

This is clearly observable in the Scarescraper multiplayer mode. There are several variations of this method, but all are relatively straightforward. However, teaming up with other players to explore randomly generated floors is fun. It’s just a pity they didn’t implement split screen.

Luigi's Mansion 2 Scare Mode in HD
Screenshot by Destructoid

In terms of what Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD offers more than the original release, it’s mostly just cosmetic. Although it doesn’t look as good as Luigi’s Mansion 3 and could benefit from better lighting effects, models and textures were noticeably improved. It was already a great looking game on the 3DS and still is looks like the same game but the improvements are easily observable.

On the other hand, some scenes were obviously cropped to take advantage of the stereoscopic 3D available on the mobile device and their effect would be lost without it. It doesn’t seem like a substantial deal, but it could be seen as a step backwards.

It would be extremely tough not to be enchanted by the graphics and animation Luigi’s Manor 2, because the passion behind them is practically physical. Even focusing on solving puzzles and catching ghosts is fun in itself. However, I cannot overstate how much fun is sucked out of me by strictly adhering to a completely linear chapter flow. It’s like a hospital painted in rich colors. It does a lot to brighten things up, but you can only do so much to counterbalance the sterility.

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