Oliver (Shanna) Ryan is a student blogger currently attending Humber College for advertising and marketing communications.
October 2nd, 2015
Luigi’s Mansion is one of my favorite games of all time. It’s fun, quirky and has such a dazzling personality that you simply just can’t ignore. It falls on the spectrum of short and sweet packing all these delicious beautiful ideas in one fun little adventure. I’ve played this game so frequently that I can now effortlessly speed run through it while getting a perfect score in less than a day. To me this game is a shining example of Nintendo’s golden era of the GameCube. And then you have this disaster…
Never in my gaming history have I ever been so offended by a sequel. Nintendo could not have possibly missed the mark on any more than they did on Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark moon. Now allow me to explain why this game is such a miserable failure.
First off we have the characters who are now a shadows of their former selves. No one except for Luigi retain their personalities from the first game. King Boo has now been reduced to a regular Boo who obtains all his power from his shiny oversized crown. Before this spooky ghost was the terror of the original game who captured Mario with ease and even possessed Bowser to do his bidding. Now he solely relies on his crown to do anything. E. Gadd also falls victim to this destruction of character. The once adorable old scientist now takes shots at poor Luigi throwing insults out like it’s going out of style.
Now we’re just scratching the surface. Gameplay is now beyond boring offering only five “unique” normal ghost enemies to fight through the entire game. Before there was a wide range of variety in the enemies you had to rumble with however now the only unique things the gamer is meet with is the boss battles at the end of every stage. This brings me to my next point of the removal of mini bosses that were present during the entire game. Each one offered a unique battle and experience and many were rememberable characters. The only thing I can remember about Dark Moon’s bosses were they required a little more effort than regular ghosts and one possessed a spider. In addition to all of this the mansion sandbox you were allowed to play in before has been removed and replaced with levels with extreme linear progression. No exploration is awarded with hidden rooms filled to the brim with treasure now all you get to do is go hunting for gems whose only difference stage to stage is their colour.
I thought the horrible gameplay was enough to make hate this game but unfortunately there was even more in store for my poor nostalgic soul. If you have intentions of playing this game and hate spoilers watch out now because there is spoilers ahead.
In the original game the whole quest you set out on is to rescue Mario, who was turned into a painting, from King Boo. In the sequel your task is to repair the Dark moon that King boo destroyed with his crown and return all the ghosts back to their normal peaceful selves. The game sticks to this plot through about three quarters of the game but then throws the ol’ “hey look remember this thing that happened in the first game?” at our faces. Once again Mario is captured and once again Luigi must go save him.
But wait up. Why is Mario at this new mansion? Luigi was brought here through a portal by E. Gadd. Before Mario was checking the new mansion Luigi supposedly just won in a contest and now he’s…just kinda there? I have a feeling what the developers were going for was an amazing plot twist but the only thing great about this is the amazing ability to just drop everything they were building up to this point and shift the plot’s focus to pull in that nostalgia factor. My main complaint with this turn in the story was there was very little mention and zero interference of Mario at all in Dark Moon. He just shows up and it’s up to you to go save him again. There is never any reason given as to why he’s in a painting again either it just happens. Before the Boo’s used E. Gadd’s machine to turn him into a painting for revenge of being stuck in one themselves for so long. It made sense then but not now.
When Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon came out I was so excited to play one of my favorite games again from a fresh point of few. However what I got instead was a horrible failure of an attempt at a “sequel”. It would have been easy to make Dark Moon great but for whatever reason they decided to go with the sloppy easy route of “let’s just make a generic game and slap a few things from the original in.” This is happening all too often in the game industry currently. Many great franchises are being destroyed by this terrible half assed sequels that game companies keep turning out. And to make things worse is they are getting away with it.
Now is the time for the gaming community to stop complaining on message boards about how crappy the newest sequel is and to actually voice their opinions to people making them. If we want great games then we need to start demanding for them and stop purchasing these terrible attempts to bank on our nostalgia and love for past games.
Below is some links to other sequels but unlike Dark Moon they actually do the original justice.
Animal Crossing New Leaf: Staying to the Nintendo theme.
Gears of War 3: For those of you who enjoy more than just cutesy games.