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Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD is a lovely chance to revisit a classic | Hands-on preview

Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD Is A Lovely Chance To Revisit A Classic | Hands-on Preview

There’s no question that Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD is going to be more of a hard sell for Nintendo than Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. While the Luigi’s Mansion series has always been a bit of a fan favourite, it just stands out as a bit of an oddity to re-release. Pikmin had both the third game and the collection of 1+2 hit Switch to make the entire series be available on the current hardware, but while Dark Moon is being re-released, the first game had its re-release years ago on 3DS, and there it stays. It’s all a bit strange.

Regardless, here we are again with Professor E Gadd stealing Luigi away from his otherwise peaceful life. E Gadd has been researching ghosts, when suddenly the Dark Moon that glows above Evershade Valley is shattered by a villain, and the ghosts suddenly become anarchic and rebellious, causing all kinds of shenanigans, and requiring a Green-Suited Plumber to turn up with his vacuum powered ghost catching skills. You’ll start out exploring the Gloomy Manor just near the bunker that E Gadd has set up the home base in, but you’ll quickly barrel through the early levels to get to the Haunted Towers, and beyond.

Well, I say quickly, but it’s fair to say that nothing about Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD moves that rapidly. E Gadd will contact Luigi on his not-a-3DS that’s definitely a 3DS communication device on a regular basis early on to inform him of updates and little tips. It takes a little while to get going in Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD, and the objectives start small, but before you know it, you’ll be spending time exploring every nook and cranny with the abilities at your disposal, be it simply hoovering a piece of wallpaper away to uncover a hidden room, or shining a special light on a safe to collect some goodies found within.

Catching ghosts is only part of the game, really. You will start out using the Strobulb to stun ghosts and then suck them up, but they’ll quickly evolve to the point where they’re wearing sunglasses to protect themselves, meaning the moment-to-moment action is ever changing, and you’ll have to react accordingly. Even in the early stages there are multiple types of ghosts, and secrets aplenty. Because so much of Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD is about exploration and secrets.

The Poltergust 5000 is more than just a hoover for ghosts. One of the things the Luigi’s Mansion games has always been good at is environmental puzzles. Nintendo gives you enough information on screen to solve almost anything, but sometimes you need to stare for a bit and work through things. Nothing is particularly taxing, but it’s about experimenting with the physics and options on offer. Yes, you’ve got a hoover, but what if you hoovered up that oversized ball and it got stuck, and then what if you used it to transfer the fire from the candlesticks to get rid of the giant spider-webs? It always makes you feel good when you solve these things.

There are, of course, keys and vaults, and boss fights, and everything you’d hope for, really. In truth, while the visuals have been updated and look lovely in HD, there are definitely areas you can just about tell that this was originally a 3DS title. It’s rare, but there’s the odd texture here and there that just doesn’t look quite as detailed as you’d expect. Don’t get me wrong, though, most of the time what I’ve played looks fantastic, and really does bring it into the modern era.

Movement is absolutely fine, but aiming the Poltergust 5000 can be a bit finicky. There are lots of options, and you can use the analog sticks, or even motion controls, but you can also hit B or X while sucking things up to aim high or low. This can be enough for most moments, but some boss fights feel like they would perhaps be designed slightly differently nowadays. It’s not the end of the world, and the game is always generous with health pickups, but sometimes it can feel like you’re spinning plates, a bit, and when things ramp up, it’s often to a pace you’re not used to.

Regardless, Luigi’s Mansion 2 is at its best when you’re allowed to explore for hidden collectibles, cash, or play at your leisure. Each level is timed and you will be ranked, but like most titles of this ilk, you’ll attempt a second run to get a better score, time, or medal. It’s also laden with so many cute moments, from how scared of a tiny spider Luigi might be, to how he’ll audibly hum along to the music that’s playing.

The only questions that really remain is to see how the rest of the game holds up ten years on, and to see if any new content has been added. Obviously it looks and sounds lovely, and a lot of the visuals have been brought in-sync with Luigi’s Mansion 3, but where Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door added quality of life improvements, and tweaked small bits and pieces, so far I’ve not noticed anything too drastic to report. Regardless, it was and remains a gem of a game, and so far seems like another classic Nintendo title to join the Switch library.

Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD is coming to Nintendo Switch on June 27th.

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Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD is a lovely chance to revisit a classic | Hands-on preview