Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon [Game Review]

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon | Video Game Review | Nintendo | Nintendo 3DS |

Title: Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
Developer: Nintendo, Next Level Games, Nintendo Software Planning & Development
Publisher: Nintendo
Nintendo 3DS
Action-adventure game
Release Date:
March 20, 2013 
How we got the game:
I bought it

Luigi’s Mansion for the Nintendo Gamecube is one of my favorite games. I could play and replay it, but I realized I hadn’t played Dark Moon in a while. For some reason it was calling me and I was eager to pick it back up again. I’m glad I did.

storyProfessor E. Gadd is in a predicament and he calls on Luigi for help. Poor Luigi is sitting at home sleeping in front of the TV when the professor uses his Pixelator on the unsuspecting plumber. Gadd brings Luigi to his bunker, a hideout outside of the mansion. Since the first Luigi’s Mansion game, Gadd has been living in peace with the ghosts in the mansion. The ghosts have been helping him with his research as he invents new tools and discovers new information.

The Dark Moon in the sky is what keeps the ghosts in a caring state. So, when King Boo knocks it out of the sky, scattering the pieces, and tainting each piece with dark magic, the ghosts go awry and Gadd is forced to hide. Now it’s up to Luigi to save Gadd as well as the ghosts.


Gameplay is similar to how the first game worked. Luigi has the Poltergeist 5000, an invention created by Professor E. Gadd, designed to capture ghosts. This time it’s new and improved. It has a Strobulb and a Dark-Light Device.

Using the vacuum is simple enough. Luigi has his flashlight, which you can’t click on and off anymore – it just stays on. The Strobulb is like a super flashlight. It opens certain doors and safes and it’s what you use to stun the ghosts. When stunned, you then press R to suck them up (or L to blow stuff out). The other mechanic, the Dark-Light Device, is used to find invisible items. This can be anything from furniture, lights, or even doors. Boos are hiding throughout all the areas turning things invisible. There’s one Boo hiding in each level and if you catch them all you’ll unlock a new level in that area.
There are five areas in the game each with four levels plus a boss. Gadd will tell you what you have to do and where to go next. All you do is follow what he says, go where you need to go, and the game will do the rest. While you have to do each level in order, you can always go back to previous levels to capture a missing Boo, get more money, or find those gems (each area has a set of 13 gems to collect).
There are news kinds of ghosts in this game. Greenie, Slammer, Hider, and Sneaker are the main four. The ghosts get stronger the farther you get into the game as there are “strong” versions of each ghost. They have a shield you need to break before you’re able to suck them up. Normally this isn’t too much of a problem, but when you have multiple ghosts in the room, it can get pretty tough.
While there’s a nice variety of ghosts in this game, I felt as though it wasn’t as challenging as the first game. In the Gamecube game you’d walk into a new room and there’d be a ton of ghosts. In Dark Moon, most rooms barely have any ghosts. If they do it’s only one or two. There are some levels where you get ambushed and it’s a little challenging, but it’s not too often. There definitely could have been more on the ghost front.
I will say this, the final boss and leading up to it was pretty tough. That took me a few tries to do.


For a 3DS game, the graphics were up to par. Luigi had a good amount of facial expressions and there was more variety in the cut scenes. I found myself watching each cut scene carefully as though I would miss something.

The music, as always, was fantastic. I get the main theme stuck in my head. In fact, I’m listening to it on a loop as I write this review. The music was spot on for each area in the game as were the sound effects. Collecting the money was my favorite sound effect… just saying.


This is the second time I’ve playing this game and I can definitely see myself going back for more. It’s a fairly short game and despite knowing what happens, there’s a lot to do. You can always go back and try to beat your scores such as time, money, or even gem and Boo collecting.

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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Readers Comments (2)

  1. Thank you for reminding me of this game, I never got it for the 3DS, but always meant to and then just forgot! First, I think I’ll track down the GameCube version. Sounds like a fun challenge and I was totally unaware it existed!

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