COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: Nintendo’s Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon 3DS Review

Updated: 04/01/2013 10:05 AM KSTP.com By: Aaron Chalich

Back in 2001 I played a Nintendo game on the Nintendo Gamecube that completely blew me away.  To be honest I was a little disappointed at first when I heard about the game. 

What was the game?  It was “Luigi’s Mansion.” It was a “Super Mario Brothers” game, but Mario wasn’t the main character, his brother Luigi took the spotlight this time. After playing “Luigi’s Mansion” for about ten minutes, I knew this was a great game and it still is one of my favorite games on the Nintendo Gamecube.

When I received my review code for Nintendo’s “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon” for the 3DS, I was very excited. I had seen videos and pictures on Nintendo’s website and it looked amazing.

After playing “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon” I can say that this is one of my personal favorite games on the 3DS for many reasons. The game is amazing and is so much fun to play.

Professor E. Gadd is back and has been studying ghosts in an area called “Evershade Valley.”  One day a King Boo comes along and shatters the Dark Moon in the sky. Soon all of the ghosts become angry and start acting strange. Professor E. Gadd calls Luigi back to his laboratory to help him find all of the pieces of the Dark Moon that are scattered all over Evershade Valley.

I really liked the story and thought that it was clever and very well written. It’s funny and very entertaining. Luigi is scared of everything and it was funny watching his reactions to all of the different ghosts and spooky situations that he encounters.

I also really liked the fact that the game is long and there are many different mansions that you must explore and each one is unique. They have their own special features, ghosts, and puzzles that you must solve.

The graphics are amazing and you have to play “Dark Moon” in 3D. The ghosts and haunted mansions look spooky and creepy.

The controls in “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon” are very simple to learn. There is an in game tutorial that will show you what button you need to push when you get to certain areas and get new gadgets. I thought that this was very helpful.

Luigi has many different gadgets and abilities in this game that will help him capture ghosts and they will also help him advance though the many different mansions.

Luigi is equipped with the Poltergust 5000 which is his trusty vacuum that allows him to suck up the ghosts. He will also get a gadget that will reveal where hidden items are by shining it in certain areas. Luigi will also find an attachment for his flashlight called the Strobulb. This will allow Luigi to stun certain ghosts by blasting a bright light in their face.

The map of each mansion is displayed on the bottom screen and you can view each floor of the mansion you are exploring. You can also see what your objective is for the level by tapping an icon on the bottom of the screen with your stylus.

You can switch back and forth as often as you want. I thought this was really nice, because you didn’t have to keep pausing the game to see where you were at in the mansion. You could just look down quick.

There are so many different ghosts and each one has their own unique fighting style. Some are hidden and you have to just randomly use the Stobulb in order to find them. Some may have a shovel and every time you use the Strobulb they will block their face with the shovel. You need to figure out a way to get the shovel out of their hands.

The bosses are amazing and are very tricky to beat. You have to figure out how to defeat each one and you really do have to think a lot in order to figure it out. I know a few of them took me several tries before I was able to beat them. 

In each mansion there is also money, coins and gems that you can find. When you complete a level you are given a rank. It is determined by how much treasure/money you found, ghosts you captured and health lost in the level.

One new feature is that you can play a mode called, “ScareScraper.” I really liked this and it does not unlock until you have passed a few levels. You can play multiplayer with friends or with people from all over the world. 

You can also play one player if you want to, but it is much more fun if you have four players. The three ScareScraper games are:


I really thought that ScareScraper was a lot of fun and I liked the fact that you could choose what game you wanted to play, how many floors you wanted to go through and how hard you wanted the game to be. I know that a lot of people will think that this is a lot of run.

Another thing that I really liked about “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon” was that in every level there are hidden boos. If you find all of them in one of the mansions, a new level will unlock. I felt that this give the game a great replay value and it made me want to go back and replay levels.  It was fun searching for all the hidden ghosts.

I really liked Nintendo’s “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon” a lot. The game has a great story, the 3D is spectacular. The puzzles are challenging and very tricky. The ghosts look amazing and I really enjoyed the ScareScraper multiplayer mode. 

I know that people are really going to enjoy this game a lot and again I have to say that “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon” is my favorite game on the Nintendo 3DS. This game is brilliant.

Aaron Chalich is a columnist for KSTP.com blogging about the latest entertainment news.