Preview: Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for Nintendo 3DS

480px-Multiplayer-LMDMIn addition to LEGO City Undercover, I recently got to take my third crack at Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon; together, it felt like Christmas in March.

While I did get to play around with the single-player mode, I didn’t really get any further than I did back in July (though I did get to enjoy the opening cutscene this time). Suffice to say, the experience was largely the same; in fact, I was able to breeze through the portion I did play based entirely on my experience from half a year prior. So instead, this piece will focus on what I got to play of the multiplayer experience.

Up to four players are able to enjoy this mode together, and it’s extremely versatile, too. You can game with others either online or locally, and in the case of the latter, you can use download play to allow those without a copy of the game to participate.

There are four modes to enjoy: Hunter, Rush, and Polterpup, as well as Surprise (a mixture of the other three), but I only got to play in Hunter mode. In that mode, the lot of you venture through a structure called the Scarescraper, which is semi-customizable insofar as that you’re allowed to choose the difficulty and how many levels the tower has, with a boss waiting for you in every fifth level.

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A time limit is in play, meaning that the four Luigis need to split up in order to cover the most ground. Your goal on each level is to capture all the ghosts, as well as collect as much treasure as possible. Ideally, you want to unlock all of the doors before capturing the ghosts, as that triggers a “Red Coin Rush,” in which everyone must try to find all of the red coins shown on the map before time runs out. If doors remain locked, you probably won’t be able to reach some of the coins.

Each player only has a certain amount of life, making traps such as false doors a true threat. There are hearts you can pick up to restore your health, but if one or more of you should happen to fall, revival is but a button tap away, provided one of the surviving Luigis can make their way to the fallen in time.

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Once the group reaches the top, they’ll encounter a boss ghost who– in this instance, anyway– not only has a hefty life meter to drain before being captured, but a group of other smaller, tough ghosts watching his back. These ghosts are able to strike at you with weapons and defend themselves with shields, requiring you to fake them out before sucking them up from behind, giving you a chance to go after the boss ghost.

Overall, the multiplayer game struck me as a fun way to get in a bite-sized Luigi’s Mansion experience with some friends. It’s not as deep as the regular game, but it gives you the same great ghost-hunting action as the single-player game, but in a way which arguably better suits a multiplayer experience. Plus, with a variety of options for connecting– including a combination of online and local, as seen in the video below– it should be easy enough for anyone with the game to experience.

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon will be available on March 24th, 2013.

Images via Super Mario Wiki and the official Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon website.

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David Oxford

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you're interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.