Luigi's Mansion 2 HD

Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD is Excellent Even Without The 3D Diorama Effect

Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon was a breakout hit on the Nintendo 3DS. Not only did the game finally give Luigi the spotlight back after years of hiatus but the game delivered a gorgeously spooky time on the handheld. Nintendo has now ported the original game to Switch and given it a few visual upgrades. Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD is exactly what the name suggests – a high-definition version of the 3DS game.

It follows Luigi on his original second adventure through the spooky halls and dimly-lit warehouses of the original game. Luigi is tasked (against his will) to find and track down shards of the Dark Moon which have been cursed and scattered around this nightly town of Evershade Valley.

Equipped with the Poltergust 5000, Luigi now has to work alongside ol’ Professor E. Gadd to capture ghosts and hopefully, restore the Dark Moon.

Luigi's Mansion 2 HD

Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD is definitely a glow-up compared to the 3DS game. Don’t get me wrong, Dark Moon was a beautiful title on the previous handheld but there’s a lot of love been put into smaller details in this HD port. For example, I noticed that the lighting system has been improved. Shadow casting around the environment looks crisp, fire lights up the areas around it and the contrast between dark and light doesn’t seem so washed out.

This also means that lighting effects and objects now make an impact on the world around them too. Spirit Balls are brighter and even Luigi’s torch benefits from some volumetric fog that passes over the globe.

Luigi's Mansion 2 HD

Most of the game’s models have also been improved with some of them swapped out for higher-poly versions. It all adds up to an impressive-looking port. Granted, it doesn’t come close to Luigi’s Mansion 3 visuals but that game was designed for the Switch from the ground up.

One thing I did miss about the HD port was the 3D. A big focus for the original game was, of course, the 3D effect brought to it by the 3DS’ screen. This meant peering into the top display acted as a sort of diorama into Everyshade Valley. The 3D effect was brought to life this way and controlling Luigi gave depth to this impressive 3D effect.

Luigi's Mansion 2 HD

Of course, there’s no 3D effect here because the Switch isn’t a Nintendo 3DS. However, the bigger screen did help distract me from the lack of the feature. I am also playing on the OLED and it delivers a truly captivating experience thanks to its black levels. It gives those shadowy rooms and dark corners even more depth bringing the chilling areas to life.

It is also important to note that Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD plays very well on the Switch too. I have been playing mainly in handheld mode. In this mode, I can aim around slightly by tilting the Nintendo Switch up and down. This helps a lot when it comes to exploration. There are many areas that hold secrets on the ceiling, for example.

Luigi's Mansion 2 HD

This aiming system also helps with the Poltergust 5000 and torch. I can shine the torch and move the console slightly to look around the room. When using the Poltergust 5000, I can control its suction and blow by moving the device too. It provides some much-needed control over the game’s mechanics.

I also have to add that the immersion is further elevated thanks to the vibration on the Joy-Cons. Ghosts now rumble the controllers slightly when nearby and they whizz and hurl as I controlled the Poltergust 5000.

The game has also added a new quality-of-life feature where the map is always visible on the screen. Of course, the 3DS version had the map positioned on the bottom screen in the past. The HD port has shifted the map to the top right-hand corner. It is also transparent so it won’t get in the way. However, you can turn it off completely.

Luigi's Mansion 2 HD

One gripe I have noticed with Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD is the lack of save checkpoints. While the game will respawn you in a certain spot if you die, it isn’t as forgiving when you need to exit the game. I am currently Pokemon hunting in Sword and Shield in between Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD and going back and forth to the game I noticed it resets the current mission’s progress right to the start each time.

So you’ll need to restart your current mission if you exit the game mid-way. Even if you’re right near the end, it won’t keep that progress. Granted, this was the same in the original 3DS version but I kinda feel like times have changed now and we should totally have checkpoints here. You’ll learn to live with it but keep that in mind.

Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD is shaping up to be another excellent port on the Switch. I will have my full review up soon on the game. It is expected to launch on 21 June.

Marco is the owner and founder of GLITCHED. South Africa’s largest gaming and pop culture website. GLITCHED quickly established itself with tech and gaming enthusiasts with on-point opinions, quick coverage of breaking events and unbiased reviews across its website, social platforms, and YouTube channel.

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