I’ve had the opportunity to spend a little quality time with Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon over the past few days, getting into the whole ghost hunting endeavor. It’s an interesting concept to return to, especially considering the newly added multiplayer. For the first time in the series, up to four people can join together to explore a ScareScraper mansion and ghost hunt together. Fortunately, I was able to play had the Hunter, Rush and Polterpup multiplayer modes during the preview.
First, entering the ScareScraper lets players choose how they want to hunt ghosts. In Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, you can play online with either friends or strangers, play over local wireless with up to four other people who also have the game or play with up to three other people using the download play feature. For purposes of this preview, I connected with another friend online who was also playing game.
I discovered something interesting while we were getting started. I had created our Polterpup ScareScraper while waiting for him to connect. I pressed the confirm button while I was waiting, and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon offered up a notice asking if I really wanted to challenge the ScareScraper without a full party. It turns out that people can go through the multiplayer challenges alone. Also, you don’t have to connect to the internet for the ScareScraper challenges if you are going to play by yourself. You can face them alone if you choose the Local multiplayer option, set up the tower and then just choose to start without anyone else. I’d advise against doing at least the Rush mode alone, after my experiences, but the option is there.
The first challenge my friend and I undertook was a Polterpup ScareScraper. Since we were just starting out, we went with the lowest of the three difficulties (Normal), chose a five floor tower and headed out. The mission was simple – we had five minutes to find the two Polterpup ghosts hiding within a few rooms.
Discovering their hiding spaces wasn’t terribly difficult. The Luigis (we were both Luigi, only in different colors) had to use their Dark Light Poltergust attachment to search for puppy trails. First, we had to stalk the puppy prints to find the ghostly doghouse. Once that was discovered, two Polterpups dashed out and ran to hiding spots in the mansion. That means getting out the Dark Light Device again, following paw print trails and then shaking them out of their hiding place with X.
After a Polterpup is revealed in Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, I had to act fast. They’ll run to a new hiding place if they aren’t stunned with the standard flashlight first. Then, I had to turn on the Poltergust 5000 and start sucking immediately to capture a puppy. It had 50HP, which can be lowered by general vacuuming and by pressing the A button once the vacuum gauge as full.
When all pups are caught, there’s a red coin bonus period for 20 seconds. People can race to collect coins. If all are found, then a bonus slot will go off during the rewards screen and one of the participants will get a performance bonus for the next round. Also, vacuum upgrades for the multiplayer segment will be rewarded during the section depending on how much gold was collected during the hunt. This is cumulative for the current tower, so the longer someone survives in a Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon multiplayer match, the stronger their character will get.
Now, to briefly go over the Hunter and Rush modes. The general premise of hunting ghosts is the same in each, but the execution a bit different. I experienced the Hunter mode with that same friend. Like Polterpup, the Luigis are given five minutes to clear out a mansion’s floor of ghosts. While it was easy for us to split up and succeed in Polterpup, it’s more difficult in Hunter mode. Our first floor had 12 ghosts lurking in three rooms, with two in one and five in the other two. We worked best if we stayed together, especially since the ghosts became strong as we climbed to higher floors. Here is where the direction pad feature came in quite handy. Players can press up, left, right or down on the d-pad to make Luigi talk and alert other players. A quick “Help!” or “Hey” can be quite effective, and it’s always nice to hear, “Thank you!” or “Good job!”
I can’t offer as much detail about the Rush mode, because I attempted to go this road alone and failed miserably both times I attempted it. Here, time is of the essence. All a player has to do is help Luigi escape the floor. However, he starts with only 30 second in which to accomplish that. The mansion in this situation is full of ghosts, who all drop time pieces that gave me more time when they were defeated, and some objects can be shaken or investigated for more time. Still, I never managed to find my way off of the first floor. I get the feeling that this mode would be far easier with a full party, since the people can split up to increase the time limit and search for an exit together.
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon will be available on March 24, 2013 in stores and in the 3DS eShop. In both instances, it’ll be $39.99. Be sure to stop by GamerTell on March 21, 2013 for GamerTell’s full review!
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