Luigi's second romp through a haunted mansion offers something different for 3DS fans, following much of the same from Mario's previous adventure.
Focusing less on combating the franchise's famously shy ghosts, the demo for Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon found its niche in quirky humor and puzzles.
Using his vacuum, dubbed the Poltergust 5000, Luigi can push and pull objects to solve puzzles throughout the world. Players may need to do something as simple as blowing out a candle by throwing the vacuum in reverse, or something more complicated like using the vacuum to rotate a chandelier clockwise or counterclockwise.
Early on, the puzzles felt rudimentary. After walking inside the haunted house, an exclamation point on the touch screen indicated which room Luigi needed to search to acquire a key. Players simply use the vacuum to push and pull objects to find the item. Pushing and pulling curtains and rugs yielded movement, showing me I was on the right path.
Dark Moon quickly became a game of "hidden object" recovery, requiring Luigi to walk around any given room and indiscriminately use the vacuum in an attempt to garner a response from the environment. Sometimes whisking up the environment nabbed me the object he was in search of or, in one particular instance, Luigi was greeted by a ghost hiding out in a shower.
Although some of the puzzles I saw bordered on monotony, the demo's humor added levity to the ghost hunt – such as a bathing ghost's screaming reaction to Luigi peeking in.
In combat, Luigi can take on up to three ghosts at a time. After blasting an enemy with a few charged bursts of light, the hero can suck them into the Poltergust 5000, Ghostbusters style.
Similar to Mario 3D Land, Dark Moon does have a periscope mode when you peek into windows; however, I didn't find anything terribly exciting about playing the game in 3D.
Although Dark Moon was announced at E3 2011, the release date has been on pause for some time. Fans will have to wait until the first half of 2013 to join in on Luigi's 3DS-exclusive ghost hunt.
Bags Hooper is a writer based out of Brooklyn, New York. He has contributed to multiple outlets, including BuzzFocus, USA Network, Showtime's Pop Tudors, Monsters & Critics and FHM. You can follow him on Twitter at @BagsHooper.