Luigi's Mansion 2 HD review

With its remakes and remasters, the Switch is a gold mine for those who missed the company's great classics on previous consoles. Luigi's Mansion 2 HD is one of them. Released in 2013 on 3DS, the game is getting a remaster which will undoubtedly appeal to new fans of the license who cut their teeth on the excellent Luigi's Mansion 3. Even if the choice to offer the second opus – and not the very first released on Gamecube (which also received a remake on 3DS) – is quite strange, we are in front of a sure value for the hybrid console.

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Testing conditions: We have completed single-player mode on Switch OLED. We were also able to try our hand at multiplayer mode thanks to a session organized by Nintendo.

Aiming for the moon is scary

Even if we love Mario and his many escapades, it is always refreshing to see Nintendo highlight other characters in new adventures. This is all the more true for our hero's brother, often in the latter's shadow. Placing the green plumber, shy and cowardly, in an original game with a horrific atmosphere was an idea of ​​genius, brilliantly exploited in the three opuses of the franchise Luigi's Mansion.

Often considered the “worst” of the three, Luigi's Mansion 2 nonetheless remains a thrilling adventure, full of exploration of haunted mansions, puzzles and ghost captures. This second opus takes us to the valley of Evershade, where ghosts live peacefully under the protection of a mystical object: the Black Moon. When an evil being breaks the Moon into several pieces, the ghosts become aggressive. Professor K. Tastroff, who was studying these specters, then calls on Luigi to recover the fragments and restore order.

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Armed with his ghost vacuum cleaner, the Ectoblast 5000, and his flashlight, the Spectroflash, our hero sets off to explore various mansions to accomplish his mission. Overall, the game hasn't aged a bit. The levels are well designed and feature ingenious puzzles. The use of the Ectoblast is renewed enough to avoid a certain redundancy. He can vacuum up decorative elements such as carpets, activate mechanisms and grab objects. Later, the game introduces the Reveloscope, a gadget that reveals invisible objects.

One of the strengths of this concept is that you can freely explore parts of a mansion to discover its secrets or focus on the main objective. The fairly discreet tone of the title, combined with Luigi's reactions, adds a particular charm to the atmosphere. His jumps and facial expressions inject a dose of humor and make the character even more endearing. Without forgetting the numerous cut-scenes where he is manhandled by ghosts.

A new lease of life at the Ectoblast

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Although capturing ghosts is simple at first, it becomes more complex as new types of specters appear. Initially, just flash the ghosts to make them vulnerable, then suck them in until their resistance is exhausted. Over the course of the game, certain ghosts are equipped with protection against the flash, while others must be revealed with the Reveloscope. When it comes to bosses, Luigi's Mansion 2 HD does not disappoint with quite creative clashes that never resemble the previous one.

As for the difficulty, it remains accessible, faithful to the standards of Nintendo games. However, the lack of save points can be a source of frustration. In the event of a game-over, you will have to start the entire level from the beginning. Moreover, this division into several levels is undoubtedly the element of the original game which has aged the worst. Each mansion is divided into several missions that you must complete to progress. Unlike the more open structures of Luigi's Mansion 1 & 3this segmentation makes the adventure less immersive, especially since we often revisit the same areas of the mansion, with only a few variations in the accessibility of the passages.

This feeling is exacerbated by some tedious missions, such as tracking down ectochians, which force us to needlessly traverse areas of the mansion that have already been thoroughly explored. The other disadvantage encountered is the difficulty in evaluating distances. Especially during ghost fights, it's quite difficult to grasp perspective in the absence of the 3DS's stereoscopic 3D. Nothing too bad most of the time, but when the screen is busy enough, it can be annoying.

More comfortable multiplayer

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As long as you have already completed it from top to bottom on 3DS, it is not essential to dive back into this HD version, unless you want to do it again in good conditions and take advantage of the multiplayer. The latter having left us few memories at the time, this Switch version is almost a discovery at this level. Playable with up to 4 players locally and online, the Haunted Tower is a real added value for Luigi's Mansion 2 HD. Three modes are available:

  • Hunting Mode: In this mode, players must capture all the ghosts on each floor before being able to move on to the next floor.
  • Sprint mode: here, players must find the exit from the floor as quickly as possible. Time is limited, but it is possible to gain additional seconds by finding bonuses.
  • Tracking mode: this mode consists of tracking and capturing Ectochians by following their tracks.

In addition to being quite varied, the multiplayer is also quite competitive since the difficulty increases as you climb the floors of the tower. Between each floor, collecting coins allows us to improve the Ectoblast and the Revéloscope. New to this version for the Switch is the possibility of collecting red coins once the floor objective has been reached. If they are all collected before time runs out, a bonus is distributed to one of the four players, giving a significant advantage such as a more powerful draw against ghosts.

Luigi's Mansion 2 HD has above all benefited from a notable graphics refresh allowing it to be enjoyed comfortably today. This does not prevent us from seeing that the original game already had notable graphic qualities, in particular its fairly extensive settings. In terms of visual improvements, we have new 3D models, new textures and better lighting effects. The rendering is impeccable, both in portable mode and in docked mode. The sound design is particularly successful, as expected from a game aping the survival horror genre. We also have well-chosen music and this charming touch where Luigi, to give himself courage, hums the themes of the different levels. Charles Martinet's performance as Luigi is, as usual, a real fan pleaser.

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