(Preview) Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD: a 3DS favorite resurfaces on Switch

(Preview) Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD: a 3DS favorite resurfaces on Switch

Between port, remake and remaster, Nintendo manages to string together big releases from one month to the next. Although we feel the end of the Switch’s life, it continues to be one of my favorite consoles. Besides, Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD was in my wishlist since day 1 of the console. I loved it on 3DS, but I didn’t completely finish it. 11 years after its initial release and with an excellent 3rd chapter, what are our first impressions of this reissue?

Once again, our famous plumber Luigi finds himself in a very unfortunate position as he has to face his fears. Prof. Karl Tastroff calls on his expertise from the first game to help him capture the ghosts who have lost their minds in the mansion. So, thanks to his trusty Ectoblast 5000 and his famous super powerful flashlight, he will have to solve the puzzles on his way and suck up wandering souls.

From 2 to 1 single screen

Few games make the jump from 3DS to modern consoles, because the new peripherals are missing a key element: a 2nd screen. However, it wasn’t really a must here, because the content of the bottom screen was simply moved. Previously, we had the map and some indications of Luigi’s resources and finds. Now we have a miniaturized map in the upper right corner that takes up little space. If necessary, we can enlarge it with the “–” button while the other indicators such as our money and our life points are in the other corners.

What’s more, when it was released, the New Nintendo 3DS was not yet available so we were limited to a single joystick unless we had the width adapter. Now both joysticks on the Switch work perfectly to allow us to have better control over Luigi. Essentially, he advances with the one on the left and you can aim more easily with the one on the right. This makes it easier to light up the ghosts, suck them up and vacuum every corner of the room. I remember having some frustrations at the time with the handling. It’s much nicer now.

I also find that it’s a game that benefits from a larger screen. In my opinion, it was one of the best looking games on 3DS, but a large OLED TV and polished visuals do it a lot of good. Without being at the level of the 3rd game, it’s still a great success and a game that is both complete and enjoyable. We are really light years ahead in terms of the quantity of content compared to the very first game. In my opinion, it is this title which cemented Next Level Games’ place as a flagship studio among Nintendo’s partners, eventually leading to their takeover by the Japanese giant.

A greatly improved presentation

We agree that portable consoles are always visually penalized compared to home consoles. This was especially true during the 3DS era. 2013 was still the year of The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite, the reboot of Tomb Raider and GTA V to name a few. The visual difference was therefore quite striking between the two types of consoles.

This time, the interesting comparison to make is with Luigi’s Mansion 3. In this sense, we will not hide the fact that Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD is not up to par. As much in terms of modeling as fluidity, resolution and visual finish, we are still in a simple reissue. In my opinion, we notice even more the difference in the effects of light and shadows which were so successful in the most recent chapter.

This HD version still benefits from a clear improvement over the initial copy. For example, the textures are much smoother, the colors are enhanced and certain elements of the decor seem redone. Both directly in the game and in the scenes, the game looks much more beautiful. Even the dialog boxes look prettier and the writing seems easier to read.

Luigi's Mansion 2 HD
Luigi's Mansion 2 HD

Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD arrives June 27

In closing, I look forward to giving you my final impressions in the coming weeks. I’m not yet convinced that a second visit to Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD is necessary for those who have already done so. However, I’m not yet at the end of the adventure and I haven’t tried the multiplayer yet. I remember that at the time I liked it, so let’s see it in this new iteration. Anyway, I’m still saving a few details for my final test that you won’t want to miss.