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Luigi's Mansion 2 HD (Switch) Review

by John Rairdin - June 29, 2024, 10:18 am EDT
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It will always be Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon to me.

I remember back when Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon (or Luigi’s Mansion 2 depending on your region) was announced for Nintendo 3DS, my initial reaction was surprised confusion. While I enjoyed the original Gamecube game back at launch, it never struck me as something that would become a series. Then I played Dark Moon, and all those doubts melted away. I absolutely loved Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon back in 2013. Next Level Games’ interpretation of this universe is charmingly animated, visually astounding, and just fun to explore. Now in 2024, this remaster of Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon comes to us via Tantalus, the team behind the remasters of The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword. I can say without a moment of hesitation, this is the best remaster they have ever produced of a Nintendo game.

Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD is exactly what you’d expect from the title. This is, from a content perspective, the exact same game you played on 3DS a decade ago. That comes with both the positives, and the negatives. The game is split between several different mansions this time around. Each one has its own unique visual theme and mechanical hooks. As Luigi you’ll venture into these mansions in search of pieces of the titular Dark Moon, which has been shattered by King Boo. Navigating these mansions will mean solving puzzles, fighting ghosts, and uncovering secrets. Most of the game’s difficulty comes down to figuring out how to get where you’re trying to go. Locked doors and secret passages weave through every mansion making exploring your surroundings thoroughly the key part of every mission.

Unique to Dark Moon, is a mission system that breaks up your trips to each mansion into specific objectives. Once an objective is complete, you’ll be whisked away back to a bunker to plan your next outing with Professor E. Gadd. Early on these missions are very short and the constant trips to and from the mansion can be a little grating. However, by a few missions in, your objectives will become more expansive, and you’ll be free to explore the mansions more thoroughly. You’ll also be given incentive to return to missions later to find hidden objectives and see if you can best your previous score. While this structure certainly has its moments of being overbearing early on, I find that it reminds me a bit of 3D Mario. Yes you’re visiting the same area multiple times, but each time things will have slightly changed to accommodate your current objective.

I found that Luigi feels a bit more intuitive to control on a traditional dual analogue controller rather than the 3DS. The right stick can now be used to modify Luigi’s aim independently of his movement. While it's not as fluid as either of the other games which were built with home consoles in mind, it does a lot to help Dark Moon fit in with the rest of the trilogy. But other than controls, Dark Moon is light on changes. This is essentially the 3DS game in HD. That being said, the HD in the title means much more than a resolution boost.

While not as immediately obvious as something like Metroid Prime Remastered, Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon has received a thorough visual overhaul. This is where I have to give Tantalus a lot of credit, as while nearly everything in the game has been rebuilt to a higher degree to detail, you may not immediately notice. This all comes down to how flawlessly they’ve preserved the original artistic intent of Next Level Games. I’ve always loved the way Dark Moon looked compared to the other games in the series. It is clean with a lot of straight edges used to build a slightly off balance world. All of this has been highlighted in the Switch version with brand new or modified 3D models in every scene. The goal was very clearly not to get this to the same look at Luigi’s Mansion 3, but rather to simply present the art of the 3DS game in a way that could hold up on the big screen, and I’d say they succeeded.

When it does come to technical performance and resolution, I can’t really come up with any complaints. In fact this might be the best image quality we’ve ever seen in a first party Switch game. Playing docked you’ll hit a full 1080p while handheld hits the Switch screen’s native 720p. Both of these configurations not only hit their maximum possible resolution, they also both have a nice pass of post process anti aliasing. I think this is especially crucial given the game's art style. All the harsh straight edges seen throughout the mansions would show very obvious pixel stair stepping without proper treatment. As is, even played on a big 4K TV, this looks fantastic. Frame rate also smooths out the somewhat uneven performance of the original and maintains a steady 30 fps throughout. The only times I was able to see any fluctuation in performance was when playing the online Scarescraper mode. But I’d attribute that to online connectivity rather than an actual performance problem. I will note on the topic of Scarescraper, that while I’m glad the mode remains from the original game, I do wish it had an updated system for joining games. Rather than just being able to quickly find the next available game, you’ll have to sift through a list looking for the mode and difficulty you want, then hope it hasn’t filled up before you hit the A button.

Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD does not reinvent the original by any means. If the mission based gameplay structure bothered you on 3DS, it won’t be any better here. While that particular issue largely goes away as the game goes on, I would have liked some quality of life updates for multiplayer. That being said, this is without a doubt the definitive version of Dark Moon. The love and care with which it has been remastered deserves calling out. Tantalus has done an incredible job here. The original work of Next Level Games really shines as their animation and underlying art direction remain unchanged. This is easily the best way to play Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon.


  • Excellent technical performance
  • Exploring multiple mansions is still fun a decade later
  • Respectful yet thorough visual update
  • Early missions are far too short leading to constant interruption
  • No quality of life updates

A review copy was purchased by the reviewer.

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Game Profile

Luigi Mansion 2 HD Box Art

Genre Action
Developer Next Level Games
Online1 - 4

Worldwide Releases

na: Luigi's Mansion 2 HD
Release Jun 27, 2024
jpn: Luigi Mansion 2 HD
Release Jun 27, 2024
RatingAll Ages
eu: Luigi's Mansion 2 HD
Release Jun 27, 2024
aus: Luigi's Mansion 2 HD
Release Jun 27, 2024
RatingParental Guidance
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