After having been rumored for some time now, and more or less leaked on the game’s official website, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for the Nintendo 3DS does in fact have multiplayer! However, it’s not the kind of multiplayer you might be thinking of. Point blank, the story mode is still single player only, so you won’t be trudging through the story mode with a buddy – sorry to disappoint.
That being said, as Nintendo unveiled multiplayer to us at a recent preview event, it’s actually a bit more than we had hoped for. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon will have a full-fledged multiplayer support, with various modes, though Nintendo was only willing to discuss one of them; namely Hunter Mode, which lay within Scarescraper Mode.
Hunter mode will put players in a haunted tower, which forces you to clear out each floor before reaching a boss at the top floor, or better yet, every time you reach a fifth floor. The game will allow you to choose from 5, 10, 25 or even endless floors, with difficulty settings of normal, hard and expert. The point of the mode is to team up with up to three other players (4 total) to clear out a handful of rooms on each floor. As you progress, you’ll come across different types of ghosts, ranging from hockey player ones, that were kicking our butts quite often, normal ghosts and even one that spits goo at you. You’ll need to work together while also being ready to revive a teammate by pressing the ‘X’ button when they’re down. Though there is no voice chat, you can use the D-pad to say canned messages to your teammates, such as calling out for help when you are down. You’ll notice a map on the bottom screen that shows you which rooms have ghosts, by displaying rooms that are dark. Some rooms require keys, which means you’ll have to look through every nook and cranny to find it.
Maps and floors from Scarescraper are also unique to the mode and are not rehashed from the single-player. Enemies that you come across are also randomly generated, including the bosses. The boss that we took on was called Poltergeist, who kind of looked like Mother Brain. He used telekinesis to throw stuff at us which made him tough to beat, but our team of four was strong enough to take him down. As you go further and further, the enemies get even tougher and while there may be a time when you come across the same boss twice, Nintendo says there “are a lot of bosses” in multiplayer, so it shouldn’t be often when that happens.
At the end of each floor, you’ll get to collect red coins which spin a wheel that can net you some perks, such as having a stronger Poltergust on the next floor. As you collect treasure/coins on each floor, your team can also get team upgrades, which will be helpful as you go further along.
Now here’s the biggie – multiplayer mode is not only available locally, but also via download play and, ready for it….online!
From the hour or so that we had with the game’s multiplayer, I can honestly say that it was a blast to play. Working as a team is huge as playing by yourself or just one other teammate can prove to be quite difficult, so I’d certainly advise any player to find three other buddies to join them for the ghost-busting mayhem.
The game is scheduled for a March 24 release both as a full retail version and and a digital release. For those who pick it up digitally, functionality as it pertains to multiplayer is exactly the same. Our time with the game was extremely fun and we can’t wait to jump into some more multiplayer in 8 more weeks, as gamers should be excited about the prospect of not only an entertaining story mode but also a fun-as-hell multiplayer mode.