The Best and Worst of Luigi’s Mansion 2! Five of the Best and Four of the Worst Moments from the game!
Generally, Luigi’s Mansion 2 is seen as one of the best games on the 3DS and an outright classic in general. It’s got great scores across the board (well, apart from at Gamespot), a soundtrack many see as one of the best on the system and all kinds of fantastic moments that stand out and make it a fantastic experience.
But which of these many moments or scenes are the best in the game? Which are the worst? Here’s my attempt to answer both those questions, with my article about the best and worst of Luigi’s Mansion 2. If you want to watch it in video form, here it is on Youtube:
First up, let’s start with the positives, five of the best moments from the game:
Luigi’s Mansion 2’s Best Moments/Scenes
5. Confront the Source (world 1 boss)
The first boss in the game, it’s one of the best moments simply because it’s everything a good Luigi’s Mansion boss should be like.
You’ve got a clever strategy that changes after every hit and requires you to solve multiple ‘puzzles’ to reveal the boss’ weakpoints. In addition to this, every single ‘gimmick’ here is logical and has been used before in some sense, so you’re combining your existing knowledge rather than having random new game mechanics shoved in your face (*cough* Chilly Ride *cough*). It feels like a boss from a modern Zelda game, almost like what a great Zelda boss could be like if the series put the effort in.
And while some people might say the Grouchy Possessor is a little too difficult for a first boss (perhaps it would have worked better in the second or third mansion), it’s nice to see an early boss battle that doesn’t assume the players are brain dead chimps who need glaringly obvious weakpoints and utterly non threatening levels of difficulty to do well.
It’s a well designed boss with a fantastic strategy, and it fits perfectly into a Luigi’s Mansion game. For that, the first boss in Luigi’s Mansion 2 makes the fifth spot on the list.
4. King Boo’s Ambush (Treacherous Mansion doorway)
It’s not really a gameplay thing, but arguably one of the most effective jump scares in the game. You slowly open the door to the Treacherous Mansion and see Luigi look into the darkness, then the minute he turns around…
King Boo appears from nowhere and looks at him with the intent to kill.
Luigi himself never sees this, but damn it’s an effective shock to anyone not expecting it. Definitely a nice piece of ‘survival horror’ parody in an otherwise more light hearted and action packed game.
3. Stop the Knightmare (Tough Possessor boss)
This was probably one of the best battles in the game, at least as far as atmosphere goes. It already starts out some neat with the whole ‘paranormal dimension’ portal thing and the idea that you’re fighting a team of phantom knights by tripping them up with carpets. But what really makes it fit the list is what happens next.
Cue the ground shaking ominous and Luigi looking terrifying. Then you see it. A fifty foot tall suit of armour glaring at Luigi before literally slicing the roof off and trying to squash him to a pulp. It’s just a fantastic boss idea and set up in general, and is the kind of concept I really hope shows up in a Zelda game sometime along the line.
Yeah the actual strategy/battle itself doesn’t quite live up to the hype, but damn you have to admit the idea of a fifty foot tall knight trying to smash you to pieces with a sword as tall as the room was an awesome concept.
2. Paranormal Chaos and the Ghost Horde
One of the last missions in the game, Paranormal Chaos has you take down hordes of ghosts across the Treacherous Mansion before the world ends due to the dimension collapsing. And let me say immediately that this is plain fun.
It’s kind of like a cross between an ‘infiltration’ mission, the ScareScraper and the horde from The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword, and it is some of the best ghost hunting in the game. Getting a bit bored of puzzles? Try this level out and go catch those hordes of angry undead!
What I love about this part of the game is that frankly, it’s the most exciting setup for ‘combat’ in a Nintendo game in recent history. Why? Because unlike every other Nintendo game released recently, the enemies are the actual damn point of the level and not just decorations to be ripped apart on their own while puzzles are solved. It’s kind of what a Zelda dungeon of the NES style would be like in 3D.
And the horde battle at the end only makes it even better. Forget Skyward Sword’s two million types of Bokoblins, Paranormal Chaos literally throws every type of normal monster in the game at you at once. You fight Greenies, Slammers, Sneakers, Armed Greenies, Mummies, Gobbers, Super Greenies and Slammers. You basically fight a vast group of monsters with all kinds of different attack patterns and weaknesses and its just fun in general.
Above: The variety in enemies you fight in the big battle at the end of the mission is fantastic.
One of the most fun experiences in Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon, and arguably something the Zelda franchise should take a lot of inspiration from. Games are meant to be difficult and keep you on the edge of your seat, not just let you stroll around and kill things in two hits.
1. All of the final boss battle/ending
Really, almost all of the final boss and ending was absolutely fantastic. If you don’t mind spoilers, click the spoiler tag button below to read why.
And those are the five best moments from Luigi’s Mansion 2 (at least in my opinion). Now though for the flipside, here are four of the worst parts of the game with reasons why…
Luigi’s Mansion 2’s Worst Moments/Scenes
4. The Infamous Secret Mine Rope Bridge
Yeah, the gyro controls in this game suck. And it’s ten times worse on narrow rafters and rope bridges that you need to avoid falling from. But this one section in the first mission of the Secret Mine is truly awful even for this.
The main reason for this is simple; it’s right at the end of a level! Because in Luigi’s Mansion 2, you don’t have any checkpoints. Die without having a golden bone in your possession and that’s it, you go right back to the start of the mission.
And this awful motion control section is placed right at the end of a long stage. Literally in the room right before you end the mission. Mess up here because you weren’t expecting it? Enjoy losing about twenty minutes of progress.
Above: This section is not fun. People have lost anywhere up to four lives on this crap.
It also happens to throw everyone’s least favourite video game mechanic into the mix too, that being wind. You know how much being blown around sucks in your standard video game? Now imagine the sheer and utter hell of having this sort of thing in a section where you have to cross a narrow tightrope across a bottomless pit. You have to give Luigi some credit here, anyone else who tried to cross a tightrope on a windy day/in a hurricane would end up in the hospital or worse.
Shoving an annoying gyro controlled game mechanic at the end of a long stage is a terrible idea, and that’s why the rope bridge in the Secret Mine makes this list.
3. Ambush Manouevre (Big Boo battle)
The most unexpected boss in the game, this mission has you fight Big Boo in the Train Exhibit with a boss battle design all too inspired by Boolossus from the original game.
But despite the interesting concept and setup, I have to admit this isn’t a boss battle I enjoy fighting.
The first reason is because the setup makes it kind of annoying to fight the boss quickly or with any real precision. This is because the train never stops moving around the arena, and because Big Boo also coincidentally happens to have near random AI that chooses between his ‘charge’ and ‘bounce around’ attacks without any reason or rhyme. And this random AI and the continuous movement of the train means that you have no general idea what you need to do to win at any one particular point. Every other boss (bar maybe the Shrewd/Scornful Possessor) can basically be figured out rote style like a kid memorising subjects at school. You can learn and adapt to their strategy. This boss on the other hand is just a little too… random in what attacks it decides to use.
To add to this, to damage it you’ve got to trick the boss into hitting the drill on the train. It’s a clever idea, but it’s not really that well thought out in practice. Does the train just happen to be in the wrong place because he used a different attack than you expected? Then his ‘charge’ attack can leave you zero room to actually damage him simply because the trains not there for him to charge at.
And the fact you can’t just capture the Boos like normal makes it more annoying than it has to be. Shooting them at a moving train? An absolute pain in the ass. Especially once the train carriages get shut off and you’ve got to aim with great precision and timing. At least Boolossus let you just freeze the Boos solid and suck ’em in immediately.
Finally, the mission leaves zero room for error when it comes to get rankings. You see, normally, ranks depend on a mixture of gold collected, health lost and time taken to beat the mission. In many boss levels this is fine because the time taken can be cut down drastically and there’s a significant amount of gold you can collect to offset any damage taken. In this one on the other hand (and in the Shrewd/Scornful Possessor fight for that matter), you have ZERO gold to collect. None. Zilch. Nada. Hence to do well in this battle you NEED to literally do the whole battle without taking a single hit or making a mistake. It’s not fun because people are not perfect. Doing the battle well literally means treating it as a Daredevil run, which utterly sucks given how almost every other boss allows at least one mistake.
So yes, the Big Boo boss isn’t that great in my opinion and is one of the low points in Luigi’s Mansion 2. Still, at least it has a really catchy and unique victory tune!
2. The Eerie Staircase (Haunted Towers boss)
Now I’ll be perfectly honest. This isn’t a bad boss or section because it’s hard. Oh no, quite the opposite. In fact, I don’t think many good players could actually die on this without seriously screwing up somewhere along the line.
The problem however is that it’s just plain tedious. Let’s start with the staircase. That’s about 30 flights of steps you have to climb to reach the actual boss fight alone. And if you mess up? All the way back down to the bottom you go.
Above: Climbing these stairs isn’t fun.
Now I do admit it’s not as bad as it potentially could have been (imagine how awful it’d have been if the game didn’t mark the steps you’d taken successfully and you needed to do the whole journey in one go), but the honest to God truth is simple; it’s boring. No one finds climbing steps fun. And when you add the whole ‘random’ factor or the complete lack of clues to the right path (you can only see about four flights of steps ahead of you, so anything beyond this is just trial and error), you’ve got a bad idea for a level design segment and terrible boss level concept.
It’s only then just salt in the wound to have the boss be so utterly awful at the end of it. I mean sure, I guess dying to a tough boss and redoing the steps would be bad, but why not just scrap the step climbing and just have you fight an interesting opponent the minute the level starts?
As it is, you’ve got a boring, easy boss after a boring, tedious climbing section with no variety at all. This is just inexcusable in a Nintendo game.
1. The Shrewd/Scornful Possessor (Secret Mine boss)
I’ve written a fair bit about why I consider this a poorly designed boss battle. Here’s a nice overview of some of those reasons:
But for those who want a better explanation, here it is:
The Shrewd Possessor fight uses game mechanics that are never properly explained and are only in play in this one battle. And it doesn’t work properly due to various glitches.
The first reason is bad enough alone. When has this game ever required you to play through a rail shooting segment and blast pieces of ice off a ghost that’s tunneling away into the background? Never, so no one has a clue how to fight in the battle unless they’ve previously watched someone play it on Youtube.
Above: What does this have to do with Luigi’s Mansion?
In addition to this, doesn’t it seem a bit unfair to throw things like an overheating machine at you when it’s only your first ‘real’ go with this style of gameplay? Time limits are something that should be introduced once you’ve actually got to grips with a game and know how to play it, not right off the bat. It’s like giving a new Smash Bros player a copy and immediately making them play through Cruel Brawl or battle three level 9 AIs before they even know the control scheme. It’s pretty much the most literal form of ‘sink or swim’ possible and kind of ridiculous because of it.
It’s also kind of pointless because you never need to learn this style of gameplay for anything outside this one battle. That’s it, once you’ve beat this boss, you will never have to touch a bomb shooting sleigh or play a rail shooter style segment ever again. So not only do you get no proper tutorial or introduction, but what you learn in the battle becomes completely irrelevant afterwards.
Finally, the battle is glitched. Or at least if it isn’t, is badly designed enough that people are thinking it’s broken. How? Well if you throw a bomb at the Possessor once he charges but before he gets close enough, you will always miss. It just passes straight through him with no indication why, causing you to get hit and likely get a game over through no fault of your own. This is just poor game design/programming in general, you should never have a boss or enemy which is affected in different ways based on time with no visible indication to the player that this is the case. It’s like having an enemy that’s immune to bullets at one point but becomes weak to them at another yet doesn’t change design between situations. It’s just illogical and confusing.
All in all, the Shrewd/Scornful Possessor is just a plain badly designed boss battle which might even be literally broken. It’s not particularly fun, it has nothing to do with the rest of the game and really shouldn’t have even been in Luigi’s Mansion 2.
And that concludes my list of best and worst moments in Luigi’s Mansion 2. Do you agree with my choices? Think there are some parts of the game that should have been on either list? Comment below or in the official feedback thread over at Nintendo 3DS Community now!