Luigi's Mansion 2 HD Review (Nintendo Switch)

HD version shines like the moonlight

By Paul Hunter

When Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon was released on Nintendo 3DS in 2013, it was a showcase title for the handheld console's unique 3D effects. While I thoroughly enjoyed the game back then, the console's lack of a right analog stick felt like a great game held back by 3DS' hardware limitation. Fast forward to 2024, and the game has returned as Luigi's Mansion 2 HD on Nintendo Switch with dual analog support that significantly improves the gameplay ease and feel.

Overshadowing perhaps even the excellent control improvements, are the upgraded high-definition graphics that are easily among the best yet on Nintendo Switch. When I say upgrades, I mean that in a big way as the game has dramatic new lighting, new shaders, enhanced colour, cleaner animations and crisp, new textures. A ton of effort has gone into the visual artistry making this game as a whole look on par if not better than 2019's Luigi's Mansion 3.

It's worth pointing out that Luigi's Mansion 2 HD is mainly a straight visual upgrade and doesn't have any additional bells and whistles like the "Deluxe" version of games Nintendo has been releasing in recent years. You get the same incredible experience as was on the 3DS, minus the 3D effects of course, with the addition of HD graphics and dual-analog controls.

For those new to Luigi's Mansion 2, much like the GameCube original, the title focuses on the adventures of Mario's loveable, cowardly brother Luigi and his ghost-hunting escapades with Professor E. Gadd. This time Luigi is given the upgraded Poltergust 5000, a specialized vacuum cleaner he can use to find hidden treasures and more importantly, suck up all those troublesome ghosts. By attaching the strobulb high-power flashlight, Luigi can temporarily stun rowdy ghosts to make them susceptible to his vacuum's suctioning power.

The adventure takes place in multiple mansions this time around, five to be exact, and each mansion has its own distinct look and feel, offering just enough variety in this fifteen-or-so-hour game. Mansions each have their own unique puzzles and if you're the type to seek out everything in your games, a completionist run can take up to 30 hours. The search is a memorable one, though, thanks to the clever puzzles, sheer ghost variety and, of course, our lovable hero Luigi who mumbles silly one-liners in fear.  

For better or for worse, this sequel takes on a mission structure where you explore mansions absolutely crammed with exploration, meet your objective or fight a boss, and then get transported back to Professor E. Gadd's secret lab to get debriefed on your next mission. This format makes it a snap to jump in and out of missions and is great because the missions are fairly bite-sized, but it also means a drop in immersion as you'll routinely be taken out of the atmosphere instead of the game being one continuous flow.

The details are what make this haunted adventure so much fun to play. It never gets tiring the way the Poltergust 5000 vacuum sucks up flowing drapery and then an explosion of coins and dollar bills pop out, which can also be sucked into the vacuum. Nearly everything either moves or can be interacted with using the vacuum, from making ceiling fans twirl around to jiggling hanged painting to even stripping off wallpaper revealing a stash of coins or other goodies. The mansions feel organic and alive, which makes them such a joy to explore every nook and cranny.

I also love that the way you interact with Professor E. Gadd is through a Nintendo DS, and not the slimmed-up later versions, I'm talking about the original "fat" one at that. It's also funny how Gadd transports Luigi to and from his laboratory by digitizing our green hero and having him reemerge through CCTV security cameras.

There's a whole lot of personality when it comes to the ghosts, which is yet another reason this adventure is so charming. Ghosts can be seen meddling in just about everything, from giggling after smashing a window to hopping into a piano to make bothersome tunes, to even taking pretend showers as the water passes right through them. Ghosts are also funny during combat with some wearing shades to avoid Luigi's flash bulb or other ones that go the more direct approach by swinging swords or throwing punches.

While the main campaign is single-player and has a heavy focus on exploration, the game does include an unlockable ghost-hunting multiplayer mode called ScareScraper. Within ScarScraper, there are three multiplayer modes for up to four players with the core mode being Hunter which sends you to a randomized 25-floor mansion to battle ghosts, with every five floors featuring a different boss.

ScareScraper also includes a Rush mode that ups the ante by introducing a time limit, which can only be increased by beating ghosts that add precious seconds to the clock. The final mode, called Polterpup, tasks you with chasing after adorable pet ghost dogs using Luigi's new Dark-Light device and then sucking them up. ScareScraper is perfect for a family games night in as you work together to suck up all those pesky ghosts and cleanse the mansion for good.

The Verdict

Luigi's Mansion 2 HD on Nintendo Switch is such a joy to play, continuously offering a hilarious and fresh experience. The bold new visuals are among the best yet on Nintendo's latest console, and when paired with the catchy music and elaborate mansions full of fun puzzles it's an audio-visual treat. Add in an engaging four-player co-op mode for extra value and to extend the replay and you've got a fa-boo-lous game that's easy to recommend.

Final Score: 8.5/10 - Great

Luigi's Mansion 2 HD details

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Next Level Games, Tantalus Media
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Action, Adventure
Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

A key was provided by the publisher.