Luigi's Mansion 2: Dark Moon

              When I was young and hearing of this new thing called a 3DS, I was eager to hear about, but I didn't even know until E3 2011. While Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land wowed me out of my mind, it was the return of my beloved Luigi's Mansion that consumed me during and after the show. I spent a long year and a half waiting, dreaming, and keeping up with anything that could possibly give information about Luigi's Mansion 2 and that journey-one filled with rejoice and suffering alike-transcended eras of age; I was a child who grew into a teenager, but one with those wishes intact and unfulfilled. when it finally came out on March 24, I had been through the entire cycle, from the beginning. I was in the Year of Luigi. I'll always remember that day fondly; because, as much as I hate to say it, it was worth it. Now that I finally have it in my hands, I will discuss my in game quest.

So the story goes that King Boo has escaped and he wants revenge, so he destroys an artifact called the Dark Moon, which causes formerly-friendly ghosts to attack Professor E. Gadd; and what does he do for help? He calls upon Luigi, a cowardly, reluctant hero who isn't too happy about dealing with ghosts, again. Shortly after exploring the first with only a flashlight, he acquires the Poltergust 5000, a super-powered vacuum that can defeat even the toughest of specters; it's a simple and brilliantly intuitive weapon and device capable of solving the game's many ingenious and deceiving puzzles and uncovering well-hidden secrets which include more wealth that can make it even more useful and collectible gems (I'm not gonna spoil what they're for).  The actual "combat" is improved from the first game, requiring you to utilize an accessory called the Strobulb to stun them and then suck them into your vacuum, but the colorful bunch of ghosts ranging from Greenies to giant Gobbers  and hidden Sneakers employ increasingly complex tactics to try to resist the strobe light, but you always succeed in the end. It just feels so satisfying, catching those ghosts. The boss battles are especially interesting.

The five environments are so detailed, they will tease and captivate you as much as the ghosts and almost as much as Luigi. They are varied and have their own themes to where you can even explore gardens and caves on the outside in addition to the life-like mansions as the game suggests. Luigi himself is one of the most developed characters ever put to screen; he has the child-like spirit of his brother, who shows up later on, and insecurities that add lead to predicaments and help the player imagine themselves alongside him in the most heartwarming of ways. The professor has his own moments; for example, I got a little choked up when he told Luigi how proud of him he was before fighting the final two bosses and even more moved during the ending scene when Mario congratulates his little brother after gaining the courage, err,...sort of, to defeat King Boo. Luigi's on-the-surface silly adventure just might be one of the ultimate examples of the classic timeless "Hero's Journey" form of storytelling.

There's also a multi-player game in which you and up to four fellow ghostbusters team up to clear the Scarescraper/Thrill Tower, find cute little and big Polterpups that's not only a cool extra mode, but a way to obtain extra money and exclusive ghosts.

Obviously, I recommend that you play this masterfully designed adventure right now because I love it in every way and its few minute problems and challenges can be solved with a guide, so they're no biggie. Score wise, I have to settle for a perfect 100, only the second game I've played to do so, the other being a little title that kept me occupied while waiting for Luigi's Mansion 2, Super Mario 3D Land. I know, I love Luigi unconditionally, so I'm a little biased, but you should still check it out (I mean, imagine if the protagonist had was as emotionless as a board, how boring would that be?).

100 Proton Packs/100 Proton Packs
This review was a little rushed because I only have one day to publish it for Chilly Challenges and I had to pick a game I know well and a good one for debut. I might come back later.