NOT all games have to be wildly innovative to be winners. Luigi's Mansion 2 proves this point superbly.
Just like the original spook stalking adventure, you control a constantly terrified Luigi, as he tries his ghost-busting best to battle a horde of spirits in an eerie dark house.
Luigi has been hired by the cowardly professor E.Gadd to help rid home of rampaging apparitions. Luigi has formidable tools in his arsenal to achieve this.
For a start he has a powerful flashlight, which can be further upgraded with different types of bulbs. This torch can be used to shed light on hidden areas, hopefully discovering and startling ghosts mid-haunt.
You then help Luigi bring his other key toy to bear, as you power up the ghost devouring Poltergust 5000 to suck at the spirits, draining them of health and devouring them completely.
However, this isn't as easy as it sounds, as the ghosts are only momentarily stunned by the power of the torch and you can be busy trying to aim your Poltergust 5000 at one writhing spook, while his allies attack you.
It is this "fight and flight" play dynamic which is at the heart of the game's appeal. Nintendo have come up with something that is huge fun.
The way the play balances your role as predator and quarry is exciting. Also the difficulty level ramps up, as more malevolent spirits attack you and do so in greater numbers.
You can use your vacuum cleaner sometimes to blow instead of suck, keeping ghosts at bay or moving scenery about, solving puzzles or uncovering hidden treasure to upgrade your abilities.
Luigi's Mansion 2 takes a simple idea and delivers it with aplomb.
It is great entertainment value, as he is constantly jumping at shadows or cringing as he opens doors. His whimpering and nervous singing render him pathetic and yet lovable. He uses his 3DS as a mobile phone to discuss his progress or receive updates from E.Gadd. The game keeps the variety coming with different houses to cleanse of their malevolent residents, the puzzles and different themed rooms are among the more clever we have seen in recent times. While not ever managing to be that scary this game has a Goosebumps inspired feel that makes it a real winner.
Luigi's Mansion 2