With no SPOILERS!
I finally got Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon last weekend and the game is fantastic!
What I liked about the game:
Although I have never played its gamecube prequel, I had a ton of fun with this game. The mansions were very beautiful and have a creepy and eerie atmosphere, the puzzles are very challenging, and the characters have a ton of personality, especially the ghosts. One of my favourite moments is when I was almost at the top of the stairs in the 2nd boss fight, I slipped and there was one ghost that kept laughing at me all the down. My most favourite ghost in the game is the Polterpup. How could you not resist his adorable personality despite being a ghost? Compare to games like the Ape Escape series, the ghosts in Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon are more fun to catch and they really make me think of strategies on how to capture them. In the Ape Escape games, the main strategy is to just get up close, swing at them with a stun club and quickly catch them with a net. However in Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, these ghosts are tougher than Ape Escape's Pipo Monkeys. They help and defend each other from Luigi, and devise new strategies in later parts of the game to beat you up to a pulp.
The multiplayer is awesome, and there are so many things to do like finding gems or Boos.
There is a ton of replay value to get a three-star rank for each mission, or backtrack to find missing items. I love the music in the game, and this is one game I highly recommend playing in 3D. Despite the light-hearted elements in the game, the ghosts and Boos really made me jump and give me a good scare.
What I don't like about the game:
Backtracking. It can get very irritating if you miss something on your first run. Due to the mission structure of the game, it takes a lot of work to get to the Boo or gem you are looking for. I also wish there is an option where you can just freely explore the mansions without any restrains or the mission in your way. There are no check points so if you die in the middle of a mission, you start right back from the beginning. The only time I got a game over was from the third boss fight. That really made my gaming sense get serious when I started the mission all over again.
Even though the multiplayer gameplay is great, there were frustrating times such as the one time when I was playing hunter mode in someone's scarescraper, everyone left except for me at the end of F4 and I was left alone to fight the boss. I wasn't given control on whether to wait for more players to join in during interstage sessions even if the scare scraper owner left. Getting into scarescrapers is a challenge and I kept getting messages like "Game mode's session is not available". It usually takes me 5 to 15 minutes to get into a scarescraper.
The best way to enjoy multiplayer is create your own scarescraper and wait for people to join in. It takes up less time, and you have more control over everyone in the scarescraper.
Despite having some issues and flaws, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon is a wonderful game that gives players a unique experience that cannot be found in other games. It's the type of game that rewards you for being patient and consistently careful in checking every spot in the mansions. As a Mario fan and 3DS owner, I highly recommend getting this game for the single player, multiplayer experience and 3D experience.
Final Grade: 9/10