No PAX demo tour would be complete without a stop at the Nintendo zone. I did try out the Wii U, but it was a little depressing, so I’m just going to write about upcoming 3DS titles. Enjoy!
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
Well it’s about time, Nintendo! The original Luigi’s Mansion was released nearly 11 years ago, so a sequel is a welcome sight. Seems like it would have been a great Wii title, but I’ll take this.
I was allowed to play the first level of Dark Moon, in which Luigi is back at the haunted mansion for some reason. He needs to recover the new and improved Poltergust 5000 because Professor E. Gadd left it in the garage. As usual, going around and poking every bit of furniture yields gold pieces and sweet cash to collect. This was probably my favorite part of Luigi’s Mansion. Not sure what that says about me, but the point is, it appears that no effort was spared on the extras. Vacuum-based puzzles are prevalent, requiring the player to suck up carpets and spin fans to find the necessary keys to proceed.
The game’s “combat” is similar to the original. Luigi finds a new tool early on–a little bulb that allows him to fire a burst of light with his flashlight. Players must use this to stun ghosts before they can be sucked up. Once the vacuum process has started, the same joystick movement is used to subdue the ghosts.
Without a second joystick, players must use the X and B buttons to look up and down. This takes a bit of getting used to, but otherwise the game handles just like the last one. Although holding down B while moving does make Luigi run. Run buttons are always welcome additions. Other than that, Dark Moon looks and feels much like the original.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
Unfortunately, the new Paper Mario game was not available for playable demo, but I did get to watch someone else play it.
The gameplay demo showed off the new sticker-based combat system, in which the stickers you collect are used to attack, defend, heal, or run. Each time a sticker is used, it disappears. However, Nintendo demonstrated a feature in which a slot machine minigame can be initiated to determine how many times each sticker can be used before it’s gone. How many times you can get an image in a row determines how many times you can use the sticker, with a maximum of three. If you can defeat your enemy before you use the sticker two or three times, you get to keep it.
The combat itself was less interesting than the other features. In addition to the stickers lying around everywhere, Mario will come across actual 3D items. These items can then be taken to a special wall inside town, wherein Mario throws the item at the wall, the item goes splat, and becomes a sticker. These stickers can later be placed on the map when “paperization” is activated. Placing a fan sticker in the correct spot generated a giant fan, which spun a windmill and allowed access to a house.
What made me happiest during the demo was the dialogue. Fans of Paper Mario’s writing will be glad to know that Mario’s side kick in the demo made a quip which caused me to laugh aloud. It is a good sign.