My latest decision on Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon was not to buy it because of the late March/early April retail and eShop 3DS release glut, but the free flashlight included with the premium edition convinced me otherwise. The flashlight’s presentation is exceptional, with a silver metal case and the game’s logo painted directly on the all-metal flashlight itself, and the single-button controls work flawlessly.
Reviewers of Dark Moon have heaped high praise on it for the gameplay, but what struck me (and several reviewers have made a point of this as well) is that the game is also exceptional in its characterization of Luigi. Watching the pre-launch videos I thought that Luigi’s near-constant Tex Avery-esque “WAAAAH!” would grate on me, but in the full game his fear and trepidation are much more understated and entirely believable. As I was directing Luigi around the mansion, listening to him sing along with the background music and look around warily, I realised he was acting exactly the way I would have in that situation. Luigi at times may be overdone for comedic effect in his limited appearances as second banana to his older and less interesting brother, but the year of Luigi could prove that he’s one of Nintendo’s most compelling but criminally overlooked characters.