Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD Has a Pacing Problem

Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD Preview

I’ve played several missions in Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD, and you know what? I don’t love the mission structure in general. The game looks great, the animation and music are slick, and the controls are pretty good. But there’s just something about the missions that mess up the pacing for me. Is it possible for a game to be too portable-friendly? I think Luigi’s Mansion 2 might qualify.

This is all thanks to the game’s original release on the 3DS. Portable games need to be extremely quick to pick up and play, you see. That way, you don’t lose too much progress if the 3DS batteries die out before a mission is finished. Plus, what if your commute to work is only so long? But it turns out the Switch doesn’t have this same issue? Or at least, console games aren’t designed around this limitation to the same extent.

Luigi's Mansion 2 HD

Luigi’s Mansion 2 is a mix of puzzle-solving and action, but it’s not an even mix. You spend a lot of time carefully examining rooms and running your vacuum over every pixel. That’s fine, that’s the core gameplay loop. But when you add the mission completion time, the mission briefing, and disguised loading screens into the formula, suddenly I’m bored. There’s too much downtime in a game that’s already set a slower, more careful pace.

A Lot Of Downtime

To be fair, I’m not a man with a wealth of focus at the best of times. This game may simply not be for someone like me, with a prescription to keep me sitting at my desk for 8 hours a day. But I still wish I was being summoned back to home base 50% less. You’re even re-visiting the same stage multiple times! Why not just leave me to my own devices until I’ve accomplished my goals?

Luigi's Mansion 2 HD

Aside from this one major issue, the game is pretty fun. Catching ghosts still feels great, and you’re given new abilities pretty regularly. The visuals are a major upgrade from the 3DS version, and the controls are mostly fluid. Aiming your flashlight/vacuum can get a little fiddly, but I’ve more or less gotten used to it. The handful of missions I’ve played so far feel well-crafted, even if they are a bit slow.

Of course, I’m still only a little way into Luigi’s Mansion 2. It’s always possible the missions will get hard enough that I’m grateful for the overall game structure. I’m also looking forward to seeing the rest of the bosses, stages, and optional content (if any exists). Who knows? I might come to appreciate the entire game being sliced into digestible chunks. Until then, keep an eye on this spot for a full review of Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD at the end of June.

***A Nintendo Switch code was provided by the publisher***