Having played the original game on the Nintendo Gamecube I was very excited to pick this game up. My first impression was that is has excellent and charming graphics making good use of the 3DS's capabilities. A few of the earlier games had seemed blurry to me at times such as Ocarina of Time but Luigi's Mansion 2 rarely has that problem. I'd recommend you use the 3D in this game even if you didn't like it in other games you have played.
The set up for the game involves King Boo stealing the Dark Moon and corrupting it, causing havoc in Evershade Valley once more, undoing all Luigi's work of the first game. To subdue the now naughty ghosts Professor E Gadd pulls an unwilling Luigi back into the breach to clean up the mess and recover the now splintered Dark Moon.
Once you recover the Poltergust 5000 (a ghostbusting vaccuum cleaner) and a strobulb (with which to stun the ghosts) you will get into the game proper. I found the exploration gameplay to be extremely charming and every room seems to have been given excellent attention, furnished to perfection with plenty of crafty secrets to discover. I enjoyed the exploration aspect of the game just as much as the actual ghostbusting and finding hidden treasure troves and the extra special hidden shiny gems was very satisfying. My only problem with the game is that you have to do this exploring within the structure of a somewhat scripted level rather than be able to explore the area freely.
The areas themselves are refreshingly different with their own themes and new enemies are provided for a change of pace throughout. The difficulty curve is also well done with no extreme changes but a noticable increase in number and toughness of ghosts and obscurity of puzzles. The game really wouldn't be that hard to finish for most seasoned gamers but there are plenty of extra challenges to go and look for. Each level boasts a sneaky hidden Boo as well as a collection of Mario themed gems specific to that level. I found one of the levels, namely the clockworks, a little boring visually but the others more than make up for it.
Luigi himself has loads of character in this game and the poor guy continues on bravely under the always gleeful E. Gadd. The little things Luigi does like hitching up his Poltergust backpack or humming along nervously to the music in the level is very endearing. I hope we see more of this characterisation in Nintendo games in the future.
Controlling Luigi is a little fiddly at first but you get the hang of it. However, using the tilt feature of the 3DS to look around with the 3D on can be a little awkward at times and I found myself using the X button to look up more than using that feature.
The game also features multiplayer which is great fun! I had a good time and also gained tips for the single players watching others players capture ghosts. The multiplayer can be strangely competitive though and I'm not sure that helps it much, as a co op game. That said, when you join a game you can see the difficulty level so you can avoid being out of your depth.
Overall I really love Luigi's Mansion 2. I think it's an oasis in a sea of ultra serious gaming and I think people looking for a change from games like shooters would find it extremely refreshing. I can highly recommend this game. A 9/10 from me.