I’ve spoken at length about this game already in my review, but even so, I couldn’t leave this one off the inaugural countdown.

#3: Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon kind of reminds me of Mega Man Legends 2, in that it takes the core foundation present in its predecessor and breaks it up into more individualized chunks, each with their own theme. In this case, rather than one mansion, Luigi must travel to several smaller mansions scattered throughout a valley, each with its own dedicated theme.

While MegaMan Volnutt’s adventure took him through your regular tropes of video gaming — a fire level, a water level, etc. — Luigi’s feels a little more tailored to appeal to a scary movie-loving crowd. In addition to your stock haunted mansion to start, the Haunted Towers situated in the forest carry an aura which might appeal to Little Shop of Horrors fans with its plant-centric theme, while the Old Clockworks is evocative of haunted clock towers and maybe a touch of mad science, with the Secret Mine featuring a frostier environment and the Treacherous Mansion by the ravine bringing to mind the classic haunted museum.

The game is designed to be consumed in smaller bites than its predecessor, thanks to its home of origin being a portable device in the Nintendo 3DS. As such, the mansions themselves are relatively small, divided further into a series of missions Luigi must complete in order to accomplish his goals — one of which, incidentally, falls a little flat for me, but even with the game now over two years old, I won’t spoil it for anyone who might decide to check it out after reading this.

Really, this kind of spooky game is right up my alley. While I don’t mind a bit of blood and such, it’s the more spooky, creepy stuff like this that I appreciate during the Halloween season. The ghosts here may be more cartoony than scary, but they can still surprise you just enough to scare you at the right moments, and that’s where the fun lies for me. Plus, how can anyone not love the adorable Polterpup?

On a related note: to my surprise in writing this piece, Capcom has even developed an arcade version of the title that came out just this year!

According to Neoseeker, the game is being tested at Dave & Busters in Illinois and potentially across the United States. Fingers are crossed that it makes it to Canada, too.

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.