Sidescrollers: On Luigi’s Mansion and HarmoKnight

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Nintendo’s 3DS has gone from a lackluster launch to being another popular entry in the company’s continued dominance of portable console gaming. Big titles hit store shelves on the regular and their digital marketplace is inching ever-so-close to Apple territory. Let’s review some games you can play on the toilet.

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
3DS
Nintendo
5 (out of 5) globes

Ah, good ole Luigi. Mario’s brother has gotten the short shrift for 30 years now. He’s the cowardly one, the klutzy one, the one who is constantly told, “Just be more like your brother!” In other words, he’s the everyman. Well, this regular Joe finally has a 3DS game to call his own and it is one of the system’s best titles.

It’s a spooky and hilarious ghost-hunting sim set inside a series of haunted mansions. It’s even more fun than it sounds. Every inch of this game oozes polish and charm, from the way Luigi hums along with the theme music to the mansions themselves, which are beautifully rendered and chock full of secrets. This is one game where it pays to have the 3D turned on.

HarmoKnight
3DS
Game Freak/Nintendo
4 (out of 5) globes

Game Freak is known to most people as the company that created Pikachu and the endless array of cute and bloodthirsty Pokemon. But occasionally, when the mood strikes, they develop games where you don’t have to catch ‘em all.

HarmoKnight is a unique take on music games, pairing the rhythm-based gameplay of something like PaRappa the Rapper with sidescrolling action. Essentially, it’s like a Mario title you control by pushing buttons along to the beat. The graphics are simple but the game boasts a striking amount of content. There are tons of hidden areas, boss battles and even, yes, guest appearances by Pokemon to keep you busy for hours.



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