GameCube classic Luigi’s Mansion is out now on Nintendo 3DS, which means it had to undergo a significant re-working to run properly on the new hardware. Back in March, GameXplain did a comparison based on trailer footage, but now that the game is out, Digital Foundry has taken a deep dive into the finished product to determine just how much has changed and whether we should think of this as a port or a remake.
Digital Foundry’s expert analysis shows that, although the overall experience is comparable, much has changed in this new version of Luigi’s Mansion. Digital Foundry believes the 3DS game isn’t running on the same engine as either Luigi’s Mansion on GameCube or Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon on 3DS, but rather a new engine altogether. Additionally, lighting has overhauled, and most objects feature all new textures.
So which version of the game is superior? There really isn’t a short, clear answer to that question. Both versions of the game have their strengths, as they’re each designed to take advantage of the specific hardware they run on. 3DS has superior texture work in most places and offers a the stereoscopic 3D experience that was planned for the original. However, the GameCube version is technically superior in other ways, including better geometry in certain areas and a more stable frame rate.
Whether you want to call it a port or remake is up to you, but Digital Foundry believes the differences are significant enough that this should be considered a fresh, new version of the game. They also found that it performed better overall than some of the Wii to 3DS ports, like Xenoblade Chronicles.