Luigi's Mansion
Game Info
Platform(s)
GameCube
Publisher
Nintendo
Developer
Nintendo
Genre
Adventure
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Everyone
 
Grade
The Good

• Ghost effects are nice
• Gameplay is varied enough for length
• Has that "Mario" feel to it

The Bad

• Controls do take a little time to get used to
• Short in length

 
Grade
B

The story behind Luigi's Mansion is simple enough - Luigi wins a mansion in a contest he doesn't recall entering only to find it haunted. When he runs into Professor E. Gadd, he learns that Mario has gone into the mansion before him and is now missing. The professor lends Luigi his Poltergust 3000 by which he can defeat the ghosts and work his way through the mansion. Equal parts Ghostbusters and Resident Evil (well, maybe RE-lite), Luigi's Mansion is very much a lighthearted adventure.

Gameplay starts off fairly simple at first - you need to hit the ghosts with your flashlight (by using the C-stick) and then vacuum them in with the R-button. Pulling the C-stick in the opposite direction of the ghost will pull them in faster. All the time, you need to be weary of attacks and traps from ghosts. When not in combat with ghosts, you can explore the mansion for coins and heart pieces to replenish you health. Defeating all the ghosts in a room will turn on the lights and often drop a key to another door in the mansion. Later ghosts provide more challenge in that you have to discover how to beat them. Also, you will gain access to elemental attacks which can also be used to unlock certain areas. While the controls take a little getting used to, once you get the hang of it, the gameplay is fairly well-executed and challenging enough not to get stale.

Visually, the game has a wonderful style that's delivered as a total package. Everything has that "Disney Haunted Mansion" look to it, from the odd design of the house to the wonderfully translucent ghosts. The animation is well done and the game as a whole is a good starting point for showing how good games on the console can look. Audio-wise, everything fits well with the feel of the game. Luigi's corny as anything, but if you expected more, then you shouldn't be playing games like this.

Luigi's Mansion is a short ride, but this is both a good and bad thing. On the plus side, it's long enough to keep the gameplay elements from getting stale over a long period. On the down side, though, if Nintendo could have added a few more elements to the game, they could have extended the game life by at least 1/3rd. The only real concern I had game-wise was that in most areas, the game feels a little 2-D and can cause some cheap shots from the ghosts due to the lack of decent 3D visual depth.

While Luigi's Mansion never really feels as great or as large as previous Mario titles, it does manage to tide GameCube owners over until the next Mario title comes out. There is a decent amount of challenge to keep the game moving along for casual gamers, but I would really suggest giving it a rental unless you consider yourself a die-hard Mario fan.

- - Kinderfeld

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