Luigi’s Mansion was Nintendo’s primary launch title for the GameCube in 2001. The game was hugely anticipated and was expected to play similar to a Mario game. The game launched in November and although it was one of the systems best-selling games at that time, some fans couldn’t help but be disappointed. Is the game worth your hard earned money? Read on to find out. Luigi has won a contest he never even entered and his prize is an old mansion. Mario went along to check it out first and never returned. Now Luigi comes armed with his flashlight to save the day. With the help of Professor E. Gadd, Luigi obtains a ghost vacuum cleaner and is determined to solve the mystery of Mario’s disappearance.
You work your way through the mansion by clearing rooms of ghosts and gaining rewards and keys to advance your way through. Along the, you also defeat bosses, discover hidden gold, and collect clues that lead you to Luigi’s brother. Most of the game revolves around the capturing of ghosts using your specially customized vacuum cleaner. A majority of the ghosts must be stunned by your flashlight (controlled by the B button). As they’re paralyzed, Luigi then sucks them up. Other ghosts are a little more difficult and must trick by some other means, such as moving an item in their room, before you can trap them. The last type of ghost is a boss ghost. In order to defeat these , you must upgrade your vacuum cleaner with a special element (water, fire, or ice). By controlling the L button you expel the element, which is ultimately used to defeat the boss. You can also go after 50 Boos, released in the mansion near the beginning of the game, that are in rooms cleared of standard ghosts.
Catching ghosts are kind of like fishing. Once you catch the ghost you’re yanked all over the particular room until its health is down to zero. The C Stick is used to control the direction of the vacuum so you can yank the ghost in different directions in order to capture it (much like fishing). The control stick moves Luigi and the R button controls the vacuum cleaner. The A button is, like in many Nintendo games, one of the main action buttons. You use it to examine things and to open doors. Luigi also possesses a device called the Game Boy Horror. This tool enables you to view things from a first-person perspective (Luigi’s perspective) and allows you to search a room for hidden secrets. It’s also a map and item list, which is quite helpful.
Controlling Luigi is effortless. The mansion has a sort of 2-D layout, so the camera is pretty stationary. This set-up makes the game seem simple, but it works surprisingly well. The problem with Luigi’s Mansion lies in its repetitive gameplay. It doesn’t get boring (because of the extra spices Nintendo adds) but once you get the hang of the gameplay, the game becomes very straightforward. Most should be able to complete the game in a short number of hours.
The visuals in Luigi’s Mansion are quite good, but not great. The textures never look good up close, however, when you look over a room they seem clean and detailed. All of the rooms in the mansion look similar. Each room is different but doesn’t stand out from the last. Luigi made his transformation to GameCube perfectly and makes an interesting and fun main character.
There’s nothing particularly special about the audio. I always hear the same sound effects over and over and although some effects are comical, they get annoying down the line. There’s not much music, which makes for a good atmosphere – perfect for surprises. The standard tunes are always repeated and sound boring but when the special music kicks in, like when you battle a boss, it ends up sounding decent.
There is some degree of difficulty in this game, but nothing terribly challenging. The visuals are average and the game is overall good fun, but only manages to last about six or seven hours. This game is above average, yet is not worth the standard price tag originally placed at launch. I can’t recommend this game, but if you’re a big fan or have young children, you can go and take the game for a spin. Luigi’s Mansion is currently a player’s choice title, meaning the price is now lowered below the standard prices. If it sounds interesting to you, give it a try. It’s fun while it lasts.