Review by VideoMaster
"Mario Is Missing 2: Luigi's Mansion"
The release title for the Nintendo console known as the Gamecube starring the brother of the famed short plumber and hero of the Mushroom Kingdom. This time around Nintendo must have decided, "Hey, Mario is always hogging the release titles for each of our new consoles. We've been ignoring our green-clad Italian plumber, so let's give him a shot! Who is with me?"
You know, it's a little known fact about me that although I've always been a huge fan of the Mario games ever since I started gaming in the late '80s, I've always been more of a fan of Luigi than Mario. Not as to say Mario isn't one cool plumber, but I've always been strangely more a fan of Luigi. So I was a bit excited to hear back in the day that Luigi was getting his own game.
Okay, enough of my opening stuff. On to the review!
The Story - 10/10
I will give the story for Luigi's Mansion a 10 if nothing more than slight originality in the Mario series. Continuing its kidnapping obsession, our developer friends at Nintendo decided to let Princess Toadstool (I refuse to call her anything but) take a breather and have Mario be the one getting kidnapped in a surprise twist.
We've seen this before in the Mario games, namely the Mario is Missing game. So you may be thinking, "Oh great, Luigi FINALLY gets his own game again. And once again we have to save Mario? Been there, done that."
However, unlike in Mario is Missing, this time Mario has been kidnapped by King Boo and his Boo clan and tricked Luigi into coming to the mansion by having him believe he has won a large mansion. As Luigi, you must fight your way through countless ghosts to save your shorter, pudgier brother using what amounts to a a ghost-vacuum.
Graphics - 10/10
When I first popped in Luigi's Mansion in 2001 after getting my first Gamecube (that later ended up being broken by my niece and several other young relatives), I was quite happy with how well the graphics were. I was happily surprised at how weel Luigi's gloved hand looked each time you open a door. Then there are the ghosts, which there are several different kind. They obviously struggle when captured in the vacuum's grasp and the animation is good. I've never had any complaints here.
Enemies - No score
One of the sections I didn't feel really deserves to be scored. Luigi's Mansion is unique in one way from the other Mario games. Unlike in the others, the only enemies you fight in the game are ghosts. In fact, the only returning enemies frequented in other Mario games are the Boos, who are responsible for kidnapping Mario. However, the Boos apparently no longer pay attention to you facing them.
There are other ghosts as well. Some of these are your common enemies that you suck up. Others, known as portrait ghosts, can be thought of as mini-bosses in a sense as it is a bit harder to suck them into the vacuum and some of these you have to capture to continue progressing in the game.
Bosses - 9/10 (judged on originality and difficulty)
The bosses are very unique, even for a Mario game. As should be obvious, each of the four bosses in the game are ghosts. Each one has their own unique personality and attacks.
The only problem I had is that the bosses are a bit too easy to defeat. In fact, the only boss that ever gave me in trouble at all was the third boss. Unfortunately, all the other bosses one could probably beat on their first try if careful.
Difficulty - 8
As one can expect with a Mario game, it's not that difficult of a game. In fact, I beat the game within five days the very first time I played the game. It's not so easy of a game where you can fly through it and think, "Well....that was....ahem...right." However, it's not Bayou Billy either. As I said about the bosses, nothing in the game is really that difficult. The game is fun enough where you won't really notice it's rather easy difficulty if you aren't paying attention.
Characters - No score
As previously stated, you take on the role of Luigi. Mario is in the game as well, but believe it or not, Mario is actually only in maybe five minutes total of the game. You see him a few seconds trapped and mainly in the ending. Princess Toadstill is mentioned, but is not seen. Even a couple of Toads appear in the game. Whether or not any of these is THE Toad from Super Mario Bros. 2 or the original, I couldn't tell you. Although I still wonder to this day whatever happened to Toad after Super Mario Bros. 2.
And, believe it or not, Bowser plays no major role in Luigi's Mansion. In fact, the real Bowser does not even make an appearance at all. Yes, for the first time in years, not only is Bowser not the main boss, he's no where to be seen. However, he is mentioned at one point in the game as well.
Replayability - 5/10
Honestly, there's no real reason that will make you say "Hey, I just *have* to play through this game again!" Once you beat the game, you get the chance of going through a "second" mansion with a strong vacuum. However, the second mansion is nothing but the same, exact game you just beat. The bosses are the same, the ghosts appear in the same rooms, etc.
However, the only reason you might would want to play through the game again is to get the chance to get a better mansion built by hopefully getting more money. Nonetheless, this isn't much of a replay value.
I admit, I have played through Luigi's Mansion countless number of times in the past six years. But that's only been because I've always had fun with the game and I'm a big Mario Bros. fan.
My Overall Opinion
This game was the launch title for the Gamecube back in 2001 and, essentially, was an unofficial sequel to Mario Is Missing. However, this game plays nothing like Mario is Missing no matter how similar the two are in idea. Being released in '01, of course this most likely isn't the gaming masterpiece of the Gamecube. But don't let this take anything away from the game.
Luigi's Mansion is a game that should definitely deserve to get played. Even if you don't buy it, try it out if you're a Mario fan. I'm sure you can still find this game somewhere, be it a pawn shop, eBay, or whatever. Although this game alone is no game worth going out and buying a Gamecube for.
The game is rather short in length, but it's nothing overly so or short enough to make you ask yourself, "Why in the world did I pay for this?" There's enough to do where the fun remains constant, especially if you're a Mario fan anyway of any age.
There you have it. My review for Luigi's Mansion. This game was pretty fun for it's time. But of course it's been roughly six years since this game was released. If it came down to it, I would suggest playing Paper Mario: The Thousand Year door instead as I found it to be the funner of the two Mario games. However, I would still hunt this game down and give it a shot at some point. It's a well-deserving entry in the long running Mario series.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/18/07
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