Review by websterboy604

"Many years later, the hype has died down...is Luigi's Mansion worth a look?"

I recently completed Luigi's Mansion for the first time today. All in all, it was a great game, although an unusual one for the launch of Nintendo's little purple box.

Story-Let's just get one thing out of the way...who plays Mario games for their story? With that said, the story in Luigi's Mansion is an interesting one, because instead of playing as the short guy in the red hat, we get to play the tall guy in the green hat. Luigi is full of personality, from his whistling the theme song, freaking out when ghosts appear and being an outright coward. The mansion is an interesting place, full of a variety of rooms, all of which house portrait ghosts. It would have been nice if the personalities of the various ghosts Luigi captures were more fleshed out, and the ending was a bit sub-par, but overall, the story is an original one considering the past stories in the series.

Audio/Video presentation- I'll start with the audio. What is present is good, but the audio is very sparse. There is not a whole lot of music in the game, and the only thing in the way of voiced dialog is the occasional grunt from the Professor E. Gadd or a shriek from Luigi. The ghosts make amusing noises, and the crash of lightening never ceases to startle. The visuals in Luigi's Mansion are both technically and artistically sound. For a launch title, this game looks great, from the detailed furniture, shadows and cloth textures. Speaking of textures, on closer inspection they are quite sub-par, but that's just nit-picking. Luigi's Mansion was a showpiece for the GCN at launch, at it remains a pretty game to this day.

Gameplay- I won't go over the specifics of the gameplay, but rather will give my thoughts on its various aspects. Throughout the game, Luigi will explore the mansion and its many rooms. The mansion feels like one big dungeon from a Zelda game, albeit more varied since the whole game is spent there. The rooms all have a specific theme, and extra exploration will come with rewards such as money and boos that are hidden. Speaking of money, money is the only commodity in the game that can be found. Hidden away in secret places, found by using the vacuum on the environment, money is everywhere should it be looked for. Throughout the game Luigi will traverse the different floors of the mansion, sucking up various ghosts to make portraits. One aspect of the game I applaud is the combat, if it can be called that. When Luigi shines his light on a ghost, its heart usually appears...that is unless you have to exploit a certain weakness. Once you start vacuuming the ghost, it will try to break free; the feeling that the player gets during these moments is exhilarating and unique to this game. Capturing ghosts in Luigi's mansion feels like a cross between a fishing game and a button masher. That is not to say that the capturing process does not require (and reward) skill, because it most certainly does. Throughout the course of the game, the various ghosts you encounter will change in difficulty, so be ready for some serious vacuuming action.

Replay- Replay is something Luigi's Mansion does not offer much of...the game is very short, and once completed, there is little reason to go back save for trying to get more cash and seeing the new layout of the mansion. Sadly, the second layout of the mansion is not too different, simply more difficult. I can see myself going back to this game many years from now, but I don't believe it will be a game you'll pop in every few months.

Overall- Luigi's Mansion is a brave departure from what we've come to expect from Nintendo. A bizarre choice of a launch title, it showcases both the Gamecube's processing power as well as intuitive implementation of the C stick. Since the game runs little over ten dollars these days, I would definitely recommend this game if you have not played it yet. It can be completed in a weekend, but it is a weekend that will be full of enjoyment...and perhaps a bit of fright!

Story-8/10
Audio-8/10
Video-9/10
Gameplay-8/10
Replay-6/10

Pros-
+Creative setting and plot
+Luigi!
+Great visuals
+Catching ghosts is a blast
+Diverse rooms

Cons-
-Audio is great but sparse and repetitive
-Reward for money is not too spectacular
-Some visual glitches
-Too few true bosses
-Ending is underwhelming


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/17/07

Game Release: Luigi's Mansion (US, 11/17/01)


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