Review by Mega

"Poor Luigi."

You cannot deny that Mario is quite possibly the greatest hero of all time. He selflessly rushes off to help people and rescues damsels in distress, not caring about his health or safety. Mario is able to withstand all kinds of punishment and pain, and he can jump higher than anyone in the NBA can. It isn’t hard to see why he is such a household name and is adored by fans everywhere. And, like most heroes, he has that brother who manages to help when he can; yet he never gets in the spotlight.

Luigi helps whenever possible. When there is a gap that Mario is unable to jump across, Luigi proudly shows off his floating jump skills and hops across it, grabbing Mario and taking him with him, of course. When Mario can’t beat a certain Koopa Kid, Luigi more than gladly rises to the task. When Mario and his Nintendo buddies come together for a friendly brawl, Luigi is excited to be able to join the fray. But, does Luigi ever get any spotlight? NO! In fact, when Luigi destroys a Koopa Kid’s castle in the great Super Mario World for SNES, the text reads “Mario has destroyed another Koopa Kid”! Or, when Luigi gets ready to fight in Super Smash Brothers Tournament, he gets quickly dismissed as a Mario copycat, with all of Mario’s moves.

Luigi obviously got tired of this, and begged Nintendo to release him in a starring role. Luigi’s first starring role, “Mario is Missing”, was a complete flop, so Luigi begged and pleaded to Nintendo to make his new game great. Nintendo went back and told Luigi they would make a game for him, and that it would be one of the launch titles for the Nintendo GameCube! Luigi was thrilled! He waited and waited until the day when GCN came out, and he quickly bought one along with Luigi’s Mansion. He went home and played it for two days. When he finished the game, he quickly went back to Nintendo and smacked them in the face.

Luigi’s Mansion has Luigi getting a card in the mail, saying that he won a mansion in a contest he didn’t even enter. Luigi is a little confused by this, but free is free, so he calls up Mario and gives directions to the mansion, and tells Mario to meet him there to check it out. Mario agrees, and later that night, Luigi sets off. Luigi wanders into a dark and spooky forest, and finally spies his mansion in the distance. It is huge! Luigi wonders why it was in the middle of such a dark, spooky place, but he shrugs it off and enters the mansion. Mario is nowhere to be seen! Luigi wanders around the mansion entrance (The doors are all locked… how strange…), and suddenly a key falls out of the air and right in front of his feet. Luigi picks the key up, and finds the door it goes with, and enters the room.

Luigi screams as he sees what is inside of that room. A ghost! AAAHHH! The ghost creeps towards Luigi, but gets yanked back and sucked into what appears to be a vacuum. A short, old man that wielded the vacuum walks towards Luigi and introduces himself as Professor E.Gadd. He talks of how he used to hunt ghosts for a living, and how he managed to make the best ghosts he has capture into portraits that he hung in his gallery. Other ghosts set those ghosts he had in his gallery free, and these special portrait ghosts were hiding in the mansion. Luigi quickly asks about Mario, and E.Gadd tells him that he did see a portly fellow getting dragged off by ghosts. Luigi tells him that he must go search for him, and E.Gadd gives him the ghost vacuum he was holding, called the Poltergust 3000, for protection from the ghosts that inhabit the mansion. E.Gadd asks that Luigi keep an eye out for those portrait ghosts he has lost, and to capture them if he sees them. With that, Luigi sets out deeper into the mansion to find his missing brother.

Luigi sets out into the mansion, which looks like a cuter and nicer version of the famous Resident Evil mansion, with the goal of rescuing his brother and finding those portrait ghosts that E.Gadd has lost. With the help of his trusty Poltergust 3000, he won’t really have to worry about those nasty ghosts. When Luigi walks into an unlighted room, there is sure to be a ghost or two hiding in there. When they appear with a ghostly yell, Luigi jumps in surprise, and quickly gets himself ready. Luigi soon finds out that he can’t suck up a ghost at all unless the ghost’s heart has appeared in its translucent body. Ghosts are afraid and surprised by bright light, so Luigi soon finds out that shining his super bright flashlight on ghosts will surprise them, and make their heart appear. When that heart appears, though, Luigi must be quick and turn his Poltergust on and suck them up! Once Luigi has a ghost or two caught in the Poltergust’s vortex, a number appears on the ghost. Luigi must keep the Poltergust aimed and sucking at the ghost to make that number go down to zero. When it does, that ghost is sucked into the Poltergust’s bag and is now stuck there!

Those special portrait ghosts are an entirely different matter, though. They are usually stronger and smarter than the other ghosts are, and making their heart show up takes a little bit of work, as Luigi soon discovers. But, Luigi has a little bit of help, with another invention E.Gadd gave him before he entered the mansion: the Game Boy Horror. The Game Boy Horror has a camera attached to the top, and allows Luigi to look at the screen and see things that aren’t visible by normal eyes. When he encounters a portrait ghost, but doesn’t know how to make it’s heart visible, Luigi can aim the Game Boy Horror at the ghost and look at the screen, and see it’s heart! Luigi can use the Game Boy Horror to get some data about the ghost by looking at the heart, and that usually gives a clue as to how to capture it.

The Poltergust isn’t just confined to sucking, though. The Poltergust, like Luigi’s sweet girlfriend Daisy, can blow too! Luigi stumbles across different medals inside the mansion, and each one allows the Poltergust to shoot out a different element, such as fire, ice, and water. Some ghosts are not vulnerable to the flashlight, and those ghosts usually need a blast of a certain element to make their heart appear.

Luigi did like how he could move almost everything in the mansion with his trusty Poltergust. By aiming the Poltergust at a cabinet and trying to suck it up, the cabinet would shake and open, often revealing some treasures and coins inside. Some ghosts, such as Boos, hide under and inside objects, and only come out when someone shakes the object they are hiding by. Luigi was even cunning enough to use ordinary balls and round objects and turned them into projectiles through use of his Poltergust. Using the Poltergust to shake things and interact with things was a clever idea that Luigi liked a lot.

Luigi actually had a good time exploring the mansion, capturing ghosts and trying to find Mario. It actually felt exciting and fun! Luigi soon began to get bored about 30 minutes into the mansion. He felt that it was the same silly procedure in every room he went in. Suck up the ghosts in the room, capture the portrait ghost, grab the key, and leave. Luigi was quickly bored by the repetitive objectives. What also surprised Luigi was just how easy most ghosts were to capture! They all move rather slowly, and are sitting ducks to Luigi’s flashlight and Poltergust. Even the portrait ghosts were simple to capture, since using the Game Boy Horror to view their hearts and collect data about them always revealed a way to capture them. When Luigi encountered the Boss Ghosts (some of the biggest and meanest ghosts in the mansion), Luigi did break out into a small sweat, but managed to capture even them in a matter of minutes! He managed to get almost ¾ of the way through the mansion in a single day! He felt that this was way too easy and way too repetitive!

Luigi’s frustration was maximized when he met his first Boo. Boos are not like ordinary ghosts. They often have a huge number attached to their heart, and they don’t get caught inside of the vortex of the Poltergust. Luigi must keep the Poltergust aimed and sucking at the Boos to weaken them enough to capture them. Since the Boos don’t get caught inside the Poltergust’s vortex like the rest of the ghosts, they will often fly around the room and eventually escape into the room next to it. Luigi then had to enter that room, and continue sucking up that Boo. Of course, the Boo would more likely than not leave the room, and head to the room Luigi was just in. So, Luigi had to go back in that previous room, and repeat the process. Luigi was disgusted when he realized there were 50 Boos inside the mansion that he had to capture! Sigh… better get used to the frustration, Luigi.

Luigi was surprised at how cute the mansion looked. It was certainly foreboding and scary, but it also had a sort of cheery and happy look to it, which was very odd due to the scary ghosts that wandered around inside. When Luigi sucked up bed sheets and curtains with his Poltergust, they gracefully flowed in the wind, which looked pretty neat. When Luigi sucked up anything else with the Poltergust, dust would fly off of the object. Too bad Luigi needed to save his brother, or he could’ve really cleaned up the place! When lighting and thunder rained from the sky outside of the mansion, the mansion would light up and reveal some sinister shadows and awesome lighting effects. Everything in the mansion looked fairly smooth, and moved with average and mixed standards of animation. Luigi was fairly pleased with how the mansion looked, and it was a shame that it was infested with such mean looking ghosts.

The ghosts were a little disappointing to Luigi. Luigi was expecting more scary ghosts than the ones that roamed inside the mansion. Most of the ghost looked surprisingly like the famous Pac-Man ghosts but had evil eyes and an equally evil grin. They were quite translucent, and Luigi liked how he could see the objects and such behind the ghosts. Too bad that was the only thing Luigi liked about them. All of the non-portrait ghosts were simply one color, asides from the eyes and teeth. The portrait ghosts looked much better, since they often wore colorful clothes and had larger amounts of detail.

Luigi also noticed how nice he looked inside the mansion. For some strange reason, he could see the little stitching and fibers on his pants and shirt more closely than outside of the mansion. He thought the Poltergust equipment and flashlight looked neat on his back. He would occasionally step through the cord of the Poltergust and notice other weird glitches. For some odd reason (probably due to the ghost’s chicanery), strange things happened to his face! His face would suddenly get darker and brighter in the same lighting environment, and strange black lines would appear on his face a lot. His facial expressions felt choppy and his teeth looked quite grainy. Luigi wasn’t happy with this at all.

As Luigi wandered through the mansion, he heard a repetitive and tiresome musical score. He nervously hummed the repetitive music to help ease his nerves. The thunder Luigi heard in the mansion made him jump in fear every time he heard it, due to it sounding fairly realistic. The cracks and snaps of the fires inside the mansion would warm Luigi’s heart, and make him feel relaxed. The rushing water, however, sounded odd, like there was a clog in the drains. The “blah” music picked up when Luigi had a ghost in his vortex, and hearing the ghost nervously scream out when caught would make Luigi more confident in his adventure.

Speaking of the ghost’s screams, Luigi was rather upset that the ghost’s really had only one scream. When a ghost would appear, it would let out an evil scream. If it hit Luigi, it would laugh evilly. Each type of ghost had one scream. The orange ghosts have a high pitched scream when the blue ghosts have a lower pitched scream. It was painfully obvious that they just distorted and changed the pitch of the orange ghost’s scream for each of the other types of ghosts. Luigi even noticed that the male portrait ghosts really only had one scream, and so did the female ghosts. Luigi felt that this was inexcusable.

Luigi felt that the GameCube controller worked well, considering that this mansion would really be its first test. Luigi moved his on screen counterpart with the Control Stick, and aimed the Poltergust and flashlight with the C-Stick. When he pressed the top R button, the Poltergust would start sucking away. If he had a ghost caught in the vortex of the Poltergust, he had to tap both the Control Stick and the C-Stick in the opposite direction that the ghost was facing to increase the intensity of the Poltergust’s vortex. This control scheme felt natural to Luigi’s gloved hands, and it was very simple to learn.

In two days, Luigi finished his adventures in the mansion. Seriously, he finished the game in only two days. Luigi hated that! When he beat the game, he got a ranking of how well he did, from A-E Rank. He also got a special, “harder” mansion quest, that was basically the same thing, except the ghosts were a little stronger. In his years of gaming, Luigi knew a thing or two about games. He knew that any ranking system or “harder quest” mode in a game needed to have strong game play to back it up. Luigi felt that his game didn’t have the game play to make you actually want to work harder to get an A-Rank, or actually finish the “harder” mansion.

Needless to say, Luigi was very upset over the entire matter. Nintendo promised him a great launch game, and gave him a tech demo with buggy graphics and a lame soundtrack. Luigi was also amazed that he was able to finish the minimally fun game in two days! Don’t get him wrong; Luigi liked the game on some level. It was fun for 30 minutes, and offered a few generally chuckle worthy moments. Luigi, sadly, didn’t like the game enough to give it his stamp of approval. Poor Luigi. All he wanted was an awesome game, and Nintendo served him this. Oh well. Mario Sunshine is coming soon, and Luigi is sure to be in that game… right?


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 01/22/02, Updated 08/19/02


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