Review by OniLink5000

"Luigi's first solo role... Hey, wait is this even Luigi?"

-Game Summary-
Luigi wins a contest he had not (to his knowledge) entered. He must combat the evil forces of a team of generic ghosts in order to save his brother Mario... Who for some reason is lost within the mansion's ghastly depths. Conveniently, a scientist had seen it fit to create a vacuum cleaner that just happens to be able to devour the souls of evil spirits.. Luigi must utilize this vacuum, and its ridiculous powers to save his brother.

-Gameplay-

How does this game play, you ask?

It can easily be summed in one word, "Repetitive".

With nothing extra added in to break up the monotonousness of ghost vacuuming, you're basically in for several hours of the same thing over and over again.

Luigi's Mansion is mercifully short. The blandness doesn't last any longer than is required to beat the game.

--Originality--

The theme feels like it's borrowed directly from the movie Ghostbusters. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Ghostbusters was a fantastic movie, and a fantastic idea. However, a fantastic idea, when re-used seems generic. The fact that Mario is lost is nothing new. In fact, there was a game released some time ago called "Mario is Missing"... which was a really, really stupid game.

I think the ghosts look a little bit like the ones from Ghostbusters as well. I would wager the creators of this Mario universe game were at one time, fans of the Ghostbusters series.

-Controls-

Unimpressive... To the max.

There is absolutely no camera control in Luigi's Mansion. This of course limits the range in which the player can control the character on-screen. Much of the movement is done on what feels like a counterintuitive pivot. It's very cumbersome to move Luigi in the direction necessary to aim at a ghost. Some ghosts are more troublesome than others, and it feels like they just can't be aimed at at all sometimes.

Some buttons are really not used for anything important. Which is sad because there's so many things that could have been added. Like a jump button.

Speaking of which, to my surprise, Luigi, who can normally jump head and shoulders above pretty much everyone in the Mario universe.... can't jump. A Luigi that can't jump isn't Luigi.

The disappointments with Luigi's movements don't end there.

Luigi feels extremely slow. There is virtually no usable button to make him speed up. Much of the time, backtracking is necessary. There's no point in walking through the rooms at the same speed anymore because once you clear a room full of ghosts, you're finished. They don't re spawn.

In absence of necessary commands, there are commands that are bound to buttons that don't make any sense. Placing the vacuum button on (R) was a novel idea at first; one could control the amount of suction power the vacuum creates... but it isn't necessary. Any action done on those shoulder buttons is an action that could have been done using the main ABXY buttons instead. Instead you get this gimmicky control system that is incredibly cumbersome to use.


-Graphics-

Average at best. It felt like I wasn't playing a game that was meant for release. The textures on all of the models aren't very detailed. It's more or less unpolished, and the production value seems very low. From beginning to end, there's nothing very scary, even for a cartoony Family game.

The Mansion is nice. I just wish there was more to the mansion to signify that it exists in the Mushroom Kingdom, and isn't just some random setting with Mario, Luigi and a few Boos. There just wasn't that much thought put into the atmosphere.

The only thing that is really notable about the graphics is the setting itself, as well as particle and lighting effects. Dirt picks up when you vacuum it. Lighting is decent. Nothing else to say there.

-Sound-

In any horror genre movie or game, sound plays the most important role. If a man with a knife jumps out from the bushes, it does nothing for the audience unless there is some sort of thrilling, unexpected noise that creates a sense of terror. Even then, there has to be ambient noises that maintain a tense atmosphere..

I didn't feel that this game utilized suspense well enough. From time to time, Luigi will hum. Other times he will whistle. Sometimes a ghost will jump out at you and go "BLUHAHHAHHAH" or something. Luigi is terrified during all of this. Not the player. The player only feels slightly irritated that he can't seem to aim the flashlight in the right direction.

More creepy noises would have been great. A signpost squeaking in the distance... Sounds of large objects falling over. Maybe a few things breaking. Just stuff to make people go "Whoa, what was that?"

When the music decides to come on...It's irritating. The music is all created using simplistic tunes. I guess it's supposed to create a haunted atmosphere, and I bet it would have succeeded if it was the year 1986 when synthesized music was popular.

-Replay-

I've had Luigi's Mansion for a very long time. I don't think I've played through more than a couple times. There really is no incentive to continue playing Luigi's Mansion more than once. You got the ghosts, just give it up. Those gems and jewels and money just don't do anything for you. There's no extra hard mode, or challenge mode. Just the main game.

-Overall 4/10-

Just below average. Luigi's Mansion is an unrefined, flawed game that shoots barely below the mark of decency. It plays just as lousy as it looks, and sounds about 10 times as bad. The characters seem tacked on, as if the game wasn't intended to feature Luigi, Mario or any of the other Mushroom Kingdom characters, but they were simply included as an afterthought in order to make more money.

--RENT OR BUY--

Stick to renting. It's not the worst game ever, but it's definitely not worth keeping around.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 02/14/02, Updated 01/28/08

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


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