Review by surtrav3

"Luigi's time to shine"

I grew up playing Mario games. As a matter of fact, I learned to play video games with Super Mario Bros. on the NES. My brother and I would play two player, he would be Mario (because he was bigger then me and would totally pound me if I whined to much about being Mario) and I would be Luigi. Over the years Luigi and I have had some great adventures. Even now when my Nephew comes over and we dust off the old NES I still choose Luigi in the two player games. Luigi has come a long way since my childhood. We have kind of drifted apart over the years. You can only imagine my surprise and delight when I heard about Luigi's Mansion for the Gamecube! Finally, Luigi gets his dues.

I had extremely high hopes for Nintendo Gamecube, and I think it did remarkably well. I understand that people are giving Nintendo a hard time about the lackluster performance of the Gamecube. Even the newly announced Nintendo Wii has it's haters. I guess you could call me neutral. I have all consoles out there and enjoy them all equally. Sure I play X-box 360 and PlayStation 2 a lot more then my gamecube but that doesn't mean I like the other systems any more then the Cube. Playing the Legend of Zelda Wind Waker is reason enough to have the system if you ask me. Anyway, I've started rambling. Forgive me. Now, where was I? Oh yes, Luigi's Mansion.

From the very start of the game you know you are playing a "true" Luigi game. The staple of Luigi's character is his loyalty to Mario coupled with his lack of courage. Essentially Luigi is Mario's opposite. His yang if you will? Don't get me wrong, Luigi will do anything it takes to help get the job done, he just won't do it with a lot of style. The opening scene in the game showcases this point perfectly. Luigi walking down a long dark pathway. Crows are perched on the dead leafless branches on trees that you swear are closing in on the lonely path. Luigi shaking and moaning as he loyally trudges along in search of Mario. Not long after a decrepit house appears. (Technically it's a Mansion) Luigi looks down at his worn and dog-eared map and gulps... This is it. Slowly Luigi walks up to the door, the porch steps creak, ducking under a spider web Luigi reaches out for the doorknob secretly hoping it will be locked and he can turn around and go home. It's open. Luigi steps into the Mansion.

Are you intrigued? Do you want to know what happens next? I hope so. If not stop reading this review now, it only gets worse. All hate mail is welcome. No, seriously, everything about this game plays a lot like the paragraph above. Your never sure whats in the next room. Immediately after you enter the Mansion Luigi takes out his trusty flashlight. The effect is perfect. Slowly you look around and see the potential of this game. The dust that covers everything. The numerous cobwebs that hang in the corners. Your small band of illumination that your flashlight emits. It's the absolute last place in the world that Luigi wants to be. So, your wondering how long I'm going to go on about the concept of the game right? Well I'm done now. The rest of the game is up to you to experience. I'm going to talk about Control and Playability now.

As with any game out there, different commands and tasks are assigned to various buttons on the controller. I found the default settings to be just fine. It takes a little bit a getting used to but once you get it down it becomes second nature. The most frustrating parts involve trapping some of the faster ghosts in your flashlight beam and then vacuuming them up. It's not bad though. You will be a ghost buster in no time. I did not experience a single issue with the camera positioning. It's in a fixed position and works very well. Sound wise the game is right on par. The sound effects tend to get a little repetitious since they are basically the same throughout the game, however that's what the volume control on the T.V is for right? The constant sound of Luigi's shoes hitting the floor ,the sound of doors opening, the laughs and shrieks of the various ghosts. It all flows very well with the game. Moving right along now, we will tackle entertainment value next.

Over all I had a great time playing this game. It's a little short for my liking, you could easily play through the entire game in one go. Also the difficulty setting is fairly easy as it is geared to a more younger audience. There is a slight re-play value as you will find out at the end of the game, however I don't think a lot of people truly went through the game more then a couple of times. (I did, but I'm a weird perfectionist gamer. I have to have 100%!) Level design is standard. You unlock more areas of the Mansion by a reward system which I am a fan of. (Do this, do that, and a new area opens up) You always had the feeling of being inside a haunted house. I kept having fears of opening up a door and being brought to a sky or water level, thankfully that never happened. Boss battles are generally very similar to one another but well thought out. By being similar I mean the same basic tactic to defeat them, just in slightly different ways and conditions. Graphically the game is also standard. The Gamecube is not a processing powerhouse but it holds it own. There are some beautiful lighting effects and I feel the real details of the game are hidden in the background. The brooms and lamps that you see in corners of rooms. The layers of dust that covers everything, etc. It's there you just have to look for it.
Up next.... the Bottom Line!!!!

I mention allot of features in the game being "standard". I should clarify what I mean (or think I mean) by that. Standard to me is what I feel video games should look and play like. Obviously my version of "standard" will go up as the years go by and new and improved technology makes it possible for *gasp* photo realistic games. However I'm basing this game on current gen technology. It won't blow you away graphically but it won't make you feel like you are playing a original Game boy either. I highly recommend this game if you like adventure titles or any Mario game. Nowadays I believe the game sells for around ten dollars and at that price it is well worth picking up. Age wise I think it's good for all ages. I'm 26 and still enjoyed it. My nephew is 10 and he enjoys it. Give Luigi's Mansion a shot. It won't be the best game you ever played but it won't be the worst either. (That's a terrible way to end this review, oh well I'll do it any way.)

- Luigi's first solo game.
- Simple control.
- Great price.

- Very short.
- Very easy.

I have run out of things to say about the game but my review is still not long enough for the review to be accepted so I will ramble on a bit. Right now I'm playing a lot of X-box 360 and Nintendo DS. I thought about getting a Nintendo DS Lite but decided not to. Hey only 25 more words to go! Umm. I'm a Gemini, I'm married, I'm going to be a father soon. I like pizza and chicken. I love Mountain Dew.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 07/24/06

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