Review by hand of g0d

"A new classic for a new system, Nintendo does it again!"

It is with launch games that will set the standard for a system. They will live
on as classics and set the standard for forthcoming games. They are the games
that are synonymous with the systems themselves. Super Mario Brothers for the
Nintendo Entertainment System, Sonic The Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis. We now
venture into superior gaming technology, and fierce competition. And while this
may be hell for the developers, trying to one-up the competitor, it's pure heaven
for the gamers. Enjoying the limits that are pushed to prove their product is
the one to choose. Here we enjoy another great Nintendo console, and it's launch
title, Luigi's Mansion. This beautiful game is elegant with graphics, delightful
for your ears, and all around fun for the time you play.

Graphics: 10/10
I have almost zero complaints here. But lets talk about the positives first.
The mansion, and believe me- it's a MANSION, is gorgeous to say the least.
Every room delightfully detailed with paintings, candles, chandeliers, carpeting,
wallpaper, everything! The ghosts are amazing looking, each one with his or her
own characteristics. But the real beauty here is the lighting. It really sets the
mood of a haunted house, creeping around with a flashlight, seeing the fog of your
breath, you get creeped out, and feel a thud of relief when the lights come on.
You even kick up dust when you walk! There's too many little details to even begin
to list, but let's just say this game really shows off what's coming. Now for the
much overshadowed miniscule problem with the graphics. The Game Boy Horror, first
person view mode. This feature lets you zoom in and sniff out clues and secrets,
but the zoom is pixilated and sort of ugly, but this feature isn't used much and
is easily forgivable given the other features in the game. If you are upset about
the GBH graphics, which I think are purposely done like that since it's a handheld,
Luigi has limited technology too ya know, and you're having trouble overseeing it,
I have one word for you: Fabrics. Use your vacuum on a tablecloth and you'll be
amazed! And let's not forget that there is NO load time, ever.

Sound: 10/10
Spectacular! The tune is great and doesn't get annoying, and you'll find yourself
humming along with Luigi. Plus the music changes when you are fighting ghosts, and
the such. The sound effects, down to the opening of doors, are great! The scary
sounds of thunder aren't over used like I thought they'd be. The noises made when
you get hurt, scared, or capture a ghost is great. The voice acting for Professor
E. Gadd is hilarious and reminds me of Star Wars creatures. I sort of wish that
Luigi would talk more, the same goes for some other characters too but no biggie.
I'd rather get on with the game the sit there and listen to some ghost go on and
on about whatever ghosts talk about. The soundtrack is nice with lots of bass to
give an extra treat to those with a nice home theatre system.

Gameplay: 10/10
The most important factor in any game is right here. How enjoyable is this title?
When it comes down to it that's the only question that matters. Sure the way it
looks, feels, sounds, and I'm sure in the not-to-distant future, the way it smells
all helps add to the enjoyment of your experience. But for the most part what it
really relys on to be a good game is how it plays. Well Luigi and his flashlight
are addicting. Filled with slapstick humor like slipping on a banana peel (no, it
is not just a generic example, this really happens) and classic references like
the theme to Super Mario Brothers, this game will have you laughing, or at least
smiling. But with the great eerie feeling it has to it you will be creeped out and
maybe even frightened, if not of ghosts, then of losing this next crucial battle.
That's what it's all about. Drawing emotion from the player, or even his audience
during the time they play or watch. Video Games are an art form, in my opinion.
Art being defined to me as anything that can cause a change in emotion. When you
look at a painting, or a sculpture you can feel the mood. When you listen to a
sad song, you relate it to something sad in your memory and in turn feel sad, too.
And when you play a great video game, you get involved. Be it with the characters
or what your doing you are involved. Video Games are art, and Luigi's Mansion is
a Masterpiece.

Control: 9/10
Here's a tricky part. I love the control of this game. A great way to get you
used to a new controller is to make you feel comfortable with it and to make you
use every feature to familiarize yourself with it. This title gets you into the
controller. Almost every single button is used, and pretty frequently too. Some
people don't like the complexity of the control system, and it is a little over-
whelming at first, but after the training from Professor E. Gadd, and 10 minutes
through the mansion, you'll be set. Then they slowly add in more features for you
to control, such as the Gameboy Horror, and the Flame Thrower. I personally prefer
Standard control to Sidestep, but it is at your choice. The control stick maneuvers
our hero throughout this haunted house, and the A button is used for basic actions
such as calling out for your brothers, opening a door, or shaking some furniture.
The B button turns out your flashlight, while the Right button turns on your
vacuum. The C stick maneuvers your vacuum/flashlight around while the X, Y, and Z
buttons bring up the map, GBH, and Inventory. The left button comes into play
later on for use of the elements. A nice setup that is comfortable to use.

Story: 9/10
A strong story that seems to grow in depth the longer you play. I only take a
point off for the likeness to a popular movie. You play as Luigi who has won
a Mansion in a contest. Mario is to meet you there, but when you get there you
find yourself alone. After searching a few rooms you are met by a ghost, but
luckily Professor E. Gadd comes to the rescue with his Poltertgeist 3000 which
looks a lot like a vacuum cleaner. Now armed, you begin your search for your
older brother, while snagging up some ghosts along the way. It seems their
spirits have escaped from paintings, but with the help of the Professor it
is up to you to catch them, and put them back where they belong!

Replay: 5/10
There is a rating system that is based upon how much money, jewelry, and gems
you find. Trying to get an A rating may be motivation for the perfectionist out
there. There is also a different mansion option once you've beaten the game,
but I am told it is the same game with a slightly more powerful vacuum. If there
are more hidden features out there, raise the points accordingly but at this point
in time, the replay value seems to be based totally upon wanting to play this great
game again just for the experience, and hopefully a higher rating. The icon on your
memory card save gets a number on it for the amount of times you've beaten it, so
maybe, just maybe you'll get a special bonus for beating it in different ways.

Overall: 10/10
Basically this game is spectacular. It looks great, it sounds great, it's fun,
it's interesting, it handles nicely, and it's a great way to show off your new
system. This game will stick around for years, and I look forward to more titles
starring the spotlight shunned brother Luigi.

Buy or Rent:
You can rent it if you'd like, but you know in the long run you are going to end
up owning a copy of this wonderful title. If not for its extreme worthiness then
for simple nostalgia. If you own a NES you own a copy of Super Mario Brothers. If
you own a Genesis you own a copy of Sonic The Hedgehog. And if you own a GCN you
will eventually own a copy of Luigi's Mansion.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/20/01, Updated 11/20/01

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