Review by Cube Critic

"A fantastic installment of the Mario series"

Luigi's Mansion has rightfully secured its position as the most popular launch game for the Nintendo Gamecube. The premiere Mario game of the Gamecube does not contain Mario as a playable character, nor as a character that appears outside of cinematic scenes. Instead, the player plays as the most neglected character in the Mario series, Luigi. Was this a good move by Nintendo? In my opinion: definitely. I've heard the same crap about Nintendo fans crying about how Luigi is always overshadowed by his brother and until now I didn't care. Luigi's Mansion checks in with the influence of any other Mario game. The story is rather simple but entertaining. Luigi supposedly wins a mansion in a contest that he didn't enter and upon reaching it, he finds that his brother has been kidnapped by the boos, a group of puffy and white ghosts. With the help of professor E. Gadd, Luigi must use a hybrid vacuum/flashlight and a Gameboy horror as a map to track down the ghosts and rescue his brother. Collecting every item and ghost in the game is not required but the totals run up to 23 portrait ghosts, 50 boos, and dozens of keys. Elemental badges like Fire, Ice, and Water along the way add to the fun of using the vacuum. Players that want to rush through the game could probably complete it in a day or two but don't expect a good grade in the end. Your grade is based upon the money that you collect. Luigi's Mansion lives up to a fine display of what the Gamecube is capable of and continues the fine streak of excellence in Mario gaming.

Game play-9
Luigi's Mansion contains good, solid fun. The irregularly small controller may confuse players at first with the control stick to control Luigi and the C-stick to control the flashlight, but it's not before long that the player becomes accustomed. Exploring the dozens of rooms in the mansion left a promising feeling of excitement, even before purchasing the game. It was destined to be fun.

There is no doubt that Luigi's Mansion was designed to show off what the Gamecube was capable of doing. No longer do the characters appear as arranged polygons but as realistic figures that move like real people. Luigi is built like an actual person and I cannot put enough emphasis on the realistic flickering of candles or the shadows that reflect in the shadowy hallways. The cinematic scenes seal the deal and I believe that it is safe to say that this is one of the most beautiful looking games on any Nintendo system.

Between Luigi humming the background music and the dramatic, yet frantic music played in a battle against a boo, Luigi's Mansion's sound track should prove to be one that will be placed in the CD players of diehard gaming/music fanatics. The only real complaint in this department is the lack of verbosity. Luigi makes a couple of sounds and is able to call out to his brother but other than that, the only other character that speaks is Professor E. Gadd in broken Banjo-Kazooie-like gibberish.

Buy/Rent/Avoid Factor
Buy. This may surprise some of the Gamecube critics out there but Luigi's Mansion should be owned by anyone that owns a Gamecube. Period. Many complain that the game is too short and can be completed in only a few hours. Yes, true, but that is only if you neglect the fun of the game and race straight to the end without collecting anything. It is still a short game none the less and can be fully completed in well under a week. Not buying this game would be like neglecting Super Mario Brothers for NES, Super Mario World for SNES, Super Mario 64 for N64, and to a lesser extent, Mario Tennis for Virtual Boy.

An addictive but short adventure that will keep many players intertwined with its basic game play. Perhaps the best overall game available for the Gamecube at launch and perhaps for the short 2001 year in which Gamecube exists.sts.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/21/01, Updated 11/21/01

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