Review by dmcilvan

"As a launch title for the Nintendo Gamecube, Luigi's Mansion is an excellent game to start off Nintendo brand new system."

As one of the launch titles for the Nintendo Gamecube, Luigi’s Mansion had exceptionally high sales. Does the game deserve these sales figures or has Nintendo produced a flop?

When you first start the game, you are presented with some “spooky” music and a menu title with an evil-looking mansion in the background. You have four choices, slot 1, slot 2, slot 3, or options.

As soon as you select your gameslot you are taken into the actual game where you have to do some training exercises to get used to the controls. It doesn’t really matter how well you do in the training as it is as no effect on your game. You walk into the mansion and it is eclipsed in darkness. In the entranceway, you can see toad and three doors. Two doors are locked, when you enter the third door the game actually begins.

The equipment that Luigi carries are the Poltergust 3000, the Gameboy Horror, and the Expel Elements. The Poltergust 3000 is your vacuum cleaner that is used to suck up all the ghosts in the mansion. The Gameboy Horror is used to determine the more information about objects in a room. If you use your Gameboy Horror on a mirror, you will be warped back into the entranceway. The Expel Elements are things that can be shot out of your vacuum to get ghost’s hearts to show up. The three types of Expel Elements are Fire, Water, and Ice.

Graphics: As one of the launch titles, there were not many games to compare the graphics to. As more games have been released, I have discovered that the graphics in Luigi’s Mansion can actually hold there own against many of the newer Gamecube games. Just walking through the halls, you can tell that the graphics are incredibly detailed. You can see the textures of all the vases, tables, ghosts, and especially Luigi. Since Luigi is in every scene, you expect him to have the most detailed graphics. This is correct as the designers have spent many hours perfecting his graphical image.

Sound: I like all of the music in this game. The music throughout the game helps to reinforce the spooky feeling mood. At no point in the game, do you ever experience a happy time which is unlike any other Nintendo game. The sound specialists have done a great job. From the mice scurrying along the halls to the battles of Luigi versus the ghosts, you hear the crisp, polished sounds that add to the game’s experience. One of the other aspects of the sound is, as Luigi’s life goes down, the sounds change. His call for Mario becomes weaker as his life diminishes. The only downside of the sound, is that there are not enough different music tracks, as I believe that there are only three of them.

Gameplay: The object of the game is to save Mario from King Boo. Luigi has won a mansion from a contest that he didn’t even enter. You must make your way through the mansion sucking up ghosts in your vacuum cleaner named the Poltergust 3000. As you progress through the mansion, you must solve puzzles the puzzles to get keys that are needed for other rooms. In order to suck up ghosts, you need to get the ghosts heart to show by solving puzzles or using Expel Elements. You can also access a map of the mansion by pressing “Y”, in this map, you can see all the rooms on all of the floors. The map also shows you which rooms you have keys for and which rooms you have totally finished.

The secondary objective is to collect as much money as possible. You can collect money by finding it in items, catching a blue treasure ghost, or catching a golden mouse. You only have one chance to catch the treasure ghosts so make sure you catch them or you will miss out on all the money. To beat the game, you do not have to end the game with a certain amount of money. The only thing you need money for is your ranking. You need 100 million dollars to get a perfect “A” rank but this is almost impossible the first time through the game. You can redo the game and your money total is added to the money total from the first time through the game. You can also collect coins, bills, gold bars, diamonds, and different sized pearls.

In the one player mode, you run around the mansion trying to solve puzzles and then you catch all of the ghosts that you possibly can. It’s a bit of a cross between a puzzle game and Ghostbusters. In order to catch the ghosts you must either suck them up, or solve a puzzle and then suck them up. None of the bosses are all that challenging but none of them are incredibly easy either. It is not extremely difficult to complete the gang, but to catch all of the treasure ghosts and all of the fifty boos it does take some effort.

At the end of the game, you have to fight King Boo posing as Bowser. After he is defeated, you rescue Mario and then you get to watch a cutscene. After the cutscene, when you return to your game, a harder difficulty mode has been unlocked. The harder difficulty is, in my opinion, no harder than the original mode is.

Control: Luigi’s Mansion, as in all other Nintendo games, has excellent control. Luigi can a few items that he uses in order to catch ghosts. He has the flashlight, the Poltergust 3000, and the expel elements. Every time you want to catch a ghost, you must use at least one of three items. You can press X to use the Gameboy Horror which gives you clues about ghosts, or can even warp you back to the main foyer if you use the Gameboy Horror on a mirror. The Y button accesses a map which shows you what rooms you have completed and where you key fits. To use your vacuum, you press A and the you aim it with the C stick. This takes a little while to get used to but it becomes very easy after a bit of practice.

Replay Value: As there is only one mode in Luigi’s Mansion it does not have a very good lifespan. The game is also way too short and it gets boring after playing through the game 2 or 3 times. I can’t see anyone playing this game after the first month that they own it. There’s not enough modes, too short of a game, and the game gets too repetitive to replay. Once you put this game down, you won’t pick it up again until you forget how easy it is.

Overall: Other than the short lifespan, there are no faults to this game. It has excellent graphics, a superb soundtrack, and great gameplay. If this game had a better lifespan, it would have become an instant classic. As the first game where Luigi received the starring role instead of Mario, it may start a whole new series of Luigi games to go with the many Mario classics. If there was a few changes to the game, like more modes of play, no one could argue about the greatness of Luigi’s Mansion.

Graphics - 9
Gameplay - 8
Sound - 9
Control - 9
Replay Value - 6
Final Score - 8.2

Genre - Adventure
Publisher - Nintendo
Developer - Nintendo
Players - 1
Release Date
November 18, 2001

Overall Score: 8.2

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 11/30/02, Updated 11/30/02

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