Review by tollbooth

Reviewed: 04/26/04

The Mario Brothers Ain't So Super Anymore!

Hey folks! Are you sick of innovative games with stunning graphics? Do you tire of wonderful musical scores and deep story lines? Are you just plain sickened by deep combat engines? Then this game is for you! Luigi, famous world wide as the brother of good ole Mario, is on a ghost hunt that will send you on the biggest snipe hunt of your life. Strap in and be prepared for the biggest snooze-fest of your gaming career. Hit the power button on your GameCube and rip into a world where ghosts rule and good games drool.

Gameplay 2/10

Awful. Just plain awful. When I was a kid my grandpa told me, he said, ''Boy, if they ever put me in an old folks home, you make sure to get a rifle and blow my brains out.'' I thought of dear ole Grandpa Tollbooth often when I was wheeling the slow moving Luigi around his haunted mansion. No run button, no double tap on the directional pad for an added burst of speed, just Luigi moving slow as an old man in the morning. To make matters worse, his arsenal, in true ghostbusting fashion, is a measly vacuum cleaner that you use to suck the ghoulies into oblivion; a vacuum that is about as easy to maneuver as a 2,000 lbs angry Gorilla. Unbelievably repetitive, Luigi explores his haunted mansion armed only with his vacuum and a flashlight. If you like weapons upgrades, buy another game. You acquire various elemental coins that allow for upgrades and more environment interaction, but baddies requiring an elemental spanking of fire, ice, water and wind are few and far between like smart chicks on a Girls Gone Wild Video. There is no shortage of ghosts to bust in this game, but quantity does not always mean quality. I would classify them into four categories: Boos, Regulars, Bosses, Sub-Bosses. Collect all 50 Boos and weaken the King Boo to beat the game, encounter the regulars at every turn but demolish them with your eyes closed and one hand behind your back, spend up to three whole minutes figuring out the Sub-Bosses, and take out the Bosses like you take out the trash Tuesday night. The difficulty level was a joke. The regulars are defeated easily with a quick shine of the light to expose their hearts and a boring run of the vacuum. Don't worry about jumping, there is no jump, don't worry about crawling, there is no crawl. The only innovation came in with Sub-Bosses, ghosts of people, like a weightlifter that you have to knock around with his own punching bag, or a pianist that makes you play ''name that tune'' with old Mario Brothers music. I'd like to go into more detail for you, but there really isn't anything to say. The game is based on puzzle solving that any five year old could decipher and the inane collecting of money (used to buy nothing) and ghosts. The most frustrating aspect of this game is that Nintendo made it so easy, some of the ghosts hit you no matter what. I mean no matter what. Sucking a ghost into your trap? Don't worry, he'll take off energy for your effort. A poor display of gameplay from the once great Nintendo.

Graphics 4/10

Despicable. This has got to be the absolute worst Next-gen effort I've yet to see. Even the PS2's abomination,
''Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,'' looks like a Picasso compared to this travesty. Nintendo is obviously going for the cartoony child-friendly look that all of their adventures in the Mushroom Kingdom have had, but come on, the GameCube is supposed to be a powerful machine and I'm looking at graphics and CG's that would have been good on the N64. Now they are yesterday's news. I realize this was a launch title, but Nintendo had a long time to finalize this eye-vomit. However, to the game's credit, there is some wonderful interactive potential. Luigi doesn't come across a chair, a table, or even the kitchen sink that he can't rock back and forth and squeeze a heart or some bling-bling out of. Suck candle flames out, suck table clothes off the table, open the fridge and score some cash. The interaction was pretty cool indeed.

Sound 6/10

Music 4/10

What music? I only heard a handful of songs. Luigi whistles along to a basic gameplay song that runs throughout most of his adventure, and the tunes change a little during Boss battles, but don't look for anything more than that. If you're looking for some of the great music the whole Mario Brothers franchise is recognized for, you won't find it. Provided there are some throw back tunes, but not much more than that.

Voice-Overs & Effects 8/10

Probably the best part of the game, everything Luigi touches makes a distinct sound. His vacuum sounds good, his flashlights clicks on and off just so, and if you hit the A button he'll call, ''Mario!?'' in at least three different ways.

Story 7/10

Luigi has won a Mansion in a contest he never entered. Problem is, the darn thing looks nothing like the happy sunshine abode he sees on his map. If that isn't bad enough, it turns out that his famous brother, who has managed to single handedly beat Bowser's armies on more than one occasion has been captured and turned into a painting by the evil King Boo. Is Bowser involved? Could be. Luigi is scared witless by the ghostly residents, but rescued by the gamesaving Dr. E-Gad. The good Doctor tells Luigi that his life's work was spent studying and capturing the paranormal. Unfortunately his prisoners have all escaped and he's too old to get the job done. Looks like it's up to the Man in Green to save the day while Mario is away.

Difficulty 2/10

Easiest Next-Gen game I have ever played. I understand that this game seems to be made for children, and that I am being extremely hard on it, but come on Nintendo! This game was a push over! Look forward to a whopping 6-12 hours of gameplay on this one.


The most enduring quality is the throw back references to other Mario games that you come across. Even bitter ole me was feeling nostalgic. Moreover, like I say, I've been extremely hard on this game, despite the fact that it was obviously made for young gamers. I'd say the demographics for this sleeper was Boys and Girls ages 6-13.


Forget about it! There is none.

Final Recommendation

Rent this boring romp unless you can pick it up for 12 dollars or less. It's old enough now that you can probably pick it up cheap used. I wouldn't pay more than a few dollars. Remember, you can beat this game in less than 12 hours, so it is only worth a rent. However, considering Nintendo hasn't put out very many games on the GameCube, you might want to buy this just to have a few games in your collection.

Rating:   2.0 - Poor

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