Many people were likely suprised just by the very idea and title of this game. Never before had a game actually starred Luigi all by himself. Well, let’s take a look.
The game stars our favorite, green-themed underdog, Luigi Mario. It seems our old pal Luigi has made his debut on the Gamecube, along with his debut in an individual game by himself, and what can be said first is that it looks great.
First, the dilemma. It appears that Luigi has mysteriously won a mansion in the middle of the most haunted looking place on the face of the earth. Suspicious, much? Mario got there before Luigi did, and was going to meet him there, but Luigi found no sign of Mario anywhere. He enteres the mansion in search of his brother, but nothing, until he finds a GHOST! Wow, never saw that coming, huh? That’s one thing this game does like other Mario games: the story is more obvious than the fact that people have eyes. Yet, it still keeps us intrigued.
Luigi finds himself alone and intimidated in a haunted mansion until he runs across a lively old man that has invented just about every wacky invention possible. It turns out that he has invented a vacuum that sucks up ghosts. As Luigi explores the mansion, he soon finds that Mario is somewhere in the Mansion, but something was definitely not right about his absence.
Playing the game is generally simplistic. There’s no jumping or wacky platforming involved, but your vacuum makes up for that. the game induces a horror-like environment, where ghosts can pop out of anywhere in the walls or objects, and they will probably scare you sometimes, because the game tends to do that, which is what makes this game exciting sometimes.
First of all, the ghost-fighting isn’t so easy as using your vacuum and hoping to suck them in. What comes first is flashing some light on them, using your flashlight. Then, react quickly, and start the flow of suction to start bringing them in, but there’s another catch. See, the ghosts have a certain number that appears above them, and goes down depending on how long you keep the suction on them. But then again, what’s a game with lot of action, huh? Some ghosts are more powerful than others in this game, and sometimes you will find tat just flashing a light and then using the vacuum isn’t nearly enough. You will come across some vicious ghosts as you progress in the game, and as you try to suck them in, they will jerk you around a good bit until you learn to get a grip on them, controlling your movments to maintain balance.
What the game also does well in playing it are the boss fights and the unique ghosts. Eventually, you will come across certain ghosts that you will never see anywhere else, such as a butler, or an enormous fat ghost that only know to throw food at you. These interesting fights that pop up every now and then will add some snazz to the game as you progress. However, the real snazz lies in the boss fights. They are so creative and inventive, I never knew that my vacuum could do so much. You will find yourself more than intrigued with the boss fights, and figuring out how they work. However, it’s a shame there are only 4 of them.
The vacuum doesn’t only suck, it also blows! No seriously, during the game, you will earn upgrades to the vacuum that allow you to blow both fire and ice, which are used to solve unique puzzles, and one of which is used to fight one of the hardest, but most fun boss fights ever.
Where this game really shines is in the sound department. The music in the game can go from so wacky to creepy, to scary, it’s amazing how well the score has ranged to fit the game. Mostly, it’s unoticed, but the music in the game is always accomodating the mood (There’s only one or two, though), so the moment is intensified to induce horror or fear within the player. Trust me, you will like the music in this game. Mostly, you would notice the music during the boss fights, which does happen to be very good music, always assisting the individual boss fights with individual tracks.
The sounds and effects don’t fail here either. Every footstep on the tiles, the wood the grass, the stone, every scream as an echo, an enclosed sound, whatever, it’s in the game. Another horror inducing effect in the game is the way the sound are put together, with the sounds of footsteps emphasized to represent a quiet, and somewhat vulnerable mood, as if you were about to be ambushed. It was actually quite suprising how well the game did this, and always kept you on the edge of our seat to brace yourself for the unsuspecting moment. But…you get a jolt anyway, when it comes.
Another thing the game did rather excelllently was the graphical design. Luigi was a very well designed character, the way he moved and everything. However, the most notable thing that the graphics do is the darkening of all the rooms in the mansion. Another horror and fear inducing effect, that gets you itching for a good scare. Other than that, once the lights turn on, you can examine what a good job the designers did in creating the environment, including things such as fire and water effects, and lighting effects.
Here comes the poorest aspect of this game. It’s so ridiculously short, sometimes you can;t believe how short it is, it’s about the legth of two movies: four hours or so. The game can be replayed so many times that you can easily remember every single part of it exactly as needed for you to beat it again and again. Sure, there are extras, but that’s also covered in that four hours. It’s is preferrably an arcade element, but it is quite a downplay for Luigi’s first feature game.
Here is my summary of Luigi’s Mansion:
I give Luigi’s Mansion and 8.2 (Not an average).
This game is likely a rent for most, especially since it’s so, so short. However, it is a fair game to own, since the experience is something to cherish every now and again.