Luigi’s Mansion: A not-so-scary romp.

Luigi’s Mansion, for the Nintendo Gamecube, was the first ever Mario game for the console. It was infamous for two reasons: 1, the main character wasn’t Mario, but his younger cowardly brother Luigi. 2, The gameplay was much different than any other Mario game before it. Oh, and it had a haunted house theme.

Anyway, in the game, Luigi wins, via a contest, a old, rustic mansion that looks very expensive. The thing is, Luigi didn’t enter the contest! But, dolt that he is, he doesn’t care, and agrees to meet Mario there to check it out. However, once Luigi arrives at his new digs, he is scared to learn that Mario is missing!

It actually doesn't look too bad.

Worse, its haunted by ghosts, so naturally, Luigi comes to the conclusion that the ghosts have spirited Mario away. And now the ghosts are after him! Luckily, he gets help in the form of an old, strange man named E.Gadd, who equips Luigi with the one thing that can destroy the ghosts: a vacuum called the Poltergeist (how fitting).

When ghosts surround you, you should...

The vacuum is where the unique gameplay kicks in. Unlike most 3-D Mario games, or even side-scrollers, you can’t jump, wall ump, dash, or crawl, which takes away some of the fun of exploring. Who wants to explore a giant castle by walking slowly? Anyway, to beat the ghosts, you have to shine a flashlight at them, and then suck them in with the vacuum while they are stunned and blinded. With only one real way to beat the spooky spectres, it can get boring.

...Scream at the top of your lungs!!!

The animation is okay, just lazy sometimes. Also, despite being a “horror” game, its more like Scooby-Doo. The ghosts aren’t scary. And you know that they’ve run out of ideas when baby ghosts become big bosses. The stages are varied and detailed, which helps.

Anyway, its great and all that Luigi got his own game, but why did they have to take out most of the fun from the controls? Luigi is just as athletic as Mario, maybe even more. This game is a decent diversion, but with no extra missions or two-player mode, it doesn’t have much replay value. I’ll give it a B-

Open the door, Luigi.

Luigi’s Mansion is rated E, and contains very mild cartoon violence, and very mild horror themes.

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