I didn’t expect to finish The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker this fast, but I beat it with a reasonable completion rate in an acceptable amount of time. And while I’m still going to go back to it a few more times to get a few more treasures, I’m ready for my next game. This time, I’m choosing a simpler, lighter, and shorter game: Luigi’s Mansion.
Luigi’s Mansion is an action-adventure game released in 2001 as one of the Gamecube’s launch titles. It was received moderately positive reviews, being criticized mostly for it’s length and difficulty. But that’s one of the reasons why I’m playing this right now – after The Wind Waker took my life over, I need something to cleanse my palate.
In Luigi’s Mansion, you play the role of Luigi who was notified earlier that he had won a contest. His prize? A brand new mansion. Even if he doesn’t remember joining any contests recently, Luigi proceeds to tell his brother Mario about it and they decide to meet up at the mansion. When Luigi arrives, he discovers that the mansion is haunted and that Mario got there first but is now missing. Armed with only a Flashlight, it’s up to Luigi to find his brother.
Luigi almost gets kidnapped himself, but is rescued by a new ally named Professor E. Gadd, who also provides him with two other equipment: a powerful vacuum cleaner called the Poltergust 3000 and the Game Boy Horror which is a PDA-like device in the form of the original Nintendo Game Boy.
Once fully equipped to deal with the situation, Luigi goes back to the mansion to look for clues to Mario’s whereabouts. However, most of the mansion’s rooms are haunted by a certain number of ghosts. Capturing these ghosts requires utilizing all three tools effectively. The Flashlight provides light for exploring the dark mansion, but shining the Flashlight on most of the normal ghosts usually makes them vulnerable to the Poltergust 3000.
Once a ghost is vulnerable, Luigi has to use the Poltergust 3000 to capture the ghost. If you’re a Ghostbuster fan (am I dating myself by mentioning them?), then I have to say that this mechanic is very similar to what the Ghostbusters do.
As mentioned earlier, the Poltergust 3000 is a special vacuum cleaner designed by Professor E. Gadd that can suck in all kinds of spirits. However, there are special ghosts called the Portrait ghosts which are not vulnerable to the Flashlight/Poltergust 3000 combination – you’ll need to search around for clues to their weaknesses. Fortunately, most of these clues can either be found in the rooms that you’ll find these Portrait ghosts in, or in the neighboring rooms.
You can also use the Game Boy Horror as a special scanner that reveals the weaknesses of the Portrait ghosts. You can also use the Game Boy Horror to scan strange areas in the mansion as there are several secret areas to discover. Finally, the Game Boy Horror provides Luigi with a map of the mansion, which is a great help since you’ll find keys along the way, and the Game Boy Horror indicates which room your key is for.
I don’t know if it’s a spoiler but… if you’re a Mario fan, you know that the Mario universe features a special ghost that is frequently on the opposing side working with Bowser. You’ll see a lot of those ghosts in this game, in fact you’ll need to capture 50 of them as well.
Despite the simple gameplay, I’m enjoying the game. For a game that came out in 2001, Luigi’s Mansion still holds it’s own in terms of graphics, effectively showing the Gamecube’s technological capabilities. And it was reasonably successful, noted on several websites as one of the Gamecube’s top selling games. We’re actually going to see a sequel come out soon on the Nintendo 3DS, entitled Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon.
All in all, I think Luigi’s Mansion is a good game. I’m just happy that it won’t require a lot of time for me to complete it, just a few more hours of gameplay and I can cross it off my list. It might not have been worth the price when it came out, but getting a reasonably priced copy is worth the experience.