When Luigi's Mansion was first announced many assumed it would be a title to follow in the legendary footsteps of Super Mario World
and Super Mario 64
. It's nowhere near as epic as either of these titles, though, and also unlike them will never be accused of being the "best game ever". Once you get over the shock of the game being on such a small scale, though, its various charms do become obvious. The game involves you, as Mario's brother Luigi, trying to exorcise a haunted mansion of ghosts by sucking them into a vacuum cleaner. If only Bill Murray and the Catholic Church had realised it was so easy. Except it's not really that easy at all: the complications and cleverness of the game come in with the use of light and shadow. Many ghosts cannot be seen unless you reveal their shadow or manipulate the objects in a room to make them appear. These imaginative--but never frustrating--puzzles add to the otherwise simplistic process of catching the smaller ghosts by freezing them with a beam of light and sucking them up the Hoover. It's only a minor classic but Luigi's Mansion
does a good job of showing off some off the Gamecube's graphical effects and providing a game which all the family can enjoy. If only it was a bit longer... but then, knowing Nintendo, if it was longer it wouldn't have come out until the space year 3050.--David Jenkins
"A fantastically playable combination of Super Mario World
. 88%." -- NGC Magazine
While it won't win many points for originality, Luigi's Mansion
is great fun to play, and it's a perfect showcase for the GameCube's graphics horsepower. In the game, Luigi--Mario's younger brother and co-star of several games through the years--has inherited a spooky old mansion provided he can summon the courage to spend the night within its haunted walls. Luigi arrives prepared to clean house using a Ghostbusters-like device that stuns the ghosts with light and then vacuums them up safely. The gameplay gets tricky when some of the bigger light-shy ghosts vanish before you can put the Hoover on them. And, should one of the spectral pests sneak up on Luigi, he loses courage and the common currency of all Mario-inspired games: gold coins. Graphically, the game is amazing for its translucent ghosts, mirrored images, and particle effects (Luigi's vacuum device will also suck the dust off a chair and the mist out of a freezer). The game's campy visuals are more cute than spooky, so even jittery Mario fans will love this one.