Nintendo have done the unthinkable - launched their new console with something other than Mario. Initial impressions may be that having Luigi kick start the Gamecube is a poor gimmick to avoid being overly formulaic, but thankfully there are differences here other than green clothes and a thinner physique. Luigi's Mansion invites you down an alternative road to Mario's platforming adventures, and offers a more puzzle based quest. Equipped only with a hoover and a flashlight, and little in the way of bravery, Luigi ventures into his newly won mansion to rescue his portly brother from the escaped ghosts who inhabit the place. In the simplest terms, you're asked to hoover them up so that the local lunatic professor can return them to the paintings they came from. Along the way, you're advised to hoover up hearts to stay alive and money to... well. That would be telling. This game demostrates the Gamecube pad's brilliance instantly. The control is tight and refined, and very easy to grasp after a few tries, meaning you'll be hoovering ghosts up with ease in no time. You'll also find your hoover being used in different ways will unearth bonuses and solve the wealth of puzzles in the rooms. The structure is simple - you can access a room to begin with; defeat the ghost(s) in the room and you'll often find a key, which will let you advance to another room. Repeat. Sound boring? It's anything but. Many of the puzzles are brilliantly ingenius, making solving them immensely satisfying. Sometimes randomly vacuuming various things will obtain results, but more often than not serious thinking will go a long way. It's hard to explain, but each room is so littered with surprises that a huge grin will weld itself to your face. Trust me, it's a golden experience. The graphics are brilliant, but you must have already known that. If you haven't seen them in action, then you'll be amazed. Luigi's animations are fluid, as are the things you can vacuum; aim your hoover at a tablecloth or bedspread and watch how realistic it looks - it's incredible. Also worth mentioning are the excellent shadow effects. Lightning strikes send the shadows of Luigi and other objects streaking up the wall - it's truly fantastic. Other spot effects enhance what is generally an immensely pleasing visual experience. This is the sort of game you wish would carry on forever, but sadly this is far from the truth. Despite some tricky puzzles, Luigi will take the aveage gamer under 10 hours to finish. And while there is another mansion to play through at the end, most will be disappointed to find that it's just the old one reversed, with harder ghosts. And the replay value is pretty non-existent - when you know how to solve all the puzzles, the game loses some of it's appeal. Nevertheless, you'd be moronic to avoid at least TRYING this game for that reason. It's just like all the best thing - over far too soon.