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    Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

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    Kent Hammer
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    Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  Kent Hammer on Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:00 am

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    Picture the scene, if you will; a young cousin comes to visit. He, like most children, speaks in incomprehensible sentences. He wears a 'Moshi Monsters' sweatshirt. From what I can gather, he enjoys the DS game. I begin to question the child's taste in gaming. I show him a GameCube, in an attempt to steer him in the right direction. He is disinterested. I move on to showing him a variety of games: Fire Emblem flies right past him, as do Pikmin and Sonic Adventure 2 : Battle. However, I show him a game, offhandedly, that piques his interest. It is, as you may have gathered, Luigi's Mansion.

    It cast me back to days of yore, when I discovered the game on the shelves of Toys R Us. Immediately, I took it to the counter and purchased it, and how could I not? It was Luigi! The Mario guy! King of childhood dreams! As I placed it into my little silver GameCube, I could not have imagined that the game would still hold a special place in my heart some ten years later. It certainly left an impact on me at the age, but not one of pure joy, nay; one of terror. It was quite the shock to my little brain: suddenly, my favourite cheery rainbow hero was thrust into a dark world, one that teemed with sublimity and challenge. I can only assume that I was a slobbering, illiterate idiot, as it took me a great deal of time to even reach the first boss; but due to my vivid recollection of when I discovered how to beat said boss, I can only assume that I tried my tiny best to best the challenges the Mansion held.

    Now, away from my pointless ramblings, I shall try to actually review. Firstly, the graphics of the game deserve special mention. For today's HD gamer, the visuals of this game may be nothing short of average, but at the time they were simply amazing. Luigi is constantly animated, whether running, screaming, vacuuming, or idle. These animations are chock-full of character, and in fact defined Luigi's cowardly persona as we see it today. The ghost's partial transparency was a huge leap from the effects of the Super Mario 64 Boos; they felt otherworldly, ghostly even (imagine that) and a very different breed to Luigi, Toad and Professor E. Gadd. Once again, this was in stark contrast to the Super Mario 64's Boos, who could easily exist amongst the various colourful critters Mario faced. Here, they would feel remarkably out of place. The shadowing and lighting effects were also revolutionary. The amount of light varied from room to room, and cast long shadows across the wall - these shadows were not the small black blobs we had come to know; they were cast realistically. Lamps cast lamp shadows, Luigi cast Luigi shadows, chairs cast chair shadows - not a blob in sight. The effect of the vacuum was similarly perfected - vacuum a cloth, and it would crumple and wave into the barrel of the Poltergust 3000 . Confront a ghost, and it's tail would writhe and twist with Luigi's movements, before shrinking and contorting into the old vacuum.

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    The audio of the game was a controversial point. Generally, the quality of the sound effects were not debated; each type of ghost had its own set of cries, whether approaching, attacking, appearing or escaping Luigi's Poltergust. They were comical, but somewhat threatening, which only added to the Mansion's immense atmosphere. This was the game where Luigi was given his own voice; finally, Nintendo could pack away the helium balloons, and put the Super Mario 64 recordings to rest. This was quite a vital part of the Luigi we know today; his new voice and personality added to his character by inordinate amounts. Suddenly, Luigi was not the one you picked when Mario was taken; he was an individual, a character with a depth that Mario could not hope to rival. Luigi would hesitantly hum as he crept the dark corridors of the Mansion, and whistle as he strolled them once lit. What he was humming brings me to the controversy - the main theme. This theme was a dark, low-pitched number that played in a loop across the various corridors of the Mansion; those that dislike it will quickly find it grating. However, this is not my view - I love the theme, and I'm perfectly happy to listen and whistle along with Luigi. In fact, it often tops my whistling list as I go about my day, along with Link's various Ocarina tunes.

    The plot is somewhat better than typical Mario fare. Luigi has won a Mansion in a contest he does not recall entering; and as the Mushroom Kingdom evidently does not receive much spam mail, he ventures into the forest where his Mansion is located. Mario, ever the optimist, volunteers to go on ahead and wait for Luigi's arrival. Upon reaching the Mansion, Luigi finds it to be far from what is advertised; it is dark, gloomy and ghost-infested. Worse still, Mario is missing! Luigi promptly ventures inside, only to be taunted and ambushed by a pack of ghosts; luckily, the elderly Professor E. Gadd is there to save him, armed with the ghost-capturing Poltergust 3000, and the two make their escape. Professor E. Gadd takes Luigi to his research Lab, just outside the Mansion grounds, and tells him of Mario's fate; he has been captured by the ghosts. He also informs him that the Mansion appeared out of nowhere only the day before, and is now inhabited by his collection of rare Portrait Ghosts, which were previously sealed within a gallery of paintings. Naturally, Luigi sets out to catch 'em all and save his brother. The plot remains fairly linear through the game, with the occasional 'twist' in regards to the nature of the ghosts and Mario's precise fate. It's somewhat dark, in fact, making it a welcome but peculiar addition to the Super Mario canon.

    Now, on to the meat of Luigi's Mansion; the gameplay. It's unique in the Mario franchise, and in fact gaming as a whole; the aim is to essentially play spectral tug of war with the various ghosts and ghouls (mostly ghosts). Luigi is controlled with the control stick, while the angle of his flashlight and Poltergust are controlled with the C-stick. The required dexterity to control both sticks is difficult at first, but quickly becomes second nature, thanks in part to the superb comfort offered by the GameCube controller. To capture a ghost, you must first stun him with your flashlight, thus revealing its heart (Nintendo logic, go with it) and promptly hold the R button to begin the struggle, lest it disappear before your eyes. The R buttons sensitivity is as relevant here as in Super Mario Sunshine - coins can be sucked up with little power, Tablecloths can be ruptured with a touch more force, and ghosts require a firm hold on the R button. The L button functions similarly, instead projecting fire, water or ice at varying intensities, which comes in handy against special types of ghosts. Once the struggle begins, a sort of mind game is played. The ghost twists left, Luigi twists right. The ghost pulls Luigi forward, he pulls himself back and spins the Poltergust to wear away at the ghost. You choose the method, and this makes it ever more satisfying when the ghost shrivels into your vacuum. The same basic gameplay is seen throughout, but this element of freedom makes it fun, rather than bland and repetitive. The game also introduces new types of basic ghost to you at a steady rate, keeping things fresh and providing new layers of challenge. Chief among these are the aforementioned portrait ghosts, who serve as the bosses and mini-bosses of the game. Each has a unique appearance and personality, and working out how to capture them lends a puzzling element to proceedings. One stand-out ghost is Mr. Luggs, a morbidly obese spook whose sounds of culinary delight can be heard reverberating through the mansion corridors long before he is faced head-on. His waiters bring him a continual supply of food and disappear quickly, and he is invisible until Luigi turns his back. How will you defeat him? This is just one of the many brilliant puzzle bosses scattered throughout the game. Finally, there are the Boos. At a certain point in the story, fifty Boos are released into the Mansion's many rooms, and only emerge when the lights of their respective rooms have been turned on (a feat that is achieved through capturing all of the ghosts in that room). The Boos reveal themselves when the correct object, which is indicated by a Boo radar, has been investigated. The Boos cannot be stunned, and must be chased through various rooms, being tugged by the tail. Certain quantities of Boos are required to progress through certain parts of the game, but catching all fifty is optional, though doing so yields a hefty reward. This adds the incentive to re-visit older parts of the Mansion, thus increasing it's longevity.

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    Longevity, however, is the chief concern that many people have with this game. Though it pains me to say it, I must agree; Luigi's Mansion is far too short. A competent gamer could complete it in well under a week. This is a significant problem with the game, that cannot be denied, but there is replay value. Your Portrait-Ghost-catching skills are ranked in Bronze, Silver and Gold, and with each rank comes a new painting. There is also a 'Master Quest' of sorts to experience after completing the game, but this does not make huge changes; even less in the NA release. If you have only mixed feelings about the game, post-game content will not persuade you otherwise.

    Nevertheless, Luigi's Mansion stands proud in the realm of spin-offs, as an oddity unrivaled. Turning the happy, cheery land of the Mushroom Kingdom into Resident Evil Lite was a bold move indeed, but one that paid off immeasurably. I have completed the game eight times now, and every Summer I go back for one more playthrough. With the announcement of Luigi's Mansion 2, and the rapid decline of Wii software, now is the perfect time to pick up this game; give it a try, and immerse yourself in a game that has given me so many wonderful memories.

    I award Luigi's Mansion 9/10

    review by our friend Crisps.


    Last edited by Kent Hammer on Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:48 am; edited 1 time in total

    minkey_monkey

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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  minkey_monkey on Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:19 am

    Good review Smile
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    Colne Crusader

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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Review

    Post  Colne Crusader on Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:48 am

    That is one fine review!! I'm gonna buy this post haste!!!

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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  Ba5sett on Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:30 am

    Cool, didn't realise this was out yet will be picking this one up Smile
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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Review

    Post  Colne Crusader on Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:09 am

    Ba5sett wrote:Cool, didn't realise this was out yet will be picking this one up Smile

    Ha Ha!!! Lolz!!
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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  Kent Hammer on Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:46 am

    Ba5sett wrote:Cool, didn't realise this was out yet will be picking this one up Smile

    Dude this is the Gamecube game Rolling Eyes
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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Review

    Post  Colne Crusader on Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:48 am

    Oops! I thought Old Bassett was being deliberately humorous! Sorry dude!
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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  ChaosControl on Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:39 am

    I still have this! I play it on my Wii now, rather than my sleek, black Game Cube. I can't wait for the sequel!
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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  Colne Crusader on Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:57 am

    Just got my copy in the post today!! Yeah baby! Can't wait to slam this on tonight!
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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  Kent Hammer on Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:23 am

    Its a great game, report back
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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  laughingjumpman on Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:05 am

    Keep meaning to buy this again If I spot it cheap. Don't know why I traded it in in the first place, as is so often the case.
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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  ChaosControl on Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:24 am

    You fool! (Just joking!) This is why I never trade in games! Very Happy
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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  Colne Crusader on Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:06 pm

    This is one of those games that you never seem to find cheap. I've just paid 15 quid for it which is the best I could find.

    Best price on Amazon is currently £16.21 with £2.03 P+P

    EDIT**

    Well!! This game is awesome!!! I just can't put it down! I really need to go and wee but this classic Nintendo gameplay just draws you in and wont let go! It's the way they drip feed you something new or a micro task round every corner! You just have to do the next little thing....then the next and so on!

    Lovin' it! I've finished three sections already. Gonna have a break now though and stretch me old bones! It's a while since a game had me so hooked!! Shocked Like the review says, Luigi's constant chunnering and animation makes for loads of character on screen! Can't help thinking how awesome a HD remake would be!

    I'll report again when I finish the game.
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    Colne Crusader

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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  Colne Crusader on Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:32 am

    Well, i've finished the game in just two sessions, but they were pretty mammoth sessions to be fair. Thoroughly enjoyed it. It's not the longest game, but it's probably about the right length to prevent things getting repetitive. I shall play something else for a while now before returning to play the "Hidden Mansion", which is like new game+. It's much harder.

    Excellent stuff!
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    ChaosControl

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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  ChaosControl on Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:23 am

    Awesome. I'm going to be adding Luigi's Mansion onto my backloggery account....I have so much to get playing....
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    Colne Crusader

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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  Colne Crusader on Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:53 am

    ChaosControl wrote:Awesome. I'm going to be adding Luigi's Mansion onto my backloggery account....I have so much to get playing....

    Lol! Is that a list of games you want to buy, or games you own already that you are queuing up to play??

    I make little piles of games to play next , or games to finish off! Very Happy
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    ChaosControl

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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  ChaosControl on Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:02 am

    It's this......

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    A website where you input all of your games and what your progress is (I have an alarming amount of unplayed games).

    You can either pick:

    Unplayed. Unfinished. Beaten. Completed. Mastered.

    Unplayed: You own the game, but it's basically still in the cellophane wrapper.

    Unfinished: You've played it, but not finished the game.

    Beaten: You've at least defeated a final boss and viewed credits.

    Completed: You've completed everything 100%

    Mastered: You can set yourself a challenge to either make the game harder, or set a speed run. You can do things like Not allowing yourself you revive pokemon one they've fainted or Complete Final Fantasy X by only using Tidus to fight. Get every single star in Mario 64 without dying once!
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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  Kent Hammer on Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:04 am

    With both paper Mario and Luigi mansion both coming out on 3DS next year I doubt I will resist buying one soon!!
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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  Colne Crusader on Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:47 am

    That sounds wicked Chaos! I'll be checking that out! Bit frightened by what the results might be though! I have loads of unplayed games too! Yoiks!
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    ChaosControl

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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  ChaosControl on Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:11 pm

    Yeah same here. But it also has a fortune cookie function so if you haven't got a specific game in mind to play hit fortune cookie and it will pick one of your games out at random to play!

    I'm no where near done even uploading my list yet....I'm going alphabetical...I've just gotten to my Gamecube section....
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    Colne Crusader

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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  Colne Crusader on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:44 am

    Awesome! I'm sold! I just need a chance to check it out some time this week!
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    ChaosControl

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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  ChaosControl on Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:03 pm

    Definatly worth doing. Whoo Hoo! Page 2!!!
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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  Colne Crusader on Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:25 am

    Well, I've signed up to backloggery and entered all my XBLA games so far! All 133 of them! PHEW! This is gonna take some doing!
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    ChaosControl

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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  ChaosControl on Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:04 pm

    Same here. I'm still not done! I have the second half of my Wii and VC games to input , then all of my Xbox 360 and PSOne games......the rest of my DS games and a couple more Gameboy Advanced games.

    Total so far.....257 games inputted.....
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    laughingjumpman

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    Re: Luigi's Mansion Gamecube Review

    Post  laughingjumpman on Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:41 am

    Really need to update my backloggery, so many more games to add, so few unfinished lol.

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