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Luigi’s Mansion – GameCube

Luigi's MansionPlatform:  Nintendo GameCube

Release Date (NA):  November 18th, 2001

Developer:  Nintendo

Genre:  Action-Adventure with RPG Elements

Rating:  7.5 out of 10

Luigi’s Mansion was released as one of the launch titles for the GameCube, and at the time had a lot of gamers scratching their heads over Nintendo leading off with a Luigi-centric game, eschewing his more popular brother for the first time ever.  People need not doubt long, however.  Over 10 years later, this game still stands as an appreciable technical achievement not to mention its creative gameplay and penchant for atmosphere.

Luigi's Manson


Luigi is now given a bit of personality, even if he is personified as little more than a scaredy cat.  A refreshing change from the headstrong Mario, no longer are we boldly leaping into danger; now we are tip-toeing around corners.  With the use of a modified vacuum cleaner (The Poultergust 3000, I believe) Luigi must work his way through a haunted mansion recently bequeathed him.  Admittedly the controls are somewhat alien at first, but it doesn’t take too long to acclimate to the quirky “R” button and before long the whole flashlight/Poultergust/HOLD ON routine is old hat.

Ghosts are the main enemies found in Luigi’s Mansion, but in addition to the familiar Boo’s the player is treated to whole entourage of colorful spirits of all shapes and sizes.  Perhaps the single most impressive stand out of Luigi’s solitary adventure is the breathtaking visuals and accompanying atmosphere.  The mansion itself is decorated beautifully, and although there will be no doubt that the game retains the cartoonishness of its predecessors, its the details that keep this title so spooky.  From the somewhat unnerving behavior of the more powerful ghosts to the small bits and pieces flying around, the errant creak or the indistinguishable “bump” comes closer to the feel of a haunted house than many cinematic attempts.  One of my favorite parts involves the slow wafting of ghosts in the ballroom.

The semi-labrynthine mansion is a pleasure to explore, though 
Luigi’s Mansion flirts with tedium as all 50 Boos leading up to the final confrontation must be hunted throughout the house and defeated as well.  This is no small task when one must negotiate the obstacles of a room and time consuming tasks like opening doors, especially when many of the Boos can move with alarming speed, and as expected, turn themselves completely invisible and pass through walls sometimes leading to parts of the house that may take 5 minutes or more to reach.

Luigi's Mansion

Many people will complain that the game is a bit too easy as well as a bit to short, and I suppose they have a point.  For me however, it’s about the right size; I’m not always a fan of being so obsessed with a game that I can’t put it down but becoming so frustrated that I never want to pick it up again.  The slight RPG implications of gameplay will hardly be noticed by seasoned fans of the genre, but they are a welcome addition to those cringing at the thought of the aimlessness and confusion that RPGs can carry with them.  Luigi’s Mansion deserves a spot right next to the most monumental of his brother’s achievements.

It’s also interesting to note that at the time, GameCubes were being designed with stereoscopic 3D in mind, and Luigi’s Manson was one of only a few games to utilize this aspect of the console.  Unfortunately, the guys at Nintendo suddenly realized how expensive 3D televisions were in 2001 and the functionality of this amazing feature was never implemented beyond development.

Reviewed by The Cubist

Written by The Cubist

The Cubist

Co-founder, Head Author, & Site Technician

Find out what these ratings mean and how I rate video games.

I collect as much video gaming paraphernalia as I can get my hands on, especially when it comes to hardware. With over 40 systems including oldies like the ColecoVision and Intellivision, obscurities like the CD-i and 3DO, and the latest and greatest including the Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, 3DS, and PS Vita, I get easily overwhelmed. Most of the time you can find me firmly nestled sometime between 1985 and 1995 when it comes to my games of choice, but I’m also having a great time seeing what the 8th generation has to offer.

Currently in love with: Mortal Kombat

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