So in honour of the Ear of Weegeeee the girlfriend and I (well mostly I) decided we would play through Luigi’s Mansion over Halloween! Neither of us have ever played it before now, so it was a totally fresh experience. Having owned a Ps2 during that era I really enjoy discovering and playing through gamecube titles. I’ve already played Pikmin and 3/4 of Windwaker (I stopped playing it when the HD version was announced) this year. I also played the original The legend of Zelda through the collector’s edition on the gamecube this summer.
I have to say we both quite enjoyed this game. The story is very simple. Luigi entered some competition and wins a mansion. This is not even explained in game, at least I don’t think it was (correct me if I’m wrong), but in the instruction manual. So the game opens up with a short cut scene of Luigi walking up to and entering the mansion which looks anything but inviting
We find out that Mario was already here and came to congratulate Luigi on his prize, however he has gone missing. And so we essentially set out to save Mario. It’s nice and simple as is usually expected of most Nintendo titles since they tend to focus more on gameplay. So understandably fans were not very happy when the title only got players an average of 6-8 hours gameplay, max. To be honest if I paid full price for this game back near launch, with the faith I have in Nintendo to deliver a lot of content, I definitely would have been one of the annoyed customers. Seeing as how I paid only 10 euro for the game I didn’t really care. I had already known it was short so I wasn’t let down come the early end.
The gameplay is very fun. Luigi sucks up ghosts with a vacuum called the ‘poltergust 3000’ much like in ghost busters, minus the vacuum. The vacuum is also used to suck up money, hearts and other things along the way. When you catch a ghost you have to keep sucking (LOL) and basically wrestle with them by pointing the yellow c-stick in the opposite direction of the ghosts motion. It’s actually really fun. I found myself over applying pressure etc even though I know it has no effect just because I was getting into it. The ghosts come in many varieties and have different ways in which they can be captured. There is also some elemental pieces which turn your poltergust into a flamethrower, water gun and ice blower. These are used to solve puzzles and tackle certain ghosts. All in all I really liked the poltergust and the whole vacuuming mechanic.
There are relatively few bosses throughout the course of the game (Although there are a plethora of mini bosses) but they are all very fun and are actually fairly challenging. In fact, I’m sure I died once on all of them and then beat them all the second time around. The final boss took me 5 tries to beat. We had to consult a walk through to see where I was going wrong so skip to the end of the paragraph if you don’t want to read some spoilers. O.k so, when Bowser throws the spiked bombs, I was trying to suck them up from a short distance (as you would any other object or ghost in the game) assuming if I touched them they would explode. But as it turns out, you have to actually touch the vacuum off the ball. I think it was a bit un fair to be honest and anti intuitive. But hey, once I knew that, it was a very fun boss.
Visually the game is really nice and it appears Ninty pushed the hardware quite well. There’s a lot of attention to detail and along with the music there is a real nice atmosphere created. Especially since we were playing it over Halloween. Here’s a song I really liked, I was humming it a lot while playing the game. Speaking of humming, Luigi actually nervously hums himself to the music while traversing the mansion, it’s quite adorable. Here’s the song, you can hear the fear in poor Weegee’s voice
So, all in all I found this game quite enjoyable. It was short and sweet and good for Halloween vibes. I will definitely be picking up the sequel, but I’ll be waiting until next Halloween. It was good of Nintendo to experiment. They did a lot of experimentation during the gamecube era and I feel that’s why they lost a lot of sales. People are only starting to come around to these titles now with the much better reception of windwaker, because of its at the time controversial cel shaded art style, and a fabulous reception of Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon on the 3DS. I hope this becomes a well supported spin off series.
The next gamecube game I aim to tackle is another controversial one, Super Mario Sunshine. But, I think I’ll wait until after Super Mario 3D World is released and I’ve played that. So I’m undecided what retro game I’ll tackle now. But I might try Yoshi’s Island or Megaman X. I was also thinking of Sonic 3 or Ratchet and Clank. I’ve a massive backlog and like to take my time to enjoy games, so I tend to add more game on than I get to play. It’s all good though. Better to have loads of games than none 🙂
Any gamecube games people think I should try? Or any retro games at all?