Erik Fattrosso ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Luigi’s Mansion might be one of the most overlooked GameCube titles. A launch title for the console way back in 2001, it brought an incredibly unique experience starring Luigi. The concept is simple. Luigi won a mansion, but upon arriving he discovers it to be full of ghosts. After obtaining the Poltergust from Professor E. Gadd, it’s up to him to rid the mansion of its spectral inhabitants. It’s been almost fifteen years since the game’s release, but it works every bit as well as it did in 2001.
Gameplay revolves completely around wandering the mansion, sucking up ghosts, and solving puzzles to explore the mansion further. On your travels, you’ll encounter around twenty boss ghosts, as well as fifty Boos that are scattered about. It’s pure and simple fun. You never know what you may find in a newly unlocked room, and the sense of exploration makes everything fun. The Boo radar keeps things interesting by letting you know whenever one of them is located in the room. It’s not a particularly long game, clocking in around six hours, but most of that time is fantastic. However, there are some annoyances that detract from the experience.
The game is so well designed and polished that small things stick out more than usual; for example, the inability to reverse the camera controls. It’s a minor thing, but it’s also constant for the duration of your playtime. Hunting down the Boos can also become tiring. While only around half of the fifty need to be caught, most players will do their best to catch all of them. There are two issues that arise during that escapade. The first of which is that the Boos have a habit of jumping between rooms. On its own that would be fine, but there are times when they’ll jump into a room you haven’t yet unlocked or a room that takes a good thirty seconds to get to. When they start going back and forth, this can get very tedious and downright aggravating.
On a lesser note, the lack of any way to see which rooms have been cleared of Boos can get annoying as you near completion. Having to check every room in the mansion again trying to find the last two or three Boos is an unnecessary process. The final boss fight is, to be blunt terrible. It features some truly abysmal hit detection, and you’re forced to walk back through the mansion and watch the cut scene before each attempt. This can result in five to ten minutes of lost time as you wait to try the boss again.
With that said, don’t let the negatives be a turn off. Ninety percent of the game is expertly crafted. It’s genuinely difficult to find faults. In addition, it laid the foundation for the excellent Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, the definitive Luigi game. This game really is a gem. It doesn’t need to be perfect to be considered special. It’s something that everyone should play at least once, if only for its originality. With Nintendo’s normal behavior of rehashing old ideas, this game still stands out years later.
Final Score – 8/10