When a new Nintendo console is released, there is always a great, ground-breaking game that will change the genre and games in general for generations to come. The Nintendo 64 launched with the revolutionary game Super Mario 64 and the NES launched with Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt, just to name a few. The GameCube was no ordinary console, as when it was released, the headlining first-party Nintendo game was a game centered on Mario’s brother, and it was not a traditional 3D platform. This was a horror game.
Luigi’s Mansion was released to a collective “huh?” as this game was so different from anything that was in the Mushroom Kingdom before. This one was dark, it was eerie, but most of all the main character was not Mario. This was Luigi’s game. On a new console. But there was no Mario game. Mario games would release for the console later, but the idea of a launch without Mario or Zelda was baffling to the point where most people would consider it stupid. This console was new and needed to save the failing N64, and they do this?
Luigi’s Mansion is one of my favorite series Nintendo has put out for many reasons. The main reason is that it is able to have it’s own identity amidst a library of tradition. Luigi’s Mansion is so unique in it’s game play, story and atmosphere and it’s a breath of fresh air compared to the family friendly Mario games or the grand epic that is The Legend of Zelda. The intro to the game basically screams that this isn’t your dad’s Mario, this is a game that is so “it’s own thing”.
For those who don’t know, Luigi’s Mansion has a very simple story that most people can understand. Luigi won a Mansion in a contest that he did not enter. Mario goes to the Mansion to investigate and disappears, leaving Luigi to be the only one to save him. Luigi meets Professor E. Gadd who gives him the Poltergust to suck up the ghosts that inhabit the mansion. From there, we are swept up in a creepy journey to collect ghosts and save Mario. Nintendo definitely took some risks with this game, but I personally think that they all paid off. Luigi’s Mansion was not a selling point for the console, but I think it is a must have if you own a GameCube.
This game is very fun to play as the controls are different but still great to use. The L and R triggers are utilized to their fullest potential, while the face buttons are simply programmed so that anyone may be able to pick up and play. The characters and ghosts are charming but scary enough to scare newborns to toddlers, as I think that’s it’s something that a lot of people can play considering the different atmosphere in the other mainline Nintendo games. Ghosts were the main enemy, rather than Goombas or Bokoblins.
This game is beyond charming, and the characters are so creative including the portrait ghosts, which are the main objectives to capture in the game. They all have funny names and creative combat techniques, but one of the biggest downsides to the game is it’s criminally short time to beat. The game is a grand total of 3.5 hours long, and looking at all of the creativity that is present in the game, there is a ton of room to grow and really show off what the developers can do.
Luigi’s Mansion often goes under the radar as the best GameCube game, and though it may have it’s flaws, the unique game play and presentation merits the game to be on some “best of” lists. This game is spooky, but for all the right reasons. There is a 3DS remake of the game, but it is difficult to play considering the controls of the 3DS are way different than the uniqueness of the GameCube. Copies of this game for the GameCube have become more expensive recently, so if you own a Gamecube or a Wii, pick this title up if you can.