I recently played “Luigi’s Mansion” again. It’s one of the first three games I wanted for the GameCube, along with “Super Smash Bros. Melee” and “Pikmin”. It’s a silly game, but it’s fun. This game stars Luigi of the “Super Mario” series, of course, who usually gets overshadowed by his stumpy older brother. Which may be the way Luigi likes it, considering poor Luigi is not the bravest goose in the gaggle (wait, what?).
In this game, Luigi somehow ended up winning a mansion in a contest he never entered, which sounds great, but there’s a problem. This mansion happens to be infested with ghosts (it would make a nice episode on the “Infested” TV show; forget rats or spiders, this place is crawling with specters). Worse yet, Luigi’s bro, Mario, went into the mansion and never returned. (And worst of all, the taxes! Oh, the taxes!) So it’s up to Luigi to explore the mansion, fight the ghosts, and find where his ‘stached bro is stashed.
Fortunately, there happens to be an old man living nearby called Professor E. Gadd, who has just the thing to get rid of those pesky apparitions. The Poltergust 3000, a special vacuum capable of sucking up the ghouls. He tells you that you must startle a ghost with your flashlight, then, suck it up in the vacuum. So that’s what I did. I very much enjoy the concept of sucking the ghosts up in a vacuum. It makes the game very different. It’s a lot more interesting than whacking or jumping on enemies like you do in many other games.
So anyway, the game is spent exploring different rooms in the mansion and fighting all sorts of ghosts in dark rooms. There are different kinds. Regular ghosts that may attempt to punch or grab you. Boos, the round little white ghosts from other games in the series, that can travel between rooms and all have funny little names (Little Boo Peep or Boo La La, for example). And portrait ghosts. Whenever you finish off all the ghosts in a room, the lights come on, and sometimes you get a key to another room.
Portrait ghosts are special ghosts. There’s a bunch of them, and they’re the more interesting ghosts because they’re actually people (well, one’s a dog, and I don’t even know what Jarvis is, or Bogmire, but you get the point). There’s the fortune-teller who actually helps you in the game. The butler that has a crush on the lovely piano player. Also a little girl that sleeps in an upside down room. They make the game a bit more interesting. Anyway, these portrait ghosts are harder to catch because they are good at hiding their weak spot, their heart. You need to figure out how to get them to show their heart so you can capture them. And then, for whatever reason, they get turned into portraits by the creepy, little Professor. The portraits you get are nicer or not so nice depending on how well you did at capturing the ghost. I did pretty cruddy this time through. In the past, I’ve been able to get gold for everyone but stupid Sir Weston, but now I did just awful. I’m ashamed.
You also can find money all over the mansion. In furniture, lights, from special ghosts, watering plants, etc. There are also two secret rooms. It makes the game more fun because you have a reason to check out all the furniture in every room to see what you can find. And at the end of the game, Luigi has a new mansion built, and its appearance is based on the amount of money you got, ranging from a little shack to a huge mansion with a large L on it (for Luigi, I assume, and not loser). I got the A rank with 107,730,000. At least I was competent at something in this game. Hey, Luigi, you planning on sharing any of that money with me? Considering I took possession of your body and was the reason for your success. … Hello? …
So in a crab shell (how’s the saying go?), this is a fun, different game. I enjoyed exploring four stories of dark rooms with ghosts popping up. It’s fun and a little spooky, but not scary. I enjoyed sucking up ghosts into a vacuum. Who wouldn’t? This game is short, but I enjoyed every bit of it. I must add, though, that Luigi is braver than me. He’s supposed to be a wimp, but I couldn’t have gone into a dark mansion and faced ghosts, special vacuum or not. I would have trouble going into a dark mansion that didn’t have any ghosts. I have a new respect for you, Luigi. Now how about handing over some of that money?
Luigi Never Captured One Portrait Ghost, Though, the Wily Duck