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Game Profile
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
GameCube
PUBLISHER:
Nintendo
DEVELOPER:
EAD
GENRE: Adventure
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
November 18, 2001
ESRB RATING:
Everyone
IN THE SERIES
Super Mario Maker

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Super Mario All-Stars

Super Mario Galaxy 2

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

More in this Series
 Written by Alan Rumpf  on June 05, 2001

First Impressions: While not the plumber we expected, he'll be sure to satisfy our platforming needs


What does every single Nintendo gaming console launch have in common? Why of course everyone's favorite plumber, Mario, featured in what is always Nintendo's flagship title. This time around, (from what we've heard so far), Miyamoto is once again shaking up the Nintendo foundation by forgoing the standard Mario launch title. Ever since Super Mario 64, gamers have asked, ?Where's Luigi?? Mario's brother was featured in a few of the spin-off Nintendo games, but has never starred in his own. Well we can throw out the warp pipe, as Luigi is making his solo-debut for Gamecube in Luigi's Mansion.

After gamers get over the shock of seeing a plumber in green and blue instead of red and blue, they will realize that this beautiful game has very high potential. Let's face it, filling in Mario's shoes is no easy role, but with an innovative style of gameplay, Luigi just may be up to the task. Miyamoto is always looking towards innovation as the key, so while no one would mind a rehashed SM64, he wanted to deliver a new gaming experience. Enter Luigi's Mansion and its unique style of gameplay.

The scenes shown at Spaceworld 2000 left all people guessing as to what would become of this footage. Well now it has been announced as a launch title for Gamecube, and was offered in playable form at E3. The story so far is as follows; Luigi has just bought a secluded mansion in the woods (must have taken some money from his brothers pockets), and has come to find out that this dark, spooky manor is filled with hostile ghosts and goblins. With flashlight and vacuum cleaner equipped, Luigi begins his quest to hunt down ghosts. Along the way Luigi will meet a strange quirky doctor who explains to Luigi if he is able to capture the ghosts he possesses the technology to turn them into paintings. How this story will all come together in the end is a mystery, but it sounds like solving this puzzle will be sure to bring about loads of fun.

The gameplay so far is all about spotting ghouls with Luigi's flashlight, and sucking them with their vacuum cleaner. At certain times players will receive keys or other objects in reward for vanishing all the ghosts in one room. These keys will open up new areas for Luigi to explore and discover. Luigi can also use his vacuum to affect the environment around him, for example, pulling back curtains, sucking up coins, perhaps sucking up water in the future. Speaking of water, in video, Luigi was shown shooting out water with his vacuum cleaner, although the uses of this feature have not been disclosed, there are many possibilities. Also Luigi will have a GBC at his side, as a sort of mapping/tracking device in order to find his way around the mansion.

The control scheme may seem awkward at first, and will no doubt have a learning curve because it involves the use of both control sticks, often at the same time. The right camera stick actually moves Luigi around, while the left analog stick controls the direction in which Luigi is pointing. The movement on the control stick is basically forward or back and strafe side to side. While the set up may seem odd at first, when thought about, spinning around quickly to spot a ghost coming from behind, or pointing your vacuum cleaner at a ghost right on top of you, is much more important than your movement. Therefore the action with the higher priority was set to the more accessible stick. The R button is the primary control in sucking up the ghosts into your vacuum. The A button is the primary action button, for performing activities like opening doors while another button will be assigned to the aforementioned ?water-shooter.?

While the environment of Luigi's Mansion is completely in full 3D, the gameplay has a very 2-dimensional feel. In certain points as Luigi is moving in hallways, walls closest to the camera will become transparent to give a better view of the plumber and perhaps avoid annoying camera glitches in tight spaces. The view and style of gameplay is definitely innovative, and could not be displayed on a better-looking game. The shadows and lighting are perfectly synchronized in accordance with Luigi's flashlight, and it is truly one of the most beautiful looking games for launch on Gamecube.

Final Thoughts
While we can't tell for sure on the whereabouts of Mario, we know for sure that Luigi's Mansion will be a stellar title. While it may not take place of a Mario title in many gamer's hearts, it will no doubt be a very enjoyable experience. Promoting fun and innovative gameplay, in a beautiful environment, Luigi's Mansion looks like a title to look forward to come November 5th.


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