Happy Halloween!  Luigi’s Mansion was a launch title for the Nintendo Gamecube in 2001.  The game is a favorite among Nintendo fans, and was one of my favorite Gamecube games growing up.  This horror/comedy game is now 17 years old and has recently been remade, but how does the original hold up today?

Luigi outside the mansion.

Luigi’s Mansion is simple: traverse a mansion, collect keys, collect money and treasure, and defeat the ghosts.  In order to defeat a ghost, you have to shine your flashlight on them, or their exposed heart if they’re a boss ghost, and then suck them up with the R button with your Poltergust 3000 Vacuum.  There are several different types of ghosts, and naming them all would take up way too much space.  The highlights are the Boss Ghosts, who each have their own backstories, and are former inhabitants of the Mansion.  These boss ghosts are tricky and fun to fight, and defeating them gives you plenty of money.  Money only really factors in with the grade you receive at the end of the game, but it’s still fun to collect as much as you can.  The boss ghosts all have a weakness, with some a lot easier than others, but all have 100HP.  The boss fights are my favorite part of the game.  There are also Boos that get released by King Boo, the main antagonist, which are required to be defeated in order to advance in the game.  Besides fighting bosses, Luigi searches out rooms in the mansion in order to find clues on Mario’s whereabouts, and ends up finding his clothing articles.  Luigi ends up defeating King Boo and a giant Bowser, and saves Mario.  The gameplay is still fun today, and I find nothing inherently wrong with it.

One of the many Boss Ghosts.

The controls of Luigi’s Mansion are a bit tricky to figure out.  When walking around normally, Luigi moves like you’d expect, but when using the Poltergust 3000, he moves like a tank.  Moving while using the Poltergust while sucking up a ghost is tricky, and often I feel like part of the reason I failed to suck up a ghost in one fell swoop is because of the controls.  Luigi also cannot jump in this game, so traversing the mansion can be difficult at some points.  The controls while using the poltergust aren’t great and haven’t aged the best.

This game was a launch title, but it still looks and sounds great!  I still hum the main them in my head all the time.  There isn’t much music during actual gameplay, since it’s a horror game, but when there is music, it’s some of the best on the gamecube.  For a launch title, this game looks phenomenal.  The ghost models are spooky, and the game is colorful as a horror game can be.  The graphics and music are still tight.

Toad makes several appearances.

Luigi’s Mansion doesn’t have great controls, but nothing else is wrong with the game.  I hope everybody has a happy Halloween, and maybe you can celebrate it by playing this well-aged gem.