‘Luigi’s Mansion’ continues to entertain after two decades

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Claire Meyer

Luigi's Mansion 3 is only available on the Nintendo Switch.

A man clad in green nervously walks toward a large door leading to a mansion. Flashlight in hand, he slowly opens the door which leads to the foyer. As he makes his way to the second floor, he begins to realize that he is not the only one there. Although it sounds like a horror story, a whimsical adventure just began.

Luigi’s Mansion was released on September 14, 2001 for the Nintendo GameCube which was my platform of choice.”

— Cambry King, 12

Remembered fondly by a wide variety of gamers today, the “Luigi’s Mansion” series still continues today. Following the release of “Luigi’s Mansion 3” for the Nintendo Switch back in October, I wanted to go back and see what made the original so great and why it’s fondly remembered to this day. 

“Luigi’s Mansion” was released on September 14, 2001 for the Nintendo GameCube, my platform of choice. It has since been ported to the Nintendo 3DS. 

Mario’s brother Luigi arrives at a mansion he won in a contest. When Luigi enters the mansion, he is surprised to find it riddled with ghosts. Even worse, it seems Mario is stuck inside of a painting somewhere in the depths of the estate. But, with the help of Professor E. Gadd, Luigi is able to fend off the ghosts with the Poltergust 3000. Vacuum in hand, Luigi sets off to free his brother and capture all ghosts that may have escaped.

To seize ghosts, Luigi must first shine them with his flashlight to expose their hearts. After that, Luigi starts to suck up the ghosts. When the vacuum is on, the player must pull in the opposite direction to drain the heath of the enemy. The ghosts can quickly move around the room and drop items that will damage the player. Even with these obstacles, the game is not challenging. Attacks from the opponents rarely do significant damage, even during the boss fights. 

It feels as if all of this was taking place inside the head of a kid, and it is pulled off spectacularly. ”

— Cambry King, 12

The atmosphere of the “Luigi’s Mansion” is truly an amazing one. The mansion looks as if it came from an episode of Scooby-Doo and the ghosts are very cartoon-like. None of it is scary, but it is not trying to be. It feels as if all of this was taking place inside the head of a kid, and it is pulled off spectacularly. 

Music is not something that is very prevalent in this game. Throughout the mansion, the only song that usually can be heard is the main theme of the game. Which is by no means bad, and there are different renditions of it depending on where the player is. If there are ghosts in a room, Luigi will nervously hum the song, while he will whistle it if the coast is clear. Other tracks can be heard while capturing ghosts and during boss fights, but those do not last long.

Even though “Luigi’s Mansion” is almost twenty years old, it holds up surprisingly well today. The simple story, the fun mechanics, and even the childlike graphics still look and feel like it is a game that would be made today. It may only take three hours to beat this game, but it was fun nevertheless. “Luigi’s Mansion” is a wonderful game that stands the test of time.