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Luigi's Mansion Review - Gamecube

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It must be hard being Luigi. Having a superstar brother who is known the world over. He must dream of one day breaking the shackles and being a star in his own right. Well Luigi, your time is now! What better way to pave your own career than with an opportunity to launch with Nintendo's GameCube? The 'Cube arrived in Oz in 2002 and there wasn't a Mario title to be seen- Luigi was given the mantle of launching the little box. Consoles usually live or die by their launch titles and hindsight shows us that the GC didn't get off to a great start. Is Luigi destined to be forever in Mario's shadow? Let's find out...

Gameplay

The plot for Luigi's Mansion is, dare I say it, Mario-esque. Luigi has mysterious won a large mansion in a competition he didn't even enter. Upon arriving at the mansion, Luigi is informed that it is haunted and that Mario has been kidnapped by the Boos. Armed with a high-powered vacuum cleaner that would put your mums Hoover to shame, Luigi sets out to for some serious ghost busting in order to find his brother and find out who is really behind the sinister plot.

LM revolves around the simple premise of solving puzzles, collecting keys and catching ghosts. As basic as it sounds, it all gels together quite well due to an excellent control system. Luigi is armed with a vacuum cleaner, which is used to suck up ghosts. Each ghost has a weakness, be it light, fire, ice or water. For example, a ghost who doesn't like light is stunned momentarily when Luigi flashes his light on it- you will then have a split second to activate your Hoover- sucking the ghost into your backpack. The action of sucking the ghost in is similar to reeling in a fish- the ghost isn't giving up without a fight and you'll be dragged all over the room fighting the thing. Multiple ghosts can be sucked in at the same time, but you'll have to be wary of other ghosts as well as any objects they may drop (banana peels, shrink icons).

As you progress your Hoover gets an upgrade in the form of the ability to use fire, water and ice. There is a limit to your usage but sucking in elements from ice buckets, candles and toilets refills the meters. Not only does this allow you to tackle previously untouchable ghosts, but it also forms the basis of the majority of puzzles. Need to get across a body of water? Freeze it. Need to light up a whole room? Use the fire to light the candles. You get the idea- simple puzzles but enough variety to prevent the game play from becoming stale.

Initially the mansion is under the cover of darkness and you'll wander from room to room solving the puzzles and obtaining a key to gain access to locked doors. Each room has a ... (continued next page)
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