Halloween isn't just about scaring the heck out of others and getting dat candy (which is possibly as awesome as getting dat paper). No, the festive October holiday is also about having a few laughs and some genuine fun. That's why after shining the light on some serious games, and most recently delving into the perverse madness of Manhunt, we're going to tone things down and join a fearful plumber as he explores a dark house armed with nothing but a vacuum cleaner and a serious case of the shakes.
That's right, this time on GameZone's 31 Games of Halloween, we're going to talk about Luigi's Mansion for the GameCube.
Why it stands out
This ain't no Mario's Missing, son! Luigi's Mansion isn't some shoddy game starring Mario's kid brother. This particular adventure is pretty legit, and while it's over far too quickly, it's fun while it lasts. Being able to step into the overalls of Luigi is pretty neat, and this game is a very different type of experience when compared to anything starring Mario.
It's easy to see how Luigi isn't a manly man. The dude's always afraid, and while we all know he probably suffers from some deep feelings of inadequacy (and bladder control, though that may just be due to his fear of ghosts), he totally rises to the occasion here. Luigi's on a mission, seeking out his big brother in a haunted mansion. So it's not entirely unlike Mario's Missing, with the exception that it doesn't suck ass.
Unlike most other Mario titles, Luigi's Mansion isn't a platformer. This game offers more of an action-adventure experience. You guide the soiled plumber up and down different halls, enter rooms, and vacuum up coins and ghosts. Oh, and don't think you can just look at the ghosts to make them stop what they're doing; these aren't your common Boos. At the time of its release, Luigi's Mansion was a fresh entry in Nintendo's long line of Italian plumber-starring adventures. With only one sequel thus far, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, the series still remains wonderfully novel.
Is it scary?
There's absolutely nothing at all scary about Luigi's Mansion. That's not a bad thing, though. You could have a really fun time with this game regardless. There aren't any jump scares or any tension, and there's no mass killing. Still, there are ghosts — lots of 'em — which means there was some level of major death within the confines of this dreadful mansion.
Truth be told, Luigi's Mansion is more cartoony than anything else, and its graphical look is almost like a quirky CG flick. It's hard not to chuckle or at least crack a smile while hearing Luigi call out for his big bro as he shakes and tiptoes throughout the mansion. Hey, you may not be scared, but Luigi sure as heck is.
Why play it on Halloween?
Despite the fact that Luigi's Mansion won't scare you in any capacity, it's still fairly appropriate for the Halloween month. You've got ghouls, ghosts, and darkness everywhere, making this one of those friendly comedy games that's scarier for its actual protagonist than it ever could be for players.
Unfortunately, Luigi's Mansion is currently available at ridiculously high prices due to its status as an out-of-print GameCube launch title, so it's difficult to recommend shelling out upward of $130 for it online. Still, if you have the game or know someone who does, Halloween's a great time to check it out. Of course, you could also opt to play Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon on the 3DS, which is largely considered to be superior compared to its predecessor. Either way, if you want a lighthearted romp on Halloween, you really can't go wrong with Luigi's mansion-scouring escapades.
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