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Luigi's Mansion (GC)
Prepare to clean house and rescue the world's most famous plumber.
By - Bryn "hardcore_pawn" Williams

Luigi's Mansion is one of two first-party launch titles for Nintendo's new GameCube. It isn't what most people who have followed previous Nintendo consoles might have expected for a launch game, but it's still a bunch of fun, nonetheless. Luigi's Mansion is a pretty simple action/adventure hybrid with scavenger hunt, exploration and puzzle elements thrown

in for good measure. The game will take the average player only about six hours to beat, but those six hours will be spent experiencing some really great visuals, imaginative game design and some classic Nintendo magic.

Mario Is Missing

The story starts with our hero, Luigi, receiving word that he's won a nice, expensive mansion in a sweepstakes-style competition, but the strange thing is that he can't remember entering any such event. Things get even more suspicious when he agrees to meet his brother, Mario, at the mansion to celebrate. Luigi follows his map to the mansion grounds and upon arrival, realizes that all is not right with the house. He steps into the foyer, looking for Mario, only to be greeted by a bunch of ghostly creatures that decide to jump him. Luckily, a small balding man by the name of Professor E. Gadd comes to Luigi's rescue and sucks up the ghosts -- Peter Venkman-style -- with his cool new anti-spook vacuum cleaner.

Luigi's Mansion

Game Type: Adventure
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Multiplayer: None
Min. Sys. Reqs: Nintendo GameCube

Buy Luigi's Mansion now!
It turns out that the Professor has been living near the mansion for quite a while, researching his favorite topic -- ghosts. He comments that a smaller, fatter chap wearing a red cap was spotted going into the mansion earlier, which is cause for concern to Luigi, as Mario is quite obviously in trouble. The Professor loans Luigi his back-mounted, ghost-sucking device, gives him a little training in the arts of catching the ethereal buggers, and sends him off to clean up the mansion and rescue Mario. Before Luigi leaves to begin the epic task, the Professor also slides him a Game Boy Horror PDA, which will allow them to communicate, as well as providing Luigi with a map and stats of the mansion, as he gets on with purging the evil.

How to Suck

Now that the mission is clear, Luigi needs to carefully trek through the entire mansion, room by room, and eliminate all the nasties in order to get to his captive brother. And so the task of getting to grips with the controls kicks in. To successfully wrangle a ghost into your vacuum cleaner, you first need to turn off your flashlight to coax them out of the darkness. Once the ghoulie has appeared, he'll try and attack you, so some quick reflexes are required to zap him quickly with light, which will expose his heart. Once in this stunned state, Luigi can suck him into his upstream, and by wrestling the controller's analog sticks in the opposite direction to the ghost, you'll be able to suck it up and eliminate the threat. Different ghosts have varying amounts of health -- represented by a number floating above the creature -- which must be drained to zero during the "suck" procedure.

The real fun starts when you're getting chased by four or five ghosties at once, but with a little practice and skill, it's entirely possible to combo-suck multiple ghosts up at once. This leads to bragging rights among friends and also greater points. Oh yeah, the points. Throughout the entire game, there is potential for Luigi to "earn" around $150,000,000 in cash, gold coins, gems, pearls and gold bars. Sounds like quite a bit of cash? Well it is, and the amount you gather as you progress directly affects your ranking grade at the end of the game. Cash can be found pretty much everywhere in the game, and by vacuuming practically every object you come across (chandeliers, chairs, carpets, curtains, desks, lamps etc) you'll find more and more hidden loot -- a maybe even the odd trap or hidden bonus critter.

Next: Puzzles and Familiar Faces...

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