Gamestyle Archive intro: seems like only yesterday we were waiting for the Gamecube and one of the lead titles was Luigi’s Mansion. This preview is from June 2001, writer JJ.
RELEASE: Europe Easter 2002
Nintendo are well known for only releasing games when they are finished and not beforehand. Details of all the forthcoming Nintendo Gamecube titles have been kept firmly under control by the company, no doubt to keep secret many innovative features. When it comes to Gamecube previews this is all the more harder, because we don’t really have much to go on or comment about. Based on the movies and information available, Gamestyle presents its first albeit short Gamecube preview.
We all know Mario but what about his younger brother Luigi? This is his first solo game and like incorrect initial reports wasn’t put together between projects but was conceived as a fully-fledged title. All we need to say is two words, Shigeru Miyamoto.
There has been talk recently of the need to make Mario and his clan more appealing to gamers of all ages and not just kids. Luigi’s Mansion is the first title to be developed under this new initiative. Everyone first thought that the Gamecube would be the first Nintendo console to launch without a Mario title in its ranks and that Luigi’s Mansion would be the main focus. However with the recent Spaceworld announcement that a Mario title does exist, although in what state isn’t known, it could be that Luigi is pushed aside by his older brother. Whatever the case, Mario will feature in Luigi’s Mansion but on a minor scale. One genre featured highly in our recent Console Rage feature was platformers that are synonymous with Mario and Nintendo in general. It therefore comes as a pleasant surprise that what has been seen so far of Luigi’s Mansion does not include any platforms!
The storyline is that Luigi has inherited a mansion and decides to visit his windfall along with his brother (Mario) who will meet him when he arrives. It becomes obvious to Luigi that not only is the mansion haunted but that his brother has vanished, no doubt taken by some unseen force. It’s therefore up to Luigi to rescue his brother and rid the house of all supernatural activity. That’s all 90 plus rooms one by one needing to be cleared. The only help that you will receive is from a friendly ghost expert who offers advise, apart from that you only have a torch and vacuum cleaner to do the job. Brings back memories of Ghostbusters on the Spectrum. More items that you can equip have been promised and added to your vacuum cleaner, with only a water-spraying item having been confirmed so far. These will no doubt prove useful in solving the many puzzles that will stand in your way.
Although Luigi and the Casper inspired ghosts are quite comical, Nintendo have tried to convey a sense of being alone, claustrophobia and apprehension. Make no doubt; this game isn’t a Resident Evil or Alone In The Dark more a humorous Nintendo take on such intense games. The use of the torch in the game is very important and similar to that used in the recent version of Alone In The Dark. Ghosts easily scare Luigi and therefore unexpected surprises will result in loss of health and much screaming! From what we’ve seen the graphical power of the Gamecube as been put to good effect. Real time lighting, shadows and reflections are all in evidence as you scour room after room with your only source of light. Everything you see within the mansion is interactive, the typical Nintendo stance – no pre-rendered backgrounds here!
Ever since Mario 64 most 3D games have struggled to put together a controllable and effective game camera. Luigi’s Mansion features a unique camera in the fact that walls dissolve thereby offering you a better viewpoint and not spoiling the experience. Once you’ve seen Luigi’s Mansion in motion you have no doubt what a fun, exciting and fast game this will be to play. What we know so far has given rise to more questions such as will the GBA plug into the game and allow you to use it as a map/ghost sensor? We already know that Luigi has a Gameboy in the game that does the same job. How much of a role will Mario play in the game?
Whatever questions we have this is a must have purchase on launch day, roll on 2002.