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Published by: Ninetendo Developed by: Nintendo ESRB Rating: E for Mild Violence For: GameCube

Luigi\'s Mansion is a game I would call fair. It has a fair story, fair visuals, and fair sound. The game itself is too short, however. Mario is missing*, and Luigi, Mario\'s out-of-the-spotlight brother has to find him. It all starts in a mansion that Luigi won in a contest he didn\'t enter. The mansion is haunted by spirits of paintings done by a ghost painter. Luigi has to search the mansion for Mario, exploring it\'s many rooms and passages, each often shifting to another, making the going extremely difficult.

Though it is not the game that fans would expect out of the Mario series, it is still a short, enjoyable romp through a haunted mansion. Armed with a vacuum cleaner known as the Poltergust 3000, Luigi and his mad scientist friend, must work together to save Marion from the evil King Boo. Before you can get to the King Boo, there are 50 Boo\'s (just ghosts that are afraid of your face, but love your back) to catch, and bosses (what else would you expect from a Mario Bros. game?) that will, depending on the amount of damage they take from the first suck of the Poltergeist, will be put into portraits with gold, silver, and bronze frames, respectively. Say the first suck the ghost takes 80 damage. The ghost will then go into a silver frame when you take it back to your mad scientist friend.

There are about 20 different bosses, but they aren\'t widely spaced, meaning that you could get from one boss to the next in twenty minutes. The real schmeal with this game is the sound, being extremely well done. With the press of a button, you can call for Mario, though it will do you little good. You can hear Luigi\'s individual footsteps, and the click of his flashlight when he turns it on. Sudden gusts of wind occur too, and you hear the howling of the wind as well as the subtle creaking of the house. Doors will suddenly slam shut; in the truest sense, the sound in this game is that to rival Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader.

The game has you finding Mario\'s personal belongings (hat, star, etc.), and finding elements that will help take down various types of ghosts, such as fire ghosts, which are weak to water, and vice versa. There is not a lot of typical-platform box pushing, so the focus is on Luigi finding Mario, instead of finding little boxes with keys and money. Contrary to that sense, this game is more of a puzzle game than a platformer. You have to find keys and alternative ways to get into other rooms, such as finding a way to get into the locked room through the chimney. (Oops...said too much there.) In that sense, the game is a lot like Super Mario World 2: Yoshi\'s Island, for the SNES and soon for the Gameboy Advance. From a Christian perspective, this game is dark, considering it\'s premises with ghosts and hauntings, even though it is a very light-hearted game. There is also a part with a fortune teller, and I do object to that. (She too is a ghost.) This game is not the game that fans expected, and many believe that the system will hit off when the \'true\' games and sequels come onto the system in 3rd quarter 2002 and 1st quarter 2003. The game itself will not hold over the most avid fans, so it is worth at least a rental from them, but for the more casual fan, this is the perfect game to pick up at any time.

Final Ratings

Appropriateness C Game play A Graphics B Sound A+ Control A+

Overall 88%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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