Luigi’s Haunted Mansion thoughts

wrote up some thoughts on this game, in response to an analysis on Gamasutra by Josh Bycer (which I felt could have gone further).

(i’ve been storing up blog posts recently, thinking I’d go back and polish them before publishing. hasn’t happened. that’s why i’m just kinda crapping this one out.)

my comment:

i wish this [analysis] was more in depth.
I only made it maybe half way through Luigi’s Mansion. Vaguely remember feeling like i’d made a mistake with how I’d used a key (as if I couldn’t progress further because I’d spent it on the wrong door? not sure this was true). Just remember not knowing what to do next, and feeling very frustrated.
Also wasn’t a fan of the very slow movement speed, and revisiting areas. And I remember thinking “I thought Luigi was a great jumper. why can’t I jump at all?” … btw, I didn’t buy a gamecube until many months after release, and didn’t really play Luigi’s Mansion in earnest until about 2 years ago (when a friend insisted it was amazing).

I loved the rich design of the rooms and the complication of moving, flashlighting, and sucking. Thematically though, I think it failed : because it reminded me of Ghostbusters without coming close to the humor or scares of Ghostbusters. Other games like Fatal Frame also eschew violence in favor of a scared weak protagonist – but they feel more interesting because they really go for the horror. I think someone at Nintendo said “everyone loves those haunted mansion levels in the mario games, so lets just make a whole game like that!” But this was a mistake.
Like saying “everyone loves those volcano levels in Zelda, lets just make a whole game there!” The environment is only so beloved because it is contrasted with the others in an epic journey. When Mario steps into a haunted mansion, it contrasts his colorful happy costume, and all the levels we’ve just been in. and then it’s over quickly and we return to happy land. Once the game is over we remember “man that haunted level was the best.” blah blah. i’m sure I made this point. wish a more definitive comparison would spring to mind.

Anywho. There’s a sequel coming.

I also remember enjoying the ability to go to first person mode and look around for secrets in the first Luigi’s Mansion, and expect this first person mode will become something very special with the 3DS hardware. Perhaps even going into ARG territory? (maybe I’m just influenced by PSP’s Ghost Hunter game. maybe it’s not right for luigi at all. hmm).

I believe they mentioned the 3DS sequel will feature multiple mansions. sooo. Almost really excited. … Just feel like they need something to contrast the “g rated creepy fun” feel. Maybe just having a daytime cycle where the mansion has no ghosts would set it up for a creepier night time exploration. … Maybe like Sanctum (which I just played a ton this past weekned), a daytime cycle could let you setup for your night time assault on the mansion.

It’s weird how everyone seems to agree this game has potential, yet nobody seems to believe it will be realized?


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