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What is so great about the first Luigi's Mansion?

Oscarzx n

Member
May 24, 2018
637
Santiago, Chile
I hear all the time that Luigi's Mansion is a Masterpiece, an incredible and flawless game with an unmatched atmosphere and an experience with the best combat of all time and the best exploration in any game ever and an insane amount of replayability...... well I'm completely exaggerating but it's sort of that.

To me the game is fine and fun for what it is, but also too short, easy, the combat is uninteresting and while it looks like it has exploration it is actually very linear overall and the only reason why it is replayable is because it's short. Personally while I don't love Dark Moon I honestly like it more because while flawed it feels like a more cohesive experience to me.

I would really like to know why people like the first game so much consdiering what I said if you agree with it, to me all the love the game gets feels like nostalgia and nothing else.
 
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IanGrag

Member
May 1, 2018
395
This is a gross over generalization, but a lot of people, myself included, played it when we were young. I think it was my first “horror” themed game. It felt so unsettling compared to other Mario games I had played like 64 and Sunshine.

The mansion felt sprawling and limitless. I never knew what would happen next.

Then I played it last year and it took me three hours and I realized that that it was very linear, it was just very good at making you think it wasn’t.

It has the best atmosphere of the three games, but is far weaker in gameplay, variety, and basically everything else than LM3.

I think nostalgia and the game’s unique atmosphere are largely the cause of its reverence.
 

yuoke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
28,358
Short to the point that you can replay it a lot and it has stuff to replay for arcade style, sort of like starfox 64.
 
Nov 23, 2017
3,873
A thread maligning a beloved game that uses straw mans to challenge the fans of it to defend the game's honor right off the jump? Interesting to see how this one's gonna go...
 

HockeyBird

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
4,183
I've never seen anyone praise Luigi's Mansion in the way you are describing. I think a lot of people like it because it offered a unique and fun experience. It may be a few people's favorite game but I don't see a major consensus stating that it's one of the best ever.
 

Lant_War

The Fallen
Jul 14, 2018
10,909
It's like watching a good parody version of Resident Evil. I played it waaaay later when I had a Wii and it was still great.
 

verygooster

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,081
New Jersey
It was a different kind of GameCube launch title compared to releasing another Mario game and people latched on to the concept. It’s fine for the most part. It didn’t even review that amazingly from what I remember.
 

mopinks

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,772
it’s an extremely well-crafted and charming game that I’m really glad I didn’t pay full price for because it’s only three hours long
 

NeoZeedeater

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,446
It's a charming game that doesn't bog the player down with filler. Calling it a masterpiece would be hyperbole but very few fans of it do that.
 

Poltergust

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,498
Orlando, FL
I’m a person who has used this username since 2005 because of how much I love the first game.

Despite that, I can recognize that it is more of a tech demo than a full-fledged game, but it is still a great game that offers lots of replayability and great level design.

It is not, however, better than its sequels. The game has lots going for it but it severely lacks in features, combat design, and puzzle-solving. Not that what’s there is bad, but it doesn’t nearly go into enough depth at what it has to offer.

For example, you know those pads that flip Luigi’s gravity? Those look excellent for throwing some new puzzles your way! Except that only two rooms total have those pads and they’re only used for traversal, not puzzle-solving. They’re kinda pointless overall.

The sequels do a better job making Luigi use his entire kit, have more interesting combat encounters (bosses in Dark Moon were mostly bad, though), and have a much higher emphasis on puzzle-solving and rewarding exploration.

It also probably goes without saying that the animation work in the sequels is leaps and bounds better than what is in the first game, but that’s an unfair comparison since it was a GC launch title with Nintendo’s first attempt at creating Luigi’s modern design (he looks verrrrry off-model in the GC version).

I do question how much people put the first game on a pedestal compared to its sequels. It’s clear as day that it’s very rough around the edges, although I guess that does make it shine all the more brighter depending on how you look at it.
 

Fireblend

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,912
Costa Rica
I don't think you'll find many people who would describe LM like you did in the OP. That said, it's a well crafted game with a really good sense of humor and it pretty much defined who Luigi would be going forward.
 
Nov 23, 2017
3,873
It's a charming game that doesn't bog the player down with filler. Calling it a masterpiece would be hyperbole but very few fans of it do that.
I don't think you'll find many people who would describe LM like you did in the OP. That said, it's a well crafted game with a really good sense of humor and it pretty much defined who Luigi would be going forward.
This, OP was needlessly hyperbolic just to get a rise out of people.
 

ghostcrew

Spooking
Moderator
Oct 27, 2017
9,732
United Kingdom
Not sure where the newfound love for the game comes from but it doesn‘t reflect its reception at the time.
Yeah, the reflection to the game was pretty damn lukewarm at the time. I put some of that down to it not being a 'proper Mario game' (this coming at launch as the sole 'Mario universe' title when their previous console launched with genre defining Super Mario 64 was a bit of a bummer) but it was still fairly ok-ish for a Nintendo first party lauch title.

I like the game a lot obviously (hi look at my avatar) but it definitely wasn't seen as a masterpiece at launch.
 

PopsMaellard

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,879
To echo some of the replies here, I definitely haven't seen anyone talk about Luigi's Mansion 1 like that OP.

To me, what made it so special compared to Dark Moon and 3 was how charming it is. It's got so much personality, particularly with the more character driven ghosts that they completely scrapped in subsequent titles. I miss that a lot.
 
Nov 23, 2017
3,873
To echo some of the replies here, I definitely haven't seen anyone talk about Luigi's Mansion 1 like that OP.

To me, what made it so special compared to Dark Moon and 3 was how charming it is. It's got so much personality, particularly with the more character driven ghosts that they completely scrapped in subsequent titles. I miss that a lot.
3 has a ton of those though?
 
I hear all the time that Luigi's Mansion is a Masterpiece, an incredible and flawless game with an unmatched atmosphere and an experience with the best combat of all time and the best exploration in any game ever and an insane amount of replayability...... well I'm completely exaggerating but it's sort of that.
I've...never really heard anyone describe Luigi's Mansion in even a non-exaggerated version of that, though. The fairly overwhelming consensus was that it was a short-but-sweet launch game with a lot of creative interactivity, charm, and atmosphere, one which a lot of players still have fond memories of. It was never a game meant to light the world on fire; it was something neat to play through on Gamecube in the month or so before Melee came out.
 

bionic77

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,833
No one calls it a masterpiece.

I think the thing I remember it for most was the graphics and art, which were great for the time. Especially for a launch game.

As a game it was a perfect rental.
 

No Depth

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,680
I haven’t played 3 yet, but I did feel LM1 handled the tug of war a bit stronger than at least LM2. At least in my memories, it felt like the ‘fishing challenge’ hurled Luigi about the room as you always sort of felt yanked to and fro by the ghosts trying desperately to escape and it was a bit chaotic on screen, even if mechanically it wasn’t complex.

LM2(and LM3 from videos I’ve seen) look like it’s the inverse with Luigi more firmly capable and not flung about trying to keep the fishing line manageable. Luigi feels more planted and rarely jostled. I suppose some may not care, but the lack of a fight, at least visually, is missed.
 

Asbsand

Member
Oct 30, 2017
6,713
Denmark
It's unfiltered weirdness.

Luigi's Mansion 2 and 3 are focus-tested, genre-troped spooky-houses, but they're not actually strange or freaky. If it weren't for the amazing animation and graphics for respectively 3DS and Switch I think they're generic both to play and their content.
 

Apollo

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,029
As a kid, I was always astounded that Luigi could have his own game. It had an almost mythical quality to it as a result
 

Strat

Member
Apr 8, 2018
5,474
It had a totally different vibe. It's very very cohesive. That lends the game a very specific feel that's lost in 2 and 3. It's also not afraid to actually be dark, unlike 3, which is basically night light mode.
 

Polioliolio

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,968
I've been playing Luigi's Mansion 3. As neat as it is, and I do like it, it doesn't feel as intuitive, reactive, natural, as Luigi's Mansion. Also, Luigi's Mansion really feels like a horror game lite. It's spooky. Luigi's Mansion 3 (and I assume 2) feel like wacky cartoons. There is definitely a distinct real spooky vibe that exists in the first game that is completely absent in the sequels.

So for me, the original is great, and when I played it, I wasn't a child. Still enjoying the new one, but you can tell it's a completely different developer with different ideas, and as a horror fan, the tone is just a lot different, and that disappoints me in that regard.
 

Krejlooc

Indie Game Dev
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
19,391
I don't remember people describing Luigi's mansion like that. I remember it getting a lot of heat online when it launched and people were disappointed that it wasn't a "real" mario game.

FWIW, the TEV effects in Luigi's mansion were pretty mind blowing at the time and, right out of the gate, showed the GCN was no slouch. The first time I played the GCN, I got to play Rogue Squadron II and Luigi's Mansion all night at a lan party, and both sold me on the gamecube immediately. That was also the first night I saw Halo, too.
 

Yoshimitsu126

The Fallen
Nov 11, 2017
4,495
United States
The original game always felt like how the Mario team would tackle a horror game with the young Mario audience in mind.

The next level games games feel more western with their emphasis in graphics, cutscenes, and mission style base gameplay.
 
Feb 10, 2018
14,913
Who on earth said Luigi’s Mansion had the best combat, exploration or who said it was a flawless game lol.

It seems like you heard some Nintendo die hards trying to win a console war debate lol. People can say crazy stuff in those.
 

Dark Cloud

Member
Oct 27, 2017
35,640
I really liked it at the time. It was different from anything Nintendo put out and I thought it was great. Perception at the time was not so good on it though. As time has gone on it looks like its garnered better reception.
 

Hella

Member
Oct 27, 2017
14,655
I wrote a thread about it before from an artistic perspective. This thread is about how pure Luigi’s Mansion’s interactive narrative is:

https://www.resetera.com/threads/the-narrative-purity-of-luigis-mansion-and-telling-stories-with-mechanics.2876/
Wowser, this is excellent! I never would have considered Luigi's Mansion this way, but you've changed my mind completely. Storytelling through gameplay, done well, is so rare; now I wonder if I am just not noticing it...

Really fantastic write up.
 

CaptainK

Member
Oct 29, 2017
631
Err, I remember people being angrily disappointed when it was released. Previous Nintendo systems launched with Super Mario 64 and Super Mario World, so Luigi's Mansion felt like a huge step down. It was a novel idea and looked amazing, but it was also short, repetitive, and easy. You can replay it for a high score, but that seemed pointless when the best ending wasn't hard to get and the gameplay was pretty simple. Even during the GameCube days, Luigi's Mansion just seemed like a middle-of-the-road game, not a highly recommended one. *shrugs*
 

Mr-Joker

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,453
It's interesting seeing people say nostalgia when I didn't play the first game till October 2012 in preparation for Luigi Mansion 2: Dark Moon. And I still think that Luigi Mansion 1 is the better game of than mansion 2 and especially the hot garbage that is mansion 3.

Luigi Mansion had the better atmosphere it was spooky, creepy but still toned down enough to be a little bit cartoony, which was reflected in the ghost design. The Mansion itself also had character as you got a sense that it was mysterious that once was a family home which is tied to the human ghost who all added to the lore and had their own characters. Mansion 3 brought back the human ghost but failed to recaptured the same feeling as the ghost were just one and done and you don't even learn their names unless you opt to travel back down to E.Gadd's lab and view them there and even then they have no bio what so ever.

Also catching ghost was just more fun in mansion 1 as they had weight and you had to reel them in. Neither mansion 2 or 3 recaptured that feeling.

Mansion 1 was just lighting in a bottle due to how experimental and unique it was. Mansion 2 and 3 just made the series bland and sterile.
 

Ubik

Member
Nov 13, 2018
625
Canada
It made the decision to dump Nintendo for Playstation a pretty easy one when it was this vs. GTA 3 and I was 17. It's actually a pretty significant game in my gaming history because of that I suppose.
 

WickedCobra03

Member
Oct 27, 2017
654
Short to the point that you can replay it a lot and it has stuff to replay for arcade style, sort of like starfox 64.
Yeah, that, and I kind of liked that aspect of it. Plus, had really great graphics and was something totally different starting Luigi instead of Mario. It’s just an easy game to play, cute and like said, to the point!

Not earth shattering, but definitely a totally solid launch title, and I was surprised that it was so good as well!
 

Fat4all

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
28,001
bork land
I liked the atmosphere, and there was a lot of really nifty secrets and surprises to discover

I really liked replaying it as well
 
Jan 11, 2018
2,480
It was a unique game for Nintendo at the time, especially one from the Mario universe. I enjoyed the game quite a bit back when it released, and then replaying it for the first time since then recently. It had good atmosphere and charm, and unique mechanics with memorable puzzles and encounters.

Personally I prefer Next Level's work on the series, but I understand why this title is looked back upon fondly.
 

zoodoo

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,587
Montreal
It was a good launch game which is a rare thing. Very charming and straight to the point. It's not a masterpiece but many people got it at as a first game for the gamecube and it left a good impression on them.
 

Zero83

Member
Oct 29, 2017
339
Oslo
I have never heard anyone describe Luigi’s Mansion as a masterpiece.
Haven’t played it myself. At the time it seemed like an interesting and fun, but short experience.
 

Tokyo_Funk

Member
Dec 10, 2018
2,355
I found it boring, I could not put my finger on why. Went straight back to Metroid Prime after a few hours of play.