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Summaryit's not your typical Mario game, but it's still tons of fun
The GoodThe graphics and sound were absolutely stunning when it came out. Very colorful, very whimsical, very, well, Mario-ish. The gameplay is fun (you control Luigi while he walks through a haunted house and suck up ghosts with your vacuum, just like in Ghostbusters). All the different rooms and ghosts are different, with different graphics, and somewhat different strategies used to proceed. The sound is just as good, everything's technically very neat and tidy.
The BadThe controls took a while to get used to (you use one set of controls on your joypad to control Luigi and another one to control your vacuum). Took me a while to get used to it but a more experienced action gamer might feel differently. But if the game is designed for young kids (it's Mario, after all), then it might be a tad too difficult.
There's zero replay value. Seriously, nothing to unlock really so the second game is essentially the same as the first.
Also, the game feels too short. Even though the graphics are stunning and every room of the house is different, it's still the same house and it doesn't have the same feel as most Mario games, where you discover entire worlds.
The Bottom LineThis is NOT a typical Mario brothers game. Keep that in mind.
Remember the original Mario for the NES? It came with the system (along with Duck Hunt), just to showcase the system. They should have done the same with this game and the GameCube. Hey, this is a short, not too demanding game that'll show you exactly what your new system can do. But as a seperate purchase it's still nice to own and more than adequate, but I can't shake the feeling that it would have been a better rep if it came bundled with the GameCube. Still, it's been republished under the "Player's Choice" budget games, and for that price it's a nice pickup if you like the whimsical colorful Mario stuff (and really, who doesn't?)
Of course, the problem with games that make you "Ooh" and "Aah" when you first get it because of their technical standards have one major problem: you won't "Ooh" and "Aah" any when you get the game for the first time years after it's release and more impressive stuff is on the market when you first see it. But so far, time's been kind to it - I can still fire it up and consider it a beautiful game. Ten years from now my opinion might be different.