Monday, July 23, 2012

Review: Luigi's Mansion

Luigi's Mansion is a game released as a Gamecube launch title back in 2001. It is rather interesting because it is unlike most Mario games. Instead of playing as Mario and stomping Goombas, you play as Luigi and suck up ghosts using the Poltergust 3000, a vacuum like machine.

The game starts with Luigi winning a "fabulous" mansion. Mario, seeing it as suspicious, run off to check out the mansion himself. After hearing no word of Mario, Luigi then goes. He makes it to find not a fabulous mansion, but an old, creepy, run down mansion. He walks inside to find an old dark foyer and a bunch of locked doors. After looking, he sees a glowing ball carrying a key, which it then drops. Luigi grabs the key and uses it to unlock a door to a parlor, to then be greeted by an unwanted ghost, who is then
attacked by Professor Elvin Gadd. The ghost, however, gets out of Gadd's clutches. He then takes Luigi back to his lab and tells him about ghosts and capturing them. He then gives him the Poltergust 3000 and the Gameboy Horror. As I mentioned before, the Poltergust 3000 is used to capture ghosts. The Gameboy Horror is used to keep track of caught ghosts, check maps and check surroundings in order to make Luigi say funny things. After that Luigi starts his quest to search the mansion and save his brother.

The game is fairly simple and fairly fun. The controls are very good, no complaints. There is one problem I do have and that is replay value. After you beat the game, it starts over and you must catch all the ghosts all over again. What you do get is the Hidden Mansion, which is basically a harder mode of the game. In my opinion, the game is long, but short at the same time, but it was a launch title so it isn't going to be pure gold.

Hey look, pure gold!

Something that really interests me about the game is beta elements. If you were to play this then see the original, you would probably be shocked. First off is the game over sequence. In the beta, the sequence would show a rather messed up and dreary picture of Luigi leaving the mansion in a deep depression (please be careful looking at this if you have younger siblings who scare quite easily.)

Is the murder over?

Yes, that's Luigi, after he lost the game and didn't make it to Mario. Apparently, Nintendo realized this would probably scar many children for life, so they replaced the creepy britches leaving the mansion game over with Luigi losing his health, dropping to the floor dead, the screen turning black and white and the phrase"Good night!" appearing in eerie letters game over. It may sound mind scarring, but it is rather comical.

Yeah, that's less scary. Moving on, crew!
Next is the ghosts. Originally, the had noses, sharp teeth and rather weird and more realistic eyes. They took away the noses and made the eyes and teeth more cartoonish. Here are some pictures below. Originals will be shown first, then the in game versions.
The second strongest. He fits the description more.

The weakest. Note he doesn't have
a nose.

The strongest. He is rather large and looks like before. 

Two other ghost. They are probably
weaker versions of the ghosts seen above. 

The three main variants after more work and polishing. 

Along with these, I found this from the beta.

Luigi's nighmares are real now.

Obviously, this is of Luigi screaming. This was possibly taken out for the same reason of the game over screen, to prevent panic attacks because Luigi is seen screaming in the game a lot, but not to this extreme. 

For a launch title, the graphics are definitely good. Though not the best, they still show the big switch between Nintendo 64 and Gamecube. This was only the beginning of the switch so many more was to come, if not more. They also do fit the game nicely, with a combination of cartoonish and eerie. They indeed are not bad during Mario's switch between laid back to slightly serious. Check and mate, moving on.

This I may not have much to say on because there is not much music to hear. The most used tune is the normal mansion theme, which is remixed between these circumstances, creepy organ when in a hallway, Luigi whistling when in a cleared room of any sort and monsters growling when in an uncleared room. Each boss has its own song and they are all very well made and fit the boss quite clearly. Sounds are very well especially the famous Luigi yelling, "Mario". What I like is that Luigi's tone changes depending on how healthy he is, from curious and positive when healthy to scared and upset when weak. 

This game is a good game for your collection, no exceptions. It may not be 100% strong, but it is still fun and eerie in ways. If you like weird and mysterious, get it. If you don't, still try it. It does make a good time consumer any time. Also if you like it, please try the sequel, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon which comes to 3DS this holiday season, well, if anyone has a 3DS. Thank you and enjoy all that comes in the future.




Sunday, July 15, 2012

Place of the Day: Glitz Pit

Today's place of the day is the Glitz Pit in Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. It is a floating arena and is the location of the third Crystal Star. It includes many fighters including its champion, Rawk Hawk. Along with him is a shifty fight promoter named Grubba.
The fighting arena
Rawk Hawk, the champion

In the game, Mario watches Rawk Hawk fight and hold what appears to be a Crystal Star on his champion belt. He then enters the fights under the alias "The Great Gonzales". Mario then goes up in rank until he meets The Armored Harriers, who are nearly invincible. Mario battles them only to lose. He then learns a solution by using his new friend, a baby Yoshi who Mario saved from being roasted, in the battle.       
The Armored Harriers

Yoshi Kid

After a small scuffle with Rawk Hawk, Mario and Friends learn that the Crystal Star on his belt is fake, which starts to turn the whole thing into a sort of mystery. Mario finally gets to battle Rawk Hawk, only for him to be locked in an unused locker room. Mario finds his way out and hits the arena. He beats Rawk Hawk, gets the belt and discovers another twist. After investigating, Mario finds Grubba using a machine powered by the Crystal Star along with fighters to make himself more powerful. Using the machine, he turns himself into Macho Grubba, a powerful beast.

Macho Grubba

After a long fight, Mario beats Grubba and receives his third Crystal Star. He then continues onward.

Seven Wonders
When at the Glitz Pit, Mario learns of the Seven Wonders of the Glitz Pit from one of the fighters. Each one has exactly something to do with the story. I tried my best to keep the answers out of the summary, but here are said wonders.

The Sealed Wall- The remains of fallen fighters are supposedly kept behind a wall in the minor league locker room.

The Man-Eating Toilet- A toilet in one of the major league locker rooms is said to swallow anyone up that tries to use it.

The Stairs of Mystery- An extra room in the Glitz Pit has a second floor but no stair. From it groaning voices are heard. 

The Haunted Boudoir- The champion's room is supposedly haunted because voices are heard whispering from nowhere. Many believe they are from fallen fighters who lost to the champion.

The Spooky Ring Lights- Strange looking lights are said to be seen from the ring doors even though no one is in there.

The Missing Ones- Many of the fighters tend to go missing, including the first champion, Prince Mush, and a few opponents fought by Mario.

Grubba and Jolene- Grubba is said to be past sixty but looks beyond toned for his age. Jolene is Grubba's assistant and the later fight promoter after Grubba is defeated, as I never explained her. Anyway, she would tend to go missing almost randomly, like a ghost. 

That's the end of this issue. Thank you and please continue.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Place of the Day: Old Chateau

New segment, more content. Please enjoy.

My first walk through is on Old Chateau, an old haunted mansion in Pokemon Diamond, Pearl and Platinum. It is hidden in the Eterna Forest and requires cut for access.
Old Chateau in all its glory

What I like about this place is that it, well, is haunted. We have our friend Gastly, who only appears at first. Seems a little dull. Well, if you own any Game Boy Advance Pokemon games and  if they are inserted into an original DS or DS lite with the game, then you will be able to catch Haunter and even Gengar if you adventure the 2nd floor. Also, if you complete your Regional Pokedex (in Diamond and Pearl, you only need to earn you 2nd badge and have cut in Platinum), then you can come to this place at night (the fun way) or fast forward your DS clock and catch rotom in the TV room. Here is its map below, please zoom it in to see it correctly.

Gastly, Haunter and Gengar
Rotom the TV phantom

Any of these games can be used to catch
Haunter and Gengar

What I like most about the Old Chateau is the two ghosts that appear. One is of a little girl and an old man, apparently a butler. The girl appears on the 2nd floor if you were to go into the room right from the middle room, and she appears in the next room to the right. The butler appears in the dining room and floats away, appearing to go right through a wall. They look just like normal people, but unlike them, the they don't appear to move with a walking motion, but instead appear to slide across the room motionless, giving away the ghost idea.
Me, 2nd time, seeing the "floating":
"Yikes, a ghost?! Wait. He went through
a wall?! That's weird!
Me, very 1st time, ignoring the "floating",
"Hmm... What's that girl doing there?"

Also, when they are seen, your character is frozen in place until the ghost is gone, so you can't just ask it questions. Oh well, I guess we just have to leave some mysteries unsolved. 

Thank you for reading and be expecting more in the future.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Review: Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door is the second game in the Paper Mario series which was released on the Gamecube and was released in 2004. Like its prequel, it is an Rpg adventure that like other, involves turn based battles and it has its own special paper like format. Unlike the first game, though, this paper world is taken to an advantage and is treated more like the world is actual paper and not just for looks. Examples include having the ability to turn to a paper airplane, tube or boat.

We start with Mario getting a letter from the Princess telling him to meet her in a slightly run down town called Rogueport, saying she has to tell him something. Along with the letter, he gets an old treasure map. He travels there to not find Peach, but a bunch of goons who are known as the X-nauts attacking a Goomba girl named Goombella. He saves her from the X-nauts and their commander, Lord Crump.
Mario, Goombella and the X-nauts
Mario is then taken to Professor Frankly, a Goomba professor. He then tells Mario of the Crystal Stars, seven gem like stars that are said to unlock the Thousand Year Door, which is rumored to have a great treasure behind it. Frankly also tells Mario that his treasure map is used to track down the Crystal Stars. After then, the official adventure begins to unfold. 

The graphics in the game are definitely good. Like already mentioned, they are styled after paper. It is also has a rather cartoon-like touch, making enemies like Goombas look a little more cuter than terrifying, if they actually were terrifying. Mario's surroundings are also pleasing to look at, as they are 3D looking and resemble something made completely out of paper and also have nice colors on them. Along with 3D looks, many giant bosses in the game have hit the graphic update as well.
Cortez from The Thousand Year Door.
Cortez in-game
vs. Lava Piranha from Paper Mario. 

 Overall, graphics pass the test. 

Sounds are well recorded and really fit into the game. Besides Mario and Bowser's voice-like squeals, there are no voices, so no comment on that. The music in the game is very good and fits its environments very well, ranging from calm, excited, creepy and weird. Like sounds, the music does not sound cheap or quickly made and is rather interesting to hear. In my opinion, the music in this game is the best in the Paper Mario series. 

This game is a definite must for your game collection. If you have a Wii, Gamecube controller and Gamecube memory card, then I would recommend looking for a used copy of the game at your local Gamestop or E B Games. The controls are easy to use so not complains anywhere. Boss battles may get difficult at times but training and strategy is the answer to this. Anyway, this game passes my little test and I highly recommend it.