Tag Archives: GameCube

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon tasks you to ghost hunt like a pro

luigi mansion dark moon initial impressions

During my junior and senior years of college, I dated a girl called the Giraffe. Relationship stuff notwithstanding, she played videogames in a fairly casual manner, except for a few specific titles like Crash Team Racing and Pikmin, which she ate up with glee. In fact, I was there the day she bought her Nintendo GameCube, slyly suggesting she also pick up Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, an RPG I knew she’d never like, but one that I was most definitely curious over; to sum up that game, not so good. As we dated, her GameCube collection grew, and one game we ended up enjoying together was the original Luigi’s Mansion, but for altogether different reasons.

In Luigi’s first ghost-hunting adventure, he ends up in a haunted mansion after winning a contest that he never entered. He told his brother Mario to meet him there to celebrate his…uh, victory. Upon arrival, Luigi realizes that Mario arrived before him, but is now missing somewhere within the mansion. To help Luigi find his red-coloring sibling, an old professor named Elvin Gadd equips him with the Poltergust 3000, a vacuum cleaner used for capturing ghosts, and a Game Boy Horror, a device used for communicating with Gadd. You then explore the mansion room by room, sucking up ghosts and looking for any clues related to Mario’s disappearance. It’s a very charming game, with a lot of style and cartoonish sense of horror, and that’s what the Giraffe ate up the most. She would literally spend fifteen minutes just walking around a room pressing the “Call out to Mario” button, eating up Luigi’s uncertain, shivering tone. Me, I actually liked playing the game, though I never got too far into it.

Some ten-plus years later, and we now have a sequel with Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for the Nintendo 3DS. This time, the adventure is set in a region called Evershade Valley, which is where Professor E. Gadd lives in his laboratory and studies friendly ghosts. The Dark Moon, which hangs above Evershade Valley, shatters thanks to a nefarious Boo, which causes all the local ghosts to suddenly become hostile. Luigi is summoned by E. Gadd to re-collect the five pieces of the Dark Moon, scattered in different mansions, to restore peace.

Currently, I’m still in the first mansion, and it’s been a lot of light-hearted, ghost-sucking-up fun, hampered by all things Professor E. Gadd. Firstly, he talks way too much, calling you constantly on your Nintendo DS phone device thingy. And this isn’t helped by the fact that he sounds completely like an Ewok. I’ve been rushing through his dialogue as quickly as possible, even though there are some great zingers to be read. I really enjoy sucking in ghastly ghosts via the enhanced Poltergust 5000, which can be likened to many fishing mini-games, where once you have a ghost “hooked” you need to pull in the opposite direction its moving to “reel” it in. And every new room feels like an unopened present, especially since there is so much that Luigi can interact with–blowing ceiling fans to reveal hidden floors, sucking up window curtains, moving rugs, exploring vases and desk drawers. My gaming OCD doesn’t allow me to leave a room until I’ve fully explored every crevice and interactive set piece, and that’s just fine by me.

Luigi may be all shivers and quivering words, reluctant to see what’s behind the next door, but I’m pretty excited to explore onwards. Will report back later if anything else surprises me about Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon though I suspect it’s going to kind of be a lot like the first mansion, but four more times until the end credits roll. Have not been able to unlock the online multiplayer stuff yet though my non-love for online multiplayer experiences tells me to try it once and then promptly ignore it. We’ll see.

30 Days of Gaming, #6 – Most annoying character

Hmm…something about this feels familiar. Oh, right. That’s because last November, I wrote up a little post about my top five most annoying videogame sidekicks, focusing in on the sidekicky aspect of the business. I mean, adventuring into the unknown is one thing, but doing it with a chatty brat is another. Sure, any of those could easily get smashed into bits by today’s 30 Days of Gaming topic train, but I decided to think some more and found a few other contenders. And we’re going with Tom Nook, simply for his sheer audacity to never, ever change.

Tom Nook is a raccoon tanuki that runs a shop called Nook’s Cranny in your town in all versions of Animal Crossing. He starts out as a nice fella, giving you a home to live in. One small caveat though: you’ll have to pay him for it, and he’s okay with payments over time, so long as you eventually pay it off. Once you do, he’ll expand your house, opening up more rooms to decorate…so long as you keep paying him, too. That’s fine. That’s kind of how it works in real life, minus the talking raccoon, I think.

Where he gets truly annoying is in his shop. You enter Nook’s Cranny (clean thoughts, dear readers!), and he welcomes you, and gives you a list of options. You do your things, peruse his wares, and leave, but not before he can get the last word in: “Thank you! Do come again! I look forward to seeing you!” You can never just enter and leave uninhibited, like countless RPGs that let you waltz into that potions shop, knock over some bottles, and leave before anyone notices. No, not at Nook’s Cranny. Not in Nook’s book. He will greet you, he will part with you. He never breaks form. He’s like that Obama smile video. He’s like braindead. He’s like…overtly annoying.

And then he follows you around the store, like a used cars salesman, like a true furniture pusher, like an ex-lover with a vengeance. You can run rings around his desk of player tools, but he’ll catch up to you eventually. Unfortunately, the only way to determine what some of the wallpapers/carpets are is to ask him, and you have to then mash the buttons until you can get him to stop.

You want more? Evidently, after you’ve fully upgraded his shop to Nookington’s, Tom will randomly ask you some questions, and the wrong answers will result in him downgrading the store back to its original format. All that shopping…for nothing.

I’m pretty excited about all the possibilities that Animal Crossing 3DS could hit on the head, but if Tom Nook is around, well, I’m gonna be several hundred thousand bells short of excitement.

FIRST HOUR REVIEW – The Hobbit

If you’re an attentive Grinding Down reader, then you’ll clearly remember me picking up The Hobbit (GameCube version) recently. Well, I’ve now played the first sixty minutes of it, and you can read about all the exciting stuff that happened during said time over at The First Hour: http://firsthour.net/first-hour-review/the-hobbit

When asked if I’d continue playing, I answered “yes.” Alas, I’ve yet to dive back into The Hobbit and sneak past those three trolls, but I will. All in due time. Hey, Frodo didn’t destroy the One Ring in a day after all!

The road goes ever on, but only if you have a GameCube memory card

Chip the glasses and crack the plates!
Blunt the knives and bend the forks!
That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates -
Smash the bottles and burn the corks!

Bilbo Baggins also most definitely hates the entire population of Hobbiton. As he should. They’re nothing but a bunch of silly fetch quest givers, and shame on them for that. I mean, don’t they have better things to worry about? Like fourth breakfast or picking lice out of their hairy feet? Hogwash, I say. But I’m getting ahead of myself, even though, truthfully, I don’t get very far. You’ll see what that means in just a moment.

Tara and I were able to borrow an old GameCube controller from her brother so that we could test out the waters on Animal Crossing, LEGO Star Wars II, and The Hobbit. I literally looked everywhere on the Nintendo Wii to figure out where to plug this blasted thing in; the slots were hidden under a flap, next to another hidden flap; then, after starting the Wii up, I sat there pressing A on the GameCube controller like some kind of human reject, not realizing that we still needed to use a Wii controller to get to the main menu screen. Yup, smells like dragon dung already. Two very awkward controllers sat on my lap. Why can the Wii use a controller to play an earlier console’s games, but not allow it to function as a menu selecting tool? Is the science really that hard? Ugh.

Anyways, The Hobbit. It’s the prelude to The Lord of the Rings, and I know it in and out, up and down, left and right, troll and orc, wolve and eagle, and so on. I’m mostly playing it to see how they handle the story, which is its most important aspect. The 2003 title hits the high and low end in the graphics department. In-game cutscenes and graphics are horrific and bland, with Bilbo’s mouth moving as if his jaw is ready to fall off any minute. Yet, there’s these storytelling sequences that use hand-drawn art and are voiced over by a decent Gandalf, which are surprisingly potent. I almost want to just watch them all in chronological order and call it the movie we’ve all been waiting for. Sorry, Rankin/Bass.

Alas, I did not play much of The Hobbit. I could not. Only got through Bilbo’s dream sequence and then wandered around Hobbiton for a bit, accepting stupid quests from stupid hobbity neighbors. Seriously, Hobbiton natives. Bilbo is not your bitch. That should be on a t-shirt. What was holding me back, you ask? It’s not like the difficulty is cranked up higher than Ciroth Ungol on a day when every orc has off. Memory, dear readers. Memory held me back. To be more specific, not having a GameCube memory card. Again, the Nintendo Wii fails to impress me as a piece of future tech in that it also can’t save data from GameCube games to its own, built-in harddrive. The dragon dung pile gets smellier.

Saving one’s progress is very important to me. Even if it’s only 30 minutes worth, or 15 minutes worth, or even five minutes worth. I want that experience locked in so I don’t have to repeat myself. And so I knew that I needed to stop sooner than later in The Hobbit, not wanting to get too far, to lose too much.

I visited the local GameStop during my lunchbreak to see if they sold any GameCube memory cards. Nothing was visible out on the floor, and they only had one guy working behind the counter. He was pretty busy with a line of middle-aged women, one asking about something called Dead Spaced Tools. Seriously, that’s what she asked for. Dead Space 2 much? So I’ll try again tomorrow. Once I do get hold of this legendary GameCube memory card, it’s go time for Bilbo and his gaggle of dwarves. Also, I can’t help but feel like this would make for an interesting review over at The First Hour. Do I even need to call dibs?

Our latest and greatest videogame purchases

Tara and I went shopping over the weekend. I bought jeans and two flannel-infused shirts that go well with–wait, what? You don’t care about the good deals I got on clothes from Kohl’s? Hmph. I see how it is. Bunch of anti-fashionistas. I guess you’d prefer me to talk about all the many videogames purchased this weekend. I guess your wish is about to get…granted!

Warning: this list of games bought is going to blow your mind. Can’t say from what. Surely not the total awesomesauce. Maybe more from the randomness, the WTFs. Steel yourself!

Paul’s Purchases

It was selling for a cool $39.99, and the Internet will not shut up about how good it is. Haven’t touched the multiplayer except for the tutorial level. Oh, I tried. Waited for 15 minutes to have it log me into a new session…and then summarily kick me out. Boo-hoo. Single-player is a much improved performance over the original Assassin’s Creed. Never got to play Assassin’s Creed II. Anyways, if anyone wants to help me give online multiplayer a try, my Xbox Live Gamertag is PaulyAulyWog. Please?

It was dirt cheap. I’ve played maybe an hour of it and also tried Firefight by myself. I’m a smidge above a vacuum. Meh.

Oh man. Where do I begin? Actually, let’s just keep this short. Now that we have our Nintendo Wii set up in the Leaky Cauldron, I’d like to catch up on some GameCube games I never got to play. Such as Pikman and Windwaker and Luigi’s Mansion. All in good time though. And I believe I’ve also previously mentioned my obsession with all things Lord of the Rings. Now, here’s the real tough question; did this version of The Hobbit cost me $1.99, $2.99, $3.99, or $4.99?

It cost less than The Hobbit, and its cover made me laugh.

Tara’s Purchases

This is now our third version of this game owned. Tara’s more interested in it than the Wii version because the controls are simpler. Plus, I heard that you can actually play old Nintendo games within this game–wicked! She liked the sound of that, too. It’ll be curious to experience this version last, seeing as I started out on Animal Crossing: Wild World and then moved on to Animal Crossing: City Folk. Granted, they are, more or less, the same game, but the minute differences are actually where it counts the most.

Mmm…LEGO games.

And those were our big purchases. The funny/annoying thing is that I assumed one could use the Wiimote to play GameCube games on the Nintendo Wii. Y’know, turn it sideways like a traditional controller. Nope. Because the GameCube controller was freakish and had so many random buttons. So we haven’t got to try any of our GameCube buys just yet. We also need an old memory card. The only good thing the Wii does is…uh, let you put the CD into its slot. Geez, it might have been easier just to buy an old GameCube system, but truthfully, we’ve run out of outlets and the back of our entertainment stand looks like the Great Cthulhu, but with wires instead of tentacles. Truly nightmarish.

Pretty sure Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Fallout: New Vegas, and some other games will be able to keep my attention busy until February, and then it’ll be time to travel through alternate dimensions in Radiant Historia.