There’s a misconception among some journalists and Nintendo fans concerning the original Luigi’s Mansion, that the 2001 GameCube launch title is somehow underrated, largely unappreciated and because of this, the upcoming Luigi’s Mansion 2 for 3DS may suffer a similar fate.
It’s easy to see where this came from. Nintendo’s decision to make Luigi the star of the GameCube’s debut instead of Mario was largely criticised for good reason. The publisher had achieved impressive sales figures pairing a new Mario game alongside hardware. Case in point, Game Boy (Super Mario Land), Super Nintendo (Super Mario World), Nintendo 64 (Super Mario 64) and Game Boy Advance (Super Mario Advance). Opting for the famous plumber’s less popular brother wasn’t just risky. It was a break from tradition.
We’ll never know how the Cube would have faired had it launched with a new Mario adventure, but one thing’s clear: Luigi’s Mansion is in no way underrated.
First, the game went on to sell over three million copies. Not bad for a title that involved sucking up ghosts with a tricked out vacuum cleaner.
By comparison, Super Mario Sunshine cracked the six million mark, doubling Mansion’s sales. An impressive number, clearly, but we expected a much bigger gap, given Mario’s worldwide recognition.
Not only that, but Luigi’s Mansion holds 79 per cent and 78 per cent review averages onGamerankings and Metacritic, respectively; you might as well round up to 80. Pretty good, considering Gamerankings lists 60 reviews; for reference, Super Mario Sunshine has a commanding 91 per cent average, but it’s significantly more ambitious.
Taking all of this into account, Luigi’s Mansion was a success, and we expect an even better reception for the sequel, which will only benefit from not having to carry a system launch.
That said, cross your fingers that Nintendo releases it sooner than later.