Nintendo at its most creative
The gameplay consists of two main elements: battling ghosts with your fancy poltergust 5000 vacuum cleaner, and puzzle-solving. Both elements are very meticulously wound together to create an awesome, solid experience. Fighting ghosts involves first stunning them with your flashlight, then a battle to suck them into the hoover, a bit like fishing, just without the calm. It may sound odd, but when you start, you're bound to get addicted. Along the way you'll meet various types of ghosts with various personalities. This helps the game feel fresh and exciting.
Then there's the puzzle-solving. In the mansions, you'll come across contraptions and puzzles that require you to think very carefully about how you use your flashlight and vacuum cleaner. It probably sounds like it gets old very quickly and the puzzles get repetitive, but they don't. Some of the solutions are just ingenious. There's another addition called the Darklight, which can find hidden objects (a bit like the lens of truth from Zelda).
At the end of each mansion there is a boss that requires you to use both your flashlight and Poltergust in clever ways. The boss of the first mansion introduced a genius amount of puzzle-solving, so I was disappointed when the bosses later on didn't and were simplistic and unmemorable.
The story mode takes about fifteen hours to complete. And then there's the multiplayer, which is local and online. There are so many modes, all of which are exciting. The aim is always to complete a floor in a mansion with your teammates and then progress. To complete the floor, you must do different things depending on the mode, for example hunt down all the ghosts in five minutes, or find all the hidden objects. You can specify the amount of floors in the mansion when selecting the settings, and also select the difficulty, and the mode. This extreme flexibility allows for even novices to be able to play. It holds up to four players. You can play online or local. You can play with friends or search for random groups. You can even play on your own. So many options, and so flexible.
Without the online, Luigi's Mansion would have been a great game. But with all the other options, it's a masterful achievement.