Posted in Old Games

Luigi’s Mansion

Happy Halloween everyone! In honour of one of my favourite annual events, and of the release of Luigi’s Mansion 3, I thought I would talk about the game that started off the moustachioed man’s Ghost-hunting career.

Even to this day I sometimes like to get out the Gamecube and play on some of the classic games in my collection, and Luigi’s Mansion is certainly one of them. The game came out 18 years ago in 2001, and was the first time I got to experience Luigi as a protagonist.

The game starts off with Luigi making his way to his new mansion … which he won in a contest … which he didn’t enter … If you thought this sounds suspicious, then congratulations! You have more sense that the Mario Bros. Luigi was meant to meet his brother, Mario, at the mansion, but he is no where to be seen, and the mansion itself is not quite as pictured on Luigi’s handy map!

It doesn’t take long for Luigi to discover that his mansion is in fact haunted. After an encounter with local oddball, Professor E. Gadd, Luigi is armed with the Poltergust 3000 (a vacuum cleaner…) and is ready to take on the hordes of ghosts that are plaguing the mansion and find his missing brother!

The game’s spooky aesthetic is perfect in my opinion, with Luigi constantly freaking out, the mansion in deep darkness, and the amazing theme music ominously plays throughout. Power returns to the rooms as Luigi clears them of ghosts, making that room a safe place for you and also replacing the theme with Luigi’s whistling version.

It’s not all sucking up random ghosts with your trusty Poltergust 3000 though, as there are larger ghosts with actual personalities who can be found across the mansion who act as the game’s mini bosses and actual bosses. They all take a certain amount of puzzle-solving to deal with, as you must flash your torch on their heart to be able to suck them up – but they don’t reveal their heart so easily! An example is one of the earlier Ghosts who is preoccupied with her appearance at a vanity table, but if you use the Poltergust 3000 to open the curtains, letting in a breeze, she will hastily close them again, showing you her heart in the process.

Besides all of this, there are collectibles for you to find as well, and the puzzle-solving gets a bit deeper as you progress, through the use of elemental medallions which allow you to use fire, water and ice as a means of dealing with certain ghosts and situations.

It would also be wrong of me to not mention the fantastically named Gameboy Horror, a gadget given to you by Prof. E. Gadd and a clear homage to the Gameboy Color. This is how the nutty professor keeps in touch with you whilst you are in the mansion. It also keeps track of what you’ve collected so far and also shows you the map of the mansion, giving you a good overview of where you’ve been and where you are going.

I could keep going on about how much I love this game, but I think I’ve said enough for now. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next installment and see what mischief Luigi has gotten himself into this time!


  • Platform: Nintendo Gamecube, Nintendo 3DS
  • Release Date: 14/09/2001-17/05/2002 (Region Dependant)
  • Rerelease Date: 12/10/2018-8/11/2018 (Region Dependant)
  • Genre: Adventure

Posted in New Games

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Oh how I love Animal Crossing! This is a franchise that I stumbled across on the Gamecube, and I am so happy to say that it has only got better and better as each new game has come out! As fans of the series find themselves counting down to the release of the next title, New Horizons, I thought I should take the time to talk about my favourite game in the series so far: Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Animal Crossing franchise, the games act as a sort of life simulation game. You are a human moving into a new town, which you will quickly notice is populated by sentient animals! There are 100s of different villages in Animal Crossing, but you can only have a small number of villagers at once. Some do decide to move away, leaving room for a new character to make an appearance!

There are many activities to keep you occupied in the games, such as fishing, bug catching, fossil collecting, donating exhibits to the museum to expand their collection, earning money to pay off your mortgage and expand your house, befriending your neighbour, and even connecting with friends and visiting their towns, or having them visit you! The game follows real time and has a full calendar year with all manner of events for you to take part in. No other game can claim to show off such a great spirit of community!

New Leaf challenged the conventions of the series by saying goodbye to Tortimer, the long-time mayor across the series, and instead you end up becoming mayor! As such, you will have a lot more control over what your town looks like, through the use of Public Works Projects. You will have a list of available projects, and these can range from something as small as a lamppost to something as big as a café!

Are you thinking that the burden of being mayor sounds like too much? Well don’t you worry about that! New Leaf introduced one of the nicest, sweetest characters in the world of video games – Isabelle! This adorable pooch will be your assistant, and she takes care of running special events in the town, helping you figure out where to put your Public Works Projects, and just generally being a lovely character to interact with!

Another thing that I really love about the franchise is how self-referential Nintendo is. There are so many different wallpapers, floors, furniture pieces, and clothing options that are a reference to other Nintendo games and characters! Even some of the villagers themselves are references! Keep an eye on Ganon the pig …

This game has been put into the Nintendo Selects line, which means that it’s standard retail price is £14.99, but I have seen it even cheaper than that in some places. This is a game I can’t recommend enough if you’re just looking for some casual fun, especially at such an incredible price! (It could also be a Christmas/birthday idea for any younger gamers in the family, as it is very easy to understand!)


  • Platform: Nintendo 3DS
  • Release Date: 08/11/2012-15-06-2013 (Region Dependant)
  • Genre: Life Simulation, Community

Posted in Old Games

The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time

This game will always have a special place in the gaming vault that is my heart.

It was the first game I ever played from the Zelda franchise, and it was the first game that I truly loved, securing the title of my favourite game ever (until Breath Of The Wild stole the title!).

As a child I was unable to complete the game, so I didn’t see the whole plot unfold until I tackled it again in my teens. Watching the credits roll felt like the perfect end to the perfect game, with a beautiful track and a gathering of all the characters you met on your journey. It was enough to bring a tear to my eye as I completed my favourite game for the first time, particularly as it took such a long time for me to actually accomplish this! I always find it quite upsetting to see Navi leave Link to return to the forest – it seemed bizarre and quite heart-breaking that after their incredible journey together, Navi would just disappear.

Speaking of Navi, it’s very possible that I’m the only person who has played this game that actually liked Navi. I thought she was a good companion character, and I suppose I found her to be a very helpful guide as a child. I thought it was nice to have a companion with you on such a long and perilous journey through Hyrule. Without Navi, Link would be completely alone until he visits the likes of Kakariko Village and Hyrule Castle Town.

Ocarina of Time gave me (and many others) my first taste of an open world, and it felt so good to explore. Travelling across Hyrule to see all the different areas there are to explore, trying to get to Hyrule Castle Town before they raise the drawbridge and night, fighting off hordes of Stalchildren if you’re caught out in Hyrule Field at night (or spending the night in the river where they can’t reach you if you’re not feeling up for a night-long fight), meeting all the locals of the settlements and seeing what they have to say, or what you can do for them. It actually holds a lot of parallels with modern day open world RPGs.

Ocarina of Time is split into two parts. The first part of the game where Link is still a child, and the second part which takes place 7 years in the future after Link is sealed in the sacred realm until he reaches an age where he can wield the Master Sword to defeat Ganondorf, the main antagonist.

This also adds an interesting element to the gameplay, as you have different tools available to you depending on your age. For example, Young Link has access to the boomerang and the slingshot, and can crawl through small holes to reach new areas. Adult Link has more advanced tools and weaponry such as the hookshot, the bow and arrow, and the megaton hammer.

The game also features a host of dungeons to be completed, some as Young Link and some as Adult Link (and one dungeon requires you to enter it at both time periods!). The dungeon format is fairly standard for the Legend of Zelda series. You explore the dungeon, fight enemies, solve puzzles, fight a mini boss which will get you a new item, this item will help you progress to new areas of the dungeon, and ultimately help you fight the boss at the end of the dungeon.

The bosses steadily get harder as the game goes on, and personally I think they’re satisfying to beat. They’re not too difficult, but provide a fair challenge.

In 2011, Nintendo gave us the 3DS remaster, and it is such an unbelievable treat! As good as the game was, it only got better with beautifully updated graphics, some tweaked controls such as the ocarina (which you will use frequently) getting it’s own touch screen button, instead of having to take up an item slot, and filled out environments! The game world had a complete rework with all sorts of environmental items being added in to make the areas look like they are truly teeming with life.

What else is there to see about this game? My love of video games stems from this masterpiece, and as such it will always be a special game to me.


  • Platform: Nintendo 64, Nintendo Gamecube, Nintendo 3DS
  • Release Date: 21/11/1998-18/12/1998 (Region Dependant)
  • Gamecube Release Date: 28/11/2002-03/05/2003 (Region Dependant)
  • 3DS Release Date: 16/06/2011-30/06/2011 (Region Dependant)
  • Genre: Fantasy Adventure