Is Luigi's Mansion a Survival Horror Game?

Is Luigi's Mansion a Survival Horror Game?

  • Yes

  • Yes, but only the first one

  • Kinda

  • No

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Jack Frost

Hee ho!
Is it? Obviously you could say no because it's not scary, but scariness is kinda subjective. LM1 has some pretty creepy stuff for a Nintendo game, which could be pretty scary for a little kid.

BTW I don't actually think it is one. I just saw some guy on GameFAQs say it was, and I thought the idea was really funny.
It's not survival horror.

The closest game I've played to a survival horror is Metro 2033. In that game, you're in dark tunnels, having to face a lot of strong creatures (some of them human bad guys), horror stuff like ghosts, and basically your supplies are extremely limited and odds are pretty stacked against you unless you plan your battles smartly and do thoughtful engagements when necessary. Stealth is a pretty important part of survival horror too.

Luigi's Mansion isn't even in the horror genre. It's spooky, yes, but not something I'd describe as horror, unlike the Last of Us, Silent Hill, and Resident Evil. It does use horror elements such as using darkness to build tension, finding keys to unlock doors, and the sense of isolation, but it's way too cartoony and comedic to describe it as that; this is like calling Ghostbusters a horror film.
The game's more of an action adventure with puzzle elements. Components of survival horror usually involves a feeling of vulnerability (odds are stacked against you typically so combat usually isn't the go-to option) and dread compounded with intensive resource management (with deliberately scarce resources) and sometimes micromanagement like not having the flashlight batteries die and conserving ammo and such. Which Luigi's Mansion does not, with HP being the only resource and a plentiful one at that. If people are going to characterize Luigi's Mansion as survival horror, I'm going to guess they haven't played much video games in general. I find the idea that some people think it's horror amusing. The first one might have a bit more of an atmosphere to it (which people sometimes overstate, maybe because they grew up on that one), but it's still cartoonish, with cartoon sound effects, cartoonish furniture, very cartoonish animations, and the ghosts are undeniably cute rather than horrifying.

If you see "survival horror" think Silent Hill, Resident Evil (especially the voice acting in the first one), S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and Metro 2033.
While at first glance, the games may seem to take some slight inspiration from the genre (especially the first one), I wouldn't necessarily call it a part of the survival horror genre. As others will probably mention, games in that category usually have a protagonist with the odds stacked very much against them, which makes the scary enemies even more of a threat, causing more tension for the player. In a general sense, most of the ghosts in Luigi's Mansion are a threat per se, but Luigi is well equipped to fight them, especially by the third game. First game will always be my favorite of the trilogy because the atmosphere is more ominous and genuinely spooky, but yeah, you're likely to still sleep soundly after playing them.
Luigi's Mansion is more about comedy and humor, despite all of the ghouls and ghosts. It's basically the equivalent of Scooby-Doo when you think about it. And of course, Luigi is well-armed, so he's not defenseless against whatever threat he comes across.

If you want a true horror game, games like Resident Evil and Eternal Darkness would more come to mind.