It’s time for Luigi to take centre-stage on Nintendo Switch having played the support role in many games before. It’s up to Luigi to rescue Mario and co as well as battle the ghosts in the Last Resort during this entertaining action-puzzler in Luigi’s Mansion 3.
Luigi, Mario, Princess, some Toads and Polterpup are off on holiday and they’ve got their sights set on The Last Resort. It’s a glamorous hotel which Luigi and the gang have been invited to enjoy a few days of rest. All isn’t well at the hotel as the staff look jumpy and the owner, Hellen Gravely, is working with King Boo! He’s lured the group back to the hotel to trap them in paintings forever. Luigi manages to get away from King Boo and jumps down the trash chute.
The story in Luigi’s Mansion 3 is fairly standard by Mushroom Kingdom standards however the gameplay is really good fun. As Luigi, it’s your job to rescue your friends by investigating the hotel floor by floor. Together with Professor E. Gadd and Polterpup, you’ll hunt down the missing elevator buttons that allow you to travel around the hotel clearing out the ghosts in the process.
Each floor in the hotel is a new area with puzzles, ghosts and a final boss to battle. The floors start out fairly standard – it’s a hotel and you come across a maid, chef and security guard. However, as you progress through the game the floor and the puzzles become more elaborate and entertaining. There’s a good example of this on 8F where you have to return a Director’s Red Megaphone. The megaphone puzzle is really fun and involves moving items from room to room, getting behind the camera and filming finally culminating in a boss battle from a famous monster movie. You really have to see it for yourself! There’s a medieval floor with knights and kings, an Egyptian floor with mummies and pyramids a museum floor with a huge t-rex skeleton trying to kill you. It’s really imaginative and fun to explore the hotel.
The hotel is haunted of course so there ghosts around every corner. There’s a variety of ghost enemies including the hilarious little tiny ones. There’s your regular ghost, ones that creep up on you and there are the big red ones. There’s even the cute and elusive Polterkitty, Hellen Gravely’s pet cat.
Gooigi is the newest character to enter the series and is a full-on Goo representation of Luigi. He can pretty much do anything Luigi can, however, he melts in water and can’t use door handles. He can, however, get past spikes, through fences and other places where Luigi can’t get to safely. The puzzle mechanics do become really interesting with Gooigi about as you can position Luigi and Gooigi independently and they both have the capability to affect the environment. For example, on one level you can manipulate different switches on different levels. Be careful of those puddles or water though, as it’ll be bye-bye Gooigi.
Controls in the game are interesting. Move Luigi around with the left stick and use the right stick to control the direction of his tools. You have the Poltergust G-00, Professor E.Gadd’s new and improved invention for taking care of the hotel ghouls. You can hoover them up, blow them back, use your flashbulb to stun or the dark light to hunt them down. The dark light is also useful for revealing hidden items. Luigi walks, mutters (mmmmmm…mario?) and runs around the hotel and he’s nice and responsive. Aiming can be a little funky at times, but it’s not game-breaking.
The puzzles in Luigi’s Mansion are fun and engaging. I thought they were pretty tough at times, but then again I’m not a huge puzzler in games. The puzzles are fun, surprising and kept me thinking about the game long after I’d put the controller down. There’s a great puzzle involving Polterkitty roughly halfway through the game where he or she runs off with the number 9 elevator button across various floors which is a nice change of pace to the game. The game can sometimes fall into a rhythm, however here it was a nice change of pace. As the game progresses the puzzles get harder but I never found myself truly stumped or frustrated which was nice.
The boss fights are great – some of the highlights for me include a battle with a T-Rex skeleton, the Japanese movie monster (which I alluded to earlier), and various different ghosts such as security guard, maid and Pharoah. The boss fights are grand, have to scale and often have different mechanics to switch things up and keep the battles fresh. The formula for a ghost fight tends to be flash them with the light, suck ’em up into the Poltergust G-00 unit and slam them around. Ultimately it’s the same, but finding the cracks in the bosses armour is entertaining.
There are a few game modes in Luigi’s Mansion including the main campaign story mode and multiplayer online and local coop modes called ScareScaper. Here up to 8 players play cooperatively to clear out up to 25 floors on a randomly generated high rise building. There’s a team versus mode called ScreamPark with Team Luigi VS Team Gooigi scoring points in different modes including ghost hunt, cannon barrage and coin floating. The main campaign is packed full of secrets with gems and boos to be found, so even once you have finished the boss there’s plenty to go back and find. Beware, however, once you beat the boss you can’t replay again.
The graphics and the sound in the game are fantastic and graphically the game feels like a step up from other Mario bros games like Super Mario Odyssey and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Nintendo Switch. It’s one of the best looking games to date on Nintendo Switch. It’s colourful and vibrant when the lights are on and the music and audio provide compliments to the great graphics.
I really enjoyed the story. I’m new to the series which has seen Luigi’s Mansion on Gamecube as a launch title back in 2001 and the Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon on the Nintendo 3DS. I never played the previous games but it makes me curious to go back and play them after having such a great time with this. I was on the fence but Luigi’s Mansion 3 is definitely a great game and well worth your time and money. Other things I enjoyed about the game was the variety of the levels, the humour, puzzles and boss battles. I’m not sure what my expectations of the game were but they were definitely exceeded during my playthrough. There’s the unmistakeable Nintendo magic here.
I didn’t enjoy the controls and the camera work at times. Luigi walks around in a 3D environment and the right stick controls can be a little tricky.
Overall Luigi’s Mansion 3 is great fun. If you are someone who’s never played the series but have been curious then I’d recommend picking it up and playing through. It’s not overly long, you’re entertained throughout and the Nintendo polish is there for everyone to see and feel during the playthrough. The hidden secrets give it replayability and the multiplayer modes are fun and engaging. Luigi’s Mansion 3 is well worth your time and attention.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Release date: 31st October 2019