It’s still amazing that even after 18 years, the original Luigi’s Mansion has only managed to spawn two sequels. Our green friend still seems to sit in his brother’s shadow. Honestly, (even though the title screen and opening cutscene make it clear that this is Luigi’s game) I half expected to take control of Mario as soon as the game started, but no I was Mr.L himself and that still feels awesome. So was the wait for it worth it? YES.
Release Date: October 31, 2019
Developer: Next Level Games
Review By: Andrew Wright
To get things started lets take a look at the story. Like previous games in the series Luigi is invited to go on vacation (this time to a 5 star hotel!), and this time he has brought some toad friends as well as Mario and Princess Peach. The first night in the hotel Luigi wakes up to find that surprise surprise the hotel is actually haunted and all his friends have been captured by King Boo (you’d think Luigi would have learned his lesson by now about receiving these random invitations). Luigi narrowly avoids being caught himself, and teams up once again with Professor E.Gadd to suck up all the ghosts, and get to the top floor of the hotel to save his friends. That’s pretty much it when it comes to the plot, standard Mario game affair.
Graphically the game looks gorgeous. The minute you walk in the hotel you can see how much care the dev team put into detailing and polishing the game as much as possible. Everything looks super clean, anti-aliasing, lack of jaggies, and like I said detail. Floors are just stuffed with a bunch of stuff to marvel at. Whether its the amazing grass and forest scenery on floor 7, or the cartoony looking sand on the pyramid floor, the game has been made to look like a pixar movie. The ghosts and especially Luigi himself have amazing looking expressions and animations, this might be the best looking game from the Mario series ever. The only downside is the framerate runs at 30 and seldom drops as well. But all is forgiven considering how good the rest of the game looks.
The music is nothing to write home about. Aside from crazier moments like boss fights, its actually pretty chill which makes sense considering the nature of the series. The best track is probably the main theme which has various remixes sprinkled throughout.
Before I move onto gameplay I also want to touch on how funny the game is. The first Luigi’s mansion game was a pretty creepy horror game at times. This time around the team decided to go with a less serious more comedic approach to the horror, and it paid off. The game is absolutely hilarious. Luigi is so clumsy that he will make you laugh out loud several times throughout the game. Whether he is constantly dropping items and making life harder for himself, or yelling out ‘MAHHH DEOOO!’ Luigi’s antics will entertain. The ghosts themselves though are the stars of the show. Sometimes you will enter a room and find a ghost brushing his teeth, or taking a shower just for you to interrupt. Other times you’ll find ghosts in maid outfits cleaning the hotel just for you to end their undead lives right then and there. Who is the bad guy here again? The amount of crazy funny stuff that happens in this game is an absolute blast. There is also a little kitty that tries to ruin Luigi’s day by turning massive, and tries to claw his face off. So that’s a plus.
Luigi’s mansion 3 boasts a nice arsenal of moves old and new that Luigi has at his disposal thanks to his trusty poltergust vacuum. He can flash his flashlight to stun ghosts, he can shoot out a plunger at objects that he can then suck up and flip over. He has a function called dark light which reveals invisible objects. He can perform a burst jump (pretty much like a ground pound that creates a wave that can knock things over), and clicking the right stick summons Gooigi. There is a lot to work with here, and all of these functions are used in fun ways.
When in combat you have to flash a ghost in order to stun them, and then use your vacuum to suck them up. When you have them caught in your poltergust a timer goes down to when they are caught. After you hold onto one for a few seconds you can hit A repeatedly to slam the ghost around very satisfyingly. This drains their health even faster, and can also be used to slam into other ghosts as well. Sometimes you will have to pull out your plunger to tear an object away from a ghost that is using it as a shield before you can flash it. The burst knocks away ghosts, and can knock off hats or helmets that the ghosts might be wearing. The strategies here are pretty varied, and while the controls can get a tad clunky (use the shoulder buttons), the combat is a lot of fun. Boss fights in this game are a mix between the first two games. While they are big fights that are always fought at the end of each floor, they also involve defeating expressive boss ghosts much like the first game. These fights are all super unique, and are tons of fun. They tend to require you to use most of your abilities and are very rewarding.
Puzzle solving is also a main part of the game. In fact, combat seems to take a backseat much of the time for puzzle solving. Just like combat, using your abilities like the plunger and burst are crucial for beating every puzzle the games throw at you. You will also need to use your dark light to uncover unseeable objects. Gooigi comes in handy here too, as he can be used to do a variety of different things. Like holding a button on one side of the room so Luigi can get to the other side. Gooigi can also squeeze through tight objects that Luigi can’t. You can also have a second player play as Gooigi to help with puzzles and combat. When it comes to collectables, all 17 floors in the game have 6 secret gems to collect, all of which require you to complete a puzzle. There are also 16 boos in the game that you can defeat. Beating all boos and getting all gems don’t net you good rewards, but collecting gems is satisfying due to the puzzle solving. You can miss some of what the game has to offer if you don’t scour for the gems in each room.
For instance, one gem in the fitness room requires you to change the channel on a radio to channel 3. Once you do this and go by the treadmills in the room there will be several ghosts hilariously running on the treadmills, one with a gem. Stuff like this makes searching every nook and cranny of every room worth it. Like previous games you can also search every part of a room looking for money. Gaining a certain amount by the end of the game nets you a better or worse grade, although this feature isn’t as important like it was in previous games. The game also has achievements for that completionist itch. Finally, we have multiplayer.
As if the game didn’t already have enough content, there is also two multiplayer modes. Screampark is a mode that basically consists of three Mario party like minigames. Yeah, I can’t say much more then that. It’s a fun local multiplayer mode, but It gets old quick. The other mode however, is really good. Scarescrapper can be played offline, online, or co op online, and is a blast. Two to eight different Luigi’s (Lots of Weegees) are tasked with clearing a set of floors before the timer runs out. The goal of each floor can vary from beating ghosts to collecting money or defeating a boss. It’s a lot of fun and can add some replay value after you have beaten the game.
The game isn’t without it problems. The controls can get a bit clunky, there is some repetitiveness, and the floors in the second half of the game aren’t as good as the first half. With all that said, Luigi’s mansion 3 is joyous from start to finish. From the fun satisfying combat, to the clever tricky puzzle solving, and the hilarious slapstick comedy, Luigi’s third outing manages to be one of the best Switch games one can buy.
Score: 9.2 out of 10