Title: Luigi’s Mansion 3
Developer: Next Level Games, Nintendo
Available On: Nintendo eShop
Official Site: Luigi’s Mansion 3
Release Date: October 31st, 2019
Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
Let me be honest: I love Luigi’s Mansion. I have probably played the ghost sucking adventure more than a dozen times and still feel a mix of horror and glee every time I play it. That is why I had some skepticism when I booted up Luigi’s Mansion 3 for the Nintendo Switch.
What caused my skepticism was the lackluster Luigi’s Mansion 2, which felt like it was a sequel only in name. The design for portable play being on the 3DS made the game feel like a slog at times.
With Luigi’s Mansion 3, the shift has gone back to a design more in line with the first game; the nervous plumber exploring one space and taking on conniving ghosts.
Ascend The Haunted Hotel to Save Your Friends
Luigi’s Mansion 3 begins with Luigi, along with Mario, Peach and a handful of Toads, arriving at what they believe is a five-star hotel for a relaxing getaway. Soon they are taken captive by ghosty hotel owner Helen Gravely, who hopes to impress recently released King Boo.
The gameplay is very reminiscent of the previous games, with Luigi traversing different spaces capturing ghosts. In this game, Luigi must collect lost elevator buttons as he ascends further up the hotel to save his friends.
Outside of sucking ghosts, Luigi’s capabilities have been severely improved. While wrangling a ghost, Luigi can slam them into the floor doing extra damage to them or other ghosts. For solving puzzles, Luigi can shoot other a plungers out to move obstacles in the way.
Easily the biggest step-up from the previous games is in the gameplay, with all the different tools given to you to take on the ghosts in this hotel. Balancing between roping in ghosts so you can slam them into other ghosts adds intensity to the action.
Fighting ghosts can be quite a challenge, and it is always good to have a friend. For Luigi, he makes a friend in Gooigi, a gelatinous creation by Professor E. Gadd. Gooigi has access to the same moves as Luigi except he has less health (but can move grates).
For the majority of the game, the fun is in exploring the different floors of the hotel solving puzzles and fighting ghosts. While the beginning floors have just a general hotel aesthetic, they soon get more off the wall with a night club, medieval renaissance fair, and an Egyptian pyramid.
Hotel-Floor Based Levels Change Up Gameplay and Style
The game could have each floor be disconnected in terms of an overall theme, however, every level feels unique but still like someone had designed and built the space in real life. For example, a level that looks like a pirates cove and body of water reminds of the Disneyland ride Pirates of the Caribbean.
The imagination continues with the game’s enemies; the ghosts. While the first game had the ghosts be more blank slates out to scare, the ghosts in Luigi’s Mansion 3 are more like Gremlins in their love to cause chaos.
Even with all the ghosts, the game is such a charming delight to play. Not only is it a treat to navigate these spaces, but the way Luigi communicates his fright at everything always puts a smile on my face.
What makes the game even better is the quality of the graphics and how well it runs. Even though the game runs at 30 frames per second, it impresses with its high-quality graphics.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is Brimming with Content
Besides the main single-player campaign, Luigi’s Mansion 3 also features several separate modes. The game includes multiple cooperative and competitive modes, and a cooperative mode is available for the main campaign.
The co-op in Luigi’s Mansion 3 seems the best designed out of other Nintendo games. Another player that joins will take control of Gooigi, so it does not feel like the second player is getting a lesser experience.
Uneven Boss Fights
The only main issue with the game is the boss fights. They tend to be either stupidly easy or annoyingly difficult and take away from the fun of the game overall. But the main flow of exploring through the hotel floors thankfully never reaches the low that happens during the boss fights.
Another issue is a smaller one but relates to what made the first Luigi’s Mansion so special. Even though it was a family-friendly Nintendo game, it still was surprisingly good at building a spooky atmosphere and tension.
However, for Luigi’s Mansion 3, it never gets as spooky as it could be. The entire hotel is entirely well lit so there is never any tension going through the floors, which is disappointing given how well the first game could. This is not making an argument to turn Luigi’s Mansion into horror games like SOMA or PT, but with the fantastic lighting and graphics Luigi’s Mansion 3 could be a fantastic spooky game.
The main campaign lasted just over 12 hours, but with multiple collectibles and Boos to find in each level, there is more to go back to after you beat the game. The multiplayer and cooperative levels make this a more full-fleshed product.
Verdict: Luigi’s Mansion 3 returns to the classic ghost hunting formula and is a delight to play, with graphics that genuinely will make your jaw drop. It is the closest to capturing the magic that made the first Luigi’s Mansion so memorable. However, the uneven boss fights and lack of spookiness keep the game from reaching its full potential.
- Fun gameplay between hunting ghosts and solving puzzles
- Dazzling graphics in both docked and undocked modes
- Full of multiplayer and cooperative modes
- Uneven boss fights that are either stupidly easy or annoyingly difficult
- Could be spookier like the first game