It’s been over 6 years since the last entry in the Luigi’s Mansion franchise of games. Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon released onto Nintendo 3DS in 2013 and received heaps of praise from critics and fans alike. Developers Next Level Games have now teamed up with Nintendo once again to release Luigi’s Mansion 3 on Nintendo Switch. What we have here is a game that will hopefully captivate a new generation of players worldwide.
In Luigi’s Mansion 3, players will take on the role of Luigi, as you may have expected. The story kicks off with Luigi receiving an all expenses paid trip to a fancy hotel known as “The Last Resort”. Luigi promptly asks Mario, Peach and a trio of Toads to join him and is bussed off to the hotel. The hotel itself looks really extravagant and upon arrival, the Mario brothers, Peach and Toads don’t suspect anything out of the ordinary. However, as night falls, the entire hotel changes to a far more sinister environment and Luigi soon discovers that he’s in for quite a spooky adventure.
Luigi ventures out of his room and encounters Hellen Gravely, the Hotel’s owner. She undergoes a transformation into a more ghastly form and King Boo makes an appearance. King Boo explains that the whole trip was a trap and that he’s already imprisoned Mario, Peach and the Toads in magical portraits, leaving Luigi for last. Players will have to flee King Boo and eventually end up in the garage of the hotel where Luigi will find the Poltergust G-00 in the boot of a car. This is where the real game begins.
Gameplay in Luigi’s Mansion 3 is fairly straightforward. Players will control Luigi from a fixed third-person view. The left analog stick on the Nintendo Switch controls Luigi’s movement while the right analog stick controls the direction he faces. ZR activates the sucking action of the Poltergust G-00 while ZL activates the blowing action. Pressing both together triggers a blast of air that launches Luigi into the air while damaging objects around him. Additionally, as you progress throughout the game, Luigi will gain access to more abilities. Most notably is the ability to use Gooigi.
Gooigi serves as a body double for Luigi. Everything Luigi can do, Gooigi can do. Gooigi can also slip through grates and bars and reach places that Luigi can’t. The game makes full use of this throughout with numerous areas having sections where Gooigi is needed to obtain items or progress further. Luigi’s flashlight also gets an upgrade later on in the game which reveals ghostly hidden items or objects.
Luigi’s quest to save Mario and the others takes him throughout the hotel and levels are broken up into floors. To gain access to a floor, Luigi will have to find and replace missing buttons in an elevator. Progression in the game is therefore broken up into exploring a floor, obtaining an elevator button, and replacing it then moving onto the next floor. The ghost enemies you encounter on each floor add variety to the levels and the floor designs themselves are extremely well done.
Combat in Luigi’s Mansion 3 involves Luigi using his flashlight to stun ghosts and then sucking them up with the Poltergust G-00. Ghosts have a health counter and when this reaches 0, they are defeated or sucked into the Poltergust G-00. There are various types of ghosts that Luigi can encounter in the hotel and each type has a specific ability that sets them apart from others. There’s over 15 boss enemies too and these are some of the most engaging encounters in the game. Each boss is unique and each one of them have specific gameplay mechanics necessary to defeat them. Figuring this out is enjoyable and defeating bosses always feels satisfying.
Additionally, there’s co-op included in the game in the form of the Scarescraper and Screampark multiplayer modes which includes defeating ghosts within a time limit and other activities which you can play both locally and online.
Gameplay in Luigi’s Mansion 3 is quite satisfying overall. The only gripe we have with the game is that for the vast majority of it, you’ll be holding down ZR and sucking up literally everything you can see. This is compounded by the fact that Luigi earns money by sucking up cash from the environment. Vacuum Simulator 2K19 anyone? The interspersed combat and puzzle solving does add variety to the game but Luigi’s slow movement speed and the limited range on the Poltergust G-00 hampers the game’s pacing. Especially if you’re a hoarder and must collect everything and search every nook and cranny of every single room. The game does tell you that you don’t have to do this but completionists are definitely going to do this, and they might feel some frustration over time.
The soundtrack to Luigi’s Mansion 3 is top notch as expected from a Nintendo title. There isn’t any real voice acting though since the main characters just utter unknown words or repeat their names or short phrases. While this might come across as cute for younger gamers, older ones will find it annoying and may want to just mute conversations and read the text instead.
Graphically, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is gorgeous. Next Level Games and Nintendo have worked some black magic sorcery with this game since there were times where the transition from cutscene to gameplay was so seamless that it took a few seconds to realise that the gameplay resumed. Environments are packed with objects and the level of detail for a Nintendo Switch game is quite high despite the cartoon aesthetic.
Overall, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a great game and one that will keep you busy for hours and hours on end. It’s filled with content for casual gamers while more hardcore completionists will love it. Completionists will be busy for quite a long time trying to collect every single hidden item in the game and there is definitely no lack of content here. If you have a Nintendo Switch and want a solid puzzle solving adventure game with interspersed combat to keep you entertained, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is for you.