When Luigi’s Mansion was released on the GameCube back in 2001 to huge critical acclaim and commercial success, it showed that it wasn’t just Mario that could carry a game. And yet Nintendo have been incredibly slow at releasing more games from the Super Mario franchise where Mario ISN’T the main character. It took them 12 years to give Luigi his first sequel and now FINALLY, he is back on his third solo outing with Luigi’s Mansion 3.
Like the previous titles, the premise of Luigi’s Mansion 3 is very much the same. Luigi, Mario, Peach and some Toads (why do the Toads not have their own names?) are invited to stay at The Last Resort hotel. But what is supposed to be a lovely vacation is in fact a trap with a resurrected King Boo capturing them all bar Luigi. With Luigi alone, it’s up to him and his trusted Poltergust 3000 to traverse the haunted hotel, free his friends and defeat King Boo once and for all.
You being your journey in B1 where you not only uncover the Poltergust 3000 but also that Professor E. Gadd has also been captured and placed inside a painting like the rest. Controlling the Poltergust is very similar to how it was used in previous titles with some cool new additions thrown in. Holding in ZR activates the hoover suck which you use to hoover up ghosts, money, gems, rats – pretty much everything. ZL is for blowing air out and hitting or holding A for a flash of your torch. There are some new additions to the Poltergust 3000 however such as the suction shot which sees you firing a suction cup. This can be used to remove any defences a ghost may have such as a shield and can be used to lock onto heavier items which then allows you to lock on with the Poltergust and destroy the item. There’s also the dark light which can be used to reveal hidden doors, items and ghosts and finally the burst shot which creates a burst of energy around you – handy in startling nearby enemies. These all work pretty well and bring something fresh to the franchise. The suction shot can be quite fidgety to work and downright annoying at times when you cannot get the aim to work. Because you cannot control the camera, it can be difficult to find your target correctly (if you’ve taken on the King MacFrights boss then you know what I’m referring to). There’s even an ability now that once you’ve locked onto a ghost, you can smash them about for a little bit. Luigi’s gotten aggressive this time around.
And then there is Gooigi, the biggest and coolest addition to your arsenal in Luigi’s Mansion 3. What exactly is Gooigi? Simple. He’s a gooey clone of Luigi, one that you can use to reach areas that Luigi himself can’t. The addition of Gooigi is a really neat idea and one that brings a new level of gameplay and exploring to the game that wasn’t there before. You’ll find yourself constantly scouring rooms on the hunt for Boos, gems and more and thinking of any hidden areas that only Gooigi can reach. The addition of Gooigi also adds in a sort of co-op mode that a single player controls. There may be items or a puzzle that require two players meaning you have to get Gooigi into a certain place and using his Poltergust a certain way before switching back to Luigi. It adds a great new level of gameplay and I can see Nintendo developing this even further and in more fun ways in the future.
With the original Luigi’s Mansion, you explored a single haunted mansion but in Luigi’s Mansion 3, developer Next Level Games have done a fantastic job of really diversifying up the environments in The Last Resort Hotel. You see this is no ordinary hotel, each floor is themed and completely different from one another. From the mechanical boiler room basement floor where you face off against ghost sharks to the Egyptian theme 10th floor featuring it’s very own pyramid (and so much sand to hoover up) to being chased by a skeleton dinosaur on the Unnatural History Museum floor, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is packed to the brim with imagination.
With each themed floor, each one has their own big boss for you to defeat. And like the diversity in each floor, each boss you face in Luigi’s Mansion 3 is completely different from the next and many of them are surprisingly difficult. Some of these boss fights can become quite frustrating due to the controls however. For example, King MacFright from the medieval themed Castle MacFrights floor, you have to use your suction shot to target the weak spot in his armour. But more times than not, King MacFright will stand startled with his back to the camera meaning that you cannot see the target on his armour thus making your aim with the suction shot that much more difficult. Overall, the boss fights are a lot of fun, just a little fine tuning of the controls here and there is needed.
Graphically, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is absolutely stunning. From the incredible animation scenes to how Luigi reacts to the slightest noise, you can tell that Next Level Games have really spent a lot of time perfecting the look and feels of this game. Even simple backgrounds and shadows are so incredibly detailed and with every floor having it’s own style, they’ve really put a lot of work into making Luigi’s Mansion 3 look like one of the best looking games on the Nintendo Switch. Even in handheld mode, the visuals hold up remarkably well with no noticeable framerate issues.
In terms of replayability, Luigi’s Mansion 3 has plenty to keep you going even after the single player story is complete. The single player story will take around 10-15 hours to complete which is pretty decent but then you’ve got all the gems to collect from each floor as well as finding all the Boos. This will easily double the amount of gameplay time as some of these gems are devilishly hard to find.
And let’s not forget about the multiplayer modes available. There are two modes – ScreamPark and ScareScraper. In ScreamPark sees you team with other players to take on some mini games. These include ‘Ghost Hunt’ where you need to defeat as many ghosts as you can in a specified time limit and ‘Cannon Barrage’ which sees you destroying specific targets with a cannon. Incredibly simple but a lot of fun to play with friends. As for ‘ScareScraper’, team up with friends locally or online and clean up the ScareScraper within the specified time. This is a lot of fun too provided you are paired with online players with good online connections. Yes, Nintendo still needs to get to grips with better online functionality.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is easily the best title in the series. Next Level Games have done a fantastic job of taking what was so great about the last 2 games, throwing in tons of new content and ideas to make everything feel so fresh. Yes, not everything works perfectly but it’s nothing that is overly annoying or detracts from your experience. And while this may sound bad but let’s hope it doesn’t take so long for King Boo to capture Mario and co again so we don’t have to wait almost a decade for Luigi’s Mansion 4.
- Fantastic themed floors bring great variety to the game
- Cool new moves
- Lots to keep you going even after the main story
- Visually stunning
- Some controls can be a little annoying at times
- Little bit of retreading at times
Verdict: This soup is ghoulishly good and you’ll be coming back for more bowls of this soup for sure.