Luigi’s Mansion was, and still is, such a memorable game for me. It was the first game that I played on GameCube and for its time, was pretty spectacular.
In Luigi’s Mansion 3, Luigi has found himself in yet another spooky situation. This time, the game sets the scene with a nice looking cutscene that has Luigi, Mario, Peach and a group of Toads arriving at the opening night of a luxury hotel. Obviously, after arriving and settling in, things don’t quite go to plan. The hotel’s owner, Hellen Gravely, along with King Boo, wreaks havoc across the hotel and takes the other guests hostage.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 follows on from Luigi’s Mansion 2 (which people had mixed feelings about due to its level-based approach). Luigi’s Mansion 3 is segmented in a similar way, but it feels more seamless in the sense that you’re traveling across floors of a massive mansion. Each floor acts as its own level, with its own set of puzzles, gameplay mechanics and artistic style. I really enjoyed this approach, as it felt like one unified experience rather than a series of levels.
The core gameplay is still the same. You get locked in certain rooms and are forced to suck up standard ghosts before you can continue. There’s a new slam technique that allows you to slam the ghosts into other ghosts, making the process of sucking them up faster and taking out other ghosts in the process. The flashlight acts in largely the same way. You use it to stun ghosts and can also use the dark light function to reveal hidden secrets.
Thankfully, the game feels well enough paced in that it doesn’t feel like there’s heaps of padding in the game. That being said, Luigi’s Mansion 3 does feel a little bit on the easier side. You can even unlock a shop later on in the game, where you can buy consumables which allow you to revive yourself when you die, making the game even easier.
With the introduction of Gooigi into the Luigi’s Mansion canon, puzzles have seen a great jump in quality in Luigi’s Mansion 3. Gooigi can access areas that Luigi can’t (like small cracks or through pipes), so you’ll need to take control and coordinate both (using R3 on your controller) to solve most of the puzzles.
When you’re using Gooigi, you won’t be able to pass through water as this will make him dissolve. As the game goes on, the puzzles become more complex and their design improves in the way you swap between the two to solve some creative puzzles. If you’re wanting to play with another player they can take control of Gooigi using another Joy-Con. I was actually surprised with how well swapping between the two works, but it can be a little bit annoying at times, as Gooigi will restrict Luigi from moving out of his field of view or visa versa.
Another new addition that benefits the puzzles especially is the suction shot, which allows Luigi to fire a plunger at certain items in the world. Usually, this can also be followed up with a suction and a slam to solve certain puzzles. Such a technique, combined with the others mentioned previously, do a great job at giving you the tools to encourage you to think outside of the box to solve the puzzles the game throws at you. These all fit naturally into the world of Luigi’s Mansion and it feels as if it’s been there since the first game.
In terms of presentation, this could be one of the best looking games on the Nintendo Switch. The unique art direction and the ambient lighting both really shine. Luigi and the cast of characters have never looked better, and the cutscenes are an absolute treat to look at, giving more personality to the crew than we’ve ever seen before. Early on in the game, it looks exactly how you’d expect a creepy hotel to look, but as you progress, you’re transported to some pretty fun looking places. The soundtrack, on the other hand, does leave a little bit to be desired, it can be a little too quiet at times, and I’d have liked some more tunes playing whilst exploring the mansion.
Given that the controls are a little bit awkward, I’d recommend playing Luigi’s Mansion 3 on the TV with a Pro Controller. You essentially need to have your thumbs on the analog sticks at all times, which means you’ll need to also use all four shoulders buttons throughout the game. Admittedly, the gyro does work quite well when trying to aim the Poltergust, but I found it a bit awkward to control in handheld mode. You’re also doing a huge disservice to this game if you play it on the smaller screen, as it is a visual feast that absolutely pops on the TV.
When you’re done with the story, there’s still a lot to do. There’s a tonne of gems to collect in the hotel, heaps of Boos to finds and a host of multiplayer options for you to tackle too. Scarescraper returns again, this time allowing you to tackle a mansion with friends. New to Luigi’s Mansion 3 is ScreamPark, which pits you against three smaller mini-games called Coin Floating, Ghost Hunt and Cannon Barrage. These mini-games are fun for a little bit but don’t really offer more than ways to pass the time.
THE NINTENDO SWITCH VERSION OF THIS GAME WAS PLAYED FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS REVIEW. DIGITAL REVIEW CODE WAS PROVIDED BY THE PUBLISHER.
Luigi's Mansion 3 is an extremely solid entry and another must-have for Switch owners. The game has a tonne of improvements that feel natural and make for great puzzles. It's also an absolute treat visually.