The Luigi’s Mansion games are the perfect example of Nintendo’s brilliance. Take a member of an established franchise and throw him into a game that takes inspiration from a popular movie from the 80s. Honestly, try and explain the Luigi’s Mansion games to a friend who hasn’t heard of them. They are bonkers, but they just work; Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon especially as (and this may be slightly controversial) I’d argue that it belongs in the top 5 of the best Super Mario games of all time. When Nintendo released the Switch back in 2017, fans of Luigi’s ghost-hunting escapades were desperate for a new one to be released. Well, we had to wait a while, but thankfully, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is finally with us.
After the events of Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, our favourite ghost hunter deserved a rest and some relaxation. Well, it looked like that would be the case as he, Mario, Princess Peach and a group of Toads were invited to the luxurious Last Resort hotel. The gang arrive at the hotel, and after checking in and falling asleep, Luigi wakes up in the middle of the night to find the hotel not as luxurious as he left it. Luigi investigates and finds that the hotel owner tricked the gang into accepting the invitation so they could all be trapped. Luigi manages to escape the clutches of Hellen Gravely, and he goes about trying to rescue his friends, all the while catching many, many ghosts along the way.
Once Luigi escapes from Gravely, and with the help of his ghost doggo (Polterpub), who you can actually pet (let’s stop this review now, petting ghost doggos!!! 10/10), you soon have the Poltergust at your disposal, and then it is time to go hunt some ghosts and save your friends. The hotel setting is vastly different from Dark Moon’s multi-mansion approach. Each area has different themes, and they all feel different. They all range in size too, with some of them being just one or two rooms to others covering multiple floors with many rooms. The floors will range from luscious gardens to a movie set, and each will have a boss ghost to deal with to obtain the missing elevator buttons. Yes, to hinder your mission to rescue your friends, all of the boss ghosts have stolen a floor button from the elevator, so you cannot explore the hotel at your leisure, but once you have a button, you can explore the floors said button lets you access at your will. Much like the previous entries, backtracking is encouraged so you can find collectibles that were out of your reach during your first time in an area.
Actually, catching the ghosts is still a blast in Luigi’s Mansion 3, and it’s a lot more satisfying than the drawn out affair in the Ghostbusters game. Catching the ghosts still works the same way: You will have to stun the ghosts first with your flashlight, then use the Poltergust to get a hold of them, bash them around the room until their meter reads zero, then suck them up. Some of the ghosts will require a bit more effort into capturing them as they may have objects that block the flashlight to prevent themselves from being stunned, but more on that shortly. It is still incredibly satisfying to battle it out with the ghosts. The animations of the fights are tremendous as the ghosts will fight frantically to get themselves free of the Poltergust’s grip, and Luigi will struggle to keep a hold of them while they do. If there are multiple ghosts to catch, then when you do have hold of one, you can use that ghost to bash the others so their health will go down, making it easier to capture them. There are half a dozen or so “grunt” ghosts that you’ll encounter, with a slight variation in how you catch each one and in the difficulty in doing so. None of them are particularly taxing to catch, and that is a common theme throughout Luigi’s Mansion 3. It is not a difficult game, really. What we need to remember, however, is that it is a game designed for a younger audience to be able to play, and apart from a few puzzles and a couple of boss fights, you wont find finishing the game to be too much of an ordeal.
Most of the time, the puzzles are pretty simple; you’ll need to shoot your suction arrow to move an object blocking a path, or you’ll have to use your strobe light to find a ghost that is hiding. 90% of the time, you’ll breeze through the puzzles, but there will be a couple of occasions where you will be left without a clue on how to move forward. The answers to these puzzles is never complicated, but Nintendo did an amazing job in hiding the answers in plain sight. This goes for the boss ghosts as well. You’ll be able to figure out how to defeat them relatively quickly, but there will be a couple where you’ll be running away from them for ages as you ponder on how to beat them. The boss fights themselves are a lot of fun, with each boss having unique appearances.
There will be some occasions (the ones where you can’t figure out how to beat them) where the bosses will dish out a good amount of damage to Luigi. When his health falls below 39%, you are met with the most annoying sounding low health alert of all time. You know those films where an alarm is sounding and someone screams for someone turn the damned alarm off? It is like that. It will constantly sound until you collect some more hearts to boost your health up. I get it, it’s useful to have a low health alert, but that noise is ridiculous.
One brilliant addition to Luigi’s Mansion 3 comes in the form of a little green friend. No, it is not Master Yoda but Gooigi. Straight from the crazy brain of Professor E. Gadd, Gooigi is a clone of Luigi, made of, well, goo. You’ll be calling on Gooigi quite a lot during your adventure as he will help you solve co-op puzzles. Controlling Gooigi is exactly the same as controlling Luigi himself: He has all the same equipment, but as he is made of goo, he has the ability to squeeze between bars and slip through grates on the floor. It’s not all good news, however, as Gooigi only has a small amount of health, and if he touches water, he immediately melts. It’s not too much of a consequence though as you can simply spawn him back straight away.
Speaking of the good Professor, he sets up shop in the basement of the hotel. You can return to him at any time for a chat, as well as see the ghosts you’ve captured, jump into Luigi’s Mansion 3’s multiplayer or purchase some items from his shop. He’ll also offer advice throughout the game on some puzzles or boss fights. Bit of a warning, for the first hour or so of the game, boy, does he like to talk!
What you will immediately notice about Luigi’s Mansion 3 is just how good it looks and how smoothly it runs. I encountered no issues with the frame rate stuttering at all during my playthrough, which came as a huge relief due to the frame rate issues found in The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. Luigi himself looks fantastic and is so well animated. It is a constant highlight to watch Luigi jump or tremble in fear. This is another example of just how wonderful the Nintendo Switch is as a console. It might not pack the power of its rivals, but with games as good as Luigi’s Mansion 3, Nintendo wouldn’t care less.
Developer: Next Level Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 31st October 2019
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