The 3rd game in the Luigi’s Mansion series and the first for the Switch, Luigi’s Mansion 3 follows on from 2001’s Luigi’s Mansion released on the Gamecube and 2013’s Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon released on the 3DS.
If you’ve played either of these games then you’re going to find yourself very much at home with this third iteration. It’s very much a Luigi’s Mansion game just with tweaking here and there to make the whole experience that much better.
However, if you’re brand new to the series there is nothing here that will really make you feel like you’ve missed out by not playing the previous releases. This is the best game in the series though, not just visually but in gameplay terms too. The formula has been perfected and this is a must play for anyone with a Nintendo Switch.
The story is as straight-forward as you’d expect. Luigi, his pet ghost dog Polterpup, his brother Mario, Princess Peach, and a group of Toads are all invited to stay at a high-rise hotel called ‘The Last Resort’.
The group decide to take a vacation there and are treated like royalty by the owner, Hellen Gravely. Although, something seems off about her and the hotel staff.
That night, Luigi wakes to discover the hotel has transformed into his worst nightmare. A deserted and haunted building. Setting out to find the others, he discovers that the invitation was a set-up by Hellen who is a ghost. She has helped King Boo escape from Professor E. Gadd and the pair want revenge.
The plan is simple, King Boo has trapped the heroes in portraits and only Luigi remains. Before he can be caught though, Luigi manages to escape through a laundry chute where he ends up in the basement. There he finds Professor E. Gadd’s car and a new Poltergust – model G-00.
With the ghost catching device; players must explore the floors of the hotel, catching ghosts and solving puzzles, to save Mario, Peach and the others.
Taking place entirely within the confines of the hotel, initially that might make it seem restrictive and limited but the amount of variety and themes on show here makes each new floor a joy to explore. From shopping precincts to magic shows to retro dance floors and caves that lead to pirate ships, this hotel has everything you could ever want.
The hotel is huge and the game allows a lot more freedom to explore and take your time. Any floor can be explored provided you have found the elevator button for it, which are normally held by the boss ghosts.
The feeling of freshness and excitement as the elevator doors open is consistent throughout.
The goal of the game is to get the elevator buttons and rescue Mario, Peach and the Toads from paintings until you can finally reach the penthouse where Gravely and King Boo await. However, there is so much more to do on each floor, especially as you unlock upgrades for the Poltergust.
Areas that were out of bounds become available with these upgrades, the most significant being ‘Gooigi’. A goo clone of Luigi that can do all the things the moustached one can but is pliable enough to squeeze through bars and gaps.
Gooigi is controlled by switching between it and Luigi although a second player can also control it in local co-op. The only drawback to Gooigi being that it is significantly weaker and will dissolve if it comes into contact with water or fire.
It’s a simple but significant gameplay change which sums up most of what Luigi’s Mansion 3 is. Simple changes and tweaking to make it more enjoyable.
Even collecting treasure has more significance here as it can be spent in Professor E. Gadd’s mobile lab for items that can help make the game easier. Items such as a bone that will allow you carry on after you’ve been defeated or items that reveal locations of collectible gems and Boos.
The deeper you get into the game, the tougher it becomes. Standard ghosts offer little in the way of challenge and are nothing more then a distraction but the boss ghosts require some thought and planning. Also themed around the floor they control, these ghosts are smarter and tougher requiring some puzzle solving and thinking to overcome them.
There’s always a sense of satisfaction when you finally put away a tricky boss and get rewarded with another elevator button.
Working well both docked or handheld, the controls are perfectly fine while visually it looks it best when connected to a TV. The game is lovely to look at, the detail in the hotel really impressing and the use of lighting and colours standing out. However, when in handheld that detail is a little less impactful due to the small screen.
With a main story that can take anywhere between 10-15 hours and plenty of collectibles to go and grab, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a must-buy. However, the addition of the previously mentioned local co-op and the inclusion of some new multi-player modes is welcome.
The first is called ‘ScareScraper’ and sees up to 8 players team up to save Toads and capture ghosts against the clock. Whereas the second is called ‘ScreamPark’ and is broken into three different team versus modes.
The first is ‘Coin Floating’ and has players in a pool on a floaty using their Poltergusts to collect coins. The team with the most at the end wins. The second is ‘Ghost Hunt’ and is self explanatory while the third is called ‘Cannon Barrage’ and sees players battle it out to take control of cannon balls to fire at targets with the team with the most points at the end declared the winner.
Of the two, it is ScareScraper that proves to be the most fun and the ones most players will likely find themselves coming back to time and time again.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 isn’t ground-breaking or anything like that but it is an excellent entry in a well-loved series. These are the games that make owning a Nintendo Switch essential and Luigi’s Mansion 3 can proudly call itself one of them.
Luigi's Mansion 3