Luigi’s Mansion first made its debut on the Nintendo GameCube. It was highly successful at the time of its release as a spin-off to Super Mario Bros. Despite the success, no attempts were made to revive the series until a decade later for the Nintendo 3DS. It was followed by a remake of the first game and has finally returned to a console again with this latest release. The third game in Luigi’s Mansion series is arguably the most ambitious and best offering so far, and here’s why you need to give it a go.
Luigi’s Mansion is a Super Mario Bros. spin-off centered on the taller and nervous brother of Mario. Luigi is easy to scare which makes him a perfect comedic relief character to star in a ghost-centered game. The first Luigi’s Mansion was set in a mansion thus connecting with its name as well, but the sequel ditched the mansion layout for a level-based design. The newest entry tries to bring back the feeling of exploring a large mansion again but replaces it with a hotel this time that has multiple floors.
The game begins when Luigi along with Mario and others is invited to The Last Resort hotel. At first glance, the hotel feels luxurious and perfectly normal and it is not until later that night that all hell breaks loose. King Boo is somehow free and becomes a threat to Luigi again. King Boo manages to capture Mario, Toad, Peach, and others in paintings and attempts to do the same to Luigi. He narrowly escapes King Boo and stumbles on a new version of Poltergust in the basement left behind by Professor E. Gadd, who is also visiting this hotel on a vacation.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 brings back the best part of the first game, which is an interconnected mansion without any loading screens to divide the various levels. It is a giant hotel with multiple floors–more than a dozen–each of which has its unique theme. There is a floor with a pirate-themed restaurant, another one with beautiful gardens, and one even has a medieval-themed floor. Ever floor offers its collectibles in the form of gems in addition to other secrets and diverse boss fights.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is stunning and that would be saying it mildly. The game has one of the most beautiful visuals that I have seen on the Nintendo Switch and I played it on a 4K TV. It gives the impressions of a pre-rendered animated movie at times because of the gorgeous lighting and clean image quality. It is very hard to spot any blemishes for the visuals but they do exist–like some of the shadows and reflections in specific cutscenes–although they are quite rare.
The opening is amazing and it is easily one of my favorites this generation. It slowly builds up The Last Resort hotel and allows Luigi to get an idea of what he has to deal with in this sequel. The daytime sequence had jaw-dropping lighting but once the game switches to nighttime, it sadly stays there for the most part. Still, the lighting in the game is stunning, to say the least with Luigi carrying a flashlight that can make any object cast dynamic shadows.
The technical wizardry in Luigi’s Mansion 3 is not just limited to its visuals but the performance is rock-solid without any frame rate drops. This is impressive because of the physics of the game itself. Almost every object can be sucked into a vacuum with Luigi’s Poltergust G-00 and it is just so much fun to destroy everything in a room. It is also possible to discover some secrets this way as they are well hidden in specific locations.
One of the most marketed features for this sequel is Gooigi. While Luigi can perform some new moves like a gust jump, ghost slam, and fire a plunger, the best new addition is Gooigi. It is a green-slime version of Luigi that can be controlled either by one player or used to play a two-player co-op in the whole campaign. Gooigi is what elevates Luigi’s Mansion 3 to one of the best games released this year. It is so fun to play co-op in Luigi’s Mansion 3 that it becomes a completely different game altogether.
Gooigi has been designed around the new puzzles and while he might be lifeless and without any expressions, he can access areas like grates and drains. Gooigi’s weakness is water although it is never challenging to keep him alive. The animation quality in Luigi’s Mansion 3 is worth mentioning as well since the way Luigi gets scared, walks around the hotel, and reacts to almost every single object is pretty impressive. Every boss comes with its own animation sets and while you will face a lot of similar regular ghosts, they don’t feel repetitive at all.
The way the hotel is designed, there is no loading screen although the lift that can be used to travel between floors could be used to mask load times, it does it extremely well. You will have to backtrack to previous floors sometimes but there is usually something new to do there. At the start, Luigi won’t have Gooigi but new abilities are gradually unlocked and finally, it will be possible to explore the hotel. Most of the floors are not accessible in the beginning and you have to defeat the boss ghost on every floor to get a button that will unlock a new floor. The way this progression is handled is seamless and the pacing is perfect for it.
I was a big fan of the co-op in Luigi’s Mansion 3 but it is not the only multiplayer aspect of the game. Some minigames are playable in a new mode separate from the main story called ScreamPark. It offers three minigames that can be played with two or more players. This gameplay mode is sadly not that great as the minigames are not that fun to replay again. It is good for some time pass but gets old pretty fast.
The other multiplayer mode is ScareScraper which puts a group of Luigi’s controlled by other players online in a tower. It feels more traditional and better designed than ScreamPark. Both of these modes pale in comparison to the main campaign which can easily take between 10 to 20 hours.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 Review (Switch)
Game Reviewed on: Switch
Game description: Join the cowardly hero Luigi on a ghostly – and gooey – quest to save Mario and friends in Luigi’s Mansion 3 for Nintendo Switch!
Final Score - 9/10
Luigi's Mansion 3 is highly enjoyable and one of the best adventure games available on the Nintendo Switch. It is full of intricate level design, diverse boss fights, and a co-op mode that is the perfect gift for parents looking to spend some time with their kids.