Luigi’s Mansion 3 initial review: Spooky time
Luigi is the slightly younger, taller twin brother of Nintendo’s famed mascot, Mario, and because of that he normally gets short-changed when it comes to the glory. But that’s not always the case.
Two years after Switch gamers enjoyed the release of Super Mario Odyssey, we get Luigi’s first big solo outing on the Switch: Luigi’s Mansion 3. The game sees Mario’s brother enjoy the spotlight, but does he give it a good run?
We’ve been playing the new game at a preview event in Windsor, ahead of the official launch, to find out.
Before we get into the gameplay, puzzles, and storyline, it would be amiss for us not to mention the graphics in Luigi’s Mansion 3. Simply put, they are the best we’ve seen on the Nintendo Switch to date. It adds to the sheer enjoyment of play, makes you want to delve in more, and certainly make the hours you’ll spend discovering considerably more enjoyable. And we aren’t just talking about the cut-scenes.
However, while those cute and friendly graphics bring a certain warmth to the game, they can also be lost on the Switch’s small screen – and that’s especially something to which new Switch Lite users should be aware. Therefore we think this is a game that should be enjoyed on the big screen where possible, especially if you’re planing on playing multiplayer with others.
Spooky times at hotel Luigi
Luigi’s Mansion first appeared on GameCube back in 2001, a game based around Luigi winning a mansion, in which he was supposed to meet his brother, Mario. But things turned sinister, Mario vanishes, ghosts turn up, and his pal Professor E Gad comes to the rescue.
For the third outing the idea remains much the same: Luigi goes to stay at a big hotel, only for his brother and friends to be kidnapped and trapped inside photos by King Boo. The resulting numerous hours of gameplay revolve around you having to work your way through dozens of floors, solving puzzles and catching ghosts, in order to free them.
This time, however, you’ll have the help of your ghost dog, Polterpup, alongside Professor E.Gadd – the latter who makes a return, after you’ve saved him from one of the pictures.
It’s not all bad news and plumbing jokes either. You’ll have the Poltergust G-00, an upgrade from the Poltergust 5000 in the last outing, as your weapon of choice. It allows you to suck and blow your way through the action as if you were a would-be James Dyson. Whether it’s collecting coins, cash, or merely ransacking every room you go in, it’s a formidable weapon.
New attack moves
With a new Poltergust G-00 comes new moves. In particular there are three new features that evolve the game from its earlier 3DS days.
Slam attack is one move that allows you to hurl your ghostly enemies around the room once you’ve caught them, be it into walls, furniture, or anything else that delivers you coins and carnage.
Then there’s suction shots, which sees Luigi firing a plunger to pull on. This can be used for ripping items from ghosts, but it’s great at helping you get to hidden parts of the game by ripping up floorboards, pulling vending machines out of the way, or generally causing more mayhem.
Lastly there’s burst mode, which certainly gives you some much needed breathing space when you’re under attack, in addition to pushing random detritus out of the way.
If you remember the original games then the new tools certainly help. If you’re a newbie then, fear not, they are all fairly easy to master.
You like Jelly Babies don’t you?
Following on from his appearance in the 3DS game is Gooigi, a Jelly Baby-esque doppelgänger of Luigi who can go places Luigi can’t. But this does come with restrictions.
The inclusion brings an interesting dynamic to the gameplay, allowing you to at times have to think about how you approach puzzles as two players rather than just one man on a mission. This opens up a really nice co-op mode, where you and a friend can play as both Luigi and Gooigi competing the game together.
More friends means more fun
Beyond the single player and co-op offering is the chance to play online against others, called Scarescrapper mode. This takes the action online, allowing you to play against others. Our preview didn’t give us the chance to play this, so we’ll update when we can.
There’s also a series of mini-games, which you’ll find in ScreamPark. There are three to play: Ghost Hunt, Coin Floating, and Cannon Barrage. Each game supports between two and eight players, the latter we presume will be pretty hectic.
Luigi’s Mansion is a very different experience to the likes of Super Mario Odyssey. It’s not jam-packed with big cities or lots of people, but instead features scary moments – well somewhat scary, this is Nintendo after all – and plenty of exploratory gameplay.
It’s a great looking game too: the scenery, which is as luscious as it is enticing, is fun to explore, and the puzzles, while not seemingly as challenging as those found in your average Zelda experience, are still good enough to keep you enthralled.
Launching on Halloween, from what we’ve seen this is a game that’s a worthy addition to your Switch collection. But if you can, play it on a big screen, as it’s in that format that you’ll enjoy those great graphics to their fullest.