Luigi's Mansion 3 Review
. The anxiety-riddled brother straps the vacuum pack back on for the first time since 2013’s Dark Moon for 3DS and headlines one of the funniest and most charming Nintendo games on the Switch yet.Setting aside the nitpicking fact that Luigi and his friends are checking in at a hotel this time rather than an actual mansion, Luigi’s Mansion 3 had me smiling and laughing at its adorable sense of humor right off the bat. From Mario and Luigi’s goofy half-English, half-gibberish conversations to communicating with ghost-sucking vacuum backpack inventor Professor E. Gadd through a Virtual Boy (complete with a red-tinted interface and a joke about how “it’ll sell millions”), among other examples, Luigi’s latest adventure is downright funny.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 E3 2019
It’s also very pretty, with great lighting and fog effects, a large swath of different-styled environments to explore, plus the expected cartoony character animations. But most importantly, it plays great too – unless you like to invert the Y-axis, which for some reason it can’t do. Sure, Luigi’s Mansion 3 starts a bit slowly because it takes its sweet time to set the scene with the villainous hotel owner Hellen Gravely and Professor E. Gadd, plus walking you through the basics of gameplay. Once you’ve got your ghostbusting vacuum backpack and flashlight, however, you’re in for 17 floors of mostly fantastic adventuring.
A Goo-d Time
My favorite thing about Luigi’s Mansion 3 is how it never keeps you doing the same thing for very long. There may only be a small handful of overall ghost types, but thanks to the environments they battle you in and oftentimes their accessories, you’re constantly forced to tweak your strategy for how to make them vulnerable so you can suck them up, slam them around the room, and capture them. (And pounding them into the floor is extremely satisfying, by the way.)
7 Disturbing Gooigi Facts
A brand-new character named Gooigi plays a big part in keeping things fresh after you unlock him a short way into the 15-hour campaign. He is a deployable clone of you who happens to be like the T-1000, except made of Jello instead of liquid metal. He can slip through grates and through pipes into areas Luigi can’t access, help you solve puzzles, and serve as a decoy to bamboozle certain enemies and bosses. You can even play the campaign in two-player local co-op mode, with one of you taking full-time control over the gelatinous doppelganger.
Each floor is part of a fantastically varied collection of spooky locations full of hidden goodies. The Dark Light mode on your flashlight, for example, can reveal secret doors and chests. Even better, each time you go up a level, the hotel gets physically weirder and the puzzles become more complex. Unlike Yoshi and Kirby, Luigi isn’t afraid to take the kid gloves off and do some clever stuff. Simple find-the-key-to-the-locked-door scenarios on lower floors morph into intricate, object-based puzzles on the higher ones. Even better, most floors have a unique and respectably challenging boss ghost standing…er, floating…between you and the elevator to the next story. It’s not quite a Cuphead-style boss rush, but it’s an impressive rogues’ gallery of antagonists. On one floor you’ll battle a shark that occasionally possesses a pirate ship. On another, you’ll have to pull the plug on a narcissistic gym swimmer. And before that, you’ll stomp through a miniaturized movie set in a Godzilla-like tussle. Only one annoyed me to the point of frustration; the rest are constantly testing your strategies and make you use all of Luigi’s various Poltergust-powered abilities to counter them.
A Few Sucky Parts
All of that, including some annoying mandatory backtracking in the latter part of the campaign, adds up to a meatier-than-expected 15 hours of playtime. And that’s before you go canvassing for collectibles. That said, much of the insane amount of coins and cash you find while taking your vacuum to various objects, curtains, and enemies is useless. The only things to spend your money on at E. Gadd’s lab are extra lives, Boo ghost locators, and collectible-gem finders. Only the extra lives are useful – I had almost 30,000 in currency left over at the end.
Meanwhile, the four-player online ScareScraper mode doesn’t just check a multiplayer box on the back of the box; it’s a surprisingly deep series of five- or 10-floor timed sprints that often require the cooperation of two or more players. A quartet of Luigis all slamming ghosts into the floor is a pretty funny sight to see.