Luigi returns for the third entry in what looks to be an ongoing series of games – Luigi’s Mansion 3. However, instead of the game taking us into a mansion, we are placed into a sandbox hotel called the Last Resort that is filled to the brim with mystery, ghosts, and trinkets galore. While this could possibly be one of the best looking games on the Nintendo Switch, Luigi’s Mansion 3 shines in its delivery and ability to be daring with the franchise in unique and innovative ways.
Our story starts as a testament to the lack of intelligence present in the Mario Brothers. Luigi and Mario take the Toads and Princess Peach, and pack up all their stuff to stay over at a hotel that they were invited to by some unknown person. So, is the Mushroom Kingdom that full or what? Either way, the gang happily travels the distance to the illustrious hotel, where things get spooky almost immediately. While Luigi was getting comfortable in his room, his friends were meeting their doom thanks to the not-so-friendly ghosts living in the hotel. The master ghost in charge of the Last Resort, Helen Gravely, has invited everyone as part of her diabolical plan – to get revenge on Luigi for his previous ghostbusting adventures. Luigi, along with Professor E. Gadd (who also conveniently found his way to the hotel based on the invite) must band together to save Luigi’s loved ones from becoming permanent residents of the haunted hotel.
…Luigi’s Mansion 3 is packed with child-like antics and cartoonish behaviour that usually gives the spooky hotel a sense of lighthearted fun.
The story is mostly straight-forward with a few subplots in between. I was pleasantly surprised when the game challenged the idea of whether ghosts deserved to be sucked up or not. It really took me by surprise, considering Luigi’s Mansion 3 is packed with child-like antics and cartoonish behaviour that usually gives the spooky hotel a sense of lighthearted fun. One moment you’re transported into the four-year-old you who laughs at Luigi’s constant reactions to the ghosts, and the next thing, you’re contemplating whether or not ghosts deserve freedom too. They can’t all be bad, right?
In order to save your friends, you will need the right tools. Your ghostbusting is made possible thanks to the arsenal at Luigi’s disposal. Like the previous games, you start off with your trusty vacuum cleaner and a flashlight. The flashlight has a “burst” function that allows you to stun ghosts or to activate certain objects around the hotel. The vacuum is used to suck up ghosts, solve puzzles, and steal a copious amount of hotel bed sheets and curtains (I’m sure the ghosts won’t mind). As you progress through the game, you get access to a plunger, a special strobe light that lets you see hidden items throughout the hotel, and most importantly, Gooigi. Gooigi is a clone of Luigi that is made up of some form of ethereal goo. Your goo counterpart can walk through deadly traps, through small holes, gives you an extra pair of arms to move objects, and fight ghosts alongside you.
The puzzles themselves aren’t too challenging, with the game often requiring me to stand still and scan the room.
The addition of Gooigi has to be one of the best parts of Luigi’s Mansion 3. Puzzles go from simple to complex in an instant. You’re required to spend more time paying attention to your surroundings because anything can be interacted with. Even the pipes littered around the hotel allow Gooigi to travel to places Luigi would never be able to reach. The puzzles themselves aren’t too challenging, with the game often requiring me to stand still and scan the room. More often than not, I was vexed by a puzzle because I simply overlooked the solution. Speaking of paying attention, the Last Resort is filled to the brim with collectibles and they’re scattered across the most unlikely places.
Puzzles are a large focus in Luigi’s Mansion 3, but the overall gameplay makes a great argument for itself. Outside of a few issues I had with the controls in late-game boss fights, the gameplay was consistently fun, fluid, and jam-packed with action. There are multiple enemy types that require Luigi to use almost every tool he has on-hand, while boss fights feel like giant puzzles that need to be solved. Once you have it all figured out, everything becomes much simpler and you can breeze through levels with effortless ease. While Luigi’s Mansion 3 doesn’t require a rocket scientist to understand how it works, Nintendo have done an excellent job of utilising the mechanics on offer. Whether it was through the puzzles or random ghost fights, the game kept escalating how Luigi interacted with the world as you progressed through the story.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 largely focuses on themed levels, meaning entire floors of the hotel never looked the same.
That being said, Luigi’s Mansion 3 doesn’t just deliver in terms of fun and exciting gameplay. The visuals in this game are simply immaculate. I could easily argue how this is possibly the best looking game on the Switch, with beautifully rendered cutscenes and attention to detail throughout the game. Luigi’s Mansion 3 largely focuses on themed levels, meaning entire floors of the hotel never looked the same. This ranged from a movie set, to an Egyptian desert with a pyramid right in the middle of it all. Luigi’s Mansion 3 didn’t disappoint when it came to pushing the franchise forward in this regard. That being said, I wished the game would drop the hotel’s aesthetic from the get-go. I found myself bewildered by the levels found later in the game, making me feel like I was on a journey fitting of a blockbuster game.
On the other hand, there is more than enough replayability to be found in Luigi’s Mansion 3. Once you’re done with the story and finding all the collectibles, there are other modes that you can give a try. While Scarescraper is a returning mode that plays much like its 3DS counterpart, Nintendo have added a new mode called Screampark. This is a local co-op mode, where two teams compete in various game modes. At the time of the review, there were only three mini-games to choose from, but all had its fair share of entertainment. Scarescraper challenges you to clear out floors within a certain time limit. The objectives varied from floor to floor, sometimes asking you to find specific ghosts, rather than defeating all of them. However, I found myself wanting to explore the hotel, so I left this mode once I got my fill of ghostbusting.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is the best looking Switch game to date, bringing fantastic visuals, intuitive puzzle mechanics, and charm that can only be successfully executed by the wimpiest mascot Nintendo has on offer. While the game suffered from slight control issues, it excels in its cartoonish narrative, beautiful level design, and offers a sense of replayability well after you have completed the story.
Luigi's Mansion 3
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is the best looking Switch game to date, bringing fantastic visuals, as well as intuitive puzzle mechanics and charm only possible through Nintendo’s wimpiest mascot.