Title: Luigi’s Mansion 3
Developer: Next Level Games
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle, Horror
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 31/10/19
17 Years. That’s how long it’s been since Luigi’s Mansion burst onto the scene as a launch title for the Nintendo GameCube back in 2002 when I was 15 and had significantly more hair. As an avid collector of games consoles both retro and modern and a collection that includes a GameCube (with Wavebird), I’m ashamed to say I arrived at LM3 having never played any of the Luigi’s Mansion games before. Not to say there hasn’t been an appeal, the stars just haven’t aligned, until now. So where should I start?
Luigi’s Mansion 3 follows the 2nd game of the series which was released for the Nintendo 3DS back in 2013 (12 years after the original), with both games being developed by Next Level Games.
Very Important Poltergeist
We begin our tale with an invite for the whole crew (Luigi, Mario, Princess Peach, 3 Toads & Polterpup) to visit Last Resort Hotel (perhaps this should have been the first clue?) for an all-expenses-paid VIP stay as guests of the towering resort.
On arrival the gang are greeted by their host Hellen Gravely who instantly offers some Cruella De Vil vibes, alongside a freaky concierge and bell boy who look suspiciously like they are wearing masks and hiding their “feet” from view.
Once everyone heads to their rooms for an early night after their tiring bus ride, the action really starts to kick in, as you quickly discover the hotel is one big trap orchestrated for the sinister pleasure of the evil King Boo. A quick escape through the garbage chute and we’re underway as we begin to explore the expansive and puzzling levels of this auberge.
Each floor of the hotel presents a unique theme and puzzling experience, as Luigi is tasked with discovering the paintings that King Boo has hidden with his friends trapped inside. These themes are pretty wild, ranging from a simple mezzanine to a natural history museum and a film studio to name a few. Each floor is lavished in intricate detail in its design and is simply stunning to explore and admire every step of the way. Equipped with his trusty Poltergust G-00, Luigi can hoover up almost anything in the surroundings, from gold coins to banknotes, curtains to suits of armour and a whole bunch of ghosts along the way.
I must have spent hours just sucking up every possible moving item across the first 3 levels, so much so that the in-game assistant provided by Professor E. Gadd, was often prompting me to progress through the level, or unnecessarily providing me hints and tips for puzzles I hadn’t even reached yet (Spoiler Alert). Quick tip. Switch it off and play at your own pace.
Talking of Professor E. Gadd he seems to be an old acquaintance of Luigi’s and is super useful in providing a mapping system, guidance and a shop to spend all of those hard-earned gold coins. The one disappointment here… there’s not much to buy, with golden life revival bones and tips to find gems. I’m sitting on a pile of cash with nothing to spend it on.
Along your journey, each ghost, with varying styles and sizes require a different technique to allow you to Dyson them to an eternity in the dust bag.
Follow The Light
At the end of each of the hotel’s floors, you are typically met with a boss fight, and the cleverness of the game really shines through here. Each ghostbusting moment focuses on Luigi innovating his approach to utilise his flashlight, secret finding dark light, plunger shooting attacks or even his jello-like sidekick Gooigi to bring those nasty ghosties to justice, with your reward typically being the elevator button to access the next floor of the hotel.
Talking of Gooigi, he’s a cool enhancement to your Poltergust G-00 that allows you to create a life-sized jello copy of Luigi that assists with two-man puzzles such as turning two cogs at once. He can also slide through drain grates and access otherwise restricted areas of the hotel to help to solve the puzzles ahead. However, he has a weakness, water; and hates it like Gizmo after midnight. Later on in the game, he even has an important part to play in boss fights and adds a wonderful depth to the gameplay mechanic.
So what more can I say about Luigi’s Mansion 3? The visuals.. stunning. For me one of the most beautifully crafted games available on the Nintendo Switch, every level oozes detail and style. Every random item on a shelf moves, light and shadow is designed to trick the player and manipulate perspective, even the stitching detail on Luigi’s cap, all at a cool and mostly consistent 30 frames per second. The devil is in the detail, and this game is devilish.
The game serves as a genre that stands alone. Horror-Comedy-Platform-Puzzler just about does it justice. The developer does a truly wonderful job of establishing a learning curve that will attract players of all ages, albeit the puzzles may be a little challenging for a younger audience. There is a local Co-Op available for a 2nd player to assume the role of Gooigi. After all two brains are better than one, and my eight-year-old son absolutely loved it!
For those sitting on the fence here… hop off and buy it! This games a masterpiece and the most fun you will have on your Nintendo Switch for a very long time.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can buy Luigi’s Mansion 3 from the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch/Luigi-s-Mansion-3-1437312.html
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.