Luigi’s Mansion 3 begins with a bus taking Luigi and his friends to the Last Resort Hotel for a long-awaited vacation. He won a free trip, but not everything is as it seems. At first glance, the hotel is quite nice. When you log into Mario, Princess Peach and a few toads immediately become suspicious. The man at the front desk, and in fact all the staff at the hotel, has blue skin and appears to be wearing human masks. Um… (Clears throat) As soon as Luigi arrives in his room, he takes out a book and immediately falls asleep. When he woke up, the hotel had lost its beautiful glow and had turned into a dark and gloomy place. It doesn’t take him long to realize that all the other members of his group have been kidnapped – frozen in frames – and that he must rescue them. Next time I’ll think twice before going on holiday, because Super Mario Sunshine hasn’t been very good for them either.
Visually, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is Nintendo’s finest game on the Switch. Not only is the hotel filled to the brim with small details and objects that Luigi can interact with, but Luigi himself looks like he’s straight out of a Pixar movie. I know this has been said before about games, but I’m serious – it really does look like you’re playing an interactive cartoon. It’s crazy how he gave birth to it and how he can react to the fear of jumping. As you move Luigi around different places, his legs begin to shake as he becomes increasingly nervous about what’s around the next corner. His expressions are hilarious and exaggerated, making even the most hardened player laugh.
Not only was Luigi beautifully animated, everything else was too! Every room in the hotel is masterfully designed to sell the idea that it is haunted. A light breeze blows through the open window, moving the long curtains back and forth. The sinister glow of some candles and lanterns in the main hall gives it the perfect Halloween atmosphere. What’s most impressive, however, is that these aren’t just static images that you can interact with throughout almost the entire game. Certain objects such as toilets, sinks, cupboards and dustbins can be used by Luigi, often allowing you to discover hidden treasures such as gold coins, dollar bills, etc.
But the real fun comes when you turn on your super-powerful vacuum cleaner, the Poltergust G-00. Almost anything can be manipulated or sucked by this incredible gadget, and the end result is a game mechanic that never gets tired. You can aim at anything, pull the ZR trigger and go to town. In most cases, by sucking on bank cushions, for example, you will discover other secret cash reserves that you can then add to your bank. Other things like curtains and tablecloths can be partially vacuumed, but then you have to pull until the rpm is full, then press A to remove the dust, often revealing a new secret that usually leads to more pieces in the pot. Almost every room is filled to the brim with some sort of hidden money, and there are other secrets to discover like hidden passageways, secret levers, and all sorts of fun little puzzles to solve during the game.
As much fun as it is to explore each room of this gigantic hotel, it is also fascinating to meet different spirits. The developers have really outdone themselves in this regard, creating not only very memorable ghost bosses, but also much lesser villains to fight, each with a mischievous and fun personality to look at. As with all other parts of the game, the animations of the spectral enemies are very detailed – so much so that I sometimes just watched them do their thing. Often you will find a crack or hole in the wall that you can look through, and on the other side you will see what the spirits are doing. One day my two young nieces sat next to me and we discovered a ghost in the bathroom humming a song and brushing his teeth. They giggled at the sight, but then he took his toothbrush and rubbed it against his butt, making them both laugh even harder. These little subtleties shine throughout the game, and I can’t recall any other title that took such care and attention to each of its enemies.
The bosses’ minds are particularly impressive – everyone has their own personality. I almost felt bad for some of them because they were just trying to live their own lives and not hurt anyone. They each have their own attack patterns that must be learned. In fact, one of the things I had to learn early on is that the bosses in this game are hard to pin down when you’re doing battle with your guns drawn. In other words: It is often necessary to let the boss attack several rounds before he discovers his weaknesses. If you attack before this sequence is completed, you will not make progress and may become frustrated. Growing up in the NES era of beating the bosses quickly, that anticipation and vision of what was going to happen got the best of me in some of the battles. Slowly and steadily the race is won!
The fight in Luigi’s Manor 3 will be familiar to anyone who has played the previous game in the series. In most cases, you must first stun the ghost with a flashlight, which freezes it in mid-air. You can then suck them out, but they usually start fighting and move away from you. Just like in the fishing game, you have to pull the analog stick in the opposite direction to bring the ghost back. If your health meter is at zero, add another unit to your pack. This time there is a masterstroke that makes the game even more fun than the previous editions. When you pull the stick, the circular indicator fills up and when it’s full, you can press A to throw the spirit(s) to the ground. If you manage to touch other spirits, they will also be damaged and stunned, so you can easily get close to them. You can also destroy certain items by casting spirits on them, which often reveal more loot.
Not all enemies are as easy to defeat, but Luigi does have more options. The first is the plunger shot, which allows you to pull the handle with a small piece of string. Some ghosts have a shield or other object that you must remove before trying to stun them with the flashlight. Just pull the plunger out of the object, then start sucking and remove the object from your head. At this point you can knock them out and then catch them. These feisty spirits come up with all sorts of ways to thwart Luigi’s attempts, and one of them is to wear sunglasses to deflect the flashlight! Fortunately, Luigi can approach them and blow them in the face with his burst. Pressing both triggers simultaneously releases a jet of air that lifts Luigi and all objects near the ground. It’s also good to jump through some ground attacks!
Presented at the Luigi Manor: Black moon, black light returns. This allows Luigi to illuminate the environment with a special light, making invisible objects visible. If you’re stuck in a room and don’t know what to do, it can often open a secret room or door to get you back on track. There are also special paintings that you can see with coins and silver, and if you light them with your black light, you will be richly rewarded. Oh, and you need it to save all your friends from the frozen animations on their photos, too.
As mentioned earlier, there are many small puzzles to solve around the hotel. Some are harder than others, and the fun ones often involve Gooigi. No, it’s not a typo. Gooigi is Professor E. Gadd’s new invention that looks like a version of Luigi in green jelly. It has essentially the same movement, plus a few extra features. Because it consists of a mucous membrane, it slides easily over metal bars and is impervious to sharp objects such as spikes and arrows. This allows it to fit into the tightest places, such as pipes and sewers, and to penetrate spaces that Luigi can’t reach. Some puzzles require the use of both characters at once, which you can easily do by alternating between them, or you can give the controller to a friend and work together as two. Gooigi is honestly a pretty cool and fun character to play, but he can’t get wet or he’ll melt and die. Fortunately, it has an unlimited lifespan, so the only cost is actually a few seconds of downtime. He is an excellent addition to the characters and we hope he returns in the next few episodes.
As we mentioned earlier, the attention to detail in this game is second to none, and so is the game’s sound design. Not only are the sound effects impressive, featuring many of Luigi’s voices, ghosts and other characters, but the music is to die for (yes, I said it). The score is hauntingly beautiful and the way the music fits into the main theme is stunning. Each floor of the hotel has a unique and often fantastic atmosphere to explore, and the music matches each theme perfectly. Mario’s button returns from the first game. So you can press the D-pad in certain directions and Luigi will scream for his brother. A little bonus I only discovered at the end of the game is that if you leave Luigi in the elevator for a while, he’ll start humming the elevator’s music – yet another return to the first game. From start to finish, the music plays an important role in the mood and tone of the play, and the composers went all out.
So far my review of Luigi’s Manor 3 has been pretty light, but unfortunately some issues can really bring down the level of play for some players. The biggest problem I encountered from the beginning is that the control system is not suitable for players like me, who are used to aiming for the head in games. Sure, we may not be the majority of players, but many people tilt the right analog stick to aim, and that’s just not an option here. It was very difficult for me to understand the vertical while aiming for the void, and I really struggled with the controls during the first few hours of the game. There are several options that can be turned on or off that may or may not help some players manage the way Luigi moves and sucks, but ultimately I felt that the default setting worked best. What adds to the confusion (at least for me) is that the motion controls point in the opposite direction from the control buttons. It’s a little hard to explain, but if you push the analog stick straight forward, Luigi will guide the vacuum cleaner upwards. However, if you tilt the controller forward, Luigi will point downward with it. Well, in my opinion, motion controls make sense, because pointing the controller forward/downward lowers the vacuum, but pushing the stick upward in the same direction, and for some reason it took me a long time to get used to it. Some of you may not have a problem with that, but I want to point out that it really threw me off balance for a good third of the game.
The other glaring problem has less to do with management than with game design. While I never got tired of sniffing everything in every room, I think a great opportunity was missed by not exploring what you find in different ways. In almost all cases, if you find something of value, it will be money. The first few hours of the game were great in that regard, but by the time I hit the 10-hour mark, I wasn’t very motivated to keep exploring because I knew the only thing I’d find was more money. How’s the money? Well, you can buy a few extras from Professor E. Gadd, as in. B. a golden bone that brings you back to life, or tracking objects that let you know if you’re near a secret Bu or one of the gems hidden on each floor. In other words: Money is never an obstacle, and by the end of the game I had had enough. It would be fun to discover more secrets by sucking up everything but money. This gambling mechanism didn’t last throughout the game, and several other people I talked to agreed that it was the part of the game that got boring. For some reason, though, I felt compelled to soak up whatever was in store until the very end.
In addition to the two-player cooperative mode mentioned above, you can also have fun with some of the competitive multiplayer modes. ScreamPark allows up to 8 players on a Switch to compete in three different mini-games. In Ghost Hunting you explore a cemetery and try to catch as many ghosts as possible in a given time. The gunfire was my favorite. Two teams compete to destroy the ghosts to get the cannonball they are holding. Then it must be taken and loaded into a cannon where it can be fired at moving targets. The team with the most points at the end wins, but it can be quite difficult as players fight for cannonballs. It’s heartbreaking to fight so hard for the ball and win it, only to see it attack and miss the target! Finally, there is the coin swim, where you jump on an inflatable tube and move around the pool to collect as many coins as possible. Mines will appear in which you can push your opponents to hit their pipe and collect their coins. The team with the most numbers at the end wins.
The latest game is ScareScraper, in which up to 8 players can play online or locally (the latter allows up to 2 players per switch – so if you want to play locally with 8 players you need 4 switches and 4 copies of the game). It is a fully cooperative experience where the 8 players try to catch all the ghosts and find all the toads in a given time. It’s a real blast and I’ve had a lot of fun in this mode. At the local level, it’s a bit more fun because it’s easy to talk to each other and communicate where to go, but the cost is high.
I always thought Luigi’s Mansion games kind of fell into Nintendo’s B-level franchise, but Luigi’s Mansion 3 is the best of the series and has a ton of features. The main search took me about 20 hours, but remember that I completed the search and really took the time to explore every nook and cranny. If you’re in a hurry or tired of collecting all the time, you can probably easily save about 5 hours. While the presentation of the game seems to be aimed at a younger audience, there are some decent challenges and the newest bosses in particular are hard to pin down. Once you figure out the secret to defeating each opponent, the game isn’t too difficult, but it can take time to figure out the tricks. If ever there was a game to demonstrate the power of the switch, this is it! Control issues and the lack of a reward system for absorbing all the items in sight are the only flaws in an otherwise excellent game.
Luigi’s House 3 Overview
- Charts – 10/10
- Sound – 10/10
- Gameplay – 7/10
- Late Call – 7.5/10
Final thoughts : GRAND
Luigi’s Manor 3 has excellent graphics and stunning music that create an enchanting and terrifying experience that you will want to explore. Each floor has unique pieces and elegant spirits that are fun to work with. The controls that take some getting used to and the low rewards for solving puzzles (money that doesn’t do much good) make what is otherwise an excellent candidate for Switch game of the year.
Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published in various media. He is currently an editor and contributor to Age of Games.
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