My goodness, they’ve made us wait a long time for this one. It’s been 6 or so years since Luigi last filled his trousers with fear, but the wait as certainly been worth it. Luigi dons his Poltergust once more in Luigi’s Mansion 3 for Nintendo Switch.
As he attempts to little rest time in the glorious “Last Resort” hotel, things once again go horribly wrong. Mario and his friends get kidnapped and the hotel takes on a darker, more sinister tone.
Read on for our review of Luigi’s Mansion 3.
Come on, does Luigi really have anything left to prove?
While Mario may be the principal face of the Nintendo brand, this responsibility does leave him being a rather shallow and hollow character to play with at times. The Big Red has always been the adaptable vehicle for Nintendo to plant new gameplay onto, with little wiggle room for things like personality and presence. Luigi has no such chain around his neck. He's free to let his personality shine through the screen. And boy, does it shine in this outing.
The adorable green plumber just oozes out of the screen, rife with hilarious animations and cute little noises. I lost count of the number of times I made those involuntary “Awww” noises. OK, maybe that goes too far; he’s as cute as a man with a giant moustache and dungarees can be, anyway
Seeing him tremble and cower around the hotel almost makes you forget that he’s done this twice before. You’d think he’d be used to living in perpetual fear by now.
The cartoony ghosts that haunt the hotel are also full of character and charm, it’s always a pleasure to watch them goof around and get up to mischief. It’s a welcome change from the more generic baddies we usually find around the Mushroom Kingdom.
All of this is brought to life in one of the Switch’s prettiest games to date. A great use of effects and a delicious cartoon art style covers up the hardware limitations beautifully. There’s nothing gob-smackingly different from previous games, but the constant new ideas and themes in the hotel keep the game exciting and captivating throughout.
OK, as we’ve mentioned already, it’s not a mansion this time, it’s a hotel. Unpicking this giant structure is a pure delight.
At the start of the game, you’re limited to the amount of space you can navigate and progression is pretty linear. Those pesky ghosts have stolen most of the floor buttons in the elevator, meaning if you want to progress, you’ll have to retrieve them.
Most of the buttons are hidden behind boss battles; memorable ghosts in various guises using a whole range of different tactics to take Luigi down.
As you progress through the hotel, you’re greeted with the usual hotel offerings like bedrooms and bathrooms. As you go up through the floors, the theming becomes much more outlandish. It’s constantly surprising to see what developer Next Level Games comes up with next and I found myself waiting with bated breath for the elevator to arrive at its next destination.
Exploring the Last Resort can be a wonderfully cathartic experience.
The environment is so interactive. Rattling around, sucking and wobbling all the furniture is one of the oddest yet most satisfying experiences in all of gaming.
It’s also surprising what you actually manage to let slip by. Completionists with the obsessive compulsiveness to strip every room bare may find Luigi’s Mansion 3 a little overwhelming. Almost every corner of the hotel has you showered with money, collectables and the like. If nothing else, simply cleaning up the place with your trusty Poltergust is the most fun housework has ever been.
Combat – if you can even call it that – is handled once again with the Poltergust vacuum cleaner, this time it’s the new G-00 model.
Fighting the many ghosts in Luigi’s Mansion games has always been unusual, yet wonderfully satisfying. When you come across a ghost, you’ll attempt to stun it with your flashlight, then suck it up with the Poltergust. It’s an experience not too dissimilar to fishing games: Pull against the struggle in the opposite direction until you finally best them. This time around, Luigi can slam ghosts on the ground, adding another welcome wrinkle to the gameplay.
As solid as the core mechanic is, it doesn’t translate all that well to a dual analogue set. I found myself reaching over my own fingers on many occasions.
You see, you move Luigi around using the left analogue stick, while the pitch and direction of your Poltergust are handled by the right. This means if you need to interact with any of the face buttons, you either have to stop using the right analogue stick, or awkwardly claw your hand over to reach them. Neither is a great solution, but nothing overly broke the game either, it’s more of an annoyance.
You’re rewarded heavily for your intrigue and exploration throughout the game. Patience and observation are the keys to success. Through the latter half of the game, expect to have your head scratched more than once as Luigi’s Mansion 3 tests your mettle and skill. While wrestling with the controls during a particularly panicked moment had me die more than once, the desire to press on through regardless is a testament to the charm and execution of the game as a whole.
As joyful as it is having money rain upon you from every corner of the
mansion hotel, I can’t help but feel a little underwhelmed by how it’s put to use. You get the usual life buffers from giving all your cash to Professor E. Gadd, as well as various helping hands, but there’s little in the way of progression and reward for exploration beyond this. It would have been nice to see a proper progression system in place.
Once again, the Nintendo Switch is hit with another...hit. The Luigi’s Mansion series is one of the finest Mario Universe spin-offs, up there with the mighty Mario Kart. So it’s no small statement to say that Luigi’s Mansion 3 is the best in the series to date and a fantastic adventure in almost every way.
Our Score: 4.8/5
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Posted by: Michael
Michael loves his consoles, especially his Nintendo Switch! He enjoys spending the weekend relaxing and playing the newest video games to let off some steam, he's basically a pro.
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