Developer: Next Level Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Version Reviewed: Digital Version
Category: Action, Adventure
No. of Players: 1-8 players
Release Date: October 31st, 2019 (Worldwide)
Price: $59.99 USD
Once upon a time, there existed two brothers, Mario and Luigi. They would be called upon to rescue Princess Toadstool from the clutches of King Koopa. Over time, Princess Toadstool became known as Princess Peach and King Koopa became known as King Bowser (not to be mistaken for Doug Bowser, COO of Nintendo America). Mario and Luigi remained constant and have been jumping on Goombas and Koopas ever since.
Over the years, both Mario and Luigi branched out into other professions, Mario went on to become a Doctor among other things and Luigi went along with him too. One day though, Mario went missing in a haunted Mansion and Luigi had to face his fears and become a ghost hunter, with the help of Professor E. Gadd of course.
Luigi has had to don the Poltergust 3000 twice in his experience as a ghost hunter. Once on the Nintendo Gamecube and twice on Nintendo 3DS. That might not make sense mathematically but the first title was ported to the 3DS last year, hence three games but only two installments in the series.
Luigi must take on his toughest challenge yet as he and his friends are invited to a luxurious hotel known as the Last Resort Hotel. Luigi soon realizes that all is not what it seems but is it too late to escape, and can he save his friends?
As previously mentioned, Luigi and his friends; Princess Peach, Yellow Toad, Red Toad, Blue Toad and his brother Mario are invited to the Last Resort Hotel by the hotel owner Hellen Gravely. As the gang settle into their luxurious suites and lay their heads for the night. Princess Peach lets out a scream that wakes Luigi. Luigi goes to investigate and finds that everyone has been kidnapped and that the Hotel has taken on a more spooky and sinister feel.
Luigi meets up with Professor E. Gadd whose new invention; the Poltergust G-00 is ready to be used on those goofy specters that haunt the halls and rooms of the Hotel. Luigi isn’t alone either, with the help of his trusty pooch Polterpup and his green coffee-based doppelganger Gooigi, Luigi sets out to rescue his friends from the grasp of King Boo and the many terrifying spooks that stand in his way.
The story is about as tried and tested as the “Save your friends/the princess and defeat the villain” formula is. The general plot provides a reason as to why all the characters have come to the hotel and follows Luigi as he sheepishly scampers over each floor to find his friends. The real fun of Luigi’s Mansion 3 is in its gameplay as opposed to the story, though the story cut-scenes still has plenty of humor and charm to make them equally as enjoyable.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a third-person, action-adventure game with labyrinthine levels to get yourself lost in. Some of the rooms have puzzles to be solved before you can gain access to the next part of the level. Many of the puzzles require the player to switch between Luigi and Gooigi as there are some areas that Gooigi can get access to that Luigi can’t like walking over spikes or going through bars. This doesn’t make Luigi obsolete though. There are some areas that are inaccessible to Gooigi as he can not wad through water without dissolving into a puddle of green goo.
Both Luigi and Gooigi are armed with the Poltergust G-00. It can be used to suck up ghosts and slam around persistent spooks that don’t want to get sucked up. It can also blow out which is handy for pushing back ghosts that try to surround you and also for solving some air-based puzzles. Another useful feature is the plunger Suction Shot. It can be fired onto certain surfaces and then pulled to open hidden paths, rip away shields from ghosts, as well as other uses.
Of course, Luigi wouldn’t be able to go fumbling around in the dark without his trusty flashlight. The flashlight helps illuminate dark areas and also can be used to stun ghosts. The brighter the flash, the better chance you have of stunning those dastardly specters. As with most games, you don’t start off with all features at the beginning. For example, Gooigi doesn’t become available until you reach 5F. This helps to not overwhelm the player too much, by allowing them to learn new abilities over time rather than just giving them all abilities at once.
Each floor of the hotel has a different theme. One floor is of a garden gone wild, another is themed on the Middle Ages and so on. Luigi has to make his way through each floor in order to reach the boss and defeat them. Luigi will then be able to recover a button for the elevator so he can reach new floors. It is a relatively simple procedure but the difficulty is in the execution. The controls can be a little fiddly at times, especially when trying to fire the plunger in the direction you want whilst under attack from oncoming ghosts.
CONTENT & FEATURES:
Part of the main campaign is the inclusion of hidden gems that are stashed away in secret areas, waiting to be collected. There are 6 gems on each of the 17 floors of the hotel, making up a whopping 102 gems to be collected. Not all of them can be collected through the first playthrough either as you require certain features like the black light and Gooigi to find them.
One of the first characters that you rescue at the beginning of the game is the Spectral investigator himself, Professor E. Gadd. After taking him back to his car in the garage, he will open up his Mobile Laboratory where you can access several of the game’s menus, Here you can purchase items like the Golden Bone, which will summon Polterpup to give you a clean bill of health when your hearts reach zero.
Multiplayer mode can be accessed from here as well as the Gallery of all the ghosts you have captured. If you are ever away from the Lab, you can easily pop back to it by going to your main menu by pressing + and selecting Lab. The main menu is available after E. Gadd gives you the Virtual Boo and allows you to interact with several other features including the E. Gadd Hotline; a feature that allows you to reach out to E. Gadd on possible hints to help you with your current objective.
Co-op multiplayer is available as soon as you receive Gooigi. Player 1 continues to have control of Luigi and Player 2 controls Gooigi. Co-operative play allows two players to work together, solving puzzles and taking down ghosts. If you are playing on your own, you can easily switch between Luigi and Gooigi with the press of a button.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is as much about playing with friends as it is playing on your own. There are two Multiplayer modes that require the players to work together or against each other in teams between 2-8 players and up to 4 Switch consoles either connected via Local Wireless or the Internet.
The two modes are ScareScraper and ScreamPark. Both require players to work together with ScreamPark separating players into two teams and ScareScraper having everyone on the same team. In ScreamPark Mode, there are three different minigames, each with their own objective. In Coin Floating, players must float across the top of a swimming pool in their rubber rings to collect coins whilst avoiding mines.
In Ghost Hunt, players must trap as many ghosts as they can within the time limit. Each ghost type is worth a certain amount of points with the blue ones valued at 1 point, Yellow valued at 3 points and the Red ghosts valued at 12 points. The last minigame is Cannon Barrage. Players must hunt down ghosts carrying cannonballs in order to collect the cannonballs and fire them out of their team’s cannon to try and hit the targets. You have to plan your shots carefully as the targets get faster every time you take one out.
The ScareScraper is a tower with several floors that players must work together, hunting down ghosts. Each floor has multiple rooms and not all of them have ghosts in them. There is a timer that can increase a little bit if stopwatches are found. Though you do have the option to play on your own, it is recommended that you play with others, either locally or online because players can get trapped behind doors and will remain there until someone comes along to free them.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 has such a great orchestra behind it and it proves itself time and time again. Each floor has a different feel and aesthetic to them and the soundtrack helps resonate that. The spooky yet whimsical sounds really help build the atmosphere of the game and are a pure joy to listen to.
Charles Martinet has been the voice of Luigi pretty much as long as he has done Mario. Mario has always been a very cheerful and enthusiastic character, while Luigi not so much. However, Luigi is much more expressive with his more worried to downright terrified demeanor. From his cries of terror to his Catchphrase “Mariooooo!” Charles Martinet really gives Luigi more character and depth and makes the character all the more relatable.
VISUALS & PERFORMANCE:
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is nothing short of stunning on Nintendo Switch. It is a huge step up from the previous entries and manages to outshine even Super Mario Odyssey in my opinion. The visuals are dark yet colorful and the attention to detail is simply incredible up to the denim pattern in Luigi’s overalls and fibers in his gloves. Luigi’s facial expressions are truly a sight to behold and show genuine fear and joy depending on the situation he is currently in.
As regards to the game’s performance, I can’t find any reason to fault it. Next Level Games have done a bang-up job with this game and it performs superbly in both handheld mode and TV mode. I haven’t noticed any frame rate drops or dips in resolution at all during my playthrough. Luigi’s Mansion 3 may have been a long time coming but the developers really went the extra mile to make this game look, feel and play brilliantly.
It is actually quite difficult to find fault with Luigi’s Mansion 3. The devs really went above and beyond to create a spooky yet incredibly fun game to play. Though the main objective is to rescue Mario and Friends, you can’t help but want to explore every inch of the Last Resort Hotel.
There are so many hidden pathways, hoards of cash waiting to be grabbed, gems to be found, I could go on and on. The optional Co-op play adds to the experience as well. I had the opportunity to invite some friends round for Halloween and we played Luigi’s Mansion 3 for most of the duration of the evening. We had an absolute blast and tried out pretty much every game mode and minigame available.
As much fun as we had, we did exhaust the options a little bit in ScarePark. Three minigames are all well and good but I do hope that Next Level Games and Nintendo might add a couple more minigames via an update, which I believe was in fact mentioned on the Nintendo Switch eShop listing as regards to upcoming DLC.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 spooktacular game to play, not just on Halloween but all year round. Both young children and adults will have fun with this game as they chase, slam and suck up every ghost that had the misfortune of getting in Luigi’s and Gooigi’s way.
THE VERDICT: 9/10
*A download key was provided by Nintendo UK for the purposes of this review
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This post was written by Mike Scorpio