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Game review: Luigi's Mansion 3

31 Oct 2019
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After playing many Mario-focused games on the Nintendo Switch like Super Mario Odyssey or Super Mario Maker 2, I have been waiting for a game where Luigi is the star of the show. Luigi is one Nintendo’s most whimsical characters, so does Luigi’s Mansion 3 do the underrated Italian plumber justice?

Story

The game starts with Luigi, Mario, Peach and her Toads all on a bus heading towards a five-star luxury hotel that they have been invited to stay at - for free - by a person they have never met before. I say they walked themselves into this mess!

The hotel and the staff seem sketchy to players, but of course Luigi and his friends think everything is dandy.

It is then revealed that the hotel owner is working with King Boo, who already trapped all of Luigi’s friends against their will in framed paintings. Luigi is the only one who was able to escape that scary fate, and it falls to him to search the scary hotel floor by floor to free his friends.

Gameplay

At the beginning of the game, all Luigi must defend himself is a backpack vacuum cleaner and flashlight. The vacuum machine can suck things (and ghosts) in, and it can also blast things away. The concept is quite fun and creative.

Early on, you learn how to suck objects like pumpkins and then blast them at specific items in order to get something you need.

One of the main game mechanics is defeating ghosts. Luigi does that by flashing them with his flashlight and sucking their tails into the vacuum-machine until they are tired.

Then comes the Hulk vs Loki moment, as Luigi tires the ghost out by smashing it from one side to the other until it has no fight left. The ghost is then sucked completely into Luigi’s backpack. This part of the game is very satisfying.

The game starts off a little slow but the more you play, the more mechanics you will unlock, the harder the puzzles get and the more interesting the game becomes. You will be able to use the vacuum machine to plunge Luigi into the air, use the flashlight to reveal hidden objects, and even throw plungers at items.

Gooigi

Gooigi is one of Luigi’s Mansion 3’s best aspects. After a couple of hours of gameplay you unlock Gooigi, who is basically Luigi but made out of goo, I think. At that stage you can switch back and forward between the two players to solve puzzles.

While he is weaker than Luigi, Gooigi is useful as he can go through gates, step on traps, and press buttons that Luigi can’t reach. However, he will melt into a puddle if he touches just one drop of water.

Gooigi is also the gate to co-op mode. Co-op mode in Luigi’s Mansion 3 is like the way a player could be Cappie in Super Mario Odyssey. This basically means that whoever is playing as Luigi has the main control and Gooigi is more of a secondary sidekick.

Collectables

Early on in the game you discover that you can collect gems, coins and paper currency. This got me very excited when I figured it out. It made me want to look in every corner trying to find that last coin in every room.

The more video games you play, the more you realise that the richer you are in the game, the more fun the game will be for you. Sadly this is not the case here. I was very disappointed to find out that the main thing you use the money for is to buy lives later on. This doesn’t excite me at all. Why can’t I use the money to open a secret area, or buy items? Or even something as simple as buying Luigi different clothes? The fact that that wasn’t the case was a shame and felt like I wasted my time finding those coins.

Graphics

Luigi’s Mansion 3 does an amazing job taking advantage of the Switch’s hardware. The game runs at a constant 30 fps with very little drops. The design of the game is phenomenal - so good it can be a Pixar movie.

The attention to detail just blew me away. The way Luigi’s face changes interacting with the environment, the way every last item in a room is perfectly rendered, even the way lights and shadows appear perfectly. I was very impressed with the time and effort put into making this game as beautiful as it is.

Verdict

Every Nintendo fan who owns a Switch should give this game a try. Yes is it slow at first, but stick with it and you will be rewarded with spooky fun times. The game mechanics are diverse and the graphics are enjoyable and attractive.

Score: 8.5/9