Developed By: Next Level Games
Released In: October 2019
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Do you ever find a game that gives you just the right amount of joy?
I’m not talking about your favorite video game per say. I am talking more on the lines of the game you were pleasantly surprised by. The one you expected to be good, but ended up being great. Most recently for me, that game has turned out to be Luigi’s Mansion 3.
So what makes this game stand out from not just its predecessors, but from the tons of other great games that have popped up on the Nintendo Switch? Well, lets just dive right on into the story!
Mario, Princess Peach, several toads, Luigi, and his ghost pet Pulterpup have been invited to stay at at an illustrious hotel. However about 2.5 seconds into the group getting settled, King Boo and the newly introduced hotel owner Hellen Gravely trap everyone except Luigi in a painting.
Luigi manages to escape, and finds Professor E. Gadd’s car outside which holds the newest Pultergust model; G-00. Learning that his mentor had also been captured by Hellen, who stole his ghost collection to staff the hotel, and revive King Boo.
Searching the lobby floor, Luigi frees E. Gadd from his painting prison, who then promptly sets up a portable lab in the garage. The two realize that the ghosts have taken the elevator buttons, and Luigi is tasked with finding the boss ghost on each floor who holds these buttons. However this go around Luigi will be partnering up with Gooigi, a gooey doppelgänger of himself created by E. Gadd.
The story is just about what we could expect from the third Luigi’s Mansion game. Even with the unoriginal return of good ol’ King Boo, the story is compelling in a lighthearted Mario way.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is certainly more puzzle-oriented than the past two games. Feeling more like a Legend of Zelda game, if I am being totally honest. Luigi only has a fair amount of controls, suck ghosts up with the Pultergust, blind them with his light, do a power jump, and shoot a plunger (to just name a few).
Note that the default control scheme for the game is actually pretty difficult to utilize, that said here is a link to help you fix that! (However I only learned about the new controller scheme after playing through the game twice. It is by no means “broken”.)
Like I said before the puzzles in Luigi’s Mansion 3 are truly incredible. All of which are creatively designed, that throughout the course of playing you should quickly learn to appreciate. Unlike many other games in the genre, I never sighed in exhaustion, “Ugh, another puzzle.” I was actually pleased when they came up, and some of them even stumped me for a few minuets.
Despite the games graphics, it has very little horror elements to it. That said, it is still a blast! Getting to body slam ghosts with the Pultergust, amazing! Solving creating puzzles, amazing! Having Pulterpup prance across the screen or save your life, adorable!
Gooigi could go under gameplay, but I think he deserves his own section in this review. When I first heard that this game was going to have a multiplayer component to it, I was a tad hesitant. I knew that they had introduced him in the previous game, and I had heard nothing but negatives about it.
Let me tell you though, Luigi’s Mansion 3 was made to be a 2-player game, and it works! A lot of the great puzzles I mentioned earlier revolve around Luigi’s gooey, emotionless friend. He can do everything Luigi can and then some, like slide through bars/vents to reach new areas.
Gooigi is not an optional use, to beat this game you must use him to solve puzzles or help catch certain ghosts. While you can effortlessly switch back and forth between the two, it is way more fun to play with a friend. With so few good sit down co-op games these days, this entry is extremely refreshing.
The original Luigi’s Mansion was once one of my favorite video games on the Nintendo GameCube. However, I would have to say that this third installment plays drastically different from its successful predecessor.
Yes, the ghost catching objective has stayed the same, the way you go about it though is quite different. The original, truly had the ambiance of a horror game, the ghosts made creepy noises, looked creepy, and everything about the mansion scared the heck out of my 6-8 year old self.
This game however seems more like a traditional action-adventure experience. While Luigi is visibly scared, I don’t buy it for a minuet; he looks less like he is creeping around, and more like he is charging into battle ready to obliterate any ghost who dare cross him.
My final criticism would only be the design of the base ghosts. While each boss is beyond creative, and just downright cool. The ghosts you find in every room are L-A-M-E! They each have a pretty basic design, and are very unoriginal to me. I long for the wacky looking ghouls from the first game, however in the grand scheme of things, this is a small complaint.
This is a game that I bought knowing I would enjoy it. However, I walked away with a very memorable experience. Sure it wasn’t perfect, and I still feel like the original game had a lot of elements that were better overall. However this game brought me so much joy! I cannot praise the puzzle designs enough, and the 2-player experience is a must. So if you and your friend are looking for a great Saturday night game, get Luigi’s Mansion 3.