This review of Luigi’s Mansion 3 was sponsored by our friends at ATO Online Store. Thank you for the review copy!
It’s really hard to describe my initial feelings while booting up Luigi’s Mansion 3 for the very first time. As a longtime player of games that appear to be much more mature, initial thoughts were that it just looks too… childish. The previous entry in the Luigi’s Mansion series, Dark Moon, came out nearly 6 years ago, and in that time, a lot of people have seem to forgotten what made the series so great and memorable.
But without the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia, and almost zero experience in any of the games, I might not be the best judge of character. However, after about 10 hours of playing, I am a changed man. Let’s start from the beginning…
The game looks abolutely gorgeous, there is absolutely no denying it. Every single facet of its presentation looks immaculate, detailed and colourful. The interface is unintrusive, and because it only shows the minimap and amount of health left, you’ll almost forget it’s there.
But that’s not to say that it’s minimalistic. Far from it. In fact, near the beginning of the game, after you rescue Dr E.Gadd (returning from the past games), he provides you with a method of communicating with him, in the shape of a Virtual Boy. That’s one hell of a callback, and one I find absolutely endearing.
Graphics wise, the game is spectacularly good. You don’t need a muted colour palette or realistic textures for a game to have good graphics, you just need to nail the atmosphere right. In this regard, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is probably one of the most beautiful and pleasant games to play this year.
Attention to detail is front and centre, each character carries emotion with every act they do, and textures are detailed to the point where you can even see the individual stitching on Luigi’s plumber outfit. Lighting manages to convey the atmosphere of the situation, from the bright, cheery and sunny sky before reaching the hotel, to the dark, dreary, spooky night, where the only light comes from the pale reflection of the moon.
Every inch of this game just looks perfect.
Story & Gameplay
Of course, story isn’t the primary driving force for a game like this, so for convenience’s sake, I’ll lump it in together with the general gameplay.
The story goes like this: Mario and the gang are invited to a spangly, luxurious hotel, run by the eccentric Hellen Gravely. Once they settle into their rooms and turn in for the night, it turns out that the hotel is actually overrun with ghosts and they then capture Mario, Princess Peach and the Toads, so it’s now up to Luigi to stop them. Pretty simple stuff.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a puzzle and exploration game, where you explore each floor of the hotel, in order to find elevator buttons that you need to progress through the floors. These elevator buttons are held by bosses that must be defeated in order to obtain them. Let’s go through each element one-by-one.
In terms of exploration, the game has quite frankly, no shortage of different environments to explore. Level design is superb and each room feels like it serves a purpose. They look similar yet manage to retain their identity without feeling repetitive or stale. There’s a bunch of different rooms, such as the basic kitchen, entertainment lounge, and orchestra hall, but there are also rooms that might feel out of place, yet somehow don’t, like an entire movie set on one of the hotel floors.
To help Luigi explore these fantastically designed levels, he has the trusty ol’ Poltergust, a vacuum cleaner that sucks up ghosts, now refreshed with the new G-00 iteration. This is the main piece of equipment Luigi uses to traverse the hotel. With it, he can suck up items, blow on valves to turn them, use it as propulsion to bounce, and use the flashlight to open certain doors and chests.
New to the series however, is the aptly named Gooigi, which, as its name implies, creates a clone of Luigi out of goo, that can pass through vents and tight spaces, while also giving Luigi a boost in power whenever needed. However, he completely melts as soon as he touches any pool of water.
In terms of puzzle difficulty, there were a few times where I felt stumped and could not progress any further, but most of the time, the solution just involved a bit more thinking and understanding of the core mechanics, which is what a puzzle game should be all about. It never babysits you (unless necessary) and allows you plenty of time and freedom to figure out solutions yourself, so it never treats you like an idiot.
Combat in this game is very much similar to previous games. You stun a ghost with the flashlight, then suck them up with the Poltergust. You can also slam the ghosts onto the ground which does some extra damage, and feels immensely satisfying no matter how many times I did it. However, because combat is never the primary focus, it does start to get repetitive after a while.
The bosses and mini-bosses all have their own gimmicks and sometimes need a bit of thinking to figure out how to beat them, but my favourite part about them is how each and every one of them just oozes character. Each boss is distinct from one another, and they never feel stale or boring to look at.
Music & Sound Design
The music is lovely for a game like this. It provides you with sonorous dread that gives a bit of tension to exploration, but never to the point where it becomes annoying. Sound design is also fantastic, with the positive feedback you get from slamming a ghost on the floor, then sucking it up just feeling satisfying in general.
You can actually play Luigi’s Mansion 3 in co-op mode in its entirety, with a second player controlling Gooigi. It makes for a fun, teambuilding experience as you work together to complete puzzles and solve the mystery of the hotel.
There’s also a dedicated multiplayer mode. Dubbed the “Scarescraper”, a team of up to 8 players will be tasked with challenges they must complete in the hotel, either within a certain time limit or something else. It’s serviceable, and fun for a few hours, but the singleplayer definitely outshines it.
Our verdict: A must-own for the Switch!
Honestly, Luigi’s Mansion 3 might just be one of the best games I’ve played all year long. It’s fun, hilarious, beautifully designed and anyone can play it without feeling like they have to know the past 2 games to enjoy it. I’ve spent most of my waking days this past week just wishing I could get back to exploring “The Last Resort” again and again, it’s just that good.
If you own a Switch, you definitely need to pick this game up as I consider it an absolute must-have in the Switch’s library. It’s a brilliant game.
Want to get your own copy now? Buy it online from our video games partner ATO Online Store here: https://www.ato.com.my