Luigi’s Mansion 3 Review
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is on Nintendo Switch just in time for Halloween! Does this next installment live up to the legacy of Dark Moon and the recent Luigi’s Mansion 1 remake on 3DS or does it suck more than a charged up Poltergust? Find out in our review!
A copy of Luigi’s Mansion 3 was provided by Nintendo of Canada for this review.
Be sure to check out our Luigi’s Mansion 3 Preview article where we dive deep into the controls and more!
Fantastic Story, Fantastic Presentation
Next Level Games is at it again and this time Luigi’s going to be slamming down a bunch of ghosts in a hotel with the help of his buddy Gooigi! The game starts off with Luigi accepting an invitation to stay at a hotel, so he brings Mario, Peach, and the Toads to get some long deserved relaxation. Luigi then wakes up in the middle of the night to notice that everyone’s been kidnapped and turned into paintings by King Boo, who has been freed by the Hotel Owner, Hellen Gravely. After narrowly escaping King Boo’s attack, Luigi must navigate his way through the haunted hotel in order to save his friends.
Right off the bat, you’re greeted with such beautifully rendered cut scenes and they don’t stop. Luigi has been animated in all the right ways to detail just how much of a scaredy-cat personality he has. This game has an abundance of cut scenes and it’s awesome!
You can watch the full game, as played by our good friend Abdallah Smash! This video was added to this post, after launch.
Luckily, Professor E. Gadd was also staying in the same hotel and brought a brand new toy for Luigi: The Poltergust G-00! This new Poltergust is equipped with a plunger-on-a-rope firing mechanic that allows Luigi to fire an infinite amount of plungers that can potentially stick on items so he can inhale the rope and overhead suplex said items. Not only does he have the plungers, but Luigi is also equipped with infinitely spawning Gooigi! At any given time, the player can click in on the right thumb stick to summon Gooigi to help out with 2-player puzzles. While you’re playing with Gooigi, Luigi stands still and is able to inhale or exhale with the Poltergust, and vice-versa, to open up a lot of puzzle solving possibilities. Gooigi has his own health that’s different from Luigi’s, so you can utilize him in all sorts of ways to test the waters of particular areas. If Gooigi loses all of his health or gets wet somehow, he’ll disappear back into the Poltergust G-00 and be available again after a short cool down.
Speaking of slamming, instead of using a health draining strobe that’s charged while inhaling ghosts like in Dark Moon, Luigi charges a slam meter very quickly. Once the meter is charged, Luigi is able to suplex slam ghosts into other ghosts for 20 damage per slam. Considering most of the ghosts have around 100 HP, slamming makes quick work of them! Other than that, the Poltergust G-00 works exactly like it does in previous games. You’re able to inhale, exhale, strobe, and use the dark light function to reveal secrets.
The progression of the story will have you exploring 17 different floors of the hotel while finding different collectibles. Each of the floors of the hotel will have 6 hidden Gems that you can collect and one hidden Boo within. If you’re unable to locate a Gem or Boo, you can visit E. Gadd’s shop and pay 1000 coins for a hint of where it can be, so keep inhaling all the coins and gold that you can find!
Check out this video from Abdallah Smash showing all bosses, with no damage taken! This video was added to this post, after launch.
The themes of each of the floors is really what makes this game shine! The difference from one floor to the next is outstanding, and despite there being over a dozen floors to explore, you’ll never feel like you are playing the same floor twice, but with different themes. They look different, feel different, and ultimately hold different puzzles that need to be solved. And make sure you see what cool idle animations Luigi might do on each floor. At one point, he will dance…but we will leave that up to you to find!
Who Doesn’t Want Achievements?
Another new feature within the game is the achievement system. As a gamer who enjoys finding all the hidden secrets within the game, this really appealed to me. As you’re playing, you’ll notice a little pop-up on screen that announces that you’ve achieved a certain benchmark. These benchmarks can be very obvious or completely obscure. Trying to get them all can be a challenge, so buckle up! Each of the achievements will be marked with “???” until you actually unlock them, which can be challenging to discover or frustrating to attempt to find.
Multiplayer is King, Right?
Multiplayer has been added to this game and let me tell you how much fun that is! I had friends over who were a mix of casual gamers and people who never even played Nintendo Switch before and we were all getting the hang of the game really quick and were having a blast. The Screampark mode is a mode that is very similar to Mario Party, where you can have 8 people play three different games on one cartridge. Just like in Super Smash Bros Ultimate, players will connect their Pro Controllers or single Joy-Con to a lobby and pick which team they’ll be a part of: Luigis or Gooigis.
The first game is Coin Floating, where players will all jump into a big pool with their duck or dragon floaty and move around the pool by inhaling and exhaling with the Poltergust. Coins will begin to drop from above, so it’s up to everyone to collect as many as possible. Players will also have to watch out for floating mines that will explode on contact, as if you’re popped, you’ll lose all of your coins and have to re-inflate your floaty to get back into the fray.
The second game is Ghost Hunt, where players will be in a jumbo-sized graveyard hunting down ghosts. Each of the ghosts have a different point worth, so picking and choosing which types of ghosts to inhale will allow for a stronger chance at victory.
The last game is Cannon Barrage, where players earn points by grabbing a cannonball on the map and loading up their cannon to fire it at targets for points. I felt this one was the most strategic one that required a lot of communication, as there had to be a player who was good at timing the cannonball shots. Cannonballs would spawn on either side of the map and it would be up to the rest of the team to battle ghosts and be the quickest to retrieve cannonballs to load up for the player firing them!
Need to find all the gems in Luigi’s Mansion 3? Check out this video from Abdallah Smash. This video was added to this post, after launch.
Aside from the small selection of mini-games, Scarescraper is where the true fun lies. Just like in Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon, you’ll be able to play this mode local and online! I had a little experience playing in local mode and I can honestly say I didn’t want to stop! This mode requires a lot of communication as there are goals of inhaling a certain amount of ghosts or collecting a certain amount of coins. If you’re not careful, you can fall into a carpet trap or get slammed behind a fake door indefinitely until another player comes to the rescue. Luckily, if this happens, you can use the D-Pad to ping a message such as “Over Here” or “Help” to let others know what’s going on. Playing this mode will allow you to have a chance at Rare Ghosts that you wouldn’t be able to find in the single player campaign, so be sure to give it a go when you’re able to!
A Few Setbacks
As beautifully detailed Luigi’s Mansion 3 is, it’s not without its share of flaws and I’ll detail a few things that I would have like to have seen done differently.
The following paragraph was added after the game launched, to adhere to embargo rules around the end of the game.
There’s really no post-game for the story mode. After beating the final boss, the game doesn’t even allow you to save afterwards nor is there any new content for doing so. One can argue that the entire post-game of Luigi’s Mansion 3 would be revisiting all of the floors and finding new ghosts and gold to collect in order to receive the best grade during the ending credits – but I wanted more than that. I spent about 12 hours in my first playthrough of the game, exploring every nook and cranny for gold, ghosts, and more – only to be greeted with a B-Rank ending. At that point, I honestly didn’t feel like doing the whole thing all over again for even more money. I would have liked to have seen a secret post-game floor or an alternate boss to battle after beating the main campaign.
I felt that collecting coins, bills, gold bars, pearls, and even the secret Gems felt like an afterthought. In the previous installment of Luigi’s Mansion, you’d get a dollar equivalent after each chapter that would show their true value. Knowing how valuable small, medium, or large pearls or even each Gem, would make seeking them out all the more important – but in Luigi’s Mansion 3, you don’t even notice what you’re inhaling half the time. Your current dollar amount is always displayed in the lower corner of the screen and just increases as you collect those currency, but for some reason doesn’t visually increase when you pick up any Gems. I would have liked to have seen a more importance placed on collecting the finite amount of money and would have liked to have seen something other than purchasing quest help items from E. Gadd or getting the best ending amount total. It would have been great to use your earned money to purchase some post-game collectibles such as models of the previous ghosts from Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon or different aesthetics for Luigi’s model or Poltergust G-00.
When it comes to battling ghosts, I felt that the ghost slam mechanic was a bit too overpowered. After the first hour or so of playing, players would naturally learn that in order to defeat the hundreds of ghosts easily, you’d have to inhale them about 20 HP, then slam them to 0 HP. I felt that this made the game devalue the actual Poltergust’s inhaling tethering that we’ve come to love in the first and second installments. Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon hit this note perfectly, as tethering a ghost was a challenge that you’d have to hold your control stick in the opposite direction while blasting charged inhales and jumping around to dodge it’s attacks. Luigi’s Mansion 3 on the other hand is really just slamming ghosts around 95% of the time, you can literally slam each ghost seven times for a total of 140 HP. All the ghosts, excluding bosses, have 100HP, 120HP, or 200HP, so triggering the “7-slam” knocks them out easily without even trying. If this mechanic was somehow built with a larger activation or have a cool down between slams, I feel players would be rewarded a bit more for their skillful dual-stick tethering.
In Luigi’s Mansion 1, the developers took their time and added a bunch of character and personality to each of the Boss Ghosts. You can snap a picture of the Boss Ghosts and get a little information about them and you can explore the mansion for books to read about the lore behind each one of them. Luigi’s Mansion 3 has nothing of the sort. Yes, each Boss Ghosts consists of really cool designs such as Cleopatra, Pirate Shark, and Female Magician Trio, but I felt that there wasn’t enough personality or backstory added for each one. Even the Hotel Owner, Hellen Gravely, was given a lot of dialogue but no real reasoning to her motives other than her unhealthy obsession of King Boo or how she even freed him. I would have liked to have seen a little more life given to each of these ghosts, even if it’s a small text box that can display a bit more detail about them in the Gallery.
In previous installments of Luigi’s Mansion, your performance in a boss ghost battle can be rewarded with a few different paintings based on how well you did with tethering it. If you were able to tether a boss in one go, and didn’t receive any damage while doing so, you were rewarded with a Platinum Boss Ghost Portrait. If you did anything under that standard, you could have gotten Gold, Silver, or even Bronze frames. This concept would cater to the more hardcore audience, like myself, to challenge players to do the best possible battle. In Luigi’s Mansion 3, Boss Ghosts don’t reward anything, and often times they have so much HP that you’re forced out of your tether to trigger a different phase of the battle.
Overall, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a great game. There were times that I was honestly baffled as to how to advance the story for minutes on end only to find a solution after trying everything possible. If a game can get a seasoned Luigi’s Mansion Veteran like me to scratch my head in thought about how to solve puzzles more than 5 or 6 times, then it’s doing something right. My first 100% play through of the game took about 10-12 hours. A casual play through of the game from start to final boss would be around 6 hours and with knowing where all the Gems and Boos are located, a 100% run would take about 8 hours without skipping cut scenes. If you’re a fan of the previous installments of Luigi’s Mansion, purchasing this game is a no-brainer. If you’ve never played Luigi’s Mansion before, I feel that this is a title you’ll enjoy for both the story and the online multiplayer, as the real replayability is in the Online Scarescraper mode. I can’t wait until launch to play with everyone online to hunt down those rare ghosts!