Through the years, Nintendo has shown — with few exceptions (ex. Rare) — that they leverage the best the hardware can do and push it to do more than it appears on paper. Luigi’s Mansion 3 joins that list as a very beautiful experience. It is full of well-crafted environments and spooky themes.
Like the previous games, Luigi’s Mansion 3 revolves around Luigi catching ghosts in a creative and fun manner. The stakes are higher this time as Mario, Peach, and the Toads get kidnapped by King Boo (the antagonist from the first game) who has escaped!
The entire game takes place in a very remote, 17-floor high-rise hotel. Each floor of the hotel has a unique theme and some of them become their own worlds. One of the floors has a medieval theme and jousting arena in it that looks like a stadium. Luigi has all the tools from the previous games (like the darklight and flash bulb). His main weapon is the Poltergust – which he can use to suck up enemies, and items such as coins and health.
The first new mechanic is the plunger attachment, which lets the player fire a plunger at a door or object with a rope attached. The player can then suck up the rope and pull the object or door off, revealing new items and areas. The second new feature is the Gooigi. Gooigi is a goo-based copy of Luigi that comes equipped with the same tools. Gooigi can squeeze through grates to access hidden items or switches. The game also has co-op so a second player can control Gooigi in the main story mode.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is an impressive looking game. The environments especially have tons of details. Almost every object can be destroyed or damaged by Luigi. I did spend a lot of time admiring the designs of the different hotel floors. The enemy and side characters also look quite good. The lighting effects in the game were very impressive. Lights went out when ghost activity increases and come back once the player has dispatched them.
The game has a fair amount of exploration on each floor, with gems, easter eggs, and treasures hidden throughout each floor of the hotel. NPC creatures (rats, spiders, etc.) can be sucked up by the Poltergust for coins. Gold creatures yield lots of coins, which can be spent at the lab (when unlocked) to get upgrades and items. One problem I had was reorienting Luigi to aim and catch golden rodents and spiders for extra coins. I found it faster to stop aiming and move Luigi and then start catching the vermin.
Each floor also has a boss ghost that you must defeat to get an elevator button. Once the player places a button back in the main elevator, it will allow the player to explore that new floor. The player can visit any unlocked floor at any time. They can use that ability to look for hidden items like gems.
Boss battles in Luigi’s Mansion 3 are unique and need clever combinations of Luigi’s ghost-catching tools to win. This makes the boss battles varied (and frustrating). But it does test the player’s creativity as you cannot spam one type of attack.
The game controls are good but some of the movement and aiming seem a bit loose. Sometimes you need to reorient your aim and it seems a bit clunky to do so. Other than that, the controls were responsive and the default button layouts made sense as I grew accustomed to them.
The music is great. The series has always had fitting music for the spooky themes of the game. This one keeps the atmosphere fun and haunting. It reminds me of the music you’d hear at Disney’s Haunted Mansion. The music also gets frantic when you in battles with ghosts or bosses.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a fun game with a light, spooky atmosphere and good gameplay. The boss battles are challenging and get more difficult as you progress, but very satisfying when you defeat the boss ghost. It’s good for all ages and has great co-op. I can’t speak to the multiplayer mode but it does have multiplayer as well, which is a plus. I would definitely recommend adding this to your Switch collection if you enjoy fun adventure games.
This review was written based on a purchased copy of Luigi’s Mansion 3 for the Nintendo Switch.