One of the hardest parts of joining a long running series is knowing where you can jump in, and nothing pushes that feeling more than when a game has a big 3 at the end of it.
For me Luigi’s Mansion 3 seemed a little daunting, especially given my only experience with the series was recently trying the remaster of the original on 3DS. Fortunately, if you don’t mind not knowing why Luigi has a ghost dog, then this entry is a perfect time to jump into the series.
Luigi, Mario and the gang are invited to the luxurious Last Resort hotel where after settling on their first night Luigi wakes to discover their host is a ghostly woman who has let King Boo out of his containment. Luigi and Polterpup avoid being trapped in paintings like his companions by jumping down a washing chute with only a flashlight in hand. He soon finds a new vacuum in the basement, and Luigi’s mansion mischief ensures.
If you have played the first game, you will recognise King Boo. If you played the second game, or Googled it like I did, you will recognise his ghost dog Polterpup, but as I said before it is not something to gate keep you from this new game. The hotel is new. The premise of beating bosses to unlock elevator buttons so you can make your way up each level to get to the top to free each of your friends and beat the boss ghosts is self-contained enough that any newbie can jump right in for the fun.
As fun this game is, I was keen to play other games that have come out but seconds into playing something else, I wanted to get back to Luigi’s mansion. Each hotel floor is small enough that Levels don’t seem that long but running around these relatively small areas beating the puzzles will burn more time than you realise, in a good way of course. Like other Nintendo Switch exclusives such as Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey, time melts away.
Exploring you will use your new companion, who briefly appeared in the remake of the original game in multiplayer modes, Gooigi. Gooigi is a green goo version of Luigi who lives in his vacuum who you can deploy to squeeze through grates and other tight spaces. When Gooigi is active you can only control one person, the other is left in the state when you switched meaning they sit off to the side, or potentially vacuuming something if you need both characters to vacuum at the same time. It certainly makes for some clever puzzles, and some frustrating bosses as water immediately melts Gooigi, so some bosses use water to frustrating effect.
If you are totally new to the series, then the combat basically involves blinding ghosts using your flashlight, then sucking them up with the vacuum. It can’t be that easy of course as they put up a fight, and you suck away their health by pulling in the opposite direction they do, after sucking for long enough if you haven’t lost them or collected them already, you can slam them into the ground to take of bigger chunks of health. It’s a simple mechanic that when employed with bosses or unpredictable ghosts can be a real challenge at times.
There is some local multiplayer as well in the game. This is comprised of minigames like sucking up the most ghosts in a specified time and collecting coins in a pool using your vacuum to propel yourself without hitting the bombs. They are relatively simple games, but plenty of fun if you are playing with the right people, and it’s an entertaining little add on for what is an excellent single player game.
New to the series, or returning from the classics, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is another example of what Nintendo has been pumping out for its fans for years.
A fun platformer with the usual cute Mario design style makes the game another must add to the collection of Switch exclusive titles. It won’t be the horror experience you are looking for, but when you are in the zone a couple of it’s silly scares that terrify Luigi, may give you a little jump too.
Released: October 2019
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Next Level Games