It is close to midnight. Something evil is lurking in the dark. Under the moonlight, shadowed by clouds, you see a sight that almost stops your heart. You try to scream but you remember your child is in bed. Your thumbs start to freeze. As horror looks you right between your eyes. You are paralyzed. Welcome to Luigi’s Mansion 3 a thriller of a frightful game.
I rather enjoy listening to the late great Michael Jackson. Thriller being one of my top choices from his amazing collection of music. The night I played my first playthrough of Luigi’s Mansion 3 was the 31st October 2019. Halloween and spookily this track played from my Spotify playlist, bang on at midnight. This was a perfect track for the spooktacular adventure I was having with Nintendo’s latest game to hit the Nintendo Switch.
The review contains minor spoilers.
The game starts out as Luigi, Mario, Princess Peach and a group of Toads are travelling on a bus for a well-deserved break. Toad is driving the Bus like a total maniac. Why? because he can barely see the road. Just see the image below and have a laugh.
At the back of the bus, our hero sleeps, then after an abrupt awakening, his faithful pup Polterpup from Luigi’s Mansion 2 appears. With the invitation to luxurious high-rise hotel, they arrive and are shown to their individual rooms by a ghostly woman called Hellen Gravely. What looks to be a stunning hotel all changes as Luigi starts to read a book and like me, falls asleep after the first page. He awakes after hearing Princess Peach screaming out in the middle of the night. For Luigi it was frightful you could say and sets off to find out what’s wrong and maybe help. You soon find out that everything has been set up by KING BOO. Not only have all your friends have been turned into portraits but it will be your job to save them.
Soon after you find yourself in an underground garage and you come across a red car. Inside the red car is the new Poltergust model G-00. As you traverse you will also find a Dark Light bulb which allows you to free Professor Elvin Gadd from a portrait. The Poltergust model G-00 comes with an array of features. Luigi has a slam attack which slams ghosts to the ground and can also do damage to other ghosts in the surrounding area of effect. There’s also a stunning charge, an area burst attack that helps control multiple enemies, a suction cup which allows you to fire a plunger at objects carried by ghost or obstacles and remove/ smash them and finally the Darklight that reveals hidden items and animates portraits.
You will find that while traversing around taking down ghosts and solving puzzles, a load of money comes from almost everything in the environment. With the money, you can purchase hints that make it easier to find the collectable Gemstones and Boos. The game does this by activating the HD Rumble feature when you get close to one but if you are struggling in the game Professor Elvin Gadd will sometimes suggest that you outright purchase hints. You can turn this feature off though. You will also find hearts which will give you some health back, keys to unlock doors, treasure chests and much more. Not to mention some rare ghosts too and there really is a lot to do and find in this game when you get into it.
Like previous games, this game is an action-adventure game, which sees you controlling Luigi from a third-person perspective view. A view that works great. Your main objective to save your friends obviously, as you capture ghosts, solves puzzles and defeat a number of bosses. These bosses increase in difficulty as you progress throughout the game. The game is set within a hotel and as with all hotels, they contain floors, with each floor locked away until you have revealed a way to access the lift to go higher. Each floor within the hotel has its own unique theme like the Fitness Center, an indoor swimming pool, or a floor which is a desert with a pyramid. How about a night club with its own dance floor and neon lighting? Or even a fancy museum? This is not your average luxurious high-rise hotel though. Oh no, this is your above-average luxurious high-rise hotel from the pits of ghostly hell and each floor looks spooky.
A brand new addition to the game is Gooigi. Though truth be told, it is not all that new. Gooigi was first introduced on the Nintendo 3DS with the original Luigi’s Mansion after all. Gooigi is a little weaker than his real counterpart and will dissolve if he comes into contact with water. He does have all the right moves and can be controlled by you, or with a friend through local co-op. During the game, you will need the use both Luigi and Gooigi to complete levels, help in battles and solve puzzles. Being goo, Gooigi can easily pass through gaps, in vents, pipes and other tight-fitting holes and can also walk on deadly spikes. These are all things Luigi cannot do. I feel this adds a lot more depth to the gameplay and being able to play with a friend/partner just adds another layer of fun to the game.
The bosses in this game start rather simple but get harder as you go up the floors. Captain Fishook a pirate shark, Johnny Deepend, DJ Phantasmagloria found on the club floor and of course, there is KING BOO and many many many more bosses to defeat, each offers a unique style of gameplay and tactics to bring down.
Just a heads-up local co-op is only available once you have unlocked Gooigi, approximately 1 hour into the game.
Multiplayer makes a triumphant return with two modes ‘ScareScraper’, which was first seen in Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon, and the new ‘ScreamPark’. Up to eight players can join in the fun locally or through online matchmaking. You can either play as Luigi or Gooigi and the only thing that sets them apart are the four colour variants.
ScreamPark offers up team match-ups, one team plays as Luigi while the other team plays as, you guessed it, Gooigi. Matchups include Cannon Barrage which sees you capture cannonballs, load them into a cannon and shoot them at a target. The harder the target to hit the better the reward. Ghost Hunt, well the name says it all. Capture ghosts and the stronger the ghost captured, the bigger the reward. Coin Floating is when your team is set upon floats in the hotel’s pool and the idea is to use the Poltergusts to push yourself towards the coins. The more you collect the better chance your team has of winning, just watch out for the pesky mines.
ScareScraper doesn’t have much to talk about. Your objective is simple, save toads and capture ghosts while racing against the clock.
I have to admit one thing, after so many years of playing Mario and Luigi with many systems, I would have loved to have heard them with a full voice-over by now. It is not needed, it’s just something I would have loved to hear. I understand why Nintendo would not see the need to do it, as it might upset the core audience, but maybe include it, as an option to turn on and off.
So after experiencing everything, Luigi’s Mansion 3 threw at me during my 20 hours of game time, what did I think of the game? It is a masterpiece once again from Nintendo. Possibly one of the best performing games of 2019 for the Nintendo Switch. I enjoyed each and every themed floor, especially the nightclub level with the disco floor and the neon lights. I found the controls a bit tricky at first, but over time got used to them. The game isn’t scary at all though so younger gamers need not be afraid. This won’t give them nightmares.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is exclusively available on the Nintendo Switch
Luigi’s Mansion 3 will also have some DLC, for multiplayer ONLY, nothing that will add to the core story.
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