The latest game to play on the Nintendo Switch is Luigi’s Mansion 3. Of which this is a mini-review after having played about 10 hours. The game is surprisingly enough not developed in-house by Nintendo, but instead by Next Level Games from Vancouver.
With a lot of games set within the Mario or Zelda universe I have the tendency to become bored with the introductory dialogue. The plot is usually flimsy and oftentimes impossible to click through with sufficient speed. Luigi’s Mansion 3 is different. The story does not take itself too seriously and Luigi is source of deadpan humor. The North American roots can definitely be felt as Luigi, his brother Mario and Princess Peach make their way to a haunted mansion. The story keeps on being engrossing and there re plenty of tongue-in-cheek references only adults would get.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 has a surprising breath of gameplay. At his disposal are numerous gadgets Luigi can use to defeat ghosts, but also to make his way past the destructible environments. The Poltergust comes with multiple attachments. One is the stun light to immobilize enemies. Another is the darklight to activate portraits or electronics. The final addition is the suction pad that can be used to pull obstacles out of the way.
Another ‘gadget’ is Gooigi, the animated goo clone of Luigi. The player can use this goo figure to pass dangerous obstacles and reach areas Luigi cannot. Gooigi is not new, having been introduced in the 3DS remake.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 meets Metroidvania
All contributes to non-linear progression of the game. It is Luigi’s task to make his way to the top of the mansion to save Mario and Princess Peach. To that he will have to collect elevator buttons by defeating level boss ghosts. Each floor has rooms and obstacle that cannot be immediately be overcome. So Luigi has to backtrack from time to time. It is not unnecessary complex, but it does add to game’s depth.
However, the true joy here is the décor, the haunted mansion – or giant hotel in this case – is beautifully animated. The 30’s setting adds immeasurably to the wonderful and cozy atmosphere. It goes a long way to set the Halloween mood.
The controls for Luigi’s Mansion 3 remain iffy even with 5 hours of practice. The game’s isometric viewpoint hamper intuitive movement, but as the difficulty is forgiving it rarely impacts progress. All the gadgets that are at Luigi’s disposal does mean the player has to remember button and joycon stick combinations. Other than that smashing ghosts left and right has never been more fun.
In short Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a wonderful game. I think it is better than Super Mario Odyssey. It certainly is a lot easier to get into.