I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!
It has been a long time coming but the anxious, jittery brother of Mario, Luigi, is back for another ghost-filled adventure making its debut on the Nintendo Switch and delivers splendidly.
Luigi and friends are back. This time they have all been invited to a luxurious hotel named ‘The Last Resort’. Upon arriving, it all seems like a dream come true for the plumber brothers, finally getting a much needed relaxing holiday. After a short tour around the main hall, you are taken to your room to turn in for the night. All seems well, until things take a turn for the worse for our green-suited hero.
You wake up to see the hotel is haunted. You grab your flashlight to go check on your brother and friends only to realize they have all been captured and trapped inside paintings by King Boo.
You make a quick escape to the bottom of the hotel which is where the game begins. It isn’t long before you find your weapon, the Poltergust G-00, which is combined with your flashlight to create a Strobulb to stun the ghosts, allowing you to fight back the spectral beings by vacuuming them up and slamming them on the ground repeatedly. It is a very unique combat style, one that is very satisfying when fighting the ghosts as each one has a different way of being defeated. It has a great way of keeping you on your toes as many enemies can appear at once and some can pack quite a punch so you have to adapt quickly and figure out each ghost’s weakness before sucking them up and capturing them. Some ghosts, for example, can wear sunglasses which shield them from Luigi’s Strobulb stun attack. Some can carry specific items to reflect the light from the Strobulb and use weapons too to fight back with. All this prevents the combat from feeling too similar and really pushes you to experiment with the tools you have at your disposal.
Each floor of the hotel has its own theme, including a museum, a shopping center, a gym and a greenhouse. The pirate themed one is a particular favourite of mine. All these floors are filled with intricate puzzles, some of which had me guessing for a good while but felt rewarding once it became clear on what needed to be done to move forward. Each room is littered with treasures as well and hidden secrets which was very gratifying. Coins and gems are the main collectibles. Each floor has 6 hidden gems to discover but money is everywhere and can be used to purchase a few items at the shop, although it isn’t as fleshed out as I would have hoped. You can purchase golden bones which revive you if you fall in battle. Boo locators and Gem locators are also purchasable, but these became irrelevant throughout my play-through as I preferred to find things on my own without any assistance. It quickly became apparent that the money you collect is a bit pointless as there are no upgrades or special abilities for Luigi or his Vacuum which was a little disappointing. However, hoovering everything up was addictive. Just to put it into perspective, I had amassed over 30,000 gold by the end of the game and I only bought golden bones (extra lives) which are 1,000 gold each.
You are not by yourself on this spooky adventure. The best doggo in the known ghostly world, Polterpup, joins you on your adventure. Professor E.Gadd also makes his return and is there to assist you if you get lost. You may also call upon your new best friend Gooigi, who is… made of goo. With Gooigi, you can switch between Luigi and his jelly-like friend at any time, which can help you solve tricky puzzles or take down a bigger ghost that’s too much for just Luigi alone. He can slip through pipes and gates where Luigi can’t access too. The welcome addition to the game helps keep things fresh and exciting as some areas of the game can get quite challenging and intricate for just our mustached hero. Grab a friend and you can control both of them together in local co-op. Things are less scary when you aren’t alone.
Throughout the game, you are tasked to collect elevator buttons which help you reach the next floor of the hotel. Every floor has a challenging boss who hovers between you and the button and you must overcome whatever they may throw at you. Each boss battle is fun and unpredictable, and its own unique style relates to the theme of the floor, such as the disco themed floor where you face off against a bunch of dancing ghosts. It certainly knew how to put a smile on my face. One has you battling like a giant against a rampaging Godzilla-like monster on a movie set. Another has you take on a ghostly chef in a kitchen, with food and cutlery flying about the place. A couple of boss battles were so infuriating to the point where I had to take a breather. However, you will be eager to figure out which strategies work best with the Poltergust’s powers against the spooky fiends, all whilst dodging attacks on a cleverly designed battlefield. The majority of bosses were a delight to battle against and it was exciting wondering what the next floor’s boss would have in store.
Occasionally, you are required to back-track through some of the floors which I found a bit tedious, but it didn’t stop me from having a good time exploring every nook and cranny of the hotel. The vibrant colours, foggy rooms lit by moonlight, and dark rooms illuminated by lightning strikes were a feast for the eyes. Each level is cleverly designed and it felt like every room had its own charm which makes you want to explore them all and see what secrets they are keeping tucked away.
Despite a few minor flaws, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a charming adventure, filled with humour and spooky delights from start to finish. Its well paced story kept me wanting more, all complimented by its stunning visuals. It is certainly one of the best looking games out there on the Switch. The attention to detail, impressive character animations and the haunting world to explore are all brilliantly executed. People of all ages will have something to enjoy here. Luigi’s Mansion is an excellent and enjoyable experience and a welcome addition to the Nintendo Switch.
Written By Wild Link.
All screenshots were taken on Nintendo Switch during my play-through.
Developed and Published by Nintendo.
Released on October 31st 2019 for Nintendo Switch.