Overall - 80%
While it's about as scary as a Disney Halloween movie, Luigi's Mansion 3 is still a joy to play. First-timers and veterans alike will find their time well spent here.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 brings the series back to a home console, complete with online mechanics. Is the game worth a playthrough, or should you check out something a bit scarier? Check out this review for our thoughts.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 Review
Luigi’s Mansion 3 starts with Luigi, Mario, Princess Peach, and three Toads going to a hotel named The Last Resort. The group was invited by the hotel’s current owner, Hellen Gravely. Shortly after arriving, things take a turn for the spooky as everyone heads to their rooms to rest. Suddenly Peach screams, and Luigi is woken up from his slumber. The hotel has changed appearances and now has a foggy floor, creepy balloons, and crows looking through the windows.
After looking for his group, Luigi runs into Hellen – who is now a ghost – and she has an old friend of Luigi’s: King Boo. Boo has trapped everyone in paintings, and Luigi is next on the list. With a quick escape, Luigi drops down a laundry chute and finds the Poltergust. The Poltergust is basically a vacuum that you use to suck up ghosts and money. With your new equipment, you muster up the courage to climb the hotel and find your friends. The campaign will run you 8-10 hours, depending on how good you are at puzzles.
As you climb the hotel, you will run into new ghosts, new challenges, and Poltergust upgrades. Fighting the ghosts is simple: You need to blind them and stun them to suck them up. As you progress, they will get sunglasses, helmets, and other items to prevent you from blinding them right away. To help out with these annoyances, you can slam the ghosts into each other and weaken them, making them easier to defeat. I thought the slamming mechanic might get annoying, but it’s handy in the later parts of the game. While you won’t struggle with the rank and file, some of the bosses can bring the heat.
To get to the higher floors, you will have to beat a boss and get their elevator key. Each boss typically brings with them something new that you used on their floor. For instance, the garden boss has a plant that oddly enough is not a piranha plant that chomps at you. You have to use the weed whacker mechanic you learned on the floor to defeat that boss. Most of them are fine, but there is one where you are in a raft that is terrible. The controls feel like they are inverted, and you can’t switch them; it really hurt the experience for me. Another annoyance is when Luigi loses the key after beating the boss. It happens multiple times, and each time is more annoying than the last.
The crux of the gameplay in Luigi’s Mansion 3 is exploring and puzzle-solving. If you are not a puzzle gamer, this one might not be for you. The puzzles are not overly challenging, though sometimes you will be stumped for a minute or two. The way the game gets you is by using a mechanic you haven’t used in a while. You will find yourself going “oh duh” a few times before the adventure is over. The other thing you forgot about when puzzle solving is Gooigi. Gooigi is exactly what it sounds like: a goo version of Luigi.
Gooigi brings a lot to the table in Luigi’s Mansion 3. It can go through bars and drains, double your push and pull power of the Poltergust, and take hits for Luigi. The downside of Gooigi is that it cannot get wet or it disappears. With Gooigi at your disposable, you can be at two spots in the same room at the same time. A lot of the game feels like it was designed around you having Gooigi; you might even feel like you need to use him too much. One big bonus to Gooigi is that it unlocks co-op in the campaign for you, and that’s always a good idea in my book.
When you pick up Gooigi, you also unlock the online mode of Luigi’s Mansion 3. You and three others have to climb up floors clearing out ghosts and finding coins until you get to the top. You only have five minutes to clear the floor, or else you fail and have to restart or leave. If you have a second player, they can play as Gooigi online with you as well, giving you even more players online. After the lag from Super Mario Maker 2, I was expecting some rough patches here, but it ran smoothly for me. It’s fun enough, though I don’t think it’ll keep you coming back long.
Outside of the main missions and online, there are collectibles you can find as well. There are various gems scattered throughout the floor that you can search for, but clearing a floor doesn’t reward you. There are also Boos you can find scattered throughout the hotel while you are playing. You get some extra cash for doing this, but it felt tacked on and pointless. If you choose to do it all, it will add a couple of hours to your playtime.
I did run into a couple of frame drops when I opened up treasure chests. So many coins and cash would fly it that the game would be bogged down. It never happened when I was fighting ghosts or anything, though. I had no crashes or any other bugs to report, and it runs just fine in handheld mode.
While it’s about as scary as a Disney Halloween movie, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is still a joy to play. First-timers and veterans alike will find their time well spent here.
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