Halloween has come and gone, but some ghosts and ghouls are still lingering about, haunting your living room, your TV, and even following you to work or school. No, I’m not talking about the haunting memories of that really, really awkward text you sent to that girl you tried to get with last year, I’m talking about Luigi’s Mansion 3, the ghoulishly delightful new entry in the Luigi’s Mansion franchise.
I’ve spent the last few nights exploring the game’s new setting, a skyscraper sized haunted hotel, and it’s been one joy inducing floor to de-ghost after another. This game oozes charm, absolutely oozes it. It oozes a few other things as well, like new ghosts (common and boss-type alike), new equipment and a particularly oozie goo-bound ally, Gooigi (more on him in a bit).
To the uninitiated, Luigi’s Mansion is a series about our hapless hero finding himself in possession of, stuck in or invited to some variation of haunted location, (you’d think he’d just give up going outside all together by now). In this 3rd outing, Luigi and his Mushroom Kingdom pals are all invited to an all-inclusive stay at a new five star hotel out in the middle of nowhere, sounds legit right? The gang takes a tour bus and sets off, but once they arrive at their vacation destination, all hell breaks loose. Have the Mario Brothers ever had a successful vacation? I didn’t think so. After some spine-chilling, plot defining shenanigans, it’s once again up to little bro Luigi to play house-keeping and clean up this morbid mess.
This game is so charming and so delightful, at times it feels like I’m playing an animated movie, not meaning I feel like I’m just watching a movie, I mean everything happening on screen is moving so perfectly, so cartoonishly animated, that it feels like I’m playing a movie as its all happening. I would seriously pay good money to see something like a stop-motion Luigi’s Mansion movie from the team at Aardman Animation (of Wallace & Gromit fame). Luigi would be right at home on the silver screen, slowly sneaking through some haunted setting, gripping his trusty Poltergust ghost vacuum, hands shaking, his face contorting with absolute (hilarious) fear as a mouse scurries by, completely oblivious of an actual ghost that’s playing games with him the entire time. Seriously guys, just watching this game in action is a real joy, and playing it even better.
Typically, when I play games on my Switch, I prefer handheld mode, usually lying on the couch with the TV on in the background. I usually have the sound off while I listen to whatever’s on TV. With Luigi’s Mansion 3 however, I’m finding myself playing with my nice headphones on, volume cranked, so I can hear every little detail reverberating through this hell-bound hotel. The wind blows, thunder rumbles outside, the occasional chattering from an unseen ghostly foe. The floor creaks, the door hinges could all use a little oil and I’ve gotta admit, it’s gotten a good scare or two out of me. It’s all so ambient, and makes up quite a bit of the experience, playing with the sound off is absolutely not an option here.
On the graphics side, the game is crisp and clean on handheld mode, with the occasional stutter and slowdown when the screen is abundant with apparitions, but this is rare. On docked mode, things get a little jaggier, but nothing too extreme. Loaded with detail, Luigi himself has never looked better, or more expressive. His facial expressions will leave you in stitches, and so will his hat because they’ve even gone and rendered the trademark L logo with actual thread lines, it’s a really neat little detail.
Back again is Professor E.Gadd to lend a hand in the haunted happenings, outfitting Green Mario with some new toys and tricks, like the aforementioned Gooigi, a green goop doppelganger of Luigi, who lends a sticky hand for puzzles throughout the game. At first I wasn’t keen on having a gimmick like this in the game, but Gooigi quickly becomes a reliable asset and he’s a breeze to use. You’ll need those tools to take on some very fun bosses all throughout the hotel. Every time I reach a new floor I can’t wait to see what the theme is and what the boss will be like, so far it’s been a riot every time.
In closing, if you’re looking for a spooky good time, please consider letting Luigi’s Mansion 3 haunt your Switch’s memory card, and let the Halloween season live on a little longer before Christmas and the Holidays take over the end of the year.
- They might as well have called this game “Luigi Robs An Entire Hotel 3” because every room is so riddled with cash just lying around, Luigi could retire and buy a nice non-haunted split level ranch somewhere in the Luncheon Kingdom.
- The common ghost enemies you fight are such goofy little dopes that I constantly find myself laughing out loud at some of the antics they get up to.
- Toad’s feet squeak like a dog toy when he walks and that’s just incredible.
Johnny Rootbeer is a friend of the website (and friend in real life) who is a frequent guest contributor to WickedGoodGaming.com and Not Another Gaming Podcast.