It’s been 18 years since the original “Luigi’s Mansion” was released on the Nintendo Gamecube. After all this time, one would expect Luigi to be a little more used to hunting down ghosts since he’s been in the business for so long.
Luigi’s return in “Luigi’s Mansion 3” on the Nintendo Switch proves that he is still the hilarious and frightened character fans love and remember. The comedic elements of the game added to the sinister, yet silly ensemble of characters that make the game an uncanny delight with tons of replay value.
In the game, Luigi sets out on a vacation to a hotel with his brother Mario and their friends, Peach and Toad. Everything is all fun and games until Luigi finds out that the hotel is crawling with poltergeists and that his friends and brother have been kidnapped by the ghosts haunting the hotel.
With the help of Gooigi, a Luigi clone made of slime that can fit through rails with his goo-like body, his trusty ghost-sucking vacuum and Professor E. Gadd, Luigi goes through the different themed floors in search for his friends. Every floor in the hotel is unique and original and none of them share the same design.
Some of my favorite floors are Paranormal Productions, a production studio with different movie and television sets that can be used as teleporters, Twisted Suites, a magic-carnival-like floor with ghost magicians and The Dance Hall, a disco club with a dance floor filled with rhythmic ghosts and colorful neon lights. These were only three out of the 17 themed floors. With every new floor, I was excited to see what the theme or gimmick was.
“Luigi’s Mansion 3” offers the same formula of gameplay as the other two games in the series, but this game did introduce new elements that kept it fresh and quirky. One of my favorite elements that this game offers is Gooigi. Players can summon Gooigi from Luigi’s vacuum and control him to get through hard to reach places and offer Luigi an extra hand defeating the ghosts in the hotel. This aspect of the game also made some puzzles in the floors harder because one had to strategically use both Gooigi and Luigi to move on.
Some of the puzzles in this game are extremely tough, and it would take me a while to figure out how to solve some of them. Luckily, Professor E. Gadd can be used to give Luigi a call and offer hints telling the player what to do next.
What I love about “Luigi’s Mansion 3” is that it is filled with classic horror and science fiction movie references. Some references that I spotted include Georgie’s paper boat, a ghost doing the Pennywise dance and the classic balloon at the end of the hallway, all from Stephen King’s “It.” There are even some references from “E.T.,” “Ghostbusters” and the 1982 film “Poltergeist.” Since this game is set in a hotel, I am a bit disappointed that there weren’t any “The Shining” references, but I could have missed them.
“Luigi’s Mansion 3” also has co-op functionalities. Players can team up with each other as Gooigi and Luigi in story mode, or play online in ScareScraper. A new mode is also available called ScreamPark, a party game that offers minigames like the ones from the “Mario Party” series. This is the perfect mode to play with a group of people since the minigames are simple, casual and enjoyable.
Overall, “Luigi’s Mansion 3” is a comedic, spooky ride. This game has the most personality compared to any game I have played before. With the themed floors, tough boss battles, hard to find collectibles and jocose single and multiplayer gameplay, “Luigi’s Mansion 3” is worth picking up. I know exactly who I’m going to call if I my house ever gets haunted. “Luigi’s Mansion 3” receives a score of nine out of 10.