Luigi’s Mansion 3 Switch Review – Highly Polished, Ghost Bustin’ Nintendo Fun

Luigi's Mansion 3 Switch Review

Not specifically set in a Mansion as such, but rather a Hotel this time around, Luigi’s Mansion 3 sees Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and a bunch of Toads set off on a holiday to stay in a fancy looking hotel. But all is not as it seems, as I soon discovered. Featuring some fantastic visuals, genuinely funny moments, great fun gameplay and a fair level of challenge, the game is the latest in must have titles for Nintendo Switch. But I urge you to play it on your TV if you can, for the best experience.

The original Luigi’s Mansion, released all the way back in 2001, was one of those must buy titles. Released, as it was, alongside the Gamecube, as THE big first party release title, the game launched in a window that didn’t include the usual Nintendo big hitters of Zelda or Mario. It was the only way to to spend time with the folks of the Mushroom Kingdom on Nintendo’s fancy new home console, albeit in a strange new world a million miles away from said Kingdom. Mario Sunshine was a long way off and Link’s next adventure was a mere unplayable tech demo at the time.

Focusing on the often sidelined Mario brother, the game was a short but unforgettable adventure through Luigi’s Mansion, introducing us to Professor E. Gadd, a new gadget to play with and little sign of Mario. The game was a lot of fun, looked great with some nice lighting effects and that signature Luigi hum. Later, the 3DS years saw the release of a sequel, subtitled ‘Dark Moon’ – this time Luigi had five different properties to explore, this time with an upgraded vacuum cleaner and multiple mission based levels. Naturally, the 3DS shrank the action down to the small, portable screen but it improved on the original game in every way, adding multiplayer options and an extended single player experience. Both titles were excellent alternatives to the traditional Mario Bros. titles and well worth your time.

Luigi's Mansion 3 Switch Review

Right from the outset, the presentation of Luigi’s Mansion 3 is of the quality I have come to expect from Nintendo. From the lovely intro movie, featuring rendered 3D models of Mario and Luigi, Peach and friends, the visuals, including lighting effects, dust particles and collectible gold so shiny you want to touch it, are top notch. That said, I have noticed a few rough edges when playing the game on my big TV. The sound effects are punchy, the music atmospheric and the HD rumble is super effective as you feel and hear the thud of everything being vacuumed up. Sucking up the huge amounts of cash is hugely satisfying. And there is literally loads of it, everywhere. In every draw, under every cushion, and, somehow, out of every tap, and I really enjoyed making sure I’d gathered up everything I could before moving from room to room.

It’s of course not far into the game before you get the vacuum from within the Professors old car, stashed in the basement of the hotel. Immediately it felt reassuring familiar to control, from the option to blow or vacuum, the fight against a strong ghost, trying desperately as they do to escape your grasp, alongside the new slam feature which is used to swing ghosts from side to side in order to reduce their health by slamming them into the ground, furniture, or other ghosts. Another new feature for the game sees you receiving an upgrade for your toolset, in the form of a gooey clone named Gooigi. The said Goo lives inside the Poltergust, but on a quick click of the R joystick he can be released for you to control. Initially he can be used simply to slide through gated off shop areas and grates on vents. Then, he becomes the key in solving simple puzzles, to walking through spikes to get into position where he can pull a rope to clear said spikes from the floor for Luigi to make his way through. He can be used to double your vacuum power just when you need it too, by activating the vacuum on one Luigi, then clicking R to take control of the other, before activating theirs too. This way you can use both Luigi’s to full effect, but you can also play the game in co-op mode too.

Luigi's Mansion 3 Switch Review

Playing the game in Handheld mode I really noticed the HD rumble of the original Switch console. It’s used really effectively, and really enhances the gameplay. But it’s worth noting that HD rumble is missing on the newly launched Switch Lite. Coming out hot on the heels of this console, the game is going to be appealing to owners of the Lite, but I really feel that to play it like that, on such a small screen, is a real opportunity missed. Of course, the game LOOKS even better on the small screen, but in some areas it’s just too hard to see what’s happening. And not only is this a shame, simply because there’s so much detail and so much to see, that by playing on the small screen you’re missing out, but also because, in some instances, it makes it too difficult to see what you need to do. There were multiple occasions where, for example, I didn’t see a secret; a small fan I needed to blow air at, in order to retrieve a gem, or my way around when sneaking under the floor of a room to reach a chest. I much preferred to pop the Switch back in my dock and play on the TV wherever possible.

The game is full of lots of new ideas, especially considering the setting is just one hotel building. After traversing around the first few floors, through kitchens, dining rooms, bedrooms, and even a shopping area, suddenly, after finding lift buttons needed to access new floors, I found myself in brand new areas I didn’t even remotely expect to see. From a giant multi-floored green house, where I had to ascend up a large plant, swing across gaps and use a chain saw attachment to cut through tree branches. I was making my way through a castle, dodging spikes and battling against a knight in an arena, whilst being booed and jeered at by what looked like a cardboard crowd – clearly fans of the knight. Floors feature a film set, a pirate ship, a museum and a night club – but I won’t go into any more detail because to do so would be to spoil the surprises that I found.

Throughout your adventure your friend the Professor communicates with you via a Virtual Boo. It even rings when you have an incoming call from him, upon which Luigi will take the device from his pocket and place it to his face. It’s a fun little touch for Nintendo fans. At some key moments through the game, fail to grasp the task at hand and he’ll give you a call in order to give you a handy tip. Believe me, I needed these tips multiple time, as there were honestly moments when I was wandering around aimlessly not knowing what I was supposed to do. A friendly Polterpup also pops up now and again to point you in the right direction – both are a great addition to the game to help you progress through the story.

Floors feature puzzles, ghost to catch and gems to find. Exploring every corner is key to progressing before tackling the floor’s Boss ghost. Battles proceed, and include fights with a range of enemies that require testing methods to figure out the right approach to beating them. Some are tricky, some are less so, but I didn’t enjoy the REALLY annoying alarm that activates during the battle when I got low on hearts. It makes tense scenarios even tougher when you have the constant sound and I’m not ashamed to admit that I did die a few times. A handy bone item, that can be bought from Professor E. Gadd using some of the huge amount of cash I collected during the game, meant I recovered quickly to continue the fight – an item I made sure I always had available to me during my stay at the hotel.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a fantastic addition to the Switch library and an excellent return to what has become Luigi’s starring role. With up to 8 player ScareScraper and ScreamPark multi-player modes to also enjoy, I encourage you to pick it up and check it out for yourself. Whether you’re new to the franchise or a fan of the previous titles, there’s plenty of new content and new surprises to experience.

Thanks to Nintendo for supplying the code for the game.

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