Luigi’s Mansion 3 has managed to do what no other game before it has done, it has inspired true terror inside me. Every night since booting up the game for the first time, I’m kept awake in bed, constantly tormented by this game. More specifically by the skin crawling, moist feeling sounds that permeate the environment whenever series newcomer Gooigi walks around. Every single time I must take control of this green clad doppelganger, his movement causes me to cringe because the noises that he creates are absolutely disgusting. Its by far the worst thing about the game, yet luckily, it’s the only negative that I have against the game. Every other part of the game is entertaining and highly produced, the negatives that I had with its predecessor have been addressed, and the additions to this sequel only bolster the fantastic foundations of Luigi’s Mansion 3.
The setup for this threequel has Luigi and the gang excited for a vacation in a luxurious hotel far off from the princess’s castle, a vacation that quickly goes to the wayside after the owner of the hotel unleashes Luigi’s nemesis King Boo along with Professor E. Gadd’s ghost collection. After a brief introduction, Luigi sets out on his journey to recapture the ghosts and save his friends, slowly making his way from floor to floor of this adorably spooky hotel. The extent of the narrative generally ends there, from here on out the game is solely focused on getting the player from floor to floor while solving puzzles and capturing ghosts. Its core gameplay loop, while simple, proves highly variable through its various floor themes, its gorgeous visuals, generally engaging puzzles, and creative boss fights. Each floor of the hotel is designed to represent a particular theme that can go from those you would expect to find in a hotel like a kitchen, to the more out there ideals like an ancient Egyptian tomb. The games constant variety kept me engaged throughout and I genuinely found myself smiling at the various ways they were able to cleverly design levels and puzzles to coincide with whatever theme the floor your on has adopted. The fact that the game relies on hotel floors shows that the developers truly listened to fans of the sequel game. In Dark Moon, the game was chopped up into pieces and split into levels that could be accessed through a menu, and this was by far the most disappoint and frustrating part of the game for me because it took this really interesting concept of exploring a vast mansion and cut it up into pieces, completely breaking any sense of immersion or connectivity I found in the games environment. The hotel setting of this third game fundamentally allows for the game to be split into albeit bigger levels, yet still feel like a overall singular connected environment that I could retrace my steps through at any point in time.
Its environments are made all the better by its collectables, doing anything will unveil a stream of coins and cash that have an odd ability to feel incredibly satisfying to suck up into luigis vacuum that I was constantly scouring the environments in order to collect as much as I could. The same goes for the collectable gems that can be found on each floor of the hotel, sometimes you’ll walk into a room and see a gem standing out in plain sight, yet unable to grab at that moment in time. Every time this would happen I would stop whatever I was doing to attempt to solve whatever puzzle was preventing me from claiming my prize, sometimes this process would talk a few moments, however there were the occasional puzzles that stumped me causing me to run around in circles for the better part of half an hour until I realized what mechanic I wasn’t utilizing properly and then being able to solve the same puzzle in less than a minute. Puzzles are at the core of this games design philosophy, and the developers managed to give themselves the perfect setup for some truly engaging and creative puzzles, our already mentioned slime-guy, Gooigi. Gooigi acts as a secondary character that the player can choose to switch between at the click of a button, and due to his rather flexible nature, Gooigi can reach places where Luigi cannot. This gives way for some really fun puzzles that require quick thinking on who to utilize when, using both Gooigi and Luigi to navigate through the hotel in different ways has proven to be one of my favorite parts of the game and is in my mind the defining mechanic of the game and almost as fun to play around with as Luigi’s iconic Poltergust. Which has received a bunch of really useful upgrades apart from its ability to dispense Gooigi, from a shootable plunger, to the ability to pump a burst of air that shoots Luigi upward, disturbing whatever items are surrounding you at the time. These all have their various uses for combating the supernatural foes that Luigi finds himself at odds with, yet in the end I found that there was no beating the classic Luigis mansion strategy of utilizing the flashlight to shock ghosts then following it up with sucking them up through the poltergust and occasionally slamming a ghost on the ground to get your point across. The combat here is relatively simple and uncomplex yet its completely satisfying and I truly wish that this isn’t the last we see of it for the next decade.
I found Luigis Mansion 3 to be highly enjoyable, I was constantly excited at the prospect of discovering something new within the hotel. I couldn’t stop myself from smiling at the delightfully animated cutscenes, cutscenes that gave both Luigi and the hotels ghost inhabitants such unique identities that still stick in my mind today. Its boss fights are generally a fun time with the occasional frustration here or there, but nothing that isn’t easily forgotten by just how much of a joy it is to play and discover new things. If you enjoyed the second game in the franchise there is no doubt that you will enjoy this game, its core ideals and gameplay loop are the same however this third installment sets out to blow its predecessor out of the water in the size of its scope and manages to nail everything it attempts to do. I’m going to assume that fans of the first game will feel similarly however having never had the opportunity to playthrough the first game, I cannot truly say for certain. In the end I think the game will generally appeal to previous fans of the franchise, yet I’m almost certain that the game will appeal to anyone looking for a 3D adventure puzzle game. Luigi’s Mansion 3 is without a doubt one of the most fun and enjoyable experiences I have had in 2019 so much so that it might just make its way onto my top 10 of the year list.