When booking a hotel, there are various factors you have to consider. Do they have comfy beds? Will you get a room with a view? What’s the food like? Are the owners manically trying to trap you and your friends in a painting… forever? You can never be too careful with these things and, unfortunately, Luigi will learn about this the hard way in his latest spooky adventure.

Is Luigi’s Mansion 3 a title you’ll never want to check out of, or is it just simply not worth raising the dead for? Find out in our review, after the break!

Luigi’s Mansion 3
Nintendo Switch
Developed by Next Level Games
Published by Nintendo
Released: 31st October 2019
Review copy provided by Nintendo

Let’s face it, if you received a random invitation to stay at a luxurious hotel for free, you probably wouldn’t think twice about accepting, I know I wouldn’t, and it’s obvious that Luigi and co. wouldn’t either. Unfortunately there’s a reason why the saying ‘too good to be true’ exists, and Luigi will find out why very quickly!

After a warm, yet slightly eerie, welcome to the luxurious Last Resort Hotel, Luigi and his buddies check in for the night hoping for pleasant dreams of coins and mushrooms, only to get a wake up call that they’ll never forget. After a rude awakening from royalty in distress, Luigi discovers that Mario and Princess Peach have vanished. The owner of the establishment, Helen Gravely, soon reveals that the invitation was indeed a trap, a ploy to entice you right into King Boo’s presence, allowing him to enact his revenge… which is to trap Luigi and his friends in creepy portraits for his sadistic collection. To be fair, what did you expect from a hotel called ‘Last Resort’?

Luckily, Luigi has a lot of experience with King Boo, two games worth so far, so he doesn’t find it too difficult to escape from immediate danger. Even luckier for you, Professor E. Gadd was also lured to the hotel, and even packed some ghost-busting gear with him, including the newly upgraded Poltergust G-00. You can’t just escape on your own though, you’ll need to find your friends, thwart the ghostly inhabitants of the Last Resort, and THEN escape.

As mentioned previously, the Poltergust G-00 is a newly updated model of Luigi’s ghost busting gear. This kitted up vacuum includes all the basic features introduced in the original Poltergust 3000, such as a flashlight and the ability to suck up ghostly ghoulies… I’m pretty sure that my mom wishes her handheld Dyson was that powerful. Features such as the Strobulb and the dark light return from the Poltergust 5000, allowing you to uncover the darkest secrets of your surroundings. Now, the Poltergust G-00 comes with a range of new features, including the suction shot, gust shots, burst shots, and Gooigi storage.

The suction shot is a cool little feature that allows Luigi to shoot plungers at various objects… may as well make the most of them, it’s been a while since the Mario brothers have done actual plumbing work after all. If a plunger locks onto a piece of furniture (or any other object), just vacuum up its rope and you’ll be able to just fling your worries, and armoires, away.

The burst shot (not the official name) is great against those ghouls who do not respect your personal, literally swiping you off your feet with a burst of air. This ability can be particularly useful for jumping over incoming obstacles, and can even be used to clear rubble away… who said you can’t do a bit of Spring cleaning on Halloween? The gust shot (once again, not the official name) is like the vacuum except it doesn’t suck, it blows. It may come in handy if a ghoul is attached to a particular piece of clothing or if there’s a puzzle that requires a little puff of wind.

As for the Gooigi storage, well that’s where you’ll store Gooigi of course. Gooigi is everything that Luigi wishes he could be: braver, flexible, wobblier… At the tap of a button, you can swap over to Gooigi, your (probably) lime-flavoured assistant, to help you out in a pinch. He can easily squeeze through small gaps, such as cages and drain, which allows him to easily explore areas which were previously inaccessible. When you swap between Luigi and Gooigi, the inactive character will continue doing what they were originally doing, which offers some pretty cool ways to approach specific puzzles. If, for example, Luigi were using his vacuum to suck up the rope from a suction shot and swaps over to Gooigi, he will still be trying to suck up the rope; you may find that particular objects require extra strength to budge.

What’s really cool is that, if you have a buddy who wants to join in the spooky fun, you can select Co-op at any time, after Gooigi has been unlocked, from the Virtual Boo (pause) menu, and all of a sudden your buddy can control Gooigi to give you a bit of extra help. You’ll want to be careful though, your gelatinous pal isn’t very waterproof or fire proof, so getting near any of those elements will just turn him into a goopy mess.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 deviates from the previous entry and goes back to its roots a little in which the entire game takes place in one large mansion, or hotel in this case, instead of multiple mansions, the same can also be said for the flow of play. One of Luigi’s Mansion 2’s biggest issues was the fact that there was so much stopping and starting with the game being made up of different missions. This is great for short sessions of play, but it became a pain if you wanted to play longer. What’s great about Luigi’s Mansion 3 is how you can freely explore any part of the hotel without having to reconvene back at the lab after every single objective..

While exploring the haunted halls of the Last Resort Hotel, you’ll find that the buttons for each floor in the elevator have been stolen by the ghoulish residents. You’ll be needing to track them down if you want access to more floors in the hopes to find your friends. There are various floors, as to be expected in a hotel, but each one is beautifully themed. Prepare for a fatal joust in Castle MacFrights, watch a venus flytrap grow in the Garden Suites, become dino-chow in the Unnatural History Museum and much more.

The level design of the floors is very well thought out, and many of the puzzles encourage you to experiment and think outside the box, especially if you want to find all six gems on each floor. I won’t go through any of the puzzles in detail, though I will say that my favourite floor, the Tomb Suites, does some pretty smart stuff with sand. It is a tad disappointing however, that not all floors are fully fleshed out and are instead a couple rooms that lead straight to the floor’s boss. It would’ve been amazing to explore a fully decked out pirate ship in the swashbuckling themed Spectral Catch for example. At least its boss ghost is pretty cool… assuming it doesn’t make fish food out of you.

Solving puzzles is pretty cool, but catching ghosts is important too. Sometimes… okay… a lot of the time, you’ll find yourself trapped within a room. When this happens, you’d better bet your yellow Toad that there’s a mischievous ghost lurking about. Giving the ghost a flash with your trusty Strobulb will give it a little shock, allowing you to suck it up with your Poltergust G-00, just be sure to stabilise yourself by pulling in the opposite direction to stop yourself getting dragged away. What I thought was pretty cool, and adds a bit of a challenge, is how you now have to have contact between the Poltergust and the tail of a ghost to effectively capture it, not doing so will only slowly deplete its health. A fun new feature will let you slam those pesky ghosts to deal damage to other enemies and can even break apart some furniture.

You’ll start to find that some ghosts require specific strategies to catch. Some may become attached to specific pieces of clothing or other objects to shield them against your Strobulb, so you’ll need to find a way to pry their cold, dead hands from those items. Other ghosts may require you to find them in various pieces of furniture or even guess where they are in the room using reflections and fog… this is just the regular variety of ghosts. Just about every floor eventually leads to a boss ghost. These nasties require a deeper strategy to capture, and can be quite a challenge to do so too. These ghouls aren’t cheap cop-outs like the Possessors from the previous title, rather fully personalised and unique ghosts, very much like the portrait ghosts from the game that started it all.

One thing I absolutely adore about Luigi’s Mansion 3 is how much character the game has, something that has definitely improved since the previous two games. I love all the subtleties some of the characters show, from the way Luigi calls out his brother’s name (M-m-m-m-maaaaaaaaaaariooo?) to how Gooigi slightly wobbles when he stops moving suddenly. I especially adore how much energy and personality the ghosts convey, considering how they are challenged in the living department.

Considering it’s full of ghosts and ghouls, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is absolutely brimming with life.

Sometimes you’ll find a few Goobs (your average blue fellow) jumping on the bed, or maybe you’ll see a couple Hammers (the red tough guys) prancing about in tutus and face masks, and keep your eye on those Oozers (those sly and slim yellow troublemakers) as they may pop their hands out of furniture to give you a little wave and taunt. It’s also hilarious how some of the ghosts will give a begging sort of reaction when you are about to whack them with another ghost. Some of the cutscenes are pretty funny too; it’s been a while since a game has genuinely made me chuckle so much in pure delight.

I’m thoroughly impressed with the visuals of Luigi’s Mansion 3, especially when it comes down to the cutscenes. The game looks good both on the TV and in handheld mode. Though the music isn’t anything overly breathtaking, it still does a fantastic job setting the theme of each floor, just turn the lights down, and you’ll easily feel like your in a haunted hotel in real life!

If you wish to deviate from the main story, you could give the ScareScraper a try. This ghastly mode tasks you with completing several objectives over five to ten. These randomly generated levels will range from tasking you to capture a specific amount of ghosts, finding some lost Toads, collecting lots of money, or defeating a mysterious foe; who knows what each floor will have in store! I feel that the mode could’ve been fleshed out further which was a bit of a shame. The floors all have generic hotel theming, it would’ve been really cool if they borrowed some theming from Story mode, even if it was just all for the looks. There are a few ghost types that are slightly different to Story mode however which is pretty neat.

You could attempt the ScareScraper on your own buuuuuut that’s a fairly difficult feat in itself, therefore we highly recommend taking it on with some mates (or even strangers) through a local or online connection. Overall, up to eight players can enter the ScareScraper together on up to four different systems. Four players will play as different coloured Luigis, whereas the other four will play as their Gooigis. While playing online, you can also use the Nintendo Switch Online app to communicate with the other players, regardless of if they are your friends or not, alternatively you can use the D Pad to say ‘Thank you’, ‘Come here’, or ‘Help’. I found that the mode plays flawlessly online, regardless if you are playing docked or on the go. Fingers crossed this quality remains consistent after the game launches.

If you are wanting to break from the regular ghost busting fun, maybe it’s time to head over to ScarePark. This mode will let you play three different minigames (with the potential of more to come) with up to seven other players all on the same console. I will say this now, because of my lack of local friends, I was not able to try this mode out properly, so I am unable to provide an accurate verdict of ScarePark. Once the players have chosen either Team Luigi or Team Gooigi, the three Mario Party-esque games will have you hunting ghosts in a graveyard, shooting cannonballs at targets in a castle, or collecting coins on floaties in the hotel pool. Even though the games only seem to be a small distraction, I could actually imagine having quite the laugh with some mate, especially if I can kidnap… I mean, encourage seven other friends to play the mode with me.

Considering it’s full of ghosts and ghouls, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is absolutely brimming with life. The title improves everything that felt off from Luigi’s Mansion 2 and brings it to the level of the original Gamecube release, perhaps even further. The level design is absolutely brilliant, the ghosts are bursting with character, and ScareScraper is a lot of fun to tackle. Other than the missed potential to flesh out the ScareScraper further, and the extremely annoying low health sound, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is chock full of treats perfect for Halloween, as well as beyond!

Final rating – 5 out of 5

Luigi’s Mansion 3 launches on Thursday 31st October 2019 exclusively for Nintendo Switch family systems.

Leon Fletcher

I am a huge Nintendo fan, hence why NintyBuzz exists. I especially love all things Zelda and Metroid. NintyBuzz was started by me back in the Summer of 2014, it started out mainly as a hobby, though the site has gradually grown, and I hope it grows for many years to come!