The first video games console I bought myself was a Nintendo GameCube, the other consoles I had as a kid were ones I had either received as presents or were ones my stepdad owned.
That being the case I have a lot of fond memories of my GameCube and even more so of the games that I had for it.
One of those games was Luigi’s Mansion, a great little 3rd person ‘shooter’ (I’m not sure how to classify it) that was completely unlike any Mario title I’d played in the past.
It was spooky, it didn’t involve jumping on Goombas and it involved Mario’s brother in the titular role, and I spent many years hoping for a sequel.
Jump forward way-too-many years and finally Luigi’s Mansion 2 came out on the 3DS, I bought it on release but if I’m being brutally honest it was a bit of a disappointment.
I think the hub and task based structure of the second game lacked the contingent feel of the first and while it was great to be able to play it on the go I’d have rather played it sat in front of the TV with more graphical power.
When Luigi’s Mansion 3 was announced for Switch and was shown to be back to the old formula I was really excited to play the game and relive that experience of ghost busting.
Like most Mario Bros games the story isn’t exactly going to win any innovation awards but that’s not the reason I’m playing in the first place so I can look past that aspect.
This iteration of Luigi’s Mansion sees Luigi and the others staying at a hotel that just so happens to turn out to be a trap and in order to save his brother and friends (who of course get captured) he must explore every floor of that hotel.
In order to have a reason for the player to visit every floor the buttons in the elevator have been removed and to get the buttons the player must defeat a boss.
This particular set up can get a bit tedious as aside from some (kind of annoying) side quests involving the hotel owner’s cat, the order you get the buttons is very linear.
I think this linear aspect towards the level progression is my only gripe with the game’s story and over all it’s an enjoyable narrative structure that holds the game together.
A nice little addition to the game which is separate to the story is the achievement list for standard level clearing tasks but also for more complex gameplay related tasks.
The achievement list makes it more interesting to stick with the game to complete the list and actually does a good job of highlighting the fact that the Switch would be much better if it had system wide achievement functionality.
One of the best additions to the game (and series, I hope) is E.Gadd’s latest invention – Gooigi.
While it takes a bit too long for my liking to unlock, Gooigi allows for two players to play the game in a co-op mode that sees both players working together to solve puzzles and catch ghosts in a fun and very balanced manner.
Gooigi has one weakness however, if he touches water or lasers he will dissolve.
Luckily, Gooigi’s life isn’t linked to Luigi’s and he can be bought back any number of times so it becomes more of an inconvenience than anything impactful.
This co-op addition meant that my girlfriend, having never played any of the previous games, could join in the fun and she really enjoyed it.
The game overall is pretty easy, especially with two players but I’d say the later levels turn up the difficulty level, especially the last two bosses.
I ended up against the last two bosses by myself and I must have gone through at least 4 golden bones (extra lives) during the hotel owner’s fight.
During the fight with the hotel owner you have to control both Luigi and Gooigi to simultaneously remove lasers and stun & capture the boss which as you’re context switching can lead to some frustration.
That being said, if you’re playing co-op then this becomes a lot easier as each player can focus on the separate tasks that need to be completed.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is an aesthetically pleasing, enjoyable sequel that every Switch owner should play at some point.
If you’ve got a friend, loved one or random stranger who you can play co-op with I think that’ll be the best way to enjoy the experience as working together to solve puzzles is far better than on your own.