Luigi’s Mansion 3 brings together the first installment’s boss conquering and the second installment’s exploration into a beautiful mixture of both, creating a game that can be enjoyed by all fans of the series.
The models and backgrounds in this game truly give the impression of an endless tower. Each floor has its own theme, which adds to the immersion of the game. Each floor seems separate from the rest of the hotel. Whether you’re on a movie set, in a desert temple, or an overgrown garden, the setting seems to support that first and the hotel second. This is great, as it allows the player to get invested in the story of each floor; the immersiveness of the environment makes it almost too easy to forget that you’re actually in a building and that there are still other floors to explore.
Luigi’s expressiveness in this game is also amazing. Even outside of the cutscenes, Luigi reacts to his environment by getting scared stiff, falling backward and changing expressions as he explores the hotel. Besides the scaredy-cat Luigi we’re all so used to, you can see him get frustrated with chasing buttons all over the place, you can see him get excited to be cast in a movie, and his interactions with Polterpup in reviving sequences are adorable. They went all out in how they animated him, to the point where I was excited to see how he moved within the first ten minutes of the game.
Music and Sound
There’s certainly a wide variety of soundtracks used in the game, with each floor having a different theme, every different area having a track specifically crafted to suit the environment as well as the boss ghost housed in the area. For example, the basement two-floor has country twang implemented into the soundtrack which is due to the mechanic ghost, who is characterized as a southern, country-esque character.
The sound effects used in this game are also similar to those found in previous Luigi’s Mansion installments. Every ghost has its own voice and the environment has realistic, interactive sounds. While it’s not a negative, I miss Luigi humming as he walks around and the ability to yell for Mario while exploring, but that may be because of my personal nostalgia for the first game. Overall, while I didn’t find the sound and music in this game anything spectacular, I think its more of an aspect that one would notice if the same quality wasn’t present in the game. I didn’t find anything particular that ruined my immersion so I would say it was well done.
Story, Gameplay, Replay Value
Fans of both the first and second Luigi’s Mansion games will enjoy the story of Luigi’s Mansion 3. Similar to previous games, upon receiving an invitation, to some building, you go to investigate the space. In the case of this game, it is a hotel.. Luigi arrives with all of his friends and family for a free vacation and, after turning in for the night, discovers the hotel is actually taken over by ghosts. After narrowly escaping the clutches of King Boo, Luigi calms himself and embarks on a journey with his dog, Polterpup, to save his friends. The game takes you through each floor, which is conquered by defeating the boss of that respective floor and obtaining a new elevator button. While it doesn’t satisfy the collectionist in me the same way that the first one does, the segmentation definitely makes it familiar. As you progress through the game, you’re able to go back to previous floors and capture Boos as well as pick up any hidden gems you missed on your first walkthrough. Unfortunately, money doesn’t serve much of any purpose in the game, except to make these completion goals easier, which is a shame, as the amount of money collected in the first game gave you different endings. Overall, there’s a lot of content available in the first playthrough, but once completed, it’s hard to play again, as you’ve already figured out most of the secrets and puzzles in the game.
There are a wide variety of controls when compared to the original Luigi’s Mansion, and they offer a variety of uses even outside of their intended purposes. This can lead to some confusion when faced with certain obstacles. For example, if there’s an odd-looking wall, it’s difficult to know whether to use the plunger, vacuum, or dark light, without some trial and error. However, this isn’t necessarily a negative; this means that the game can’t be run through quickly and requires the player to do some thinking when solving puzzles or 100%ing the game. One instance I found particularly rewarding is discovering that the vacuum inhale and exhale controls when used together, can be used to jump over projectiles. No such jump feature existed in the first game, so this sort of ability feels rewarding to use, especially when used to avoid damage. All in all, the controls are very well designed, cramming just about as much into their ability to control the game as possible while still remaining coherent to the player.
Overall, I really loved playing through this game and enjoyed it much more than the second. The game brings back much of what I enjoyed in the first while adding some new features and quality of life changes to make it fit in with the current generation of Nintendo games. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who’s played the previous Luigi’s Mansions or anyone who enjoys puzzle games.