The Alien Critic Reviews...
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TAC Reviews...Luigi's Mansion 3

Date Posted: 15/3/20


Not surprisingly the 3rd game in the Luigi’s Mansion series of games, this version is on the Nintendo Switch and features co-op game play. The game was released in October 2019 for the Switch console. I haven’t played the previous two games so have no idea how this one compares to them but I will give my opinions on it regardless. I will also say right off the bat that I have not finished the game as of time of writing so as usual if there is anything to add at a later stage that will appear in an update.


Luigi's Mansion 3 Boxart


Recently Abbie acquired a Nintendo Switch because she is very excited about the prospect of Animal Crossing being released next Friday. The game that came with the console was Luigi’s Mansion 3 and she started working through the game despite getting frustrated and quitting any game she has ever played that involves any form of challenge. Personally I was quite happy for her to have something of her own to play as this would free me up to do other things rather than lavish her with attention constantly. Oh, how naive that hope would turn out to be...


The gist of the game is that Mario, Peach, some Toads and Luigi are on their way to a hotel when they are attacked by King Boo. Mario and Co are sealed inside paintings but Luigi manages to escape to the hotel’s basement. He is able to find a vacuum that can suck up ghosts and rescues Professor E. Gadd. The Professor aids him in his quest to save his brother, Peach and the others by allowing him to create a doppelganger made of lime-goo named Gooigi.


If Luigi is to rescue his brother and friends he must work his way through the haunted hotel defeating ghosts before confronting his old enemy King Boo...


So the plot of the game I only know from the Wikipedia page. Abbie started playing the game on the the Switch screen itself whilst I was playing Red Dead Online or just doing something else. She was working towards unlocking a Co-Op mode in which one characters controls Luigi and the other Gooigi. She was getting frustrated with some of the mechanics but worked her way through until she had unlocked Co-Op at which point she asked me to play alongside her. Initially I declined and chose to offer suggestions from the background until I decided it would be more fun to play.


I was Gooigi and quickly learned that whilst he does have a health meter he is effectively immortal as if his health does drop to zero he simply respawns. Luigi on the other hand does die if his health drops to nothing. Gooigi is stored in a container on Luigi’s back and it does look like Luigi is either pooping him out or sucking him back in when Gooigi returns to the container. There are also areas that only Gooigi can enter so the game play does mean that both players have a purpose when completing the levels.


When confronting most of the ghosts in the game you need to use a flash-blub thing to stun them and then you can suck them into the vacuum. If you latch onto their tails they will try to escape and it took a while for us to work out that you need to pull in the opposite direction to the ghost to charge up a unit that lets you smash them into the floor taking off huge chunks of their health. This is more difficult than it sounds though because the ghosts twist and turn trying to shake you off and it can be damn near impossible to keep the stick pulling in the opposite direction when you are being twisted around constantly.


I also had trouble with the size of the switch controllers which are around a third of the size of a PS4 controller. I found it awkward using the smaller controller when I am used to using a much larger one. This might seem like a rather minor problem but I don’t think that the controllers are designed for anyone with hands larger than a small toddler.


When playing it solo Abbie was getting frustrated by some of the game’s puzzles because they do involve switching between Luigi and Gooigi. When controlling Gooigi, Luigi just stands there like he has fallen asleep, and vice versa if Gooigi needs to be active for a puzzle when you switch back. Whilst the majority of the game’s puzzles can be done in a closed room, in a particularly dark room, Luigi is trapped in a spike trap which is slowly closing, Gooigi must defeat two ghosts and pull a lever to let Luigi out of the cell before he is crushed to death. Abbie was doing this on her own before I started playing and was getting quite annoyed because Luigi was getting crushed as she tried to defeat the ghosts and rescue him. I have been playing games for years and was able to get my head around the mechanics much faster so the game became more enjoyable for Abbie once I started playing with her.


Unlike Super Mario Brothers Wii. which was an exercise in frustration and annoyance, when playing Co-Op in Luigi’s Mansion 3 one character did not interfere with the other. Luigi is the main character so whilst there were times when Abbie would move too far ahead and Gooigi would turn to goo, he’s immediately return to the container, one button press later and he was back in the game.


The levels are varied and colourful with the designs of the ghosts being just as colourful and just and varied. Like I said how similar this is to the previous games I have no idea, and nor does Abbie because she hasn’t played any of them either. Each floor in the hotel was beautiful in its design and involved solving different kinds of puzzles in order to proceed. Each floor also has a theme and a specific ghost that rules over it that is confronted at the end of the level.


One annoying factor was a ghost cat that stole a button and we had to look up how to defeat it because it kept getting spooked (no pun intended) and running away whenever we tried to zap it. It turned out Luigi needed to stand with his back to it, allow it to creep up and as it was about to punch, spin round and zap it. Sadly get the timing wrong and you need to start again as it would flee. Professor E Gadd kept popping up with the same trick on how to beat it which started to grate as he wouldn’t tell us what we were doing wrong just the same tip over and over, which was rather aggravating.


Thus far we have been working on finding buttons for the hotel’s elevator and have got 9 of 15, however, neither of us know if finding all off the buttons is when the game will end or we are going to need to start backtracking through the different floors to complete the game. If it is just finding the buttons then the game would clock in at around the six-to-eight hour mark which is pretty short for a game especially when some PS4 games might be 40+ hours if you are sandbox happy. Admittedly a shorter length does prevent it getting boring and repetitive, and perhaps it is pretty normal for a Switch game. As Abbie gets other games then we’ll get more of an idea on the kind-of length that Switch games are expected to have.


The game is colourful and is entertaining enough with any niggles being relatively small when compared to everything the game does well. If I had been playing it alone then the switching between Luigi and Gooigi might have been annoying but as we were playing it together both Abbie and I were enjoying it.


I am happy to give the game a Thumbs Up because it is a good fun game to play with enough creativity to keep things from getting repetitive. If this is the bench mark for Switch games that remains to be seen. Both Abbie and I have agreed on the rating below, however, that could change after the game is completed.



7.5/10 – Some of the mechanics are not explained very well and personally the switching between the two characters might have been more annoying (or possibly easier) if playing Solo but this was still a good fun game for Abbie and I to play together.


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© Chris Sharman