Luigi’s Mansion 3 Is So Fun It’s Scary

Much like their sibling struggle, Luigi’s sidebar series gets far less love than any of Mario’s adventures. Considering both of Luigi’s previous ghost-busting games were pretty great, it’s a shame we haven’t seen more of them. Luigi’s Mansion kicked off in 2001 as a launch title for the Nintendo GameCube, followed by a very long hiatus that ended in 2013, with Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon on the Nintendo 3DS. Six years and one remake later, we’re finally getting the third entry in the Luigi’s Mansion saga on Nintendo Switch.

The wait was long, but the good news is that Luigi’s Mansion 3 is by far the best game in the series. Part one was a little on the short side, and part two was restricted by the 3DS’ graphical limitations. But the third one has neither of these shortcomings. The main quest is wellll over a dozen hours, even if you’re not collecting the game’s many well-hidden gems. This is also one of the most polished looking games on the Switch (no wonder Luigi’s always shaking in his plumber boots). Whether you’re playing in docked or hand-held mode, you’re sure to be wowed by the “drop-dead” visuals on display here, which are some of the best on the Switch.

In terms of plot, you should already know what to expect, even if you haven’t played a Luigi’s Mansion game. Luigi, his pet ghost dog Polterpup, Mario, Peach, and a gaggle of Toads are invited to stay at the Last Report Hotel (okay, technically not a mansion). Upon their arrival, everything seems amiss. And guess what? It’s TOTALLY a ruse! As it turns out, the hotel’s run by ghosts, who manage to trap Mario, Peach, and the Toads inside paintings—but Luigi’s fortunate enough to make a dashing escape via a nearby laundry chute.

With the assistance of Polterpup, Luigi manages to rescue his old professor pal E. Gadd, who was also trapped in a painting after being duped into visiting the hotel. And it’s a good thing the two reconnect, because E. Gadd has something very special tucked away in the basement: a brand-spankin’-new Poltergust for Luigi to suck up evil spirits. Replacing the outdated Poltergust 3000 and 5000 is the Poltergust G-00 (the likeness to the word “goo” is completely intentional). This new gizmo can not only vacuum up ghosts to slam them around like ragdolls, spit out plungers that stick to objects, release a dark light to reveal hidden secrets, and blow back an explosive burst of air, it can also spit out a gooey replica of Luigi, called “Gooigi” (har-har). Gooigi can perform all of Luigi’s neat tricks, in addition to squishing through tight spaces, walking on spikes, and sliding through grated areas due to his gooey nature. But, like a Mogwai, don’t get him wet. He won’t multiply, but he will melt away into a puddle of goop. I guess that makes him more Wicked Witch of the East than sweet, adorable Gizmo. It’s also worth noting that you can let a friend play as Gooigi for 2-player co-op.

If you’re familiar with the series, then you’ll know that it’s always been part adventure, part puzzle-solving. Initially, the action and puzzles are fairly cut-and-dry. However, as Luigi continues to find elevator buttons in order to explore the myriad floors of the towering Last Resort, he’ll encounter more than a few brain-busters that make inventive use of this game’s newly introduced gameplay mechanics. In addition to getting bulbs, each floor of the hotel contains six hidden gems, and good luck finding them on your first walkthrough. Oftentimes, a gem will be staring right at you, but for some reason you just don’t have the right tools to grab it. Or do you?

While sucking-up and slamming ghosts can be loads of fun, the best action occurs during the game’s 18 epic boss battles, which will have you squaring off against supernatural chefs, security guards, and even a pirate shark (yes, a pirate shark) to earn those elevator buttons. As dynamic as the bosses are, their respective levels/floors (which will take you to a shopping centre, a gym, and even a sunken ship) are equally innovative and diverse. This is one swanky hotel!

While Luigi’s main mission is where where the games truly shines, there are a pair of very solid multiplayer modes that as many as eight players can get in on. By entering ScreamPark, two local-player teams compete against each other in a trio of distinct Mario Party-style minigames. The second mode, ScareScraper, can be played online or on the couch with friends. The object is to ascend the floors of either a five or 10-floor tower with the help of your pals. Of course, there are plenty of hair-raising challenges and g-g-ghosts to have you gunning for the exit in a fright. Then again, this hotel is just too gosh-darn fun to leave.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 is available now exclusively on the Nintendo Switch. Check out the trailer below.