In the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario gets all the best press.
It’s a perk of keeping Princess Peach safe, but it must be difficult constantly living in the shadow of a famous sibling. Occasionally, however, Luigi gets his chance to shine. Because while Mario might be great jumping on Goombas and keeping Bowser and his kids in line, Luigi fights the one thing Mario always runs from: ghosts.
In “Luigi’s Mansion 3,” our titular hero must once again tip toe into the unknown, solving puzzles, fighting ghosts and, this time, rescuing his friends.
Turns out that King Boo somehow managed to escape and lures the whole Mario gang to a luxurious resort for a nice little VIP retreat. Unfortunately, the glitzy facade hides a haunted hotel and King Boo manages to capture everyone except Luigi, trapping them in paintings and hanging them around the hotel.
What can one little plumber do except track down a fortuitously located Poltergust G-00, the latest in ghost busting technology, and explore the hotel in search of his friends.
Exploration lies at the heart of “Luigi’s Mansion 3.” The Last Resort hotel (shouldn’t the name have been a hint) holds more secrets than Peach’s diary, and Luigi will need to search every inch of the hotel to get out with his friends in their corporeal forms. Luigi also discovers his mentor, Professor E. Gadd, was also lured to the hotel and captured in a painting (it’s he who left the Poltergust behind). Once rescued, the professor sets up a portable lab to provide Luigi assistance.
As with past “Mansion” games, the Poltergust G-00 can suck and blow, and features a bright light to stun ghosts long enough for you to suck them up. There’s also the dark light attachment which can make ghostly objects appear, and a new tank of slime that attaches to the back and holds the series’ latest weapon: Gooigi.
As the name implies, Gooigi is a doppelganger for Luigi made from goo (ectoplasm for the nerdy types out there). Gooigi can squeeze into places Luigi cannot, like flowing through drains and vents, and slipping between bars.Somehow, he comes fully equipped with his own slimy Poltergust, and can do everything his mortal double does.
Players can switch between Luigi and Gooigi at will, and at times will have to use them together to solve certain puzzles. Gooigi also opens up the opportunity of co-op play, allowing a friend to take control of the green sidekick and lighten Luigi’s load all the way around.
The massive hotel won’t disappoint those upset that “Luigi 3” only has one location, as opposed to “Dark Moon,” the series’ second game, which contained several.
Each floor has its own theme allowing for a wide variety of puzzles, and plenty of tricky spirits to fight. There isn’t a huge variety of ghost types, but each does have variants to keep things interesting.
The bosses, however, will take your breath away. More than a dozen of these uber-ghosts wait for Luigi, each with its own arsenal of moves and tricks, and each boss fight is nothing short of a joy.
Players can methodically make their way through the hotel as quickly as possible or spend time to track down every gem and boo (each floor has one which doesn’t appear until after you capture the boss and return). Either way the main campaign will keep you occupied for a good while.
There are also two dedicated multiplayer modes: The Scream Park and the Scarescraper. As with the previous game, the Scarescraper lets up to eight-players team up to clear a set number of floors, busting ghosts and rescuing Toads against a ticking clock.
The Scream Park gives two-players a chance to compete in a number of mini-games to see who can collect the most ghosts, money and more. Both multiplayer modes are perfect for parties, or anytime players want friends to join in the fun.
It has already been a robust year for the Switch, with some fantastic exclusive games.
“Luigi’s Mansion 3” does a great job standing out, giving players one more reason to stay up late playing under the glow of their Switch screen.
“Luigi’s Mansion 3” – Nintendo – Rated E
Who it’s for: Action/adventure fans looking for a fantastic family friendly game
Switch – A