Luigi's Mansion 3 review: Local haunts

Almost twenty years after the first game's release, Luigi's Mansion 3 continues the green-clad hero's ghost hunting extravaganza. But does the formula still work as well as it did in 2002? Our review.

7

Step into the beautiful and haunted hallways of the Last Resort, a towering hotel full of puzzles, thrills, and a load of ghouls and ghosts. In Luigi’s Mansion 3, players once more take control of Mario’s green-clad brother in a bid to explore the hotel, capture a slew of ghosts, and stop the terrifying hotel owner from trapping Luigi and his friends forever. Filled to the brim with atmospheric locations, puzzles, and tons of ghoulish activities, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a fantastic addition to the Switch’s roster.

Hauntingly good

Luigi's Mansion 3 review - pirate cove

A big part of any great game is the atmosphere and Luigi’s Mansion 3 is absolutely oozing with it. From the various environments on each floor to the themed puzzles and bosses, everything that you come across feels beautifully knit together to help create this creepy vista that Luigi will need to brave if he wants to save his friends and capture all of the ghosts.

The result is a myriad of different themes, which all fit together nicely to create a unique path through the towering Last Resort hotel. Each floor feels different enough that the game never gets too grindy or boring, and the spacing of boss fights and puzzles means you’ll constantly be pushing forward without ever feeling like you’ve hit a rock wall you can’t get past.

This is something that I’ve always felt Nintendo does well, and while Luigi’s Mansion 3 won’t take you 20+ hours to complete, the game’s story fits so nicely together that it’s often hard to put the Switch down and stop playing.

New and the old

Luigi's Mansion 3 review - taking on ghosts

Another thing that Luigi’s Mansion 3 does very well is the blending of old and new mechanics. While you’ll see the return of some familiar faces throughout the game, as well as some familiar mechanics, the developers have also brought in a few new toys to help Luigi out along his journey.

The Poltergust G-00 features a few new abilities, including a new suction cup mode that allows you to break down doors, pull over certain objects, and more. You’ll also find that Luigi has found a new companion in Gooigi, a green, gooey version of the unlikely hero that can sift through bars, walk through spikes, and crawl through hard to reach places that Luigi can’t go on his own. These new mechanics help to make the game feel fresh, while still holding tight to the basic formula that was so charming and enjoyable way back in the early 2000s.

ScareScraper also makes a return with Luigi’s Mansion 3, allowing you to team up with four other players to hunt down ghosts and complete objectives. This makes for a frantic good time with pals and can be enjoyed both locally and online. On top of ScareScraper, though, Luigi’s Mansion 3 also includes a new multiplayer mode called ScreamPark, which combines some intriguing minigames together for local play with up to eight players. It’s like a mini Mario Party with Luigi’s Mansion mechanics, and it makes for a very fun way to enjoy the game’s atmosphere with some of your closest friends. Minigames like Ghost hunt, which tasks players with capturing the most ghosts before the timer runs out, add a nice addition to the activities already included.

One ghost, two ghost. Good ghost, bad ghost

Luigi's Mansion 3 review - sandy temples

As much as I loved Luigi’s Mansion 3, there were a few things that threw me off about the game. While most of the puzzles are pretty straightforward, some of the boss fights were a bit frustrating at times. Not because the mechanics were necessarily difficult, but because they often required you to aim for specific parts of the bosses, which is a bit of a troublesome thing with the aiming system in Luigi’s Mansion 3.

Many times, I’d try to aim for a specific point, only to find the reticle snapping somewhere else. While the snapping was nice in a few instances, it also led to some frustrating deaths in later boss fights of the game. I won’t go into any intense details on these boss fights since those are some of the best moments of the game, but you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared for a few difficult moments throughout unless you manage to master the aiming system early in your playthrough.

The game also features the standard Nintendo Switch gyro-controls by default, which added a bit of frustration when I first set out on Luigi's latest. This can easily be toned down or turned off, though, so it’s not necessarily something I’d consider worth writing any points off for. Despite the difficult moments I had with the aiming, though, each boss fight was fun and challenging enough without being too much of an obstacle.

Building on the foundations set before

Luigi's Mansion 3 review - multiplayer

If you’re a fan of the Luigi’s Mansion series, then Luigi’s Mansion 3 is exactly what you’d expect out of a new game in the series. While it adds some new mechanics and modes, Next Level Games never does anything drastic to shake things up, but this isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes the formula just works, and the Luigi’s Mansion series is a prime example of something that isn’t broken and doesn’t need fixing, so why change it?

I enjoyed every moment of my time with Luigi’s Mansion 3 and while I’d have loved for the game to be a bit longer, I will say that it was nice to finally play a game without any kind of artificial endings. There aren’t any big surprises here, and that’s perfectly okay with me. If you’re looking for a fun, enjoyable, and hilarious adventure to add to your Nintendo Switch’s library, then you can’t go wrong with Luigi’s Mansion 3.


This review is based on a download code provided by the publisher. Luigi’s Mansion 3 will release exclusively on Nintendo Switch on October 31, 2019.

Guides Editor

Joshua holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and has been exploring the world of video games for as long as he can remember. He enjoys everything from large-scale RPGs to small, bite-size indie gems and everything in between.

Review for
Luigi's Mansion 3
9
Pros
  • Beautifully crafted rooms and atmosphere
  • Fantastic sound design
  • Builds on the basic formula without changing it drastically
  • Great pacing throughout
  • Fun puzzles that never feel too difficult
Cons
  • The aiming system can be a bit wonky
  • Could have been a little longer
From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 28, 2019 7:01 AM

    Josh Hawkins posted a new article, Luigi's Mansion 3 review: Local haunts

    • reply
      October 28, 2019 7:04 AM

      Cool! Looking forward to this! :D

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      October 28, 2019 7:07 AM

      Wow! Much higher score than I was expecting. Nintendo keeps on rollin'

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        October 28, 2019 9:04 AM

        Curious, what makes you say that?

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          October 28, 2019 9:13 AM

          Probably because there's no such thing as a Shacknews 10/10 so a Shacknews 9/10 makes it pretty much an "any other outlet" 10/10.

        • reply
          October 28, 2019 9:51 AM

          Sorry I meant in general. Metacritic has the game at 86 currently which is awesome. I was expecting an average game at best but it looks much to be more than that. I’ll probably pick it up now.

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            October 28, 2019 3:41 PM

            It was the second best demo I played at E3 behind Doom Eternal. The section they had was great and the character animation is top-tier (whoever animates at Next Level doesn't get paid enough), glad to hear the overall game holds up

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              October 28, 2019 3:47 PM

              Pre ordered. Gonna surprise my kids on Thursday.

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      October 28, 2019 7:08 AM

      Year of Luigi!!!

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      October 28, 2019 7:18 AM

      IMO Dark of the Moon was too long, so hearing that it's more compact makes me happy. I was going to hold off on this but I might end up with it on Thursday...

    • reply
      October 28, 2019 7:54 AM

      My kid is hyped x 1000000 for LM3.

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      October 28, 2019 8:46 AM

      I'm not sure why I want this game but I do :P

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      October 28, 2019 8:56 AM

      ohhh couch coop campaign and additional coop mode. might have to get this.

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      October 28, 2019 8:59 AM

      So pumped! How long did it take you to finish Josh?

    • reply
      October 28, 2019 9:33 AM

      I got to play a pretty good chunk of the game this weekend and Id say my experience pretty closely mirrors this review.

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