Luigi’s Mansion 3 – Story Mode Preview
This preview is based on the first few hours of Luigi’s Mansion 3’s Story mode. Some minor spoilers are included towards the end of this article – you have been warned!
After a couple of days playing Luigi’s Mansion 3, two things are clear. One, Luigi and his mates haven’t learned a thing about accepting suspicious invitations to strange locales. Two, Green Mario’s third outing appears to combine many of the first two games’ strengths into one adventure.
Luigi’s Mansion 3’s premise sees Luigi, Mario, Princess Peach and several Toads arrive at a glitzy multi-storey hotel – spookily named the Last Resort – expecting luxury and mushroom cocktails. However, in a move that surprises no one except the victims, the Mushroom Kingdom residents are all trapped except for Luigi – further proving he is the vastly superior Mario brother.
Beyond the opening setup, the opening hour is relatively slow. You won’t receive the Poltergust G-00 until quite late in this period, and many of Luigi’s core abilities are drip-fed through wordless tutorials. It’s not an ideal way of teaching new or returning players the basics, with Luigi’s friendly Polterpup showing button prompts during the hand-holding phase. However, more context is added to the tutorials within the guide section of the menu. Following the sluggish beginning and once you’re reunited with the enigmatic Professor E. Gadd, Luigi’s Mansion 3 picks up the pace and the real fun begins.
Among Luigi’s standard abilities once armed with the Poltergust G-00 are the vacuum suck and blow features used to slurp up ghosts and move objects, and the hidden object-revealing Dark-Light Device from the second game. Defeating ghosts retains the same flow as Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, where after flashing the ghouls (with your torch, you filthy degenerates), you begin pulling back on the left-stick until a full circle forms around the “a-button” prompt. Once you get the Luigi-green light, you can then press “a” several times to WWE-slam ghosts around the room in a gleeful act of family-friendly violence. Additionally, Luigi now can slam the ground by pressing “ZL + ZR” simultaneously which sends enemies and objects flying, and he can also shoot a plunger to latch onto larger objects to heave them out of the way.
Most importantly, after first appearing in the 3DS remake of the original, Gooigi is back for Luigi’s Mansion 3 – bigger and gooier than ever. Whereas Luigi’s gelatinous companion was an optional component of the Luigi’s Mansion remake to allow multiplayer, Gooigi is an integral member of the ghostbusting team here. After fetching a special item for E.Gadd, he installs an add-on for the Poltergust G-00, allowing Luigi to spawn Gooigi at any time by pressing in the right-stick. From here, you can swap freely between the two Luigi-like entities to solve puzzles together. While Gooigi dissipates at the hint of water, they possess the full Poltergust G-00 kit and are able to squelch through grates and gaps Luigi cannot physically bypass. Beyond this, there are various puzzles requiring the duo to use their vacuuming skills simultaneously, which is a clever way to vary up the gameplay. Arguably the best thing about Gooigi in Luigi’s Mansion 3 is the ability to play much of the game in drop-in, drop-out local co-op, easily accessed via the in-game menu. Naturally, when my brother and I tested this out, hilarity ensued due to the comical ways in which the two characters can interact.
Promisingly, Luigi’s Mansion 3 feels like it has kept much of the sprawling exploration components of the series’ first game. Uncovering the Last Resort’s many secrets has so far been satisfying, including unlocking additional floors to explore after retrieving missing elevator buttons from mini-bosses. Thankfully, the claustrophobic mission structure of Dark Moon is completely absent, meaning you can continue at your own pace without the risk of being teleported back to base against your will. However, Dark Moon introduced many nifty iterations on the ghost-hunting formula, such as Luigi’s additional combat and environmental abilities, which are all present here. After playing for several hours, it still feels like Luigi’s Mansion 3 has plenty left to show, which I look forward to sharing once the full review embargo lifts.
Oh, and one more thing. Stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers. Luigi’s Mansion’s communication method: the Game Boy Horror. Dark Moon featured the Dual Scream. As for Luigi’s Mansion 3?
Modelled after everyone’s favourite virtual-reality kit, E. Gadd’s latest communication technology is the Virtual Boo, commonly referred to in-game as the “VB”.
Firstly, it seems extremely impractical and unsafe to don a VR headset in a building riddled with ghosts out to get you.
Secondly – and this is showing my Australian heritage – all I picture when the characters refer to the VB is Luigi throwing back a slab of green tins after a long day of ghost hunting. I suppose the can’s colouring would be his favourite.
Luigi’s alcohol preferences aside, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is shaping up well after a slow start.
Stay tuned for some more preview coverage of Luigi’s Mansion 3’s multiplayer modes while you wait for the full review to drop on Tuesday, 29 October at midnight AEDT.