Luigi’s Mansion 3 is scheduled to spook worldwide audiences on Halloween. Luckily for me, I got to play a pre-release build at Fan Expo Canada. Was it a trick or treat?
The demo starts off with a brief (and slightly confusing) tutorial. Standing beside Polterpup, the game attempts to teach you how to control the game. Oddly, you have free movement in the space, though the game requires you to stand in a specific spot in order to complete its prompts. I saw multiple people get tripped up on this, requiring the reps to explain what was supposed to be done. Odds are this won’t be an issue in the final game.
After that, Luigi finds himself standing just outside the top row of what appears to be an arena. Though I thought this game was set entirely in a hotel, this outdoor environment shows that there’s at least a bit more to it. Your goal is to work your way through the hotel and defeat the boss in the arena.
Armed with a flashlight and vacuum cleaner, Luigi will use these tools to blind ghosts before sucking them into his trusty vacuum. The experience of pulling in the opposite direction of the ghosts in order to weaken them is the same, but Luigi ended many of his flourishes by slamming the ghosts into the ground before completely absorbing them. Really nice graphical touch.
Details like that were hard to ignore. As a whole, the minutia of the game’s animations benefit greatly from the horsepower of the Switch. The game looks gorgeous and a huge step up from what we’ve played so far on the GameCube and 3DS.
One weapon that I believe is new to the series was Luigi’s ability to shoot plungers. During certain fights and puzzles, you’d need to stick them onto objects and pull. Curious to see how many ways Nintendo can use this mechanic.
Most exciting was the inclusion of Gooigi. If memory serves me correctly, you summon him by pressing in the right stick. Once you have control over Gooigi, you can’t control Luigi, but you can freely switch between the two. Having a second Luigi is handy for solving puzzles that require two “people”, which the demo made heavy use of.
As an example, there’s an elevator that requires someone to twist the gears to make it move. With Luigi in the elevator, Gooigi could then work the gears to bring Luigi down. From there, Luigi could control the gears on the lower level to send the elevator back up for Gooigi. The game will be playable in co-op, so I’m hopeful that it’s incorporated well.
Will have to admit that I got smoked by the final boss. It involved a ghost riding on a bull. You had to flash your light at it just before it rammed into you, but I couldn’t get the timing down. For now, I’ll just have to stew on it until the game arrives later this year!
The plunger and Gooigi are nice touches, but I’m most excited to see Luigi get spooked throughout the course of Luigi’s Mansion 3. I think it retains all of what fans of the series loved from those first two games while amplifying the whole experience with a sizable step forward in graphical horsepower. This is easily a day one purchase for me!
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