Let’s-a Play Luigi’s Mansion 3 – Part 1

Spoiler Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Luigi’s Manion 3.

It’s October, the spookiest month of the year! As we get nearer to Halloween, I thought it could be fun to play through a truly spooky game: Luigi’s Mansion 3 for Nintendo Switch. Perhaps appropriately, Luigi’s Mansion 3 was released on Halloween last year, but it’s taken me until now to pick up a copy! If you followed my playthrough of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order this summer, this series of articles will be in a similar format. I’ll be writing up my time playing the game, illustrating the posts with screenshots, and at the end when I’ve completed it I’ll write a summary and give you my impressions.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 is the first game in the series that I’ve played. The first Luigi’s Mansion debuted on the GameCube in 2001 (or 2002 here in the UK). I didn’t own a GameCube, so it wasn’t a title I got to play at that time, but I’ve heard positive things about the game and its Nintendo 3DS remake. The second instalment in the series, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, was also a 3DS title, released to coincide with Nintendo’s “Year of Luigi” promotional event in 2013. Interest in that title and the remake of the first entry led to the creation of Luigi’s Mansion 3 a few years later.

So that’s how the game came to be! Without further ado, let’s get started!

The title screen.

I was positively thrilled that, for the first time in a long time, a game I’d bought didn’t require any updates before I could get started! Instead the game booted straight to the main menu, from where I could select story mode and jump right into playing. A cute opening cinematic depicts Luigi, Mario, Princess Peach, and several Toads on a bus.

Luigi, fast asleep on the bus.

Luigi has a ghost-dog called Polterpup, who may be a returning character from one of the past games. That rounds out the group as they arrive at The Last Resort hotel for a holiday.

Polterpup and Luigi with their mysterious invitation.

Inside the lobby of the hotel I got my first moment of gameplay, as Luigi was able to walk around the lobby and investigate a couple of different things. I liked the old Mario theme that played when Luigi was in the vicinity of Mario. After interacting with everything in the area, Luigi checked into the hotel, at which point another cinematic played.

Mario and Luigi.

It turns out that Luigi had been invited to the hotel – along with his friends – by the owner, Hellen Gravely. She invites them all to check into their rooms, and they ride a lift that reminded me of the Disney World ride The Tower of Terror up to their floor. In fact, the creepy vibe of the hotel as a whole could be said to be reminiscent of that ride.

Hellen Gravely…
…and the Tower of Terror-esque lift.

Everyone retired to their own rooms, leaving Luigi alone with Polterpup. Exploring the room and bathroom yielded nothing significant, so the only thing left to do was go to bed. Luigi was awakened later that night by Princess Peach screaming!

Luigi woke up when he heard Princess Peach screaming.

The room was now shrouded in darkness with a mysterious mist or fog on the floor, and where there had been cute little hotel knick-knacks there was now nothing but spooky décor! Luigi looked in both Mario and Peach’s rooms, but they weren’t there. Both rooms did have signs that they’d recently been there; pizza boxes for Mario, a tea set for Peach.

Mario’s half-finished pizza.

After exiting Peach’s room, Luigi was confronted by Hellen Gravely. It turns out that she had befriended King Boo – who I believe was the main baddie in the earlier games – and he’d captured Peach, Mario, and the Toads. They’d been imprisoned in picture frames, which sounded kind of like the setup to Super Mario 64!

Hellen Gravely in her true form.

King Boo wanted to trap Luigi too, getting his revenge for being defeated in a past encounter. There was nothing to do but run! The hallway that led to Luigi’s room was the only way to go, and King Boo gave chase.

King Boo!

At the end of the hallway, Luigi had nowhere left to run. A convenient laundry chute offered him a last-ditch escape, and he dived in head first! This marked the end of the prologue, as we got the game’s opening title; the sunlit, appealing hotel changed to look dark and spooky! At the bottom of the laundry chute Polterpup woke up Luigi, and the game’s first level began.

The escape from King Boo.

Luigi collected his first coin – though what the coins do is unclear at this point – and followed Polterpup into the hotel’s car park. There he was directed to a parked car containing the Poltergust! This is the vacuum cleaner-weapon that debuted in earlier titles. Luigi will use it to suck up ghosts (I know how it sounds but that’s the best way to explain it!) It also has a powerful light that can paralyse ghosts.

The Poltergust.

Polterpup gave Luigi a quick tutorial on the weapon. It can be used to suck up ghosts, push them away with a “blow” function, shine a bright light, and create a shockwave. After confirming that I was happy with what I’d learnt it was time to press on.

Learning to use the Poltergust.

Going upstairs led back to the hotel lobby, and the first battle against spooky spirits! I was a little surprised to see that a single hit from a ghost was enough to lower Luigi’s health by a whopping twenty points! At that rate he’s only good for four or perhaps five hits, after which it’s surely game over. I’ll have to be careful!

Battling gosts in the hotel lobby.

The ghosts have locked Luigi in the hotel – presumably so King Boo can catch him – and after dispatching (or collecting?) them, I was free to explore the lobby once more.

The ghosts have sealed the way out!

Presumably this is the hotel’s “normal” state, and it was simply redressed to look more appealing to the gang when they arrived. Its current décor is much more ghostly; perfect for Halloween! There are even pumpkins.

Some Halloween decorations!

With the few ghosts gone, nobody else was present in the lobby. Luigi was able to get behind the counter and grab a shiny key – surely something that will come in handy in a title like this! There was also a large amount of money behind the counter, and Luigi went from having a handful of coins to over 1,000 in an instant. I wonder what he can spend them on?

Luigi grabs the key.

The key was obviously the important thing, as without it the door on the level above would not open. Luigi used the key to open it and unlock the next area.

Opening the door on the upper level.

A room in this area contained a portrait of a character that I vaguely recognised; it turns out this was one of the characters from one of the previous games. The professor who invented Luigi’s vacuum cleaner-weapon is trapped like Mario and co., and it’s up to Luigi to rescue them!

Luigi’s friend is trapped in a picture!

At this point, having completed the prologue, I had to get on with something else so I shut the game off. I think we’re going to have plenty of spooky fun between now and Halloween playing Luigi’s Mansion 3! The controls will take a little getting used to; there’s no direct camera control, and while the camera follows Luigi quite closely for the most part, that’s something I’m not used to in a third-person title. There’s also no jumping in the game, so it doesn’t look like we’re in for much platforming.

Though I could only spend around half an hour with the game on this first occasion, my first impressions of Luigi’s Mansion 3 are very positive, and I’m looking forward to pressing on deeper into The Last Resort hotel and battling spooky ghosts!

Luigi’s Mansion 3 is out now for Nintendo Switch. The Mario franchise – including the Luigi’s Mansion games – is the copyright of Nintendo. This article contains the thoughts and opinions of one person only and is not intended to cause any offence.