Luigi’s Mansion is finally available on 3DS.
As Nintendo’s spooktacular adventure game, with Halloween just around the corner and Luigi’s Mansion 3 recently announced for the Switch, I think old mate Nintendo might have a bit of a hype train loading up here.
Full disclosure. I am a huge Nintendo fan and I’m also a massive fan of the Luigi’s Mansion Series. I was six when this game released for GameCube and have strong memories of a very scary game with a super dynamic environment.
I have big nostalgia and Nintendo bias. But let’s get into this Luigi’s Mansion review. My very first review ever. Be gentle.
Luigi’s Mansion opens with ‘shit Mario’…greenWaluigi…the older Mario brother cautiously walking through a forest of skeletal trees under the illumination of a full moon. He shivers with fear and moves with trepidation towards The Mansion, staunch in gossamer against the night sky.
When Luigi enters the mansion — and when he enters any new area — your view zooms to the doorknob and focuses on his be-gloved hand, shaking in terror. ‘Big L’ puts on a brave face and his hand steadies before turning the knob to enter the unknown and face the dangers of the darkness.
Very quickly, Luigi is confronted by a gang of spectres and it seems the curtains will draw too soon on our lime protagonist. Suddenly, an old bespectacled man clad in a lab coat bursts into the room and rises to our hero’s defence. It’s professor E. Gadd and armed with his Poltergust 3000 (Ghostbusters vacuum cleaner) the enemies are quickly routed and the pair makes their escape.
The story continues in The Professor’s Laboratory, hidden underground in close proximity to the spook-infested manor. It’s revealed that Luigi has won the mansion in a contest he hadn’t entered and that Mario has disappeared into the mansion a few days earlier.
The Prof explains the mansion appeared out of nowhere very recently and some jerk-ghosts freed his ‘collection’ of exotic phantoms. These special spooks (see. bosses) need to be re-captured and jammed back in their portraits, and you’re just the less-popular brother to get it done.
E. Gadd bequeaths the ghost-sucker to L with a quick lesson in bustin’ ghost ass then sends you on your way.
This sucks, literally
Exploring the mansion is an almost unparalleled experience, especially on 3DS. There’s this constant sensation of being watched and the ghosts are obnoxiously present. The theme song is enough for me to recommend the series to players and Nintendo knows that shit is catchy.
Luigi hums along with it as you solve the puzzles to unlock more rooms to bust more ghost ass. I’m not sure you can call it humming but the ghosts make a weird sound to match the theme song as well. I don’t know how to make the sound or what it’s called because it’s a sound only ghosts make.
If you have bones and make the sound you’ll die.
I played the game with 7.1 surround headphones on because I fucking love the roar of the vaccy as it winds up and the shrieks of the ghosts as they desperately claw at the air in futility, victim to my vindication.
I wanna stress that the audio design in this game is top notch and you should put some headphones on to hear it at its best.
The reason there are so many sounds is that nearly everything, including what’s bolted down and the kitchen sink — the kitchen sink is actually an important resource — can be interacted with. Set cobwebs aflame, hit out of reach objects with the jet stream from you Poltergust 3000, shake anything within reach and you’re a good chance to find a treasure or even items necessary for story progression.
The mansion is alive (with the dead) and you need to slap some reason into this rowdy shack.
I AM ‘Fraid of Them Ghosts
I don’t wanna give away too much. I’m not sure that matters for a remastered game from 17 years ago but I still haven’t seen The Usual Suspects and I didn’t know who Keyser Söze was until I Googled how to spell his name just then.
Anyway, there are special ghosts you need to capture that are only available after a room has been cleared. The lights will come on when a room has been voided of unwanted polterguests and then you have to play hide and seek to find these resilient jerks.
There are a fair few of them and they will flee into other rooms and make you play hide and seek some more and they are real pricks about it.
Hot tip; they will really try to avoid going near you so if they HAVE to escape, push them towards areas you have access to. If they go into locked areas it’s a real time waster to reset the mansion and return them to the original area.
If you stutter step with Luigi while they are caught in your vacuum gust, they will be stunned and you can really do some damage to them before they get away. These guys have big health pools towards the end so shake ya left stick like you don’t care and/or in an all about fashion like you throwing down big hokey pokey energy.
I’m gonna take the opportunity to have a whinge here. The C-stick is not good and it made me really angry towards the end of my pilgrimage.
It’s good enough for 95% of the game but when some fine control is needed for the final boss, that little rubber nub ain’t my friend. To get good enough control of the C-stick I had to secure my hand by propping my pinky under the front of my 3DS.
This is where the power button is and I turned my game off four times during the final boss.
I might be a dickhead but that really got my ectoplasm boiling. Save frequently too, because scary gets annoying really quickly when you’ve seen the same scare five times in a row. Saving is done with Toads or after big ghost caps. Very convenient.
All in All, there’s some Ghosts in the Walls
A second annoyance I have is that the game is shorter than my patience for intermittent, accidental power outages due to inferior console design.
I beat the game in about five hours, if not quicker. I also was dicking around taking notes for this review and I think I ate five cupcakes and a burrito as well.
There’s a “Hidden Mansion” replay available after completion where the difficulty sliders are moved to the right so that’s nice but the main game content is five hours. That’s for a C-Grade on loot collection and 47/50 of the harder ghosts collected.
There are 25 boss-ghosts available for you ghouling — see duelling — pleasure and you may battle these titans of the afterlife at your pleasure.
Depending on your kill skills, you’ll be rewarded with either a bronze, silver or gold portrait. There’s also an achievement list for completion junkies.
The more achievements you get the bigger and more detailed the trophy gets for your flexin’ needs. There’s definitely more than five hours of content in this game but you can pump it out in an evening for sure.
It’s still a great game and definitely worth playing especially now that it’s portable, but it’s a shame it was released for 3DS and not Switch. Oh well, we can just look forward to Luigi’s Mansion 3 now.
Luigi’s Mansion was reviewed on 3DS using a retail copy provided by Nintendo.
Game Title: Luigi's Mansion 3DS
25 Unique Bosses - 10/10
The dreaded C-Stick - 5/10
Six year old me was hyped up to the max - 9/10