The latest Mario series game, Luigi’s Mansion finally brings the other brother back to the spotlight. Despite the number “3” in the game’s title, the story plays off more as a standalone rather than a trilogy allowing for new players to pick up the game.
Luigi’s Mansion offers a thrilling and enjoyable experience for all players with its mix of combat, boss fights and puzzles. The most surprising thing about this game was its consistency and length. On average the game runs about 10 hours and never dips in quality from start to finish.
The combat feels quite rewarding especially when you discover some of the secret gameplay mechanics in the game. Unlike many games of its genre, Luigi’s Mansion does not hold the player’s hand and leaves a lot up to discovery. The game provides a brief tutorial for each mechanic but leaves the rest to discover to overcome challenges and obstacles that crop up.
Luigi’s Mansion also does something rarely seen in most modern games, making each boss fight unique. Not just in design but also in gameplay. How to defeat each boss is linear but requires a different method, there is no one method to defeat all the bosses. What makes this entire game a breath of fresh air with its combat and diversity if boss fight mechanics is its setting. Despite the word “mansion” in the game’s title, it does not take place in one like the previous games. Instead, the setting is in a hotel and this allowed the developers to have free reign in making every floor unique and vastley different. One floor of the hotel is a tomb while another is a pirate ship theme. The floors are just vastly different from one another and this allows for the boss fights to be entirely unique in their concept.
Despite all of its creativity and exciting gameplay that has some interwoven horror game moments, Luigi’s Mansion suffers one critical flaw that can hinder the overall enjoyment of the game. The controls a very cumbersome and irritating, at times it feels like the game’s controls have a mind of their own and you will be fighting against them. The clunky mechanics like aiming projectiles will make the difficulty of some bosses go up exponentially. While the boss fights are challenging in their own right, the game tacks onto the difficulty with its wonky controls. This is a pretty serious issue that can quickly turn enjoyment into irritation.
The other issue the game has comes from its double-edged sword approach at leaving most things up to player discovery. While not being hand-holding is great, there still need to be some hints no matter how obscure to solve a puzzle. The puzzles in Luigi’s Mansion 3 range from being straightforward to being extremely cryptic in the method used to solve it. In one instance on the 7th floor, the way to solve one of the puzzles is to take one object and slam it into another. The issue with this approach is it is the first time this method is introduced and there are no hints given if you are idling around for several minutes trying to figure it out. The common thing I noticed with the cryptic puzzles is that it wasn’t just a me issue, there are several comment sections and forums of people discussing their frustration at being stuck at these parts.
I believe these flaws could be easily fixed with a patch to make the game enjoyable to its full potential. With all the endless Mario titles being released these days, Luigi’s Mansion stands on its own for fulfilling fan’s craving that has been years in the making along with spicing up a predictable Mario style gameplay.