I've gone on record in the past to note that the original "Luigi's Mansion" is not only one of my all-time favorite GameCube games, but that it's honestly one of my personal favorite video games. It's clever, it's charming, it's fun to play, the gameplay still holds up to this day, and it's all just still a wondrous experience to behold even after almost two decades. While I did love that game, though, at risk of sounding bad, I never did give "Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon: a shot, simply because I'm not as deeply rooted in handheld games like I was as a child (not counting the Switch, since the system is partially a home console and provides me with more games that feel like "console experiences" than "handheld experiences"). That said, the announcement of "Luigi's Mansion 3" brought my excitement levels through the roof, as the prospect of a new console "Luigi's Mansion" game was just too exciting to pass up. And having finally played and beaten the game, I can say it definitely delivered on my expectations!
"Luigi's Mansion 3" delivers both as a console follow-up to "Luigi's Mansion" but also as a fun, charming, family-friendly "horror" game. No, the game isn't very scary, but for a game about a haunted mansion, "Luigi's Mansion 3" does do a nice job at creating an appropriate atmosphere, while also nicely eschewing some of the scary moments in favor of charm and lightheartedness. "Mario" games are not story-focused, and while this one doesn't change that, it does feature some very witty and adorable moments thanks to its bright and memorable cast of characters (Polterpup's antics are particularly adorable, too). The graphics are extremely sharp, being polished down to the littlest details and bursting at the seams with colorful designs. And from a gameplay perspective, "Luigi's Mansion 3" retains the fun ghost catching of the original game, with plenty of changes to help it feel fresh. Combat feels even better here, and the ghost catching feels even smoother as a result of the new options. The Poltergust's many new control options, such as the Dark-Light, Suction Shot, and Burst are wonderful additions that are taken full advantage of during the game, and the game itself features a vast amount of content. The original "Luigi's Mansion" was pretty short, but Nintendo's chosen to beef this one out, and the result is a game that gives you plenty to do, and a lot to explore!
I will say that the game is definitely held back in a few areas. For starters, the controls can be a bit of a hassle to deal with, largely in certain aiming sections. There were more than a few times where I was pondering how a plunger I shot wasn't lining up, or why the vacuum wouldn't suck up an energy orb or something to that degree, and that really compounded itself towards the tail end of the game. While I appreciated that the game was longer than the first, and that there was so much content within the game, many of the puzzles and boss fights near the end can be a bit too obtuse and frustrating to deal with. Sure, it feels good when you get through them, but don't be surprised if you find yourself needing a guide to understand them.
Those faults aside, though, "Luigi's Mansion 3" is nevertheless a wonderful game that lives up to its last console entry, and it definitely earns a hearty recommendation. If you've enjoyed the series up to this point, "Luigi's Mansion 3" will surely stand tall among the other titles, along with the many excellent first-party titles on the Switch. It's nice to see Nintendo bringing this franchise back (especially on a console this time), and here's hoping they don't take another 18 years to put another "Luigi's Mansion" title on a console.
Final rating: 9 out of 10 "Awesome"