Sunday, November 10, 2019

I Don't Like Luigi's Mansion 3

There is a lot to love in Luigi's Mansion 3. The animations look straight out of a Pixar film, The graphics and frame rate performance is spot on, the characters are lovable as ever. Unfortunately, for me, thats where the "love" stops. This is my first Luigi's Mansion game, and it's likely to be my last.

First off, this is not a review. This is more of an impressions post after about 5 hours into the game. I was enticed by all the praise being poured over Luigi's Mansion 3, and to some extent I feel fooled. Like... what twilight zone am I living in where everyone LOVES this game but me? Am I the weird one? Maybe... But at any rate, here are my 4 complains about Luigi's Mansion 3.


From what I understand, the original Luigi's Mansion on Gamecube featured what you'd expect from dual stick controls. the C-stick controls which direction you face, and the analog stick control the direction you move in. So why did we go BACKWARDS to the tank controls of Resident Evil? I feel like I'm always fighting with Luigi to get him to do what I need him to do. Not only that but I find the button mapping absolutely baffling. I can count on one hand the number of times I've used the "blow" function, yet its mapped to one of the most accessible buttons for a game that uses both sticks. It's infuriating trying to look around, use the Dark Light, and move at the same time. I've done finger-twister with my controller many times trying to make things work.


Fixed camera perspective is fine. I'm sure it worked well on the 3DS. But there has been multiple times where I feel like I just can't make out how far something is, or where exactly Luigi is standing in relation to the backdrop. And it makes for a downright awkward puzzle-solving experience. Even if we had a little control of the camera, it would help shift the perspective enough, but those controls are locked behind specific scenarios.


I find Luigi's Mansion's puzzles confusing. This is where opinions differ, I get that, some people like the feeling of mystery behind an opaque wall of unknowns. And I enjoy that kind of thing within the context of story-telling. I feel like Luigi's Mansion does a bad job of communicating what exactly I'm supposed to do in any given puzzle. This is most prevalent on Floor 8 (the movie set). I'm not going to spoil anything here, but the series of events you're expected to execute with zero communication is maddening. That floor is some 'Link's Awakening trade quest' level of confusion.

Enemy Verity

So, most battles boil down this:

Step 1: remove 'shield' from ghost.
Step 2: blind ghost with the flashlight.
Step 3: suck and bash.

It's pretty fun until the 40th time. Boss battles adds some variety, but being thrown into random ghost battles is annoying. And (infuriatingly) something ate the elevator button I just worked my butt off to get and now I have to chase it down. It feels like obvious padding.

Luigi's Mansion 3 is pretty to look at, but the part of the game I'd label as "gameplay" feels clunky and unfinished. Which is a shame considering the winning streak Nintendo has been on lately with it's key franchises. I've spent 5 hours, and I'll likely sell my copy on eBay to get most of my money back. I'm honestly pretty disappointed that I wasn't as into this game as my peers seem to be.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter! let me know what you think in the comments below.

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