Luigi’s Mansion 3

Luigi’s Mansion 3

Somewhere at Nintendo is a folder labeled, “Things a Vacuum Cleaner Can Do with Suspension of Disbelief,” and whenever it gets full enough, a new Luigi’s Mansion gets greenlit. It’s not a bad strategy – the games are reliably creative, and, especially with this installment, provide a frankly insane amount of interactivity within their detailed settings. I worry that the increasing complexity is becoming detrimental, however. Which function of the Poltergust will accomplish a given task is now more arbitrary than ever, and discovering the solution can feel more like crossing off a checklist than organic gameplay. The already cumbersome controls have been further weighed down as well.

By many of the usual metrics for game quality, Luigi’s Mansion 3 isn’t great. It’s not terribly exciting, its difficulty is somewhat indecisive, and its story is as token as expected from a non-RPG Mario game without the associated immediacy. Where it shines is in the physicality of its animation, the visual personality of its characters, and the understated catharsis in the creation and erasure of mountains of debris. The various multiplayer modes have loads of potential too, but all of them have something holding them back. Story co-op has the one-sided Mario Odyssey problem, the local-only ScreamPark is too complicated for a party game despite only containing three minigames, and the procedurally-generated hotel crawl ScareScraper is in desperate need of some level variety.

6/10
6/10

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