Review: Luigi's Mansion 3DS

Al Ridley dives into the handheld version of the spooky GameCube classic. Does it hold up? Or is it time it was buried?

Al Ridley
5th November 2018
Image Credit: IGDB

It was as inevitable as death, really. After the success of 2013’s Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon demonstrated that the 3DS was more than capable of innovating on and supporting the ghost-busting shenanigans of the Luigi’s Mansion series, we all knew there was going to be a port of the Gamecube original using a similar system: and, as you might expect, it’s still a damn good game.

In Luigi’s Mansion, you play as everyone’s favourite green-clad thanatophobe as he busts his way through an eerie stately home that he won in a contest.

As he explores the mansion to find his vanished brother, Luigi finds gainful employment tracking down famous spectres and sealing them in paintings with help from his employer Professor Elvin Gadd, ghost scientist and erstwhile researcher of the mysterious mansion. Armed with a torch and vacuum, you’ll explore trying to piece together Mario’s whereabouts and the secrets of this wretched real estate.

There’s no real advancement on the Gamecube version.

It’s a very short game; ignoring all the optional ghosts and gunning for the final boss will only take you three hours or so, but the mansion is filled with tricks, secrets and rare ghosts with handsome rewards for inquisitive investigators. Luigi’s Mansion has always been a game where the more effort you put into your exploration, the more enjoyable your playthrough is.

This re-release adds achievements, the ability to fight already defeated Portrait Ghosts in a kind of boss rush mode and multiplayer, with Luigi teaming up with his weird paradox slime clone Gooigi to make harder bosses a snap.

It’s a very short game... will only take you three hours or so

You’re also capable of choosing the type of flashlight you want to use, either the traditional flash-and-dash bulb or Dark Moon’s charging time-based Strobulb. The Hidden Mansion is also back, but completionists expecting some more Luigi-based challenge are going to be disappointed because there’s no real advancement on the Gamecube version.

Luigi’s Mansion is a solid port that I enjoyed all the way through, but it’s really quite unimaginative, one that cries out for some direct innovation. Perhaps they’re saving their design skills for the third game in the series, rumoured to come out in 2019.

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