What are your thoughts on Luigi’s Mansion 3? Mine are.. not great. ***EDIT - ACTUALLY, THE GAME IS GREAT***

I felt like the first Luigi’s Mansion was just okay. Good but nothing spectacular.

I felt like Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon, on the other hand, was one of the best games on 3DS due to the very strong level design and overall charm. The 3D effect was also very appropriate for the game and added so much to the presentation.

Now, a few floors into Luigi’s Mansion 3, and I can’t help but feel a little… underwhelmed? Help me understand what I’m missing here. My issues are:

  1. Every little corner of the game has stacks of cash and gold. You used to have to figure out a sort of mini puzzle to find stuff to increase your score in a significant way. Now that ranks are gone, cash and health have far less meaning and it’s far too plentiful to be fun to collect. It feels more like a chore now to sweep through a room and collect all of the money.

  2. The combat and controls lost the fun arcade feel of Dark Moon. It’s a clumsier control scheme even when using the L & R buttons rather than the face buttons for each of the controls.

  3. The level design feels like a major step backwards. Each floor is so small so far and formulaic. And they are all self contained rather than intelligently connected like in previous games. Collecting gems In each level is alright I guess, but there’s very few fun puzzles this time around. And the gem puzzles are way easier than the predecessor. The mechanics never build in this game. The same solution exists for most puzzles which is a far cry from Dark Moon.

  4. Boss fights and ghosts somehow feel less fun to fight now that you have the slam move. There’s no fun tug of war mechanics to give it a feeling of danger.

  5. The objects you can interact with are far too repetitive and lack variety compared to dark moon. Despite an increased move set and the inclusion of physics, it’s a way less interactive experience somehow. Every room is filled with cardboard boxes or something similarly disposable that you can destroy with the jump move or plunger. There are very few unique puzzles to each room. Destroying stuff serves no level design purpose, but feels necessary to collect the money in each room.

  6. There’s nothing interesting to buy with money. And it feels largely ignorable. Yet that goes against my innate desire to collect it for… some reason? It felt more integral to other games of the series.

  7. Atmosphere of the hotel is all over the r

That said there are some positives here:

  1. The new move set is actually good.

  2. Graphics, animation and lighting are top notch.

  3. Cinematics are enjoyable.

  4. Occasionally the game has brilliant level design “moments” but they’re far too rare. And they never build together to form something lasting and special.

The issue is I really want to enjoy this one but I’m sort of going through the motions. It never makes me think or has genuine surprises. Which is weird considering I was on media blackout for the game. Everything should be delightful.

I am also playing Hollow Knight right now and am enjoying the crap out of that one. I think it’s sort of ruining LM3 for me with it’s surprises around every corner and far more satisfying gameplay. Maybe that’s why I’m not feeling LM3?

I’m just wondering if anyone else feels the same way about it?

I really like LM3 and couldn’t really get into dark moons mission style gameplay. Some of it is repetitive but overall I like the charm of the game.

I feel the complete opposite. I loved the first Luigi’s Mansion and was majorly disappointed in Dark Moon. I mean DM isn’t a bad game, but there were a lot of little annoyances. I didn’t like how things weren’t connected and it was load a level now load another level, and that stupid level with the timed section. Where you have to do the rooms in an exact order or you lose but the game gives you no hint to the order and ugh no.

While I haven’t finished LM3 I’ve been loving my time with it. To me its a return to what made the first LM so great. As far as sucking up all the money and gold I assume its going to be similar to the first one where that affects the ending of the game.

Thanks for the detailed post! It confirmed my fears with this one.

I didn’t pick it up at launch because I had read that the level design isn’t as good as Luigi’s Mansion 2, and that while there are some good puzzles (apparently the movie studio is great) the game never reaches those heights again.

My favourite thing about Luigi’s Mansion 2 was how it did a lot with a little. You’d be returning to these mini levels, Mario 64 style, and be doing something different each time, often using your existing knowledge to solve new puzzles or having that knowledge be used against you. Despite having only played through it once in 2013 I can still vividly remember a lot of the level design and the idea behind some of the game’s best puzzles.

If I were to hazard a guess, I feel these qualities have been lost because LM3 is a much bigger game, which needed to be more heavily project managed. I can see each segment of the hotel having been made separately before needing to be squished together, and while I haven’t seen the credits, if the team size rose it could be harder to focus on putting together the bigger picture.

It’s good they did something different with 3 though, since 2 would be a hard act to follow if done with the same formula. I just feel it isn’t what I’m looking for. The graphics are incredible though! I thought some of the cutscenes were CGI if it weren’t for the poly-count on certain characters.

Edit: I remember reading somewhere that the puzzles are more like a Lego game where you use the right ability in the right place and rarely get more complex than that. Is this true?

So far, yes.

Yea I can see this. It fits what I’m experiencing in the game. The focus from Dark Moon on creating big Mario 64-like environments you need to revisit with new objectives is completely gone. I really liked that structure. Here, the levels are bit sized, completely separate, and the puzzles are only slightly more complicated than using the right ability in the right place.

I think the fact that you’re no longer in this big labyrinth of an environment that gets larger and larger with each “level” is the biggest loss here. You interact with an environment once or maybe twice after you get a new ability and come back. I have no doubt that you’re right about the fact that it’s due to a larger development team.

I know EAD and Miyamoto personally provided substantial feedback to the developers as they developed Dark Moon. I wonder if here they gave them far more leeway and this is the result.

It’s not necessarily worse - I think I’m in the minority group as a person who prefers Dark Moon - but it does result in a very different experience.

I think I’m going to take a break from the game, start a new playthrough in a few months, and re-assess it with less expectations of what I want it to be after Dark Moon, and instead evaluate it instead on its own merits.

It definitely has some of that Nintendo charm and a hearty dose of polish too. I may enjoy it more if I try it under a different mindset in the future.

I like reading this because I adored the original. I don’t go back and play games all that often from the 2000’s forward and I have pulled out Luigi’s Mansion a few times and been really happy each time because it’s simple and sweet and filled with fun and never wears out its welcome.

I definitely need to play 3 over the Holidays.

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I finished LM3 with my son this week COOP and honestly enjoyed it way more than the second one. The first is still my favorite because of the charm it had, but this one is a great game too.


damn, i’m hopefully trading for a copy on Era soon, and i really dug Dark Moon but felt it went on a bit too long? might’ve just been me, or the fact that 1 is so short & easily replayable over the years. wondering where this one’ll end up ranking for me, love the series.

Seems like a good place to ask, among fans, how was the 3ds remake of the first game? Want to replay it and seeing if I should go with the most modern version or just play it on GC.

One big sticking point, depending on how you view the game’s challenge I guess, is that it’s easier to score higher ranks because when you get hit, the treasure you drop stay around for longer. And your total coin count determines what rank and ending you get.

You could also argue it’s more visually appealing on GC. The lighting is a step down from both Dark Moon and 1, with the flashlight not casting dynamic shadows over almost everything, and like Grezzo’s remake of Majora’s Mask with its clean, bright Hotpot Inn, the mansion also looks a bit too well kept. Some of it is down to new asset and texture design, some of it is visual, where there’s less cobwebs and no dust being kicked around as Luigi walks about. Or Luigi’s flashlight no longer exposes floating dust in the air. The new texturework and modelling is good, then, but overall it appears less atmospheric. Also for some reason King Boo’s design gets lifted from Luigi’s Mansion 2 instead of remade from the original’s.

I’m 100% with you. I just played all of the LM games for the first time in the past 2 months, so it’s new to me. I hated dark moon, because you couldn’t backtrack easily without doing a whole mission over again. I just finished LM3 and it’s one of my favorite games of all time.

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I loved the original Luigi’s Mansion but lost interest in Dark Moon so it sounds like I should get 3.

So, I put this game down for a few weeks and let myself beat Hollow Knight, then came back to it with a fresh perspective and tried to fall in love with it again…

…and I did. Very much so. The issue with this game is that the first few floors are rather pedestrian compared to previous games in the series and what is available later on in the game. But once you get to the garden area, you begin to see just how brilliant the game is.

Unlike previous games in the series, this game is not a Metroidvania-lite, but rather something completely different. The hotel is kind of akin to Peach’s Castle in Super Mario 64 and each floor is like jumping into another painting.

The later floors are way better than the earlier floors since the set pieces become more fantasy-like and extravagant. They don’t make sense in the context of a hotel, but that’s okay. It’s Nintendo. I’m happy to report that the puzzles also increase in complexity and the way the game hides the optional jewels on each floor become more and more interesting the further you go.

Also, the game really has so much charm and interactivity in later sections. And it becomes far less repititious as well. The variety is here when you get further into the game. I only wish that the first 4 or 5 floors of the game were as good as what comes later - they offer very little in the way of surprises for those that have played the first two games.

Kudos, however, to the level designers for some of the ideas later in the game. I miss the interconnectedness of each mansion in Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon, but this is still a very strong and charming effort. And the lighting is fantastic - make sure to adjust the settings to ensure the game is dark enough on your set. The default was a bit too bright on my HDTV.

After I beat the main game, I’m going to give the multiplayer a shot too - although I’ll keep my expectations in check for that mode.

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Good to hear. My daughters (6 and 4) are getting more into games and I’m eyeing this one. Never played any of them myself. I’m rediscovering the Wii with them (slipped it during its day) and so I’m thinking the GCN original might be fun for them.

I loved it but the first is still supreme. One sentence review: too much spoopy not enough spooky.

Now I’m interested.