With another E3 rolling around, one thing I always look forward to is the opportunity to spend time with the upcoming games that Nintendo is showing off. Add in the fact that Nintendo is showing off the third installment of Luigi’s Mansion, a game that is very near-and-dear to my heart, and I was absolutely giddy to get my hands on it.
After strolling through the gorgeous booth that was set up for the demo area, I had a controller in my hands and was learning the basics from Polterpup, everyone’s favorite ghostly canine. Press A to flash the Strobulb, and hold it to build up energy for a more powerful, blinding flash. Once the opposing ghost is stunned, you can hold ZR to suck it closer to you with the Poltergust G-00. Pressing ZL will allow you to blow out with the Poltergust, pushing your target further away. Finally, pressing both ZL and ZR together activates the new Poltergust’s Burst feature, launching Luigi upwards and blowing everything around him away.
With the basics safely tucked away in my brain, I began to make my way through a haunted, castle-themed stage. Blue ghosts were popping out to attack Luigi with swords, and in return they were stunned with a well-timed Strobulb flash. The ability to suck in multiple ghosts at once is back, provided you can get the timing and positioning down right. These ghosts fight back pretty hard though, dragging Luigi around the room with less effort compared to past titles. Pulling the control stick in the opposite direction helps, as always, but this time around it also fills up a meter, which shows the A button when full. Pressing A will cause Luigi to yank the ghost in the opposite direction, over his head, and slam them into the ground, doing damage and stunning the ghost, allowing you to get some more suction in with no struggle.
Parts of the castle stage also show off how Gooigi will be instrumental to solving the hotel’s mysteries. With a quick click of the right stick, Gooigi will spawn and control will switch over to him. He‘s able to safely wander through dangerous spikes and is able to slip through bars with ease, and otherwise works as a helpful second puzzle solver. Switching back and forth between Luigi and Gooigi was crucial to a few of the puzzles in the demo, where one had to use the Poltergust to spin a fan attached to an elevator, while the other boards the elevator to switch between floors of the stage.
Gooigi doesn’t mix well with water, or perhaps he mixes too well. In either case, coming into contact with water will cause him to melt away, meaning you’ll have to spawn him near Luigi and make your way through the room again. The demo showed that there are some puzzles that will even trick you if you don’t pay attention. I once thought I was cleverly solving a puzzle to get a collectible, but the rope I was pulling on just dumped water out of a bucket where I was standing, washing Gooigi away and causing me to start over.
Speaking of collectibles, you’ll benefit from playing Luigi’s Mansion 3 with that sense of “check every piece of furniture for goodies” that the first game ingrained so deeply into my mind. Plenty of the objects can be shaken with the Poltergust, and others can even be grabbed and slammed in the same way that ghosts can be, breaking open to reveal their secrets. Most of what you’ll find will be money — coins, bills, and gold bars abound in the hotel, but there were also what appeared to be collectibles themed to the stage. In this case they were little, differently colored swords. These collectibles were found after solving the demo’s most complex puzzles, but I have no idea what they were to be used for.
The demo ended with a boss fight, pitting Luigi against a kingly ghost occupying a suit of armor. It took some figuring out, but to injure the ghost, I had to Strobulb him and then use the plunger to slam him around, knocking off pieces of his armor in the process. The demo abruptly ended as I was about to beat him, but I left feeling satisfied.
The release of Luigi’s Mansion 3 could not come soon enough, and this demo has only served to high ten my excitement. Hopefully a release date is revealed sooner, rather than later. Until then, my experience with the game at E3 will have to tide me over.