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Luigi’s Mansion 3 Interview: Nintendo on Length, ScareScraper Mode, Gooigi’s Flavor, More


There’s no keeping a good ghost hunter down. For years Luigi’s Mansion was haunted by a rather unjustified bad reputation – it was the game that launched the less-than-successful Gamecube, after all. Of course, it isn’t really fair to put all the Gamecube’s woes on Luigi’s shoulders, but the timing of the game’s release meant it was inevitably compared to Nintendo’s past launch titles, and by that measure, it came up a bit short. It seemed unlikely Luigi would ever get another shot at a solo adventure. Or so we thought. In 2013 the series was resurrected with the surprisingly-well-received Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, and this year the series finally returns to a Nintendo console with Luigi’s Mansion 3.

At E3 2019, I got to check out a 15-minute Luigi’s Mansion 3 demo, which took me through most of a knights-and-castles area (the game is divided into numerous themed floors). The first thing to mention, is that Luigi’s Mansion developer Next Level Games have produced another very-nice-looking game. Perhaps not in terms of pure numbers of polygons pushed, but the game drips with personality. As in past entries in the series, Luigi’s feels like a living, breathing character, with all sorts of little quirks, ticks, and unique animations. I love the way he dorkily pumps his fist whenever he successfully busts a ghost, and gently settles down to sleep when he's been "killed."

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The basic flow of Luigi’s Mansion hasn’t changed – go from room to room, take out ghosts with your Poltergust vacuum, and use your tools to look for secrets and solve some simple puzzles. As in the past, combat is a matter of stunning ghosts with a burst from your flashlight, then sucking them up, although this time around you can also wildly slam ghosts into the ground (or breakable objects/other ghosts). It’s a satisfyingly violent touch in an otherwise kid-friendly game. You can also shoot a plunger from your vacuum, which will stick to various surfaces, allowing you to do things like pull shields away from ghosts and break open sealed wine (or, uh, grape juice) caskets. Overall, Luigi’s Mansion manages to add a nice amount of depth to its ghostbusting mechanics, without ever feeling overwhelming.

It terms of exploration and puzzle solving, the big addition is your new gelatinous green doppelganger Gooigi. Yes, Gooigi. You can switch to playing as Gooigi whenever you want, which you’ll need to do in order flip switches and reach certain areas Luigi can’t get to (since he’s made out of jelly, Gooigi can pass through spikes and other hazards unharmed). None of the Gooigi puzzles I encountered were terribly challenging, but the mechanic definitely has potential.

The Luigi’s Mansion 3 demo culminated in a showdown with a ghostly knight boss. This battle was actually fairly challenging, requiring some quick use of my flashlight and plunger – thankfully, I managed to squeak out a victory with less than 10 HP left. Overall, Luigi’s Mansion 3 doesn’t look to reinvent the wheel, opting for a number of small refinements to the series’ formula. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing – despite it’s reputation, Luigi’s Mansion was always a fun, unique experience, and this latest entry in the series ought to make busters feel good all over again.

After going hands-on with Luigi’s Mansion 3, I got a chance to sit down with Nintendo of Canada’s Andrew Collins, who answered a handful of questions about the game’s new features, ScareScraper mode, and…what Gooigi tastes like?

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Based on the demo I got to play, Luigi’s Mansion 3 seems like a pretty traditional take on the series. What would you say sets this one apart?

Well, one of the key features we've got, is Luigi's no longer on his own. He's got his alter-ego, Gooigi, and they way that you play with him makes a big difference. Areas that you might not be able to access as Luigi, you're able to get there as Gooigi.

And of course, it opens up multiplayer options…

Yes, you can play two-player, with one player being Luigi and the second player being Gooigi.

The 3DS Luigi’s Mansion had its own standalone co-op mode. Is that returning as well?

Yes. It’s called the ScareScraper mode, where up to four Nintendo Switches can connect, and you can detach each Joy-Con, so you've got eight separate controllers. Then you can have four players playing as Luigi and four as Gooigi.

Aside from more players, how has ScareScraper mode been updated?

We haven't gone into a lot of detail about ScareScraper mode yet. Basically, it's a tower mode, with different objectives to be selected on each floor. Expect more information when we get closer to launch.

A knock against the original Luigi’s Mansion, was that it was over a bit too quick. Thankfully, the 3DS sequel improved on that. Is Luigi’s Mansion 3 the biggest one yet?

There’s a lot of things to do. There’s the storyline to play through, but there’s also a lot of exploring and hunting for things. So, a lot of work has gone into the game to create a robust, deep experience. And the hotel is really big. Each floor looks very different.

Ah, so each floor has a unique theme?

Yeah, one example is there's a movie set floor. Another is overgrown with plants. If you watch the E3 videos we've released, you may see more.

I’m almost afraid to ask this one, but… what flavor is Gooigi? Lime? Green apple? Some terrifying alternative?

[Laughs] Uh...

Let it never be said I don’t ask the hard questions.

I have no idea. I hope no one's ever tried him!

I think we can agree on that. We recently got a remake of the original Luigi’s Mansion on 3DS – could we Switch remakes of the first two games eventually?

Nothing to share on that front. We're just focusing on Luigi's Mansion 3 at this point.

Thanks for taking with me, Andrew!

Luigi’s Mansion 3 cautiously tip-toes onto Nintendo Switch later this year.