The Gamecube classic Luigi’s Mansion is out now for 3DS, following a console-exclusive sequel – Dark Moon – and it boasts some slick new features.
While Luigi’s Mansion helped the tiny-disc system find its feet on the market, times have moved on very quickly since then. Re-releasing a straight port today just wouldn’t have cut the mustard, which is why Nintendo have iterated pretty significantly this time around.
Here’s some of the big changes from the original Gamecube classic and why they may influence the future of the franchise on Switch
Yep, you can now suck up the inhabitants of the ghost houses with a buddy. Affectionately known as Gooigi, Player 2 will be lathered in green goop and shaped exactly like Mario’s brother. Using Local Play, you can create or search for a lobby and band together to make the campaign a little bit easier. Alternatively, you can take on some of the portrait ghosts.
Of course, you each have to own a copy of the game and be in pretty close proximity to one another to unlock the majority of the features. Though the Gallery and Training Room portions of the game are playable via Download Play to give you a taste of some Co-op action for free.
Another obvious difference is that Amiibo can now be scanned by the Game Boy Horror and add some helpful new perks. While Nintendo sadly haven’t created a new Luigi’s Mansion Amiibo – I would suspect they’re waiting for the Switch sequel – you can scan Boo, Mario, Toad, and Luigi himself to unique effects.
Boo will highlight up to three hidden in-game ghosts using a flashing strobe light in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen. Meanwhile Toad will give you a health boost everytime you talk to him, Mario will transform poison mushrooms into Super Mushrooms, and Luigi will actually let you revive if you die while also highlighting furniture Speedy Spirit is hiding in.
Gallery / Gallery Battle
The Gallery has had an overhaul in the 3DS version with a whole new layout as well as the option to revisit previously fought enemies, either alone or with your Co-op buddy.
The colour of the frames still represents how well you’ve performed – if you’ve been hit, how long it takes you to beat a ghost, time taken – and its all nicely displayed in a neater and more compact gallery area.
There’s also a brand new in-built achievement system which encourages you to try out unconventional things in order to unlock additional trophies in the gallery.
Another big tweak is that the Gameboy Horror now supports the second screen of the 3DS, meaning it’s also touchscreen enabled and even benefits from the gyroscope.
The second screen shows you what items you have – the treasure and gold you’ve claimed. It also gives you access to an isometric, top-down map at all times using Luigi’s original 2D sprite. Here you can change the floors, zoom in up close and see which rooms you’ve unlocked or haven’t visited yet.
Finally, there’s a screen where you can see which ghosts you’ve previously beaten and get access to a quick biography for each.
Also new here is the Gyroscopic scan feature replacing the Gameboy Horror Camera. This lets you move your 3DS around and tap the Y button in order to scan an area, giving you a hint as to where ghosts may be lurking. It’s a neat touch and works well in context of the game, really showing off features that would have been impossible on the Gamecube.
This is where the remake gets divisive. One of the only major restrictions the 3DS has in comparison to the Gamecube, apart fom the resolution and graphical options, is the fact that original models launched with one stick.
Of course, this was remedied with the Circle Pad Pro and in later models an additional stick was added, but it’s not the same level of control you’re used to with the Gamecube. So the Strobulb from Dark Moon is back as one option in that you press A to stun a ghost with light then vacuum them.
The good news is that you can play Luigi’s Mansion as it was originally intended with the original movements of standard and sidestep where sidestep keeps Luigi facing one direction at all times or standard matching your movements on the stick to the way Luigi faces.
Hidden Mansion / New Game +
This is back once again from the Gamecube version. Once you beat Luigi’s Mansion once, instead of replaying the exact same game over, you can try out the Hidden Mansion, filled with tougher enemies, more ghosts and location changes. The 3DS version is slightly tougher, though, so hardcore fans may want to pick this up for an extra challenge.
And finally, Luigi’s Mansion is now supported in full 3D just like Dark Moon. Something impossible on any other format, even if it was originally intended. And it’s wonderful.
What does this mean for Luigi’s Mansion 3?
Quite a few things, I think. To be clear though, at this point nothing has been confirmed about Luigi’s Mansion 3 outside of this neat trailer.
Of course, 3D is currently impossible on Switch so we can rule that out. And we won’t have the same issues with controls as the 3DS, though that’s not to say Strobulb won’t be offered as a feature.
Where it gets interesting is Co-op. With Nintendo Network now in full swing and the ability for multiple Joy-cons per one system, it would seem bizarre not to have Luigi’s Mansion 3 offer multiplayer. Perhaps even add the option for four players and the ability to take the game online.
The earliest hint of how this could work was actually seen on the Wii U version of Luigi’s Mansion in Nintendo Land. One player would be the ghost on the Wii U Gamepad while three others played a different game on the TV screen. The aim is for the ghost to catch everyone while the three players have to work together to shine a light on the ghost and vacuum it before the time limit expires.
It was one of the best mini games in Nintendo Land and since that experience can’t fully translate to Switch, Nintendo have a great opportunity to adapt it, or something similar, for Luigi’s Mansion 3 while offering up the Co-op introduced in the Luigi’s Mansion 3DS port.
Amiibo will definitely have their place as well. We’re almost certain to get newly made Amiibo for the game ahead of launch and these could unlock a variety of neat features, maybe adding unique ghosts to the game, extra power ups, unique clothing for Luigi to wear, and maybe even additional characters. The possibilities are endless with Amiibo and I think the 3DS port has only just scratched the surface.
And finally, I think the addition of Boss Rush / Hidden Mansion is very telling at the kind of secrets and replayable nature that Nintendo see Luigi’s Mansion having. When it first released on Gamecube, the original could feel like a one and done experience. Nintendo’s vision, originally glimpsed in Dark Moon and now explored even further here, definitely show a vast future for Luigi’s Mansion.
And with the companies new-found love for DLC as well as the hidden secrets they like to drop in to their titles, Luigi’s Mansion 3 has potential to be the most varied and exciting offering for the franchise yet.
Have you played Luigi’s Mansion 1 and 2 on 3DS yet? What would you like to see in Luigi’s Mansion 3? Let us know below.