November 20, 2018
Katherine Wright
New Game Plus / Features

Luigi’s Mansion is, for various reasons, one of my favourite games of all time. I’ve finished it at least six or seven times since its 2001 release, including an almost-complete gold portrait run, and I’ll jump at any chance to replay it (though not as much as a friend of mine, who’s finished the game 31 times). The trailer for the 3DS version filled me with equal parts excitement and apprehension: It’s now accessible for a new generation, but how can you improve on the original game’s simple perfection? Once again, I picked up the flashlight and ventured into Luigi’s Mansion.

The central game, plot, and locations are untouched from the original. Our hero Luigi discovers he’s won a mansion in a competition he doesn’t remember eantering, and asks his brother Mario to come visit it with him. When he gets there everythiang is a lot more bizarre than expected, especially the sinister mansion itself, and Mario is nowhere to be found. Luigi’s Mansion sees the player wielding the ‘Poltergust’ ghost-vacuuming device to clear the mansion of ghosts, grab as much moolah as possible, and find out where Mario’s gone. Using a flashlight and your trusty vacuum, you’ll solve environmental puzzles and suck up enemy ghosts to progress. It’s a short game, which can be fully completed in six or so hours if you know what you’re doing, but its simple concept and highly refined gameplay make it a treat to play.

In order to make a fair comparison, I dusted off the GameCube and took this review as an excuse to also play through the original for probably the eighth time (I will literally take almost any opportunity to replay this game). There are certainly a number of notable changes in the 3DS version, for better or for worse.

Model upgrades mean that the game’s textures are a lot more detailed and easy on the eyes, though it’s a bit harder to appreciate them on a smaller screen. The map now occupies the bottom screen, which is a great addition that saves time having to navigate menus.The addition of 3D mode is nice; though it’s surprising to see 3D used in a game produced late in the 3DS’ life cycle, it works particularly well with Luigi’s Mansion’s environments, and I found it a useful addition to help with depth perception on a smaller screen.

The portrait gallery, a room displaying pictures of the ghosts you’ve beaten, has also been completely overhauled, and you now have the option to individually replay portrait ghosts for a better score. This makes it easier than ever to do a full gold-portrait run, but I’m personally still nostalgic for the time when you had to either save scum or get it right the first time.

The port also, unfortunately, presents a number of issues. They’re not significant enough to make it unplayable, but enough to prevent it from replacing the GameCube version as the ‘definitive’ version to play. One immediate difference is its framerate, which stays largely the same during normal gameplay but drops enormously during cutscenes. It affects the impact of some cutscenes and is likely to elicit a groan from fans of the original game. Luigi’s Mansion also has loading screens now; a small difference, but they do detract somewhat from the game’s original seamlessness. Control locations are changed fairly significantly, which might take a while to get used to, but controlling the Poltergust feels pretty smooth once you get over the initial hurdle.

The worst thing, by far, is using the 3DS’ C-Stick to aim the Poltergust up and down. Compared to how easy and intuitive the GameCube’s C-Stick feels, the aiming on the 3DS version is imprecise and slow at best, making boss fights slow and money ghosts easy to miss. If your console has a C-Stick that’s even slightly problematic, you’re either going to have to be very patient or use gyro controls for the whole game. On an amusing note, Luigi’s Mansion is Circle Pad Pro compatible, in case you still have one lying around from the Monster Hunter days (I got so frustrated I actually ended up using one to finish the game). You can also now choose to use the Strobulb from Luigi’s Mansion 2, if you prefer that over the original game’s flashlight.

And how could I forget to mention the new two-player mode? A friend can now join your adventure through the mansion as Gooigi, who’s identical to Luigi but made from green goo (what were you expecting?). The second player can also suck up ghosts and money that will go towards your totals. When I tried it with a friend, it did make portrait ghosts a lot quicker to capture, but that’s about as far as its novelty reached. As you may expect, the framerate absolutely tanks in two player mode; if it’s cringeworthy during cutscenes, it’s unplayable with poor Gooigi. We were also disconnected a minute in while trying to open a door, though it’s hard to say whether this is a problem with the game or the 3DS itself. Our second attempt was more successful, but very slow, and left us wondering if the game really needs a second player at all (hint: it doesn’t, but the option is there for you if you want to try it). Two-player mode would have been a lot more functional on stronger hardware, which makes me wish even more that they’d ported Luigi’s Mansion to Switch instead.

So, is it worth it? The 3DS port is good if you’ve never played it before, or you don’t want to have to go through the hassle of finding an original copy to set up and play. For seasoned ghost hunters, it’s a great opportunity to replay with some quality-of-life changes that make a full-completion run easier than ever. I still vastly prefer the comfy controls on the GameCube version, and playing it on the big screen makes it easier to appreciate a lot of environmental details. Overall, the differences mean that neither version is really better than the other – as long as you aren’t expecting an amazing, high definition remaster, the 3DS port is essentially the same lovable Luigi’s Mansion experience as before.

August 26, 2018

If I told you to imagine a game where you smash pots and whack baddies with your sword, what would you think of? How about a game where you use items to solve dungeon puzzles, and collect all sorts of goodies along the way? Well, it’s not the game you’re thinking of…probably. It’s something a bit more off-beat, with more ‘rainbow’ than ‘bow and arrow’: It’s The Swords of Ditto, a roguelike action-adventure RPG developed by Onebitbeyond. Your game begins with you being awakened on the beach (strong Link’s Awakening vibes here) by Puku, a mysterious beetle-like creature....

June 13, 2018

After some great and not so impressive conferences at this year’s E3, Nintendo was highly anticipated to bring us some juicy news. With the potential for some much wanted first-party titles for Switch, I stayed up until past 2am with high hopes for news on Pokémon, Animal Crossing, and more. With caffeine and sugar in my system, my body was ready. Like previous years, this year’s presentation followed the Nintendo Direct format,. The show began starting on a less colourful note with Demon X Machina, a mecha game for the Switch. Following this was Xenoblade 2 Story DLC ‘Torna –...

June 12, 2018

In my first year of university, I saw a jock-looking dude walking around wearing his ‘Class of 2005’ high school top; nothing out of the ordinary, I was sure he was well beloved by his peers. In my final week of study, I saw that same guy wandering around the campus by himself, slumped shoulders still adorned by that very same top — this was in 2009. Sony’s E3 Showcase this year reminded me of that guy still clinging to the glory of past years. This was most evident during the special presentation for The Last of Us Part II. This was Sony at its most self-indulgent. It gathered gu...

June 12, 2018

Ubisoft is one of the few gaming monoliths that can still surprise us. Who would’ve thought that Assassin’s Creed: Origins would mark the franchise’s return to form? Who could’ve predicted  the critical successes of Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle? This was reflected in previous years through Ubisoft’s E3 presentations, which were always the most interesting and unpredictable, backed by an sincerity unmatched by any other company. It’s curious, then, to see Ubisoft pump the brakes with this year’s showing. Beyond Good and Evil 2 closed off last year’s show, so it’s fitting ...

June 11, 2018

Bethesda had an interesting 2017. Despite a lacklustre trip to Bethesdaland and reports that several of its games didn’t meet sales targets, the company was still the number one publisher on Metacritic, a fact proudly claimed by Senior VP of Global Marketing Pete Hines. Though if this year’s E3 press conference is any indication, 2018 and beyond are going to be very big and important years for the publisher. The show kicked off quite literally with a bang as inspirational speaker Andrew W.K. and his band introduced us to to the recently unveiled Rage 2, as well as endless shots of aud...

June 11, 2018

The Xbox One has arguably provided the better experience in recent years. Its Backwards Compatibility program has given new life to old games, and the Xbox Game Pass has given users a healthy library of legacy titles. However, the console is behind in one regard: New games. In order to furnish its seemingly lacking game library, Microsoft is looking outward, including to places we wouldn’t normally expect. The common criticism was that Microsoft isn’t producing first party games to the same extent that Sony is. To address this, Xbox lead Phil Spencer dedicated three or so minutes to a...

June 10, 2018

2017 was a disastrous year for EA, including a laughably bad E3 presentation and the Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot box debacle. The company has spent much of this year apologising for these decisions, and this formed a recurring theme during EA Play. Gone were the Influencers and Game Changers, the phrase “Creative Cave” was uttered precisely zero times and EA CEO Andrew Wilson was limited to two appearances, one of which was to effectively apologise for the company’s actions. This year, EA delved extensively into sci-fi, shooters and sports and, with a couple of exceptions, provided a co...

Black Cap $12

You can support New Game Plus AND look good by wearing our awesome merchandise.

Protect your delicate head from the sun's damaging rays while showing the world you have excellent taste in videogame TV shows.

May 31, 2018

Over the years, I’ve had the Shin Megami Tensei series recommended to me a lot by my friends. I’m weak for an in-depth game with a good challenge, and I’m (shamefully) partial to grinding in RPGs. I’d played through a few of the Persona games and enjoyed them immensely, so I was curious to see how I would enjoy the gameplay of a mainline Shin Megami Tensei title. Maybe I also wanted the opportunity to hang out with Jack Frost and Mothman, the most adorable demons, but that’s another story for another day. Regardless of the reason, it was time for me to finally play a real Shin Megami...

February 10, 2018

In September 2017, during a particularly exciting Nintendo Direct (Super Mario Odyssey, anyone?), there was a title that you might not have noticed: That game was New Style Boutique 3: Styling Star for Nintendo 3DS. Known as Girls Mode in Japan and Style Savvy in North America, it’s understandable if you’re confused or you’ve never heard of this series before. Even the name may make you think of all the female-oriented shovelware games you see at EB, but the New Style Boutique games are an underrated gem; their longevity, and the fact that it’s a series that continues to get sequels, ...

Show More Blogs
Latest Videos
Latest Photos & Events