The Luigi’s Mansion 3 multiplayer modes are a bit all over the place. There are three multiplayer experiences: co-op in the main game, ScareScraper, and ScreamPark. Each mode has strengths and weaknesses, but undoubtedly, every mode is utterly gooey. The multiplayer in Luigi’s Mansion 3 makes an already fantastic game even better. Be sure to read our single-player review as well.
When co-op was introduced in the 3DS Luigi’s Mansion remake, it seemed to be added at the last minute. The idea was amazing, but the implementation was a bit lackluster. The game wasn’t completely stable in co-op and Luigi’s co-op partner Gooigi was a stoic, awkward blob of uncertainty? Was he charming and endearing? Or was he just a weird, last-minute model that they whipped up in a pinch to try and sell more copies? Turns out, it was a little of both. Gooigi was designed for Luigi’s Mansion 3 before being used at the end of the 3DS game’s development to test the waters for a co-op mode.
In Luigi’s Mansion 3 though, Gooigi is a full-fledged member of the team. While incapable of emoting, his gelatinous monasticism in the face of things that would petrify Luigi is absolutely hilarious. His goo perfectly juxtaposes Luigi’s goober. Nintendo really leaned into the ridiculousness of the Gooigi concept in Luigi’s Mansion 3, and for their commitment, a memorable and valuable character has been born.
Playing Luigi’s Mansion 3 in co-op would be fun though even without the hilarity of Gooigi. Since the entire game was designed with puzzles that utilize Gooigi’s unique abilities to walk through grates and travel through pipes, as well as the necessity to use both characters at once to problem-solve, jumping in as Player 2 is completely natural. Rather than being a mere tag along, the second player can do things that the first player can’t, and vice versa. As a result, the game feels like there’s equity between the two players. Gooigi doesn’t just feel like a ride-along, unlike a certain flying robot in a certain recent Triple-A release.
In my time playing co-op with my dad, somebody who is no stranger to playing Nintendo games with me, but by no means a pro-gamer, I found the balance absolutely perfect between Player 1’s ability to lead when necessary and both players being equal to one another when desired. Since the target audience of Nintendo games is generally younger, it’s understandable that co-op in Luigi’s Mansion 3 would still see Player 1 acting as the main character and that progression be tied to them. Only Luigi can open doors, understandably, since he’s the only one with a fully corporeal form.
Gooigi also has unlimited respawning capacity as long as Luigi is alive. But, that is just about where the playing field stops being level. The choice to make have Gooigi retain is quarter the full health as Luigi during co-op play is somewhat questionable, but ultimately, it did not affect our experience playing, and I wouldn’t suspect that too many people would be bothered by it with the unlimited respawns.
The one complaint I have about the co-op mode is that only one ghostbuster can feel good at a time. That is to say that unlike in the 3DS remake of Luigi’s Mansion, the Lug and the Goog can’t tag-team a single ghost. Maybe it’s some sort of preventative measure against crossing the streams, but it takes away from just a tad of the fun that could be had if both players could use their Poltergust G-00’s at once. Previously, double trouble meant double the health drop. Perhaps this was seen by the developers as unfair? Now, when one player tries to suck a ghost the other player already has their nozzle on, you just end up stealing their thunder in a way that feels more anti-climatic than competitive.
Nevertheless, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is an excellent cooperative experience for new players, older players, young players, and older players alike. And, it’s not even the only multiplayer experience the game has to offer. Luigi’s Mansion 3 also brought back the ScareScraper mode from Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon. ScareScraper is a competitive/cooperative mode where two to eight players take on either five, 10, or unlimited floors of a haunted hotel. You collectively have five minutes to either clear every ghost from the floor or to find all of the missing toads and return them to safety. Up to four multi-colored Luigis and four of their Gooigi counterparts can partake, with the Gooigi players tethered to the same console as their fleshy counterparts.
The mode is mostly fun, and honestly a bit challenging. Between the time limit, the increasing difficulty of the floors, and the numerous traps that completely freeze you until another player comes to your rescue, it is by no means a guarantee that you will succeed. Playing with friends I am sure would make things easier than the random matchmaking, but at least the online connectivity is strong. There are also multiple powerups in this mode that help keep things spicy, but the poor instructions on what they are prior to starting a game left me having no idea what most of them did, even after picking them up.
The Luigi’s Mansion 3 multiplayer has one more facet in the ScreamPark. This is essentially a mini-game hub for up to eight players to compete in teams on a single console. The games are simple, collect the most coins, catch the most ghosts, and hit the most targets. In a lot of ways, it fits right in with the mini-game modes Nintendo has always put in its games, especially on their handhelds, to add multiplayer. Super Mario 64 DS, for example, had a small versus mode to play with friends. Are these mini-games spectacular? Not particularly. Are they fun a few times over? Sure, why not.
They might look more fun in those commercials where cool young adults all just happen to play their Switches together in public, but you can’t fault Nintendo for trying. What is bizarre though, is that Luigi’s Mansion 3 will apparently eventually receive paid DLC adding more ScreamPark games. Fortunately, nobody is forcing anybody who doesn’t enjoy this mode to buy them.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 has one of the best co-op experiences Nintendo has ever delivered. While not every Luigi’s Mansion 3 multiplayer mode is as thrilling as the next, the ability to play the entire main game together with another person in a fun and well-thought-out way is amazing and deserving of huge praise and recognition.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is available now on Nintendo Switch.
Luigi's Mansion 3 Multiplayer
Luigi’s Mansion 3 has one of the best co-op experiences Nintendo has ever delivered. While not every Luigi’s Mansion 3 multiplayer mode is as thrilling as the next, the ability to play the entire main game together with another person in a fun and well thought out way is amazing and deserving of huge praise and recognition.