Analysis of Luigi’s Mansion, the return of a classic to Nintendo 3DS

Written by Kamran Haider

Mario has disappeared, who are you going to call? Of course, his brother Luigi … and not just because he is brave, but because we love to have fun with his scares. We relived the ghastly adventure of the green hat character in a remake that tries to recapture everything that made the Gamecube classic great. Analysis of Luigi’s Mansion for Nintendo 3DS.

If you play today at Luigi’s Mansion (Gamecube, 2001), and have followed the track to Nintendo for the last few years, you will immediately notice all that the Japanese company has evolved in terms of video game design. It was a title with an uneven rhythm and a somewhat confusing structure, where many times you did not know what was next you had to do. This led to the typical blockages that forced you to explore all the rooms, one by one until you found a way to move on.

I’m sure that nowadays Nintendo would not make a video game in this way, with so many obstacles. However, I am surprised that in this version of Luigi’s Mansion for Nintendo 3DS have decided to leave it as is. If they kill you and you have not visited Toad for a long time to save your game, you get annoyed. If you do not remember what your next goal was, there will be no text on the menu to help you get oriented. If you do not know that taking a picture of a mirror with the Game Boy Horror you can go back to the beginning of the mansion, bad luck (I just saved you from looking at it in a guide).

Rediscovering this classic, as it was designed, was something I did not expect, because I also did not remember that the enchanted mansion had so much capacity to bind you. It has not displeased me, but I want you to take it into account. They were other times, in which one of two: or Nintendo did not care too much that you did not reach the end of the adventure, or simply the developer had not reached the degree of skill that has today. I’ll let you provide an answer to this dilemma by playing Luigi’s Mansion more than 15 years after its premiere. It’s quite an experience, as long as you keep in mind that it’s a portable adaptation that I think feels better in the hands of veteran players.


The most curious thing about Luigi’s Mansion is that it can be overcome in 4-5 hours if you know it, but it will not be the case … It will cost you more. Its structure is simple. You must find Mario, and for that, you go through a mansion with several floors and rooms with keys that you unlock. Each room enjoys its personality, apart from an associated ghost, each with its own pattern of behavior. Learning to catch them with the use of the flashlight and the Succionantes 3000 is part of the fun

A positive feature is that adventure has variety, with the acquisition of three types of powers (water, ice, and fire) that expand the formula to make it more interesting. There are also bosses, some very interesting. However, there are tedious stretches, with outdated approaches, the style of collecting a certain number of boos before moving forward. Fifteen years ago they were tolerable, nowadays they represent real bottlenecks. That’s why I told you that it is very surprising that the developers have not reformed these parts, which are anachronistic.Mansion

The stereoscopic effect is the best we’ve seen in 3DS

I think the game would have won with modifications at the structure level, or even adding a system of improvements for Luigi and his entity sniffer. Also, control needed a greater effort, because it leaves a lot to be desired. Not because of the plumber’s movement, which is very smooth, but because of the way he points with his weapon: you can do it with the analog button C (C-Stick), with the movement detection of the console and even with the crosshead … but no system ends up being satisfactory. As a novelty, we have introduced the option of using the strobombilla (a flash of light Luigi’s Mansion 2 style) but in my case, it has been used a couple of times to return to the original.

Therefore, I can not say that the developer Grezzo has found the key to this adaptation. There are interesting ideas, such as the incorporation of achievements for certain feats in the adventure. Once the story is over, and as was the case with Gamecube, we have the hidden mission mode, which increases the difficulty and changes the location to the boos. We have a new gallery of ghosts in which we can play rematches to beat time records.

This last mode of Luigi’s Mansion can be played cooperatively without having to own two copies of the game. However, for the coop of the campaign, which exists and is a great thing, yes you need two cartridges. This modality has its peculiarities, like that the second user does not keep his progress, nor can he open doors (the first player is the one who directs). In any case, the addition is welcome, although we hope that Nintendo optimizes the result through updates. We experienced some important pulls … and it’s not very fluid.Nintendo 3DS

A visual reference of the time

Luigi’s Mansion was conceived as a launch video game for Gamecube, demonstrating its technical power. Now, this may seem strange to you, but the video game had an advanced lighting system. Luigi’s flashlight, and the shadows it generated, I believe were crucial to the visual success of that title. Therefore, I was a bit disappointed to see that the lighting system no longer shines with such splendor in the Nintendo 3DS.

The developers of Grezzo have modified much of the original modeling and textures of Luigi’s Mansion. In general, lines look more graceful, including Luigi’s own design, which has been updated. Also, the game wins in contrast and saturation: it is a little more colorful. However, in lighting issues, this version loses important details. In particular, those shadows that were projected on the walls as soon as you illuminated an object. They no longer enjoy so much presence, and they were important: they got you better in the situation.

On the other hand, the stereoscopic effect (3D) is one of the best we have contemplated. It is not an unimportant detail. In an Iwata Asks, the former president of Nintendo said that Gamecube was born with the option of displaying 3D images through an accessory. Therefore, Luigi’s Mansion was designed with this functionality in mind. Now, more than a decade later, it has become a reality in a remake that is shown in all its splendor with the active stereoscopic effect.

3D imagesWatching this videogame in motion is an absolute joy, from the animations of Luigi to those of the ghosts. His aura is unique: terror from Nintendo’s eyes. The feeling is similar to if Disney made a ghost short with Mickey and company (who did). You do not feel scared, but you do have a lot of fun seeing the rights of the poor green cap plumber, as well as listening to him hum the music of the game, among other details.

All this is back to enjoy what became a true classic, which by the way sold quite well (more than three million copies). We’ll see how this version does it. As a remake, it is improbable, and we may always have the doubt of how it would have been in the Nintendo switch. But the truth is that Nintendo 3DS needed attention … and also its users. So, a title recommended both for new players, as for those who played it in their day and want to revive it. Always paying attention to the pros and cons. Let’s not go scared… that’s what Luigi’s poor man is all ready for.


Nintendo and the developer Grezzo bring back a classic Gamecube, taking advantage of the portable character and, above all, the 3D effect provided by a machine like Nintendo 3DS. The result is a very faithful title to the original, this time with the addition of very interesting cooperative options. However, certain aspects, such as those related to control, the rhythm of game and structure, required reforms to adapt the game both to current times and to the particularities of 3DS. It has not been like that, but in any case, it’s a good opportunity to discover this classic … or rediscover it, given that it’s been a number of years since the original release of Luigi’s Mansion.

  • Original playable concept, even though it is a game from 2001
  • A good amount of puzzles to solve, as well as ghosts to face
  • The visual reform is forceful, both in modeling and textures
  • Cooperative addition for two players, including the campaign
  • Replayable elements: hidden mansion and ghost rematch
  • Certain aspects of gameplay are outdated today
  • Control problems, especially when focusing the flashlight
  • The lighting system loses attributes with respect to the original version

Recommended: Dark Souls Director Hidetaka Miyazaki: ‘The World is Commonly a Wasteland’

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Kamran Haider

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