PAX AUS 2019 – Luigi’s Mansion is the Crab Claw Simulator we’ve all been waiting for…

Ever fancied playing a cutesy action-adventure game whilst pretending to be a crab?  No? WELL, NOW YOU CAN! …well, kind of…

Releasing 31st October 2019 to co-incide with the halloween 2019 holiday, Luigi’s Mansion 3 sees you once again, taking the role of Luigi, as well as his seemingly-invincible liquid form, Guigi.

The game has a simple yet charming look about it, which serves Nintendo’s hybrid console well, maintaining a seemingly solid framerate throughout the ten-minute demo playable at PAX AUS 2019.  For the most part the controls are fairly simple; dedicated buttons allow you to use your flashlight, move around, suck, blow, summon Guigi, fire a plunger, and interact with the world.

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On the subject of controls however, the most bizarre part appears to be the way the flashlight controls work;  in order to hold out the flashlight, you have to hold down the A button, at which mario will point the flashlight in the direction you are facing; if you need to rotate it – which is just about EVERY time, you’re right hand essentially needs to transform into a crab claw, in order to perform the finger acrobatics necessary to hold down the A button with your index finger, whilst rotating the right analogue stick with your thumb.

By the end of the ten-minute session, my fingers already felt cramped up, a side effect felt by everyone I spoke to who tried the demo.  It certainly feels as though an enemy lock button or strafing mechanism would have done the game MANY favours.

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The beginning of the demo takes you through a simple tutorial of the control scheme, and then leads you through several chambers in the mansion with some simple puzzles; defeat the ghosts, defeat the shielded ghosts, maneuver a contraption using the ghostbusters style ghost vacuum, or summon Guigi to get to areas that would otherwise turn Luigi into a permanent resident of the haunted mansion.

The culmination of the PAX demo ends with a fairly straight forward boss fight, who essentially repeats a very simple attack pattern; run a couple of laps around the area whilst arrows fly at you then stop; shine a flashlight, stun him, shoot a plunger, then slam him. Repeat.  Simple? Quite, at least it would have been if aiming the flashlight wasn’t such a huge pain.

Here’s hoping that the final build has some alternate control options, as it would be a shame for such a solid looking game to be crippled by a control scheme that would have made any beta tester question its effectiveness.

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