Luigi’s Mansion 3 Is Charming, Frustrating, and Weird as Hell
And then there’s the money. From a few coins to vast hordes of stacked bills, money is the chief collectable in Luigi’s Mansion 3. But as Patrick Klepek pointed out in his review for Waypoint, there’s practically no use for it. Which is interesting, as it raises some questions about the world the Mario brothers inhabit. The game states the ghosts don’t seem to have an interest in money, and yet they stockpile it, launder it (in the industrial hotel laundry rooms), hide it away in secret caches, and sometimes even inside their bodies.
Luigi has no real need for money. The only things to spend it on are bonus lives and collectable location map indicators, and the amount of wealth that Luigi can vacuum up in just the first hour of the game is phenomenal. It’s extraction of wealth for the pure extraction of wealth.
The game is clearly aware of relationships between power and luxury, labor and capital, state and corporation, bosses and employees. There are even nods to collective ownership? But the politics of the game are as inscrutable as the decision to make three of the D-pad buttons do nothing more than make Luigi say, “Mario?”
Nothing ever really comes together, but at times it doesn’t feel like the game wants to be understood. It’s happy to stretch its spooky arms across a hallway of meaning to poke at the player. One more series of puzzles to think about in your time away from playing.