What I'm Playing - No. 102
Welcome back to another weekly wrap-up of the games I’ve been playing over the past week!
The sections are both spoiler-free this week. The only potential spoilers might be in some of the Luigi’s Mansion 3 screenshots. If you don’t want any of the boss ghost designs spoiled, you might want to skip that section.
Click a title to skip to that section. Games contained within this post:
Yakuza 0 (PC)
I played more Yakuza 0 this week. I have no idea how much I still have to go in the main story. I keep getting distracted by the side content, because it’s really starting to earn me fat stacks of cash!
During Kiryu’s chapters, I completely took over an entire block in Kamurocho Real Estate, unlocking 3 new blocks to buy properties and collect profits from. Some properties in the new areas are a bit above my price range right now, but after even more real estate dealing they’ll eventually be within reach!
Of course, I also advanced Kiryu’s story a bit. I won’t spoil anything, but I’m definitely interested in where things are going. There have been some significant plot reveals in Kiryu’s story that tie into things I’ve seen in Majima’s story, and it really feels like everything is coming together.
Speaking of Majima, his story has not disappointed so far. It has me more on edge than Kiryu’s for some reason, even though the stakes are pretty high for both of them. I unlocked Majima’s business mini-game, Cabaret Club Czar, but I’m not yet seeing the same profits as the Real Estate game on Kiryu’s side. In Majima’s business game, you gain ownership of a cabaret club, and take an active role running and managing it. Hiring more hostesses for the club, seating guests and pairing them with a hostess, and keeping an eye on your employees’ well-being are all important to keep the club running smoothly. Once you open for business, the mini-game runs for 3 minutes of real time, which might seem like a lot to sit through every time you want to earn money from the club, but it goes by pretty quickly. It helps that the music that plays while the club is open is really good. Your employees gain experience and level up after each work day, and you’ll also gain fans in the area, which means more profits in the future.
I’m not sure if I like the Real Estate or Cabaret Club mini-games better, they’re both pretty fun. Kiryu’s is definitely more satisfying right now since I’m making a lot more money from it! That’s about all I have to say about Yakuza 0 for now. It’s still a lot of fun, I’m really glad I picked it up!
Luigi’s Mansion 3 (Switch)
I started playing Luigi’s Mansion 3 this week! After receiving an invitation to stay at the luxurious Last Resort hotel, Mario, Luigi, Peach, and 3 Toads all head there straight away to take advantage of this offer. Unfortunately, things go downhill rather quickly. Luigi wakes up after a post check-in nap to find the hotel transformed into a much more menacing environment. He soon learns that Mario, Peach, and the Toads have all been captured by the owner and transformed into paintings by King Boo. Luigi manages to escape this same fate, and stumbles upon the Poltergust G-00 ghost-sucking vacuum cleaner in the trunk of a car in the parking garage. With his new Poltergust equipped, it’s up to Luigi to explore the hotel, defeat ghosts, and rescue his friends.
This game abandons the mission-based structure of the previous entry in favor of more open exploration, like the first game. It’s still linear, with progression structured around collecting missing elevator buttons that allow you to go to the next floor of the hotel, but on each floor you’ll have to explore on your own to find the next elevator button. Most of the floors are pretty straightforward, with just one path through them, but even then there are often some fun puzzles, and the designs of the floors themselves have been cool and varied.
Most the abilities that were introduced in Dark Moon (Luigi’s Mansion 2) have returned in this game. These include the Dark-Light, which reveals hidden objects, and the Strobulb, a powerful flashlight burst that makes it easier to stun ghosts and is required to activate some terminals. The Poltergust G-00 also has a few brand new abilities. It can shoot out plungers with a rope on the end, and if these attach to a surface, Luigi can vacuum up the rope and use it to pull on the attached object, opening or smashing it. The most notable new addition to the gameplay is Gooigi, a gooey creature that Luigi can release from the Poltergust and control. Gooigi has the same abilities as Luigi, and since it is made of goo, it can also slide through pipes and grates with ease, reaching areas that Luigi cannot. But, Gooigi also has a big limitation: it dissolves in water. A stream of water or even a puddle will stop Gooigi in its tracks. In single-player, switching between Luigi and Gooigi is required for some puzzles and bosses, and this is also how co-op is implemented - the 2nd player controls Gooigi.
The designs of the ghosts, both enemies and especially bosses, is a big step up from the previous game. The enemies are similar to those in the 2nd game, but they have a lot more charm, possibly just because they look better on Switch than 3DS. The boss ghosts are great to see in the game. I didn’t realize how much I missed unique boss ghost designs in Dark Moon until I re-experienced them in this game! If I had one real complaint about the game overall, it’s that there are sometimes too frequent boss fights. Towards the end of my playtime this week, I got a bit of boss fatigue, as it sort of felt like I was simply going from one boss battle to the next. There are exploration and puzzle solving bits in between, but these are always separated by a boss battle. I kind of miss the mini-boss portrait ghosts encounters of the first game, where you’d have a small environmental puzzle or something like that to solve in order to capture a unique ghost. A similar mechanic might be present in Luigi’s Mansion 3, since there’s a whole “Rare Ghost” part of the gallery that I’ve not filled in at all, but I haven’t seen them in my exploration, so they don’t appear to be part of the main game at least.
I expect I’ll finish Luigi’s Mansion 3 before too long next week. At this point, I only have a few elevator buttons left to collect. Something might go wrong, forcing Luigi to backtrack to a previous area to resolve the problem (something I really enjoy, by the way), but I still don’t think I have too much of the game left. It’s been a fun ride, if the series continues with more installments like this, I would be pretty happy with that!