The new Luigi's Mansion feels very similar to its previous entries. As a coworker called it, "fishing for ghosts" is still a fun game of catch-and-smash. But the third entry adds a twist in a gooey replica of the green man himself, and what this does for both puzzle-solving and catching ghosts is what makes Luigi's Mansion 3 stand out.
Luigi is back, he's got his vac, and there are some ghosts to smack. Using the suction hose, as well as a few tools like Luigi's flashlight, are the bread-and-butter of Luigi's Mansion, and are still here. Nintendo emphasizes a "secret in every room." What's really changed is not Luigi, but the man inside Luigi's vacuum.
"Gooigi" is the name given to the ectoplasmic effigy of the verdant plumber, acting as a helping hand in puzzles and combat. At any time, you can spring Gooigi forth from your back and control him, vacuum and all. You essentially have two Luigis at any given time, which is demonstrably better than a single Luigi.
In one section, I used Gooigi to pull on a cord that would activate an elevator while my real, corporeal body descended downwards. In others, I used Gooigi to walk through spikes in a frankly blatant homage to The Terminator 2: Judgement Day, emerging unscathed on the other side to deactivate the danger.
But the most fun might be the unintentional kind: using Gooigi in combat. Though it was never actually necessary for me to beat an enemy this way, and was honestly a hindrance in some circumstances, using Gooigi as a remote Luigi in battles with ghosts is oddly fun. Luigi cowers in fear and trembles with anxiety over his ethereal foes, but not Gooigi. The good goo boy is fearless, stoic even. It resulted in me almost dying to the boss, but trying out some weird combinations like latching onto a shield ghost with one Luigi and blasting him with another's flashlight.
Luigi's Mansion 3 looks to be more of what fans of the previous two games wanted, and on the Nintendo Switch at that. But the Gooigi mechanic also adds a new layer of puzzle solving that I'm eager to dive into once the game is out. It not only doubles the capacity for moving pieces in a puzzle, but could open up interesting combat challenges as well.