News Article

Feature: 12 Days of Christmas - Year of Luigi

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Yay green!

This is the first of 12 special features that will look back and highlight some of the best things Nintendo gave us in 2013. It's only natural that we start with the mascot that made 2013 his own.

2013, the Year of Luigi. Though, it may incorporate some of 2014, but let's not quibble. Nintendo declared this to be the green one's year and we, here at Nintendo Life, were rather delighted. Poor old Luigi has had many tough years, from being a basic palette swap back in the days of Super Mario Bros., to less ignominious cameos that, nevertheless, emphasized that Mario was Nintendo's star; he often came second.

After years of being a side-kick or popping up in sports games, Luigi had his big break with Luigi's Mansion on the GameCube, but that merely reinforced his reputation as the loveable, down on his luck brother. Though an excellent game in the opinion of many, it failed to wow in the same way as the Nintendo 64's iconic launch title, Super Mario 64, and was ultimately on Nintendo's poorest selling mainstream home console. He'd been given the chance to star, and it backfired.

Yet that wasn't Luigi's fault, and though it had taken 12 years he was given a second chance with Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon on the 3DS, and Next Level Games played a blinder. One of many top-notch games on the portable this year, it's incredibly charming in both visuals and audio, and shows Luigi in his most comical light. Courageous yet terrified, ghost hunting master yet clumsy — a new generation of gamers may have fallen for him while conquering multiple mansions.

Beyond his personality, one fact also known about Luigi — as has been the case since Super Mario Bros. 2 — is that he's more athletic than his portly brother. Tall and with a terrific leap — with the downside that he has less balance on the run — he starred in New Super Luigi U on Wii U, both as DLC for New Super Mario Bros. U and as a standalone game; the courses were short, intense, and perfectly suited to Luigi's flutter jump. It also worth noting that, for some of the Nintendo Life team, he's the go-to character in the outstanding Super Mario 3D World, as once again he shows athleticism with his jumping that others simply can't match. He's a platforming superstar.

There's more to Luigi than hunting ghosts and platforming, of course, and another star turn came in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team; though featuring both brothers, it was the green one that arguably took the lead role. As loveable as ever in the overworld, it was the sleeping Luigi and his dreams that gave the quirky RPG its hook, and it was another stand-out game on the system.

Luigi's influence has spread beyond games. Marketing for his appearances have seen him take over the Chicago L train, for example, and we can't help but wonder whether Mario has been green with envy. There's an attractive limited edition Mario & Luigi 3DS XL in North America, and the official Nintendo UK store is exclusive offering a gorgeous Luigi-themed 3DS XL, which was previously released in Japan. Wherever you look this Holiday season on Nintendo systems, there's a good chance you'll catch a glimpse of Luigi.

It's truly been his year; well deserved, too.

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User Comments (40)



Volmun said:

id prefer the Luigi 3DS XL if it was baced off Luigi's Mansion 2 tbh



Bilko said:

Don't forget the hidden 8 bit Luigis throughout SM3DW... (And that lovely Club Nintendo coin!)



rjejr said:

If Nintendo put a 3DS game cartridge port in the Gamepad I bet they could sell a lot more Wii U.

Anybody know why it wouldnt work? 2 screens, 1 touchscreen, same button layout, and thanks to Nintnedo's 2DS their 3DS games do NOT need a 3D screen. I think an adaptor could plug into the bottom of the Gamepad like this:

And the Wii U should be powerful enough to emulate 3DS games, no? Well I guess if it cant that kills that idea. It would sell more Wii U though.



MrMario02 said:

On the first Day of Nintendo My true love gave to me: A year, made just for luigi!



ueI said:

It's not a true year of Luigi without a Paper Luigi game set in the Waffle Kingdom.



shigulicious said:

I predict that Nintendo will announce Luigis Mansion as the first game available on the eshop from the GameCube library. Very soon.



Dark-Luigi said:

It's a great year of the green thunder himself, he will always hold a special place in my heart. Stay awesome, Luigi!



Gioku said:

This poster I got is my favorite part of the Year of Luigi:
(all three are now proudly displayed on my walls! )



antonvaltaz said:

Just to be a pedant... the twelve days of Christmas start on December 25th, through to January 5th.

These are the final days of Advent...



Gioku said:

@rjejr: I always thought things like the GameBoy Player and the Super GameBoy were cool, I'd totally go for something like that on Wii U! ...the only issue would be for games that require being held sideways (like the giant battles in Mario & Luigi Dream Team)... that would cause issues... the way around that would be to have the option to use a 3DS as the controller (which they did with the GameCube's GameBoy Player). It'd be perfect then!



rjejr said:

@Spuratis - Probably how most of the 3rd party Wii games do an HD tv.

Good point though. But I'ld still play them. After spending an hour updating two 3DS today there's just no way I could game on that systems. And I'm not being mean, I just can't. Maybe after I get a new presciption, my glasses are a mess. Though I have played the XL in stores and it's fine. Size does matter.



rjejr said:

@Gioku - Yeah. I was thnking the Gamepad works sideways - you have to move it all over the place to boot up Wii Fit U and some parts of W101 - but turnign the tv on its side would certainly be a pain. Well even Vita tv has exceptions. And alot more than that I think. Hecne the dramatic sales plunge.



Gioku said:

@Uberchu Yes, they're the Platinum rewards! I live in Oregon, though, so Club Nintendo rewards get to me the day after they're shipped (NoA is in Washington).

@K-Gamer: The characters are definitely CGI, the background might be a real photograph, though.



NintyMan said:

This Year of Luigi yearlong celebration was a brilliant idea. So fun to see Nintendo giving Luigi some love through events and games! I still have the coins and Luigi foam hat from the Best Buy E3 experience. All of those 8-bit Luigis in Super Mario 3D World are hilarious and Luigi Bros. is the perfect tribute. It's just too bad that Luigi actor Danny Wells died after the release of that game to mark a somber decline for the year. Still, this year will be quite memorable for this Year of Luigi alone!



sleepinglion said:

You think during the Year of Luigi we would see 'Luigi's Mansion' arrive as the first GC Wii U VC title.
But no. No, that would only make too much sense and be universally embraced by fans of the service.



Nomad said:

As much as I like Luigi, it's felt like the year of the 3DS to me. Let's hope next year is the year of the Wii U.



Marshi said:

I think nintendo should keep up the "Year of..." tradition and have 2014 be a year of some other under appreciated nintendo franchise. So maybe a year of metroid? Year of starfox,fzero etc?



UnseatingKDawg said:

I will honestly say this - I did not appreciate Luigi NEARLY as much before this year. So I really am glad the big N decided to celebrate his 30th anniversary - I think I like him more than Mario now.



FrostFlare said:

Next up, we need New Super Luigi 2, starring the mustachioed man in green as he goes out to rescue Princess Daisy from either Wart (Super Mario Bros. 2) or Wario and Waluigi. Whether it is set in Sarasaland or not is up to Nintendo. Do it, Shigeru Miyamoto!



element187 said:

@rjejr @Spuratis the first reason is the CPU in the gamepad is weaker than the 3ds so the Wii u system itself would need to accept the cartridge for emulation.

the second reason would be resolution would limit it... A lot of people complain how Wii games look on an HDTV and that's blowing up 480p to 720p, 240p to 720p would be even more drastic. When I play my 3ds games on the 2ds I got for my nephew for Xmas it is night and day when it comes to IQ. The small screen on the xl blew up the picture, that's only a 90% size difference. it just looks terrible in comparison to how it looks on the 2ds(of course I never noticed before because I only have played 3ds games on the xl previously) Now blowing that 240p resolution up to work on the 720p tv or the 854x480 gamepad would really make a really ugly picture.

Third they are two different CPU/GPU architecture so each and every game would be required to ported or emulated to get it to run right.,. Emulating and uprezzing would require an entire team strictly assigned to debugging and solving compatibility issues on each title seperately. Nintendo is having a hard enough time with the VC, I don't think they have the resources to do this while trying to get the Wii u development pipeline in order.

Those Are my best guess answers to why Ninty won't do it

I would love to play my 3ds games on my Wii U, it certainly would fill in the droughts, but my 3ds does such a great job I feel its unnecessary, and the 3ds games are designed with the 240p resolution in mind and looks great on a 240p screen, especially that 2ds screen. Wow.



element187 said:

@UnseatingKDawg I grew up in the 80s with an older brother who always played Mario and I was on Luigi all the time..... So to me I have always liked Luigi more. Don't get me wrong, Mario games are some of the best games ever made, but I just don't like Mario as a character, it's just merely coincidence he stars in some really really great games.



NightmareXIV said:

Luigi quickly took his place over Mario at least to me when I played Luigi's mansion for the first time while Wind Waker is my favorite game Luigi's mansion holds a special place in my heart.



rjejr said:

@element187 @Gioku @Spuratis - Thanks for all the feedback everybody, here's the new plan of attack.

Make the 3DS cartridge adaptor plug into SD slot in the Wii U, not the Gamepad. Nintendo makes the 3DS OS avalable as a DL just like the Wii channel, actually turning the Wii U into a 3DS. I know it would need some modifications but they already modified it once for the 2DS which has only 1 screen and 1 speaker so I imagine its doable. Throw in some upres code and wahla, big screen 3DS.



JaredJ said:

I say just make an adapter that plugs into the usb port on the Wii U and update the eshop so you can download 3DS eshop games on Wii U.



RetroJosh said:

Awesome to see Weegee finally get his spotlight!
It's been a fantastic year for the 3DS also!

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