A week of Mario. And not even the classic, traditional platforming Mario games, but the Mario spin-off games, chronicling all the different roles and jobs Mario has been placed in over the years. So much Mario in such a short amount of time, and not one single mention of his dearest brother, who has been by his side since the beginning.
Well, Luigi finally had enough of the neglect and mistreatment, and decided to take over this blog, at least for one day. This shouldn't be a surprise, either, as Nintendo dubbed 2013 the year of Luigi, a bold move for a company so reliant on Mario being their face and mascot, the one to carry the companies flag into battle. Nintendo realized how important yet forgotten about by creating the year of Luigi, which was just a glorified way of announcing a bunch of Luigi-stared titles. There was Luigi's mansion, Mario and Luigi: Dream Team, and of course, New Super Luigi U, the huge DLC/expansion/game that Nintendo released to accompany the New Super Mario Bros. U game.
Since the original Super Mario Bros., Luigi has always been Player 2. Whenever two people would play this game together, a fight would ensure to be the first player so that they could be Mario and didn't have to be stuck being Luigi. Usually it was decided by age, or who actually owned the console. This was true for myself as well, as I remember very distinctly no one ever wanting to be Player 2. Even though both characters shared the exact same qualities, except for the color pallet of their clothes, people resisted the notion of being Luigi.
Since then, Luigi has pretty much been regulated to "the other guy." Sure, he's had a few staring roles, like in his original Luigi's Mansion game for the GameCube, or his appearances in the Smash Bros. games, or even as an unlockable character in Mario Galaxy, but never has he ever been celebrated or been given the chance to make fans love him. Instead, gamers always feel stuck playing as him. Well, the guy in green has taken this opportunity and ran with it.
New Super Luigi U, which cleverly depicts spray paint over the "Bros.," is downloadable content that cost $20, which seems extreme. At first glance, it's easy to wonder if Nintendo knows what they are doing when it comes to DLC, as they don't exactly have a long and storied track record of offering it. But once you dig in to what is actually included with the $20 price point, it all makes sense. Instead of just a few levels or something to that nature, Nintendo actually remade the entire game to feature Luigi instead. No, you don't get to just play as Luigi in all the levels you already played through, but they actually created entirely different levels for the entire map. Every single level is different, all Luigi themed, too. There are random pieces of Luigi artwork splattered all over the levels, constantly reminding you this is Luigi's world now. Not that he is humble about it or anything.
In fact, in this game, you can't even play as Mario. Even as second player, Mario is no where to be found. Luigi isn't playing second fiddle in this adventure, that's for sure. He comes equipped with his own move set as well, as he is able to jump exponentially higher than his shorter brother, but also has a heck of a time stopping when he gets going. Instead of breaking and turning on a time, he slides for quite a distance after running, and the faster he is going before hand, the farther he will slide when he does try to stop. This of course make Luigi quite difficult to control, but because of his increased jumping ability and his "flutter" he does when holding the jump button makes reaching higher points in the game to collect those three precious star coins in each level easier.
When I say easier, I mean, easier than if you were Mario. You see, this game isn't easy at all. It is designed to be played for the real gamers, who aren't afraid of a challenge. The original game was fairly challenging as it was, especially when trying to collect all the star coins, and then especially on Star Road, but the Luigi game bumps up the difficulty several notches for sure. Each level starts with the classic sound of running out of time, as you only have 100 ticks of the clock to reach the end of the level, all while trying to collect those pesky star coins. Sure, you don't have to collect those things, but if you're not, why even bother? Essentially you would just be sprinting to the end of each level just to advance to the next one. What fun would that be?
Overall, it's been well worth the money, I think. I can't even remember dying this much in a Mario game, and it only took having Luigi take over a Mario game to introduce that level of difficulty. While it originally came as DLC and you needed the original New Mario Bros. U game to play it, it has since been released on a physical disc, completely bypassing the need to ever touch that Mario game, which is catering to the true, hardcore Luigi fans.
This week has been full of Mario in all his various forms and jobs, but it took removing him from a game completely to realize just how important he is to Nintendo. Microsoft and Sony would literally kill to have a go-to mascot like Mario, and while they constantly try to create someone that iconic, there is no touching the Italian plumber. Mario is the ultimate gaming icon, and he deserves all the love he gets. Just be sure not to forget about his brother, who's been right there from the get-go.
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Games played for project : 365