Barroom Gamer

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There is no Year of Luigi without Mike’s Top 5 Luigi games of 2013

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2013 was a special year in gaming, one which we may perhaps, never experience again. We witnessed the rising evolution of the AAA title with games like Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, and the Last of Us. The 3DS overpowers the portable gaming market with the constant flow of fantastic games like Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing. We have even crossed into the next generation of gaming with the releases of the X-Box One and PS4. There is one video game icon however that had an exceptionally well 2013, and that is Nintendo’s beloved Luigi. In a promotion lasting all year commemorating the 30th anniversary of Luigi’s initial debut on Mario Bros., Nintendo released a number of games that exclusively feature or includes our beloved sibling plumber. In this top five, I’ll briefly rank those games as I had the honor in participating in this year’s promotion and would like to give my own special shout out to Luigi.

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5. Luigi Bros.

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It’s no secret that Super Mario 3D World was the best game released on the Wii U this year. It’s a game I personally dismissed when it was first announced, but found myself getting more intrigued by the beautiful graphics and gameplay with every new trailer. So what does Super Mario 3D World have to do with the Year of Luigi? Well first, the game is filled with hidden Luigi sprites that can be challenging to locate. There is nothing special that comes from finding Luigi, but it’s pretty awesome to be able to take over a huge Super Mario Bros. release in that manner. Second, this one is a mere opinion, but I felt the ghost houses in the game were specifically made to favor the use of Luigi as a sort of tribute to the successful Luigi’s Mansion games. I could be wrong, but those stages seemed to be the only ones that would include Luigi specific buttons, but you all can decide that. Lastly, you can play the exclusive Luigi Bros. which is nothing more than the original Mario Bros., minus the Mario. It’s a fun little treat if you have a few minutes to kill; the game is still very fun to play, even at age 30. I don’t think I know anyone owning a Wii U that has not yet picked up this game. You got to get it!

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4. Mario and Luigi: Dream Team

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Luigi got to see a little role playing action in 2013 with the release of Mario and Luigi: Dream Team. It’s the fourth installment in the acclaimed RPG series, but this particular game featured a much bigger role for our green friend. The plot is a silly one; the crew goes on vacation to the wonderful Pi’illo Island where, you may have guessed, Princess Peach gets kidnapped. Now it’s Luigi’s job to save her by…passing out? Yes that is correct, Luigi passes out on these magical pillows that open a dream world Mario can jump into and explore. In said world, you are given the opportunity to mess with Luigi’s face while sleeping in order to help Mario get through his objectives. There is a lot more to cover, so I may perhaps do a full review of the game someday. I enjoyed the game, but found myself getting a little fatigued battling the same characters over and over again (which shouldn’t happen in a turn-based RPG). The tandem controls was neat where one button controlled Mario and the other Luigi, but it took some time to get used to. Mario and Luigi: Dream Team, although not the best game of the year, is a solid role playing adventure for the 3DS.

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3. Dr. Luigi

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So three games on this list are rehashes of older titles in which I have covered one already. The announcement of Dr. Luigi for the Wii U took everyone by surprise during December’s Nintendo Direct as it was to be released right away on New Year’s Eve. I had mixed feeling right off the bat, and couldn’t help but think this was just something Nintendo threw together to help justify having a successful year in commemorating Luigi. I got over it quick however and welcomed this “Dr. Mario” remix as the game is still very fun to play, and now my children will have the opportunity to experience Dr. Luigi their selves. Just as in Dr. Mario, Dr. Luigi throws color coded pills into a pool of viruses where it’s your job to line up the colors up and destroy them. This time however, the pills come in two and are “L’ shaped, which can make the game a little easier to play. If the “L” shaped pill is not doing it for you, the game offers the classic Dr. Mario mode as well as its catchy tune. If you don’t want to play alone, Dr. Luigi has an online multiplayer mode so that you can play worldwide with other Miis. The $15 dollar price tag may be hard to justify, but Dr. Luigi is an incredibly fun and addictive puzzler I would recommend to all retro gamers owning a Wii U.

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2. New Super Luigi U

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Up to the year 2012, Luigi had never starred in his own Super Mario Bros-esque platforming adventure. That all changed however in 2013 with New Super Luigi U. You can call it Luigi’s first big, side-scrolling adventure without his brother, but you have to keep in mind this was meant to be downloadable content for New Super Mario Bros. U. Nintendo later announced a retail version of the game in special green boxing, which helped me in putting this DLC matter to rest because now it felt like I was playing a new Luigi, side-scrolling adventure. New Super Luigi U consists of 8 worlds, influenced by the initial NSMBU, with all new stages built with Luigi’s traits in mind. What he strives in his jumping ability, he lacks in his footing which may be difficult to control at times. Each stage is a time trial starting at 100 seconds, which makes the game pretty hard if you’re going for 100% completion. With no Mario in site, he is replaced by Nabbit in multiplayer mode as the fourth playable character. In my opinion, the $20 price tag online is well worth the cost if you don’t mind New Super Luigi U as DLC. As a game collector, I also found the $30 dollar price tag fair for the retail version as well. You want a real challenge, give this one a whirl.

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1. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon

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Here it is, the number one game featuring our favorite green plumber in 2013, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for the 3DS. Luigi is called upon once again by Professor E Gadd to help get rid of ghosts running rampage after the Dark Moon is shattered. This may sound a little weird, but there is just as much to love watching the game as there is playing it. My son loves him some Professor Gadd, with his goofy dialogue (takataka) as well as Luigi’s “ ’ello? ” when answering his DS. Listening to Luigi nervously hum the game’s music is a charming little detail that helps in making you feel for the guy. Each location is incredibly polished and detailed allowing Luigi to become more interactive with his surroundings. The music is excellent playing appropriately at all the right times. The ghosts take on their own personalities making them unique in the way they are captured. The puzzles range in difficulty, but don’t necessarily get harder as you progress through the game. There is a multiplayer feature I have yet to try, but is available to me should I choose to play it. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon never gets stale, and is very replayable. Not only do I rank this game number one on this list, but it is definitely on my top five portable games of the year. If you enjoyed the first Luigi’s Mansion, this one is a no brainer.

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And with this, the Year of Luigi has come to an end. It was definitely cool of Nintendo to pay homage to a character that has never really been in the spotlight outside of Luigi’s Mansion. According to Nintendo however, this is not the last we’ll see of Luigi in the spotlight as he is set to be featured in several games coming out in 2014 such as the new Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart. Club Nintendo members were treated with the chance to redeem points for a new Luigi’s Mansion figuring set to be released in March 2014, and if you went to any major gaming convention, you may have received a special commemorative Luigi pin or hat as well. All in all, I would say this promotion was a success, and hope they continue this trend with other Nintendo franchises. Hope everyone enjoyed this particularly long top 5 list. I am currently working on other projects for the site, which should be out soon. I am also pleased to announce that our website has partnered up with ladiesoftheroundtable.net in hopes of expanding our video game community in which I am proud to be a part of. Feedback guys, I want to know how you felt about this year’s dedication to Luigi. Cheers, and Happy New Years!

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Image Mike H., the founder of BarroomGamer.com  is a 30 years old, married-with-kids, undergraduate at the University of California San Diego. He enjoys playing and talking video games with anyone, as well as enjoying delicious alcoholic beverages to accompany him in his gaming experiences. He’s new to the realm of blogging, but  loves the idea of sharing his thoughts about video games, or anything related to them,with the world. He loves to discuss, find him on Twitter @barroomgamer

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