The Year of Luigi: as it happened
7th Dec 2013 | 12:30
Move over, Mario
You've gotta feel for the green guy. He spends literally decades being overshadowed by his older brother and then, when Nintendo finally gives him a long-overdue podium, it's the year that the Xbox One and PS4 both launch. Tough break, bro.
But let's forget about everyone else for a moment. For a few minutes let's remember who 2013 really belonged to. It belonged to Luigi. Player 2.
Green with envy
The "Year of Luigi", as Nintendo called it, was to mark 30 years since the debut of Mario's younger, taller brother.
Things certainly started out strong with the release of Luigi's Mansion 2 (or Dark Moon if you're in the US), which turned out to be one of the best 3DS titles we got this year - and one that was nominated for a Golden Joystick, no less.
Then came title Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros. CVG called it "a diverse RPG built on fresh ideas" and welcomed it in as a strong entry in the Mario Brothers' RPG series. We also really liked the soundtrack.
Next up was New Super Luigi U, setting out to prove that Mario wasn't the only master of the platformer.
But did it succeed? Many reviews were middling, and CVG's verdict was: "Some standout moments, but otherwise an unspectacular collection of 82 short stages".
We also had plenty of Luigi-themed merchandise to enjoy, including a special Luigi 3DS XL and his own hit album - The Year of Luigi Sound Selection.
But despite all this, Mario couldn't stand not being front and center for too long, and swooped in at the last moment to steal the limelight in the (admittedly brilliant) Super Mario 3D World.
But Luigi wasn't cast completely to the side. Not only does he feature in the main game itself, there's a secret Luigi Bros. game that can be unlocked if you have New Super Luigi U save data on the console.
So is it all over for the green dude come January 1? Hold your Yoshis. According to Nintendo man Reggie Fils-Aime, we can expect to see the Luigi love spill over into 2014. The celebrating isn't over yet. [CVG]
There's another reason we dedicated this Week in Gaming to Luigi. This week we discovered that, with tragic irony, Danny Wells, who played Luigi in the 80s The Super Mario Bros Super Show, had died at 72.
Anyone old enough will recall Wells playing Luigi in the the live-action show as well as voicing the brother in the cartoon series. For a lot of people, he was Luigi.
So long, Danny, you were always the better dancer of the two. We're pouring one out for you.
The Wii U may have had a tough 2013, but Mario, Luigi and the rest of the crew were on top form. Here's to a 2014 that sees the quality of the games reflected in the sales of the console.
No links for our Future friends this week. Instead, we offer this excellent Super Mario Bros Super Show live sketch, starring lots and lots of pizza. Enjoy.