Nintendo's 'Year of Luigi' puts Mario's brother on center stage. But why?

LUIGI

It’s no secret that Nintendo is not in great shape. It’s not in bad shape. The Wii U ain’t the GameCube. But the Wii U also ain’t the Wii; sales of the new console are off-pace with the Wii’s launch, and Nintendo’s president recently apologized for the dearth of new titles. The beloved videogame company needs a hero. And so, Nintendo has taken the unusual step of declaring that 2013 will belong to one of its oldest characters. “Who is it?” you ask. “Mario? Link? Samus? Star Fox, but like, pretending that there hasn’t been a Star Fox game since the ’90s?” None of the above! Instead, Nintendo today announced the onset of “The Year of Luigi,” officially insisting that the year which marks the dawn of the eighth generation of videogames belongs to Mario’s tall, skinny, anxious, high-jumping, mansion-flipping younger brother.

Here’s the video of the announcement:

The essential takeaways:

-Luigi is only starring sans Mario in one game, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for the 3DS. Nintendo creative overlord Shigeru Miyamoto wants you to know that Luigi’s Poltergust — the ghost-devouring vacuum — has gotten some upgrades. “You can still use it to suck in lots of ghosts, like before. Now you can use it to suck in lots of other things, too.” Truthfully, Luigi has never sucked so much.

-Luigi also co-stars with his big brother in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team for the 3DS. If they were actually the Dream Team, Mario would be Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen, and Larry Bird, and Luigi would be the bench they sat on. Apparently, the game is about Mario going into Luigi’s dreams. So, to recap: In one game, Luigi sucks, and in another game, Luigi sleeps.

-Luigi will also star in New Super Luigi U, not actually a game but rather a raft of downloadable content for New Super Mario Bros. U. Remember in Arrested Development, when Gob took over the Bluth Company, but Michael was still running things? Right, so New Super Luigi U is Luigi dancing to “The Final Countdown.”

-Luigi is also appearing in Mario Golf: World Tour, a game which notably is named after Luigi’s brother. In short, 2013 is actually “The Year of Mario, Except Our Actual Mario Game Isn’t Coming Until 2014.”

Follow Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich

Read More of EW’s Games Coverage:
Luigi is truly the most depressing videogame character ever
The Best and Worst Videogames of 2012
The 10 Best Videogames of the Last Decade: Vote for your favorite, and watch it announced live at Spike’s VGA Awards!
The Nintendo Wii U: A review

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