luigiWhen I turned on yesterday’s Nintendo Direct, I was completely stoked to hear Nintendo President Satoru Iwata announce that 2013 has been named “The Year of Luigi”. I’m a huge fan of the green plumber and felt after 30 years of service, he needed a little more attention.  Sadly, as the internet broadcast continued, my enthusiasm waned right along with it.

Nintendo announced four Luigi-centric titles for this year: Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS), Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (3DS), Mario Golf: World Tour (3DS) and New Super Luigi U (Wii U).  While I think these announcements are great additions, I feel like there is a huge missed opportunity here for Nintendo.

I think Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon will be critical success and what I’ve played at various events; it appears to have all the charm from the original Luigi’s Mansion on the GameCube, and then some.  Mario & Luigi: Dream Team looks like it’ll continue its success, assuming ALPHADREAM are at the helm.  Mario Golf: World Tour is being made by Camelot, so you know it’ll be good. Lastly, is the Super Mario Bros. U DLC entitled New Super Luigi U, where Luigi is the only playable character in these “alternate versions” of the main title’s 80+ stages.

While I love the inclusion and focus on Luigi in each of these titles, I really wish Nintendo would have made the extra effort to make this special.  I completely understand that the marketing folks over at Nintendo probably only recently came up with this “Year of Luigi” idea in order to spark more interest in these recycled IPs, but in reality, Nintendo dropped the ball on a huge opportunity to bring forth something completely new.

I mean, you have a beloved character in Mario’s brother. Instead of going back to the well, it would have been a great opportunity to launch a new style of game featuring our favorite green-overall hero.   I understand that Luigi has a scaredy-cat image to maintain, but everyone has to come out of their shell at some point.

I love Luigi and my Nintendo franchises, but even I need to begin seeing something different than the same recycled “2D Mario, Mario Sport, Paper Mario, 3D Mario, Mario & Luigi RPG, rinse, repeat.” It’s why I haven’t purchased a Wii U yet and my 3DS is gathering dust.  Well, in the meantime, go Luigi!