It's Wee-gee time! With Nintendo having officially declared 2013 as the 'Year of Luigi', the lean, green platforming machine is getting ready to star in yet another game all by himself - well, sort of anyway. While we've already had the excellent Luigi's Mansion 2, and the news that Mario & Luigi Dream Team Bros will be hitting shelves a lot sooner than we'd thought have already practically sealed the Luigi year's success, it seems Luigi's got another game in him yet, as he set to invade Wii U launch title New Super Mario Bros. U over the summer by way of a humongous downloadable add-on that makes Luigi the star of the show, without a red-clad bro in sight.
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Stepping out of the shadows, the New Super Luigi U add-on is made up of some 82 all-new levels, designed especially to fit with the Luigi theme. While you'll access the levels from a world map that looks suspiciously similar to the one found in New Super Mario Bros U (it's actually exactly the same), the levels themselves are all new creations specially for the download.
"But aside from colour scheme, aren't Mario and Luigi pretty similar", we hear you cry. The answer it seems, is no, as Luigi's different aerodynamics apparently mean he can jump higher, stay airborne for longer, but also skids further when he tries to come to an abrupt halt. With levels designed specifically to take advantage of Luigi's special jumping skills, you'll need to push the lanky brother to the limit if you want to finish the levels and get all the big gold coins in the game.
But those aren't the only changes that have been made to cater to Luigi's skills (or lack thereof) - although the next one we're not all that keen on. Each of the levels in the downloadable pack will apparently be shorter than the ones found in the main game, and more challenging, with a measly 100 second time limit, and loads of obstacles and enemies that'll do their best to get in your way as you charge for the flag at the end. With the time limit being our least favourite aspect of New Super Mario Bros U (punishing those of us who prefer to take the scenic route/often mess up jumps), we can't say we're too chuffed about this one. When taken with the increased difficulty, you can't help but wonder if the pack's been intended to be a more 'hardcore' Mario game, much in the same way the add-ons for New Super Mario Bros 2 on the 3DS were - especially as, incredibly disappointingly, it looks like it's going to be an entirely single-player experience.
At the time of writing, we have no idea when we can expect the New Super Luigi U add-on (except that it'll be sometime this summer), nor how much it should cost. While it'd be nice if it was a free download as part of the celebration that is the 'Year of Luigi', it's probably not all that likely - we're expecting it to weigh in somewhere between £15 to £20, as Nintendo have been emphasising how it's "practically a whole new game". While it's certainly sounding like it could be one the hardcore will enjoy, we'll be keeping our fingers crossed it's something the rest can enjoy too. As it's Nintendo, and the Year of Luigi, we'd be surprised if it isn't.