The Year of Luigi is Almost Over. So Who's Next?
Nintendo declared 2013 the Year of Luigi, and by and large they did a pretty good job of putting Mario's forgotten brother front-and-center (barring their inexplicable failure to mark the 30th anniversary of the character's debut). Not only did Luigi play a major role in several games, sharp-eyed characters can spot him in a number of unlikely places in other titles.
But now 2014 looms large, and the Year of Luigi will soon draw to a close. This leads us to wonder: Who's next? The Mario pantheon is loaded with characters who play second fiddle to the leading man, so why stop at simply celebrating Luigi? We can think of plenty of other Mario regulars (and not-so-regulars) equally deserving of some time in the sun. Here are our picks -- who are yours?
Maybe this is too obvious, Waluigi being the creepy weird evil-ish counterpart to Luigi. On the other hand, maybe not, since (1) Waluigi is a terrible character and (2) Nintendo has never really acknowledged him outside of spin-off games. Where Wario has received the occasional nod in core Mario games (including being made playable in Super Mario 64 DS), Waluigi will forever dwell in the minor leagues of Mario sports and racing titles. But hey, isn't there a Mario Kart due next year? Along with some other Mario spin-offs....?
Now that Shigeru Miyamoto has deigned to let EAD Tokyo make Princess Peach playable in the same space as Mario and Luigi for the first time in 25 years (Super Princess Peach and its questionable mood-based powers not really counting), perhaps it's time to reconsider her highness' place in the Mushroom Kingdom pantheon. Why should she always be the victim? She's perfectly capable of holding her own in Mario spin-offs, and the Paper Mario games inevitably feature her subverting her role as a hostage; seeing that bleed into the core Mario titles would bring Nintendo very much in line with the current video game culture interest in seeing better and more respectful roles for female protagonists. I mean, why can't Peach kidnap Bowser everyone once in a while?
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