Dr. Luigi (Video Game Review)

Nintendo has officially wrapped up the "Year of Luigi" with a surprise release for Nintendo Wii U called Dr. Luigi. The new release allows the brother in green to show off his medical expertise for the first time ever, and the result is a game changing mechanic the completely changes the way players will approach the classic formula. While Dr. Luigi does introduce some fun new mechanics, it also takes away some features that fans have come to expect following the previous release in the series. Fans of the Dr. Mario series will be happy to drop $14.99 on the new release, but gamers that only enjoy the franchise casually will have a tough time justifying the purchase.

Dr. Luigi doesn't feature much of a storyline. The green brother heads to his kitchen for breakfast one morning only to find the three alien viruses beamed down to his kitchen table. Luigi is having none of that and immediately whips out some pills to get rid of the pests for good. The only problem is that Luigi seems clueless on how to properly use the pills, hence how L-shaped pills eventually make its way into the game.

There are four game modes featured in Dr. Luigi. Retro Remedy is the first mode players will see when starting up the new game, and it allows players to experience the classic gameplay of the Dr. Mario series. The game mode may be well over 20 years old now, but it's still a lot of fun to line up four pills and germs to clear a line as fast as possible while shooting for a high score on the leaderboards.

The second game mode is Operation L, and it is the one mode that exclusively uses L-shaped pills made from two retro pills combined to get rid of germs. The puzzle game still retains the classic match four colors mechanic, but now, nearly every pill drop is capable of clearing a germ while leaving one pill pellet behind. The L-shaped pills dramatically change the tactics involved in the game that will challenge even the best Dr. Mario players, but it's still fun and a nice change for a classic franchise.

Virus Buster is another unique game mode for the new release that has been brought back from Dr. Mario Online Rx. The new version allows players to use the touchscreen of the Nintendo Wii U gamepad to guide up to three pills that appear at once to the bottom of the screen to make combos. While it's nice to have another game mode to play in Dr. Luigi, Virus Buster is easily the most boring mode because of the slow speed at which the pills drop to the bottom of the screen.

Retro Remedy and Operation L are available to play offline and online in two-player mutliplayer matches that uses similar mechanics of sending pill pellets to the other player's screen by clearing germs on the other side. Online matches work well with no real lag or latency issues, however, the game doesn't do a good job of matching players of similar skill levels. This can often find skilled, hardcore players creaming players that are trying to enjoy the game online but only play the game casually many times throughout a single session. The game doesn't support three and four-player matches strangely, though the previous release of Dr. Mario Online Rx did.

Dr. Luigi does feature a mostly strong presentation that gamers would expect from a Nintendo game. The graphics are nicely designed like a high quality animated film, and a colorful aesthetic choice helps bring the game to life while easily keeping players focused on gameplay while in matches. The menus are easy to navigate and feature a variety of different options to customize each of the 20 stages in the game. The soundtrack also features a nice mixture of new sounds mixed with the three classic tracks from the original Dr. Mario.

Dr. Luigi is a good game, but it doesn't make enough improvements over its predecessor to make it a must buy for Nintendo Wii U owners. Operation L completely changes the strategy from the original release with a whole new way to play that is lots of fun and available to play online or offline with two players. The other game modes offer players even more options to help make the game worth its asking price of $15 for fans of the series. Dr. Luigi may be coming to an end, but players now have quite a few games based around the classic character to enjoy for years to come.

Dr. Luigi is now available exclusively for Nintendo Wii U and can be purchased from the Nintendo eShop for $14.99. Dr. Luigi is rated E by the ESRB. For more information on the game, check out the official Dr. Luigi website.

Game Features:

  • Online Multiplayer 1-2
  • L-Shaped Pills
  • Four Game Modes
  • Online Leaderboards
  • Wii U Gamepad Support

Game Information:
Developer: Arika
Publisher: Nintendo
Available exclusively for Nintendo Wii U (reviewed)
Release Date: December 31, 2013

Score: 7 out of 10

  • Strong Presentation
  • Nice animations
  • Game modes over more replayability
  • Not many changes over predecessor
Powered by Blogger.