Luigi has been the wingman on countless adventures over the past 30 years, but this weekend marks the retail release of the back-up plumber's very own platforming game, New Super Luigi U. Does Mario's lesser half have what it takes to be the star of the show? We examine some newly obtained photographic evidence to assess Luigi's chances of success.

New Super Luigi U was released earlier this summer as DLC, so we already know it's good. How the game will fare at retail, however, is uncertain. Mario has become synonymous with quality platforming experiences; Luigi has always just been the guy that player two gets stuck with. Whether Luigi can overcome that instinctual disappointment in the minds of consumers depends largely on how he fares in his new adventure.

Thanks to a secret source (i.e. Nintendo's official website), we have some new, revealing evidence to help determine if Luigi is up to the task.

Exhibit A: Luigi's Vanity
Wow. Luigi finally gets top billing and the first thing he does is erect a giant monument in his own image. He's like a crazed dictator – although if he actually was in charge of Mushroom Kingdom, I bet his Toad servants would poison him with one of those purple skull mushrooms and topple that statue within a week, tops. That said, Luigi's self-promotion should help raise consumer awareness for his game, which is good for business. I just wonder if he isn't going overboard; as if the five-story monument wasn't enough, Luigi placed a gold star coin above his head. A bit much, don't you think?
Conclusion: Clearly a skilled tradesman, but suffers from delusions of grandeur

Exhibit B: Luigi At A Tea Party
With Mario out of the picture, gamers have to ask the question: Is Luigi capable of saving the day all on his own? Based on this picture, the answer is clearly no. Bowser may pal around with Mario and company on the tennis court and race track, but when he's trying to take over Mushroom Kingdom, he means business. How is Luigi preparing for his solo feat? By having a nice leisurely tea party with Princess Peach. Earth to Luigi: This isn't Downton Abbey. Bowser is going to kill you.

I don't really care about Luigi's personal safety, but from a commercial standpoint, consumers aren't going to want to buy a sequel to a game where the protagonist dies on the first level and the villain ends up victorious.
Conclusion: Not taking this seriously

Exhibit C: A Poor Sense Of Direction
At first glance this looks like your typical desert setup, with Luigi dutifully trudging along towards the finish line. But take a look at the string of coins. Clearly Luigi is supposed to be going in the opposite direction – he should have slid down the hill and jumped on the head of that weird turtle guy! To Luigi's credit, he hasn't died from one those giant spiky balls yet, but he better get his navigation skills in order soon – there is a time limit for finding the finish line, you know.
Conclusion: You're going the wrong way!

Exhibit D: Luigi's New Friend
Mario's departure gives Luigi the novel opportunity to pick his own sidekick for his new escapade. So who did Luigi decide to go with? Some freak called Nabbit. Apparently, Nabbit is supposed to be a thieving rabbit, but his similarities to Domino's Pizza's the Noid are undeniable – both steal round things (coins and pizzas, respectively), both wear masks and have rabbit ears, and both are incredibly stupid.

My guess is Luigi thinks he'll look cooler if he surrounds himself with d-list sidekicks. However, no one wants to play a game as a squad full of losers – having a pair of generic Toads for players three and four aren't helping matters. At least Yoshi makes an appearance, though given the rest of the cast, he should probably fire his agent.
Conclusion: What a bunch of losers

Exhibit E: Luigi's "Abilities"
Nintendo's website for New Super Luigi U boasts that Luigi has his own set of unique skills. The picture above demonstrates one of these remarkable abilities. What power is that, you ask? According to the site, "[Luigi] slides while stopping... so watch those edges." That sounds terrible, but on the plus side, it's not like there are going to be any edges or bottomless pits in a platforming game. Oh wait.
Conclusion: Sliding his way to certain doom

Exhibit F: Luigi's Jumping Power
Nintendo's website boasts another power unique to Luigi: "He jumps higher... and stays in the air longer." First of all, Nintendo needs to learn how ellipses work. Secondly, those powers are one and the same; if you can jump higher, you are obviously going to stay in the air longer. I'm guessing Nintendo is referring to Luigi's patented flutter kick that he does at the end of jumps, but either way it doesn't look like he's clearing that phallic lava monster.
Conclusion: Not gonna make it