Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Dr. Luigi

6:00 PM on 12.31.2013 // Chris Carter

A fitting end to the first Year of Luigi

Dr. Mario is the bane of my puzzle gaming career. I loved it ever since I picked it up for the first time in 1990, but I've never really reached the point where I can say that I mastered it, unlike many other Nintendo releases.

Having said that, I've stuck with it all these years because the simplistic Tetris-like format works. Although Dr. Luigi doesn't really change a whole lot, it's still the same "Dr." formula you know and love, with a few welcome twists.

Dr. Luigi (Wii U)
Developer: Nintendo, Arika
Publisher: Nintendo
Released: December 31, 2013 (US) / January 15, 2014 (EU)
MSRP: $14.99

You can tell from the get-go that Dr. Luigi is a fairly slim package. As an eShop download, you'll get four modes -- Retro Remedy (traditional Dr. Mario-style puzzles), Operation L (L-shaped pills), Virus Buster (Wii U GamePad), and Online Battle. You may notice the omission of a story type mode, which is a major bummer.

Retro Remedy is essentially the same exact game you've known and loved since 1990. You can tinker with the amount of viruses on each board, mess with the speed, and pick your classic Dr. Mario tune to listen to in the background. Honestly, that's about all there is to it. Although it's not a particularly exciting addition, I'm glad it was included, as the main attraction (Operation L) may be polarizing for some.

Operation L is the meat of Dr. Luigi, and after playing it extensively, I'm kind of indifferent to it. Instead of using the classic "two block" pills like Retro Remedy, you'll deal with L-shaped pill packets instead. It sounds really underwhelming when you say it out loud, I know, but it actually changes up the core gameplay quite a bit.

Now, you're actually fighting for space on each drop since every block takes up four spaces instead of two. It's much harder to plan ahead and figure out where each block can go (especially on higher speeds) when you have to worry about so many combinations of colors, and as a result, it can get a bit hectic.

Both modes can be played in the classic "unlimited" manner (destroy all the viruses), or in "Rush Mode," which only requires you to defeat some of them -- you can also play against an AI opponent if you're going at it alone. As an added bonus, Retro Remedy features the classic Dr. Mario soundtrack, with Operation L sporting its own tracks. Visually, Dr. Luigi isn't a showstopper, but it's bright, vibrant, and incredibly smooth all around.

If you have a partner on the ready, local two-player support is available for Retro Remedy and Operation L, with support for both classic and Rush gametypes. The the first player commandeers the GamePad, with second player making use of a Wii U Pro Controller, Wii Remote, or a Remote with a Classic Controller Pro. As is customary, each player can have a different difficulty or speed setting, allowing newcomers to get a hold on things while playing against veterans.

Both of the core modes are also playable online through the "Online Battle" mode, which grants you the ability to play with random match-made people or with specific friends on your list. Online play works well so far, as I was able to match-up with multiple players within 30 seconds of one another. There's a rudimentary ranking system that will grant you points for winning and deduct points for losing, but that's pretty much all you're going to get.

But the real kicker in Dr. Luigi is Virus Buster -- an ancillary solo-only addition which is by far my favorite mode. Playable only with the GamePad, you'll use the stylus to manipulate pills with an optional horizontal or vertical setup (with support for left- and right-handed people). It sounds straightforward, but now that you have the ability to quickly move pills, Dr. Luigi throws you a curve-ball -- multiple pills will now drop at the same time instead of in sequence.

It's a bit more action-oriented than before, as you're struggling to quickly find places for two or three pills within seconds of one another. To make things even more interesting, when singular "pieces" break off, they in turn can be manipulated as well -- so at any given point, you're dealing with multiple options. It creates a hectic feel that I enjoyed much more than I thought I would, and it's actually become my mode of choice. I really, really wish the Wii U supported two GamePads for multiplayer, because it would have easily been one of my go-to party games with that addition. In case you're wondering, every mode supports Remote Play.

Outside of Virus Buster, Dr. Luigi is very much a no-frills game mostly for fans of the Dr. series. If you don't find yourself getting excited at the prospect of L-shaped blocks or GamePad play though, you might as well just stick with Dr. Mario Online Rx. Either way, the Wii U's newest entry in the Dr. series is a nice cap on a great first Year of Luigi.



Dr. Luigi - Reviewed by Chris Carter
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Dr. Luigi

  Jan 01

The Year of Luigi 2013: A Retrospective

This one's for little brothers everywhere

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Things I'm Thankful For

Cblogs of 11/25/15 + Turkey N Stuff

Cheat Codes Podcast - Ep. 73: Stay Classy

NVGR: Updated Album "ADBC" (No longer an EP)

Fun2Play: Downwell

So that just happened: The Talos Principle

Sick, Sad and just dumb news: 25th November - Leighapalooza

Context Matters! Fanservice's Secrets EXPOSED!

To editorialize or not to editorialize: An editorial

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons REVIEW - The Pocket Metroidvania

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Got DeSu2 Break Record from GS' Black Friday sale ($29.99). Love the Arrange CD. It's been far too long since I heard Meguro do something that wasn't tied to Persona. Also grabbed an extra copy of Freedom Wars since they were $5.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Haven't been around a few days. Getting over a cold and working on a review for Superbeat: Xonic on Vita. Starting to feel better, I think / hope.
inspavo avatarinspavo
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
So I'm almost done with my first play through of Undertale and... It's okay. It's in no way bad (and I'm enjoying it more than Fallout 4 which in also playing) but feel... It was overhyped I suppose? Not sure really... Maybe a second play though will help
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Sometimes I wonder why I care. To simply have more vitriol and misery as my reward, to suffer ingrates and fools. That in all I do I'm never afforded the same respect or kindness. Let it be then, and let pain follow. I'm done with this shit.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I was telling this dead baby joke at dinner tonight, and this lady I don't recognize says, "I'm sorry. That joke isn't funny to me, I have two dead children." At this point, I went over my options in my head and settled with telling her the joke twice.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I really wish the slowpokes at Microsoft would add Forza Horizon to Xbox One backwards compatibility.... It's my favorite racing game. And the soundtrack is honestly flawless.
Parismio avatarParismio
Some green tea and Mario Kart w/ family is a great way to end the day.
KingSigy avatarKingSigy
Honestly, Broforce might be my GOTY. It's really fucking amazing.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Welp, Remote Play is coming to PCs. Calling it now, PS Now enabled toasters and glasses will be announced at the next big Playstation event alongside cute Vita coffins made of paper you can print out of your Remote Play capable printers.
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
How did your Thanksgiving small talk with obscure relatives go? Oh, I bonded over the ethereal experience of hydrogen peroxide in ear canals but they'd never heard of Chrono Trigger so we mostly chewed the corn-flakes-on-potato thing in silence
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Don't forget [img][/img]
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
I wonder how far the show would be taken out of context if the lyrics were "Go, Go Power Rangers, you Mighty Morphine Power Rangers."
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
I just tried out Skyforge, and... [img][/img]
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Is it weird I finally want a Samurai Warriors game because I think Koshosho is super fab? [img][/img]
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
I've never cleaned my comp in the 3-4 years I have had it. Soon I will dust it. I....I dont know what I will find, hidden in the dust.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Happy late thanksgiving Dtoid. I played Doodle God and Murasaki Baby on PSVita, and am now Achievement grinding in Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast and Furious on Xbox One. Super easy 1000G, I need it.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Black Friday pick ups so far are Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, Titan Souls and tomorrow Devil Survivor 2 Break Record ($29.99 at GameStop).
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
This thanksgiving, give thanks for the fact that your family wasnt 1 of the 3 to have picked out a wasp filled turkey, buying a meal and becoming a meal. Next year, may not bring such.....dissapointing results.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
So I'm pretty sure you all should be giving thanks to Nekro. For he is the one true perfect being. Be thankful that your lives have been blessed by the addition of a Nekro. For that is the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -