Sunday, August 24, 2014

Geekdom Madness: TRG - Console Wars

Sorry for the lateness, it's now time to revisit an old rivalry...kind of.

Let's reacquaint ourselves with the combatants:


Luigi was created by Shigeru Miyamoto for the 1983 video game "Mario Brothers." Originally a mere palette swap of Mario to allow a second player, subsequent games in the franchise would make him more unique both in appearance (taller and thinner) and gameplay (able to jump higher and farther at the cost of movement speed and precision).

It was also in comic book, cartoon, and merchandising spinoffs where Luigi's personality began to take shape.While details vary from source to source, the constant seems to be that Luigi is nervous and timid, yet more good-natured and slower to anger compared to his brother. 

Luigi has become one of the more popular characters of the franchise, especially to those who were forced to be "player 2" as kids, and Nintendo even devoted 2013 to be "The Year of Luigi."

Starting with 1996's "Mario Kart 64", Luigi's voice as been portrayed in all official material by Julien Bardakoff (Japanese) and Charles Martinet (English). In 1986's "Super Mario Bros.: The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach," Luigi was played by Yu Mizushima. In the 1989 cartoon series "The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!", Luigi was played by Danny Wells both in the live action introductions and the cartoon proper; In later episodes, he would be played by Tony Rosato. In the 1993 film "Super Mario Brothers", Luigi was played by John Leguizamo.


Sonic the Hedgehog was created by Naoto Oshima for what would eventually become the 1991 video game of the same name. Originally codenamed "Mr. Needlemouse," he was one of many designs cooked up by the Sega company's AM8 department to provide the fledgeling company with a mascot to rival Mario. The final game would combine Oshima's character design with Hirokazu Yasuhara's level layout and Yuji Naka's high-speed movement algorithm.

Sonic was envisioned as having the stereotypical early-90's "attitude." His boots were even inspired by Micheal Jackson's. As the games and subsequent spin-off materials developed, he was also given a wanderlust and a hatred of opression.

Sonic's games have steadily declined in quality after Sega's failure with the Dreamcast caused it to become a third-party developer. In addition, Sonic's hardcore fanbase has become far less family-friendly to the point where it may not be safe to do a Google search for the character. Nevertheless, Sonic remains a beloved character to many and is in some ways a staple of 90's nostalgia due to his early games and animated appearences.

In Japan, Sonic's voice has been portrayed by Takeshi Kusao and Tomokazu Seki breifly, and by Junichi Kanemaru in other official appearences.

For English language dubs and materials, Sonic has been portrayed by Jaleel White in the animated shows "Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog" (1992), "Sonic the Hedgehog" (1993, often fondly referred to as "Sonic SatAM" due to it's place in Saturday Morning lineups), and "Sonic Underground" (1999). In the 1998 video game "Sonic Adventure," Sonic was played by Ryan Drummond who would continue the role until 2004, where it was taken over by Jason Griffith. Finally, Sonic was played by Roger Craig Smith in 2010's "Sonic Free Riders" and every official appearance since (including a cameo in the 2012 Disney film "Wreck-It-Ralph").

Final Thoughts
If this were between Sonic and Mario (which will never happen here), or between Luigi and Tails (which might happen in the future), this battle would be a lot more knock-down drag-out. As it stands now, I'm not sure what to think...

As always, make sure you're viewing the WEB version of the site and vote in the poll on the right-hand side of the screen. Poll closes Friday, and results posted on Saturday. Feel free to discuss your pick in the comments below.

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