The 'Shroom:Issue 138/Awards Analysis

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Awards Analysis

Written by the 9th Poll Committee

Welcome! I, The Pyro Guy, as long as the entire 9th Poll Committee, are here to present to you a full rundown and analysis of every award featured in this year's Mario and Fail Awards. That's 45 of 'em. This is the largest project of the term, and I'm super proud to show off this finished product on behalf of all of the members. Big thanks go out to all of the Committee for helping put this together- each member wrote at least 4 pieces, with MsRetroGeek (talk) providing us with eight! The work put into this page has been phenomenal and I hope you can take the time to read through it all. We've got analysis to spare, so please enjoy.

One last thing to announce- since 2016, I've had the pleasure of creating a banner to go at the top of our MarioWiki:Polls page, normally featuring our members in some serious, poll-ridden situation. I'm happy to announce the completion of our latest one!

Banner for MarioWiki:Polls for the 2018-19 year

Am I allowed to complement it? Maybe. It's better to give you a critical review from former Chairperson Lord Bowser. He says, "i hate this there isnt enough bowser 0/10". Thanks, LB!

Anyway, here are those sweet, sweet polls you've all been waiting for. You'll find a Top-10 listing of the results along with additional thoughts and analysis. Each and every member has put their heart and soul into this, so I hope you can get through it all! Enjoy.

Mario Awards

M1 - Best Sound Design (Raregold)

Hey Raregold here, enjoying the sweet sound of M1 - Best Sound Design. Why don’t you come and listen with me?

M1 - Best Sound Design

Super Mario Odyssey - 353 (22.43%)
Super Mario Galaxy - 256 (16.26%)
Mario Kart 8/Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - 130 (8.26%)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 - 103 (6.54%)
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door - 90 (5.72%)
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - 74 (4.70%)
Super Mario 64 - 71 (4.51%)
Super Paper Mario - 64 (4.07%)
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest - 61 (3.88%)
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story - 60 (3.81%)
Total Votes: 1574

For the past few years the Top 3 awards were very predictable as well as the percentage they would garner. Super Mario Galaxy would top the list at ~20%, Mario Kart 8 in second at ~15%, and Super Mario Galaxy 2 in third at ~10%. While each has remained in a sequential order each was pushed down a spot with the release of Super Mario Odyssey. With the great accolades the game received from nearly every review magazine or publication and the Mario Wiki and extended community’s love of the game this comes as no surprise. An integral part of any great game is the soundtrack, and if you are spending hours on that boss fight at least the rockin’ themes should keep you determined to win.

As Nintendo continues to develop better hardware and push their capabilities to their limit we can likely expect to see the three titans of M1 overtaken in the future.

M2 - Favorite Mario Kart Game (Chibiki Daisy)

Chibiki Daisy here, crossing 8 finishing lines simultaneously (somehow) to bring you M2 - Favorite Mario Kart Game.

M2 - Favorite Mario Kart Game

Mario Kart 8/Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - 882 (49.80%)
Mario Kart Wii - 296 (16.71%)
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! - 240 (13.55%)
Mario Kart DS - 155 (8.75%)
Mario Kart 64 - 86 (4.86%)
Mario Kart 7 - 65 (3.67%)
Super Mario Kart - 22 (1.24%)
Mario Kart: Super Circuit - 21 (1.19%)
O. Mario Kart Arcade GP - 3 (0.17%)
O. Mario Kart Arcade GP DX - 1 (0.06%)
Total Votes: 1771

In similar fashion to the last few years, Mario Kart 8, alongside Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, overwhelmingly achieves first place, taking in nearly half of the vote, most likely due to all the features, characters, and courses in these two games. In second, we have Mario Kart Wii, an improvement from last year where it came in third. One reason this may be is the number of recent hack videos for the game on YouTube, causing a spike in interest. Coming in at third is Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, not placing as high as last year. This is likely due to the same reason that Mario Kart Wii came in second. Beyond the top three, nothing’s really changed much from last year, with the sole exception of Mario Kart Arcade GP receiving about half as many votes this year compared to last.

Overall, there’s not much of a shake-up in results, likely due to steady opinions formed about each game as time has passed. Though whether these opinions stand the test of time in years to come, we’ll have to see.

M3 - Favorite Mario Platformer (Roserade)

Greetings, beautiful readers! Roserade here for my first Awards Analysis, where we’re taking a look at M3 - Favorite Mario Platformer. Let’s see which games reached the flagpole first!

M3 - Favorite Mario Platformer

Super Mario Odyssey — 601 (35.00%)
Super Mario Galaxy — 214 (12.46%)
Super Mario 64/Super Mario 64 DS — 152 (8.85%)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 — 142 (8.27%)
Super Mario Sunshine — 132 (7.69%)
Super Mario World — 132 (7.69%)
Super Mario 3D World — 95 (5.53%)
New Super Mario Bros. Wii — 62 (3.61%)
Super Mario Bros. 3 — 60 (3.49%)
New Super Mario Bros — 39 (2.27%)
Total Votes: 1717

The results of this award aren’t surprising. Looking back at the polls for the last couple of years, it’s evident that recent releases tend to receive the highest standings. In 2015, Super Mario 3D World topped the charts, only about a year and a half after its initial release date. It’s interesting to see how the game has dropped in placement, though; seventh place for this year indicates that our voter’s opinions have shifted over time. Meanwhile, Super Mario Galaxy continues to place into the Top 3, a trend that doesn’t appear to be diminishing anytime soon, after receiving third place in 2015 and first place in both 2016 and 2017. A little detail to note is that in the previous three years, Galaxy and Galaxy 2 have always been next to each other in placement, but this year Super Mario 64 has managed to disrupt the pattern. This might be in correlation to the gameplay style of our crowning victor this year: Super Mario Odyssey! Odyssey swept the gaming world by storm, receiving near-perfect ratings, garnishing praise as the “fresh of breath air” the Mario series needed, and even being nominated for the Game of the Year award for 2017 by multiple websites and publications. It was a smash hit, but I’d say look out for if it follows in the footsteps of 3D World, for that may be an indication of what the future holds for Odyssey.

M4 - Favorite Mario Kart Course (Raregold)

Raregold here once again, r8ing M4 - Favorite Mario Kart Course. Things are getting a little slow so let's get double dashing.

M4 - Favorite Mario Kart Course

Waluigi Pinball - 246 (14.95%)
N64 Rainbow Road (Wii U) - 185 (11.25%)
Coconut Mall - 119 (7.33%)
Mount Wario - 115 (6.99%)
Rainbow Road (3DS) - 110 (6.69%)
Electrodome - 99 (6.02%)
Maple Treeway - 77 (4.68%)
Baby Park - 71 (4.32%)
Airship Fortress - 70 (4.26%)
Mushroom Gorge - 66 (4.01%)
Total Votes: 1645

The results of this poll remain mostly unchanged from the past two years with ⅔ of the Top 3 remaining in their seats. These results mirror that of 2015 where Coconut Mall placed 3rd in the poll. Waluigi Pinball remains an ever-popular course in part due to the fandom’s love of Luigi’s foil and rival. As for N64 Rainbow Road, nostalgia remains an ever potent ally for the course which received a gorgeous update in Mario Kart for the Wii U. If things continue as they are Mario Kart 7’s Rainbow Road and Coconut Mall are to remain ever locked in their struggle for 3rd.

Until Nintendo releases utterly groundbreaking new courses or major overhauls to old fan favorites the winners and losers of M4 seem destined to remain fairly set.

M5 - Favorite DK Level (Roserade)

Greetings, handsome readers! Roserade here, this time analyzing M5 - Favorite DK Level. This ought to be a barrel of fun, wouldn’t you agree?

M5 - Favorite DK Level

Frantic Factory (DK64) — 122 (11.11%)
Mine Cart Madness (DKC) — 119 (10.84%)
Sunset Shore (DKCR) — 95 (8.65%)
Music Madness (DKCR) — 89 (8.11%)
Bramble Scramble (DKC2) — 78 (7.10%)
Scorch ‘n’ Torch (DKC:TF) — 75 (6.83%)
Frosty Fruits (DKC:TF) — 59 (5.37%)
Oil Drum Alley (DKC) — 57 (5.19%)
Busted Bayou (DKC:TF) — 56 (5.10%)
Seashore War (DKC:TF) — 49 (4.46%)
Total Votes: 1098

Favorite DK Level is actually a new poll this year! In the past, we’ve had Favorite DK Game, but this year M5 has been reworked. Because of this, we don’t have the same exact pool to pull from. That being said, we can still look to the past to get a sense of where we could potentially be now. The winner of Favorite DK Game alternated the past three years, with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze taking first place in 2015, second in 2016, and first in 2017; Donkey Kong Country Returns mirrored the trend with second in 2015, first in 2016, and second in 2017. Meanwhile, Donkey Kong 64 maintained a steady third place every year. This can be indicated towards with these results; of the Top 10, seven of the placers are from those three games. It’s interesting to note that 64 placed first with Frantic Factory, but no other 64 levels placed this high. Of course, we can’t ignore Mine Cart Madness placing in second place, with only three votes behind first place. A general consensus amongst Donkey Kong fans is that the original trilogy of Countries are classics, and their level design helps support this. Personally, I am not all too familiar with any Donkey Kong games past 64, so I wouldn’t be able to give my own thoughts on most of these levels. Still very cool to see some familiar faces in the form of classic levels, though.

M6 - Favorite Wario Level (Superchao)

Hello, 'Shroom readers! As you can guess by that header alone, it's time for yours truly Superchao to talk about M6 - Favorite Wario Level!

M6 - Favorite Wario Level

Mirror Mansion (WW) - 128 (13.79%)
Glittertown (WL:SI) - 71 (7.65%)
Crescent Moon Village (WL4) - 68 (7.33%)
Stonecarving City (WL:SI) - 67 (7.22%)
Turn off the alarm clock! (WL2) - 66 (7.11%)
Arabian Night (WL4) - 62 (6.68%)
Wreck Train (WL:SI) - 61 (6.57%)
Steal the Syrup's treasure!! (WL2) - 53 (5.71%)
Monsoon Jungle (WL4) - 45 (4.85%)
A Town in Chaos (WL3) - 41 (4.42%)
The Toxic Landfill (WL4) - 41 (4.42%)
Total Votes: 928

First of all: Bad taste. Terrible taste! The Wario: Master of Disguise nominees all on the bottom of the nominated levels? Fight me. ...But beyond that. What impresses me is how the one single 3D nominee promptly shoots right past every 2D nominee. Just like Favorite DK level, actually. Is this just the strength of 3D levels in people's minds, or maybe the 3D games are just better known? It's an interesting question. For the 2D games, except for Master of Disguise getting buried, it's all well and mixed up. Wario Land: Shake Land, Wario Land 4, and Wario Land 2 blend together for most of the top ten, proving that people's choices here are less game-based and more level based.

In fact, this award has some of the closest results I've ever seen! From 2nd to 7th is a separation of ten votes, a very VERY tight race. And even when you get past those, you can tell pretty quickly that opinions are well split, as at no point is there a gap of higher than 8 votes between a pair of nominees. Wario levels didn't get that many votes compared to some of the other awards, though, with less than a thousand. Perhaps the relative obscurity of the levels contributes to why votes on them are split so finely? No game makes a massive dominant performance (except Wario World) thanks to none of them being known so much better than the rest. Either way, Wario's opinion would probably be to give all the votes to him, so let's not ask him.

That about covers it, so I'll see you again soon!

M7 - Favorite Yoshi Level (Roserade)

Greetings, exquisite readers! Roserade back again, this time with a double feature for you, M7 - Favorite Yoshi Level and M8 - Favorite Art Style. Let’s look at some of our favorite green dino’s memorable moments first!

M7 - Favorite Yoshi Level

Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy (SMW2:YI) — 295 (27.09%)
Feel Fuzzy, Get Clingy (YWW) — 84 (7.71%)
Bunson the Hot Dog’s Castle (YWW) — 83 (7.62%)
Poochy Ain’t Stupid (SMW2:YI) — 79 (7.25%)
Raphael the Raven’s Castle (SMW2:YI) — 68 (6.24%)
At Last, Bowser’s Castle! (YIDS) — 65 (5.97%)
Heeeeeeere’s Wario! (YIDS) — 50 (4.59%)
Naval Piranha’s Castle (SMW2:YI) — 39 (3.58%)
Castle of Big Guy the Stilted (YIDS) — 36 (3.31%)
Jelly Pipe (YS) — 35 (3.21%)
Total Votes: 1089

Likewise with M5, Favorite Yoshi Level is a new poll introduced this year which has replaced Favorite Yoshi Game. But also like with M5, we can look at the past to determine how this affects the level placement in this poll. For the previous three years, the Top 3 results had remained the same: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island in first place, Yoshi’s Woolly World in second, and Yoshi’s Island DS in third. This is reflected even more evidently than with M5: nine out of the ten top placing levels are from those three games, with Jelly Pipe from Yoshi’s Story being the only exception, in tenth place. Of course, there is one detail we can’t overlook: a very clear winner of the poll! Our voters seem really avid for Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy from Yoshi’s Island, which topped second place with 211 votes. That’s a massive margin! Humorously enough, second place is another Fuzzy level, this time being Feel Fuzzy, Get Clingy from Yoshi’s Woolly World. Perhaps our voters just like going on psychedelic trips. Bunson the Hot Dog’s Castle barely missed second place, only being a vote behind.

M8 - Favorite Art Style (Roserade)

Now let’s brush things along and take a look at M8 - Favorite Art Style!

M8 - Favorite Art Style

Main series 3D style — 333 (20.47%)
Paper Mario style — 298 (18.32%)
Mario & Luigi Style — 267 (16.41%)
2D Promotional Artwork style — 131 (8.05%)
Yoshi’s Woolly World style — 98 (6.02%)
Super Mario Strikers Style — 77 (4.73%)
Yoshi’s Island style — 77 (4.73%)
Wario Land: Shake It! style — 74 (4.55%)
Retro style sprites — 63 (3.87%)
Donkey Kong Country style — 61 (3.75%)
Total Votes: 1627

Favorite Art Style was a new poll proposed in 2016, and since its inception we’ve seen similar results overall. The first year it started, Mario series 3D style and Paper Mario tied for first, but for the last two years they’ve pulled apart, and the 3D style we know today has pulled away. I’m sure the vibrancy and detail of Super Mario Odyssey certainly helped its lead this year. Mario & Luigi, meanwhile, has maintained its third place status every year now. The colors and pop of the characters have always made it one of my favorite art styles, and with the remake of Superstar Saga coming out recently, more people were able to experience its design. Otherwise, it’s always fun to note a tie, with Super Mario Strikers and Yoshi’s Island both reaching sixth place. While the future is always uncertain, I think a certain upcoming crafty game can cause a massive upset with its incredible visual direction. Only time will tell, however.

M9 - Favorite Add-on Content (Raregold)

Raregold here, bringing you your newest addition to the Awards Analysis, M9 - Favorite Add-on Content.

M9 - Favorite Add-on Content

Luigi’s Balloon World (SMO) - 262 (17.39%)
Legend of Zelda x Mario Kart 8 - 261 (17.32%)
New Super Luigi U - 231 (15.33%)
Animal Crossing x Mario Kart 8 - 202 (13.40%)
e-Reader Levels (SMA4:SMB3) - 101 (6.70%)
Super Mario Mash-Up Pack (Minecraft) - 98 (6.50%)
Super Mario Maker Stage (SSB4) - 92 (6.10%)
Mercedes Benz x Mario Kart 8 - 77 (5.11%)
Peach’s Castle Stage (SSB4) - 69 (4.58%)
Season Pass (M+RKB) - 54 (3.58%)
Total Votes: 1507

Over the past two years, this award was easily dominated by the Legend of Zelda x Mario Kart 8 crossover DLC. While still, a rather close vote Luigi’s Balloon World managed to burst that bubble. Of course, this is no surprise with the critical acclaim this game has received from reviewers everywhere and even from fans within the broader Mario Wiki Community. Seeing New Super Luigi U also helps to affirm the fandom’s love of the often overshadowed Mario brother. It seems like with Luigi being the focus of ⅔ of the Top 3, the secret to selling add-on content is to center it around a beloved character.

If Nintendo’s current business model continues, we will be sure to see the winners of this award be shaken up even further. New Super Waluigi U anyone?

M10 - Favorite Song (Hooded Pitohui)

It’s Hooded Pitohui here, wishing some talented fellow would create a compilation in which they make covers of the nominees in M10 - Favorite Song so that I could feature it in Mario’s Boombox.

M10 - Favorite Song

Jump Up, Super Star! (Super Mario Odyssey) - 580 (36.09%)
Break Free (Lead the Way) (Super Mario Odyssey) - 195 (12.13%)
DK Rap (Donkey Kong 64) - 174 (10.83%)
Do the Mario (The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!) - 169 (10.52%)
Ashley’s Song (WarioWare: Touched!) - 99 (6.16%)
Phantom of the Bwahpera (Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle) - 82 (5.10%)
Ignorance is Bliss (White Knuckle Scorin’) - 38 (2.36%)
Mona Pizza’s Song (WarioWare: Twisted!) - 30 (1.87%)
I’m Leo Luster (Donkey Kong Country cartoon) - 25 (1.56%)
Jimmy’s Aerobics Theme (WarioWare: D.I.Y.) - 23 (1.43%)
Total Votes: 1607

This is a new award, so there’s no history to look back on, but that doesn’t mean there’s no interesting trends here. “Jump Up, Super Star!” was the clear winner, with just under three times the number of votes that second place, “Break Free (Lead the Way),” received. With Super Mario Odyssey having made such a big impact over the past year, and “Jump Up, Super Star!” featuring prominently in Nintendo’s advertising and promotion for the game, those results really aren’t too surprising. What’s more interesting here is that the top six results seem to have been buoyed mainly by recency, reach, and… well, memes. Most of the nominees in the lower ranks come from older media, from old cartoons to aging WarioWare titles, which probably never had that large of a reach. The two songs from Super Mario Odyssey and “Phantom of the Bwahpera” from Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, on the other hand, are from titles that released in the past year. While the “DK Rap” is certainly from an older title, it likely received a boost from its status as a meme, and it’s possible that “Ashley’s Song” received additional attention because of that controversy it generated. Another potential explanation for why the “DK Rap” and “Ashley’s Song” did well despite being older is that they’ve both appeared a few times in Super Smash Bros., a series which has a wide reach and may have helped to keep them relevant. As for why “Do the Mario” made it into fourth, either there’s real nostalgia for The Super Mario Bros. Super Show and Nintendo needs to look into some new licensing arrangements, or, more likely, the song has also attained a memetic status.

While vocal songs may be few and far between in the Super Mario franchise, they certainly leave an impression when they appear. Time will tell if Super Smash Bros., meme culture, or Nintendo’s next showstopper title bring old songs back into relevance or create new winners.

M11 - Favorite Major Character (MsRetroGeek)

Hi Guys, Geeky here! Did you know that with every series there’s that one character that a fan absolutely falls in love with? Well with that in mind I’m going to analyze through the characters that you guys fell in love with in my analysis of, M11 - Favorite Character.

M11 - Favorite Character

Luigi -406 (22.71%)
Mario - 297 (16.61%)
Yoshi - 292 (16.33%)
Rosalina - 197 (11.02%)
Bowser - 128 (7.16%)
Wario - 125 (6.99%)
Princess Peach - 107 (5.98%)
Toad - 104 - (5.82%)
Bowser Jr. - 79 - (4.42%)
Donkey Kong - 53 - (2.96%)
Total Votes: 1788

Honestly, there’s no surprise here that of course, Luigi ends up claiming this award. Did you guys know that Luigi has been on a winning streak ever since 2011? I’m curious about whether Luigi will be claiming this award once again after seeing what was released from the Nintendo Direct. Coming in second is our main man, Mario! No surprise here that Mario is the second best character in this series. He’s been a good pure-hearted protagonist. Always trying to do whatever he can to try and save his princess. While restoring peace to the world’s he visits. Finally, our third victor of this poll is the dear companion to Mario, Yoshi. He has served as a great companion. Having his own video game series to allow others to see how much of a help he was to try and assist Mario and company with being great heroes. Let’s see what next year brings for our Green Hated Hero and company. Will he be claiming another victory or will we be seeing a new victor after his 7-year reign.

M12 - Favorite Supporting Character (Chibiki Daisy)

Chibiki Daisy here again, supporting the rest of the committee and taking a look at M12 - Favorite Supporting Character.

M12 - Favorite Supporting Character

Waluigi - 439 (25.30%)
Cappy - 225 (12.97%)
Princess Daisy - 177 (10.20%)
Captain Toad - 172 (9.91%)
Professor E. Gadd - 126 (7.26%)
Kamek - 117 (6.74%)
Toadette - 95 (5.48%)
Diddy Kong - 89 (5.13%)
Poochy - 87 (5.01%)
Pauline - 74 (4.27%)
Total Votes: 1735

Waluigi coming in first is no surprise here, seeing as how that’s been the trend since 2015 and beating second by a considerable amount since 2016. As for Cappy, the second-place winner, it seems that people really enjoyed him as a character in Super Mario Odyssey, as he placed quite a bit above older and (arguably) more well-known characters. Unfortunately for Princess Daisy, this meant she wouldn’t attain silver as she had for the past two years, instead taking the bronze. Further down the list, there are a number of characters that despite doing well in previous years, have come in much lower this year. For example, Kamek coming in sixth this year compared to last year’s third. I suspect this is due to Cappy’s introduction in Odyssey.

The introduction of Cappy created a bit of a toss-up in the results this year. Whether or not that’s just a side effect of how new he is, only time will tell.

M13 - Favorite Level Theme (MsRetroGeek)

The setting is definitely an important thing within a video game universe. It gives the gamer a feel for what they can expect from a game. That’s the feeling I often got when I was a child playing through classic Mario video games. Let’s just hope you guys chose something that didn’t have that dumb angry sun that kept killing me when I was a kid. Hola guys, Geeky here with the second analyzation of my second poll, which would be, M13 - Favorite Level Theme. Now let’s get started!

M13 - Favorite Level Theme

City/Town- 205(13.03%)
Space/Moon- 174(11.06%)
Beach- 124(7.88%)
Grassland- 118(7.50%)
Foods/Sweets- 114(7.25%)
Ghost House- 107(6.80%)
Factory Industrial- 105(6.68%)
Snow/Ice- 93(5.91%)
Airship- 87(5.53%)
Castle- 75(4.77%)
Total Votes: 1,202

I’m going to assume that Mario Odyssey played a major factor in how this theme level’s had been created. These top three areas had beautiful graphics for each area within the game that they had represented. However, the level that had come up as the true winner had been the City/Town level themed area. I would assume that it had to do with how vivid everything had looked when you had explored through the area. Almost making it feel like the player was really exploring through a new city. The second level theme to win had been Space/Moon. Space/Moon stage had been very breathtaking with how it made the surroundings very galaxy like. It also gives Mario this very adorable astronaut outfit. The Beach level gives off a great feeling of getting away from life. It looks like a great paradise to just explore through. Well done with your level themes Nintendo.

M14 - Favorite Species (Raregold)

Raregold here, just taking filling out the census so Princess Peach can help us decide the winner of M14 - Favorite Species. Don’t forget to fill out yours.

M14 - Favorite Species

Yoshis - 395 (23.78%)
Shy Guys - 166 (9.99%)
Toads - 154 (9.27%)
Lumas - 139 (8.37%)
Boos - 107 (6.44%)
Koopa Troopas - 98 (5.90%)
Humans - 88 (5.30%)
Dry Bones - 72 (4.33%)
Chain Chomps - 58 (3.49%)
Lumas - 50 (3.01%)
Total Votes: 1661

As with the past few years, Yoshis and Shy Guys dominated the Top 3 and for the 3rd year in a row Toads place in 3rd. All of these winners receive a remarkable amount of appearances within the Mario series. This is especially true with the Yoshis. They receive regularly released installments featuring the character of the same name. In fact Yoshi’s Crafted World was recently announced for the Switch. Shy Guys have also appeared both as enemies and playable characters in a whole host of games. And Toad is still back in the spotlight with the recent release of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker for the Nintendo Switch. With these three species being at the forefront of Nintendo’s game lineup there is little reason why the winners should not continue with the established trend set over the past few years.

M15 - Hardest Boss (Hooded Pitohui)

Hooded Pitohui here again, shaking a controller while taking a look at M15 - Hardest Boss.

M15 - Hardest Boss

Cackletta’s Soul - 174 (12.56%)
Bowser X (M&L:BIS) - 168 (12.13%)
Shadow Queen - 163 (11.77%)
Elder Princess Shroob - 119 (8.59%)
Culex - 110 (7.94%)
Dreamy Bowser - 103 (7.44%)
Bonetail - 81 (5.85%)
Knucklotec (Rematch) - 79 (5.70%)
Boolossus - 70 (5.05%)
Bowser (PM) - 59 (4.26%)
Total Votes: 1385

The final bosses and challenging bonus bosses of the RPGs traditionally perform well in this category, and this year is no exception. Bowser X from Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story and the Shadow Queen from Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door have been in the top three for the past three years now, and they take second and third, respectively, this year as well. Being two difficult bosses from two very beloved games, the fact that Bowser X and the Shadow Queen stay relevant isn’t surprising. While Bowser X saw a large surge in votes and left its competition far behind last year after the removal of Master Core/Fortress, this year the competition for the top three spots was much tighter and Cackletta’s Soul managed to squeeze by Bowser X to take first. The most likely explanation is the release of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions last October, which reacquainted players with Cackletta’s Soul and her absolutely horrid spinning arm attack.

Further down the list, Elder Princess Shroob, Culex, and Dreamy Bowser continue to jostle for position just outside of the top three, while Bonetail, Boolossus, and Paper Mario’s Bowser round out the top ten. Interestingly, Phantamanta, who had nabbed seventh place last year, was bumped back out of the top ten by the other boss from a platforming title, Knucklotec, who’s Chincho-filled rematch in Super Mario Odyssey must have left an impression on players.

Will the release of Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey help put Bowser X back on top? Will Elder Princess Shroob and Culex continue to perform well even as the games they starred in age and fade into obscurity among the minds of newer gamers? Only time will tell. In any case, it's the frustrating fights and the joy of finally beating these bosses that really make them memorable.

M16 - Favorite Item (MsRetroGeek)

Is it a feather? Is it a flower? Is it a star? Nope! It’s Geeky coming in with a third hot take on my third analysis, M16 - Favorite Item.

M16 - Favorite Item

Cape Feather — 162 (10.29%)
Mega Mushroom — 127 (8.06%)
Tanooki Suit — 114 (7.24%)
Super Bell — 111 (7.05%)
Fire Flower — 98 (6.22%)
Double Cherry — 97 (6.15%)
Super Star — 97 ( 6.16%)
Penguin Suit — 96 (6.10%)
Propeller Mushroom — 95 (6.03%)
Cloud Flower — 68 (4.32%)
Total Votes: 1,065

The cape feather is always such a good classic item. That’s been carried all throughout the Mario classic games to this point. This allows for the player of the game to have two abilities. It allows the player to have the ability of flight. To soar through the level/ stage and land soar throughout the area skipping through enemies or exploring. It was also great for allowing Mario to attack the enemies in his way. I would assume that this is why the cape feather was selected as the favorite item. The Mega Mushroom is the second item that had won for this poll. The abilities that this awesome item gives is the ability to grow into a giant to take out any obstacles in your way. The third item is the Tanooki suit. This suit gives the player the ability to basically be invulnerable. Giving the player the power to hover, turn into a statue, and squash enemies that come into your path. These are some great choices you guys made!

M17 - Favorite Mario RPG (Superchao)

Hello, 'Shroom readers! Superchao makes a comeback here, ready to discuss M17 - the Favorite Mario RPG award!

M17 - Favorite Mario RPG

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door - 403 (24.42%)
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story - 257 (15.58%)
Super Paper Mario - 175 (10.61%)
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga/Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions - 146 (8.85%)
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - 134 (8.12%)
Paper Mario - 127 (7.70%)
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle - 98 (5.94%)
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team - 92 (5.58%)
Paper Mario: Color Splash - 68 (4.12%)
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time - 64 (3.88%)
Total Votes: 1650

And when you take a look... honestly, the results haven't really changed that much. The Thousand-Year Door won for the record-shattering eleventh time! And I do mean record-shattering, I'm pretty sure no other nominee has won the same award that many single times. Not that it's surprising, though. TTYD is often considered one of the best games out there, and the competition is generally either considered "good but not as" through down to "bad". ...Although, I'm surprised Color Splash beat Partners in Time. Super Paper Mario's high placement is also interesting, considering how divisive it seems to be. Apparently, the fact that a bunch of people like it a lot was just enough to make it work!

Probably the one that impresses me the most is Kingdom Battle, which is a lot higher than I personally thought it would be. People generally seem to consider it good, but I wasn't expecting to see it reflected in the poll. Oh, and of course Sticker Star is last. Well, not quite - Puzzle and Dragons managed to place lower than Sticker Star by one vote. Probably because nobody actually played it! Still though, if there's any award that makes its opinion clear, it's this one. Will next year change the trajectory and upset TTYD?


No it won't.

M18 - Favorite Mario Party Game (Chibiki Daisy)

Once again, Chibiki Daisy here, bringing you M18 - Favorite Mario Party Game while rolling dice and attempting to avoid red spaces.

M18 - Favorite Mario Party Game

Mario Party 8 - 248 (15.69%)
Mario Party DS - 220 (13.92%)
Mario Party 3 - 167 (10.56%)
Mario Party 2 - 147 (9.30%)
Mario Party 6 - 118 (7.46%)
Mario Party 7 - 115 (7.27%)
Mario Party 9 - 95 (6.01%)
Mario Party 10 - 89 (5.63%)
Mario Party: The Top 100 - 85 (5.38%)
Mario Party 4 - 84 (5.31%)
Total Votes: 1581

Mario Party DS and Mario Party 8 have a bit of an interesting history with this award, with both of those games going back and forth between first and second for the last few years. This year, first and second place repeated the results of this award in 2016, with 8 coming in first and DS coming in second. Mario Party 3 came in third this year, rising up from fourth last year. Further down the list, we have the newest game, Mario Party: The Top 100, coming in at 9th. From what I’ve heard from various places, The Top 100 did not meet the hype it received prior to release, but people at least liked it better than some of the games that placed below it, such as the other 3DS Mario Party games. Other than that, there’s not been much change compared to last year, with the exception of Mario Party 9 falling down a few places.

Despite a new Mario Party game, the results did not change much compared to previous years. Unless a game comes along that really blows people away, results in future years will probably be similar to what we’ve seen this year and the last few years.

M19 - Favorite Actor (Superchao)

Hello, 'Shroom readers! Superchao here, reporting on Favorite Actor.

M19 - Favorite Actor

Charles Martinet (Mario; Luigi; various) - 778 (52.60%)
Lou Albano (Mario, DIC cartoons) - 128 (8.65%)
Kazumi Totaka (Yoshi, 1997-present; Professor E. Gadd) - 68 (4.60%)
Kenneth W. James (Bowser, 2005-present) - 56 (3.79%)
Samantha Kelly (Princess Peach; Toad; various) - 56 (3.79%)
Deanna Mustard (Princess Daisy, 2003-present) - 50 (3.38%)
Danny Wells (Luigi, DIC cartoons) - 48 (3.25%)
Kate Higgins (Pauline, 2017-present) - 48 (3.25%)


Mercedes Rose (Rosalina, 2007-2010) - 48 (3.25%)
Grant Kirkhope (Donkey Kong, 1999-2004) - 41 (2.77%)
Total Votes: 1479

Aaaand in another case of Wow, Who Could Have Seen This Coming, everyone loves Charles Martient! The man gets over half of the vote for his iconic performances of the Mario Brothers, and let's be honest: this crushing victory wasn't in doubt. Not even just because of who he voices, but how much Martinet's known for his enthusiam, delivery, and way he truly IS the voice of Mario. Heck, 2nd place doesn't surprise me much either, considering how much Lou Albano has gone down in popularity. I must admit, though, E. Gadd and Yoshi's VA placing over Bowser's and the Princess's leaves me a little startled. Perhaps it's due to E. Gadd's performance? It does seem to be popular.

After that, it's pretty understandable - the princesses have been longtime favorites, Luigi's cartoon performance is well-known, and of course Pauline made an ENORMOUS impact when Odyssey came out so her being bumped up in the ranks is hardly a surprise. Probably the most interesting part of this award's the write-ins, really! When you delve into the depths, you notice a lot of people writing in a single specific actor from the DKC cartoon or the Mario cartoon. One thing I always wonder when it comes to stuff like that is how serious some people are about it. If you know, tell me next time you see me - two awards from now!

M20 - Favorite Sports Game (MsRetroGeek)

Hi Guys! Geeky coming in with a fast spike to set ablaze in you in my fourth Analysis. This time I will be analyzing M20 - Favorite Sports Games.

M20 - Favorite Sport Games

Mario Tennis Aces — 264 (18.42%)
Mario Super Sluggers — 189 (13.19%)
Mario Power Tennis — 152 (10.61%)
Mario Strikers Charged — 137 (9.56%)
Mario Sports Mix — 113 (7.89%)
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games — 100 ( 6.98%)
Mario Tennis (N64) — 73 (5.09%)
Super Mario Strikers — 69 (4.82%)
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games — 67 (4.68%)
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour — 60 (4.19%)
Total Votes: 1,224

The newest Mario Sports game has seemed to claim it’s spot as the number one choice for the favorite Sports game. Mario Tennis Aces would be considered the first Mario Sports Game to come out on the Switch. This game is full of great features. A story mode that will have you face off against a returning or new coming villain, will leave you playing for hours. A great versus mode that gives the players a series of characters to choose from. New added characters that they will be able to play as coming soon. As well as great animations that will leave a player wanting more. The next game to win had been Mario Super Sluggers. I have not played this game but from what I had looked at it. I would assume that this game had been liked so much because of the mini-games that had utilized mini-games that had to do with baseball mechanics so that it wasn’t just a basic baseball game. Fun for friendly competition with friends and family. The third victor had been another Tennis game from the Wii. Although it had been great with some great special shots. I would assume a possible prototype of what Aces is currently. Now I’m kind of up for playing some sports right now. These guys really know how to have a fun time playing sports. Anyone up for a game of tennis?

M21 - Favorite Puzzle Game (Superchao)

Hello, 'Shroom readers! Welcome to the Favorite Puzzle Game award, the only award where I, Superchao, evaluate the results of the Favorite Puzzle Game award... wow that came out bad.

M21 - Favorite Puzzle Game

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker - 585 (41.23%)
Dr. Mario (series) - 259 (18.25%)
Donkey Kong (Game Boy)/Mario vs. Donkey Kong (GBA) - 120 (8.46%)
Mario vs. Donkey Kong (2 and onwards) - 96 (6.77%)
Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition - 85 (5.99%)
Tetris Attack - 76 (5.36%)
Mario's Picross - 48 (3.38%)
Yoshi - 46 (3.24%)
Wario's Woods - 45 (3.17%)
Yoshi's Cookie - 32 (2.26%)
Total Votes: 1419

Anyhow, this is one of those awards that's dominated by a modern entrant - helped along by the fact that it's basically the ONLY modern entrant with any real splash. Dr. Mario and Mario vs. Donkey Kong both got games in recent years, but in neither case did they make much of an impact, getting a fraction of the marketing and display that Captain Toad did. Captain Toad's victory, taking home 40% of the vote, surprisingly doesn't leave the rest of the field with splitting small fractions, as Dr. Mario shows why it used to be the first place all the time with around 20%. Beyond that, though, we get small votes fractions and totals as we delve into the lesser-known franchises.

Interestingly, Mario vs. Donkey Kong's much longer-lasting post-overhaul branch has underperformed compared to the original game and the DK '94 game. Seems like this might be a case where people just didn't like the direction the series goes, although you'll have to wait for the Worst Direction of Series to confirm. Beyond that, we've got Puzzle and Dragons - which fell off pretty hard, never seems to come up anymore. And then it's just a pile of ancient puzzle games of varying quality! None of these are really bad (except for my trusted sources telling me Yoshi is bad), but they're all overshadowed by the more recent ones. Tetris Attack has a little more of a boost, though, as shown by the large dropoff between that and Mario's Picross.

That's all for this award, so I'll see you for Fail!

M22 - Favorite Battle Course (Roserade)

Greetings, incredible readers! Roserade back for the final time, and we’ll be seeing which courses gained those gold, silver, and bronze trophies with M22 - Favorite Battle Course!

M22 - Favorite Battle Course

Block Fort (N64) — 237 (16.05%)
Luigi’s Mansion — 198 (13.41%)
Nintendo DS — 157 (10.63%)
Funky Stadium — 144 (9.75%)
Urchin Underpass — 107 (7.24%)
Wuhu Town — 102 (6.91%)
Pipe Plaza — 94 (6.36%)
Delfino Pier — 83 (5.62%)
Battle Course 1 (SNES) — 72 (4.87%)
Skyscraper — 63 (4.27%)
Total Votes: 1477

Favorite Battle Course is a poll that was introduced last year, so it doesn’t carry the same history as some other courses. However, this year’s results carry a similar trend to last year’s; Block Fort from Mario Kart 64 has taken first once again, with Luigi’s Mansion taking second. With its recreation in Mario Kart 8, Luigi’s Mansion was brought back into the limelight once more, so it’s not as surprising to see it here. Last year, Funky Stadium and Nintendo DS tied for third, but this year DS has pulled ahead by thirteen votes. If you asked me which I preferred, I’d probably have to go for Funky Stadium, because all of its ramps and jumps make for a wild, hectic time. There isn’t much else to note, other than Mario Kart 8 courses placing fourth and fifth as well, likely boosted by how recent the game came out as Deluxe on the Switch.

M23 - Favorite Capture (The Pyro Guy)

Hello! This is your Poll Committee Director here, ready to talk a lot about Super Mario Odyssey. Be prepared to hear those three words a lot this month.

M23 - Favorite Super Mario Odyssey Capture

Bowser - 322 (23.07%)
Yoshi - 246 (17.62%)
Pokio - 202 (17.62%)
T-Rex - 116 (8.31%)
Hammer Bro/Fire Bro - 74 (5.30%)
Gushen - 65 (4.66%)
Glydon - 53 (3.80%)
Tropical Wiggler - 49 (3.51%)
Uproot - 49 (3.51%)
Goomba - 41 (2.94%)
Total Votes: 1396

Despite coming in first place, Bowser is one of the less developed captures in the game, only having a jump, swipe and fireball, but that doesn't matter. The whole game is about controlling your enemies, and Bowser is the main enemy of the game! His capture sequence is given a lot of focus, with an exclusive escape level and two music tracks. Bowser also being an established Mario character likely helped him gain more votes. The same goes for Yoshi, who came in second place- he's a fan favourite with multiple levels about his mechanics and fruit collecting.

Pokios, in third place, are new to the series, but received a lot of love from Nintendo. Most of Bowser's Kingdom is dedicated towards their mechanics- even the boss fight is built around using Pokio to peck at bombs and climb up walls. Plus, they're cute.

M24 - Favorite Costume (The Pyro Guy)

Remember me? I just did the last analysis. I'm back, and here's more of that sweet Super Mario Odyssey content.

M24 - Favorite Super Mario Odyssey Costume

Mario 64 - 415 (29.64%)
Boxer Shorts - 136 (9.71%)
Waluigi - 111 (7.93%)
Mario Wedding Suit - 104 (7.43%)
Sunshine - 101 (7.21%)
Bowser's Wedding Suit - 72 (5.14%)
Bridal - 64 (4.57%)
Samurai - 57 (4.07%)
Skeleton - 51 (3.64%)
Cowboy - 39 (2.79%)
Total Votes: 1400

The top three nominees seem to either be jokes or related to nostalgia. The winning Mario 64 suit is a near-faithful recreation of Mario's original model from, well, Super Mario 64. It was a nice touch for older fans of the series and fit well with the nostalgia-full Mushroom Kingdom. The Sunshine outfit was also in fifth place, relating to another classic 3D Mario title and drawing in voters from that generation. The Boxer Shorts were actually featured in Nintendo's marketing before the game's release, and a lot of hype and interest was created due to Mario's nipples, so it's no surprise that it came in second place. Waluigi, in third place, is the infamous fan-favourite side character, and it was shocking to see him actually referenced in a main series game. In short, Waluigi is funny and popular, so of course he'd come in the top three.

M25 - Favorite 2D Mario Level (MsRetroGeek)

Hello readers, itsa me Geeky with my fifth analysis. Now let’s go on an adventure and explore through my fifth analysis on, M25 - Favorite 2D Mario Level! Oh, and please make sure to check out Meta Knight’s video that he worked super hard on for this award, Click here to check it out! ~

M25 - Favorite 2D Mario Level

World 1-1 (SMB) — 250 (20.13%)
Painted Swampland (NSMBU) — 214 (17.23%)
World 8-7 (NSMBW) — 105 ( 8.45%)
Donut Plains 1 (SMW) — 95 (7.65%)
Yoshi's Island 2 (SMW) — 89 (7.17%)
World 1-1 (NSMB) — 83 ( 6.68%)
Front Door (SMW) — 56 (4.51%)
Forest of Illusion 3 (SMW) — 54 ( 4.35%)
Donut Secret House (SMW) — 41 (3.30%)
World 2-3 (NSMB) — 37 (2.98%)
Total Votes: 1,024

World 1-1 took the top for the best 2D Mario level, and I mean considering how popular it is, it shouldn't be much a surprise. It was made to be easy for people to jump right into the game and play. From the first Goomba, to the first Mushroom block, every basic needed to get familiar with the game is able to be accomplished in this one stage. Not to mention, it's the first time the main theme of the Mario series was heard, which goes to show its legacy. Painted Swampland from New Super Mario Bros. U placed second, and while I've never played the game, the level certainly has a pretty aesthetic. It makes for a memorable level that people are going to be sure to remember. Finally, 8-7 from New Super Mario Bros. Wii earned the bronze, and once again I haven't played the game, I watched a video on the level and that bone coaster looks like it would give quite a rush! A theme for this poll seems to be levels that are memorable, and when looking at it in that context, it's no surprise that one of the most iconic levels in video game history took the top spot.

M26 - Favorite 3D Mario Level (The Pyro Guy)

Hello again! We're still celebrating the great parts of Mario here, but be warned- in a few analyses time, things will get a little more critical. Enjoy the positivity while you're here.

M26 - Favorite 3D Mario Level

Metro Kingdom (SMO) - 366 (24.21%)
Bob-omb Battlefield (SM64) - 140 (9.26%)
Whomp's Fortress/Throwback Galaxy (SM64/SMG2) - 103 (6.81%)
Bowser's Kingdom (SMO) - 102 (6.75%)
Delfino Plaza/Airstrip (SMS) - 76 (5.03%)
Toy Time Galaxy (SMG) - 76 (5.03%)
Wooded Kingdom (SMO) - 74 (4.89%)
Gusty Garden Galaxy (SMG) - 68(4.50%)
Good Egg Galaxy (SMG) - 55 (3.64%)
The Great Tower of Bowser Land (SM3DW) - 48 (3.17%)
Total Votes: 1512

The results for this are largely similar to last year's results, and 2016's results too. The difference here is that there are a couple of Super Mario Odyssey kingdoms dotted throughout the results. Metro Kingdom, Bowser's Kingdom and Wooded Kingdom all received top 10 placements, with Metro Kingdom coming in first place. These three kingdoms are all favourites among fans- Metro Kingdom being one of the first worlds shown off in the trailers, Bowser's Kingdom having great music and being home to the Pokio, and Wooded Kingdom getting a lot of attention during E3 and also being one of the larger and more developed kingdoms.

Other than that, results are pretty similar to last year. Bob-omb Battlefield, Throwback Galaxy, in second and third place, are both linked to a certain famous Mario game- one being the starting level from that game, and the other being a wonderful throwback. I'm sure you can guess which is which. Another thing to note is the heavy drop Toy Time Galaxy suffered, going down to sixth place from third and being overtaken by Delfino Plaza. Maybe the release of Super Mario Odyssey increased votes for the more sandbox-like games? Either way, Super Mario Galaxy is being left out here, avoiding top 5 completely. Maybe next year it'll make a comeback, after the Mario Odyssey bias has calmed down.

M27 - Favorite Boss Battle (Hooded Pitohui)

Hooded Pitohui is back to talk more about bosses. Though, instead of the bosses that frustrated you, M27 - Favorite Boss Battle is about those boss fights that awed you.

M27 - Favorite Boss Battle

Dark Bowser (M&L:BIS) - 215 (14.35%)
Bowser (SMG) - 140 (9.35%)
Bowser/Meowser (SM3DW) - 137 (9.15%)
Bowser in the Sky (SM64) - 111 (7.41%)
Rawk Hawk (PM:TTYD) - 100 (6.68%)
Super Dimentio (SPM) - 81 (5.41%)
Mechawiggler (SMO) - 76 (5.07%)
Popple and Rookie (M&L:SS) - 65 (4.34%)
Megaleg (SMG) - 63 (4.21%)
General Guy (PM) - 53 (3.54%)
Total Votes: 1498

The top three remain unchanged from the past two years, but this year Dark Bowser received a slightly larger share of the votes than in years past. There actually wasn’t much change in the top ten from last year at all, beyond Megaleg dropping from sixth to ninth and Mechawiggler pushing Phantamanta out of the top ten completely. Bowser in the Sky, Super Dimentio, and Rawk Hawk, all of who placed in the top three in 2015, continue to, as they have in the past two years, do fairly well just outside of the top three. Interestingly, Brobot continues to slowly fall down in the rankings, moving from eighth in 2015, to tenth in 2016, to eleventh in 2017, to twelfth in 2018. I’d say it has to do with Super Paper Mario’s age, but, then again, Super Dimentio has performed consistently well, so perhaps people just aren’t feeling as good about Brobot as they used to. Beyond that, the only other thing to note is that Super Mario Odyssey didn’t perform quite as well here as in other awards. True, Mechawiggler made the top ten, and a few other bosses from the game rounded out the bottom of the list or placed fairly high as write-ins, but, for the most part, the game didn’t cause any major shake-ups. Are boss battles just not what they used to be? I suppose we’ll find out in the coming years as we see if this award’s results change much.

Whatever the case is, there’s no doubt that these bosses are beloved for their challenging fights and the great music, gameplay, and aesthetics that accompany them. I suppose that it’s not surprising that there’s not much change here when these boss fights are so memorable.

M28 - Favorite Game Setting (Hooded Pitohui)

Hooded Pitohui returns, still holding out with the smallest bit of hope that we could see Isle Delfino DLC in Super Mario Odyssey that would give us a double dose of some the settings featured here in M28 - Favorite Game Setting.

M28 - Favorite Game Setting

Super Mario Odyssey World - 409 (26.49%)
Comet Observatory and galaxies (SMG) - 189 (12.24%)
Isle Delfino (SMS) - 166 (10.75%)
Rogueport and surrounding areas (PM:TTYD) - 159 (10.30%)
Mushroom Kingdom (PM) - 80 (5.18%)
Mushroom Kingdom (SMB) - 65 (4.21%)
Beanbean Kingdom (M&L:SS) - 61 (3.95%)
Flipside/Flopside & dimensions (SPM) - 59 (3.82%)
Yoshi’s Island (SMW2:YI) - 49 (3.17%)
Super Mario RPG World - 44 (2.85%)
Total Votes: 1544

This is an award where Super Mario Odyssey clearly made an impact, with its collection of Kingdoms receiving over a quarter of this year’s votes. Even with that, the top three from the past two years continued to perform well. They were all bumped down one position, but they retained their positions relative to one another and each received slightly over ten percent of the votes cast. While Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions buoyed the Beanbean Kingdom and its inhabitants up in some other awards this year, here the Beanbean Kingdom only moved up one position from last year, ending up in seventh place. Still, with Tucayo noting last year that it seemed like Nintendo’s ability to create interesting worlds for Mario to explore had been lost to time, seeing the Super Mario Odyssey World top this year’s list is refreshing.

Here’s to hoping that we’ll continue to see the introduction of varied and interesting settings like Isle Delfino, the galaxies, and the various Kingdoms in Super Mario Odyssey that will continue to shake up this award in the future and provide some new realms to explore.

M29 - Favorite Classic Game (GCN/GBA and older) (Raregold)

Raregold again, booting up this old thing to check on M29 - Favorite Classic Game (GCN/GBA and older)

M29 - Favorite Classic Game (GCN/GBA and older)

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door - 291 (18.21%)
Super Mario 64 - 254 (15.89%)
Super Mario World - 184 (11.51%)
Super Mario Sunshine - 150 (9.39%)
Super Mario Bros. 3 - 107 (6.70%)
Paper Mario - 95 (5.94%)
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island - 79 (4.94%)
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - 71 (4.44%)
Super Mario Bros. - 53 (3.32%)
Mario Kart 64 - 45 (2.82%)
Total Votes: 1598

As with many awards as time passes established favorites begin to show up and dominate the polls each year, usually promising a relatively predictable result. Though with M29 such is not the case. As the years march on more and more games are considered classic. This is in fact why Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door shot up to first place during its debut in the poll. This is not to discredit the great works that are Super Mario 64 and Super Mario World, but fans will always be vocal about their favorites.

As time marches on plenty of newcomers to this award can be expected to place among the top results as soon as they qualify as a classic game. As they age the love for many games only grows stronger for its fans.

M30 - Favorite Modern Game (Wii/DS and newer) (The Pyro Guy)

Did you know? For the Awards presentation for M30, you were able to date the nominees! How exciting! Anyway, here's why I made a game about dating Super Mario Galaxy.

M30 - Favorite Modern Game (Wii/DS and newer)

Super Mario Odyssey - 597 (36.34%)
Super Mario Galaxy - 191 (11.63%)
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story - 112 (6.82%)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 - 101 (6.15%)
Mario Kart 8/Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - 97 (5.90%)
Super Paper Mario - 94 (5.72%)
Super Mario Maker - 69 (4.20%)
Super Mario 3D World - 68 (4.14%)
Mario Kart Wii - 64 (3.90%)
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - 56 (3.41%)
Total Votes: 1643

From 2015 to 2017, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door had been in the top three every time, coming in first place for the last two years. However, it is no longer elligible for this award as it has been moved from Favorite Modern Game to Favorite Classic Game. It won in that award as well.

It's unsurprising that Super Mario Odyssey came in first place, with it being the largest and most relevant Mario game on the Nintendo Switch. The other games released this year, such as Mario Tennis Aces, were not as well-received and didn't get the same amount of attention. So, relevancy bias is certainly a factor here, but only really for SMO.

In second place is Super Mario Galaxy. This game was released over 10 years ago, but still holds up today and is certainly in the hearts of younger voters like myself who grew up with that generation of games. It's always been in the top three in recent years, but never in first place. I'd guess that if it weren't for Super Mario Odyssey, it would have come in first place this year.

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story had an unusually high placement this year, coming up from seventh place last year to third place this year. This is likely due to the announcement of its remake for the 3DS earlier this year, which brought attention to it and gave it another chance in the spotlight.

Fail Awards

F1 - Worst Character (MsRetroGeek)

Now I’m not one to hate on people, but with every series comes a character that you just question why on earth they’re there. What exactly is their point for existing? It’s Geeky once again to dive into this question with my sixth analysis on, F1 - Worst Character.

F1 - Worst Character

Pink Gold Peach — 710 (42.11%)
Kersti — 177 (10.50%)
Baby Rosalina — 151 (8.96%)
Birdo — 63 ( 3.74%)
Waluigi — 62 (3.68%)
Fawful — 60 (3.56%)
Princess Daisy — 54 (3.20%)
Lubba — 47 ( 2.79%)
Spewart — 47 ( 2.79%)
Mario — 39 (2.31%)
Total Votes: 1410

Another unfortunate year for Pink Gold Peach. The poor character has had a bad reputation for being dismissed as a rather worthless character. She was created as a playable character in Mario Kart 8, while good characters like Diddy Kong, Bowser Jr., and Dry Bones got cut.The only remarkable thing about this character was that she makes a good emote. Despite that, she topped the results once again. Kersti is another character that got 2nd again. She is the embodiment of why people don’t like Paper Mario: Sticker Star, considering partners never returned, and she’s just so annoying. A perfect representation for the downfall of the series. I’m also not quite sure why Baby Rosalina needed to be a thing. The only video game she was ever used in was Mario Kart 8, while the other baby characters had been represented within the Yoshi Island series. Giving them a meaning for actually being there because of them being returning characters. Being just like Pink Gold Peach with how she was just a basic reputation for one single game. Just another worthless character added to the list.

F2 - Worst 2D Level (Fun With Despair)

Well, I'm Fun With Despair, and here we are, a couple entries into the Fail Awards. I'm sure you're wondering why I exclusively chose to do these ones, and trust me, dear reader, so am I. For now though, let's just take a look at the Mario Wiki's chosen F2 - Worst 2D Level

F2 - Worst 2D Level

Tubular (SMW) - 207 (18.19%)
The Very Loooooong Cave (SMW2:YI) - 196 (17.22%)
World 9-7 (NSMBW) - 117 (10.28%)
Pendulum Castle (NSMBU) - 98 (8.61%)
Mine Cart Madness (DKC) - 83 (7.29%)
World 8-3 (SMB) - 75 (6.59%)
World 8-1 (SMB) - 51 (4.48%)
Endless World of Yoshis (SMW2:YI) - 38 (3.34%)
Lakitu's Wall (SMW2:YI) - 32 (2.81%)
World 8-Bowser Castle(SMB3) - 32 (2.81%)
Total Votes: 1138

These are relatively interesting to me on the whole, because looking at them from an objective standpoint, our voters appear to have ranked more difficult or notably endgame levels as the worst, which I don't really agree with, personally. For example, heading up the list is the notorious Tubular, a special bonus level famed for being the toughest of the tough, at least in the realm of Super Mario World.

In second place though, The Very Loooooong Cave definitely deserves the spot though, being incredibly tedious, and not particularly tough or interesting in any way. Past that one though, they mostly carry the trend of "difficult = bad", something most notable when you take a look at the two World 8 levels from the first Super Mario Bros that made it onto this list, as well as the baffling inclusion of Super Mario Bros. 3's final castle at tenth place, a level that I wasn't even aware anyone had strong feelings about, let alone enough to declare it the flat out worst.

The last one that doesn't follow that trend is Mine Cart Madness from Donkey Kong Country, which I'm fairly sure made it onto this list because the mine cart levels are terrible. To the 83 voters that threw it under the bus, I agree with you.

F3 - Worst 3D Level (The Pyro Guy)

Are you handling all of this extreme criticism well? There's a lot more negativity coming up, so make sure you're ready for it by trying out this analysis of the worst 3D levels in history.

F3 - Worst 3D Level

Pachinko Game (SMS) - 257 (18.46%)
Wing Mario Over the Rainbow/Over the Rainbows (SM64) - 167 (12.00%)
The Toxic Waterfall/Lily Pad Ride (SMS) - 139 (9.99%)
Champion's Road (SM3DW) - 85 (6.11%)
Dark Side (SMO) - 81 (5.82%)
Darker Side (SMO) - 72 (5.17%)
Corona Mountain (SMS) - 71 (5.10%)
Sling Pod Galaxy (SMG) - 64 (4.60%)
Grandmaster Galaxy (SMG2) - 55 (3.95%)
Rolling Gizmo Galaxy (SMG) - 54 (3.88%)
Total Votes: 1392

Here, the top three nominees are the same as ever. Super Mario Sunshine, perhaps one of the more controversial 3D Mario games, features two of its levels in the top three, being the Pachinko Game and the Lily Pad Ride. This game has been blasted for these levels throughout its life, and to be fair, they are REALLY not fun to play. Janky, wonky, just plain bad. Another infamous level, Corona Mountain, is also present in seventh place. Wing Mario Over the Rainbow, up to second place from third in 2017, is also well placed- it's defined by its cool feature of forcing you outside of Peach's Castle whenever you fall of the level. Which is a lot.

These top three results come from games that are decades old, so let's take a look at how Super Mario Odyssey affected the rankings. It's interesting, if unsurprising, to see its two hardest levels, Dark Side and Darker side, having similar placings in fifth and sixth. Difficulty being associated with poor quality is common here, regardless of whether the difficulty was 'true' or not. The levels with cheap difficulty, such as insta-kill hazards in all of the SMS levels here, tend to rank higher than more genuine challenges, such as the Darker Side. I personally enjoyed the challenge, but I know that it was frustrating to lose all of your progress whenever you died.

Next year, I'm looking forward to seeing if the frustration of these two SMO levels will have stuck with voters, and if that frustration is enough to make the levels approach infamy similar to the Pachinko game. I doubt it, though. Darker Side was still pretty fun.

F4 - Worst RPG Area (Superchao)

Hello, 'Shroom readers! Guess what time it is? If you guessed time for the F4 Worst RPG Area award, you guessed right!

F4 - Worst RPG Area

Joke's End (M&L:SS) 120 9.89%
Long Fall Falls (PM:SS) 103 8.49%
Sammer's Kingdom (SPM) 99 8.16%
Twilight Trail (PM:TTYD) 90 7.42%
Dry Dry Desert (PM) 77 6.35%
Drybake Stadium (PM:SS) 76 6.27%
Sandshifter Ruins (PM:SS) 73 6.02%
The Overthere (SPM) 68 5.61%
Dreamy Mount Pajamaja (M&L:DT) 62 5.11%
Total Votes: 1213

I'll be honest: I don't understand why everyone hates Joke's End so much. Maybe I just had weird taste but I enjoyed it when I played it through. Is it all the puzzles? Is it being split up for most of the level? I wish I knew. Long Fall Falls, of course, is much more understandable - RPG games are not the kind of game where you want to put an easy-to-fail platforming (of a sort) section, with instant kills on failure. Sammer's Kingdom, of course, is infamously tedious, as are Twilight Trial and Dry Dry Desert.

Interestingly, it seems tedium is the real killer. After the tedious ones come ones that are obtuse (in the case of Merlee's Mansion), tedious again (Sandshifter Ruins), or... well, tedious, I think? I'll be honest, I don't know why Drybake Stadium is here. Maybe it's just tainted by being part of Sticker Star? I couldn't blame them. Anyhow, the moral of the story is pretty simple. If you're going to make a large RPG area of some kind, keep it interesting! Otherwise it's going on this list. The more you know!

Thanks for reading, see you soon!

F5 - Worst Level Concept (Chibiki Daisy)

Chibiki Daisy here for the fourth time, this time trying not to break something thanks to some of the nominees of F5 - Worst Level Concept.

F5 - Worst Level Concept

Autoscrolling levels - 299 (18.78%)
Restrictively low timers - 268 (16.83%)
Automatic Levels (SMM) - 155 (9.74%)
Checkpointless challenges - 148 (9.30%)
Cappyless/FLUDDless missions - 130 (8.17%)
Rolling Ball galaxies - 128 (8.04%)
Water levels - 92 (5.78%)
Purple Coin levels - 89 (5.59%)
Surfing galaxies - 69 (4.33%)
”Secret of _” levels (SMS) - 66 (4.15%)
Total Votes: 1592

In first place for the first time since 2014, we have autoscrolling levels, which is very fair given that many people have claimed these kinds of levels to be the worst. In second, we have restrictively low timers, being knocked down from last year’s first. It seems like people would much rather complete levels at their own pace than have arbitrary restrictions preventing them from doing some extra exploring (if they so please), otherwise these two nominees would probably not have taken the top two spots. Coming in at third, we have Super Mario Maker’s automatic levels, no placement change from last year. Levels where you don’t have to push anything to move, because something happens (usually a springboard falling on you) to cause to to traverse the level all on your own. I don’t play Super Mario Maker, but I can imagine that the people who do would rather play interesting and challenging levels instead of levels where you don’t even have to push anything to move. The only other thing of note is the return of Cappy/FLUDDless missions due to Super Mario Odyssey’s release, coming in at 5th.

Despite a new game, one thing is clear here: People don’t like being restricted in time when it comes to playing levels. It was true five years ago, and it’s still true today.

F6 - Worst Spin-off (Fun With Despair)

Hey everyone, we’re back to the Fun With Despair Show (registered trademark or something), and we’re about to get serious here. It’s time for F6 - Worst Spin-Off, so put on your safety gear, and find something to hide behind.

Because baby, it’s time to talk about Paper Mario.

F6 - Worst Spin-Off

Paper Mario: Sticker Star - 452 (28.37%)
Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash - 270 (16.95%)
Super Mario Run - 139 (8.73%)
Mario Party 10 - 134 (8.41%)
Mario Pinball Land- 123 (7.72%)
Mario Party Advance - 107 (6.72%)
Mario Party 9- 84 (5.27%)
Game & Wario - 83 (5.21%)
Mario Kart Arcade GP (Series) - 44 (2.76%)
Mario Kart: Super Circuit - 40 (2.51%)
Total Votes: 1593

In first place here, we have a special sort of evil. Paper Mario: Sticker Star will likely never leave this spot on the list, not because it’s the worst game ever, but because it carries a negative reputation that pretty much everyone knows about or has felt the effects of. For some, Sticker Star ruined a franchise they loved by stripping away mechanics and characterization. For some, Sticker Star was a simple disappointment. For some, it was simply a mediocre, forgettable game. What I’m trying to say here, is that this game is almost entirely despised, and it sure isn’t gonna be leaving this list anytime this decade.

Meanwhile, Ultra Smash has a bad rap for being barebones, boring, and probably the weakest entry in the Mario Tennis series to date. Likewise, Mario Party 9 and 10, as well as Game and Wario make a guest appearance here for much of the same reason Sticker Star did. Disappointing entries in anticipated franchises that had little beyond base concepts in common with the games the fans loved.

What I do want to bring up though, is the odd stance of Super Mario Run in third place of all things. Out of all the games that could make this list, stuff like Hotel Mario gets 13th place, while THIS one gets third? Mario Run is a little “meh”, but if you’re calling it the worst, I can’t help but think there’s some anti-mobile bias going on here. Mario Kart Arcade GP, an obscure series of (mostly) japan-only arcade games doubt anyone here played, is an odd pick as well, when you get right down to it, but Super Circuit is legitimately horrible, with your kart controlling like a buttered walrus, so much like the DKC level up in the worst 2D level awards, I’ll at least take that one as a compromise.

F7 - Worst Enemy (MsRetroGeek)

Hola Readers! It’s Geeky back once again with my seventh analysis. In contrast to my last poll which had been Worst Character. I’ll be examining the poll for, F7 - Worst Enemy

F7 - Worst Enemy

Hammer Bros. — 249 (17.03%)
Fuzzies — 208 (14.23%)
Cursyas — 156 (10.67%)
Big Berthas — 132 (9.03%)
Lakitus — 119 (8.14%)
Bloopers — 95 (6.50%)
Grinders (SMW2:YI)/Ukikis — 73 (4.99%)
Goombas — 57 (3.90%)
Rocky Wrenches — 55 (3.76%)
Urban Stingbies — 47 (3.21%)
Total Votes: 1191

It looks like Hammer Bros. have won this award again. Hammer Bros. debuted in the original Super Mario Bros. and they were a huge roadblock. They introduced more varieties in Super Mario Bros. 3 including Fire Bros., Boomerang Bros., and Sumo Bros. It does seem that the rage from dying to Hammer Bros. in the 2D games is strong enough in the community to override any other merit that they may have, such as being a good player in the Mario Baseball games, or how you can have them on a team in Mario Strikers, or how it is a playable character in Mario Party 8. Fuzzies placed in the runner up spot, and boy are they annoying too. I remember them being a pain to deal with in Super Mario World. They're immune to all powerups except a Star, and they are usually placed in groups making them difficult to avoid. Cursyas placed third, and while I've never played Super Paper Mario, based on what I've researched for this analysis, they seem annoying as well. It seems like a general theme for this poll is enemies that are annoying to deal with.

F8 - Worst Mario Kart Course (Raregold)

Its Raregold, racing towards the finish with F8 - Worst Mario Kart Course.

F8 - Worst Mario Kart Course

Figure-8 Circuit - 149 (10.36%)
Baby Park - 148 - (10.29%)
Rainbow Road (SNES) - 118 (8.21%)
Rainbow Road (Wii) - 99 (6.88%))
Rosalina's Ice World - 98 (6.82%)
Bone-Dry Dunes - 83 (5.77%)
Banshee Boardwalk - 77 (5.35%)
Rainbow Road (N64) - 74 (5.15%)
Maka Wuhu - 70 (4.87%))
Grumble Volcano/Yoshi Falls - 63 (4.38%)
Total Votes: 1438

Some previously unseen entrants have made their way into the Top three for this award, which for once is not a good thing. Figure-8 Circuit, Baby Park, and Rainbow Road (SNES) all have a few things in common which likely place them as high contenders for the worst Mario Kart Course. Each course comes in a relatively simple shape and contains a relatively small amount of harsh turns if any at all. Secondly, each of them also contains few to now stage hazards. Both of these factors make it hard for the player to really engage in the courses and tend to brush them off when choosing a course to play.

A brief note I would like to make, it is interesting that both Rainbow Road N64 and its Wii U remake are contenders for worst and best Mario Kart Course respectively. I guess in the end the Wii U did at least a single thing right.

The formula for an acceptable course seems rather simple. In the end, all you need is a non-standard shape with a variety of turns and plenty of stage hazards. Though as more games are released only time will tell if this formula will stay true.

F9 - Worst Direction of Series (Fun With Despair)

Third time’s a charm, right? I’m Fun With Despair, previous writer of two other fail awards, as I’m sure you remember from like five minutes of reading ago, and we’re here this time to talk about F9 - Worst Direction of Series, and if you’ve been reading, you’ll recognize a familiar face.

F9 - Worst Direction of Series

Amiibo-Centric/Focused Games - 571 (36.37%)
Paper Mario - 373 (27.76%)
Mario vs. Donkey Kong - 141 (8.98%)
New Super Mario Bros. - 135 (8.60%)
Mario Party - 113 (7.20%)
WarioWare - 101 (6.43%)
Mario Tennis - 36 (2.29%)
Mario & Luigi- 33 (2.10%)
Yoshi - 33 (2.10%)
Mario 3D Games - 19 (1.21%)
Total Votes: 1593

This is one of the more telltale Fail Awards, if we’re being totally frank. Shoehorning an Amiibo focus into games has been something Nintendo liked to do particularly during the Wii U era, and fans of the company were never particularly happy about this, due to the occasional rarity of Amiibo, as well as the additional fees on top of the base game that you’ll end up paying. Still, rounding up second place is the much-expected Paper Mario series, which hasn’t seen a return to its beloved RPG format in over a decade, instead focusing on being everything from 2D platformers to “light RPGs” with progression based on level select screens and no real reason to engage in combat.

The next couple are pretty obvious list-makers too, with Mario vs. Donkey Kong drifting away from the simple-yet-engaging puzzle game it once was and into the realm of gimmicky shovelware. Meanwhile New Super Mario Bros is a target of much ire due to its refusal to do anything besides essentially rehash the same material time and time again, something that isn’t likely to change if the series ever gets a new release that isn’t a port. Mario Party too, makes this list for reasons similar to ol’ iPaper Mario, with a weird shift to vehicle gameplay that practically no one liked, although the upcoming Super Mario Party looks to be returning to its roots, which is definitely a beacon of hope for the series.

As for the list from this point on, I’m not sure why WarioWare or Mario Tennis are on here, because despite a large gap in releases for the former and a mediocre Wii U game for the latter, the latest entries seem to have been exceedingly well received by fans, as has Super Mario Odyssey, the last 3D Mario game, which you’ll note is our tenth slot.

Considering the low volume of votes you can see on all of those though, everything below WarioWare on the list appears to be a victim of the first two slots getting an obscene percentage of the votes more than anything else, as they instantly jump down over sixty votes.

F10 - Worst Game Mechanic (Superchao)

Hello, 'Shroom readers! Welcome back to the last Superchao-evaluated award - F10 Worst Game Mechanic!

F10 - Worst Game Mechanic

Stickers/Battle Cards (PM:SS/PM:CS) - 342 (21.85%)
Vehicles (MP9 & MP10) - 316 (20.19%)
Joystick twirling (MP1) - 261 (16.68%)
Gyroscope/motion controls - 143 (9.14%)
Chance minigames (Mario Party series) - 141 (9.01%)
Limited inventory (PM & PM:TTYD) - 99 (6.33%)
Button mashing (MP1) - 72 (4.60%)
Camera (3D Games) - 59 (3.77%)
Dimensional Flipping (SPM) - 39 (2.49%)
Extra life system - 33 (2.11%)
Total Votes: 1565

Well... let's be honest. We all saw this coming. Sticker Star wins again, even if not directly, thanks to the sticker mechanic completely replacing the sensible battle system with a 100% item one. Reminder that if you run out of stickers, it's literally impossible to win! Vehicles are up there too, a close second, showing that when you mess with established game formulas for the sake of it, sometimes it's a Really Bad Idea, Miyamoto. After that we go from "messes with formulas" into just "unwieldy", showing that once you get past the franchise-ruining gimmicks, people really don't like the things that require you to do ridiculous motions just to play the game right.

And then of course, there's chance minigames! Tests of skill are one thing. Totally reversing your fortunes through nothing but sheer bad luck? Bad. At least you're only passive there? Beyond that, the votes start dropping off hard - limited inventory, button mashing, and the camera's tendency to get stuck on walls? All of them are considered annoying, but nowhere near on the level of the top five for their respective games. And beyond that there's barely anything worth mentioning, considering the small fractions of votes. All in all, it's pretty clear what mechanics people hate, and honestly? I can't blame them.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you keep reading even without my lovely voice to guide you!

F11 - Biggest Missed Opportunity (Chibiki Daisy)

For the final time, Chibiki Daisy here, imagining how great the nominees of F11 - Biggest Missed Opportunity could have been.

F11 - Biggest Missed Opportunity

Abandoning Paper Mario: Sticker Star early build - 264 (16.47%)
Taking down fangames - 228 (14.22%)
Wasted potential of Ruined Kingdom - 200 (12.48%)
Sony partnership failure - 187 (11.67%)
Rejection of Archie Comics Super Mario series pitch - 133 (8.30%)
Transphobia (Birdo,Vivian) - 122 (7.61%)
Lack of online level sharing in SMM3DS - 107 (6.67%)
Donkey Kong Racing cancellation - 81 (5.05%)
Inadequate amiibo production - 70 (4.37%)
Super Mario Spikers cancellation - 55 (3.43%)
Total Votes: 1603

Paper Mario: Sticker Star’s early build coming in first is no surprise at this point. Moving quickly on, I find our second place winner, taking down fangames, interesting. Not the placement, but the fact that Nintendo even does it. This isn’t a personal opinion piece so I’ll try not to go too in-depth here, but it’s honestly a bit ridiculous. If people become more inclined to buy a Nintendo game and play it because of an awesome fangame they found, then why should Nintendo see that as a bad thing and take the fangame down? That being said, in third we have the wasted potential of Ruined Kingdom. Given that there were only 10 moons to be found in this area and one of the things you have do is fight a DRAGON, it’s definitely a fair vote. Though I personally haven’t played Super Mario Odyssey (a downside of not owning a Switch), I’ve seen pictures of Ruined Kingdom and it looks really cool. I can definitely understand why people would’ve wanted there to be more to do in the kingdom. And just as it has been the last few years, inadequate amiibo production keeps falling down the ranks.

As shown here, with new games comes new missed opportunities. Though with any missed opportunity, people will eventually move on... Unless you’re Paper Mario: Sticker Star, that is. Then people will just be salty about you for 6+ years. (please let this be the last year of that)

F12 - Worst Game Objective (Hooded Pitohui)

Hooded Pitohui arrives one final time, rather glad that the Poll Committee doesn’t require every award to be analyzed by every member, something which could very well be made into a reviled game mechanic that would qualify for F12 - Worst Game Objective.

F12 - Worst Game Objective

Completing every level with every character (SM3DW) - 323 (21.26%)
One million coins (NSMB2) - 233 (15.34%)
Jump-Rope Challenge (SMO) - 190 (12.51%)
Beach Volleyball (SMO) - 118 (7.77%)
Blue Coins (SMS) - 109 (7.18%)
Super Expert Mode (SMM) - 101 (6.65%)
Chasing General White (PM:TTYD) - 72 (4.74%)
Rabbits (SM64DS) - 68 (4.48%)
Duel of 100 (SPM) - 55 (3.62%)
Boshi Race (SMRPG) - 49 (3.23%)
Total Votes: 1519

For the past three years, the top three for this award have remained unchanged, but this year, Super Mario Odyssey’s infamously frustrating Jump-Rope Challenge and Beach Volleyball minigames bumped Super Mario Sunshine’s two hundred forty Blue Coins out of the top three. I have to admit, I was rather surprised by this. Most of the other winners here are side-quests or one hundred percent completion requirements that disrupt the flow of the normal gameplay. People don’t play Super Mario Sunshine or Super Mario 64 DS to stop looking for Stars and Shine Sprites and spend a significant portion of their time hunting for Blue Coins and Rabbits, and I doubt that players of Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door enjoyed chasing General White around more than they enjoyed battling and exploring. Those seem like bigger disruptions to the core gameplay than the Jump-Rope Challenge and Beach Volleyball minigames do, but, then again, I would also think that Green Stars in Super Mario Galaxy 2 are the biggest aberration from the core gameplay, and they’ve fallen rather far. Green Stars fell from fifth in 2015, to sixth in 2016, to eighth in 2017, to eleventh this year, so perhaps I’m just out of touch. In other news, the Flopside Pit of 100 Trials, sixth in 2015 and a solid seventh over the past two years, was knocked out of the top ten this year.

It will be interesting to see if the Jump-Rope Challenge and Beach Volleyball continue to perform well or if they’ll drop off the list as the frustration fades. Whatever the case, let’s hope future game objectives are fun and feel rewarding so that they don’t end up on this list.

F13 - Worst Mario Party Minigame (MsRetroGeek)

Hi Readers! It’s Geeky with my last analysis. Anyone up for having a party full of games? Well I have a steaming hot inspection of my last analysis, F13 - Worst Mario Party Minigame

F13 - Worst Mario Party Minigame

Tug o' War — 165 (13.29%)
Flip the Chimp — 147 (11.84%)
Cheep Cheep Chance — 110 (8.86%)
BOWSER's Big Blast — 100 (8.05%)
M.P.I.Q. — 94 (7.57%)
The Beat Goes On — 86 (6.92%)
Right Oar Left? — 70 (5.64%)
Crane Game — 65 (5.23%)
Day at the Races — 56 (4.51%)
Pipe Maze — 42 (3.38%)
Total Votes: 935

In the first mini game that had won the title for being the worst minigame for 2018, I believe that it would be well deserved. Due to the controls for what the player had had to do to achieve victory over this mini game. The player had to twist the joystick of their controller to play. This led to some serious painful playing that eventually led to some lawsuits against Nintendo. No wonder this game claimed the spot for being the worst mini game. The second mini game had claimed it’s sport for being one of luck and unpredictability. One of the major problems this minigame could have potentially been a problem with players is the timing of the falling coconut on your monkey. Each time a coconut dropped it only gave the player a few seconds to dodge it. Proving just how unfair this game truly was. The third victor was purely a game based on luck. Hence the Chance within the game’s name. Attempt to try and choose a fishing pole and hope you get a Cheep Cheep. It was purely unfair due to the fishes being grouped together, making it impossible to try and see which pole led a catch.

Please check out the polls from the other amazing writer’s of this team! We worked super hard on these polls for your entertainment. I hope we did a good job of entertaining you. Thank you guys so much for reading! I hope you all have an awesome day/night!

F14 - Worst Setting (The Pyro Guy)

TPG here again- let's look at an award that Super Mario Odyssey didn't have any effects on! Incredible.

F14- Worst Setting

Mushroom Kingdom (PM:SS) - 249 (19.11%)
Egg Island (YNI) - 111 (8.52%)
Party Islands (MP:IT) - 104 (7.98%)
Sprixie Kingdom (SM3DW) - 91 (6.98%)
Subcon (SMB2) - 89 (6.83%)
Shroom City (MPA) - 87 (6.68%)
The Fun Fair & surrounding areas (MPL) - 80 (6.14%)
Flipside/Flopside & dimensions (SPM) - 71 (5.45%)
Party Cube (MP4) - 70 (5.37%)
Star Carnival (MP8) - 68 (5.22%)
Total Votes: 1303

It may be to assume that some of the top placements here are there simply because of association with their games, rather than their own distinct lack of quality. You can see areas from Sticker Star, Yoshi's New Island, and Super Mario 3D World, which were all seen as disappointing in their own ways. Other areas, such as Shroom City, Subcon, or the Party Islands, don't come from outlandishly poor games, but were often settings that heavily deviated from the established norm, or were just plain boring. Shroom City didn't really have the gameplay of the regular Mario Parties, Subcon was kind of weird and certainly wasn't the good ol' Mushroom Kingdom.

F15 - Most Disappointing Game (Fun With Despair)

To cap it all off, I, Fun With Despair, will once again write another article about Sticker Star, because apparently the Fail Awards really love to give a top spot to that game. Look guys, I’m only doing four of these because I’m doing the Poll Committee Discussion this issue too, at least give me some choice diversity, come on. Anyway, this is F15 - Most Disappointing Game, so I don’t even know what I was expecting.

F15 - Most Disappointing Game

Paper Mario: Sticker Star - 452 (28.29%)
Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash - 213 (13.33%)
Mario Party 10 - 108 (6.76%)
Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS - 95 (5.94%)
Mario Party 9 - 90 (5.63%)
Yoshi’s New Island - 87 (5.44%)
New Super Mario Bros. 2 - 76 (4.76%)
Diddy Kong Racing DS - 55 (3.44%)
Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition - 53 (3.32%)
Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games - 50 (3.13%)
Total Votes: 1598

There’s only so much I can really say about our first entry. Indeed, what would the Sticker Star Awards be without another #1 ranking to Paper Mario: Sticker Star everyone’s favorite annual punching bag. Hilariously, it has the same amount of votes here as in the Worst Spin-Off poll, which is poetic in a way, but jokes aside, Sticker Star is not a game that I have any empathy for, considering it basically ruined one of my favorite series, but if you voted for Sticker Star, chances are you already know exactly why it has this top spot, and there’s not much that hasn’t already been said.

Also returning in second place from the Worst Spin-Off award is Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, that bland, barebones sports game that seems to accompany Sticker Star wherever it goes like a desperate parasite. Mario Party 10 however, is in my opinion fairly deserving of the spot, being another car-themed Mario Party game, which no one appears to have asked for or enjoyed in the first place. In terms of real stinkers though, for our next spot, the 3DS port of Super Mario Maker is a legitimately pathetic one, lacking the key network sharing features that made the original Wii U game the beloved smash-hit it was, while bringing not much else to the table beyond portability.

Yoshi’s New Island takes my personal Didn’t Need To Exist Award, considering it’s just an objectively uglier, worse version of the first two Yoshi’s Island games. As well as looking terrible, the game also contains an awful kazoo soundtrack, as well as a nonsensical final boss and plot, so thank you, Yoshi’s New Island, for being the game no one asked for, no one wanted, but got released anyway. New Super Mario Bros. 2 also probably earns its place, being short, easy, pointless, and boasting a “collect one million coins” objective that only unlocked a statue on the title screen, and nothing else. Amazing.

The rest of these though, I struggle to see why they’re the “most disappointing”. What did you guys even expect from Diddy Kong Racing DS? There’s a couple changes, but largely it’s the same game it was on the N64, they didn’t exactly lie to you. Same with the anniversary re-release of Super Mario All-Stars, you got what you paid for, buddy. As for the olympic game, only the Vancouver one was good anyway, let’s be real.

And that’s the Fail Awards! Probably everything you expected, and more. Lots of Sticker Star, as there tends to be. If you want to see me ramble about more poll results, come check out the Poll Committee Discussion in the Pipe Plaza section, because I’ll be there, doing that too.

...Please come to Pipe Plaza… It’s so cold…. And I’m so lonely...

If you're reading this, then that means that you finished reading all of our analyses... or that you skipped it all. Thank you so much for reading this and supporting our work. If you want even more analysis, please take a look at Pipe Plaza, where Fun With Despair (talk) has made Poll Committee Discussion for this month. Until then, goodbye!

The 'Shroom: Issue 138
Staff sections Staff NotesThe 'Shroom AchievementsThe 'Shroom Spotlight
Features Fake NewsFun StuffPalette SwapPipe PlazaCritic CornerStrategy Wing
Specials Hooded Pitohui's Awards ReflectionsCommunity Awards XIAwards Analysis