The 'Shroom:Issue 150/Awards Analysis
Awards AnalysisWritten by the 10th Poll Committee
Welcome! This is your Poll Chairperson, LudwigVon (talk), along with the members of the 10th Poll Committee for our annual Awards Analysis. This is a big project for the Poll Committee, and we are very pleased to present you the final result of our clever analysis of this year's Mario and Fail Awards. Before continuing, I would like to give a special thanks to ArchagentEverlasting (talk) to have made a huge contribution to this project, and in addition, to replacing some members, which were not available for this.
Isn't it beautiful? This time around, I kicked everyone out of our office. It was time to chase citizens down the street to receive feedbacks on everything. Will this be useful? Maybe. Let's see how the year goes...Now, without further ado, enjoy the best part of this project!
M1 - Best Sound Design (ArchagentEverlasting)
Hello, dear reader. There is no greeting greater than one from the Archagent himself. Welcome to the Awards Analyses. I hope you get comfortable. Settle into your chair and get cozy. What's a host without the comfortableness of his guest? Let's look at the first award we will be analyzing, that being the game with the best sound design.
Time to crack down the results, as that's what I'm here to do. In the first place, we have Super Mario Galaxy. The fact of the matter is, that this was a shoe in. There isn't anybody on this planet who dislikes the biggest tracks from this game, from Gusty Garden Galaxy to the softer track of Buoy Base Galaxy. In actuality, I can't think of a single time I've heard anyone complain about the sounds in this game.
Super Mario Odyssey is second, which is also of no surprise. Seeing that not only is it the newest mainstream Mario game (barring remakes), this would lead to it being on people's minds. Not only that, but a large part of its marketing was dedicated to the incredible main theme, “Jump Up, Superstar!”. Almost every trailer and commercial featured the theme. Overall, definitely a solid pick for second place.
The third pick on the list is Super Mario 64, which I can't say I disagree with. From the inviting Bob-omb Battlefield theme to the perils of Koopa's Road, there isn't a theme in this game that doesn't fit the aesthetic of whichever polygonal level you're bouncing through. Not only that, the game has the nostalgia factor on its side for both people who grew up with the Nintendo 64 and people who grew up with the Nintendo DS. It was a must have for both of the consoles. Seeing these reasons makes it easy to believe that Super Mario 64 would rank so highly on this list.
I was shocked to see Mario Kart 8 and its remake on this list. After all, I personally did not see the soundtrack as anything more than standard Mario Kart fare. Once I had debated with myself hotly on the nature of the situation, I came to a few conclusions. Reason number 1: Many people see the Mario Kart games as a good source of music for the Mario games. There is nary a person you will find who does not praise Coconut Mall and its ilk for the amazing sounds. Reason number 2: This was the newest Mario Kart game in the series. Due to the fact that it has only been five years since its initial release and only two since its re-release, people will think of this game first when they want to compliment the music of the Mario Kart sub-series.
For my final mentioning on this poll I would like to bring your attention to Super Mario Galaxy 2. This game ranked fifth in the poll, which is something that I find quite odd. While the first Super Mario Galaxy game had quite a bit of good tunes, a good portion of the Super Mario Galaxy 2 soundtrack is reappropriated from the first game or other Mario games, with I myself being unable to name any particular tracks - aside from possibly Sky Station Galaxy and Yoshi Star Galaxy - that weren't derived from another game. That being said, nostalgia sells. I assume that is the case here, with people being whisked away by the various songs they loved from their past Mario outings.
All in all, these awards had their fair share of surprises. I didn't expect Mario Kart 8 or Super Mario Galaxy 2 to be so high up. That being said, the top 3 were to be expected, as those games are essentially universally regarded as masterpieces of sound. Super Mario 64 is a soft spot for two generations of gamers, Super Mario Odyssey was advertised around its incredible soundtrack and main theme, and Super Mario Galaxy has almost always been praised for its soundtrack to the point that Shigeru Miyamoto himself cried at a performance of Gusty Garden Galaxy 12 years ago when it was played for him.
I hope you enjoy the rest of the awards analyses, and until our next meeting, stay everlasting, my friends. Ciao!
M2 - Favorite Mario Kart Game (Doomhiker)
The Mario Kart series is am extremely popular spin-off series in the Mario franchise. It also has a large amount of games, meaning it has a large amount games that can be your favorite. Let's look at this awards results.
In first place we have both versions of Mario Kart 8, winning this award for the sixth year in a row. The game has several things going for its favour, mainly extra content via its DLC and its rerelease, and also being the most recent Mario Kart game. Of course, the game's large amount of drastically reimagined retro tracks and unique nitro tracks help too, along with anti-gravity being added alongside gliding and underwater sections, allowing for more possibilities with track design, helps it too. The game's great reception is reflected in these results. Second is Mario Kart Wii, which is not a surprise. From 2008 to 2013 the game one first place, only being knocked down due to Mario Kart 8. After 2013, it still done well, receiving second place in 2014, 2015, and 2016, before being knocked down to third place by Mario Kart: Double Dash!! in 2017. It came back to second place in 2018. Mario Kart Wii is the best selling game in the series, with 36.83 million copies sold. This would give give the game the largest audience of all games in the series. Another reason for its popularity is because Funky Kong is playable it has a large online community, including mods. Stuff like the popular CTGP Revolution allows online play to resume, and for fan-made custom tracks to be added to the game. This, of course, gives a large amount of new stuff for fans of the game to do. This is not something exclusive to Mario Kart Wii, but it is the most prominent in Mario Kart Wii. It also had general good reception at launch, with less negative reviews than positive. In third place we have Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. Again, not a surprise. The game won second place from 2007 to 2011 (although in 2008 it shared second place with Mario Kart DS). In 2012 in went down to third due Mario Kart 7, a game which only was in the top three in 2012 and 2013, likely due to being new at the time. Due to that Mario Kart: Double Dash!! was in third in 2013 too, and managed to stay there in 2014 due Mario Kart 8, which completely removed Mario Kart 7 from the top three. Double Dash!! managing to stay in the top three longer than Mario Kart 7 could be interpreted as MKDD aging better than MK7, and also shows how Mario Kart 8 basically replaced MK7. In 2015, 2016, and 2018, MKDD stayed in third, going up to second in 2017. So, why did the game retain its position in the top three? Well, considering how MK7 likely lost its position due to no longer being extremely new, and due to being replaced by Mario Kart 8, I think that it is quite obvious that how MKDD is so unique helped the game not grow stale. With two characters in each kart, and character exclusive items, there is a lot of reasons to go back to this game even after a new game came out. In forth place we have Mario Kart DS. Mario Kart DS was actually the first-ever winner of this award, in 2007. Then in 2008 in was knocked down to second place due to Mario Kart Wii, where it was tied with MKDD. It then stayed in third until 2012, where it was not in the top three at all, likely being replaced by MK7. It was never seen in the top three again. However, its place in fourth place does prove that it is still popular, likely due to the DS' popularity and still being a fun game, with extremely popular courses such as Waluigi Pinball. At the bottom half of the options that got more than one vote, we have Mario Kart 64. It got third place in 2007 and 2008, but nothing since. It likely got to fifth due to its Battle Mode and nostalgia, but a lot of things in this game is done better in future games, so while still a good game I can see why it only got fifth place. In sixth place we have Mario Kart 7. I already explained its history in the awards, and why it is no longer in the top three, which is due to it basically being replaced by Mario Kart 8. It still as its fair share of voters, likely due to it still being a good game. Finally, in seventh and eighth place respectively we have the two mode seven Mario Kart games, Mario Kart: Super Circuit and Super Mario Kart, which only have the difference of a single vote. While these games still have their fans, they have not aged well in many regards and are limited by their graphics. We do have a massive five write-ins, which are the four arcade Mario Kart games and the mobile game Mario Kart Tour. They only have one vote likely due to them being harder to play, and to form an opinion on, as the arcade games are limited to the arcade, and Mario Kart Tour only had a closed beta which ended.
The results of the award were predictable. I guess people know which game is their favorite, which is generally the newest one, excluding hard-to-play ones. Next up we have M3 - Favorite Mario Platformer!
M3 - Favorite Mario Platformer (Doomhiker)
Next we have M3 - Favorite Mario Platformer.
In first place we have Super Mario Odyssey. Not a surprise, not only due to the game being relatively new but also winning first place last year. I do wonder how the game will do in the future, though, as the awards show that our votes have a penchant to prefer newer titles, and sometimes that preference wears off, as we can see with Super Paper Mario winning first place in 2007, yet not being in the top ten in this poll. We can even see this in other polls, such as with Mario Kart 7. In fact, the top three this year are the exact same as last year’s top three. Though Super Mario Odyssey was voted by a smaller percentage of voters this year, while Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario 64 both have seen a (small) increase in percentage of voters. Perhaps some of the game’s “new” factor is already starting to wear off, although I do still think it will do well in the future due to the game being more open than for example Super Mario 3D World, something that seems to be something commonly preferred. Nothing on the list overall is surprising, though. Even beyond the top three Super Mario World is the favourite 2D game and the New Super Mario Bros. games strike low, likely due to being very similar to each other and thus being repetitive. I don’t have anything else to say, so let’s move on!
M4 - Favorite Mario Kart Course (ArchagentEverlasting)
Ack! More temporal shenanigans from Archagent! I apologize, friend! I've been going in and out of the this timeline due to the fact that there are some analysis that must be done, and must be done quickly. Without further need for introduction, let's look at the results!
In the first entry I'm going to be looking at, we have Mount Wario! While I personally know why I would rate this course so highly, I don't know why the fanbase would. I cannot speak for others. I believe it to be such a great course not only due its length and difficulty, but also its variety in obstacles and the fact that it would be a really neat location to visit in the main games as a platforming area. I doubt this is why it is so popular.
Next, we have Coconut Mall, which has been a fan favorite for a long time due to the unique setting and the theme associated with it, as well as the fact that many members of the community today grew up with this track as one of their favorites when they were teens or children, so it sort of grew on and up with them.
While I'm not sure why this particular version of Rainbow Road is so high (I didn't play MK7) I do know that Rainbow Road is a classic stage that nearly every Mario Kart game has, if not all of them. Therefore, it's only natural to see one of them on the list, even if it was one of the more obscure ones in my opinion.
Next, we have the Rainbow Road from MK64, which is often shown as one of the most iconic Mario Kart courses in the history of the series. This is more what I was expecting from a Rainbow Road entry on this list, so I'm glad to see it here, even if I'm not the biggest fan of it myself.
Finally, we have the Waluigi Pinball! The one and only course that many people adore simply due to the fact that it's, well, Waluigi Pinball! Charming aesthetic, based on a fan favorite character and with catchy theme music? What's not to love about this stage? Anyway, that's it for me, I have to go and do some more analysis! See you in a bit!
M5 - Favorite Donkey Kong Character (ArchagentEverlasting)
Oh, you’re back. That’s simply wonderful. This time we’re going to be looking at something completely different: Who’s the favorite Donkey Kong character of the forum? That is a question that I’m sure you’ve wanted answered for quite some time, and now that the Mario Awards this year has it, it will finally be answered! Let’s take a look, shall we?
Time to break down the results, as I’m sure you are accustomed to by now, seeing as you’ve made it this far. In first place we have King K. Rool, the ruler of the Kremlins himself. While always a popular character for one reason or another, I find the reason why King K. Rool is so high on the list compared to the others is due to the fact that he recently appeared in a certain crossover fighting game we all know and love - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Not only was he already a popular character (which was part of the reason that he was put in the game), but the amount of sheer energy that followed his reveal nearly a year ago certainly did not shrink his fanbase.
As for number 2, it was an anomaly to me. Really? Funky Kong of all characters? Then it hit me. The re-release of Tropical Freeze hit the Switch last year, and with it, came Funky Kong as a new playable character. Due to the fact that he entered the public eye in such a bombastic, meme-filled way, Funky Kong was almost a shoe-in for this list. Who would’ve thought?
Finally, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong and Cranky Kong are at the bottom of the top 5. I’m definitely not surprised they made it up here, considering that they’re the original 3 Donkey Kong characters that most people know and love and who also made returns in the Tropical Freeze last year. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the two thirds of them made appearances as playable characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as well. Another factor into this, I assume, is that the Donkey Kong series is fairly obscure by comparison to the rest of the Mario franchise, so many fans will only know those who have appeared in other series in the Mario franchise, with Cranky Kong being the only contender in the top 5 who hasn't had an appearance in another series.
This award was interestingly predictable. I hope to see it make a comeback next year, as the subject of Donkey Kong characters has always been a fascinating one to me. Unfortunately, this award has often been plagued with having the same results year after year, with Donkey, Diddy and Funky of the Kong Clan dominating the top results. Due to this it may not return next year. We'll just have to wait and see, I guess. Until the next award, this is the Archagent, signing off. Ciao!
M6 - Favorite Wario Character (Power Flotzo)
Hey there! Power Flotzo here, giving you the deets on what the community picked for M6 - Favorite Wario Character. So, which character from WarioWare and Wario Land came out on top? Let’s take a look at the results.
Well, speaking as a Captain Obvious, Wario came in first for the fourth time – not much to say about that. The same goes for the others in top four: their positions haven’t changed from 2017 (the last time this award was held) and I can’t write much about them. But the most noticeable difference from this year and two years ago is that 5-Volt has gone from a write-in character with only a few votes to fifth place. This could be due to her gaining a more major role in WarioWare Gold. With that said, on to the next award!
M7 - Favorite Yoshi Character (ArchagentEverlasting)
Let’s tackle another slightly obscure Mario series that has its own identity: Yoshi. And what better to tackle about Yoshi than the characters present within the series? Let’s look at the results, shall we?
In the first place, we have the titular Yoshis themselves! Seeing as they are the main characters of the series, this is fitting. After all, who else could be put in the top spot? Kamek? No, that’s silly! Right? Yoshi is also one of the main characters of the Mario series, featuring an important role in almost every main Mario game since his debut. I’m sure there are some people who prefer Yoshi to even Mario on occasion! I know I certainly did when I was young.
Second place we have Poochy, who often plays the role that Yoshi does to Mario, but instead to Yoshi! Poochy is Yoshi’s canine pal that he rides on to avoid obstacles. He is one of the most important characters in the Yoshi series having appeared in every game. I think a big reason to why he did so well in this awards particularly is due to the fact that he was featured prominently in the marketing for the Yoshi’s Wooly World 3DS port and was in Yoshi’s Crafted World on the Switch, with many adorable Poochy offspring as well.
In the third we have Kamek, who is an antagonist often featured in the Yoshi series. I believe the reason that he made it this high on the list is most likely because he is one of the more popular major antagonists that’s not Bowser himself. He was even one of the hosts in Super Mario Party - Definitely something that would help your reputation!
For the fourth place there is Raphael the Raven, which is something that I find to be of surprise. Raphael the Raven? Isn’t he just a one-off boss fight? Then I realized that not only does he have an appealing design that is very cute, but he’s a boss fight in nearly every Yoshi game. Of course, I didn’t know he was a Yoshi character for many years, but I knew of him from Paper Mario, and I’m sure his appearance in that game also helped his ascension to stardom in this poll.
Baby Bowser crowns fifth place, and this is most likely due to the fact that he is almost always the final antagonist of every Yoshi game. While Kamek may be the main antagonist, Baby Bowser is the man that you fight at the end - the final obstacle before you save the Baby Luigi or what-have-you. He has quite the adorable design, and many similarities with his son. His boss fights, especially the giant form variation, are applauded by many as some of the best Yoshi boss fights with some of the best Yoshi music. All in all, a great pick.
That’s about it for the favorite Yoshi character poll. The poll here was one of the best I’ve seen so far, seeing as I learned a lot about the public opinions on the Yoshi series, and I hope you did too. Up next, we’re going to be talking about “Favorite Art Style”.
M8 - Favorite Art Style (ArchagentEverlasting)
After our adventures with the Yoshi, let’s look a bit at something completely different. Say, what are the top 5 awards relating to the art style, the most visually interesting part of the game? Let’s check.
In first place we have the Main Series’ good ol 3D style! Of course this one would rub off on people, granted, its what’s used in all of the main series games and promotional material. Since its essentially everywhere, its hard to not garner a liking for it. Its also the only art style that many younger users have ever seen! A fitting style for first place.
Ah, Paper Mario. Such a magical series, and the fact it won second place is of no surprise to me. The simple style of the games has an unparalleled charm that I’m sure everyone enjoys, especially the large fanbase that the games have, at least over here in the west. This style is so transformative that the games’ very foundations are on this style, being that of having paper characters and diorama-esque worlds, and eventually a full-conversion to an entire arts and crafts theme. Since this series is defined by its art style, it would be only natural that it would be so high.
Next up we have one of the more peculiar winners of our top 5, the Mario & Luigi series. The reason I find this peculiar is not only does this series appear to have multiple art styles, but also because the style isn’t all that unique. Nonetheless, due to the popularity of these games, it ends up very high on the list. The style of the Mario & Luigi games is zany, fast-paced and cartoon-esque, which is much like the series itself. One of the most fun to watch, to be sure.
The 2D Promotional Artwork style? This high up? Very intriguing. This most likely got so high up due to the fact that, much like the 3D art style, it is seen everywhere. As the name suggests it is featured in a lot of promotional art, which is a lot of what people see from Mario if they’re casual fans. A surprising pick, but not one that I am all too dissatisfied with.
Finally, the last of the art styles is the Super Mario Strikers art style. Honestly, I was surprised by this as well, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense. Not only is Super Mario Strikers one of the most popular Mario spin offs (When will there be a third one?), but it also has a unique style and grace to it all, going for a more gritty look than any other Mario game has gone before. A great style from a great game.
That’s going to be it for the art styles section. A lot of things that we already expected to win won, as per usual. That being said, there were some present surprises, such as the 2D Mario promo art and the Mario & Luigi series. Tune in for the next analysis, also hosted by me, on “Favorite Add-On Content”!
M9 - Favorite Add-on Content (ArchagentEverlasting)
And we’re back. What better way to keep going with Favorites than with Favorite Add-On Content, hmm? Let’s look at the results before I bore you to death, shall we?
Well, in the first place is Piranha Plant as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate! Something that I saw coming from a mile away, considering that he’s not only a great, fun addition to a great, fun game, but he’s the most recent Mario-related add-on for us to pick from! Of course, the fact that it was Piranha Plant - a silly choice to be sure - certainly helped its case to be voted to the top. As a community, we sure love our silliness. See my awards presentation for more on that.
In second place, we have New Super Luigi U! For a few reasons I think this soared to the near-top position that it currently holds. For one, it stars Luigi, who is one of the most popular Mario characters due to the fact that he’s an underdog, a paradox that I find ironic and humorous to a certain degree. For two, it is also quite possibly the largest add-on on this list, being essentially a full-force game as opposed to a new playable character or feature in the game. Hell, that’s the reason it had my vote!
In the third we have the Legend of Zelda x Mario Kart 8 DLC, which makes a lot of sense as well. Not only, as I have stated previously, was Mario Kart 8 recently re-released on the Switch with this content in two, but it was also the first add-on pack for Mario Kart that added characters to the series that were not featured in the Mario series, although not the first time non-Mario characters had appeared. (Pac-Man’s gaggle of ghosts, Tamagotchi, and R.O.B. come to mind.) It was certainly the time that the appearance of non-Mario characters entered the public eye, however. This was the first main console Mario Kart game to feature such a character. Link is also a much more iconic and beloved character than the ones that were previously featured in Mario Kart games, especially because Mario Kart Arcade GP is very hard to come by.
Luigi’s Balloon World comes in fourth, which is anomalous to me. Maybe I just didn’t appreciate it properly, but to me, Luigi’s Balloon World always felt a bit lacking. It’s the journey to find balloons…. And not much else. Super Mario Odyssey is a fantastic game, and Luigi’s Balloon World came shortly after the game came out, so its no surprise to see that its still on people’s minds. Also, Luigi is one of the most popular Mario characters as I said earlier.
Finally, we have a tie between two different add-ons! Both the Super Mario Mash-Up Pack and the Animal Crossing x Mario Kart DLC. The Super Mario Mash-Up Pack and the Animal Crossing x Mario Kart are both fairly recent, and also feature other series that are very popular, especially Minecraft. I don’t think there’s much else I can say about that other than the Super Mario Mash-Up Pack was meticulous and detailed enough to include Tarantox as a Spider and that makes me very happy.
Well, that about does it for the Add-Ons segment. There hasn't been a whole lot of interesting add-ons for the Mario series, unfortunately. However, the few that we have made for some great poll options and the results that came from them were beyond serviceable with the data we collected. Next we’re going to tackle the idea of “Favorite Lyrical Song”! See you after the break!
M10 - Favorite Lyrical Song (ArchagentEverlasting)
You don’t really think of Mario games for their lyrical songs. Sure, their soundtracks are often applauded for their jumpy and nice sounding tunes, but oftentimes they are not accompanied by lyrics. If they were, they most certainly wouldn’t achieve the same effect that they do now. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any good lyrical Mario songs, as we’re here to prove now. I’m Archagent Everlasting, once again, with “Favorite Lyrical Song”.
Let’s look at the top five contenders again, as I seem to do every time. For number one, we have Jump Up, Super Star!, which is of no surprise to me. As I explained earlier, the song was a big part of the marketing of Super Mario Odyssey as a whole, and therefore, was going to be on people’s minds when voting. It was also essentially the main theme of the game. I think it was a good pick for number one.
At number two we have Break Free (Lead the Way) from the same game. Serving as the anthem for the final obstacle before clearing the game’s main story, I’m sure this also stuck in people’s minds due to the recent nature of the game and the fact that you finally get to control Bowser in a 3D space in this segment, although he is very limited in terms of control unfortunately. That being said, this escape from the inside of the moon set to this song is going to be one of the most iconic Mario moments for many years to come, and that’s why its spot at number two is cemented.
Number three is the DK Rap, which I knew would be making an appearance in the top 5 at some point. Its essentially one of the largest memes in the community, with many people who are now adults in it having grown up with Donkey Kong 64. Serving as the iconic opening to the game, its now often used in memes ironically as is the Donkey Kong series as a whole on some days.
For our penultimate pick, we have Do the Mario, which is also meme fodder and that’s most likely why it is picked so high. Granted, I’m sure that a lot of people grew up with this song as well - but I’m less sure that they are members of this community. It has the notoriety of being associated with the Super Mario Bros. Super Show! and that leads to a cavalcade of memetic material to be made.
Finally, we have Phantom of the Bwahpera. This took me by surprise because I forgot that this segment of the game even existed. I’ll chalk it up to not only the fact that this game is recent - only coming out a few months before Super Mario Odyssey did - but also due to the fact that this portion of the game was very silly, as are the last three entries on this list. It seems that voting on silliness as opposed to actual enjoyment is a common theme with this poll.
That about does it for this one. A lot of the entries on this list took me by surprise, mostly because I thought this community was a bit more serious than this. Well, you can’t expect people to vote seriously all the time. Until the next award, this is Archagent, signing off.
M11 - Favorite Major Character (Power Flotzo)
The ‘’Mario’’ series just wouldn’t be the ‘’Mario’’ series without all the major characters, wouldn’t it? And I just so happen to have the results for what you guys picked as your favorite ‘’Mario’’ character right here, so without further ado, let’s-a go!
In first place is Mr. Number Two himself, Luigi, winning the award for what seems to be the umpteenth time. And, in what seems to be another case of déjà vu from last year, Mario takes second place. An impressive position, considering that he is the protagonist of the series. Finally, in third place is Yoshi, Mario’s most faithful companion, and much like both of the Mario Brothers, retains his position from last year.
Overall, quite a predictable award. Will next year bring different results? Only time will tell….
M12 - Favorite Supporting Character (ArchagentEverlasting)
You might have enjoyed your brief sanctuary away from me, but you can’t run forever! Now that you’re stuck with me again, let’s go over “Favorite Supporting Character”, who are often considered the more interesting counterpart to the main character anyways.
Time to get into the results. For our number one spot, we have Waluigi, something that we all could see coming. After all, Waluigi’s popularity took a reverse nosedive after he was not included as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and now everybody loves the purple underdog. To be fair, it wasn’t like he was without fans before, but now he’s definitely not without fans.
Second place is Princess Daisy. I’ve always seen her as really popular and I never truly knew why people liked her so much. That being said, she’s definitely the favorite of the princesses and definitely a fan-favorite character, my understanding of why regardless. This was one of the character-specific fan bases that jogged my memory. 3 others did too, however, I’m not seeing them very high up here. Where is Fawful? The Great Dimentio also requires an appearance, as does the blanket himself, Doopliss!
Third place, and here we have Professor E. Gadd. This one I find to be a little strange upon first glance. Then I realized that it was my own ignorance as to why it was confusing. After all, there was a new Luigi’s Mansion game coming out this year, and there was a port of the first game to the 3DS the year before. Ergo, it would make sense that one of the main characters of this series would be on the minds of fans while voting. One of my favorites, so I’m glad he made it so high up.
In the next place we have Cappy, the deuteragonist of Super Mario Odyssey! This loveable cap is an ode to the helper characters that are present in almost every RPG series that speak for Mario in his stead. Cappy is also very adorable and has many lines that make him more and more endearing, most of them completely optional. Of course, Super Mario Odyssey is also the latest mainline Mario game, so that must have also helped him soar in popularity.
Finally we have Captain Toad, the pithy leader of the Toad Brigade and star of the Captain Toad series of games! Er, well, game, as of right now. Of course, that game has received multiple ports (including a Switch one) in recent memory, so its no wonder that those who are fans of the character would choose him over others in light of this. Unfortunately, he did not take the top spot. We’ll work harder next time, fellow Captain Toad fans!
Another interesting poll in a series of polls that were interesting. The characters that I thought were going to win didn't seem to come close, and the ones that I never would have imagined made it very high, which I realized I should have noticed in the first place. Next we're looking at "Favorite Level Theme", something incredibly intriguing.
M13 - Favorite Level Theme (ArchagentEverlasting)
Now, for something a little more universal. Almost every Mario game has the same level themes as the last. It's one of the things the series isn't particularly well known for mixing up. However, they are still iconic as ever. So, let's see what the favorite of the forums appears to be.
Now to analyze what has been shown, and already, there is something that is interesting. As I have said multiple times, as Super Mario Odyssey was the last true mainline Mario game, there have been many votes based around this, and I can only attribute the City/Town winning by a landslide due to the nature of how prominently it was featured in Super Mario Odyssey, not only being one of its worlds, but it was also the world that was most prominently featured by the advertising of the game. As per usual, the marketing will win the vote, that much I can assure you.
In second we have the Space/Moon theme, which was also in Super Mario Odyssey very recently, so I can see why this was yet another popular pick for the poll. It was the climax of the game, which was arguably some of the best Mario has seen in a very long time, so I can see why many people voted for it. Not only that, it was a world featured in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins which is a modern masterpiece and anyone who says otherwise be hecked.
As for Beach, not only was this also a level in Super Mario Odyssey, but as I have stated previously, many people on this board who are adults now grew up playing Super Mario Sunshine, which was mostly centered around the Beach world theme. I believe that many people voted for this due to the nostalgia factor, or because they liked beaches. Either way is fine.
The Grassland theme makes sense to be this high, as it is the theme most commonly seen in the Mario games. Almost every Mario game opens with a Grassland area in some capacity, and almost every one maintains this Grassland theme as the main and most important part of the game. When forced to play through a level theme for an entire series and for so long, it's bound to rub off on you.
Finally, we have the Factory/Industrial theme. I was stumped on this one for a while whilst I was typing the other entries, but then it hit me. The reason why this one is so high is because it, much like the Grassland theme, is one of the most iconic level themes from the series and is featured in it quite a bit. Granted, it is much less so, but every time it shows up it is much appreciated and one of the coolest level themes that can come to pass in a video game.
Alright, now I'm going to hand off the baton. Before I do, I would like to say that this was one of the more surprising polls to read the results from, specifically because not only were many of the level themes hard to justify, in the end, I couldn't even think of a reason for some of them. Next up, we have "Favorite Species". Go get 'em, tiger! Archagent out!
M14 - Favorite Species (ArchagentEverlasting)
Surprise! Bet you didn't expect to see my ugly mug again so soon. It's Archagent from the future! Unfortunately, due to a certain turn of events, I had to go back in time and fill in some spots that were left open. As they say, the cracks in space time aren't going to fix themselves! Well, we're going to be talking about the different species of the Mario universe.
Yoshis are our first entry in this list, with them being the most prominent race in the main series aside from Toads and humans. Seriously, who doesn't love these adorable critters? They were so great that they ended up getting their own game series! Unfortunately, it was an over saturated one, but it still kept them in the public eye long enough for them to be popular characters.
In our second place we have the Toads, the most important original race to come out of the Mario series. The Toads have been around since Super Mario Bros., one of the first games in the series. Due to this, they would become very popular, seeing as they are in many, many, many games and thus warrant many fans.
In third we have Shy Guys. They're probably so high due to their aesthetic, which is very adorable and kind of cool in hindsight. While they're all ground soldiers, they do have their particular charms that make them so cute. I assume that it also helps that they appear fairly often, especially within spin off games, which mostly likely led to their securing of the third place position.
Our penultimate entry deals with the ghastly Boos! Also very cute and with a cool powerset, the Boos have been around since Mario's third outing with Luigi in the Mushroom Kingdom. However, unlike most of these characters, the Boos probably have their popularity survive from design alone. The cute way they hide their face when you look at them certainly makes them more appealing overall. Something something, Tezuka's wife.
Finally, we have the humans. I'm going to be honest, I don't know why anybody would vote for these. But, I guess (especially since their recent focus in Super Mario Odyssey) they've entered the limelight due to their many appearances as well. Go figure.
There you have it! Up next is... uh, me? What a coincidence!
M15 - Favorite Instrumental Track (ArchagentEverlasting)
Well, you can't escape my clutches for too long. Now we're going to be talking about the favorite instrumental track! Perfectly balanced, as all things should be.
Hmm... The Grand Finale at number one? I couldn't be more pleased with you guys! This was my favorite song of all time for a very long time, and the fact that it has crowned this list makes me feel happy in ways you can't possibly understand. The reason it topped this list, or at least my summation, is that it was the final boss theme of Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, which is considered one of the best Mario RPGs ever created by many. No other final boss theme quite summarizes the exhilarating thrill that comes with the final battle as this one does.
Gusty Garden Galaxy is a masterpiece of song writing and you all know it. It proobably goes to show how beloved it is when it's been used in almost every Mario game since it was introduced. It would only stand to reason that it would end up nearly winning this poll, especially when it's just - incredible. This was the song that made Miyamoto cry. It's truly gorgeous.
Steam Gardens, while I originally thought it to be a heavily underrated track, has always been such a beautiful piece of music. The whole Wooded Kingdom is a grandiose, interesting area thematically, and really, I can't believe that most people don't talk about it. I'm glad that the song got this high against all odds. I'm very glad, in fact.
I have no idea what to say about the Athletic Theme other than its essentially Yoshi's leitmotif and is used every time he shows up in one of these games. Due to the theme being used so often, I assume that it rose to popular from that reason for the most part. It's not a bad song, it's just.... rather simplistic. It represents the character of Yoshi well, which is a great thing.
Finally, we have the amazing Staff Roll from Super Mario 64, which is a masterpiece. No other ending credits theme can come close to the sadness and nostalgia this one brings to me, especially the way I feel about this special game. No words can be said about he beauty of this song. No wonder it was picked for the top 5.
So, sorry for getting so emotional. These awards were very surprising, but again, very pleasantly surprising. The people on these forums not only have good taste, but they have good taste in spades! I'm glad to be a part of this community. I'm glad to call this place my home.
M16 - Favorite Item (Roserade)
Greetings, beautiful ‘Shroom readers! I’m Roserade, and welcome into another Poll Analysis for this Issue 150 Special! I hope you’ve been having an enjoyable read so far; the entire Poll Committee works really hard to make certain we can get this analysis out to you all, so make sure to read all that you can! With that being said, I’ve got M16 - Favorite Item to look at, so let’s dive right in!
The top voted choice of this poll to be no surprise to anybody who follows the Mario Awards. The Cape Feather has been placing as the favorite item for the past three years, and for good reason! It’s versatility, and frankly game-breaking capabilities, has definitely made it a fan favorite. The Super Bell placed first previously, in the 2015 and 2016 Awards, no doubt in part to the more-recent release of Super Mario 3D World. While the Cat Bell fell out of the top three last year, it reappears this year as the second place winner, which could be contributed to the inclusion of the Super Mario 3D World level theme in Super Mario Maker 2. The Tanooki Suit powerup has placed second or third in the poll every year for the past five years, so its placement this year at third is fully expected. I’d identify the most interesting change in last year to this year is the Mega Mushroom, which dropped from its position to second place down to fifth. To be honest, I don’t know why the Mega Mushroom placed second last year to begin with. No significant releases last year highlighted it, and it didn’t place top three any of the three years before. I mean, hey, maybe people were really feeling nostalgic of New Super Mario Bros. last year! Otherwise, the fanboy in me appreciates the Hammer Suit making it up to fourth place, as it’s always been one of my favorite powerups in the series. Now if only the Hammer Bros. themselves would be treated with the same respect…
M17 - Favorite Mario RPG (ArchagentEverlasting)
We’re back for more! After all, few awards analyzed does not an Archagent make. It’s your favorite host, yet again, Archagent Everlasting. Today we’re going to be looking at the results of the awards and what they mean. The award I’ll be looking at is the one that I presented to you earlier: of course, that of “Best Mario RPG”.
Now, let’s look at the results from the award, shall we?
Honestly, these results didn’t surprise me in the slightest. I do find it surprising that Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle did as well as it did. However, that being said, everything else is rather predictable: The big three Paper Marios are in the top 5, SMRPG is really high and Bowser’s Inside Story is very high up as well.
To start, the Paper Mario games have always been some of the most popular games in the franchise. This is most likely due to massively improving on the formula within the already existing Super Mario RPG and making it easier to digest, as well as having the darkest storylines in the Mario series. Especially the latter two titles of the trilogy, which include the destruction of universes and the resurrection of a certain demon queen.
Super Mario RPG’s take on the classic formula was not only a trailblazer, but it was a trailblazer that worked surprisingly well on its own. The bombastic jumping action being translated into both the overworld and the combat, as well as taking inspiration from nearly every aspect of the Mario universe and further fleshing them out in a more Square Enix-y style (including enemies that were only ever featured in Super Mario USA) really shows the amount of care and time that was put into this game and the popularity it has with fans shows the fruits of these efforts.
While Bowser’s Inside Story is the only Mario & Luigi game in the top 5, it is by all means no joke. It was able to take the world of the Mushroom Kingdom and, without introducing too many new concepts or ideas, make it more witty and fresh. The dialogue of this game is packed to the brim with wit and ideas. Fawful makes his iconic return in an outing where he finally takes the role of the main villain after being built up for two whole games. Also, you can play as Bowser, which I’m sure helped its case in the eyes of the fans.
Something I did find funny is that Puzzles & Dragons: Mario Edition (which was the bottom of the list, mind you) got 18 votes, which means 18 people prefer that game over any of the other games on this list. The reason this is humorous in my eyes is that Puzzles & Dragons: Mario Edition is exactly how it sounds: a Mario clone of Puzzles & Dragons. It is not often that somebody finds that their favorite compared to a list of star-studded other video game titles.
To keep it short and sweet (which I am not particularly not known for), the Mario RPG awards were nothing that wasn’t to be expected. Almost every opinion showcased here is something that is well-known and easy to rationalize.
M18 - Favorite Mario Party Game (LudwigVon)
Who’s there for your favorite Mario Party analysis? Well, it’s your Chairperson, LudwigVon. No time to chat, it’s time to analyze the result.
You finally succeeded Nd Cube, and let me tell you that it was about time! Super Mario Party came back to the original concept with which Mario Party was born, while managing to add some novelties to keep everything fresh.
As second and third place, we have the regulars of the first places, Mario Party DS, and Mario Party 8, which was predictable. The Nintendo DS, and the Wii were both systems that sold immensely well, so these two Mario Party have probably reaches a bigger audience compared to previous Mario Party games.
As for the top 10, only one game from Nd Cube (Mario Party 9) managed to be there.
M19 - Favorite Villain (ArchagentEverlasting)
Villains are always one of the best parts of a series in my opinion. They're almost always the interesting opposing idealogical force to our hero and even can do some things right that our hero does wrong. Some of my favorite video game characters happen to be villains, such as Kefka Palazzo and The Master of Fallout notoriety come to mind when thinking of great video game villains. Today we are talking about the villains from the Mario games, of course, and what better way to bring them up than through a poll designed around them! Let's look at what the Mariowiki thinks of the Mario villains!
First things first: I am saddened to see that my write-in, General Guy from Paper Mario, did not make it to the top ten. Don't worry, shy guys! We will make it there.... somehow!
For our number one spot, we had Bowser! The Demon King of the Turtle Tribe had to make an appearance, or else this wouldn't quite be Mario, would it? Bowser most likely hit the top spot because he is the villain of almost every game in the franchise, barring some spicy other games that will be mentioned later on down the line. No matter what walk of life you are from, Bowser is iconic. He's goofy. And he can be damn well menacing when the time calls for it. That's why I think that he got number 1.
Number two was Fawful! The great 64 users who voted for him, add another 148, showed us that this character will never cease to be popular. He did recieve a revival in the latest remake, I guess... but that usually isn't enough to shove a character into popularity again. He is the chuckling, chortling bean that we all know and love, and that makes him very popular. People enjoy their goofy characters.
In our middlest position we have Kamek, who I am both pleased and saddened by as he surpassed my main man Dimentio. That aside, he has certainly a lot of influence on this board, seeing as he's got an ton of love from a certain user. Due to this, even if some of his appearances are half-baked (reviews are not what I'm known for however) he will always have a following here. Just ask him yourself. Didn't he appear in one issue of travel guide?
In our penultimate spot, we have a tie between Dimentio and King Boo. Who to break it? Nobody knows! These characters are both very popular within the Mario fandom, with King Boo receiving a lot more love with the Luigi's Mansion releases this and last year. Dimentio has always been a fan favorite, often paired with Fawful, the great 64th beanish being as loveable as always. Dimentio has many memorable lines such as "Now I strike, like an unseen dodgeball in an echoing gymnaisum!" A great guy with great fans, I'm sure.
Finally, we bring ourselves to our final person: Count Bleck. I'm surprised to see him this high up. Last I checked, the community was rather disenfranchised with the character. Granted, that was a good two years ago, so it certainly isn't representative of the community at large now. Many people love Super Paper Mario as a game, and I can't say that I disagree with them. It has a fond place in my heart. Count Bleck is also a "tragic" character in the eyes of many people, which I assume helped his vote.
This was one of my favorite sections to read just because I love Mario villains. They're so fun to hate! Almost all of the top contenders this year were good. I hope to see such a good turnout next year as well. Archagent out!
M20 - Favorite Sports Game (Superchao)
Hello, 'Shroom readers! It's your stressed Director, trying to not die of a heart attack as he realizes why September was the worst month to possibly put a Special issue in! I'm going to go back in time and bitchslap the people who skipped three issues eleven years ago and made me responsible for this.
Anyhow! Favorite Sports Game this year was... Mario Tennis Aces! The tennis game on the Switch has really taken off, people embracing it with open arms over the previous winner. Mario Super Sluggers won this for years, yet Tennis Aces came in swinging and knocked it out of the park, pummeling it right out of the game entirely. Of course, Super Sluggers still stayed second, refusing to budge that hard - it's not that Super Sluggers is suddenly disliked, just that people really like Tennis Aces! What's interesting is that beyond "tennis aces best, super sluggers second best", people never seem to quite settle on what's the top beyond that. Strikers Charged and Sports Mix kept mixing it up for a while, and then Power Tennis suddenly came in for a couple years - the second of which was when Tennis Aces was out, so perhaps tennis interest/biased helped Power Tennis climb up? In fact, Sports Mix has fallen hard, going from second a couple years ago to sixth this year. Wonder if people have just lost interest? There's also London 2012, which has been a perpertual also-ran, regularly getting high positions but never cracking the top three. Probably doesn't help the top two seem to be locked in right now... well, we'll see what if anything changes next year! Especially since there was only a 9-vote difference between first and second here. That's the kind of thing you can't wait to see the change in!People reeeeally hate how much extra playtime 3D World forced with its completing every world with every character thing, didn't they? That's been a solid winner for six years straight, and the only reason it didn't win before then was because it wasn't even on the ballot prior to 2014! Well, if you look at the other consistent victories, you notice a pattern. NSMB's One Million Coins, which requires you to constantly replay levels over and over just to rack up the coin counter. Third place varies between the Blue Coins, which just require you to explore all of Sunshine's world, the Rabbits in DS, which require you to constantly run around in the same places to trigger the white rabbits, the Jumprope Challenge in Odyssey, which requires playing a repetitive minigame, and finally the Piccolo sidequest in SPM, requiring to go over plenty of places you've already been. In short? Backtracking and repetitive gameplay. People here hate that more than anything else, which is probably why Twilight Trail constantly shows up on Worst RPG Area. With 3D World's every character gimmick requiring a single player to play the entire game five times, it's the epitome of this from the available choices. I'm predicting we'll see it in first place yet again next year, unless Nintendo somehow tops it in a future Mario game. How right I am will play out in a year, but I'm pretty confident in this prediction!
M21 - Favorite Puzzle Game (Roserade)
Greetings, beautiful ‘Shroom readers! This is Roserade reporting back in, this time digging into the history of M21 - Favorite Puzzle Game! Will we come across anything particularly puzzling this time around? Only time will tell…
Well, I’m here to report that… there is nothing puzzling to report at all! The top three placements have fallen into their respective ranks for the past three years in a row, with Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker in first, the Dr. Mario series in second, and Donkey Kong (Game Boy)/Mario vs. Donkey Kong (GBA) ranking third. For my own personal opinion, I haven’t played Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, spare the demo of it for the 3DS, and I haven’t tried any of the Mario vs. Donkey Kong games, GBA or otherwise. However, Dr. Mario is a big favorite of mine, as well as my mother’s, whom I regularly play the NES version with, so I’m happy to report it sitting comfortably in second place. While the gap between Dr. Mario and Donkey Kong (Game Boy)/Mario vs. Donkey Kong (GBA) increased this year in terms of votes, it’s only about a 3% difference, and could be accounted to the release of Dr. Mario World, which was released for mobile just about the time when the Awards season started up. For those wondering who placed in 2016, before these games fully settled into their positions, the only difference that year is that Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition placed third, which is understandable since it had been released the year previous. Regarding any other personal opinions on this poll, Yoshi is pretty cool. I’m happy it got some votes. Uh, yeah. (If one couldn’t tell, I’m not the most versed in Mario puzzle games. Whoops!)
M22 - Favorite Battle Course (ArchagentEverlasting)
Well, this is my last entry. What a bittersweet conclusion to end things on. And what better to end things on than something I have no connection to whatsoever: Battle Courses from Mario Kart. I have never understood the enjoyment of playing on these bad boys, but I feel obligated to research them. What kind of Archagent would I be if I had not explored every aspect of the Mario world as we know it? So, let's look at what the people here on the boards think makes a good battle course.
In our first place, we have the Block Fort from Mario Kart 64! Not only did many people on this forum grow up with Mario Kart 64 I assume, having been born in the early to mid nineties, but also Block Fort is in almost every Mario Kart game, so its hard to miss out on if you're going through the battle courses. It's a fairly balanced course with not much to hinder your play, which is certainly helpful when you're trying to have a fair and even match. Not something that one often plays Mario Kart for.
Luigi's Mansion takes our second spot, and I believe most of the voters on that are from my generation, the people who grew up with Mario Kart DS! Luigi's Mansion is a fun battle stage that is rather difficult to see on sometimes. A side note that may also lead to its popularity is that the Luigi's Mansion games have been receiving a good amount of new titles recently, be them remasters or the third entry in the trilogy. I believe this may have also led this stage to be on people's minds.
For our third place, we are also representing my generation with the advent of Mario Kart Wii's Funky Stadium! Not only are a lot of the users around my age-range here people who played this game and love this stage, but also Mario Kart Wii is often considered the best game in the series. When you see "Best Mario Kart Game" threads, be it here or elsewhere, many people will say Mario Kart Wii is there favorite for reasons that I will never personally understand, but who am I to judge?
In our number four position we have Nintendo DS, from the almost titular Mario Kart DS. I find the nostalgia reason I mentioned earlier not only is a reason as to why this stage is so high, but also because it is a unique and interesting idea for a stage. To have an entire area be based upon a giant Nintendo DS is a fun and silly idea, and it's so utterly charming that it's hard not to get behind.
Finally, we have a tie between Delfino Pier and Wuhu Island. To tell you the truth, I have no idea about anything related to these two battle courses, so I'll chalk it up to the fact that they've been recurring stages in the latest games.
Now that that's done with, it's time to bid adieu to the Archagent once more. Ciao! See you in a few days!
M23 - Favorite Capture (ArchagentEverlasting)
Time Breaker Archagent here again! Heh, it's almost like I'm that one guy or something. Whatever, you're not here to listen to my ramblings. You're here to listen to my ramblings on what you guys thought was the greatest Mario Odyssey Capture! Why do I get the feeling it's going to be the T Rex?
In fifth place, we have the Gushen! They are the waterbound octopi that you can use for traversing the beach kingdom much more efficiently, therefore leading them to be a fan favorite simply for the qol improvements that they bring.
Fourth, we have pokio! These are the birds present in Bowser's Kingdom which allow you to climb up walls, and are a very satisfying means of going up or down the smooth surfaces that they cling to. In other words, these are pretty awesome and fun to watch. I just don't like how their beaks bending reminds me of bending nails. Eugh.
In third place, we have the T-Rex! A big part of the games marketing and also one of the most used captures in the game (having been in two kingdoms as a playable character and one in a scenario where it was an enemy, from what I remember), the T-Rex would become a fan favorite most likely due to the fact that it was so prominently featured within the game.
As we get to the final two, we have Yoshi, who merely provided a fun playstyle in 3D, one that we haven't ever seen from the likes of the green dinosaur before. Not just because the last time we played as him in 3D was in Super Mario 64 DS, but also due to the fact that he played completely differently in that game. I think this was the most smooth and fun method of controlling Yoshi since he appeared in that game, and far surpasses it. Yoshi is also a favorite character regardless.
Finally, we have Bowser, who has never been playable in a 3D outing before, and I'm sure that this contribution to Mario's already solid repertoire of playable foes made him even more attractive to those playing the game. Bowser is another fan favorite character, but unlike Yoshi, he is one that is seldom playable, and I believe that he has never been playable within the main series of games. I know for a fact he has never been playable in 3D before, so this was a great moment for the climax of the game.
Anyway, I have more to get to! Time to shift to another one! Auf wieder sehn!
M24 - Favorite Costume (LudwigVon)
Super Mario Odyssey allowed Mario to get out of his usual outfit. That’s great and all, but which one is popular? That’s what we’re going to look at with M24 – Favorite Costume.
Nostalgia is a great seller in the video game industry, and this shows in the results with Mario 64, and Sunshine outfits at the top.
Not close behind of the Sunshine outfits is Mario's wedding suit, which is actually beautiful. This outfit received the most display in advertisements and merchandise with the game. Even Mario's Super Mario Odyssey amiibo is with that costume. Therefore, I think that can explain the popularity of this outfit.
Compared to last year's top 3, the Waluigi, and Boxer Shorts outfits went down to the fourth and sixth positions respectively. Boxer Shorts is probably losing its popularity because Super Mario Odyssey isn't really new, and before that, seeing Mario with only boxer shorts was not something common.
M25 - Favorite 2D Mario Level (YoshiFlutterJump)
Greetings, readers! YFJ here! I will now be analyzing the results for the first of the three Mario Awards I'm doing today: Favorite 2D Level.
The winner was...Painted Swampland from New Super Mario Bros. U! And frankly, it's rather obvious how it ranked so high: its visual style is just that unique, especially coming out of a New Super Mario Bros. game. The mix of the haunted atmosphere and The Starry Night-esque visuals make for one heck of a fun and appealing level. This is also one of those levels where you can only progress by finding the secret exit, adding to the appeal of exploration. And did I mention there's a giant painted Bowser face in the background? Absolutely epic.
Next up, we have...World 1-1 from Super Mario Bros.! This level may not be very complex, but that's just the point. From an architectural design point, it's an absolutely stunning level that teaches players all the basic functions of the game without direct handholding. Of all the levels in the game, it's the first one with the most memorable level design of them all, and for good reason. Who could forget the first time they stomped a Goomba? When they first grew big when touching a Mushroom? When they first died to that one Koopa Troopa's rebound after kicking the shell into the wall? This level has basically become synonymous with the Mario name, and it still stands the test of time even after 34 years.
Thirdly, not far behind the above level, we have World 1-1 from New Super Mario Bros. While this level isn't nearly as memorable and groundbreaking as its SMB1 counterpart, perhaps that first taste of utter destruction with the Mega Mushroom was enough to push this level into people's minds. But I suspect a deeper reason behind this level's high ranking. Not every Mario fan was around during the NES' and SNES' heyday. Perhaps, because of this, many younger Mario fans never had a taste of classic 2D Mario until NSMB rolled around, and the first level was enough to hook them into the franchise. It was likely NSMB's appeal to these younger Mario fans that caused its great success, and also the reason its first level hit third place.
Other high-ranking levels were Donut Plains 1 from Super Mario World and World 8-7 from New Super Mario Bros. Wii (my personal favorite). However, there's a very large diversity in the write-ins for this poll, a given considering the large diversity of levels Mario has traversed in the franchise. Some of these stood out to me, like World 9-4 from Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. I'm sure we've all heard of (or maybe even experienced firsthand) the extreme frustration that that game provides in its levels. However, World 9, in contrast to the rest of the game, is rather easy, as a way to celebrate the great achievement of defeating the Koopa King. That sense of joy and accomplishment likely bled even into 9-4, which is merely the game's way of saying "thank you for sticking with us to the very end." (even if that's just some devious fakeout) Yoshi's House from Super Mario World also received a write-in, perhaps suggesting that this person enjoyed bringing Yoshi back to his house at every chance to see all the different advice he had...even if it isn't exactly a real level.
This concludes my analysis of the results for Favorite 2D Level. Next up is Favorite 3D Level, also written by yours truly! Read on and check it out!
M26 - Favorite 3D Mario Level (YoshiFlutterJump)
We've just gone over your favorite 2D levels, but what about your favorite 3D ones? There's a whole other branch of the Super Mario series with levels I haven't yet touched on at all! So why don't we take a look?
Coming in first place is...Metro Kingdom from Super Mario Odyssey! Also known as the first time we questioned Mario's humanity, this level introduced more realistic-looking humans known as New Donkers. These were nearly twice Mario's height of 61 inches...are these guys giants or something? But this more realistic approach was quite unique and different for a generally cartoony franchise, while still keeping that classic Mario charm with its heavy references to Donkey Kong. And as if jumping on taxis and punching traffic lights wasn't fun enough, this game marked the long-awaited return of Pauline. It's even complete with the franchise's first dip into lyrical music, featuring a song performed by Pauline and her band. All of this together resulted in one of the most creative levels the franchise has ever seen, and it definitely earned a place on this list.
Next up, we have Bob-omb Battlefield from Super Mario 64! This is essentially the 3D equivalent of SMB1's first level, which won second place in the previous poll. Mario 64 is known for completely revolutionizing not just the Mario franchise, but the entire platforming genre. And this first level was, for many people, the first taste they had of 3D platforming. It demonstrated many different mechanics of the game perfectly, giving classic Mario fans that familiar run-and-jump action while also adjusting them to the new analog stick and its many different capabilities. At the end, it taught players how to pick up a large foe from behind with King Bob-omb, which would later prove to be a necessary skill when fighting Bowser later on. There are five other stars to find too, as well as a special star for finding 100 coins; these encouraged exploration, to a degree that simply was not possible with the original 2D formula. This level holds a special place in the hearts of Mario veterans, securing its placement of 2nd on our poll.
Thirdly, we have Whomp's Fortress in Super Mario 64, which returned in Super Mario Galaxy 2 as Throwback Galaxy. On the surface, it just seems like any other level in the game. It has a very similar layout to Bob-omb Battlefield, featuring another spiral trail around a large monument with a boss at the end, and it too featured five additional stars and a special 100-coin star. But I believe that the reason behind this level's high ranking is its Super Mario Galaxy 2 incarnation. Fans of Mario 64 almost certainly embraced this level with open arms, not because of the level itself but because of the nostalgic feelings it brought back. Little had changed about the level, although the original Galaxy mechanics added new life to it. While four of the stars had been removed (keeping in line with Galaxy 2's other levels), the very idea of seeing this level back in an all-new game is almost certainly the reason behind this level's high ranking.
Other high-ranking levels included Toy Time Galaxy from Super Mario Galaxy, Wooded Kingdom from Super Mario Odyssey, and Bowser's Kingdom from Super Mario Odyssey as well. Nothing particularly stood out to me in the write-ins this time around (other than one write-in for Petal Meadows from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door...wrong question my dude). But like with its 2D levels, the franchise has a lot of diversity in its 3D levels as well, and it's so hard to choose a favorite for some since many of them are so memorable and creative. But Super Mario Odysseys levels have proven to be quite popular, with three of them ranking in the top 6, so that's something of note.
That's all for this poll. Read on to see my analysis and thoughts on the results for Favorite Bowser...oops, I mean Favorite Boss Battle!
M27 - Favorite Boss Battle (YoshiFlutterJump)
And I'm back again! You may or may not have seen my presentation for this award (if you're in the latter group, go check it out or else you're missing out). But, while many Mario games are quite varied in its bosses, all three of our winning entries happen to be some form of our favorite recurring villain Bowser. Let's take a look, shall we?
First up is Dark Bowser and Dark Star Core, from Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story! Now, Inside Story boasts two completely different battle engines: one for the Mario Bros., and one for Bowser. (There's also a third for Giant Bowser, but that's not exactly relevant right now.) In most games, you would expect two different battles to come at the end back to back to showcase each one separately, as Mario & Luigi: Dream Team did. But Inside Story takes a different approach, and smoothly rolls the two battle engines into a single fight, alternating between Bowser's battle with his darker clone and the Mario Bros' battle with the Dark Star Core inside him. It doesn't detract from the fight at all; rather, it presents a true culmination of everything the trio has learned up to that point. And honestly, how could one not like that?
Secondly, we have Bowser from Super Mario Odyssey! This fight features Bowser's brand new top hat, which he throws at Mario to have it attack him with its automated boxing gloves. How does Mario retaliate? He throws his own cap at Bowser's, then actually wears Bowser's cap and attacks him with his own boxing gloves. Talk about a taste of one's own medicine. But this fight presented yet another unique spin on a tried-and-true boss, and it's simply astounding that they have created so many unique fights against the same character. Speaking of which...
Thirdly, we have Bowser from Super Mario 3D World! The first two times he is fought, he is found driving a car down a long alley, throwing Soccer Bombs at Mario while laughing evilly. Mario, being the pro athlete he is, simply kicks them back at the Koopa King without a second thought, wrecking his car. But what we're really all here for is his third battle, in which he utilizes Mario's own power-ups against him. He first transforms into Meowser and chases Mario up a giant Bowser tower. Mario can't attack him directly, so his only option is to run with the help of his own Super Bell. Later, Bowser utilizes Double Cherries to clone himself, and by the end Mario will find himself running up a long set of stairs, with each one he steps off being instantaneously destroyed by one of four prowling Meowsers. Mario can't actually attack Bowser until he reaches a giant POW Block at the tower summit, so it's essentially a long and epic chase sequence to survive until then. This is notable for being the first time we've seen Bowser utilizing Mario's power-ups since a certain cartoon episode from The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, and proves once again that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
After this, we see the Bowser trend continue with his Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario 64 incarnations before finally encountering Super Dimentio from Super Paper Mario, the first non-Bowser boss on the list. After this, Bowser does not appear again until Dreamy Bowser from Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, in 20th place. As for notable write-ins, one person put the seventh fake Bowser from Super Mario Bros. What is so noteworthy about this boss? Your guess is as good as mine. Another person specified Bowser's first battle from Super Mario 3D World; it would seem to me that this person is not very fond of the Meowser battle for some reason, from what I can tell.
That's about it for my Mario Awards analyses. I'll pass the mike over to Rose as he analyzes the Favorite Game Setting results. I'll see you again in award F4, my one and only Fail Award analysis. Adios!
M28 - Favorite Game Setting (Roserade)
Greetings, beautiful ‘Shroom readers! Roserade’s back again, aren’t you excited?! Good. In any case, we’ve got some settings to analyze, so let’s get right into it! Did your anticipated choices settle into the spots you thought they would?
This poll has had a bit of an interesting history, so let’s take a look at the last five years. In 2015, the award was titled Favorite Place, with the Comet Observatory getting first, Isle Delfino falling in second, and Yoshi’s Island receiving third. 2016 saw it rechristened to Favorite Setting, and for the next two years, Comet Observatory & galaxies remained in first place, while Isle Delfino maintained second, and Rogueport & surrounding areas slipped up into third. Of course, with the 2018 Awards rolling in, we saw a new game’s worlds claim first. I’m not at all surprised that Odyssey’s world has maintained first for two years now. Its worlds and environments are so unique and diverse, which really resonated with the fans, myself included. I adore the creativity bolstered in all of Odyssey’s worlds, and I hope the next 3D Mario game follows in its tracks. While last year, Isle Delfino maintained the top three, this year it was finally overtaken by Rogueport & surrounding areas. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has always maintained as a fan favorite for Mario fans, so there’s nothing too crazy about its repeated placements, but it is interesting to see that it has regained popularity this year. Perhaps it was spurred on by fans who have been vocal about wanting a The Thousand-Year Door remake on Twitter? A root cause isn’t definite, but the message is clear that the fans love the world of The Thousand-Year Door, and it wouldn’t surprise me if people wanted to see a return of a world like it in the next Paper Mario game. The final thing worthwhile to point out is Yoshi’s Island’s placement. It’s a little crazy to believe that in only five years, its ranking has dropped from third to tenth. Perhaps this could be accounted to the readjustment of the poll? It’s certainly one of my favorite Mario locals, so I wouldn’t mind seeing it climb up the ranks once more in the future.
M29 - Favorite Classic Game (GCN/GBA and older) (Superchao)
Hello, 'Shroom readers! Welcome to Favorite Classic Game, an award that contains one of the most loved Mario games in community history! Which always wins. Not that that's bad, but it's interesting to look at! In fact, ever since the changeover to GCN/GBA as opposed to N64/GBC, the top three has been static for both years.
TTYD is a pretty solid winner, and SM64 has plenty of nostalgia value, though World is always a bit of a surprise to me. Is it really that big a deal? Sunshine maintained fourth as well, but below that preferences begin to change, with Double Dash and Luigi's Mansion both making huge leaps after they were promoted from write-in to actual nominees - looks like that was the right call. Below that are SMB3 and Paper Mario, the latter having gradually declined over the past few years from winning to second to third, and then just being completely crushed when the changeover happened. Presumably a lot of the votes that previously went to Paper Mario have since gone to TTYD. After that, it's a smattering of games that are all close in votes, and that about covers the part I find really interesting. Will anything break TTYD's hold? ...Considering how long it won Modern Game as well, I'd say not until Wii becomes classic.
M30 - Favorite Modern Game (Wii/DS and newer) (ArchagentEverlasting)
You thought I was really done? Hahaha. You poor, foolish reader. It's me, Future Archagent yet again! And now, we're going to be talking about something very, very, astronomically important to the Mario series: The main series games! Especially the modern ones. Let's get into it!
Super Mario Odyssey takes the W, yet again a common theme for this year's Mario Awards. This is the most recent mainline Mario game, after all, and it only makes sense for it to still be receiving accolades in spite of the fact that it has been two years since its release on the Nintendo Switch. It is also a mechanically very fun game to play and go through, making it a top pick among Mario fans.
In second, we have the eternal fan favorite Super Mario Galaxy. This game has dominated the minds of Mario fans for a long, long, long time. Nearly since its debut, it has only received praise from almost everybody that I've spoken with, in the very least. The music is good, the gameplay is good, the story is good, et cetera- Boring. You've all heard it!
For our third position, we would have Super Mario Maker. This game only made it so high because it is the only game (aside from its sequel) that allows you to build your own Mario games! This would lead it to become very popular, mostly with those who have a lot of free time on their hands. (You know who you are!)
Fourth is here, and with it, brings Super Mario Galaxy 2! This game is... Super Mario Galaxy 2. It's an expansion pack to the first game. Of course people would love it. The only reason why they don't prefer it to the first one, aside from the lackluster plot by comparison, is the fact that the first one did it first. The novelty had worn off by the time of the sequel.
Finally, there is the only Mario RPG on this list, which makes me very disappointed. It is in fact Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story! Everybody loves this game for two big reasons: Fawful and the fact that you can play as Bowser. Amazing gameplay? Doesn't matter. Rich story with great lore? Who cares! Those might be parts of the game, but they don't have chortles.
This is your host, Archagent Everlasting, signing off. Be sure to continue reading in the next segment, the Fail Awards! Ciao!
F1 - Worst Character (ArchagentEverlasting)
Isn't the more bad side of things more interesting, anyway? People enjoy reading about that more, from what I have observed. This is Archagent, back again to plague your screens! Allow me to look over the awards so our time doesn't run out.
Within our fifth place we have Birdo, who is probably here due to the fact that Birdo both used to be a horrible stereotype against transgender people and is also quite annoying. However, I actually enjoy Birdo, mostly because she's not a transgender stereotype anymore and also due to the fact that out of all the characters in the games, she has one of the most unique designs and personalities. To each their own, I suppose.
Waluigi. This honestly surprised me. I assume this is the character's anti-culture fighting back against him, one of those things that hates him because he's popular. Ah, well. He's also quite annoying as a character, which makes sense for his fanbase for his character.
Third, we have Baby Rosalina, who represents everything wrong with the current state of Mario Kart's roster, with her being one of the clone characters that has arrived. Sure, Baby Daisy may have done it first, but Baby Rosalina seemed a lot sillier upon her arrival. Why that is, I don't know. I'll leave that up to you to find out.
Then we have Kersti, who needs no explanation.
Finally, we have Pink Gold Peach, a disgusting exacerbation of the problem I listed earlier with Baby Rosalina. Not only is she a character that didn't exist in any other game before, she's a character based on a powerup for another character that wasn't a separate character in any video game except for the original Super Smash Bros. game from 1998.
F2 - Worst 2D Level (ArchagentEverlasting)
Levels, levels, levels. The meat and potatoes of a Mario game. If they taste bad, you're not going to have a very good dinner. Let's look what's on the menu!
Our first dish is Mine Cart Madness, which is known for being brutally difficult for anybody who plays it due to its fast paced gameplay similar to the legendary tunnel level from Battletoads. Who would've thought that they'd have come from the same developer?
I have no idea what Pendulum Castle is, but from the name alone it sounds like a nightmare. Definitely not something I want to try.
I have the same complaint of 9-7, though judging that it was from NSMBW I'm just going to assume that it was way too easy, as are most things with NSMBW.
The Very Loooooong Cave is hard to chew, and I get that that's the point, but that doesn't mean the point is very enjoyable or tasty. This is one of the most boring levels in gaming and it's really horrible.
Tubular. Inflation. Tubular.
F3 - Worst 3D Level (ArchagentEverlasting)
How about we take the idea from the last segment and add another dimension to our dinner? I wonder what horrible treats will be in store for us now!
Dark Side is probably here not only because it's hard, but also because it's a boss rush of every Broodal that you've already fought before, making it not even really worth playing. But hey! It has moons.
Darker Side is here for reasons that I don't understand. Is it just too hard? I thought it was a mechanically fun level that was challenging and rewarding, as compared to the level directly before it which was a disappointment.
I can relate a lot more to the Toxic Waterfall, seeing as the difficulty from this level isn't even from intentional development, but it comes from the poor mechanics that Super Mario Sunshine has. If only this game were designed with more mechanical cohesion, then maybe this area wouldn't be a problem, but alas, it is.
Wing Mario Over the Rainbow is in a similar spot to the Toxic Waterfall, but instead of crummy physics, it's crummy controls. Mario with the Wing Cap controls like total crap, making it hard to get all of the Red Coins in this level without using a Moon Jump cheat code or something of that ilk. No level frustrated me nearly as much when I was a child as this one.
Finally, the legendary Pachinko Game, the one where the physics prevented you from winning no matter how much you tried. No matter how much you screamed and begged and pleaded with the machine, it was silent. A gaunt figure standing still, refusing to allow you to obtain the Shine Sprite.
F4 - Worst RPG Area (YoshiFlutterJump)
Hello, YFJ here again! I'm now going to analyze the one Fail Award I'm doing today, Worst RPG Area.
First off, we have...Joke's End from Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. The very sound of it sends chills down my spine. Why does the joke have to end? A life without humor... But believe it or not, that's not the extent of why it's at the top of this list. It's a long, boring, and repetitive level with earsore music and the worst character the franchise has ever seen: Jojora. In fact, Jojora alone could very well make this an awful level even if the other grievances weren't present. She's incredibly mocking and condescending towards the player, and her fight comes completely out of nowhere. The only thing worse? The doll that fights alongside her. There's a missable pair or jeans from her fight too, just in case you got so annoyed of her "you never touch a lady" attack that you defeated the doll first. She's the worst. This area is the worst.
Next up, we have...Twilight Trail from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door! Now, you should know that I find Chapter 4 of this game to be underrated. After all, having your identity literally stolen from you and going on a quest to find the letter "p" to complete Doo_liss's name was one of the most epic scenes the franchise has ever seen. But the level design was atrocious. See, there's a rather lengthy trail between Twilight Town and Creepy Steeple that you have to cross back and forth a total of six times, minimum (not round trip). There's a ton of Crazee Dayzees and Clefts on the trail as well, and they respawn whenever you set out on the trail. I never want to see another one of them again. Why did they mar an otherwise great chapter with such blatantly poor level design? I dunno. But it definitely deserved a place on this list...even if second place seems a bit harsh to me.
Thirdly, we have...Long Fall Falls from Paper Mario: Sticker Star! Personally, I consider Sticker Star to be one of the most underrated games in the entire franchise. I thought it was pretty great. But this level? Remember Lily Pad Ride from Super Mario Sunshine? While this isn't quite that bad, it will certainly dredge up some rather miserable memories from that, as the level pits you going down a river on a raft with limited movement and a constant speed. Only this time, there's a giant Cheep Chomp chasing you. It can damage your raft or even outright kill you, with the latter causing an instant Game Over. But that's not even the worst part...as you have to survive being killed by the Cheep Chomp for a total of 90 seconds. That is going to frustrate you to death. Putting short, forewarned instant death sequences is okay, but when the game throws you into one unexpectedly and forces you to survive that many instant death attacks for a full 90 seconds? That's a whole different story. There's a secret exit here too...dang, I wish you luck in surviving two full runs of this level. This level isn't just difficult, it's cheap, and definitely deserving of a spot on this list.
I don't have anything else to say about this list other than the fact that Smithy Factory from Super Mario RPG is also a horribly designed level, and the fact that it got no write-ins is rather baffling to me. I would have stuck it in 2nd place in a heartbeat. However, I find it odd that Black Bowser's Castle from Paper Mario: Color Splash got a write-in; personally, I find that to be the best final level in the Mario RPG series, as it was short to the point and knew when it was time to stop, while still having actual substance unlike Bowser's Sky Castle in Sticker Star. Lastly, I was rather surprised to see Shroob Castle from Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time get so many votes. I honestly found it rather epic to explore an evilized version of the central hub area...although thinking about it more, it wasn't exactly designed the best, and that Chain Chomp that ruins everything felt too unnecessary and phoned-in.
But anyway, this concludes my analysis of the results for Worst RPG Area! I don't have any more analyses after this, so I'll just hand the mic over to Fishboye as they analyze the Worst Game Objective award! See you over at Tips and Tricks in the Strategy Wing!
F5 - Worst Level Concept (ArchagentEverlasting)
Dearest reader, I return once more to talk about the more negative side of things! And what is there more negative to talk about than the very nature of poor level concepts? Without bad levels, we wouldn't have nearly as many of the bad things that we have in our regular game! Let's look at the results, shall we?
Coming into our fifth place, we have the cappyless and FLUDD-less missions! While I can understand why these are so high up, I personally enjoy these levels. I love experimenting with Mario's moveset when its missing a key piece, though moreso than FLUDD than with Cappy. Naturally, losing an important part of your moveset would not be a good thing for most fans who enjoy having a well-rounded character the whole game is designed around. Tough crowd.
In fourth place, we have automatic levels! Now, this kind of level is unique to SMM and its sequel, SMM2. Why are they here, you might ask? Well, it's due to the fact that they are very boring for the one playing them. Sure, they may show some level of ingenuity on the part of the creator, but the player of the level is looking for a fun and personally rewarding experience, which the creator of the level is not providing. It is our duty as level creators to make levels that satisfy our audience.
Coming in third place, we have checkpointless challenges. Ah, checkpoints! One of the greatest things to be added into the Mario fold since the series started. Without them, I don't know where we would be today. That being said, checkpoints can often be aggravating to deal with when there aren't enough of them. If you have to go all the way back to the beginning of a hard section, then you will feel a lot of pain.
Penultimately, we have autoscrolling levels! Ever since Super Mario Bros. 3, these monsters have plagued our lives with stress. These take away one of the only things you have in a Mario game: control of where you're going and when you're going there. Once you have started this level, you will not stop until it is finished or you die. There's no taking a breather in this environment. It's do or die.
In our final place, we have restrictively low timers. If a timer is restrictively low, it can be even more stressful than an autoscrolling level due to the fact that you can measure the amount of time left objectively. Seeing the clock tick down will only make you panic more, and more likely to miss a crucial moment, causing the clock to tick down more and repeat the cycle. It's better to go into these levels with a clear mind every time in order to ensure an easy victory.
Next we'll be talking about the worst spin-off! I hope you enjoy.
F6 - Worst Spin-off (ArchagentEverlasting)
Mario would be nothing without it's long catalogs of Spin-Off games. A lot of the most important set pieces and moments are derived from these. That is why I believe that messing up a spin-off is a very poor affair to put yourself in.
Mario Party Advance, famous for it's flanderization of the Mario Party formula and its attempts to make it more story-based. At first, I thought I might be able to enjoy this entry a lot due to my love of RPGs, but then I actually played it. Mario Party is kinda boring when it feels aimless and has no multiplayer. It almost makes you sad.
Mario Party 10 is also offensive due to the fact that in the multiplayer mode, it made every character forced to stay within the same car together, which I have talked about in another analysis within this same series of them. With the addition of the car, there is no longer the same amount of tactical hatred that the game once had, although this mechanic was in Mario Party 9, Mario Party 10 expanded on it more, therefore making it even more of a problem.
Super Mario Run is just unfun. Running games are never fun. That's really all that needs to be said.
Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, upon its release was pretty universally hated, though I never quite understood why. I assume it's due to changes in the roster? I never got into Mario Tennis games that much, but that's what would piss me off. Rosters are often the most important part of these spinoff games for me.
Finally, Sticker Star. This one shines above the rest, light years away from the others due to the fact that its release caused the Paper Mario fanbase to collapse into a singularity of hatred and regret. However, I didn't think it stuck out too much when I first applied it to my life, and I'd probably replay it eventually.
Next, I'm going to be talking about the worst enemy!
F7 - Worst Enemy (ArchagentEverlasting)
Here we go! What do you think the worst enemy is?
Lakitus, essentially monster spawners from Minecraft but in the air and more aggressive. How fitting to be on this list. After all, no other enemy has caused me as much trouble yet so much fun from one of the members of their species appearing in Lakilester. Ah, to have a split heart!
Big Berthas are annoying insta-kills. I really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really hate them, especially after fighting one in MUGEN.
Cursyas have many effects, but the worst of the worst is the ones that send you back to Flipside, making you have to walk all the way back. Really, something that exarcebated a backtracking problem that was already existent in the Paper Mario series and upped it to eleven.
Fuzzies are just stupid and dumb, you can't even kill in them in most of their appearances and they suck your health, making you feel like a total waste of time and energy.
Hammer Bros. Projectiles. Super Mario Bros. Trauma.
F8 - Worst Mario Kart Course (ArchagentEverlasting)
I have to finish this fast, I'm losing my grip on realilty. I'm starting to see pears instead of people. This is the outcome temporal shenanigans will have on you. Anyway, Mario Kart Courses! Previously, I discussed favorites. Now, the opposite is burdened on me. Let's see.
Rosalina's Ice World. What even is this course? No, seriously. I'm not exaggerating. I literally don't remember. Can somebody help me out here?
Bone-Dry Dunes. I assume the reason this is so hated is due to the fact that there are a lot of tedious obstacles, sharp turns and a large amount of sand because aesthetically, this is one of the coolest courses in the whole series!
Rainbow Road from SMK is just a mistake. Literally one of the worst levels in any video game. It worked in SMK, but in a 3D setting it's just a horrible mess of an area that brands itself as retro in order to appeal to fans of "cool retro things." I don't think it worked, though, because pretty much everyone hates it because it's an objectively bad stage.
Figure-8 Circuit is just bland. I assume that the Mario Circuit stage gets pretty high up on this list every year, because they're all pretty boring.
Baby Park is full of steep turns, and is just boring due to the fact that it's 8 laps spent in one small, confined area. Normal Mario Kart courses such as Figure-8 Circuit are easy to get sick of over time, but this one lasts way too long for something in such a contained space. Not only that, Nintendo keeps bringing it back in every game for reasons that I can't possibly ever fathom.
F9 - Worst Direction of Series (LudwigVon)
Sometimes and unfortunately, some of our favorite series take a turn that leaves us a bitter taste. Then, one wonders why and that take a bad turn. What am I talking about? Well, the results of F9 – Worst Direction of Series.
I am not at all surprises to see the Paper Mario series at the top. Why the hell, replace everything that makes the Paper Mario series so unique and interesting, with a loads of Toads, and a totally ridiculous combat system (since when does Mario need a sticker to be able to jump!?)
Then, we have amiibo-centric/focused games, and I must say that most games that requires the use of amiibo really does not give something interesting (cough…amiibo Festival…cough).
In third place, is the New Super Mario Bros. series, and again, nothing surprising, because this series is sorely lacking in novelty.
F10 - Worst Game Mechanic (ArchagentEverlasting)
Yet again, I return! And I'm going to talk about something very important, arguably more so than poor level premises. I'm talking about poor game premises, something that can completely ruin a game in its entirety. What are your opinions on it? Let's check it out.
Gyroscope controls, gyroscope controls, gyroscope controls. How I hate you. Tilt controls, especially in the 3DS, can make or break a level. For example, many of the levels with tilt controls in Super Mario Galaxy were handled fairly well. Another example is the tilt controls in the Zeekeeper fight in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team was utterly awful. Just a few things to think about.
Joystick twirling! A game mechanic from the early Mario Party minigames that was so horrible that it actually injured people and gave them rashes on their hands. Nobody likes joystick twirling. Ever.
In third, we havethe fact that you have to use an easy mode character in the NSMBUDX. Honestly, this is a no-brainer, people. Why would you want to use an easy mode character in the first place, let alone have it forced on you? This is just another way that Nintendo likes to make the game easier for casuals. At least it's not too big of an issue.
Within the last stretch of our story, we have the vehicle based movement system present in both MP9 and MP10, which completely ruined the fundamental gameplay of the Mario Party. In essence, it makes sense that it would not be a very popular thing with the players of the game (the ones that loved each and every entry prior.) It changes everything because a bit part of Mario Party's gameplay is that its about the fact you can screw everyone over! When that is lost, what else does it have?
To end on a grim note, we have the stickers and cards from Paper Mario's latest outings. These not only ruined the fundamental gameplay, but essentially made it a non-rewarding gacha system that you can't even use real money to buy things in. Truly, this is the most horrible timeline.
Wait, no. We don't have Mario vs. Pac-Man at the Sochi Olympics in this one. Maybe it's not so bad.
See you in a few!
F11 - Biggest Missed Opportunity (Roserade)
Greetings, beautiful ‘Shroom readers! This is Roserade, back with one final poll analysis for you all! I hope you’ve enjoyed all of this analysis, and that we haven’t missed any good opportunities for analysis yet… There’s still time for that, I suppose, as we look at F11 - Biggest Missed Opportunity!
The last five years for F11 have not been all too consistent. However, even though the results have been mixed up here and there, Abandoning Paper Mario: Sticker Star early build has consistently remained within the top three for the past five years. 2016 through 2018 saw the abandoning the early build in first place, but this year it was finally knocked down to second once more by Taking down fangames. It seems that frustrations over Nintendo taking down fangames is mounting, as it’s now moved up in ranks from second place, now a full 4% ahead of the Sticker Star build in terms of votes. Looking at interesting history, Inadequate amiibo production fell from grace (or lack thereof), placing first in 2015, but dropping down to tenth this year. The Sony partnership failure managed to overtake Wasted potential of Ruined Kingdom, returning to the top three after two years of absence. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Ruined Kingdom returning to the top three, as I’m also incredibly disappointed with how the Kingdom was handled. So much more could’ve happened and been explored. When do we get the Dark Souls of Mario levels? As for our fifth place option, Lack of online level sharing in SMM3DS, as somebody who owns SSM3DS, it certainly damages the game experience overall. The people who voted it into third place in 2017 definitely knew what was up.
That’s the last of the analysis from me. Thank you so much for reading, and make sure to enjoy the rest of this milestone Issue 150!
F12 - Worst Game Objective (Superchao)
People reeeeally hate how much extra playtime 3D World forced with its completing every world with every character thing, didn't they? That's been a solid winner for six years straight, and the only reason it didn't win before then was because it wasn't even on the ballot prior to 2014! Well, if you look at the other consistent victories, you notice a pattern. NSMB's One Million Coins, which requires you to constantly replay levels over and over just to rack up the coin counter. Third place varies between the Blue Coins, which just require you to explore all of Sunshine's world, the Rabbits in DS, which require you to constantly run around in the same places to trigger the white rabbits, the Jumprope Challenge in Odyssey, which requires playing a repetitive minigame, and finally the Piccolo sidequest in SPM, requiring to go over plenty of places you've already been. In short? Backtracking and repetitive gameplay. People here hate that more than anything else, which is probably why Twilight Trail constantly shows up on Worst RPG Area. With 3D World's every character gimmick requiring a single player to play the entire game five times, it's the epitome of this from the available choices. I'm predicting we'll see it in first place yet again next year, unless Nintendo somehow tops it in a future Mario game. How right I am will play out in a year, but I'm pretty confident in this prediction!
F13 - Worst Remake (ArchagentEverlasting)
For my closing act, I will be tackling yet another controversial topic within the world of Mario. That being, the repetitious amount of remakes! Ah, something I will never be rid of, that's for sure.
In fifth, we have the atrocious interpretation of Luigi's Mansion that has its home on the 3DS. The controls and the graphical capabilities of this remake are just complete downgrades from what the original game was. I don't even really know what to say.
Fourth, We have Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey. Imagine making a remake of a masterpiece, and then just doing nothing to improve on that masterpiece in any way, and introducing gameplay mechanics that only made it worse. That's this remake in a nutshell.
Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, I don't even know what that is but it sounds like trouble. All I know was it was part of the same wave of Super Mario Bros. clones that spawned Super Mario Bros. All Night Nippon, so that can't be good.
Super Mario 64 DS is just a grainy, poorly controlling version of Super Mario 64. If it had the same graphics as the original game and similar controls, this would actually be a fantastic improvement on the original game. But sadly, the game is just not good enough to be these things. And to cap off this analysis....
"No banjo" -Rare fan number 4
That's it from me! Hopefully, this is the last time you will see me in this analysis series. Ciao!
F14 - Worst Setting (LudwigVon)
My last analysis, but not the last time you’ll see me around. Let’s go with F14 – Worst Setting.
Another Paper Mario: Sticker Star thing at the top. The Mushroom Kingdom variant of Paper Mario: Sticker Star is not popular at all. Nothing at all in the setting of the game is new, surprising or different.
In second place, Egg Island from Yoshi’s New Island. Like, seriously, is there anything that between Egg Island and Yoshi’s Island? Not very much. If you want to create a completely new place, as well do something that can make it stand out.
In third place is Shroom City from Mario Party Advance. Mario Party Advance is already a weird game on its own, and since this game is not so much great, I supposed that I should not be surprised to see it in third place.
F15 - Most Disappointing Game (ArchagentEverlasting)
Well, here we are. I know I said I would be done in F13, but sometimes even I have to do even more time travel shenanigans. I apologize profusely. Now, we must talk about something even more disappointing than my reappearance, the most disappointing game.
First, we have Super Mario: All-Stars Limited Edition, which was disappointing because it didn't actually do anything new. It was literally just a port of Super Mario All-Stars. If I were to make this game, I would have ported Super Mario Land, Super Mario Land 2, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, New Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Galaxy, New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Super Mario Galaxy 2, all with updated graphics save the games already on the wii, in addition to updating the graphics of the games already present. While it would take considerably longer, I believe that doing so would only serve to improve the games and make it a better thing for the customer to purchase. However, there is no reason to buy this version of the game when you can emulate the same game.
Then we have Mario Party 10, which I don't understand why it disappointed people. What were they expecting from this game? It was pretty upfront about being just like Mario Party 9.
Mario Tennis Ultra Smash falls under the same category as the above. What did people expect?
Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS took away one of the key features of the game that made it so great. Without the ability to share the levels you made, well, it simply wasn't as fun to spend hard work on making levels. Who would give you recognition? Yourself? Just another sad thing lost to a sea of mediocre ports from Nintendo in recent years.
Finally, there's Paper Mario: Sticker Star, which needs no explanation, I'm sure. Any would just be retreading ground that's been tread before. This has been Archagent, hopefully signing off for good now. Ciao!
You are now at the bottom, which concludes this colossal project. From all the committee, we hope you enjoy your reading. Now, make sure to take a look at this month's Poll Committee Discussion on Pipe Plaza. Meanwhile, keep supporting us, by voting on our weekly polls. See you next time!