The 'Shroom:Issue 162/Awards Analysis

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Awards Analysis

Written by the 11th Poll Committee

Hello, all of you readers of The 'Shroom! This is Hooded Pitohui (talk), your Chairperson of the Eleventh Poll Committee. The Poll Committee's main job is to ensure that we have a poll to run on our main page every two weeks, but that's not our team's only job. No, by far, our biggest job of the year in terms of scale is the annual Awards Analysis. This always comes early in the term, which means it's a huge hurdle for a relatively new team that's also just coming off of the Awards Ceremony itself. They spend all month in July making presentations, enjoy the show, and then turn around and get to work making these analyses through August and September. It's a very tall order, and I want to sincerely thank every member of the Poll Committee for their contributions. Lakituthequick (talk), Power Flotzo (talk), Ninja Squid (talk), Goombuigi (talk), Superchao (talk), Luigi 64DD (talk), and especially winstein (talk) and BBQ Turtle (talk) who picked up quite a few extras, I thank you deeply for your hard work.

It isn't much, but please, take a look at this banner that the wonderful The Pyro Guy (talk) has made on behalf of this dedicated little team!


This year, we wanted the emphasize the power of technology in polling, including the ways it lets us continue to work even from a distance. We always have done so here, so it's not really a change, but it is worth considering how lucky we are to be able to continue all this work without disruption. Our thanks go out to The Pyro Guy for taking the time to put this together!

Now, without further preamble, you can get to reading these analyses! Please note that, for the first time, we've covered the Community Awards, so don't miss those!

Mario Awards

M1 - Best Sound Design (Luigi 64DD)

Hello fellow wikians! It's me, Luigi 64DD, here to start off the analyses with M1 - Best Sound Design! Throughout the years, many titles in the Mario franchise have had soundtracks that have captivated and entertained listeners everywhere as well as sound effects and voices that effectively conveyed their purpose, so let's see which games our voters thought did the best job at this.

M1 - Best Sound Design

Super Mario Galaxy - 444 (23.39%)
Super Mario Odyssey - 332 (17.49%)
Mario Kart 8/Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - 147 (7.74%)
Super Mario 64 - 114 (6.01%)
Super Mario 3D World - 105 (5.53%)
Luigi's Mansion 3 - 82 (4.32%)
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story - 75 (3.95%)
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door - 74 (3.90%)
Super Paper Mario - 74 (3.90%)
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - 72 (3.79%)
Total Votes: 1898

At the top of the list, we have Super Mario Galaxy with 444 votes. It comes at no surprise that its stellar orchestrated music has continued to impress listeners enough for them to vote for it en masse. However, it hasn't managed to make the top spot every year. In 2018, Super Mario Galaxy was removed from its throne by Super Mario Odyssey, with the latter beating the former by 97 votes. 2018 also happened to be the first year Odyssey was an option in this award considering it came out late the previous year. Even so, Odyssey's victory did not last long, as in 2019 Galaxy reclaimed it's number one spot with a 28 vote margin. This trend has continued with Galaxy beating Odyssey this year by a comfortable 112 votes. Now I think it's pretty clear that Odyssey had its brief victory because it was the cool new game, or in other words, that old thing we call "recency bias". While Odyssey does have a quite good varied soundtrack and has been able to maintain the second place spot, it hasn't been able to beat the incredible orchestrated soundtrack of Galaxy in the long-term. For the future, I'd predict that Galaxy will likely maintain its spot and Odyssey may either maintain its spot or gradually drop down the list as we get further and further from its release.

Next, we see Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in third with 147 votes and Super Mario 64 in fourth with 114 votes. However, it turns out that these two games have been in a struggle for the third place spot in recent years. After being consistently seventh place in 2017 and 2018, Super Mario 64 suddenly shot past Mario Kart 8 Deluxe to arrive at third place in 2019. Although Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was able to win out this time, it's interesting to think about why Super Mario 64 (which we all know is a rather old but well-remembered game) suddenly received much more love for its soundtrack in 2019 onward. Perhaps the thriving speed-running and modding scenes for the game were enough to drive interest in it and remind people of its impressive soundtrack? We can't know for sure, but it will be interesting to see where these two games end up in the awards in the future.

As for other games on the list, Super Mario 3D World sits at fifth place with 105 votes, and we've seen it gradually ascend the list after taking a major dip from the higher places in 2018. Perhaps we'll see this game's jazzy soundtrack appreciated more in the future. The all-new Luigi's Mansion 3 takes a respectable sixth place for its first time in the award. Meanwhile, several Mario RPG titles fill out the lower places of the top ten (along with David Wise's musical masterpiece Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze). The most puzzling of these is Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door which has gradually declined from fourth in 2017 all the way down to eighth in the present day. What caused people to lose interest in this game's soundtrack? Was it because of other games surpassing it or has it actually lost fans? It's hard to say, but we'll have to watch to see where it goes in the future. Lastly, I'd like to mention the top write-in for this award: Super Mario Galaxy 2, which managed to receive 8 write-in votes despite being removed from the official list this year. Just goes to show that games with great soundtracks can still get some fans even when they don't make the list.

And that concludes this analysis of the Best Sound Design award! My prediction for the future is that the top few games will mostly stay at their spots with some shifting of places, but who knows what new game with a wild soundtrack may come out and rock the list? We'll just have to stay tuned!

M2 - Favorite Mario Kart Game (Goombuigi)

Greetings, 'Shroom readers! I'm Goombuigi, and I'll be analyzing details and patterns of M2 - Favorite Mario Kart Game. The Mario Kart series is one of the most well-known Mario spin-offs, and while most of the games are considered solid at least, there are games that are more liked than others. Which Mario Kart games got a trophy this year? Have this year's results changed compared to the previous years? Let's find out.

M2 - Favorite Mario Kart Game

Mario Kart 8/Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - 907 (44.09%)
Mario Kart Wii - 436 (21.20%)
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! - 245 (11.91%)
Mario Kart DS - 184 (8.95%)
Mario Kart 64 - 86 (4.18%)
Mario Kart Tour - 68 (3.31%)
Mario Kart 7 - 64 (3.11%)
Mario Kart: Super Circuit - 17 (0.83%)
Mario Kart Arcade GP DX - 14 (0.68%)
Super Mario Kart - 14 (0.68%)
Total Votes: 2057

To start off, the results are the same as they were since 2018. Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe have obtained the golden trophy once again, in a streak that has been going on since 2014, when Mario Kart 8 was released. The reasons why it won aren't very surprising when one thinks about it - it's the newest installment of the series, it has the most courses, beating Mario Kart: Super Circuit, gliding and kart customization returning from Mario Kart 7, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sweetens the deal even more with a revamped battle mode, new characters, and additional options.
The runner-up is Mario Kart Wii, the sixth game in the series. It's the best-selling game in the series, which already gives it an advantage, but that doesn't mean that there aren't other factors that possibly played a role. A colorful cast of characters, the trick system, bikes, graphics, and the game's general newness (relative to the series in general), the online community.
On third place is Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Similarly to Mario Kart Wii, it has a wide character selection and relatively good graphics, but it also has a special two-players-in-one-kart mode, something that has never returned in other games.
Judging by the results of this award, it seems that people generally prefer Mario Kart games that have more content and variety, and ones that have aged well graphically. Considering that the results were quite similar to the past few years, even being close in percentages, I wouldn't expect the results to drastically change in the future until a new, full Mario Kart game comes out.

M3 - Favorite Mario Platformer (Luigi 64DD)

Hey y'all, Luigi 64DD here again, hopping in to analyze the results of M3 - Favorite Mario Platformer! Platforming is Mario's main genre of choice, and in my personal opinion the main series is where the franchise truly shines. Nearly every game in this series is a true joy to play and each one has thousands of dedicated fans. Let's see which ones won the most praise from our voters.

M3 - Favorite Mario Platformer

Super Mario Odyssey - 467 (23.35%)
Super Mario Galaxy - 292 (14.60%)
Super Mario Maker 2 - 204 (10.20%)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 - 178 (8.90%)
Super Mario 64/Super Mario 64 DS - 158 (7.90%)
Super Mario Sunshine - 124 (6.20%)
Super Mario World - 124 (6.20%)
Super Mario 3D World - 111 (5.55%)
Super Mario Bros. 3 - 70 (3.50%)
New Super Mario Bros. Wii - 64 (3.20%)
Total Votes: 2000

Coming in first we have the newest entry in the platforming series, Super Mario Odyssey with 467 votes. This game was a massive return to exploration-based form after the more linear platformers of the previous few years. This game made a huge positive impact on the Nintendo community, and it getting first place every year with a fairly wide margin since its introduction to the awards in 2018 is a testament to this fact. However, its margin has been gradually decreasing over the years, going from 35% of the vote in 2018 to only 23.35% this year (granted, this is still a higher margin than the first place winners in the years immediately before 2018). Will Odyssey continue to dominate in the number one spot, or will it eventually be surpassed as the novelty wears off as has happened with other games (see: Super Mario 3D World)? Though it could go either way, I do think Odyssey is well-regarded enough that is has a good chance of sticking around in this spot for quite a while.

Next is Super Mario Galaxy in second with 292 votes. This masterpiece of a game has always been a strong contender for the top 3. However, it has often been kept from the top spot by newer games which it eventually overcomes before being set back by another new game. Just when it seemed like it may surpass its sequel and nab the top spot, it was beaten by the new entry to the awards Super Mario 3D World in 2014. 3D World took the crown again in 2015, but by 2016 the novelty of 3D World was wearing off and Galaxy finally managed to win first place in a platformer award for the first time since it won the short-lived Favorite 3D Platformer category in 2009. This continued on to the next year, but it would not last long as Odyssey came out and began its reign in 2018. Will Galaxy ever climb back up to the number one spot? It has a very strong competitor in Odyssey, and it's only a matter of time before the next big 3D platformer comes out and throws them both out. I, for one, hope it does, but that's just my personal bias shining through.

In third place with 204 votes, we have an all-new entry to the award, Super Mario Maker 2. To many, the Super Mario Maker games are the most creative and interesting way to present the classic 2D Mario platforming style in the modern era, allowing the player to create and share their own levels. With Super Mario Maker 2 being the newer and more advanced rendition of this, it's no huge surprise that it managed to claim such an impressive position. After that, we have Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Super Mario 64/Super Mario 64 DS in fourth and fifth respectively, two very high-quality classics that have been in the top three in the past but have not managed to make it quite that high this year. Hey, there's no shame in being not quite the best of the best if you're still great. The next four games on the list consist of some not quite as universally acclaimed entries as well as some classic 2D Mario platformers that have gradually descended the list over time. Super Mario Sunshine (tied for sixth) and Super Mario 3D World (in eighth place) are well remembered by the fans but are not often as highly acclaimed as the higher-up entries on the list, so their placement makes sense (the latter has also taken quite the nosedive from its previous first-place position in 2015). Super Mario World (tied for sixth) and Super Mario Bros. 3 (in ninth place) are classic 2D platformers that have somewhat surprisingly declined in the vote count. I suppose as time goes on and newer generations decide the winners, the older classics inevitably lose some of their luster. Lastly, I just want to say the one person who wrote in Wario: Master of Disguise may be in the wrong category.

So that's Favorite Major Platformer! In the future, I think we may see some shifts as some of the old games get older and the new games start feeling less new. Plus we must always be aware that any new 3D Mario platformer will instantly get first, because that's just how it is. On to the next award!

M4 - Favorite Mario Kart Course (Lakituthequick)

Good day dear readers of The 'Shroom! I am here to give you an analysis of some awards!

This is not the first award of today, but it is my first award of today, so let's get started with:

M4 - Favorite Mario Kart Course

Waluigi Pinball - 277 (14.46%)
Coconut Mall - 175 (9.14%)
Rainbow Road (3DS) - 151 (7.89%)
N64 Rainbow Road (Wii U) - 149 (7.78%)
Mount Wario - 134 (7.00%)
Rainbow Road (Wii) - 109 (5.69%)
Electrodrome - 86 (4.49%)
Airship Fortress - 76 (3.97%)
Baby Park - 74 (3.86%)
Neo Bowser City - 74 (3.86%)
Total Votes: 1915

This award is a long runner, having existed since 2011. Mario Kart Wii was the newest entry in the series at the time.

As we can see, it is Waluigi Pinball from Mario Kart DS taking the top spot. Ever since its inception, Waluigi Pinball has been in the top 3 of this award, starting in third in 2011, rising to second in 2012, and finally rising to first place in 2015 and staying there through 2020.
The course itself is fairly unique, being themed after a pinball machine. Now, there have been occurrences of pinball machines before Mario Kart DS, but not at this scale and size. Why it is voted as much as it is? Well, it has Waluigi in the name, who traditionally has had a cult following on the internet. Reappearing in Mario Kart 7 and Waluigi's shining absence of that game probably helps, as well as the appearance in Mario Kart Tour.

In second place we have Coconut Mall from Mario Kart Wii. Coconut Mall was the highest ranking write-in in 2011 and has always ranked high in 2012 onwards as a full nominee, mostly in third place, and fourth place otherwise. Yes, this year is its highest placement so far.
The course is another one in the Isle Delfino/holiday setting, but this time as a mall, which we hadn't seen before, and little after, making it quite unique. There are a lot of fun references around the course in the shops, mostly coconut and tropical themed, as well as various cafés. When the course was ported to Mario Kart 7, it lost some of the details it had, such as less cars in the parking lot and less unique spectators.

Finally, in third, we have Rainbow Road from Mario Kart 7. This course started out strong with a first place in 2013, when it was first added as its own thing (prior years contained an ambiguous "Rainbow Road" nominee). It stayed at third and fourth place after that, and once fifth.
This course is very unique in that it is the first of its kind to include driving on something else than a rainbow, this being celestial objects such as the rings of Saturn and the surface of the moon. Astronomically, this didn't make any sense whatsoever, but it earned the course a lot of points. It reappeared later in Mario Kart Tour as well, with a couple of updates.

Other interesting tidbits: N64 Rainbow Road as it appeared in Mario Kart 8 has now left the top 3 after being there in first and second since its addition in 2016.

M5 - Favorite DK Game (Power Flotzo)

Hey everyone, PF here with your coverage of the results of Awards polls. First up for dissection, we have M5: Favorite DK Game. Here, here, here we go!

M5 – Favorite DK Game

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U/Switch) - 529 (31.39%)
Donkey Kong Country Returns/Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D - 251 (14.90%)
Donkey Kong 64 - 209 (12.40%)
Donkey Kong Country - 205 (12.17%)
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest - 167 (9.91%)
Donkey Kong (Arcade/NES) - 98 (5.82%)
Diddy Kong Racing - 64 (3.80%)
Donkey Kong (Game Boy) - 50 (2.97%)
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat - 42 (2.49%)
Donkey Kong Jr. Math - 38 (2.26%)
Total Votes: 1685

In fifth place is ‘’Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest’’, and immediately above it in fourth is ‘’Donkey Kong Country’’. They haven’t changed positions since 2016 (the last time this category appeared in the Mario Awards), which shows how devoted people are to the classics.

Similarly, in third place is ‘’Donkey Kong 64’’, held higher above the first two games in the original trilogy, possibly due to its multiple playable characters and the DK Rap.

In second place, we have ‘’Donkey Kong Country Returns’’ and its 3DS remake, which had come in first previously. However, the title of Best DK Game according to our voters now goes to ‘’Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze’’ and its Switch port. In fact, it might just be because of the Switch port that ‘’Tropical Freeze’’ managed to beat out ‘’Returns’’ this year! (Probably mostly because of New Funky Mode, but still.)

M6 - Favorite Wario Game (Superchao)

M6 - Favorite Wario Game — Detailed Results

WarioWare Gold - 311 (19.86%)
Wario Land 4 - 191 (12.20%)
Wario Land: Shake It! - 176 (11.24%)
Wario World - 154 (9.83%)
WarioWare: Smooth Moves - 128 (8.17%)
Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 - 108 (6.90%)
WarioWare: D.I.Y. - 94 (6.00%)
WarioWare: Touched! - 75 (4.79%)
Wario Land 3 - 74 (4.73%)
WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Game$! - 68 (4.34%)
Total Votes: 1566

So this award has been cycled in and out - the big W doesn't have the constant schedule to justify constantly using the same award. Despite that, there's still some interesting results to go over! Gold is easy, recency bias is often very strong in these awards, and it was quite well-received. However, Wario Land 4 being in second is part of a trend that only started in 2015, with it going first, second, and first before the award took 2018 and 2019 off. There's no recency bias here - apparently Wario land 4 was just rediscovered at some point and people liked it! Good taste, frankly.

After that, we get into what's largely games that tend to mix in and out of the top three over the years. Shake It!, World, and Smooth Moves have all won the award at various times over the past redentions of this award, and are an unsurprising top five. Beyond that, the only result that really stands out is D.I.Y. clocking in at 7th. That was the winner back in 2010-2012 and 2014. Guess it didn't stand the test of time, huh?

M7 - Favorite Yoshi Game (Hooded Pitohui)

It's Hooded Pitohui here, fittingly prepared to cover M7 - Favorite Yoshi Game as seemingly one of the only people around who played Yoshi's Universal Gravitation and thought it a fun-if-gimmicky romp.

M7 - Favorite Yoshi Game

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island - 702 (38.34%)
Yoshi's Woolly World/Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World - 426 (23.27%)
Yoshi's Crafted World - 236 (12.89%)
Yoshi's Island DS - 155 (8.47%)
Yoshi's Story - 124 (6.77%)
Yoshi's New Island - 51 (2.79%)
Tetris Attack - 45 (2.46%)
Yoshi - 34 (1.86%)
Yoshi Touch & Go - 26 (1.42%)
Yoshi's Cookie - 23 (1.26%)
Total Votes: 1831

This is the first reappearance of this award since 2017, when it was decided that the Yoshi, Wario, and Donkey Kong, subseries would get representation in the ceremony with awards that rotate between levels, games, and characters to keep them fresh in spite of these subseries releasing fewer games than their parent franchise. Needless to say, there's been a few changes here. The most notable of these changes? In March 2019, Yoshi's Crafted World released for the Nintendo Switch, following in the footsteps of the yarn-themed Yoshi's Woolly World, except with its handcrafted art style. Crafted World released on a much more popular system than Woolly World originally did, which may explain why it managed to crack the top three and bump Yoshi's Island DS, 2017's third place nominee, into fourth. Despite the fact that I personally thought Crafted World was the best Yoshi game I've played in years, both it and Yoshi's Island DS are generally considered enjoyable-but-mediocre games, likely explaining their similar placement, with a combination of recency bias, their status as traditional Yoshi platformers, and the popularity of the Switch helping to boost Crafted World above its nearest competitor.

The top two games, however, remain unchanged from 2017, though Woolly World did drop from having over thirty percent of the vote to having merely over twenty percent of the vote. Crafted World did about as well in that regard as Yoshi's Island DS did three years ago, so it seems that this drop is attributable to the lower-placing nominees taking more of the vote and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island managing to increase its share of the vote. Indeed, it seems that the original can't be beat in the minds of fans, the game managing to extend its lead even now. Woolly World was positively received, helping explain its placement in second, but a combination of solid game design and nostalgia keeps the first Yoshi platformer securely in first. If there's anything that can be gleaned from the top three, it seems that the secret to making a popular Yoshi game is to make it a platformer focused on collection, give it a distinctive art style, and ensure that it - unlike the reviled Yoshi's New Island has no glaring issues like an overabundance of kazoos in its soundtrack or a nonsensical story and setting.

It seems that, as many Yoshi games that have come out, none of them have recaptured the magic of the original, but the future holds promise. Recent titles like Crafted World and Woolly World have been better received than previous attempts at reviving the Yoshi platformers, after all. If the trend continues, we might see an upset on this award in three years!

M8 - Favorite Art Style (winstein)

For the award Favourite Art Style, I, winstein, will be analysing it. This award is basically about what the overall favourite art style is, which is best seen in official materials rather than from inside the game since art styles transcend games. One interesting thing about this award is related to the first thread I made on the Super Mario Boards, which is about official art styles because a few people found my listing to be better than what was prepared for that year (2015). As such, I took up the task to tackle this award.

M8 - Favorite Art Style

Main series 3D style - 383 (19.96%)
Paper Mario style - 375 (19.54%)
Mario & Luigi style - 328 (17.09%)
2D promotional artwork style - 172 (8.96%)
Handcrafted Yoshi style - 97 (5.05%)
Yoshi's Island style - 96 (5.00%)
Super Mario Strikers style - 94 (4.90%)
Wario Land: Shake It! style - 86 (4.48%)
Retro style sprites - 83 (4.33%)
Super Mario RPG style - 53 (2.76%)
Total Votes: 1919

The most preferred art style is the main series 3D style, which is basically the standard art style used in a lot of promotional material involving Mario, along with the box art for many Mario games. As the most widespread art style, its familiarity is to its advantage and that's the likely reason it's widely picked. Not far off from this art style is the Paper Mario art style, ranked #2. The Paper Mario art style was originally conceived as sprites in a polygonal world, but recent games have added a paper touch in not only the characters but the world, resulting in a paper world that is full of life. As such, its creative uses of paper makes it a contender for the top spot. Mario & Luigi's art style at #3 is a bit less popular, but there are still clearly a lot of fans who are taken into the series' bold lines and soft colours, not to mention what the series represented: an RPG with a lot of character. #4 is the 2D promotional artwork style, which as its name implies, mainly used in promotions and hearkens back to the style employed by Yoichi Kotabe. This art style has a very fine cartoonish appeal and more easily depicted the characters in a wider range of actions. This art style might even appear in games, such as in Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Party: Star Rush.

Down the list, many of the art styles are mainly from specific games or series, which are ranked lower likely because they are not as widely used. For example, the handcrafted Yoshi style is only used in two games so far, but its use of crafts is quite imaginative. Another example is Wario Land: Shake It!, which has an animesque style that showed a lot of character, and this could apply to Mario Strikers' art style except its art style is rougher. Super Mario RPG's art style has simple geometric shapes and is normally displayed in an isometric manner, and it might be that the simple and whimsical type of game that made it a good match. A couple of choices in the top 10 are used a bit more: Yoshi's Island has the crayon style that made its original game a looker back in the day although the novelty didn't quite carry over to newer games; the Retro style sprites which is lower on the list probably because of how limited its scope is thanks to mainly taking from the first Super Mario Bros., and because of how often it's used it's not particularly favourable.

A good art style can enhance the experience, and if the game has a strong art style that complements the type of game it is, the resulting style grows to become special.

Thank you for reading.

M9 - Favorite Add-on Content (BBQ Turtle)

Hello, I'm BBQ Turtle and I'm here to take a look at the results of a few of these awards with you! First up, we've got favourite add-on content, so let's take a look at the top ten for the award:

M9 - Favorite Add-on Content

World Maker Update (version 3.0) (SMM2) - 483 (26.89%)
Piranha Plant (SSBU) - 228 (12.69%)
New Super Luigi U - 220 (12.25%)
The Legend of Zelda × Mario Kart 8 - 138 (7.68%)
Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8 - 128 (7.13%)
Super Mario Mash-Up Pack (Minecraft) - 107 (5.96%)
e-Reader Levels (SMA4:SMB3) - 88 (4.90%)
A Legendary Update (version 2.0) (SMM2) - 86 (4.79%)
Luigi's Balloon World (SMO) - 84 (4.68%)
Mercedes-Benz × Mario Kart 8 - 61 (3.40%)
Total Votes: 1796

So in first place for this award, and taking over a quarter of the total votes, we have one of the new additions for this year, that being the version 3.0 update for Super Mario Maker 2- and it makes a lot of sense for that to be ranking highly right out of the gate! It added a fair few highly-requested features to an already-popular game, and as it's a fairly recent release it's still quite fresh in everybody's minds. Also in the top ten is the other new addition from Super Mario Maker 2, that being the version 2.0 Legendary Update. This one only came in eighth place though, likely due to the fact that it added a smaller number of features than 3.0, but still added enough popular new elements, such as Pokeys, Spikes and the Master Sword power-up to win some voters. In second place is the Piranha Plant DLC fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate- new additions to the Super Smash Bros. roster are always popular, and the combination of a more unusual character pick and a well-made moveset seems to have gone well with the voters. Third place went to New Super Luigi U, which is pretty much a whole new game that puts an interesting spin on the New Super Mario Bros. formula with shorter levels and timers that put an emphasis on speed. It really gave a bit of a shake-up to the series which was receiving some complaints of becoming stale, and this change seems to have been what some fans were looking for. In fourth and fifth place are the Mario Kart 8 DLC packs, Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing respectively, and given that they each have a similar offering of three new characters, a selection of vehicle parts and two new cups each, it makes sense that they're pretty close in votes. I guess Zelda taking the lead comes down to personal preference, though it's always managed to stay ahead of the Animal Crossing pack in previous years. The other Mario Kart 8 DLC pack came down in tenth, but as it was just a smaller selection of vehicles, you'd expect it to come lower than the bigger sets anyway. In sixth is the Super Mario Mash-Up Pack for Minecraft, which with the texture changes for the usual Minecraft resources, Super Mario 64 soundtrack and impressive pre-generated world featuring callbacks to a number of favourite Mario titles would appeal to anyone who's a fan of both game series. The e-Reader levels for Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 came in seventh place, which expanded on the base levels of Super Mario Bros. 3 in the Game Boy Advance release of the game, and provided a mix of more challenging and unique concepts for levels to expand on the base game. As these have been added into the virtual console releases for the game, they've been able to reach a wider audience than they might have otherwise, likely helping to attract several voters to the poll. The last entry to discuss is Luigi's Balloon World from Super Mario Odyssey, which is continuing to see a drop in voters from when it was first added. Perhaps as it is part of a free update and quite well integrated into the game people don't see it as add-on content as much any more, or maybe with some more time since release people have changed their perspective on it? Anyway, although that just about wraps things up for this poll, I think it might be interesting to see next year whether the Super Mario Maker 2 updates will hold their positions, or whether they'll see a bit of a drop in voters like Luigi's Balloon World. I guess only time will tell- and speaking of time, it's time to move onto the next award!

M10 - Favorite Lyrical Song (Hooded Pitohui)

From the distance sings a chorus of polls, growing louder as it gets analyzed. Pitohui stirring heat from the…

Ah, perhaps it is the case that I'm not cut out to write a parody song for the Awards Analysis. Well, I may not have a song, but I do have an analysis of songs for you!

M10 - Favorite Lyrical Song

Jump Up, Super Star! (Super Mario Odyssey) - 618 (33.62%)
DK Rap (Donkey Kong 64) - 285 (15.51%)
Break Free (Lead the Way) (Super Mario Odyssey) - 250 (13.60%)
Do the Mario (The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!) - 196 (10.66%)
Phantom of the Bwahpera (Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle) - 82 (4.46%)
Ashley's Theme (WarioWare: Touched!) - 77 (4.19%)
Body Rock (WarioWare: D.I.Y.) - 45 (2.45%)
Galantis ft. Charli XCX - WE ARE BORN TO PLAY (Super Nintendo World Japan promo) - 42 (2.29%)
Mona Pizza's Song (WarioWare: Twisted!) - 33 (1.80%)
I'm Leo Luster (Donkey Kong Country cartoon) - 32 (1.74%)
Total Votes: 1838

Nintendo has been employing more and more original lyrical songs in their marketing as of late, with lyrical songs featuring prominently in the advertising for Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and even the Super Nintendo World theme park. With the exception of the last one, that trio of songs is a few years old now, though, so there's not much to say on that matter beyond noting that "WE ARE BORN TO PLAY" managed to crack the top ten. That's not too notable on its own, though, since the bottom four of the top ten shifted considerably this year, with no clear pattern in their shifting.

What is notable, however, is the shift in the top three. The same three nominees stand on the podium this year, but "Break Free (Lead the Way)" has slipped into third place after two years in second. There doesn't seem to be any reason why fans would be rediscovering the memetic "DK Rap" this year, so the likely explanation seems to be that the song of Super Mario Odyssey's climax is slipping out of relevance as the game itself slips out of relevance. Recency bias fades away eventually, as TPG made clear in his presentation for M30 this year!

That said, it doesn't seem to be fading too fast, given that Super Mario Odyssey's headlining song has held steady, taking first place with approximately thirty-three percent of the vote, just as it did last year. Now, the key difference between "Jump Up, Super Star!" and "Break Free (Lead the Way)" is that the former was featured heavily in advertising, establishing a connection between not just itself and a prominent scene in the game, but between itself and the game as a whole. Super Mario Odyssey is inextricably linked to this song, and, as long as people continue to remember the game itself, they'll remember the song, even if specific sequences fade from memory. It seems unlikely that this song will get displaced anytime soon if no other major headlining song for a mainline Mario platformer comes along!

M11 - Favorite Major Character (Ninja Squid)

Hey there, ‘Shroom readers! Thanks for joining me for the analysis of the Favorite Major Character of the Mario franchise. So, let’s get right into it!

M11 - Favorite Major Character

Luigi - 490 (23.96%)
Yoshi - 329 (16.09%)
Mario - 301 (14.72%)
Rosalina - 229 (11.20%)
Bowser - 186 (9.10%)
Wario - 161 (7.87%)
Toad - 119 (5.82%)
Bowser Jr. - 94 (4.60%)
Princess Peach - 87 (4.25%)
Donkey Kong - 49 (2.40%)
Total Votes: 2045

In first place, we have Mario’s little brother, Luigi! Luigi in first place is rather predictable, considering that he has won this award in all the years that this award has been in place. Why is he so much loved? Well, when you win at Mario Party by doing absolutely nothing, have the famous death stare, or a game where you are the main protagonist released last year, I think that’s a lot of things that would allow you to become quite popular, and I’ve only mentioned a few.

Yoshi is taking the second place of this poll, and again that’s pretty much predictable as well. Yoshi is well loved among the Mario fanbase. Considering he also have a meme where he committed tax fraud and that Yoshi’s Crafted World was released just last year, gives enough material to keep Yoshi on the podium this year.

Mario himself wins the third place, and that is almost a given considering the popularity of this character. Since he has a franchise of which he is the star, obviously you should be expected to be on the podium. I cannot really give a rather long explanation as to why Mario is on the podium other than that it is rather logical.

In conclusion, this award’s results is very much predictable, especially considering that the top three nominees have always been at the top since the creation of this award. We would have to wait for a big shakeup of the major characters (such as a new one) before seeing change in this award.

M12 - Favorite Supporting Character (winstein)

This is winstein again, this time writing about Favorite Supporting Character. When we put every character together and ask who are the favourites, the major characters will generally be favoured thanks to their overall popularity and how often they are used, which leaves the non-major characters ranked lower overall. Having a separate award for the lesser characters is a good way to know which of them are the most well-liked.

M12 - Favorite Supporting Character

Waluigi - 393 (20.34%)
Princess Daisy - 196 (10.14%)
Professor E. Gadd - 190 (9.83%)
Cappy - 169 (8.75%)
Captain Toad - 139 (7.19%)
Toadette - 136 (7.04%)
Poochy - 120 (6.21%)
King Boo - 113 (5.85%)
Pauline - 91 (4.71%)
Kamek - 88 (4.55%)
Total Votes: 1932

In the first place, we have Waluigi, who is a frequent winner only being beaten by Bowser Jr. and Rosalina when they were options, but when both were promoted to major characters, Waluigi has no competition for this spot. His high position could be contributed to the humour and style behind the character, which includes his wacky habits and the jokes people would make about him. In some ways, Waluigi is an underdog character due to his introduction in a Mario game that isn't the main series yet he appears very often that in the minds of many, he is qualified to be part of the main gang. In second place is Princess Daisy, who benefits more from certain characters being promoted to the major character and so could be placed in a notable position. Her unique personality and frequent appearances make her easily a favourite. Down in third place is Professor E. Gadd, who had a resurgence last year, no doubt helped by Luigi's Mansion getting a new entry that year, which puts him in the spotlight once again. In fourth place is Cappy, who is still going quite strong due to his strong debut in Super Mario Odyssey that managed to put him in a high spot, but it remains to be seen if he can maintain it due to a lack of spin-off appearances.

Going down the list, we have Captain Toad and Toadette, who are considered main series regulars but are notably placed lower probably because they are unassuming compared to the other characters who have some quirks that made them more memorable. Poochy, King Boo, Pauline and Kamek are helped by their major and memorable appearances in recent games, so memory on those characters are quite fresh. Diddy Kong is placed lower in the list despite being one of the more important characters, probably because in the context of the Mario series, Diddy Kong is minor and as such not as many people favoured him. The remaining three within the poll have sporadic appearances: Toadsworth barely appeared in games since the Wii debuted, Nabbit is not a regular spin-off attendee while Birdo appears quite infrequently. There are a lot of other characters that were voted in the Others section, including RPG characters, one of the Koopalings or perhaps some oddities like one for Bowser Jr. despite being a major character.

The fact that there are a wide variety of characters being voted goes to show that it's not just the major characters that matter because others can find something they like in the less-important or less-popular characters.

Thank you for reading.

M13 - Favorite Level Theme (Goombuigi)

Welcome, readers! I am Goombuigi, once again present to discuss M13 - Favorite Level Theme, covering the variety of themes of Super Mario games. Which themes are considered the best by the community? Let's have a look.

M13 - Favorite Level Theme

Space/Moon - 216 (11.65%)
City/Town - 198 (10.68%)
Beach - 140 (7.55%)
Grassland - 135 (7.28%)
Factory/Industrial - 126 (6.80%)
Food/Sweets - 121 (6.53%)
Snow/Ice - 120 (6.47%)
Airship - 103 (5.56%)
Carnival - 98 (5.29%)
Jungle - 97 (5.23%)
Total Votes: 1854

The winner is the space/moon theme, and the reason for that may be because the space is a largely unexplored area by humanity. It provides a sense of grandness and mystery on an infinitely large scale. Another main reason that the space theme secured the win is probably because of the Super Mario Galaxy games, in which space is the core concept, which is used in the story (Rosalina's storybook) and gameplay (gravity, Pull Stars, etc.), and since the Super Mario Galaxy games are among the most critically acclaimed Mario games ever, it makes sense that they would raise reception of the space theme as a whole.
On second place is the city/town theme. One of the reasons why it scored so well could be because of Super Mario Odyssey. The city theme is rare in Super Mario games, more so than the space theme, which makes the city theme all the more special. In Super Mario Odyssey, it reappeared in the form of the Metro Kingdom, which was one of the most popular themes from the game, probably due to its atmosphere. The city theme doesn't feel like a Mario theme as much as some of the other themes, but that makes it feel more interesting and "out there".
The number three theme is the beach theme. This could be partially due to Super Mario Sunshine, which uses the beach theme in a similar way to how Super Mario Galaxy uses the space theme - the whole game revolves around it. However, Super Mario Sunshine isn't generally as well-received as Super Mario Galaxy, so that point might not be that valid in this case. Another reason why the beach theme earned its place could be because from a gameplay perspective, and that is that it is one of the few themes (and the most prominent one) to feature above water and underwater areas, making the gameplay more varied, and making the theme more distinct. The theme is also quite relaxing and low-stress, so from a "feeling" standpoint, that could be another potential point to the theme. As for why it didn't score higher? For one, it's one of the more common themes, which makes it feel less special and more ordinary. It's not a super common theme, but it's also not rare. Second, unlike the above themes, the beach theme is more suitable for a certain time of year, summer. Not that the beach theme can't be played in the winter, but there is a difference between playing Super Mario Sunshine in the summer and the winter. Not a big difference, but it's there, unlike on the other themes, which are more neutral in that aspect.
And that's all that I have to say for this award. As you can see, all of the themes featured here are at least somewhat rare, making them feel more special, and they also have strong connections to certain games, making them more notable than they would be otherwise.

M14 - Favorite Species (Lakituthequick)

Hello again! Let's have a look at some species now, shall we?

M14 - Favorite Species

Yoshis - 473 (24.53%)
Shy Guys - 208 (10.79%)
Toads - 196 (10.17%)
Boos - 148 (7.68%)
Lumas - 137 (7.11%)
Koopa Troopas - 117 (6.07%)
Humans - 89 (4.62%)
Goombas - 77 (3.99%)
Hammer Bros. - 69 (3.58%)
Dry Bones - 57 (2.96%)
Total Votes: 1928

This award has existed in some form since the very beginning. I say "some form", because it started out as Favourite Enemy, and was exclusively for that until it was finally expanded to include species in 2015.

In the first place we have the Yoshis. Yoshis have a very unexciting existence in this poll, consistently getting the first place ever since the award has been about all species.
Why Yoshis? Well, have you ever looked at them? Look how cute they are! And they are versatile, you can ride them, they can float (sort of), eat enemies, lay eggs (and throw them), exist in all colours…

Second position: Shy Guys. Shy Guys are also fairly non-exciting, but did have a more varied placement, fluctuating between second and third in the first years, and also getting a consistent first place for a few years before Yoshis came around, after which they dropped to a consistent second place except for one third place last year.
Shy Guys are an interesting bunch, nobody knows what their faces look like and why they are shy. Maybe this adds to the likeable-ness of the species? They certainly are interesting.

The friendly Toads arrived in third place. They started out in fifth back in 2015, but quickly got up to third and even got one second place in last year.
Toads are a common face across the Mario series, which may explain why they get a lot of votes each year. Everyone knows them and they are likeable, even if RPG-wise the 'hardcore' fans get sick of them.

Other interesting tidbits: Yoshis, Shy Guys and Toads have made up the top 3 since 2016. Before species, 2007 through 2014, it consistently consisted of Boos, Shy Guys and Koopas. Shy Guys are the only species to have been in the top 3 every single year.

M15 - Favorite Instrumental Track (Luigi 64DD)

Yo, it's-a me, Luigi 64DD, here to analyze the results of M15 - Favorite Instrumental Track for thee. Whoa, I'm spittin' bars. Er, anyway, the Mario franchise has had a number of jamming tunes over the years, and this award was made to celebrate the most common type: those that are purely instrumental (which makes my earlier joke kind of ironic, actually...). So to see which ones are the world's favorites, let's listen in on what the fan's votes have to say.

M15 - Favorite Instrumental Track

Gusty Garden Galaxy (Super Mario Galaxy) - 232 (12.61%)
The Grand Finale (Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story) - 224 (12.17%)
Waluigi Pinball/Wario Stadium (Mario Kart DS) - 144 (7.83%)
Steam Gardens (Super Mario Odyssey) - 108 (5.87%)
Rainbow Road (Mario Kart 64) - 107 (5.82%)
Staff Roll (Super Mario 64) - 101 (5.49%)
The Ultimate Show (Super Paper Mario) - 96 (5.22%)
Comet Observatory (Super Mario Galaxy) - 93 (5.05%)
Dire, Dire Docks (Super Mario 64) - 87 (4.73%)
Buoy Base Galaxy (Super Mario Galaxy) - 86 (4.67%)
Total Votes: 1840

Now, due to the nature of this award, the results are bound to be quite close as people's subjective tastes vary wildly and produce many different choices with few clear trends in popularity. However, there are some exceptions to this, namely the top two results. In first place is Gusty Garden Galaxy from Super Mario Galaxy with 232 votes, followed very closely by The Grand Finale from Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story with 224 votes. These two tracks have been in close competition for both two years of this award's existence. While Gusty Garden beat Grand Finale by a mere 8 votes this year, Grand Finale beat Gusty Garden by 25 votes last year. Both years the two songs have been clearly far ahead of all lower entries, with second being 80 votes ahead of third this year and 66 votes ahead in 2019. What we can conclude from this is that while the community is sure that these two songs are the best of the best, they cannot quite decide which one is better out of the two. I think this makes sense, as it's one of the most elegant songs from the brilliant soundtrack of Super Mario Galaxy vs. the suspenseful and exciting final battle theme of the beloved RPG Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story.

A bit lower down, we have Waluigi Pinball/Wario Stadium from Mario Kart DS in third place with 144 votes. While it is quite a ways down from second place, this track is still a good bit higher than the lower entries, beating fourth place by 36 votes. It's clear from this that fans like this funky track quite a bit, but what is most surprising is that it jumped from seventh last year all the way to third this year, earning close to twice as many votes as it did last year! What caused this major increase? Well, the course that this track hails from recently returned in Mario Kart Tour, which was the first time it has been seen in a new Mario Kart game since 2011's Mario Kart 7. Considering a lot of people are now playing Mario Kart again on mobile phones, they get to witness this course and the illustrious music track that comes with it. After all, you can't discount relevancy in these awards.

From fourth place downward, we find that the results are much, much closer to each other, meaning we've left the clear favorites and entered the point where opinions start to vary a bit. After all, fourth place and tenth place are separated by only 22 votes! Coming in at fourth place is Steam Gardens from Super Mario Odyssey, a surf rock-esque fan favorite from the newest Mario platformer. This is closely followed by two nostalgic N64 classics, Rainbow Road from Mario Kart 64 and Staff Roll from Super Mario 64 (in fifth and sixth respectively). Next, we have another tense Mario RPG final boss theme in the form of The Ultimate Show from Super Paper Mario in seventh place. This is followed by two much more relaxing songs, Comet Observatory from Super Mario Galaxy and Dire, Dire Docks from Super Mario 64 (eighth and ninth respectively), showing that these two games have rather well-loved soundtracks. Finally, in tenth place we have yet another Super Mario Galaxy track which in my personal opinion should have been much higher on the list, Buoy Base Galaxy. All of these songs are very great tracks, and I think they've all earned their place in the top ten. Lastly, I'd like point out that Rainbow Road from Mario Kart 7 is the track with the most write-ins, coming in with 11 write-in votes. Anton and the Awards committee, if you're reading this, put this track on the official list! It's too good not to be on there!

And there are your Favorite Instrumental Tracks. I think that due to the highly subjective nature of this award, we may see big changes major shifts in the places of this award in the future as songs get added and removed (though I do think the highest places will continue to show up as top contenders. I'll be sure to be listening in to see how this award changes in future ceremonies!

M16 - Favorite Item (BBQ Turtle)

Good to see you're still all reading this, here I am again to talk about favourite items this time. The best way to start this is by taking a look at this year's top ten:

M16 - Favorite Item

Cape Feather - 164 (8.70%)
Tanooki Suit/Statue Leaf - 144 (7.64%)
Super Bell - 143 (7.59%)
Hammer Suit - 127 (6.74%)
Master Sword (SMM2) - 125 (6.63%)
Propeller Mushroom - 119 (6.31%)
Penguin Suit - 113 (5.99%)
Double Cherry - 107 (5.68%)
Fire Flower - 106 (5.62%)
Super Star - 103 (5.46%)
Total Votes: 1885

Well, the first thing to note about this award is that actually all of the nominees are pretty close in votes! The biggest margin of voters in the entire top ten is only twenty between first and second place, so it seems like personal preference is a lot more at play in this award than others, which seem to be somewhat influenced by the general opinion of the fanbase. And speaking of it, first place this year went to the Cape Feather, an item which provides the player with better aerial mobility through gliding and slower falling, as well as an attack option with the spin attack. Power-ups that add more attack and movement options, particularly while in the air, are pretty popular in this award. Second place goes to prove that with the Tanooki Suit (if you're a Super Mario Bros. 3 player) or Statue Leaf (If you're a Super Mario 3D Land player), offering some similar perks to the cape with the gliding ability and Statue Mario form that can be used to attack and evade enemies. The Super Bell came in third, an item that allows characters to become their Cat form, giving them the ability to climb walls and perform claw attacks and claw jumps. Fourth place went to the Hammer Suit, which covers another type of item that does well in this award: those with projectiles. In fifth place is the newcomer to the award this year, the Master Sword from Super Mario Maker 2, which allows Mario to turn into Link (Don't think about it too hard), which gives him access to not one, but two projectiles, so it's no wonder it's done well. It also adds a handy defensive shield ability which a fair few of these items often have. Sixth place is the Propeller Mushroom, another item which helps Mario move around in the air, which has actually done a little better this year than in the past. Seventh place, the Penguin Suit, is following a similar upward trend, and as another item with projectiles and a fun transformation to go along with it, it's got a decent spot in the top ten. It also gives better traction on ice levels and better swimming in the underwater levels (two of everyone' least favourite level types) as well as the sliding ability on top of the ice balls, so it's pretty much the Ice Flower+. The Double Cherry came in spot number eight, and it's one of the two items in the top ten that doesn't really have any of the popular features- it just gives you a(nother) clone of your character. It works best when stacked with some of the other nominated power-ups though, so it's a little harder to see where the popularity comes from. Maybe having clones is just fun, or people are taking into account the usage of it with other power-ups? Or perhaps they enjoy the puzzle-solving associated with it- the Master Sword did well, and Link is often used for puzzle levels, so maybe that's why. Ninth place is the Fire Flower, a good, classic projectile item, so the positioning's pretty self-explanatory if you've read the rest of this analysis. And rounding out the top ten is the Super Star, one of the other more different power-ups, but with an increased movement speed and higher jumps combined with invincibility and the ability to use enhancements from any other items you might have, it's easy to see why it's popular. Interestingly absent from the top ten this year is the Mega Mushroom- it's had a pretty good track record for placing well in this award, and with the addition of the Master Sword in the top ten, you would expect one of the nominees to go down a bit, but it seems like a strange one to drop. Maybe all of the Mega Mushroom fans just loved the Master Sword even more? Of course, there's plenty of scope for changes like this to happen in the future, as personal taste seems to play a large part in the placement for this award, and the polls will attract different voters each year, shifts will happen due to that. And of course, any new power-ups that provide better movement, attack options and/or projectiles are likely to see an entry fairly high on the list. And with that, it's time to move onto the next item on our analysis list!

M17 - Favorite Mario RPG (Ninja Squid)

Hello, there! Ninja Squid is here again in order to present the analysis of M17 – Favorite Mario RPG. Role-playing part are definitely part of my favorite genre of video games, and I also apprecitate Mario RPGs, but which one is the favorite of the Mario community? Well, let’s take a look, shall we?

M17 - Favorite Mario RPG

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door - 448 (23.78%)
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story - 330 (17.52%)
Super Paper Mario - 235 (12.47%)
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - 140 (7.43%)
Paper Mario - 137 (7.27%)
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - 131 (6.95%)
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team - 110 (5.84%)
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle - 94 (4.99%)
Paper Mario: Color Splash - 91 (4.83%)
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time - 71 (3.77%)
Total Votes: 1884

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is taking the first position, once again! Is this a surprise? Not at all, but there is a reason as for why The Thousand-Year Door is much loved. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is a game that broke the conventions of what one could probably expect from a Mario game. A story revolving around a demon who sleeps deeply below a town, and Princess Peach who somehow serves as the antagonist isn’t something that you will see in many Mario games out there, but there’s also the fascinating characters that you will get to know over the course of the adventure. Truly, The Thousand-Year Door is a vibrant adventure, and I believe that if that game still managed to stay in the first position for such a long time, it is simply because it truly deserved it.

In second position is Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, which is another popular Mario RPG from the fan base, and having a game with playable Bowser, is sure to be popular. I personally wonder, if the factor is that due to the less popular Partners in Time, while also being on a gaming system that was very popular at the time, and having a Bowser-centric story contributed greatly to it’s popularity. There is also the fact that the 3DS remake, while not being a huge commercial success would also be a factor to help keep the game fresh in mind.

Super Paper Mario is taking the third position of this award. Super Paper Mario is a Wii game, a console that was very much popular back then, also being the best-selling Paper Mario, which certainly plays a factor on this game’s popularity. While I know the Mario fanbase is quite divided on this game. Nevertheless, this game managed to stay on the podium since 2016.

Overall, this award has not really changed since 2016, and before that, the only difference was that Mario & Luigi: Dream Team was the third position in 2015 (now in the seventh place!). Next year may be more interesting to analyze with what will be the addition of Paper Mario: The Origami King. Whether it will make its entry into the top three remains to be seen.

M18 - Favorite Mario Party Game (winstein)

This is winstein writing again. For the next award, we have Favorite Mario Party Game! Throughout the years, Mario Party as a series accrued a lot of games as if the series gets a new game almost yearly. So much so that it's eligible to have its own award entry every year. This is very much unlike other Mario series games, where some are content with one entry per console. Not to mention: there's nothing quite like Mario Party since imitators faltered yet this series still goes strong.

M18 - Favorite Mario Party Game

Super Mario Party - 304 (16.91%)
Mario Party 8 - 223 (12.40%)
Mario Party DS - 207 (11.51%)
Mario Party 2 - 152 (8.45%)
Mario Party 3 - 130 (7.23%)
Mario Party 6 - 127 (7.06%)
Mario Party 7 - 126 (7.01%)
Mario Party 9 - 116 (6.45%)
Mario Party 4 - 87 (4.84%)
Mario Party 10 - 79 (4.39%)
Total Votes: 1798

For the second year in a row, Super Mario Party is placed #1, taking it since last year. Mario Party is a very experimental series, so when the series took a new direction in board gameplay for Mario Party 9, it took a while for fans to wish for another game with the traditional board style. It seems that the time was right when Super Mario Party showed that it returned to the traditional board style, albeit with certain decisions that were taken by ND Cube for this series, such as the use of a 6-sided die (instead of a rolling dice that shuffles its numbers) and the lack of original characters. Despite this, the return of this board style is enough to win a lot of people over, and it certainly helps that the positives from ND Cube's other Mario games such as the stellar mini-game designs elevated the grandness of this game.

Before the debut of the game in #1, the reigning champions were Mario Party 8 and Mario Party DS, which are still placing interchangeably with one another, as this year Mario Party 8 is #2 while Mario Party DS is #3, and vice-versa for last year. What both of these games have in common are that they have the traditional board style of collecting stars and being on popular consoles, which means that more people were exposed to the fun of these Mario Party games, despite its flaws such as Mario Party 8's rough motion controls. Contrast that to Mario Party 9 (placed #8), which debuted on the same console as Mario Party 8, where its new board style didn't impress more people. This is even more so the case for Mario Party DS, whose contemporaries, the 3DS games were placed even lower in the list, with Mario Party: The Top 100 placed the highest, and that is a mini-game collection from past console games.

As to the other games of the series, the Nintendo 64 games were placed in higher positions because of getting the game style right, resulting in an unforgettable experience. Mario Party 2 edges out for being the most re-released version, which makes Mario Party 3 placing as it is not so bad given how it has never gotten a re-release at all. Following those are the latter Gamecube games (Mario Party 6 and Mario Party 7), which for similar reasons, polished the Orb gameplay to be fun compared to how Mario Party 5 handled capsules. Despite the infamy of Mario Party 9 and Mario Party 10's group travel gameplay, their placement is in the middle, which could mean that there are people who enjoyed those games.

The thing I liked about Mario Party as a series is how it utilises its hardware to great effect, and how it's not afraid to experiment with new styles. It provides variety within the series and I think it helps formed this series' identity. Even if it doesn't work out well, the other aspects of the game are tried-and-true, such as the great track record of mini-game collections and unabashedly liberal usage of wordplay.

Thank you for reading.

M19 - Favorite Villain (Power Flotzo)

It’s PF again, back with another poll. No Mario game is complete without a good villain, and that’s what we’re going to take a look at for this analysis. Here’s what the community thinks is the best bad guy in the entire Mario series.

M19 – Favorite Villain

Bowser - 485 (24.73%)
Fawful - 261 (13.31%)
King Boo - 192 (9.79%)
Count Bleck - 159 (8.11%)
King K. Rool - 150 (7.65%)
Dimentio - 148 (7.55%)
Bowser Jr. - 131 (6.68%)
Kamek - 99 (5.05%)
Shadow Queen - 57 (2.91%)
Shroobs - 39 (1.99%)
Total Votes: 1961

In fifth place, knocking Dimentio out of last year’s top five, is the Kremling king himself, King K. Rool. It appears his playable appearance in ‘’Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’’, which continues to sell many copies nearly two years after its release, might have made him a lot more popular.

Fourth place is occupied by the dastardly Count Bleck, who is up from last year’s fifth-place position, possibly since the community seems to appreciate his rather tragic backstory a bit more. I haven’t played ‘’Super Paper Mario’’, but he seems to be quite a great villain.

King Boo has floated up into third place, compared to fourth place last year. With the release of ‘’Luigi’s Mansion 3’’ last year and his prominent role in that game, I can’t say I’m surprised that he got a lot more votes for the Mario Awards XV.

Fawful again comes in second place, which goes to prove that his various food-related metaphors and his memorable quotes have left an impression on many a gamer, even if the company that developed his games has already gone under.

And last but most definitely not least, we have the king of all the Koopas, Bowser. How fitting that the main villain of the entire series comes in first for yet another year.

M20 - Favorite Sports Game (BBQ Turtle)

Hello, hello, here we are continuing with the next award on the list, Favourite Sports Game! So let's start by seeing who made it onto the podium:

M20 - Favorite Sports Game

Mario Tennis Aces - 214 (13.14%)
Mario Super Sluggers - 205 (12.58%)
Mario Strikers Charged - 172 (10.56%)
Mario Power Tennis - 149 (9.15%)
Mario Sports Mix - 130 (7.98%)
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games - 114 (7.00%)
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 - 107 (6.57%)
Mario Tennis (N64) - 91 (5.59%)
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games - 86 (5.28%)
Super Mario Strikers - 83 (5.10%)
Total Votes: 1629

Holding strong with the top spot for this award is Mario Tennis Aces, which has been taking first since it was added to the award. A lot of people saw this game as a return to form for the Mario Tennis series, and Mario sports games in general, as it combined solid gameplay with a story mode and a few other bonus modes, which is always a good recipe for a favourite Mario sports game. In fact second place goes to prove that point, as Super Mario Sluggers featured all of that with a huge roster to boot. This game has been holding onto top spots ever since it's been added, which is pretty impressive given that the game was never released outside of the USA and Japan, so it's probably losing some voters in the other regions. In third place is Mario Strikers Charged (or Mario Strikers Charged Football as some of you may know it), which built on the already popular Super Mario Strikers and added all sorts of extra touches, from new characters to extra game mechanics. As you might expect, the original game places a bit lower on the award in tenth place, but it still got a good number of voters for it- sometimes, people just prefer the original. Mario Power Tennis came in fourth, continuing to hold its pot floating around the middle of the leaderboard. A lot of people consider this one of the best Mario Tennis games, usually only rivalled by Aces, as it brought improved gameplay, a larger roster and plenty of fun side modes. A lot of people remember this one for its blooper and tournament victory animations as well. Mario Sports Mix came in fifth, and you'd expect a game that packs four sports into one to do pretty well. It also follows the trend of having good bonus modes and character selection, and I'm sure the Final Fantasy content included in this one helps it stick in people's minds. And on the topic of crossovers, sixth and seventh place were taken by Mario & Sonic instalments. Taking a slight lead are the London 2012 games, which have been doing pretty well since they were added to the award. Between these games they seem to have covered all of the favourite Mario & Sonic elements- both games feature plenty of events, and the 3DS version features a Story Mode while the Wii version packs in Dream Events and the London Party mode. The game coming in seventh was the new addition for the award this year, the Tokyo 2020 instalment. This game mainly kept the best features of the Mario & Sonic series, and added in new 2D Events, different outfits for most characters depending on events and a Story Mode, but it had a few questionable choices in there (Who thinks we only need three Dream Events?) that I think held it back from having the success of some of the other Mario & Sonic games in their first year on the award. I suppose this would technically include the Arcade Edition as well, but I doubt it would swing any voters as it was only released in Japan so far. I think this one's seeing a fair bit of recency bias and likely won't be hanging around for long. We do have one other Mario & Sonic game on the list, and that's the first Winter game. A lot of people like this one for many of the same reasons as the London game, but I think this one comes out a little lower as it doesn't quite have the same level of polish. And the final one to talk about is the Nintendo 64 version of Mario Tennis, a game that seems to say you can't beat the classics. It came in eighth place, and has some pretty good gameplay and controls as well as reintroducing a whole bunch of characters to the franchise, so you can see why people keep voting for it. Something I think is interesting about this award is that there are no Mario Golf games on the award- I've never got into the series myself, but given there are quite a few and I've heard several good things about them, I'm a little surprised that not even one has cracked the top ten. Anyway, moving forward, aside from a little shifting I feel like new games are going to be the only major game changer for this award, as the Switch seems to be a little light on Mario sports games at the moment, so a new entry in any of these series or a new game altogether will likely find its place on the award, particularly if it gets the Mario sports game basics down. And so we don't run into extra time, I'll let you read about the next award now.

M21 - Favorite Puzzle Game (winstein)

For the next award Favorite Puzzle Game, winstein shall be analysing it. The Mario series is no stranger to puzzle games ever since Dr. Mario debuted. Other than Dr. Mario, most of the other games are basically one-offs except for the Mario vs. Donkey Kong games. We shall be looking at the ratings right after this paragraph.

M21 - Favorite Puzzle Game

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker - 698 (40.44%)
Dr. Mario (series) - 344 (19.93%)
Donkey Kong (Game Boy)/Mario vs. Donkey Kong (GBA) - 139 (8.05%)
Tetris Attack - 122 (7.07%)
Mario vs. Donkey Kong (2 and onwards) - 98 (5.68%)
Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition - 82 (4.75%)
Yoshi - 60 (3.48%)
Wario's Woods - 57 (3.30%)
Yoshi's Cookie - 47 (2.72%)
Mario's Picross - 41 (2.38%)
Total Votes: 1726

Ever since Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker was added to the poll, it was the undisputed winner for the most-voted favourite puzzle game, and it is currently peerless in that regard due to the second place being quite distant, getting less than half of its votes. Perhaps the reason for Captain Toad's prominence is due to how familiar it is to the Mario series, unlike most games where it deviated from what the Super Mario series established. In Captain Toad's case, it took the familiar elements from Super Mario series such as the platforming, and removed the ability to jump, resulting in tightly-packed varied levels throughout the adventure. Moreover, it never quite went away since it debut on the Wii U, which then got ported to the Switch and 3DS, and the Switch version got DLC for it.

In #2, we have Dr. Mario as a series, which is the ongoing runner-up of the poll. This series may be the oldest puzzle game, but perhaps its virus-clearing gameplay might be difficult for some people or that it didn't offer the type of variety that many puzzle games offered. What it does have are iconic and catchy tunes, and it's even got a mobile game that is usually regarded as tolerable despite having the trappings of a free mobile game, such as energy timers and random character draws. In third place is a pair of Donkey Kong platformers based on the Donkey Kong arcade game, which provided an alternative form of platforming that never got a follow-up, likely because Super Mario practically usurped the platformer role. In fourth place, we have the Puzzle League game called Tetris Attack, which is a misnomer due to the lack of tetrominoes (save for specific garbage blocks) but its gameplay is nonetheless quite captivating. It's even released in an original form this year, so players can see what it looked like originally. Fifth place is the other type of Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, focusing on guiding the Minis to the goal. Its gameplay is quite decent all-around, although its lack of variety between games made it fall from first place.

The other puzzle games are basically one-offs or short-term series, which include Wario's Woods, the Yoshi puzzle games, the Mario-themed Puzzle & Dragons, Mario's Picross and Donkey Kong's climbing games. Being a short-term series from years past, the people who might have loved the games are either not voters or the love have faded. On the note of Picross: the series is still getting new releases to this day, but it's since dropped the Mario branding. It remains to be seen if Captain Toad will receive the same fate when 10 years passed since his one and only puzzle game.

Mario puzzle games are not exactly common these days, which leaves very few new games besides the occasional Dr. Mario game or the re-release of an old puzzle game. As someone who prefers puzzle games, I hope that some of the old puzzle games get a follow-up like Wario's Woods or a new and exciting puzzle game gets released, to give Captain Toad some companionship due to how disproportionally it is favoured.

Thank you for reading.

M22 - Favorite Battle Course (Lakituthequick)

I hope you have brought around some balloons because it's time to battle! Or eh, look at battle courses.

M22 - Favorite Battle Course

Block Fort (N64) - 311 (18.05%)
Luigi's Mansion - 215 (12.48%)
Funky Stadium - 196 (11.38%)
Nintendo DS - 177 (10.27%)
Wuhu Town - 110 (6.38%)
Urchin Underpass - 100 (5.80%)
Pipe Plaza - 93 (5.40%)
Delfino Pier - 83 (4.82%)
Battle Course 1 (SNES) - 79 (4.59%)
Skyscraper - 70 (4.06%)
Total Votes: 1723

This is a more recent award, having been created in 2017. At the time, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was just released, and it contained proper battle courses, so it was only natural.

In first place, we have Block Fort from Mario Kart 64. This course has been in first place every year so far.
It's hard to say why this is exactly. It's only reappeared in Mario Kart DS and has a straightforward circular symmetric design, although the different playing layers and bridges do add strategic options to the course.

The second course is Luigi's Mansion from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. Like Block Fort, this course has also been in the place it is in from the beginning.
It started out on the GameCube as a fairly generic course, though it was multilevel. As a retro course in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, it was a lot more fleshed out and received more fitting music, and being a recent presence will also net you a lot of extra votes.

In third this year is Funky Stadium from Mario Kart Wii. Unlike the previous two places, this battle course didn't get third all the time, instead being in fourth in 2018, so it isn't too far off.
Of course, this is Funky Kong's personal stage, and Funky Kong is a popular character, which naturally grabs this course some attention. Battle courses in Mario Kart Wii have unique designs in general, which also nets the course some points.

Other interesting tidbits: The course Nintendo DS from Mario Kart DS can be considered Funky Stadium's rival, being in fourth when the latter is in third and vice versa, except for in 2017 where they tied. Funky Stadium got third three times, and Nintendo DS two.

M23 - Favorite Super Mario Odyssey Capture (Hooded Pitohui)

It's Hooded Pitohui here, prepared to admonish you for not voting the playable bird with a varied and interesting platforming moveset into first place. Seriously, how could you not think Pokios are the best Capture in Super Mario Odyssey?

M23 - Favorite Super Mario Odyssey Capture

Bowser - 412 (22.91%)
Yoshi - 307 (17.07%)
T-Rex - 266 (14.79%)
Pokio - 149 (8.29%)
Hammer Bro/Fire Bro - 101 (5.62%)
Gushen - 97 (5.39%)
Uproot - 73 (4.06%)
Tropical Wiggler - 67 (3.73%)
Goomba - 65 (3.62%)
Glydon - 54 (3.00%)
Total Votes: 1798

Well, my personal bias aside, I suppose I can see how one would find it downright cathartic to smash and bash through a level as the Koopa King himself. That said, Bowser once again dominated this award, and, quite frankly, the results here are as static as static can be. The top three are exactly the same as they have been for three years, down to a consistent percentage of the vote! There were some shifts in the position of nominees in the lower end of the top ten, but there's no consistent pattern in it, and nothing has dropped out of or entered the top then that wasn't in it last year.

There's not much I can say about this award that hasn't been said in past years, and the reason seems fairly obvious. With no DLC or additions to the game that would present players with an opportunity to experiment with the mechanics these Captures provide in a new environment, people are stuck doing the same thing with them year after year. There's no reason a considerable number of people should change their opinions on the game's Captures. It's a shame, too, given that interesting and challenging platforming puzzles could be built entirely around these enemies and the abilities they grant the player. Whether through a collection of sub-areas delivered in DLC, or through a game akin to Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Nintendo could be doing much more with these Captures and their versatile moveset. Until we get something in that vein, or get a sequel that has the same mechanic, there just isn't much to say here. Rampaging as Bowser or a Tyrannosaurus Rex is fun, and making use of Yoshi's varied set of moves adds something special to a 3D Mario title, but you can read about that more in past editions of Awards Analysis.

With that said, unless there's a major change, I don't believe we will see this award around next year. It's too static to keep running it unless Nintendo does something new with the mechanic.

M24 - Favorite Luigi's Mansion Boss (Hooded Pitohui)

I don't mean to scare you with my return, but it's only fitting that the poisonous Hooded Pitohui has something to say regarding the dead, don't you think? That's why we're here to look at your favorite ghostly bosses from the Luigi's Mansion games!

M24 - Favorite Luigi's Mansion Boss

King Boo - 681 (44.36%)
Hellen Gravely - 114 (7.43%)
Boolossus - 112 (7.30%)
Melody Pianissima - 110 (7.17%)
Amadeus Wolfgeist - 99 (6.45%)
Bogmire - 77 (5.02%)
Nikki, Lindsey, & Ginny - 55 (3.58%)
Ug - 50 (3.26%)
Vincent Van Gore - 44 (2.87%)
The Three Sisters - 40 (2.61%)
Total Votes: 1535

This is actually a brand-new award, the only comparable example historically being the more restrictive “Favorite Portrait Ghost” award in 2014. Back then, King Boo dominated with slightly over fifty five percent of the vote, with the spectral beauty of the ivory keys, Melody Pianissima, trailing in a distant second and Boolossus behind her in third. How have the additions of ghosts from Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon and Luigi's Mansion 3 impacted this award? Well, the changes have taken a slight bite out of King Boo's landslide lead, but he still reigns as the king, and even Boolossus remains in third place. It's likely that the two Boos have high ranks because they're recurring characters in the series, with King Boo appearing as the main antagonist for all three titles and Boolossus having a prominent role in the main story of Luigi's Mansion, serving as the boss of the Scarescraper in Luigi's Mansion 3, and possibly maybe having even appeared in the second installment. It's difficult to believe that King Boo having three very different, very memorable boss battles doesn't give him a boost, and it makes one wonder what would happen were those boss battles to be split.

Of course, the top three aren't entirely unchanged from six years ago. Melody Pianissima has slid down from second to fourth, as the other major antagonist of the third installment, Hellen Gravely, has taken second place this year. Is it just recency bias? I'm inclined to say no, because Hellen has the trifecta of traits that seem to serve bosses in this series well. She has a memorable personality, with her obsession with King Boo and her slow unraveling as Luigi makes more and more progress. She has a unique and enjoyable boss battle that tasks the player with using the teamwork between Luigi and Gooigi to its full extent. Finally, she has a prominent role in the story. Is it any surprise that fans took note of her?

You might still be skeptical of my reasoning, to which I say, let's look at the rest of the list. In the top ten are Melody Pianissima, with her nostalgia-filled musical quiz before battle, Amadeus Wolfgeist, with the first multi-stage boss battle with multiple attack patterns in Luigi's Mansion 3, Bogmire, with a shadow-filled boss battle after a memorable introduction, that trio of magical sisters who make you chase them around a whole scrambled floor of the Last Resort, the dinosaur-possessing Ug, an artist who attacks with waves of common enemies, and a trio of sisters who engage in battle all at once. Every single entry on the top ten has a direct role in the story, a unique boss battle, and a memorable design and personality. It seems like that's the winning formula for a beloved Luigi's Mansion boss!

This seems like an award that ought to have a year or two of life left in it, so it's worth keeping an eye on nominees like Hellen Gravely to see if recency bias fades out or if they stick in players' minds like the classic portrait ghosts. We'll find out next year, but it's time for this award to rest in peace!

M25 - Favorite 2D Mario Level (Goombuigi)

It's time for another analysis by me, Goombuigi. This time, it's M25 - Favorite 2D Mario Level. Which level has topped the charts? Which one is the king of them all? Let's snap right onto it.

M25 - Favorite 2D Mario Level

Painted Swampland (NSMBU) - 371 (24.14%)
World 1-1 (SMB) - 342 (22.25%)
World 8-7 (NSMBW) - 147 (9.56%)
Donut Plains 1 (SMW) - 123 (8.00%)
Front Door (SMW) - 86 (5.60%)
Forest of Illusion 3 (SMW) - 72 (4.68%)
Donut Secret House (SMW) - 70 (4.55%)
World 4-1 (NSMB) - 60 (3.90%)
World 1-2 (SMB) - 55 (3.58%)
World 2-Pyramid (SMB3) - 45 (2.93%)
Total Votes: 1537

At first place is Painted Swampland from New Super Mario Bros. U. Considering that the level is from the New Super Mario Bros. series, one might wonder - why is this level ranked the highest. One word: theme. The "Van Gogh" style, as many like to call it, has only appeared in one level, in one game, but that's what makes it so distinct in tone. The way that the level is built is nice too, it's challenging, with poison at the bottom of the level, and tilted pipes for more precise platforming, but in the end, Painted Swampland is a fun and fair level that offers challenge.
At second place is none other than the legendary World 1-1 from Super Mario Bros. What is there to be said? World 1-1 is the first Super Mario level in history, and is therefore one of the most iconic ones. In fact, before Painted Swampland made its way up the list, World 1-1 held the title of best 2D Mario level. From the first Goomba to the staircase, this level goes down in history as the first Mario level to date. So, why is World 1-1 second? Nowadays, it's nothing special. Countless World 1-1 remakes have made their way to Super Mario Maker, and there's only so many times you can enjoy a level before you get tired of it.
On third is World 8-7 from New Super Mario Bros. Wii. This level is one of the last in the game, and therefore one of the hardest. Throughout the majority of the level, the player has to navigate on a skull coaster, which changes speed quite suddenly, so the player always has to be on their toes. Therefore, the level requires reaction on top of precision platforming, which is what creates such a challenge.
There you have it, folks! The top three 2D Mario levels voted on by the MarioWiki community! All three are iconic and memorable levels, with Painted Swampland having a distinct theme, World 1-1 having a big history, and World 8-7 having a nice challenge.

M26 - Favorite 3D Mario Level (Hooded Pitohui)

Where would Mario be without the Z-axis? Why, the thought of Mario games having only two dimensions to work with calls to mind a bird that can't fly through the air. As Hooded Pitohui, I think I'm uniquely positioned to comment on that, so let's see which 3D Mario levels have given you the freedom of a soaring bird!

M26 - Favorite 3D Mario Level

Metro Kingdom (SMO) - 334 (18.63%)
Bob-omb Battlefield (SM64) - 221 (12.33%)
Whomp's Fortress/Throwback Galaxy (SM64/SMG2) - 114 (6.36%)
Bowser's Kingdom (SMO) - 109 (6.08%)
Wooded Kingdom (SMO) - 95 (5.30%)
Gusty Garden Galaxy (SMG) - 92 (5.13%)
Delfino Plaza/Airstrip (SMS) - 86 (4.80%)
Good Egg Galaxy (SMG) - 78 (4.35%)
Toy Time Galaxy (SMG) - 76 (4.24%)
Cosmic Cove Galaxy (SMG2) - 64 (3.57%)
Total Votes: 1793

The two first courses in Super Mario 64, Bob-omb Battlefield and Whomp's Fortress, have always performed well in this Award. In 2016 and 2017, they both snagged over ten percent of the vote to land in first and second, respectively. It seemed that nostalgia had an iron grip on this award, but then came Super Mario Odyssey. Ever since that marquee game came out, the Metro Kingdom has topped the award, taking it in 2018, 2019, and 2020.

It's not that surprising that the Metro Kingdom vaulted to such heights, given that it's a symbol of Super Mario Odyssey, one that was featured heavily in the game's advertising and is home to some of its most memorable scenes with Mayor Pauline. At first brush, it might seem like it's safe to say that its winning streak is buoyed by more than just recency bias, but looking at the numbers paints a more interesting story. When it first took the win in 2018, the Metro Kingdom took nearly a quarter of the vote, and both of the traditional winners only managed to get 9.26% (Bob-omb Battlefield) and 6.81% (Whomp's Fortress) of the vote. As the years have gone on, the share of the vote for the Metro Kingdom has slowly slipped, and its main competitors have reclaimed some of the vote, to the point that Bob-omb Battlefield has passed the ten percent mark again, with 12.33%.

It's difficult to say whether or not the slide will continue, or if the Metro Kingdom's popularity will bottom out at a level that's still high enough to keep it in first, but the release of Super Mario 3D All-Stars promises to make this a very interesting award to watch next year. Reappearing as the Throwback Galaxy never did seem to boost Whomp's Fortress, but perhaps a new dose of Super Mario 64 will feed the nostalgia that propels these two classic courses to the top.

M27 - Favorite Boss Battle (Hooded Pitohui)

There’s not much better in a game than a high-stakes, pitched battle against a boss with narrative buildup and good music, is there? Thankfully, the Mario franchise has provided plenty of those moments. Which one stands out most in the minds of fans? Well, I, Hooded Pitohui, am here to take a look at that.

M27 - Favorite Boss Battle — Detailed Results

Dark Bowser (M&L:BIS) - 242 (13.73%)
Bowser (SMO) - 199 (11.29%)
Bowser (SMG) - 169 (9.59%)
Bowser/Meowser (SM3DW) - 155 (8.79%)
Shadow Queen (PM:TTYD) - 131 (7.43%)
Bowser in the Sky (SM64) - 120 (6.81%)
Super Dimentio (SPM) - 87 (4.93%)
Megaleg (SMG) - 75 (4.25%)
Mechawiggler (SMO) - 68 (3.86%)
Popple and Rookie (M&L:SS) - 64 (3.63%)
Total Votes: 1763

This award has been fairly consistent in terms of its top three since 2016, with Dark Bowser, Bowser’s Super Mario Galaxy fight, and Meowser taking the top three spots, albeit with the latter two switching positions in 2018 as the recency bias wore off for Super Mario 3D World. Though… I suppose I should have said that those results have been fairly consistent until this year. After rising back into second as 3D World slipped, Super Mario Galaxy has slipped back into third place, but it wasn't displaced by the Wii U title. No, despite not cracking the top three in 2018 or 2019, Super Mario Odyssey's Bowser confrontation has taken second place this year.

Now, speculating on why the top three are as they are, one might think that Dark Bowser has had a longevity boost resulting from the 3DS remake of Bowser's Inside Story. Given that game's paltry sales and the way Dark Bowser's share of the vote has remained relatively stable - fluctuating within two percentage points - for years now, I'm inclined to doubt that. I don't know that many fans were introduced to or reminded of this boss fight through that remake. I think it just has the hallmarks of a great boss fight. There's buildup to it throughout the entire narrative. It ties in nicely as an epic climax to Bowser's character arc in a game where he has a starring role. It's the result of plans and backup plans by Fawful, who himself gets a direct stake in the battle as it brings to a close his arc over a trilogy of games. It's a well-designed multi-stage boss battle that sees Bowser and the Bros. cooperating, and, my word, that music for it is stunning. I'd guess that it has years yet in the top spot, so long as people remember it.

The big question with this award this year is "why did Odyssey get such a boost? To tell you the truth, I can't see any reason why it did well this year as opposed to years past. It hasn't received no content or any new focus from Nintendo, so there's no incentive for fans to revisit it. I'd say that perhaps it has simply benefitted from 3D World and the Wii U as a whole getting buried with time, and even Super Mario Galaxy may be fading from memory slightly after ten years, despite its immense popularity in its day. It may have fared better than 3D World because the Wii was a roaring success that Nintendo celebrated, while the Wii U has been quietly excised from discussion and 3D World was one of its few major titles without a Switch port.

...or, it had been. With the rerelease of Super Mario Galaxy in Super Mario 3D All-Stars, and the announcement of a port of Super Mario 3D World with expanded content slated to hit the Switch early next year, this award may be due for a major shakeup next year, with two of its popular nominees getting a fresh boost.

M28 - Favorite Game Setting (Hooded Pitohui)

Thanks to Super Mario 3D All-Stars, I, Hooded Pitohui, am taking an extended vacation to Isle Delfino. It seems that it somehow hasn't won favorite game setting, though...

M28 - Favorite Game Setting

Super Mario Odyssey World - 393 (21.21%)
Comet Observatory & galaxies (SMG) - 281 (15.16%)
Isle Delfino (SMS) - 193 (10.42%)
Rogueport & surrounding areas (PM:TTYD) - 160 (8.63%)
Peach's Castle (SM64) - 115 (6.21%)
Mushroom Kingdom (PM) - 87 (4.70%)
The Last Resort (LM3) - 79 (4.26%)
Flipside/Flopside & dimensions (SPM) - 70 (3.78%)
Beanbean Kingdom (M&L:SS) - 69 (3.72%)
Mushroom Kingdom (SMB) - 62 (3.35%)
Total Votes: 1853

Ever since Super Mario Odyssey and its world full of various Kingdoms was put on this Award in 2018, it has swept the top spot each year, gathering over twenty percent of the vote every time, with the Galaxies around the Comet Observatory trailing behind it in second. This has held true this year, though, tellingly (this seems to be a theme this year…), its share of the vote has been steadily dropping each year. It seems that the recency bias Odyssey has going for it is slowly wearing off, but time will tell if it eventually bottoms out still in first or if it continues to decline. With the Comet Observatory holding steady in second with about fifteen percent of the vote for three years, it seems possible that 3D All-Stars will give it enough of a boost that it could take first once again. It might also help Isle Delfino secure its third place spot, given that it has traded it with Rogueport and its surroundings in recent years. Interestingly, the second and third place share of the vote has stayed consistent over the past few years, suggesting that it's not the world of Odyssey's direct competition drawing votes away from it, but new additions like The Last Resort.

Nevertheless, keep an eye out on this award, as the release of Super Mario 3D All-Stars has the potential to shake it up next year as a new generation discovers three classic titles with setting that have traditionally placed high in this award.

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

Welcome back, readers, to M29 - Favorite Classic Game, where we look at the top three games from the GameCube / Game Boy Advance era or older.

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

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door - 289 (15.35%)
Super Mario 64 - 289 (15.35%)
Super Mario World - 250 (13.28%)
Super Mario Sunshine - 129 (6.85%)
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! - 127 (6.74%)
Super Mario Bros. 3 - 126 (6.69%)
Paper Mario - 95 (5.05%)
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - 91 (4.83%)
Luigi's Mansion - 89 (4.73%)
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island - 69 (3.66%)
Total Votes: 1883

At first place, there are not one, but two games - Super Mario 64 and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. Interestingly enough, these are drastically different games, one of these is a revolutionary game of its time, and the other game is a game that is fondly remembered for being one of the best Mario RPGs, and something that Nintendo likely wouldn't make in the present day. Super Mario 64 was the first 3D Mario game, and it set a standard not only for 3D Mario, but for 3D platformers in general. In 1996, 3D was a largely unexplored area, and Super Mario 64 was one of the first 3D platformers, and like its 2D predecessors, the game focused on exploration and collectibles rather than going from A to B, which allowed the game to take advantage of the larger environment, and Mario's large amount of new moves, such as punching, long-jumping, and diving, contributed to sandbox-type gameplay as well.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door was well received among fans for having creative characters, a great story, and solid gameplay, and many fans have been asking for this particular game to be rereleased. Many consider it the last good Paper Mario game, and while that is only an opinion, a fact is that this Paper Mario game is the last one to retain the original gameplay from the first Paper Mario.
On third place is Super Mario World. It was the last 2D Mario console game before New Super Mario Bros., and since it was on the SNES, the game had better graphics, more features, and was overall more impressive than past 2D Super Mario games, not to mention, it featured the debit of Mario's trusty companion Yoshi.
Overall, the three Mario games at the top of ranking are nostalgic to many people who grew up with the games, due to their well-constructed and stand-out gameplay, as well as introducing or improving on features from past games.

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

Hello, I'm back again, this time to take a look at the award for the favourite modern game, where “modern” is defined as anything released on the Wii, Nintendo DS or their successors. This year, the top ten for this award were:

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

Super Mario Odyssey - 475 (23.92%)
Super Mario Galaxy - 285 (14.35%)
Super Mario Maker 2 - 226 (11.38%)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 - 171 (8.61%)
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story - 118 (5.94%)
Mario Kart Wii - 104 (5.24%)
Super Paper Mario - 102 (5.14%)
Super Mario 3D World - 98 (4.93%)
Luigi's Mansion 3 - 96 (4.83%)
Mario Kart 8/Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - 84 (4.23%)
Total Votes: 1986

Once again, the top two spots haven't shifted since the transition to the new definition of modern games. Super Mario Odyssey has stayed in first place, and by a margin of almost 200 voters! As the most recently released main series 3D game, it makes sense that it would be popular, as the game provided some fresh changes to the gameplay that many fans were looking for, as well as maintaining a balance with the quality of games that the Mario series is known for. I imagine that Super Mario Galaxy is up there for a relatively similar reason, as at the time it was released it checked a lot of boxes for Mario fans, and the game still holds up today, with its interesting level design, new gameplay features and orchestrated soundtrack, as well as now beginning to factor in some nostalgia. In third place is Super Mario Maker 2, which has gone up quite some way from only being a write-in last year! The game builds on the already popular Super Mario Maker, but adds in a range of new features and modes, which have been further built on with software updates to keep people revisiting the game. The game features a strong combination of content created by both Nintendo and players, with intuitive level building features and a range of ways to play the level, but I think the position of this one'll be an interesting one to keep an eye on in years to come. Super Mario Galaxy 2 came in fourth place, which seems to match up with what you generally hear from fans- it's more of the same as the first Galaxy, but with a selection of changes and additions, so the preferred game is generally down to personal taste. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story takes fifth place, and generally seems to be the preferred game within the Mario & Luigi series- the game made good use of many of the features on the Nintendo DS paired with an interesting story and well-made battle system. Despite not selling particularly well, I think the remake may have helped Bowser's Inside Story keep its relevance, or at least reminded people about it. The next four results had a remarkably close number of votes, with a difference of only eight between sixth and ninth place. With a slight edge is Mario Kart Wii, the sixth instalment in the main Mario Kart series, which had managed to refine a lot of the popular features of the series as well as adding some interesting new ones, such as bikes, tricks and new items. The game has had a lasting influence, and is still played a fair amount today, and being one of the best-selling games on the Wii has definitely helped its popularity. Slightly behind Mario Kart Wii is Super Paper Mario, which is a bit of a divisive game within the Paper Mario fanbase, but is mainly considered to be one of the best ones before the series saw quite a drastic change with Sticker Star. The game focussed heavily on its plot and new characters, and also featured a revamped battle system and other new features that didn't please everyone, which might have held the game back from placing a little higher. Following Super Paper Mario in eighth place is Super Mario 3D World, the 3D main series platformer released on the Wii U which largely built on and improved the mechanics of Super Mario 3D Land, making use of a similar level structure and controls. The game added full four-player multiplayer, new enemies and power-ups, which helped make the game distinct from other entries and provide a different experience for players to enjoy. Rounding out the close entries in the top ten is the award's other newcomer for this year, Luigi's Mansion 3- and I'm actually a little surprised this game made an entry quite so low. The game was generally well received, following on to the already popular Luigi's Mansion series with a combination of the best parts from the previous games with quite a few new features as well. Perhaps the players who enjoyed this game just have others that they enjoy more? Rounding out the bottom of the list are Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in tenth place, which are probably up there for much the same reasons as Mario Kart Wii- Mario Kart 8 was a strong new instalment of the Mario Kart series that added new features while polishing some old ones, and Deluxe made some tweaks to a few of the weaker aspects, so both of these games have been quite popular, though they have seen a bit of drop in votes recently. I feel like the results of this award will change next year based on how well the new additions hold up, but I personally wouldn't bet on Luigi's Mansion 3 staying in the top ten, and Mario Kart 8 and its port seem to be slipping a little as well. Any new games to the franchise might shake this up a bit as well, as I think we might see an appearance from Origami King next year, and any other titles released between now and then could potentially be contenders. Though if I keep going on like this, it'll be next year by the time I've finished and we won't have to wait, so let's move on to what Mario's been getting wrong with the Fail Awards!

Fail Awards

F1 - Worst Character (Luigi 64DD)

Heyo, Luigi 64DD here once again, this time starting off the Fail Awards analyses with F1 - Worst Character! While the Mario franchise has had a great number of interesting and well-beloved characters, a series as long-running as it is bound to have a few that don't quite hit the mark. These characters are often described as boring, annoying, or just plain uninspired. Let's take a look at which characters the fans considered the worst offenders.

F1 - Worst Character

Pink Gold Peach - 764 (39.08%)
Baby Rosalina - 230 (11.76%)
Kersti - 207 (10.59%)
Waluigi - 85 (4.35%)
Birdo - 69 (3.53%)
Fawful - 58 (2.97%)
Spewart - 56 (2.86%)
Mimi - 51 (2.61%)
Princess Daisy - 49 (2.51%)
Starlow - 47 (2.40%)
Total Votes: 1955

To no one's surprise, topping off the list we have Pink Gold Peach with 764 votes. This metallic monstrosity first showed up in the 2014 Worst Character award despite not being an official option, receiving a whopping 60 write-in votes (only 5 less than the lowest-voted official option). She was duly added to the official nominees in 2015, and since then not a single year has gone by where she has not won the award with an average of 40% of the vote. What is so bad about this character to foment such overwhelming hatred? To many, Pink Gold Peach is the prime example of what they consider the most bland and unoriginal characters in the franchise: the clones. A character that is merely a spray-painted version of another character and yet is presented as a new character is bound to be unpopular, and the data overwhelmingly supports that this is the case.

Next, we see an interesting shift in the second place spot. Starting in 2016, Kersti, the bland sidekick from the near-universally decried Paper Mario: Sticker Star, had surpassed Baby Rosalina and consistently taken the number 2 spot for four years in a row. But this year, Kersti has been pushed to third as Baby Rosalina has taken the second place spot, a place she has not achieved since her introduction as a nominee in 2015. When an order that had been consistent for so long gets changed, it makes you wonder what caused it. Personally, I think the shift can be traced to one game: Mario Kart Tour. With that game's gacha system constantly giving you baby characters and also introducing a detective costume for the character, people are reminded of how unnecessary and canon-breaking Baby Rosalina really is. This sobering reminder that Nintendo doesn't really care about canonical consistency or character originality in its spin-offs is just enough to push Baby Rosalina over the edge into second with 230 votes.

Continuing further down the list, we have Waluigi coming in fourth with 85 votes. After dropping all the way down to ninth in 2016, Waluigi has been steadily creeping up the list until seemingly staying at fourth for this year and the last. If I had to guess, I'd say this increase in dislike may be partially due to his controversy in the Smash community when he was revealed as an Assist Trophy as well as a noticeable decrease in the meme-able popularity of the character (with a lot of the memes now being taken by Wario instead). Sad to see as a Waluigi fan, but not too shocking. After that, we see pretty much the same characters in the same spots as last year with only slight variations such as characters like Fawful and Mimi shifting up the list slightly. Overall, nothing too notable, though it does surprise me a bit that Starlow has consistently gotten only tenth when I had perceived her to be a much more controversial character. Aside from that, we have Princess Peach voted as the top write-in character with 6 write-ins. Not enough to justify any addition to the list, but it sure does put into perspective the what I said about Pink Gold Peach's write-ins earlier.

Overall, I don't expect this award to change much in the future, especially the top three (even if second and third switch places again). The only thing I can think of that will truly rock the list is the introduction of a new truly terrible character. Let's hope for our collective sanity that that doesn't happen.

F2 - Worst 2D Level (BBQ Turtle)

Hello again, I have returned, this time to look at some fail awards! First on the list for me to look at is the worst 2D Level, so let's kick this off by looking at the top (or maybe bottom?) ten:

F2 - Worst 2D Level

The Very Loooooong Cave (SMW2:YI) - 249 (17.99%)
Tubular (SMW) - 223 (16.11%)
World 9-7 (NSMBW) - 162 (11.71%)
Pendulum Castle (NSMBU) - 106 (7.66%)
World 8-3 (SMB) - 95 (6.86%)
Mine Cart Madness (DKC) - 84 (6.07%)
World 8-1 (SMB) - 56 (4.05%)
Endless World of Yoshis (SMW2:YI) - 43 (3.11%)
World 8-Bowser's Castle (SMB3) - 40 (2.89%)
World 7-4 (SMB) - 37 (2.67%)
Total Votes: 1384

So managing to overtake tubular for the first time this year is The Very Loooooong Cave from Yoshi's Island, a level that's just as tedious to play as the name is to type. It's a very long level as the name might suggest, but it's a painfully slow autoscroller topped off with some nasty collectibles while they throw everything plus the kitchen sink at you in terms of hazards. Not far behind it taking the cave's usual second place spot is Tubular from Super Mario World, which seems like it might be part of the reason why that word isn't considered as “cool” any more- it's a level with very little ground that you have to navigate using the temperamental controls of a series of Power Balloons, with a dose of flying and projectile throwing enemies to increase the already excessive challenge. With a bit of a vote drop from the top two but continuing to hold onto third is World 9-7 from New Super Mario Bros. Wii- it's a combination of ice platforms, fireballs and invulnerable enemies, and the level is just as bad as you would expect from that collection. And coming down in votes again, but heading up a close group, we've got Pendulum Castle from New Super Mario Bros. U- I didn't think the level was that bad myself, but I can see that people might not get on with all of the Spinners and Donut Platforms. Closely behind is World 8-3 from the original Super Mario Bros.- this one is just a number of particularly evil obstacles in quick succession, all of which would be very easy to trip up on. Mine Cart Madness from Donkey Kong Country came in sixth place- the name's pretty accurate, as it's a maddening level that features a lot of mine carts- and even more precise jumps. Seven through tenth place are all pretty close in votes as well, and it seems to be an unlucky seven for Super Mario Bros.'s second course to make the list, World 8-1, which has been holding the spot since the award was the introduced. Much like the first level on the list from the game, this one doesn't have many fancy elements to make it hard, just a lot of difficult elements placed in close proximity to one another. Eight place is our second course from Yoshi's Island to make the list, and this time it's the Endless World of Yoshis- at least they seem to warn you that levels are going to be bad before you play them with the titles in that game. As the name suggests, it's a seemingly endless level with the difficulty turned up to eleven- you'd expect the final level of a game to be hard, but there are obviously better ways to do it as only one other one has made in into the top ten. And speak of the devil, here it is- ninth is World 8-Bowser's Castle from Super Mario Bros. 3, the last level of the game. It's a series of tough platforming segments combined with a handful of other obstacles all culminating in a Bowser battle- all good components for a bad level. And making its way into tenth place for the first time this year is one more level from Super Mario Bros.- this time World 7-4. However, this one seems to have made it onto the award for a slightly different reason- rather than having a particularly high level of difficulty, in this level you have to choose the right unindicated path to progress or end up in a perpetual loop, so this one's likely here for frustration reasons more than anything. So moving forward, I think this award'll continue to see the slight shifts in placement as this one is very subjective, but I think any new entries are only likely to come from a new game at this point, as most of the games that currently have valid levels have already cemented their places on this award. However, I'm sure if a new game brings a stinker of level with it, this award'll be sure to hear about it. And on that note, I'll let you get onto the next award.

F3 - Worst 3D Level (Hooded Pitohui)

Hooded Pitohui here, to express what may be the unpopular opinion that while Super Mario Sunshine is, on the whole, a great game, it is okay to admit that even a good game has atrocious levels and some of Sunshine's levels take the cake.

F3 - Worst 3D Level — Detailed Results

Pachinko Game (SMS) - 283 (16.81%)
The Toxic Waterfall/Lily Pad Ride (SMS) - 222 (13.18%)
Wing Mario Over the Rainbow/Over the Rainbows (SM64) - 218 (12.95%)
Corona Mountain (SMS) - 166 (9.86%)
Darker Side (SMO) - 99 (5.88%)
Dark Side (SMO) - 91 (5.40%)
Grandmaster Galaxy (SMG2) - 63 (3.74%)
Champion's Road (SM3DW) - 62 (3.68%)
Sling Pod Galaxy (SMG) - 62 (3.68%)
World 1-1 (SM3DL) - 54 (3.21%)
Total Votes: 1684

Let us be clear here. Since it first won in 2016, you all have made very clear that you despise the Pachinko Game. Right behind it, we have consistently seen The Toxic Waterfall and Wing Mario Over the Rainbow swap between third and second place. What can we glean from this? Well, considering much of the rest of the top ten consists of the punishing challenge courses often featured at the very end of modern Mario platformers, it seems that, while overly-difficult courses are widely reviled, courses which have a lot of "fake difficulty" are even more hated. Wing Mario Over the Rainbow combines boring level design with Super Mario 64's questionable controls and camera and the annoyance of respawning far from the level's entrance if you fail. The Toxic Lilypad ride is remembered as incredibly annoying because it takes a large commitment of time and a moderate amount of effort to even get into the level, the main mechanic controls questionably, the level could have been made more tolerable with an easy way to return to its start, and if you run out of lives (and you will), you get kicked out and have to go through the tedious process of accessing it again. As for the Pachinko game, well, the fact that its controls and physics are outright broken is well-known.

The takeaway from this award really seems to be that, if you want to make a difficult level, it will be unpopular, but it won't be hated so long as it depends entirely on the skill of players. If it's the level design or controls that are the source of difficulty, though? Well, they say negative experiences last longer in memory than positive ones, and, nearly twenty years later, people still despise two of Super Mario Sunshine's levels. I suspect that Super Mario 3D All-Stars will only make them more infamous…

F4 - Worst RPG Area (Ninja Squid)

Hello, ‘Shroom readers! It’s Ninja Squid again, for what will be my last analysis. We will take a look at F4 – Worst RPG Area. Of course, some areas in RPGs are really memorable, especially sometimes for a simple character who makes an appearance, for the settings, or even for the music. On the other hand, here, we are absolutely disgusted by them. Now, let’s take a look!

F4 - Worst RPG Area

Joke's End (M&L:SS) - 122 (8.79%)
Twilight Trail (PM:TTYD) - 116 (8.36%)
Long Fall Falls (PM:SS) - 103 (7.42%)
Sammer's Kingdom (SPM) - 102 (7.35%)
Dry Dry Desert (PM) - 91 (6.56%)
Sandshifter Ruins (PM:SS) - 90 (6.48%)
The Overthere (SPM) - 85 (6.12%)
Bowser's Keep (SMRPG) - 81 (5.84%)
Spooky Trails (M+RKB) - 76 (5.48%)
Drybake Stadium (PM:SS) - 75 (5.40%)
Total Votes: 1388

In first position, it is the very disliked, Joke’s End. Joke’s End has several reasons to be in first place. It contains many areas where you only have on bro, many puzzles that makes the journey in this area for a long time, and the repetitive music of this area doesn’t really help. Seems like the 3DS remake didn’t really help to remedy to this problem.

Twilight Trail is taking the second position, and as someone who played Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, I know very well why. The answer is backtracking. I don’t really remember the number of times, but I know very well that you have to this trip several times between Twilight Town, and Creepy Steeple multiple times during the fourth chapter of this game. Me? I do not really mind it. There is something that I enjoy a lot less that happens much later in the game that is called General White. Once you get there, Twilight Trail is a breeze.

Long Fall Falls from Paper Mario: Sticker Star is taking the third position. Having a whole level dedicated to trying to survive to a Cheep-Chomp, on a small raft difficult to control was definitely not a great idea. It explains why it has its place among the Worst RPG Areas.

It was somewhat predictable as a result. I also notice some fluctuation between Twilight Trail, Long Fall Falls, and Sammer’s Kingdom (which was third place in 2018). I’m very much looking forward to this award next year with the addition of Paper Mario: The Origami King. Maybe we would be able to notice some differences. Notice how only one area from the Mario & Luigi series into the top 10, and no areas in Paper Mario: Color Splash seems heavily disliked.

F5 - Worst Level Concept (BBQ Turtle)

And continuing in our series of what not to do in a Mario game, here we've got the worst level concepts, so let's take a look at the ten level conditions voted the worst:

F5 - Worst Level Concept

Restrictively low timers - 317 (17.02%)
Autoscrolling levels - 314 (16.86%)
Automatic levels (SMM) - 202 (10.85%)
Checkpointless challenges - 178 (9.56%)
Cappyless/F.L.U.D.D.less missions - 148 (7.95%)
Water levels - 144 (7.73%)
Star Ball galaxies - 97 (5.21%)
Purple Coin levels - 95 (5.10%)
Ghost Houses - 89 (4.78%)
Surfing galaxies - 80 (4.30%)
Total Votes: 1862

So right at the top, we can see that the most unpopular feature to implement into a level is something that puts pressure on the player to move too quickly, giving them little room for error or time to explore. These two actually came very close in votes, with only three between them. Restrictively low timers came out on top this year- this type of level can often be frustrating, particularly when you need to go back and find hidden collectibles while the time limit is still ticking. Autoscrolling levels came in second, and share a lot of the same complaints with low time limited courses- they can force you through too fast and not give you enough time to work in the level. Additionally, autoscrolling levels can have the opposite effect, forcing you to progress too slowly and constantly running up against the barrier- and of course, autoscrolling levels also add the danger of being crushed at the edge of the screen. Third place was taken by automatic levels that you find in the Super Mario Maker games- the ones where you do almost or entirely nothing for the entire level. The levels do have some novelty when you find them for the first few times, but can become tiring after a while, and despite the fact they are ridiculously easy levels to clear in the 100 Mario Challenge, it feels more like watching the game rather than playing it. In fourth place, we've got levels that don't have checkpoints- but more specifically, I think this refers to particularly long levels with several tricky elements, which leave you with nothing to fall back on when you make a small mistake. This type of level shows up fairly frequently in the harder final challenge levels of games, which I think have helped this concept gain so many voters. The next two nominees came pretty close in votes, with only four between them. Coming out slightly ahead was levels without F. L. U. D. D. in Super Mario Sunshine and Cappy in Super Mario Odyssey. This type of level is often forced onto you very suddenly, and requires you to drastically change your playstyle to complete it- and often, these levels are tricky platforming segments where you could really make use of these characters. Additionally, due to the way that two-player co-op works in Super Mario Odyssey, if you stumble across one you'll find that it stops the second player having anything to do, and I don't think a level concept that functionally stops a mode however briefly is the best idea. Slightly behind that is a level type that can be very hit-or-miss- water levels. While the idea of these levels is sound, when paired up with poor controls or bad water physics, these levels can be very hard to get through, often due to having to put up with either slow movement, overachieving swimming that fires you into undesirable situations or a rapidly decreasing air meter. The next pair of results were also close in vote count, and have been simultaneously falling down a bit in this award for the last two years, Star Ball galaxies and purple coin levels. The decline in voters seems largely to be due to more annoying types of levels coming from recent games, but perhaps due to the length of time since Super Mario Galaxy has been released, the origin for both of these types, people's distaste for them has decreased. Star Ball galaxies can be a bit of a nuisance due to requiring some fairly precise movement with some finicky motion controls, whereas purple coins bring with them two separate problems- finding coins hidden in obscure locations, and collecting coins within a time limit, which if the winner of this award is anything to go by, is not popular either. Ghost houses came in ninth place, which seems like another good level concept with poor execution- the maze of doors and exits can be difficult to navigate through, combined with having to check each of the goodness-knows-how-many paths for collectibles and difficult enemies give you a frustrating level. In tenth place are surfing galaxies, which compared to the other galaxy nominees seem to have held their place. They suffer pretty much the same issue as Star Ball galaxies, but generally were a bit more forgiving with the controls, so they seem like they would be considered better than Star Balls. Looking forward, I think this award has potential to change based on the new ways that Nintendo (or, in the automatic levels' case, playerbase) finds to create annoying levels, as other elements are only likely to shift based on personal preferences. Well, with that done and dusted, I think it's time to move onto the next fail award!

F6 - Worst Spin-off (Luigi 64DD)

Hello, hello, it's Luigi 64DD again, here to analyze the results of F6 - Worst Spin-off for you all! The Mario franchise has had a truly massive number of spin-offs over the years. Some are great, some are... not so great. This award is dedicated to those that fall in the latter category. Let's take a look at what the voters have to say.

F6 - Worst Spin-off

Paper Mario: Sticker Star - 423 (23.09%)
Mario Kart Tour - 295 (16.10%)
Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash - 264 (14.41%)
Super Mario Run - 156 (8.52%)
Mario Pinball Land - 121 (6.60%)
Dr. Mario World - 103 (5.62%)
Mario Party 10 - 90 (4.91%)
Mario Party Advance - 90 (4.91%)
Game & Wario - 65 (3.55%)
Mario Party 9 - 64 (3.49%)
Total Votes: 1832

Starting off our list in first place with 423 votes is Paper Mario: Sticker Star, the much-hated fourth entry in the Paper Mario series, known for it's lack of interesting locations or characters and its less-than-stellar non-RPG gameplay. After receiving write-in votes for several years (including being the entry with the most write-ins in 2015), this game was finally officially added to the nominee list for this award in 2016. It immediately jumped to the number 1 spot by a lot, taking 30.12 % of the vote and more than two times as many votes as second place that year. Since then, it has unfailingly taken the top spot every year. However, this year we see it win the top spot noticeably less decisively. It only received 23.09% of the vote compared to 26.85% in 2019 and 28.37% in 2018. Though it's still clearly in the top spot, the gap between it and second place appears to lessening. Is hatred for this game really decreasing? Could we see it drop from first place in the future? My answer is... probably not to be honest. For one thing, I don't think the Paper Mario community is ready to forgive this game, but also I think there's another factor for the game's loss of votes....

...And that factor is Mario Kart Tour, which is in second place with 295 votes! Yes, this game had its first official appearance in the awards this year, and the community's negative reception of its borderline-predatory gacha system and general cheap feel could not be more obvious. Dislike for Mario Kart's first mobile title was enough to instantly place it at number two, a placement that is more than well-deserved if you ask me. I speculate that Mario Kart Tour's addition to the list was the biggest factor that took votes from Sticker Star. However, it wasn't enough to displace it and personally I don't expect it to do so any time soon. Still, you can expect Mario Kart Tour to continue to sit high up in this award in the future.

Another new addition to the list is Dr. Mario World in sixth place with 103 votes. While this game also has a gacha system, the reception for it seems better overall for two reasons: one, the gacha system is much more lenient than the aforementioned kart game and two, the Dr. Mario series is just much less popular than Mario Kart Tour. With those factors in mind, it's clear why it didn't quite as many votes (though the gacha system still ensured it would recieve a reasonable number of those). Moving on, there really isn't much change to the award this year aside from what I mentioned. We see the usual suspects such as Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, Super Mario Run, Mario Pinball Land, a few of the less well-beloved Mario Party games and so on and so forth. Good thing (or bad thing) that we had some crappy mobile games to at least shake up the list a little bit.

And that's my analysis of the Worst Spin-off award! Overall, I don't see this award changing much in the future, though I may be eating my words later if Nintendo comes out with any more gacha-infested mobile games.

F7 - Worst Enemy (Lakituthequick)

Good enemies. Bad enemies. The Mario franchise has them all. Although not everyone agrees on which are which.

F7 - Worst Enemy

Hammer Bros. - 337 (19.64%)
Cursyas - 187 (10.90%)
Fuzzies - 167 (9.73%)
Big Berthas - 163 (9.50%)
Bloopers - 144 (8.39%)
Lakitus - 107 (6.24%)
Bandits - 82 (4.78%)
Grinders (SMW2:YI)/Ukikis - 81 (4.72%)
Urban Stingbies - 67 (3.90%)
Goombas - 64 (3.73%)
Total Votes: 1716

This is yet another long runner, having existed ever since the Fail Awards were created in 2009.

In first place, we have the Hammer Bros., to the chagrin of some in our community. They've been in first consistently since 2016, which is surprising considering they never were in the top 3 before that. They were a write-in in all but one year before their addition as a proper nominee in 2013.
As for the why of being the worst, well, it is fair to say they are annoying as an enemy, raining down hammers at you and leaving little gaps to pass or defeat them, especially in the earlier games. They are good and unique enemies, but maybe a bit too good at their job.

The second worst enemy according to the popular vote are the Cursyas. Unlike Hammer Bros., these enemies did rank high throughout this award's history. In fact, they won it most years, and ranked second or third if they didn't.
The annoyance with these enemies are that touching them curses you, hence the name. Curses differ between colours, from slowing you down and limiting jumping to outright sending you back to the hub world. Sounds like a good pick for worst enemy to me.

In third then, we have the Fuzzies. First written in in 2012, it was promoted to nominee in 2015 and immediately was a hit and got in second and third all the time.
Their annoyance lies in the way they move along paths you need to take, and, depending on the game, the level of difficulty defeating them. They were also used as an advancing wall of death in Super Mario 3D World which earns them some more points.

Other interesting tidbits: Lakitus and Big Berthas have also been consistent in top 3 level placements, but have lowered a bit as of late.

F8 - Worst Mario Kart Course (winstein)

It's winstein again, doing my first Fail Award, which in this case is about the worst Mario Kart Courses. Since Mario Kart introduces a lot of racecourses, there would naturally be quite a number that are bottom-of-the-barrel either because of its boring design, difficulty or maybe not living up to expectations.

F8 - Worst Mario Kart Course

Baby Park - 215 (12.58%)
Figure-8 Circuit - 157 (9.19%)
Rainbow Road (SNES) - 135 (7.90%)
Rainbow Road (MK8) - 111 (6.50%)
Bone-Dry Dunes - 110 (6.44%)
Banshee Boardwalk - 89 (5.21%)
Rosalina's Ice World - 88 (5.15%)
Rainbow Road (N64) - 87 (5.09%)
Rainbow Road (Wii) - 81 (4.74%)
Choco Mountain - 76 (4.45%)
Total Votes: 1709

For the one voted the worst, we have Baby Park from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, which is its third year winning first place. If you don't know what Baby Park is like, it's basically a long oval track with no hazards except for those thrown by players. In its introductory game, there were a lot of types of items that would make that track chaotic, but in subsequent games, the lack of exciting items like the Giant Banana or Bowser's Shell made it a more straightforward track, and as such, far less exciting. Not even making the entire track anti-gravity in Mario Kart 8 made the track more palatable. Its runner-up is the Figure-8 Circuit from Mario Kart DS, which as its name implies, a track shaped like an "8". As the first track in that game, it's kept simple, but as a result, it lacks the chaotic elements from other games, and to top it all, there aren't any landmarks to make it stand out, unlike Luigi Circuit's large Luigi balloon or Toad Circuit's three inflatable Toads. Even Mario Circuit from Mario Kart 8 is a far better track that made use of the traditional figure-eight layout better.

Among the top ten worst tracks, four of them ended up being Rainbow Road from four different games. In #3 is the Super variant, #4 the Mario Kart 8 variant, #8 is the 64 variant and #9 is the Wii variant. All of them have certain flaws that would make them, unlike the better ones. The Super variant is a difficult track due to the lack of rails and dangerous hazards, the 64 variant is a very long track that takes too long to complete (and in Mario Kart 8's case, too short) and the Wii variant is probably down to how dangerous and tricky the entire track is. The Mario Kart 8 variant is probably due to being quite different, as it is a satellite-based track instead of a mystical rainbow road that past games do.

The rest of the notable placements are highly-rated probably due to their difficult or perhaps not having much going for them. Bone Dry Dunes and Rosalina's Ice World could be due to their difficulty, while Choco Mountain, Banshee Broadwalk and (again) Rosalina's Ice World might be due to having a somewhat weaker motif that made them less exciting in design.

A racecourse might not seem like it at first, but it's only after playing the track frequently that one could get a feel on if the track and determine if it's not as good as the best tracks in the series. As it turns out, we have quite a few that would have been better if more work has been put to it. As an example, Mario Circuit (Super Circuit) had a makeover that made it a better track in design, thanks to the Ultra Hand-inspired slope, so the worst tracks could end up being better if they are reintroduced in an exciting way. As for the tracks that are difficult... maybe that's part of the charm and changing it might ruin them.

Thank you for reading.

F9 - Worst Direction of Series (Goombuigi)

Hello, 'Shroom readers, it's time to dive into F9 - Worst Direction of Series. Which series has decreased the most in quality of games? How have the games decreased? Let's take a look.

F9 - Worst Direction of Series

Paper Mario - 572 (32.26%)
Mario vs. Donkey Kong - 218 (12.30%)
New Super Mario Bros. - 201 (11.34%)
Mario Party - 198 (11.17%)
Dr. Mario - 152 (8.57%)
WarioWare - 121 (6.82%)
Mario Tennis - 98 (5.53%)
Mario & Luigi - 68 (3.84%)
Yoshi - 53 (2.99%)
Mario Kart - 48 (2.71%)
Total Votes: 1773

In first place is the Paper Mario series. Not surprising, considering that the last few games that have been released have split the fandom, and although the most recent game, Paper Mario: The Origami King, shows signs of promise, at the same time, it seems to have split the fandom even further, since it seems like Intelligent Systems is satisfied with the current direction that the series is taking, and no signs of returning to the old, generally more critically acclaimed style, have been shown.
At second worst is the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series. What started off as a successor to the Game Boy version of Donkey Kong, known as "Donkey Kong '94" (which in itself was a sequel/remake to the original Donkey Kong arcade game) has changed to a Lemmings-type game in which the player manipulates the environment to navigate the Mini-Marios to a goal. Aside from the first game on the Game Boy Advance, the games have a similar gameplay style and a similar goal, and revolve almost exclusively around the mini toys, expanding the lineup as the games went on. The series as a whole suffers from similarity (unlike the Paper Mario series, which suffers from change).
Securing bronze is the New Super Mario Bros. series, which also suffers from the games being too similar to each other. With nearly identical graphics, story, and gameplay, and little to no way for an ordinary person to distinguish them from each other, if you've played one of them, you've basically played them all. Another problem that is generally complained about is that the games are too easy (with the exception of New Super Luigi U), and that they are too "safe", no risks are taken, no major surprises are present, which makes the games predictable, and thus, boring. When you play a New Super Mario Bros. game, you already know that the first world is a grassland and the last world is a castle. Sure, it's nice to keep consistency and evoke a feeling of nostalgia, but the games rely too heavily on these factors.
Overall, these three series suffer from the games being either too similar to each other or too different, which harm the image of the series as a whole. Unless future games cover up the dirty footprints from the past, the series as a whole won't improve by a lot.

F10 - Worst Game Mechanic (Hooded Pitohui)

Have you been enjoying the Awards Analysis so far? Well, you've reached the end of the free preview, and we here at Hooded Pitohui enterprises have to ask that you pay for the bonus content to continue reading…

Thankfully, The 'Shroom is always one hundred percent free, but, if the thought of being forced to pay extra for content that you expect content creators to include at the base level riles you up, you might understand why these game mechanics are so reviled.

F10 - Worst Game Mechanic

Gacha - 328 (17.47%)
Stickers/Battle Cards (PM:SS & PM:CS) - 295 (15.71%)
Content requiring amiibo - 226 (12.03%)
Joystick twirling (MP1) - 189 (10.06%)
Vehicles (MP9 & MP10) - 186 (9.90%)
Must use easy mode character in 4 player mode (NSMBUDX) - 134 (7.14%)
Chance minigames (Mario Party series) - 101 (5.38%)
Gyroscope/motion controls - 93 (4.95%)
Button mashing (MP1) - 65 (3.46%)
Limited inventory (PM & PM:TTYD) - 53 (2.82%)
Total Votes: 1878

This award underwent some big changes (I apologize to every single one of you who played Awards Killing Game 4) this year, with two new additions taking first and third place. This award's top three has been rather volatile in recent years, with the top placements swapping and changing in too many ways to discuss since 2015. That said, two mechanics have consistently placed in the top three in that time, those being Sticker and Battle Cards from Paper Mario and vehicles from Mario Party 9 and Mario Party 10. Of the two, only the former remained in the top three, with vehicles actually dropping into fifth. The results of this award tend to be heavily impacted by recent releases, so it seems likely that Super Mario Party's decent reception and removal of vehicles has helped temper the fires around the Mario Party series. While Paper Mario: The Origami King came out this year, it didn't come out in time to have a significant impact on the vote, so time will tell if its ring-based system will draw ire away from Sticker Star's and Color Splash's missteps.

Turning to the new third place mechanic, it's worth noting that the Awards Committee made a major change to this award and to F9 - Worst Direction of the Series. After discussion, it was decided that Amiibo bridge multiple series, so it's difficult to say that Amiibo have, as a series, moved in a disliked direction. What is clear, though, is that players are dissatisfied with having content in their games locked behind expensive and occasionally hard-to-obtain Amiibo. That sounds like a game mechanic that crops up in multiple games, so the nominee was moved here. It had placed in the top three of F9 in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, so perhaps it is unsurprising that it placed high in this award, too. It seems that a fast way to earn the ire of players is to lock content behind a requirement to spend real-life money…

If you don't believe that, look no further than the first place winner. Gacha, added to this award just this year, shot right to the top, earning well over fifteen percent of the vote. It's likely, again, that this is the result of players being dissatisfied with an arrangement which forces (or nearly forces, from a realistic standpoint) players to gamble away real life money to unlock all of the features of a game they want to play. Gacha has become controversial, with some decrying it as gambling no different than the kind one would find in a casino, and it has even made headlines in mainstream media. For Mario fans, there's no doubt that the divisive and oft-criticized Mario Kart Tour, which makes use of gacha mechanics extensively, contributed to a growing distaste for gacha mechanics.

As I noted earlier, this is an award that is heavily influenced by new releases and news from year to year, so its future is uncertain. If Nintendo releases more games using the Mario Kart Tour model, gacha might continue to take first and is likely to extend its lead. If Nintendo steps away from the model, or, even better, the game industry as a whole takes heed of the criticism and steps away from it, some other issue may soon command more attention than gacha. Only time will tell if it's The Origami King, more limited release games, more mobile games, or some other baffling decision on Nintendo's part that attracts attention in this award next year!

F11 - Biggest Missed Opportunity (winstein)

It's winstein again, this time analysing the Biggest Missed Opportunity award. Although the Mario series has achieved a lot of great things, some would have thought that it would be even greater if they were to execute certain ideas that are known to be scrapped. Perhaps it could be because the decision might not be so great at the right time, or the team felt that it wouldn't work out, but some form of regret is felt when an idea only existed on paper.

F11 - Biggest Missed Opportunity

Not having Waluigi in the main Wario or Mario games - 299 (15.68%)
Lack of Virtual Console on Nintendo Switch - 273 (14.32%)
Frequent takedowns of fan content containing intellectual property - 261 (13.69%)
Abandoning Paper Mario: Sticker Star early build - 219 (11.48%)
Sony partnership failure - 144 (7.55%)
Wasted potential of Ruined Kingdom - 130 (6.82%)
Improper handling of trans characters (Birdo, Vivian) - 98 (5.14%)
Rejection of Archie Comics Super Mario series pitch - 85 (4.46%)
Lack of online level sharing in SMM3DS - 81 (4.25%)
Donkey Kong Racing cancellation - 55 (2.88%)
Total Votes: 1907

The majority of votes go to Waluigi not being playable in the Super Mario or Wario games (#1). While Waluigi was introduced in a mere tennis game, he managed to attain playable status in many of the spin-off games from then on. Along with his clownish design and personality, he is cemented as a favourite so quite a lot of people would love to see him being promoted to being playable or at least having a significant role in a game of a higher status, which is the definition of rooting for the underdog. The next most coveted missed opportunity (#2) is the lack of Virtual Console in the Nintendo Switch, where instead of purchasing each game individually, a selection of games are instead available for free as long as the Nintendo Switch Online subscription is in effect. The value of actually owning a game is why this approach is not wholly welcomed, since the reliance on Nintendo's server to run the games mean that the games will one day be unavailable, rendering new favourites unable to be played in the long-term.

Fan games being taken down is another missed opportunity (#3), since it can be argued that they are a sort of tribute to the original creators, and a chance for fans to flex their creative and technical skills to realise the potential of the property. It is within the rights and justification for Nintendo to do so, but it does come at the cost of fan dissatisfaction, which is a more complex topic that is unsuited for this analysis. For the next missed opportunity (#4), we have what is essentially the decision to set Paper Mario to a new path in game design. Essentially, the early build of Paper Mario: Sticker Star will be more in line with the previous Paper Mario RPG games, but it would seem that the team had other ideas, and went on to prioritise on different things such as making bigger use of a paper world and reducing the importance of battles. While this direction eventually grew more satisfactory each game, fans are more inclined toward what worked before, which is why a game like Bug Fables found success.

The next missed opportunity (#5) is the failure between Nintendo and Sony, which could be attributed to pride by each party, leading to Sony taking the top spot in the console business that was once held by Nintendo, who made decisions that would make them less attractive for partnership, even if it's justified by them. Sony's position made them an inevitably powerful unit in this business, so the missed opportunity is all the more wistful. Skipping to #7, the mishandling of transgender characters, namely Birdo and Vivian (especially the former) is seen as an issue. The gist is that representation for minority groups are, well, not well represented, and because Birdo was introduced in a very early game, the failure to capitalise on Birdo appearing in more games is seen as a missed victory for Nintendo, a company that represents inclusion due to their games appealing to a wide group of people.

The other missed opportunities in the top 10 are relatively minor, so we'll go through them real quick. At #6, Super Mario Odyssey's Ruined Kingdom was only a fraction of the size of other Kingdoms but its dark design was ripe for expansion. At #8 is the rejection of the Super Mario pitch for Archie Comics, which given how well Archie Comics' Sonic series was handled, felt like untapped potential, even if in some ways the bullet was dodged such as the serious tone of the pitched comic and the fact that Archie would later face financial difficulties that led to the cancellation of their Sonic comic. At #9 is the lack of online level sharing in the 3DS version of Super Mario Maker, given that its portable nature would be a more natural fit for it. At #10 is the cancellation of Donkey Kong Racing, which could have been an alternative to Mario Kart.

Sometimes, missed opportunities aren't really that bad, especially if a better version of the opportunity exists in the future. After all, not every idea worked at the right time. For example, a customisable avatar wouldn't be great were it to be introduced during the Famicom era but it was a wild success when it was introduced to the Wii with the Mii. For now, these opportunities are just known things that one can be wistful for, but who knows, maybe in the future, it just might come true.

Thank you for reading.

F12 - Worst Game Objective (BBQ Turtle)

Hello again, here we are looking at the worst game objective- which overarching goal in a game did people like the least? Well, these results below should give us a clue:

F12 - Worst Game Objective

9,999,999 Coins (NSMB2) - 476 (25.33%)
Completing every level with every character (SM3DW) - 313 (16.66%)
Jump-Rope Challenge (SMO) - 197 (10.48%)
Beach Volleyball (SMO) - 125 (6.65%)
Chasing General White (PM:TTYD) - 99 (5.27%)
Super Expert Mode (SMM) - 99 (5.27%)
Blue Coins (SMS) - 96 (5.11%)
One million coins (NSMB2) - 88 (4.68%)
Rabbits (SM64DS) - 56 (2.98%)
Duel of 100 (SPM) - 52 (2.77%)
Purple Coins (SMG1 & SMG2) - 52 (2.77%)
Total Votes: 1879

Starting off Worst Game Objective is the newcomer for this year, collecting 9,999,999 (or just short of 10 million) coins in New Super Mario Bros. 2. This one shot straight to the top spot, which had been occupied by this year's second place since 2014, and it's not a surprise- collecting only one million coins had been holding second place steadily since 2014, so collecting ten times that amount seems to cause ten times the frustration- or at least enough to boost it up to first. And speaking of collecting one million, that objective has made it down to eighth this year- it makes sense that the objective that is practically more of the same would rank higher, and this one seems to have taken quite a hit from the voters migrating- although not enough to keep it out of the top ten. Completing every level with every character in Super Mario 3D World slipped down to second this year, but the fall only seems to be due to everyone voting in the ten million coins, as I'm sure people are no less annoyed with having to complete every level in that game with all five characters, and little explicit communication to do so. Admittedly it's slightly better with more players, but it's still a slog. Third and fourth place are two of the least favourite Power Moons in Super Mario Odyssey, the skipping rope in the Metro Kingdom and the beach volleyball in the Seaside Kingdom. Both moons are very similar, requiring you to do the same somewhat simple but monotonous activity 100 times over- notice a bit of a theme here of people not enjoying doing things over and over again? It's definitely going to continue. Fifth place is one of our ties for this award, being taken by searching for General White in Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door and Super Expert Mode in Super Mario Maker. The search for General White continues with the repetition theme, going on a wild goose chase from place to place looking for a Bob-omb that was in his own house all along- apparently the joke's somewhat amusing the first time, but the gameplay that goes along with it is anything but. Super Expert Mode is a little different though, requiring you to clear six particularly tough courses made by the playerbase with only 100 lives- and to make matters worse, this mode's completion is required to unlock certain mystery mushroom costumes, unless you have the required amiibo. Seventh place goes to the Blue Coins in Super Mario Sunshine- these are coins which you need to collect ten of at a time to buy a Shine Sprite, and the concept seems sound but the execution leaves a lot to be desired- there's no way, without keeping your own list, of telling which blue coins you've got, or how many remain in each area, making it very frustrating to actually find them all and earn the related Shines. And continuing with the theme of being annoyed trying to collect things, ninth place is the Rabbits from Super Mario 64 DS that you have to catch to unlock the minigames. And for tenth place, we have another tie, this time between Super Paper Mario's Duel of 100 and the Purple Coins from the Super Mario Galaxy games. The Duel of 100 follows the trend of doing a boring activity over and over again, in this case fighting enemies. The Purple Coins, however, are something a little different- funnily enough, people weren't a fan of these in the Worst Level Objective award, and the same points stand here- it's collecting coins hidden in unusual locations or under a time limit, kind of like a less offensive version of the blue coins. I feel like if there's anything to take away from this award, it's that people do not like repeating boring activities and annoying collectibles- and I think aside from small amounts of the usual shift, this'll be how the award changes in the future- if more games feature this sort of objective, it'll have a pretty good chance of finding its way into this award. And on that note, I'll let you find your way into the next piece of award analysis!

F13 - Worst Remake (Lakituthequick)

The Nintendo Switch sure got a lot of games that were originally released on the Wii U doesn't it? Well, it isn't the only console to have remakes.

F13 - Worst Remake

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe - 426 (25.65%)
Diddy Kong Racing DS - 287 (17.28%)
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey - 198 (11.92%)
Luigi's Mansion (3DS) - 141 (8.49%)
Super Mario Bros. Deluxe - 138 (8.31%)
Super Mario 64 DS - 132 (7.95%)
Super Mario Advance - 86 (5.18%)
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions - 78 (4.70%)
Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 - 54 (3.25%)
Super Mario All-Stars - 51 (3.07%)
Total Votes: 1661

This award was created last year, so there probably aren't too many trends yet, but let's see what we can find.

In first place, we have yet another Switch port with "Deluxe" in the title: New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe. They didn't even bother to remove the U. This one got an overwhelming amount of write-ins last year (over three times the amount of votes the last placing actual nominee got), hence its addition this year, and this was not for nothing it seems.
What can I say about it ranking this high? It was barely changed from the original New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U base games, the only changes really being a new character and the removal of being able to use both Toad colours. And some small aesthetic changes here and there I guess. I'm probably better off booting up my Wii U and buying the DLC there.

In second is Diddy Kong Racing DS, on the Nintendo DS. It got first last year, but the overwhelming presence of our new winner pushed it down.
Now, I'm not entirely familiar with this game at all, but from what I can gather, it seems that this remake is actually a downgrade from the original game on the Nintendo 64. Removed track elements, less elaborate cutscenes, characters that sound the same, what were they thinking?

In third position we have the mouthful of Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey. This game rose one spot from last year.
The major gripes with this remake are that, yes, it looks pretty, but it also removed some unique character (design)s, they skipped remaking the second game in the Mario & Luigi series from the Nintendo DS, and the original game is already playable on the Nintendo 3DS.

Other interesting tidbits: Super Mario 64 DS and Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, placing in the top 3 spots last year, have dropped down significantly. Good thing there was no Guess the Results this year, this would have cost a lot of people their trifectas.

F14 - Worst Setting (Hooded Pitohui)

You might expect someone named after a bird from New Guinea to prefer warm environments, but, to tell the truth, I'd be happier in Shiver City than anywhere near the heat and humidity of the Lost Kingdom. Yet, this isn't about the Mushroom World locales we would like to visit, but about those we would prefer to avoid at all costs.

F14- Worst Setting

Mushroom Kingdom (PM:SS) - 300 (20.22%)
Egg Island (YNI) - 140 (9.43%)
Subcon (SMB2) - 138 (9.30%)
Party Islands (MP:IT) - 121 (8.15%)
Shroom City (MPA) - 111 (7.48%)
Party Cube (MP4) - 84 (5.66%)
Sprixie Kingdom (SM3DW) - 82 (5.53%)
Flipside/Flopside & dimensions (SPM) - 79 (5.32%)
Transformed Wario Castle (WW) - 76 (5.12%)
Star Carnival (MP8) - 68 (4.58%)
Total Votes: 1484

There is one refrain which could summarize the Fail Awards. "We still don't like Sticker Star." Even in this award, the refrain holds true, with Sticker Star's version of the Mushroom Kingdom taking the top spot once again, continuing a streak that started in 2017. Interestingly, this is the highest proportion of the vote that Mushroom Kingdom (PM:SS) has ever carried. I would almost speculate that this had to do with The Origami King and its much more varied and interesting version of the Mushroom Kingdom, but the game came out too late to really influence the vote. Perhaps merely thinking about Paper Mario was enough to remind people how much they dislike Sticker Star?

Egg Island holds steady, meanwhile, in second place, without about the same share of the vote it had last year. It's not difficult to figure out why this locale ranks highly in this award, given that Yoshi's New Island is a reviled game that made some baffling retcons to the original's story and introduced an unnecessary new setting. Yoshi's Crafted World came out not long ago, but it seems that it did nothing to temper or inflame hatred for Egg Island, which may just be better off forgotten.

Surprisingly, Subcon emerges in third place this year. To tell the truth, I have no idea as to why this is. I can think of nothing that would have brought Super Mario Bros. 2 back into the spotlight this year, or, nothing that happened before voting closed, at least. It's been absent from the top three in years past, in an award which is usually dominated by settings from obscure or reviled spin-offs and select few games that are unpopular with the fanbase. Perhaps the game is starting to show its age, though. Some NES titles are less popular today, with their mechanics not as polished and modern gamers finding them less palatable for that. Will the renewed attention Super Mario Bros. 2 receives with the rerelease of Super Mario All-Stars, benefit Subcon or hurt it? If it's the case that people dislike it because its game is older and less polished, I would imagine it would become more unpopular.

Ultimately, it seems like Sticker Star and Yoshi's New Island will continue to dominate in the Fail Awards, this one included. Keep an eye out next year, though, and see if Subcon becomes more or less popular as more gamers connect with a classic-if-odd Mario game.

F15 - Most Disappointing Game (Luigi 64DD)

Greetings once again! I'm Luigi 64DD, and I'm here to analyze the last Fail Award and the last award I'll be doing, F15 - Most Disappointing Game! I know, I know, you must all be disappointed that you won't be seeing me in the Community Awards Analyses, but I'm here to tell you about some things that are even more disappointing: mediocre Mario games! Let's take a look at how disappointed our community truly is.

F15 - Most Disappointing Game

Paper Mario: Sticker Star - 496 (25.93%)
Mario Kart Tour - 241 (12.60%)
Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash - 176 (9.20%)
Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS - 152 (7.95%)
Super Mario Party - 93 (4.86%)
Mario Party 10 - 82 (4.29%)
Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition - 77 (4.03%)
New Super Mario Bros. 2 - 69 (3.61%)
Mario Party 9 - 63 (3.29%)
Yoshi's New Island - 61 (3.19%)
Total Votes: 1913

In first place we have Paper Mario: Sticker Star, with 496 votes. This game has been winning this award since 2016 when the award was restructured from Worst Game to Most Disappointing Game. However, this year it has won by a smaller margin, getting only 25.93% of the vote which is less than past ye... wait a minute, this is starting to sound very familiar. Did I already say this? Yes I did, because the top three results of this award are identical to the top three of Worst Spin-off, and even the decrease in Sticker Star votes due to the introduction of Mario Kart Tour holds true! Well, I guess it figures that a game you consider the worst would be disappointing... I will say though, the fact that most of the entries on this list are spin-offs and not main series games speaks to the quality of Mario's platforming adventures.

Let's talk about the ones that aren't on Worst Spin-off. The inherently more limited port of Super Mario Maker known as Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS comes in at fourth with 152 votes in a continuation of its previous high placement in this award (though it has gone down from second to fourth). After that, we have a game that has made a rather surprising jump from twelfth in 2019 to fifth this year: Super Mario Party (which should really be called Mario Party 11 and don't even try to convince me otherwise). This is the second year that this game has been here, so what's with the votes jumping from 39 last year all the way to 93 this year? I'm not really sure, but I'd speculate it may have to do with the fact that Nintendo has still not released any DLC for this game despite many considering the game to be severely low in the number of playable boards.

Besides that, the results have not changed much from last year, with the other nominees shifting almost exactly to account for the appearance of Mario Kart Tour and the sudden rise of Super Mario Party. In terms of platforming games, people seem to be fairly disappointed in Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition (seventh place) and New Super Mario Bros. 2 (eighth place) much like past years. Both of these are understandable, as the former was a rather unimpressive way to celebrate Mario's 25th in the form of a port of a SNES game and the latter is the most derivative game in a series of derivative 2D platformers. The two car-based Mario Party games Mario Party 10 and Mario Party 9 come in at sixth and ninth respectively. How Super Mario Party managed to place higher than both of these games is beyond me since it was supposed to be a return to form after they messed it up, but one can't always predict the whims of the masses. Speaking of questionable Mario Party games, we see Mario Party: The Top 100 taking the title of most write-ins, netting a total of 13 very deliberate votes. If I were the Awards Committee, I'd probably add this game to the official nominees next year. *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge* Also apparently 8 people were disappointed with Super Mario Odyssey enough to write it in. A little weird, but it's bound to happen.

And that's it for the Most Disappointing Game award and for me as well! I don't see this award changing too much in the future, but on the other hand you never know what Nintendo might come out with. After all, the reception of Super Mario 3D All-Stars isn't looking super great at the moment, but who knows. Anyway, I'm done here! Sayonara, folks!

Community Awards

C1 - Favorite Active 'Shroom Writer (winstein)

To start things off with this section, we shall be looking into the C1 - Favorite Active ‘Shroom Writer award, courtesy of winstein. In general, 'Shroom awards have a lower vote count because not as many people are familiar with the fan-made articles compared to the more publically-known Mario series. Even then, the section is going strong with a good number of active writers.

C1 - Favorite Active ‘Shroom Writer

Anton - 19 (23.75%)
Superchao - 18 (22.50%)
Magolor04726 - 7 (8.75%)
winstein - 7 (8.75%)
Lord Bowser - 6 (7.50%)
Yoshi876 - 4 (5.00%)
Shy Guy on Wheels - 3 (3.75%)
Coffee - 2 (2.50%)
Goombuigi - 2 (2.50%)
Hooded Pitohui - 2 (2.50%)
Koops - 2 (2.50%)
Lakituthequick - 2 (2.50%)
Total Votes: 80

In the first two places, we have Anton and Superchao respectively, who has a difference of one vote. Both of these guys are quite well-known members of the community which naturally gives them the advantage. Coupled with their well-known works, both of them managed to accrue a lot of votes. The gist is that Anton is known for his Half-Baked Reviews, a series that's mainly about reviewing food, which is no doubt due to his profession in food. Superchao's main article series is Mach Speed Mayhem, which is basically about F-Zero characters. Given how he promoted his article series by inviting other members to vote, more people know about his series. In shared third place, we have Magolor04726 and me, winstein. The former's main article series is World of Plight, a parody of World of Light in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate while the latter is Drawn and Pressed, which is an article series about comic strips. Both are relatively new, but the work put into them managed to please enough readers.

Coming into #5 is Lord Bowser, who does a section on News Flush, which is a (fictional) news section relating to matters among Nintendo universes that include Mario, Animal Crossing and Splatoon. Yoshi876 at #6 does a few sections, including a section on a (fictional) Obituary, a review on video game box art What's on the Box?, an advice section on Mario Kart named Racing Like the Staff and a detailing on a Pokémon in Pokédex Power, so as you can see, he's quite productive and his coverage might be why he's got a few votes. Shy Guy on Wheels at #7 does a section on SGoW's Declassified Mario Kart Wii Survival Guide, which is dedicated to the workings of Mario Kart Wii, a pretty popular game that might help out on his placement.

Sharing #8 are five members, so we'll go through their sections briefly. Goombuigi's two main article series are the Monthly Inquisition, a fictional interview between his persona and one of the various Mario characters, along with the Picross puzzle section. Hooded Pitohui did a section on Mario's Boombox, which is about highlighting musicians with their fan music. Koops does a section relating to Fire Emblem known as Koops, Your Emblem is on Fire. And finally, Lakituthequick does a section on mazes called It's aMAZEing. Coffee didn't seem to have an active section recently, and the time that has passed since some of these sections ran may have contributed to their lower rankings.

With a wide variety of sections and a lack of voters, it's unfortunate that not everybody gets voted, but I suppose there's always next time, and even if not, I would say that it's the effort that is put in the articles that makes the writers feel accomplished.

Thank you for reading.

C2 - Favorite Retired 'Shroom Writer (Power Flotzo)

It’s me, PF, here with my third Awards Analysis for the year. The ‘Shroom has had many writers over the years, and that’s what we’re going to look at for this award.

C2 – Favorite Retired ‘Shroom Writer

Toadbert101 - 12 (21.43%)
Meta Knight - 9 (16.07%)
Super Mario Bros. - 8 (14.29%)
Luigi 64DD - 4 (7.14%)
Mr. Edo - 4 (7.14%)
Baby Luigi - 3 (5.36%)
Raregold - 3 (5.36%)
Roserade - 3 (5.36%)
The Pyro Guy - 3 (5.36%)
Tucayo - 3 (5.36%)
Total Votes: 56

Fourth place actually goes to two people: Luigi 64DD and Mr. Edo. For Edo, I can understand, as he has been a community member for over a decade, but Luigi 64DD placing this high was something I honestly didn’t see coming. Perhaps it’s because he’s become relatively popular in such a short time?

Super Mario Bros. takes third place, for his long-time involvement with The ‘Shroom, among them a boatload of sections such as ‘’Calendar of Events’’ and ‘’Mystery Images’’, and the lasting impression he left on it long after his retirement from it.

Meta Knight takes home second place thanks to being involved with the ‘Shroom for so long, along with having served nearly two years as Director and writing such well-crafted section ‘’Meta Knight’s Dream Land Journal’’ and ‘’Galactic Expedition’’.

Finally, first place goes to Toadbert101, which should come as no surprise, given that he wrote Peddler’s Place for 80+ issues. Congrats on the win, TB!

C3 - Favorite Artist (BBQ Turtle)

And here we are, taking a look at some community awards this time. Here we're taking a look at favourite artist, with this year's top ten being as follows:

C3 - Favorite Artist

Fawfulthegreat64 - 12 (17.39%)
Lakituthequick - 9 (13.04%)
BBQ Turtle - 8 (11.59%)
The Pyro Guy - 8 (11.59%)
Turboo - 6 (8.70%)
ZelenPixel - 6 (8.70%)
Anton - 5 (7.25%)
Mr. Edo - 4 (5.80%)
Smg2daisy - 4 (5.80%)
Magolor04726 - 2 (2.90%)
Toadbert101 - 2 (2.90%)
Zange - 2 (2.90%)
Total Votes: 69

Before I get started in more depth, I just wanted to say how wonderful it is to see all of these different kinds of art together, and that everyone who was included in this award is more than deserving of the votes that they received. Anyway, first place this year went to Fawfulthegreat64- she works with a wide variety of primarily computer-based methods, and while she tries many different kinds of art, she's probably best known for her Paper Mario-style work, which looks as though it could easily have come from an official game. Second place went to Lakituthequick, who also tries his hand at all kinds of art style- everything from computerised drawings and graphical work to some newly-exhibited paper model-making skills! He's probably best known for his 3D model based work, working with a number of different model types to create unique effects, and the artwork he produces for It's A-maze-ing, which are 2D recreations of various objects in a simple but creative style. Third place this year was tie between myself and The Pyro Guy. I don't really want to speculate on my own placement too much, but I have had a lot of positive feedback for my work from people who enjoy the style of my drawings. The Pyro Guy primarily works digitally with a combination of 3D models and 2D artwork, and has likely received a boost from his amazing work creating assets for the Killing Game this year. His occasional dives into animation have also proved popular, making use of a number of techniques to creating interesting effects for his videos. Fifth place was another tie, this time between Turboo and Zelenpixel. Turb mainly works in an expressive 2D style that makes effective use of lines to add shaping and shading to the piece, creating a variety of different images. This the first year that Zelen has been included on the award as she's relatively new to the community, but she definitely deserves her place in the award. She often uses bright colours in her pieces to complement her style, creating a range of fanart and entirely original drawings, with a few doodles and Spore creations thrown into the mix. Anton came in seventh, and he's been placing well on this award for quite a long time. The steady amount of high-quality 2D artwork he produces for his 'Shroom sections and other community projects alongside his experiments with other materials make his work memorable, with the light-hearted tone nicely complementing the style. Eighth place was yet another tie, this time between Smg2Daisy and Mr. Edo. Mr. Edo is another long-time recipient of the award, having done well in it every year since it was introduced. He often creates fun images that play with a lot of facial expressions, as well as more serious works which make good use of colour and shading. Smg2Daisy creates a mix of traditional and computer works, which have excellent attention to detail which is carefully balanced with the overall composition of the image. And tenth place is another tie, but this time it's a three way one, between Magolor04726, Toadbet101 and Zange. Magolor is another newcomer to this award, and often works with pencil drawings of both original concepts and fanart, as well as written pieces in the form of poems. Toadbert on the other hand has been recognised for this award quite a few times in the past, creating a lot of 2D pieces alongside his very popular sprite comics. Zange rounds out the three-way tie with her brilliant vocal work, performing a variety of songs for various musical pieces. That just about rounds out the results for this award, so I'd like to again congratulate all of the artists who won this year, and I'll let you move onto out next piece of analysis!

C4 - Favorite 2019 Awards Presentation (Hooded Pitohui)

For those of you who I shilled awards at this year, it should come as no surprise that I firmly believe everyone is capable of making an award-worthy presentation no matter what talents they have. Even if all you can do is write, you can make a presentation, and this year's results for C4 showed that well.

C4 - Favorite 2019 Awards Presentation — Detailed Results

M8 - Favorite Art Style - BBQ Turtle - 12 (24.49%)
F4 - Worst RPG Area - Alex95 - 5 (10.20%)
C3 - Favorite Artist - Anton - 4 (8.16%)
C9 - Favorite Written 'Shroom Section of the Past Year - Roserade - 4 (8.16%)
F7 - Worst Enemy - The Pyro Guy - 4 (8.16%)
C7 - Favorite 'Shroom Core Staff - Hooded Pitohui - 3 (6.12%)
F9 - Worst Direction of Series - Mr. Edo - 3 (6.12%)
M3 - Favorite Mario Platformer - Fawfulthegreat64 - 3 (6.12%)
M30 - Favorite Modern Game (Wii/DS and newer) - Snack - 3 (6.12%)
C10 - Outstanding Community Achievement Award - Mr. Edo & Roserade - 2 (4.08%)
C8 - Best 'Shroom Section Design - Lakituthequick - 2 (4.08%)
M10 - Favorite Lyrical Song - Zange - 2 (4.08%)
Total Votes: 49

There's a diversity of winners in the top three here, with one video, two different approaches to hand-drawn art, and even a playable game! While I think that BBQ Turtle secured the win because of her adorable art, her incorporation of numerous members of community members, and her dedication to going above and beyond with the sheer size and scope of her presentation and her willingness to challenge herself to draw in so many different art styles, the thing that unites all four of the top three winners is a very personalized touch. BBQ Turtle has her unique hand-drawn style, Anton has his very creative crayon-based, cut-out art, Alex used his experience making Power Master to create a short interactive experience, and Roserade gave us a unique brand of surreal humour that only a zoomer thespian could bring.

Ultimately, the lesson to draw from this award is that any award presentation in any style can be memorable, if you make it yours. Add a personal touch, make it a little self-indulgent! If you make it something you enjoy and laugh at or take pride in, instead of treating it like a chore, you can place in this award no matter what mediums you can or can't work in.

C5 - Wiki Contributor Award 2020 (BBQ Turtle)

Good to see you're all still here, I've got another piece of analysis for you, and this time I'll be taking a look at the winners of the wiki contributor award. So to start off, let's have a look at the winners:

C5 - Wiki Contributor Award 2020

Alex95 - 12 (24.00%)
Mister Wu - 8 (16.00%)
BBQ Turtle - 7 (14.00%)
Doomhiker - 7 (14.00%)
Mario jc - 5 (10.00%)
Glowsquid - 3 (6.00%)
LinkTheLefty - 2 (4.00%)
Lord Grammaticus - 2 (4.00%)
Baby Luigi - 1 (2.00%)
Doc von Schmeltwick - 1 (2.00%)
The Mansion - 1 (2.00%)
TheFlameChomp - 1 (2.00%)
Total Votes: 50

Before we continue, I'd like to say good job to all of the winners, as well as anyone else who has done work for the wiki in the last year- all of these people have made some brilliant contributions, and are very deserving of the recognition. First place this year went to Alex95, one of our Administrators who does all sorts of stuff for the wiki. Alex often interacts with the community alongside his editing, which I think helped him earn recognition to take the top spot of the award. Second place went to Mister Wu, who's currently a Patroller on the wiki. He's very knowledgeable about technical details, translations and all things Koopalings, and is often very helpful which I think would win him some voters. These two have been taking some of the top spots for the last few years, and it looks like Alex managed to overtake Mister Wu this year, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens next year. Third place is the first of our ties for this year, between Doomhiker and myself. Doomhiker is one of the newcomers on the award this year, as he's a relatively new member but he's made a big impact in the time he's been editing. He's already had a speedy promotion to a patroller, and has been working on a large range of projects on the wiki as well as in other related community venues. As for myself, I've recently been working on improving Mario & Sonic coverage amongst other odds and ends, so it's nice to see a bit of recognition for that, and thank you to anyone who voted for me. In fifth place is one of our Bureaucrats, Mario jc, who's one of those people you'll often see on Recent Changes- he's good at helping out with just about anything and everything, from fixing code and helping users to dealing with vandals and cleaning up articles. And closely behind in sixth is another of our Bureaucrats, Glowsquid. You might not see him around the wiki quite as much as some of the other nominees, but Glowsquid gets up to all kinds of behind the scenes stuff- most notably, he's one of the main organisers for our April Fool's shenanigans and runs the wiki's popular Twitter account, both things that I think would earn him some voters. And for seventh place, we have another tie, as well as the first users on this award who aren't currently part of the wiki administration team. LinkTheLefty is a long-time editor who's begun appearing on the award again more recently, and he's another editor who works on a large range of articles, though he's especially good at checking that things are accurate and correct, particularly when it comes to naming. Lord Grammaticus the other nominee tied for seventh, and much like Link, he's another long-time user who's come back into the spotlight more recently- he's the only newcomer for the award this year who's been here since before 2018. He's another user who tries their hand at editing all kinds of different thing, which seems to be serving the nominees of the poll quite well this year. And rounding out the award, we have a four way tie for ninth, between Baby Luigi, Doc von Schmeltwick, The Mansion and TheFlameChomp. Baby Luigi has been on this award for a while for her contributions to projects across the wiki, and has recently been working on adding content relating to Dr. Mario World. Doc von Schmeltick is another user with a wide range of interests when it comes to editing and wiki projects, but has a very keen focus on organising things in the correct way. The Mansion is out third newcomer for the year, and the user on the award who's joined the wiki most recently. They often pick up projects relating to adding new high-quality content for a range of specific games. And finally rounding out the nominees for the award is TheFlameChomp, another of our Administrators who covers all sorts of stuff while doing administrative tasks, and is always willing to help out other users. Of course, this award changes on a yearly basis based on contributions to the wiki inbetween awards cycles, so there's always room for shake up, or for the results to stay largely the same. It's just a case of waiting and seeing, and watching the wiki take shape in the meantime. And with that, I think it's time to look at the next award!

C6 - Favorite 'Shroom Team (Lakituthequick)

Where would we be without The 'Shroom? Not writing this analysis at least!

C6 - Favorite 'Shroom Team

Critic Corner - 19 (27.54%)
Strategy Wing - 18 (26.09%)
Fake News - 13 (18.84%)
Fun Stuff - 8 (11.59%)
Pipe Plaza - 8 (11.59%)
Palette Swap - 3 (4.35%)
Total Votes: 69

This award has existed since the inception of the 'Shroom Awards. The 'Shroom Awards have since merged into the Community Awards, but this award survived that. It started out as Favourite Sub-Team before dropping the "sub" prefix.

This year's winner is Critic Corner, lead by Hypnotoad (talk). It won the last couple of years and went up from second and third before that, only netting fourth place in its first year.
There is little doubt that the consistent quality of the sections it currently has influences this rise. Anton's own Half-Baked Reviews consistently appear, and other sections also consistently add value to the team.

Second by one vote is Strategy Wing, lead by Hooded Pitohui (talk). It doesn't have a consistent placement and hasn't won this award yet.
It can be said that the shilling of Superchao (talk)'s Mach Speed Mayhem puts some extra attention behind the team, but this shouldn't distract from the other sections, such as ManKoops (talk)'s video walkthroughs of Fire Emblem.

In the third position has landed: Fake News. Unlike Critic Corner, this one consistently was in first place from the very beginning, but in 2018 and 2019, it dropped one place each, and now is in third for the second year in a row.
It has been lead by MrConcreteDonkey (talk) for 100 issues before he resigned, and was then taken over by Doomhiker (talk) last February. It contains a variety of fake news from the Marioverse, though the coverage is a bit less consistent than other teams may have. One thing is certain, and it's Yoshi876 (talk)'s Obituaries, morbid as it may be.

Other interesting tidbits: Palette Swap (named Music & Artwork before 2015), has never entered the top 3. In fact, in 2015 onwards, it has consistently placed last.

And that was my last award for this year's analysis! I hope you liked mine, and everyone else's too of course, and wish you a good remainder of the day.

C7 - Favorite 'Shroom Core Staff (Hooded Pitohui)

The 'Shroom depends on its writers for content, but it also depends on the thankless work of its staff, who take on numerous jobs in the background that our readers never see. As current Director of The 'Shroom, I've been keenly aware this year of how much our staff really does, so let's celebrate them with this award, shall we?

C7 - Favorite 'Shroom Core Staff

Hooded Pitohui - 13 (25.49%)
Roserade - 10 (19.61%)
Superchao - 5 (9.80%)
Lakituthequick - 4 (7.84%)
Anton - 3 (5.88%)
MrConcreteDonkey - 3 (5.88%)
Doomhiker - 2 (3.92%)
Lord Bowser - 2 (3.92%)
Ninja Squid - 2 (3.92%)
Yoshi876 - 2 (3.92%)
Total Votes: 51

First, I want to remind everyone that the Community Awards is a small little affair, and that even being nominated or receiving a single vote in this award is a big deal. Good on all of you who are listed above!

Now, looking at historical trends, it seems that recognizability in the community as a whole is a major part of this award. In years past, this has also held true. Superchao and Anton, who take on a greater diversity of prominent roles in the community than anyone else, have consistently appeared in the top three of this award for the past three years. With all the positions they've held, people have really had the chance to get to know them, it seems! I would imagine it helps quite a bit that they're both active in casual community outlets, with Anton fairly active on Discord and well known as a chat operator and regular chatter on IRC. Superchao likewise frequents both venues, and, I can speak from experience when saying that he's one to reach out for conversation with you, or one to reach out to shill Mach Speed Mayhem. That level of engagement with the community goes a long way for the both of them, and explains Superchao's placement in third this year along with Anton's continued high placement.

Lakituthequick is becoming more and more recognized for his work in the community, as well, as more people have the chance to directly talk to him on Discord and through events like Awards Killing Game 3 and Awards Killing Game 4. As it turns out, large events like these are great ways to forge new connections and talk to members of the community you might otherwise not.

Now, in second is Roserade, who appeared in third on this award last year. He's likely received some boost from becoming Sub-Director of The 'Shroom, but I would attribute it mainly to the continuation of his active and widespread attempts at community engagement. He's very encouraging to users, new and old alike, and has worked very hard to try and connect people who otherwise wouldn't talk to each other in recent years. I imagine that all of that has helped make him more recognizable than ever. As for the first place winner, that would be me, Hooded Pitohui, and, really, I hesitate to say that is the result of anything more than a bump in recognizability created by all The 'Shroom shilling I do as Director. When you make the posts telling people to read new issues, I suppose they learn your name. In fairness, though, I do realistically think I have also stepped up outreach efforts, myself, and I have been quite proud of the results of those efforts. I've seen numerous community members who used to inhabit separate spheres coming together to talk and even play games on a regular basis, and I think that joining them in that has helped me make a few connections of my own, hence perhaps making more people recognize and remember my name.

No matter what, I can say with certainty that I've been overjoyed to see more and more people talking, playing, and otherwise interacting with one another as they get to know users they haven't conversed with before. I hope that the trend continues, and I suspect that this award will see more votes as it does!

C8 - Best 'Shroom Section Design (Hooded Pitohui)

As a member of The 'Shroom staff and your current Director, I can assure you that we're always looking for ways to give The 'Shroom a well-crafted, easily readable layout. Thankfully, we're assisted by a number of our dedicated writers! Please, take a look at those writers who go above and beyond in their efforts to make their sections as aesthetically pleasing as possible.

C8 - Best ‘Shroom Section Design

Mach Speed Mayhem (Superchao) - 13 (26.53%)
Anniversary Announcements (Lakituthequick) - 8 (16.33%)
News Flush (Lord Bowser) - 5 (10.20%)
Anton's Half-Baked Reviews (Anton) - 4 (8.16%)
Drawn and Pressed (winstein) - 3 (6.12%)
It's aMAZEing (Lakituthequick) - 3 (6.12%)
Dear Anton (Anton) - 2 (4.08%)
Hot Pot Reviews (Zange) - 2 (4.08%)
Pokédex Power (Yoshi876) - 2 (4.08%)
TV Tomorrow (Quizmelon) - 2 (4.08%)
Total Votes: 49

Looking at the top five winners of this award, a clear pattern emerges. Readers like sections with strong, visible organization. Whether long like Anton's Half-Baked Reviews, short like New Flush, or somewhere in the middle like Drawn and Pressed, making the organization of your section immediately visible to readers makes a significant difference. Note, too, that some of these sections use headings, some use galleries, and others use tables. There's no one right way to make a section look clean and presentable; it's important to use the system that works best for the information being presented in the section.

News Flush, takes third, and that's likely because Lord Bowser's version of the section has captured the three most essential elements for a visually-appealing section. It has a strong visible organization through its use of headings (and a consistent organization, that that), it uses images to complement and break up chunks of text, and it makes itself look concise. A concise look can make the difference between a section a reader feels compelled to read in full and a section that looks overwhelming and deters a potential reader. With his three-part structure, delineated by headings and images for each part, Lord Bowser makes his section look easy to digest, makes each part look concise and inviting.

Lakituthequick, despite often having overwhelming amounts of information, finds his own way to make everything presentable and concise in appearance with Anniversary Announcements. One glance at his tables will explain why his section takes second. Whether you want to know what nominees have changed for a specific award or you want to know the status of a specific tournament, his use of headings and the layout of his tables means you can quickly identify the relevant information at a glance. That's the strength of Anniversary Announcements, you can find anything easily and quickly, and, if you aren't looking for anything specific, it's still so organized that you know exactly what to expect as you read.

Finally, this year's winner, Mach Speed Mayhem, likely takes first because it feels like it iterates on the best features of a section like News Flush. Just like Lord Bowser's section, Superchao's section delineates its overall organization through the use of prominent, consistent headings, uses images to break up the larger chunks of text within its subsections, and it does it all in a manner that looks concise. He often handles a great deal of information, with some racers having extensive biographies, but the section never looks overwhelming or intimidating. The use of headings breaks the section up into a few manageable pieces, each having an image or two, sometimes three, which makes it look small and focused. It's simple, without fancy tables or coding, but it hits upon the most important elements of a visually-appealing section, and, for doing that with a relatively larger section, it seems to have earned fans

C9 - Favorite Written 'Shroom Section of the Past Year (Hooded Pitohui)

As the current Director of The 'Shroom, I have to express my deepest thanks to all of those members of the community who write for this little paper month after month. All of those of you who were nominated for this award ought to feel honored, because you're well-deserving of this recognition. Every written 'Shroom section we have to offer is good, but let's take a look at which ones attracted the most votes this year.

C9 - Favorite Written 'Shroom Section of the Past Year

Anton's Half-Baked Reviews (Anton) - 20 (27.40%)
Mach Speed Mayhem (Superchao) - 19 (26.03%)
Drawn and Pressed (winstein) - 8 (10.96%)
SGoW's Declassified Mario Kart Wii Survival Guide (Shy Guy on Wheels) - 5 (6.85%)
Anniversary Announcements (Lakituthequick) - 3 (4.11%)
Interview (Superchao) - 3 (4.11%)
News Flush (Lord Bowser) - 3 (4.11%)
World of Plight (Magolor04726) - 3 (4.11%)
Hot Pot Reviews (Zange) - 2 (2.74%)
'Shroom Recap (Hooded Pitohui) - 1 (1.37%)
Mario's Boombox (Hooded Pitohui) - 1 (1.37%)
Meta Knight's Dream Land Journal (Meta Knight) - 1 (1.37%)
Poll Committee Discussion (10th Poll Committee) - 1 (1.37%)
Smashing Reviews (Smasher) - 1 (1.37%)
TV Tomorrow (Quizmelon) - 1 (1.37%)
Where in the Marioverse is Carmen Sandiego? (FunkyK38) - 1 (1.37%)
Total Votes: 73

First, let me congratulate Shy Guy on Wheels, who managed to take fourth place in this award despite having only written a single edition of his section at the time the polls went up. It's impressive, and, considering how well he laid out the basics of Mario Kart Wii, it reflects the promise and potential his section has. Here's to hoping we get to see more of it in the future.

Turning our attention to the top three, you might notice that these sections have consistently appeared in the Staff Section of the Month (SSOTM) picks over this past year, and there's reason for that. The idea behind SSOTM is that the staff can highlight specific techniques used by some of the best sections in the paper, so that other writers can learn to adapt those techniques to their own needs and use them in their own sections. Drawn and Pressed,, Mach Speed Mayhem, and Anton's Half-Baked Reviews, are sections that bring everything together. Informative, written in an engaging style, with a pleasing aesthetic layout, a reasonable use of images to break up text, dripping with passion, possessing a strong organized form, these are all descriptions true of these three sections. Most of these traits, as a matter of fact, can be found in all of the nominees in the top ten, but these three sections bring all of them together into a single piece and go above and beyond in certain key respects.

Superchao not only provides detailed profiles of F-Zero's racers that cover every single aspect of their history, but infuses his passion for the series into his writing by describing firsthand experiences with how their vehicles race, by seeking out and discovering information in obscure Japanese-only profiles from the GBA titles, and raising possible connections that only a long-time F-Zero fan would notice. His sections read like Wiki articles, encyclopedic stuffiness aside, and Mach Speed Mayhem may very well be the best centralized source of F-Zero information on the Web right now. winstein writes into his section his personal experiences with comics, describing how he came across the comics he covered and drawing upon his familiarity with the medium to compare and contrast them to other comics, some that most folks likely wouldn't even be able to name! To further enhance his section, winstein curates a gallery of select samples of the comics he covers and cites reliable, often interesting-in-their-own-right sources. Anton, it has been said, basically writes articles fit for a hobbyist or semi-professional food blog and gives them to The 'Shroom each month. Not only does he review and rate his subjects, but he weaves his own knowledge and perspective on broader issues and topics into his articles, even linking sources that shed more light on the topics he discovers for the layperson.

If there's one thing that could be said about the top three here, it's that they feel like more than 'Shroom sections. They feel like blogposts, the kind of thing you would find on a respectable, dedicated Tumblr blog for newspaper comics, F-Zero, or food. It goes to show how much passion the writers have for their subjects and the lengths they go to share those passions with others. They work hard to make you want to read their sections, so, please, take a note from them! If you have a passion to share with the world, The 'Shroom is a platform through which you can do that. Join in with the intention of writing on a subject you want to introduce to others, and you could very well show up in this analysis next year!

C10 - Outstanding Community Achievement Award (Hooded Pitohui)

You must certainly be tired of seeing the name Hooded Pitohui on this page. Luckily, this is the last time you'll have to see me, as this is our last award to cover this year. Now, let's look at some people who have actually earned the right to have their name plastered everywhere, shall we?

C10 - Outstanding Community Achievement Award

Anton - 11 (17.46%)
Superchao - 11 (17.46%)
Porplemontage - 9 (14.29%)
Lakituthequick - 5 (7.94%)
Hooded Pitohui - 4 (6.35%)
Roserade - 4 (6.35%)
Walkazo - 4 (6.35%)
Doomhiker - 3 (4.76%)
Yoshi876 - 3 (4.76%)
Ninja Squid - 2 (3.17%)
Total Votes: 63

Taking this from the bottom up, we see that Lakituthequick has shot up from ninth place last year to fourth place on this Award. While I want to reiterate that being nominated for this Award at all is a high honor and that anyone who made it on here ought to be extremely proud that they did so, that's a large enough jump to make one wonder if there was any specific event that pushed LTQ up this year. Looking back at the year, though, I don't believe there is one specific point you can point at; I believe that people have started to realize just how much it is that LTQ does in the background for the community. His Awards Scavengers, his presentations, and projects like his username CSS for the forums are publicly known, but only smaller groups of people know how invaluable he is as the Awards Record Keeper, the Website Manager for The 'Shroom, and a helpful fellow with a tech-focused mind in general. He hosts the staff wiki that makes it possible to prepare The 'Shroom each month, he's created a tool which assists with the tedious process of uploading images for the paper, and he proactively assists with a wide range of issues and technical questions as they arise. For Awards, he ensures the many, many documents detailing nominees, results, and historical records remain organized and error-free, among other tasks. He lends his services to community members who need help with specific projects, to Killing Game Hosts in a bind, and even to those who need to have a backup archive of content like old 'Shroom issues and Userpedia. I suspect that more people talking to him and the people who are aware of his dedication has boosted his votes this year, as more people have had the chance to get to know him as a host in AKG3, a player in AKG4, and in casual venues like Rose Garden.

Now, Porplemontage is well-known in the community despite having a small presence. Anyone looking into the history of the Wiki or the Boards is going to find his name, given that he's the proprietor of the community and its official venues. That's likely a large part of the reason why he tends to place highly in this award. Despite mostly being in the background, he's very responsive, and willing to help take care of issues as they come up. That makes a difference for a place like this; websites with more distant or apathetic owners can often have major problems that persist for years. These generally aren't site-breaking problems, but they do impact the communities that use the sites in major ways. In that regard, we're rather lucky to have Porplemontage, so willing to help provide the community with what they need or find ways around issues as he is.

Moving to the first place winners, it's worth noting that Superchao and Anton have earned consistently high placements in this award for years. There's good reason for that. The amount of work they do around here is difficult to overstate. Anton is a chat operator, Director of Critic Corner who has modernized the team and added the wonderful Half-Baked Reviews to it, the long-time Awards Director who has kept the community's biggest event running smoothly for years now, and a member of the community who has done much to keep the community a safe and inclusive space. He's taken on various other miscellaneous tasks, too, being the Userpedia Steward for quite some time, as well. Superchao has served as a Director and Sub-Director for The 'Shroom (even stepping up to fulfill the position on multiple occasions when circumstances have required it), has been on the Poll Committee and Awards Committee, serves thanklessly as a global forum moderator, writes the very well-received Mach Speed Mayhem, and works very hard to keep up community morale and encourage members to step up into positions of leadership when he sees they have potential. These aren't even a full listing of all these two do! As a matter of fact, I've likely missed a great deal. The point, however, is that no matter what project you look at, it probably bears the mark of at least one of Anton and Superchao, if not both. No matter who you talk to in the community, Anton or Superchao have probably done something significant for them. You can accurately say of any community member that the community wouldn't be the same had they not joined and dedicated their time to the community, but there are only a select few about who you can say that the community would look fundamentally and wholly different without their dedication. Anton and Superchao are among those few, and I suspect they will have a place in this award for years to come. If you see them around, think of what they've done for you, directly or indirectly, and thank them for it!

Congratulations! You've made it to the bottom of that massive amount of text. Thank you for reading, as winstein might say! We'll be taking a short rest after all of this, but please know that the Poll Committee will continue working hard to bring you interesting and informative polls on the main page for the rest of our term!

The 'Shroom: Issue 162
Staff sections Staff NotesThe 'Shroom Spotlight'Shroomfest
Features Fake NewsFun StuffPalette SwapPipe PlazaCritic CornerStrategy Wing
Specials Awards Analysis