The 'Shroom:Issue 175/Awards Analysis

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Awards Analysis

Written by the 12th Poll Committee


HELLO THERE, YOU READERS WHO DECIDED TO READ THE BEST SECTION ON THE SHROOM. The name is Ray Trace and I plan ON TAKING OVER THE-I mean, I'm here to finally present to you Awards Analysis, as BRAND NEW POLL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN OF THE 12TH! We have started this year off excellently, with I, me, myself, Ray Trace, Luigi 64DD (talk), and my wonderful team of six who have all been great collaborators so far! My fabulous team has wonderfully compiled results of our Awards (if you haven't yet seen our presentations, I implore you to do so) and has analyzed them, giving them some insight and commentary on the results, specifically the top three winners.

Also, here is the unveiling of the banner (finally!) that will go on MarioWiki: Polls!


I, Ray Trace, have amazing artistic talents and have rendered our current members with a rock. That's what they call these tools to draw with if you don't have a wacom? There's nothing totally conspicuous about our location where we do polls, so there's nothing to ask about!

ANYWAY go read my section okay please do it now distract yourselves with nice poll stuff.

Mario Awards

M1 - Best Sound Design (Luigi 64DD)

Hey there 'Shroom readers, it's me, Luigi 64DD (talk), here to start off the analyses with M1 - Best Sound Design! The Mario franchise has some great tunes that really capture the spirit of their games as well as good sound effects to go along with the gameplay. This award celebrates the best of the best in this area. Let's see which games sounded off at the top of the poll.

M1 - Best Sound Design

Super Mario Galaxy - 351 - (19.28%)
Super Mario Odyssey - 235 - (12.90%)
Paper Mario: The Origami King - 158 - (8.68%)
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury - 124 - (6.81%)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 - 111 - (6.10%)
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - 105 - (5.77%)
Super Mario 64 - 84 - (4.61%)
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door - 81 - (4.45%)
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - 78 - (4.28%)
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story - 69 - (3.79%)
Total Votes: 1821

Flying in at the top is Super Mario Galaxy with 351 votes. This game's beautiful orchestrated soundtrack has taken the top spot in this award for the third year in a row, although with a slightly lower percentage compared to last year due to a few other great games that we'll hear about it in a bit. Galaxy is the traditional winner of this award, only being dethroned in recent years once in 2018 by the at-the-time all-new Super Mario Odyssey. The grand and awe-inspiring themes of this game continue to be some of the most popular in the franchise. I predict it will continue to make the top spot until a new 3D Mario platformer game comes out, at which point it will be temporarily beaten before assuming its cosmic throne again

Journeying into second place, we have Super Mario Odyssey with 235 votes. Mario's most recent platforming escapade has a great variety of adventurous tunes of many different genres, highlighting its globetrotting theme. This game's music continues to be popular with the fandom as seen by this result. However, it did see a bit of a decrease from last year, going down from about 17 1/2% of the vote to a little under 13% of the vote. Could this be the novelty of the new game factor wearing away? Or is it perhaps because of the new games that have come out in the past year taking a slice of its popularity? It's hard to say, but I think it's safe to assume this game will continue to chart high on the list in the future even if it may lose its second place status with the coming of new games yet to come.

Next up, we have an all-new entry to the award as well as an old one that has been given new life: Paper Mario: The Origami King has come in third with 158 votes and Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury in fourth with 124 votes. Origami King has made a royal debut on the list, instantly shooting up all the way to the top 3. This is no shocker as this game continues on the legacy of great jams that the Paper Mario games have come to be known for. I can see why it got so high up as it's got some great songs, especially some of those boss fights. Meanwhile, the new Switch port of Super Mario 3D World has caused it to go up from fifth last year to fourth this year. Not a huge jump, but it's still interesting to see how re-releases of older titles can affect the polls.

Beyond that, the list is mostly the same as last years with a few ups and downs. Super Mario Galaxy 2 has returned to the list with full force by taking fifth place with 111 votes. I'd say its re-addition was quite well-deserved. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe took quite a dip from last year, going from third place last year to sixth place with 105 votes this year. A shame, really, I quite like its soundtrack, but perhaps we'll see it rise up again in the future. Super Mario 64 had a similar fate, going from fourth to seventh with 84 votes this year. It's quite clear that some of new games this year as pushed these two games down to the list. Other than that, the next few are mostly the same few games with slight placement alterations, although one interesting thing you can't quite see from this table is that Luigi's Mansion 3 took a huge dive from sixth place all the way to eleventh place. Luigi just can't catch a break, can he?

And that's all for this award! My prediction is that this award will mostly stay the same in the future with only mild alterations, but you can always expect new releases to come in and make a splash. We'll have to stay tuned and find out what happens with this award going forward!

M2 - Favourite Mario Kart Game (BBQ Turtle)

Hello everyone! BBQ Turtle here to deliver some analysis on M2 - Favourite Mario Kart Game, starting with the results for this award:

M2 - Favourite Mario Kart Game

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - 824 (42.06%)
Mario Kart Wii - 465 (23.74%)
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! - 208 (10.62%)
Mario Kart DS - 154 (7.86%)
Mario Kart 7 - 92 (4.70%)
Mario Kart 64 - 80 (4.08%)
Mario Kart Tour - 60 (3.06%)
Super Mario Kart - 18 (0.92%)
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit - 17 (0.87%)
Mario Kart: Super Circuit - 16 (0.82%)
Total Votes: 1959

And to noone's surprise if you've been following these awards for the last few years, the top four has stayed the exact same as it has been for a while, with Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe taking the top spot, Mario Kart Wii following in second, Double Dash!! in third and Mario Kart DS rounding out the top four. There's also a huge jump in the voter numbers here as well, with each of these top four having about half as many voters as the result that placed above it. I imagine these results of this award will stay mostly the same for the foreseeable future, unless we either get a proper new Mario Kart game or Nintendo does a big push for one of the older titles on a Virtual Console equivalent or similar re-release thing. Though past this top four, there has been a bit of movement going on- Mario Kart 7 has managed to snatch fifth place back from Mario Kart 64, which has found itself down in sixth place. Tour has slipped a little from last year to the still-too-high-for-it seventh place, while Super Mario Kart has managed to make it up to eighth. I'd guess Tour's popularity is beginning to wane now that it's not so new, while I wonder if Super managed to get a boost from new players of it on Nintendo Switch Online. In ninth place is this year's newcomer, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit- I have a feeling this one might be a case of recency bias though, as from what I've heard this one hasn't had a lot of longevity. I think we'll have to see if it holds its placement next year- assuming there isn't some sort of big update right before the Awards next year to bring it back to the front of people's minds. And taking up tenth place on the award is Super Circuit, which has dropped a few places from recent years- while the new contenders obviously would displace something, it does seem strange that this would be the one to go. I'd wager it might have something to do with the current lack of easy accessibility to it though- I wouldn't be surprised if the placement shot up again if that was remedied at some point. Anyway, I think that just about wraps up everything that's worth saying about this award, there haven't really been any big surprises but a number of smaller factors have shown that they can offset the less popular results. I imagine this'll remain mostly true until something big happens in the world of Mario Kart. And with that, I'll let you move onto the next award!

M3 - Favorite Mario Platformer (Goombuigi)

Greetings, one and all! I'm Goombuigi, the green-hatted Goomba who can be confused with Goombario at first, but make no mistake, we're completely different! For starters, Goombario doesn't write for the 'Shroom, now does he? Anyway, I'll be looking at the results for the favorite platformer from the Mario series.

M3 - Favorite Mario Platformer

Super Mario Odyssey 22.55% (431 votes)
Super Mario Galaxy 15.33% (294 votes)
Super Mario 3D World Bowser's Fury 10.68% (204 votes)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 9.47% (181 votes)
Super Mario 64/Super Mario 64 DS 7.01% (134 votes)
Super Mario Sunshine 6.59% (128 votes)
Super Mario World 6.12% (117 votes)
Super Mario Maker 2 5.29% (101 votes)
New Super Mario Bros. Wii 4.08% (78 votes)
Super Mario Bros. 3 3.77% (72 votes)
Total Votes: 1911

At the top of the podium is Super Mario Odyssey, which isn't a particularly big surprise, because not only is it one of the most recent and one of the best-selling Mario platformers (with 21.40 million copies sold), it's also been a winner of this award since 2018. Super Mario Galaxy has the silver, which also remains consistent with past results, as it has scored second in every award since 2018 as well. Presumably, this is due to the scope of the game, with the theme of space shaping not only the gameplay, but the story as well. The game even has a direct sequel, that's how successful it was! The game in third place is more of a surprise, and it's Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury. Super Mario 3D World itself scored quite high from 2014 until 2016, after which it fell into the depths of mediocrity (for reference, it placed eighth last year). Although this jump is a big one, it's not too surprising due to the Switch port, which was released in February of this year. It also came with a side game, titled Bowser's Fury, which is wrapped in this place as well. This campaign was likely what boosted this game so far up, as it experimented with elements from 3D Mario games past (such as Super Mario Sunshine with Bowser Jr., Super Mario Odyssey in terms of certain gameplay parts, and of course, Super Mario 3D World), while adding its own spin in the form of one large setting on which the entire game takes place. No travelling to entirely different locations, all takes place on Lake Lapcat's various islands.

Fourth place is reserved by Super Mario Galaxy 2. It's essentially more of Super Mario Galaxy (it was originally planned to be added as an update before it spurred into its own game), which is likely why it scored well, but its impact wasn't as significant as its predecessor, which is why it isn't placed higher. In fifth place are Super Mario 64 and Super Mario 64 DS, the first 3D Mario game and the first 3D Mario port/remake respectively. Super Mario 64 had a huge impact at the time, essentially establishing the genre of 3D platformers. It was also one of two launch titles for the Nintendo 64, which likely played a large role in the game's impact. Similarly, Super Mario 64 DS was a launch title for the Nintendo DS, and at the time, was one of the first fully 3D games on a Nintendo handheld (as previous games, such as Mario Kart: Super Circuit used Mode 7 to create the illusion of 3D). Neither of the games have aged particularly well, which is probably why they aren't placed any higher. Super Mario Sunshine is in sixth place, since while it's generally praised for its distinct beach-themed environment, locations, and characters, it is criticized for being rushed, thus riddled with glitches and imperfections, as well as some poor level design (look no further the infamous Pachinko Machine and the Lilypad Ride levels to see what I mean).

The first of Mario's 2-dimensional adventures on this list is Super Mario World, in seventh place. This is likely due to the long-lasting impact of the game, particularly since it was the last 2D platformer game on a home console (despite Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins coming afterwards, it wasn't particularly revolutionary, hence it isn't brought up often), and due to the introduction of Yoshi, a staple of the present-day franchise. In eighth is Super Mario Maker 2 (a personal favorite). While it is game with a wealth of content, with millions of levels to play, the game was likely brought down due to the impact of it being smaller than the first Super Mario Maker, which is understandable since it's a direct sequel. Nintendo Switch Online limited the reach of the game (since to play any of the online content, you'd have to purchase it), so it could have been a factor as well. In ninth place is New Super Mario Bros. Wii, a game with a large install base, but a game that isn't brought up nowadays, likely due to many growing tired of the New Super Mario Bros. after the next few games. Personally, I was surprised that New Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo DS didn't make the top 10, considering it had more sales (30.8 million compared to the Wii's 30.2 million), and it had an arguably larger impact, being the first original 2D Mario game in about 15 years. My guess as to why New Super Mario Bros. Wii overtook the DS game is because it's on a home console (after all, none of the games in the top 10 are strictly handheld games, showing a clear trend). The tenth and final game that I will mention is Super Mario Bros. 3. Although an NES game, it rivals Super Mario World in terms of innovation - it adds multiple new power-ups to the roster, with an inventory for them, it features a world map, and introduces the now-unpopular Koopalings. It's likely lower on the list than Super Mario World is due to it having more limitations due to it being an NES game, and the cracks of the NES's technology were beginning to show when the game was released in 1988.

That concludes the list of the best Mario platformer games, according to the community. There are two trends that I've noticed, for one, 3D Mario games dominate in the list due to being more technically impressive, more impactful, and due to the fact that many of them have aged better than the 2D Mario games (hence why games such as Super Mario Bros. aren't featured here). The second trend is the aforementioned home console bias, which is likely the reason why Super Mario 3D Land is the only original 3D platformer not in the list. As for the future, Super Mario Odyssey will likely reign supreme until the next mainline 3D Mario game arrives.

M4 - Favourite Mario Kart Course (BBQ Turtle)

Hello again everyone, here I am, back again, with another set of Mario Kart-themed results to take a look at- this time, it's the courses that are up! To kick thing off, let's take a look at the top ten:

M4 - Favourite Mario Kart Course

Waluigi Pinball - 281 (15.20%)
Coconut Mall - 190 (10.28%)
N64 Rainbow Road (MK8) - 136 (7.36%)
Mount Wario - 133 (7.19%)
Rainbow Road (MK7) - 121 (6.54%)
Electrodrome - 90 (4.87%)
Koopa City - 90 (4.87%)
Maple Treeway - 88 (4.76%)
Rainbow Road (MKW) - 73 (3.95%)
Airship Fortress - 70 (3.79%)
Total Votes: 1849

And Waluigi Pinball is continuing to hold strong as the first placed nominee yet again! I've never quite understood what it is about that course that everyone likes so much... but everyone does seem to like it, so I guess that's why it's there. Coconut Mall has also managed to hold onto its second place spot that it managed to get last year, though I don't know what has exactly prompted its recent bump in popularity- not that I'm complaining of course, Coconut Mall is one of my two favourite courses in the series. N64 Rainbow Road has stayed in roughly the same place for third, as has Mount Wario taking fourth. People seem to have a liking for these three-part courses, as fifth place is taken by 3DS Rainbow Road- though this has fallen a few places from previous years. I've never really liked it myself, but I wonder what could have caused all of those other voters to fall off- maybe when it was brought back in Mario Kart Tour they particularly butchered it and caused people to lose fondness? Hard to say really. Moving onto sixth place, we have a tie! Seems like people like neon-filled courses just about equally, as Electrodrome and Koopa City have taken the spot. Electrodrome has held its popularity for a good while, though Koopa City has taken a very sudden upswing in voters- I wonder if AKG4 has anything to do with those big changes? :P Maple Treeway has also seen a bit of a pick up to make it to eighth place compared to previous years, so perhaps Mario Kart Tour did a better job of it compared to 3DS Rainbow Road? Or perhaps the use of its music in that one Origami King level caused a lot of nostalgia for the course? Long story short, it has more voters this year. Wii Rainbow Road has taken a little bit of a knock this year, but it's a big improvement on its results historically- given from my experience most people really seem to hate this one, I don't know where this big voter turnout has come from. It's nice to see my personal favourite Rainbow Road getting some love though. And rounding out the top ten with another bit of a drop is Airship Fortress- OK I know Tour screwed this one up (remind me why adding that lava was necessary again?). But aside from that I can't really make any guesses why, people for the most part still seem to like that one. As for this result going forward, I think the results will depend on a proper new Mario Kart coming out- the new courses from Tour haven't made much of an impact and we aren't seeing a lot of favour for people's houses from Live: Home Circuit either. Though a new game could also have some negative effects on the current results aside from new entries too, as a bad retro course can really turn the voters away- and of course Tour may still have some impact on that front too. But I think that' all there is to say for that one, so onto the next award!

M5 - Favorite DK Music Track (Hooded Pitohui)

Hello, all you readers of The 'Shroom, it's me, Hooded Pitohui, ruining a joke I make about being unmasked in a later section because I'm picking this up after I wrote my other analyses. Donkey Kong games have some pretty memorable music, but we should take a look and see what the voters out there consider the most memorable.

We should also take a look at these results so we can figure out why so few of you wrote in Seashore War from Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.

M5 - Favorite DK Music Track

DK Rap (Donkey Kong 64) 21.86% (332 votes)
Gang-Plank Galleon (Donkey Kong Country) 12.97% (197 votes)
Stickerbrush Symphony (Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest) 12.77% (194 votes)
Aquatic Ambience (Donkey Kong Country) 6.65% (101 votes)
DK Island Swing (Donkey Kong Country) 4.94% (75 votes)
Homecoming Hijinxs (Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze) 4.28% (65 votes)
Forest Interlude (Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest) 4.21% (64 votes)
Jungle Japes (Donkey Kong 64) 3.95% (60 votes)
Punch Bowl/Bashmaster Battle (Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze) 2.76% (42 votes)
Fear Factory (Donkey Kong Country) 2.63% (40 votes)
Total Votes: 1,519

Looking at the results, I can't help but immediately notice the sharp drop-off between the top three and the rest of the top ten, with the three podium-placing nominees each taking over ten percent of the vote. I think there's a fairly obvious explanation as to why these three tracks performed so well, and that explanation is Smash Bros.

Now, admittedly, the "DK Rap" is a fairly memetic song even without the Smash Bros. popularity boost, and is beloved enough for its cheesy nature that it managed to take second place in last year's "Favorite Lyrical Song" award. Incidentally, it also was well-known enough that Goombuigi made a parody of it to present C3 - Favorite Artist this year at the awards ceremonies, and you should look at that if you haven't already. Tangents aside, though, the "DK Rap" seems like it has a lasting appeal, so cheesy that it has become memorable and easy to use for meme remixes that, say, reorder the song so its lyrics are in alphabetical order. I doubt its popularity will decline anytime soon, so I suspect it will continue to perform well when pitted against other Donkey Kong music tracks or lyrical songs from across the Mario franchise.

The second and third place results are not, in my opinion, surprises, but they are interesting in light of past results. Looking at the complete results for 2020's ceremonies, when all instrumental tracks from the Mario franchise and its sub-series were combined into one category, Aquatic Ambience, in fourth this year, received one write-in vote, while Stickerbrush Symphony and Gang-Plank Galleon received no write-in votes! This can't be explained by Smash Bros., since Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been out for years. If I'm being honest, I don't think this can be explained at all. I don't think there's really a reason behind this shift in support away from Aquatic Ambience to the other two tracks; instead, I would chalk it up to write-in votes requiring more effort than clicking the box for an existing nominee and casting a vote. You almost always see a write-in that gets upgraded to a nominee get a surge in votes. I imagine that the other two tracks simply didn't cross any voters' minds last year, or that they opted to write-in other tracks, having the entire Mario franchise to draw upon. Thus, this is just neat trivia, more than something to be explained.

So why did Gang-Plank Galleon and Stickerbrush Symphony do so much better than Aquatic Ambience and the tracks which placed below it? Anecdotal evidence (that is to say, what I've personally heard over the years) would suggest that Stickerbrush Symphony and Aquatic Ambience are both beloved tracks, so what gave the former the edge? Simply put, Stickerbrush Symphony has appeared in Super Smash Bros. and Aquatic Ambience has not. To be honest, I had never heard anyone talk about Gang-Plank Galleon until Super Smash Bros. Ultimate boosted its popularity, though, I can't say for certain that it wasn't previously well-regarded. I would still guess, however, that Smash Bros. played a big role in putting it in second place this year.

Of course, there's DK tracks which have appeared in Smash Bros. that didn't do as well as the top three in this award. Between that and the "DK Rap" outperforming the two instrumental tracks which have also appeared in Smash Bros, it's clear there are other factors in play here. The biggest takeaway, though, is that an already-popular track appearing in Smash Bros. almost ensures it will perform well in these polls.

Next year, we'll most likely see these lyrical and instrumental tracks collapsed back into two Mario franchise-wide awards. Will any of these DK tracks be able to compete in the instrumental track award? I doubt it, honestly. The "DK" rap probably has a decent chance of rising high in the favorite lyrical song award again, though. We'll see what happens. More importantly, while you vote P for F7 next year, join me in four years when I start "Vote Seashore War for M5"!

M6 - Favorite Wario Music Track (Hooded Pitohui)

A pleasure.

Welcome to our Awards Analysis. Are you finding everything that you need? Who am I, you ask? My name is Morris, acting regional manager for the Joja Corporation, and it is my pleasure to serve you. Why am I here, you ask? Allow me to answer you. I received a call from Mr. Trace requesting a consultant on an Awards Analysis project. I have no doubt that he came around after recognizing our success rate with our ventures. Our projects are always completed ahead of schedule and under their projected budget!

I was able to clear time in my schedule to assist Mr. Trace, so I have prepared a report on sales of singles produced by the small videogame company WarioWare Incorporated. Please, consider it a free sample. I'm certain you will find the information in the report satisfactory and thorough, and it's my pleasure to give you a sample of our quality analyses.

M6 - Favorite Wario Music Track

Ashley's Theme (WarioWare: Touched!) 22.05% (295 votes)
Greenhorn Forest (Wario World) 8.89% (119 votes)
Hurry Up!! (Wario Land 4) 8.37% (112 votes)
Mona Pizza's Song (WarioWare: Twisted!) 8.30% (111 votes)
Stonecarving City (Wario Land: Shake It!) 6.50% (87 votes_
Body Rock (WarioWare: D.I.Y.) 5.75% (77 votes)
Title song (Wario Land 4) 5.53% (74 votes)
Tomorrow Hill (WarioWare: Smooth Moves) 5.53% (74 votes)
Greenhorn Ruins (Wario World) 4.56% (61 votes)
Neon City (Wario Land: Shake It!) 4.41% (59 votes)
Total Votes: 1338

It appears that no firms had committed the resources to researching the success of WarioWare Incorporated's musical productions until this year. In other words, these musical tracks were previously considered in the context of the broader industry, compared to lyrical songs and instrumental tracks released by other firms. This narrowing of the scope of this report has changed the results considerably, and we can clearly see this by focusing on the most popular track from WarioWare Incorporated.

"Ashley's Theme," accounts for nearly a quarter of the sales of WarioWare Incorporated's musical tracks, with over double the number of sales of the next best-selling track. This isn't unexpected. Last year, a report on the musical industry saw "Ashley's Theme" ranked sixth among the top ten best-selling lyrical songs throughout the Mushroom World, placing it above every other lyrical song produced by WarioWare Incorporated. What could explain this song's enduring popularity? The power of marketing is responsible! As I understand it, Mr. Wario and Young Miss Ashley signed a deal to have this song play in the wildly popular Super Smash Bros. series of tournaments. I have no doubt that the song remains widely-known and popular because Super Smash. Bros introduced its sizeable audience to the piece.

Why, then, does "Ashley's Theme" perform so much better than the fourth best-selling track, "Mona Pizza's Song," when both have appeared in Super Smash Bros.? The individual associated with the song may be a factor here. Young Miss Ashley seems to command a great amount of popularity. A report in 2019 ranked her second only to Wario as the most popular figure from WarioWare Incorporated. Young Miss Ashley has built up her brand more than Miss Mona has, and it is likely that her popularity buoys the popularity of her signature song.

While it is easy to explain why "Ashley's Theme" and "Mona Pizza's Theme" are popular among those who listen to the music produced by WarioWare Incorporated, explaining how Greenhorn Forest and Hurry Up!! beat out "Mona Pizza's Theme," to become the second best-selling and third best-selling, respectively, musical tracks produced by Mr. Wario is… more challenging. I suspect nostalgia may be a factor, with Wario Land 4 and Wario World, some of the last titles released by WarioWare Incorporated before the company followed market trends and began to focus on producing Microgame compilations, but, were recency and nostalgia a factor, one would expect tracks from Wario Land: Shake It! to have performed better. The success of these two tracks comes as a surprise, and I can think of no other explanation than Wario World and Wario Land 4 being fondly remembered by gamers who associate the titles with their childhoods or who long for a return to the old Wario Land style of gameplay.

It could also be that these tracks are considered, subjectively, "better music". With so many having access to music on the Internet these days, it isn't impossible that prospective buyers of these tracks listen to a few of the tracks before making a purchase. There may be no deeper meaning. It could be that customers like the beat and style of these tracks better than other tracks.

By narrowing its scope, this report revealed that musical tracks such as Greenhorn Forest and Hurry Up!! remain popular, but reports in coming years will once again combine the music released by WarioWare Incorporated with competition in the broader music industry. I doubt these tracks will be able to claim much market share when they face more competition, but we should continue to pay attention to Ashley's Theme. Will it remain popular enough to make appearances in future reports even when faced with greater competition? It does appear to be a case study in marketing and branding, so I believe it will!

M7 - Favorite Yoshi Music Track (Hooded Pitohui)

Hello, ravenous dinosaurs! It's Hooded Pitohui, certified Toady, here to finish off this trio of awards for the instrumental tracks of Mario sub-series. Now, we'll take a look at the only sub-series besides Mario Party which remembers that Toadies exist and are super cute!

M7 - Favorite Yoshi Music Track

Athletic Theme (Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island) 19.84% (293 votes)
Final Boss (Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island) 16.32% (241 votes)
Flower Garden (Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island) 10.02% (148 votes)
Yo-Yo-Yoshi (Yoshi's Story) 6.70% (99 votes)
Underground (Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island) 5.62% (83 votes)
Castle/Fortress (Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island) 4.94% (73 votes)
Map (Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island) 4.54% (67 votes)
Knitty-Knotty Windmill Hill (Yoshi's Woolly World) 3.86% (57 votes)
Space (Yoshi's Crafted World) 3.52% (52 votes)
Ending (Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island) 3.39% (50 votes)
Total Votes: 1,477

As best as I can tell, the Yoshi series has a reputation as a series that hasn't ever been able to fully recapture the magic of its first outing. While Yoshi's Story, Yoshi's Woolly World, and Yoshi's Crafted World are accepted and enjoyed to some degree, other titles like Yoshi's Island DS and Yoshi's New Island are regarded as hollow imitations of the original Yoshi's Island, and others yet languish in obscurity like Yoshi's Touch & Go and Yoshi's Universal Gravitation. Whether this is an accurate assessment or is colored by my personal opinions, the results of this award seem to support the idea that fans consider the original Yoshi's Island, with its odd Super Mario World 2 title, the best game of the bunch. It swept the top ten, with its tracks taking seven of the ten spots, and with it completely locking down the top three.

Flower Garden performing so well most likely has something to do with it being the theme of the first level (Make Eggs, Throw Eggs) in the original game. Like 1-1 of Super Mario Bros., this opening level has probably been played and replayed countless times by many gamers, by young children who, stuck on a late level in the game, restart the game, and by older gamers returning to the game for a dose of nostalgia. Honestly, were it not for the fact that the Yoshi's Island athletic theme had been popular enough to be a nominee on the combined instrumental track poll last year while Flower Garden was left as a write-in, I'd be surprised Flower Garden didn't take first.

While Flower Garden no doubt remains memorable because it's the theme of the first level in a beloved classic game, Final Boss (what a creative name) presumably earns votes for being remembered as the theme attached to a climactic moment in a beloved classic game. Perhaps gamers don't experience the final fight with Baby Bowser as many times as they do a stroll through "Make Eggs, Throw Eggs," but it ends up balanced out by the emotion of the moment. A narrative masterpiece, Yoshi's Island is not, but, look, as a little kid, having Baby Bowser charging at you after becoming giant-sized, threatening to destroy the very floor upon which you stand, it feels intense! Little wonder people remember that fight and the tension that came with it.

The winner this year, though, is not associated with the game's beginning or its end. Yes, Athletic Theme, already popular enough to make it onto last year's combined instrumental track award as a proper nominee, and likely boosted by its appearance in Super Smash Bros. under the name Obstacle Course, represents some of those most action-packed moments of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. It's called the "Athletic" theme for a reason, appearing in the most platformer-action oriented stages! I can imagine players remember it appearing throughout the game, and, thanks to the kinds of stages it appears on being memorable, fun, challenges, adopting it as the de facto "main theme" of this well-regarded childhood classic that holds up even to this day.

Clearly, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island continues to reign supreme among fans of the Yoshi series, and I suspect its music will continue to have some presence when the instrumental track polls recombine next year. Will we ever see tracks displace its top-performing tracks? I wouldn't bet on it until a game that can finally match the original comes out and captures the hearts of fans!

M8 - Favorite Art Style (Goombuigi)

It's-a me, Goombuigi! This time, I'm here to analyze the poll of the favorite art styles, voted by the community.

M8 - Favorite Art Style

Main series 3D style 19.22% (353 votes)
Paper Mario style 18.07% (332 votes)
Mario & Luigi style 16.60% (305 votes)
2D promotional artwork style 10.94% (201 votes)
Super Mario Strikers style 5.99% (110 votes)
Handcrafted Yoshi style 4.68% (86 votes)
Retro style sprites 4.03% (74 votes)
Wario Land: Shake It! style 3.92% (72 votes)
WarioWare style 3.59% (66 votes)
Donkey Kong Country style 3.54% (65 votes)
Total Votes: 1837

The art style in first place is none other than the mainline 3D style. It's remained in first place since 2016, which is likely due to the fact that it's the most recognizable style. It's the style that's used most often for the games, such as the Super Mario series, the Mario Kart series, and the Mario sports games, and the style is also used in most of the games' artworks. If one thinks of Mario, this is most likely the incarnation that they will think of. The style in second is the Paper Mario style, likely because it's a distinct style which a whole series is associated with. Plus, the style became more graphically impressive as the series progressed, particularly with Paper Mario: Sticker Star and Paper Mario: Color Splash. As disliked as those games may be, the papercraft style made the visuals pop in comparison to past games. In third is the Mario & Luigi style, for similar reasons. It's likely one place lower than the Paper Mario style due to it being somewhat more similar to the main series style. Both the Paper Mario and the Mario & Luigi styles have been in these spots since 2016, so no drastic changes have occurred this year.

Just missing out on the top three is the 2D promotional artwork style. While it hasn't been the focus in any games to date, it has been used to a limited extent (such as in recent Mario Party games), but it has been used often in game artwork, such as in Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario Odyssey. In the following places are the Super Mario Strikers style, the handcrafted style in Yoshi's Woolly World, retro styled sprites (such as Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario World sprites, which, along with modified or new sprites, were used in certain recent games such as Super Mario Maker and Super Mario Odyssey), and the Wario Land: Shake It! style. These styles are all from a certain game or group of games, which is probably why they didn't perform too well compared to the top four art styles. In addition, while the WarioWare and Donkey Kong Country styles are used all throughout their respective series, those series aren't as well-known, and they aren't as strongly associated with Mario, which is likely why they earned ninth and tenth places respectively. In addition, the percentage of votes for fifth place and lower is much smaller (6% to 3.5%) compared to the first four (which all received more than 10% of the votes).

And that concludes my analysis of the favorite art styles. It seems that the results of this poll won't change anytime soon, but that might not be a bad thing.

M9 - Favourite Add-on Content (BBQ Turtle)

Hello everyone, here I am again, this time to take a look at the results for the Favourite Add-on Content Award. Let's kick this off by taking a look at the results:

M9 - Favourite Add-on Content

World Maker Update (version 3.0) (SMM2) - 307 (17.65%)
New Super Luigi U - 227 (13.05%)
Piranha Plant (SSBU) - 217 (12.48%)
The Legend of Zelda × Mario Kart 8 - 144 (8.28%)
Super Mario Mash-Up Pack (Minecraft) - 143 (8.22%)
Luigi's Balloon World (SMO) - 111 (6.38%)
Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8 - 105 (6.04%)
A Legendary Update (version 2.0) (SMM2) - 86 (4.95%)
e-Reader content (SMA4:SMB3) - 78 (4.49%)
Mercedes-Benz × Mario Kart 8 - 67 (3.85%)
Total Votes: 1739

It looks like the World Builder Update for Super Mario Maker 2 has managed to hold its first place from its addition last year again, though I suspect recency bias is still somewhat at play for this one. Though the Legend of Zelda update still managed to stay in the exact same (although notably lower) eighth place as last year, so perhaps these have more staying power than it might initially seem? Perhaps these two will move if something else overshadows it. New Super Luigi U has managed to climb a place since last year though, perhaps pushed up by more people playing it in New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe. Piranha Plant in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the other hand has fallen another place his year- Piranha Plant usually isn't brought up alongside the other DLC characters from the game, and perhaps has been overshadowed a bit by the other characters released since- after all, since the last awards, the Minecraft characters, Sephiroth, Pyra and Mythra and Kazuya have all been released. The Legend of Zelda content for Mario Kart 8 has managed to hold strong in fourth, though the Animal Crossing pack has fallen to seventh. It's a bit odd really, as usually those two are no more than one place away from each other but this year there's more of a gap between them. I'm not really sure what would turn people away from the Animal Crossing on either, particularly as the franchise has some increased relevancy at the moment. The Mercedes-Benz pack for the game stayed in a solid tenth place as well, so goodness knows what's going on with Animal Crossing. Sixth place is a big jump for Luigi's Balloon World though, which was down in ninth last year- perhaps some people have been rediscovering Super Mario Odyssey recently? Or maybe last year's low voter turnout was just a fluke. Rounding out the top ten nominees is Super Mario Bros. 3's e-reader content, which has had a slight fall compared to last year. I believe the most recent re-releases of the game haven't had this content packaged in, so perhaps not as many people are aware of it as before? Anyway, going forward, the main thing that'll cause a change in these results is new add-on content being released. From what I can see, the trends in this award are a little all-over-the-place, so it's hard to predict if something will go up, down or stay in the same place. Maybe next year the trends can point to something more?

M10 - Favorite Mario Lyrical Song (BabyLuigiOnFire)


Hello. This is Ultra Violet here. For some reason, Ray Trace is a Poll Committee chairman, whatever that is, and he wanted all of us to write something for this thing called The 'Shroom? I don't know what Ray Trace is doing in his spare time. Not sure how our Commander got onboard with this so...

At least here, you get some results of some great tunes here. I enjoy writing about music you see, I listen to a lot of it in my spare time and it's a hobby I engage in, so it's only fitting that I decided to write about some of the songs the Mario series has to offer (called "lyrical songs" for clarity here, since not everyone knows that song = music that uses the human voice as its melodies, usually with lyrics, and that's...fair enough I guess).

M10 - Favorite Mario Lyrical Song

Jump Up, Super Star! (Super Mario Odyssey) 39.58% (724 votes)
Break Free (Lead the Way) (Super Mario Odyssey) 18.26% (334 votes)
Do the Mario (The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!) 16.13% (295 votes)
Phantom of the Bwahpera (Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle) 8.69% (159 votes)
The Mario Rap (The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!) 6.01% (110 votes)
Ignorance is Bliss (White Knuckle Scorin') 3.94% (72 votes)
Galantis ft. Charli XCX - WE ARE BORN TO PLAY (Super Nintendo World Japan promo) 2.79% (51 votes)
The Mario Drawing Song (Flipnote Studio) 2.30% (42 votes)
Intro (Super Mario World cartoon) 2.02% (37 votes)
Total Votes: 1829

In first place in an overwhelming victory is "Jump Up, Super Star!" from Super Mario Odyssey, which I don't think is the least bit surprising. It was the first song to appear in a main Mario franchise game (other songs and pieces with voice samples have been used in smaller Mario spin-offs, but never in a Mario platformer like this, certainly not in the 2D and 3D platformers before), so it was a breath of fresh air to see to multiple fans, and it was a rather bold move to do, in which I say has been pulled of spectacularly. The song was performed by The Super Mario Players and Kate Higgins, who lends her rather beautiful voice to great effect, and the result of the song is an energetic, big band-styled piece. Reminds me of classy jazz times when the likes of Benny Goodman rocked the era. Second place is another Super Mario Odyssey song, "Break Free (Lead the Way)", which is also performed by The Super Mario Players, but it doesn't quite pack a punch as "Jump Up, Super Star!", likely because it's not the song that was the one first revealed in a first-look trailer of the game. That final level of the game still left quite a big of an impact on the voters here, sure, enough that it's number two out of all picks.

Third extremely cheesy credits song from The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! called Do the Mario. I guess it has a certain memetic quality to it, especially combined with the campy feel of Lou Albano singing and being awkwardly plastered and segued onto the storyboard. I will not "Do the Mario" for any of you, before you ask, not in a million years. Not even if Dark Light asks me to perform it.

The rest of the list starts to get a bit more obscure and niche, some of these I haven't quite heard before (such as Galantis ft. Charli XCX - WE ARE BORN TO PLAY, which requires you to tune into a Japan promo for a theme park that is yet to be opened). Some of the write-ins are quite fascinating though, such as Always Smiling from Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix, an electronic cover version of the Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka sung by a female singer, predating "Jump Up, Super Star!" while some of them barely qualify as a "song" at all, just because they use a few voice samples in a beginning of a piece. Yes, I'm looking at you, DK Summit.

Anyway. I don't know how to end this. So...Ultra Violet out.

M11 - Favorite Major Character (Goombuigi)

I'm running out of good intros already, and we're just at M11! Well, let's look at the favorite major character, voted by the community.

M11 - Favorite Major Character

Luigi 23.48% (492 votes)
Mario 15.75% (330 votes)
Yoshi 15.27% (320 votes)
Bowser Jr. 9.93% (208 votes)
Bowser 9.26% (194 votes)
Wario 8.35% (175 votes)
Toad 6.97% (146 votes)
Princess Peach 6.92% (145 votes)
Donkey Kong 4.06% (85 votes)
Total Votes: 2095

Of course, Luigi is in first place, as he should be. He won by a significant margin, too, receiving nearly a quarter of the total votes. It seems that an over-shadowed underdog is more interesting compared to a hero. However, Mario himself isn't far behind, as he is in second place. Considering that he's essentially Nintendo's mascot, in addition to being playable in a plethora of games, not to mention the franchise being named after him, he has perhaps the farthest outreach, which would explain why he has second place. Yoshi is in bronze, probably because not only is he a staple of the Mario franchise, but he also has his own set of platformers. In the past, Mario and Yoshi have swapped places quite frequently (last year, for example, Yoshi was second and Mario was third).

Interestingly, Bowser Jr. is one place above his father in this list. Perhaps it's because he's easier to defeat? Or because he's cuter? Otherwise, I'm not too sure. In sixth place is Wario, another character who has games of his own, but doesn't seem too popular due to his hygiene. Third from last is Toad, likely due to his infamous reputation in the Paper Mario series. Peach is second to last, likely because of her role as a damsel in distress, meaning that we don't get to see much of her in the Super Mario series. And finally, Donkey Kong concludes the list. He's probably the most obscure of this group, since he only appears in spin-offs and the Donkey Kong Country games nowadays, plus he generally doesn't seem too popular of a character.

That concludes the Favorite Major Character award. It looks like Luigi will remain in first for a while yet, which I'm sure we can agree is a good thing.

M12 - Favorite Supporting Character (Waluigi Time)

Expecting someone else to analyze this award? TOO BAD. WALUIGI TIME. That's right, I'm here to talk about which supporting characters in the Mario franchise have the most adoring fans! I bet you can't guess who I voted for.

M12 - Favorite Supporting Character

Waluigi 16.01% (315 votes)
Rosalina 15.96% (314 votes)
Princess Daisy 9.65% (190 votes)
Captain Toad 7.42% (146 votes)
Kamek 6.96% (137 votes)
Cappy 6.20% (122 votes)
Professor E. Gadd 6.05% (119 votes)
King Boo 5.44% (107 votes)
Toadette 5.44% (107 votes)
Diddy Kong 5.34% (105 votes)
Total Votes: 1968

In first place, we have objectively the best supporting character, Waluigi, continuing his winning streak which started back in 2015. Clearly, he still captures the hearts of the Mario fanbase, but then again, how could he not? However, he usually takes a commanding lead in this poll, and that didn't happen thanks to some new competition.

In second place is Rosalina, a newcomer to M12 after being moved off of Favorite Major Character this year. The space princess seems to have quite a bit of pull around here, being only a single vote shy of a first place tie! Get it? Pull? Like gravitational pull?

Trailing in third place is Princess Daisy, who has historically taken second place every year since 2016, with the exception of 2018 when that spot instead went to franchise newcomer Cappy. Looks like Rosalina is the more popular princess, sorry Daisy.

Interestingly, Professor E. Gadd, who took third place in 2019 and 2020, has suffered a substantial drop in popularity, now placing all the way down in seventh. Most likely this is because Luigi's Mansion 3 is fading from recent memory, though it is also very possible that Rosalina took a chunk of his previous voters away this year.

Rosalina being added to this poll certainly shook things up quite a bit this year, both booting the previous runner-up Daisy down to third place and giving the historical winner Waluigi an extremely close run for his money! It will definitely be interesting to see how she performs in the future. Will she be the one to to finally wrestle the winner's trophy away from Waluigi, or will she stay in second place for the forseeable future, and how close will the vote counts between them be?

M13 - Favorite Level Theme (Waluigi Time)

Hey, wasn't I just here? Well, looks like I'm back again to discuss the results of Favorite Level Theme! The New Super Mario Bros. games may be criticized for using the same level themes over and over, but the franchise as a whole certainly has no shortage of interesting locations. Let's take a look at which ones were the most popular this year.

M13 - Favorite Level Theme

Space/Moon 11.10% (201 votes)
City/Town 9.39% (170 votes)
Feudal Japan 9.39% (170 votes)
Beach 7.23% (131 votes)
Factory/Industrial 7.07% (128 votes)
Grassland 6.57% (119 votes)
Food/Sweets 6.13% (111 votes)
Snow/Ice 5.58% (101 votes)
Ghost House 5.30% (96 votes)
Carnival 5.02% (91 votes)
Total Votes: 1811

In first place, we have Space/Moon for the second year in a row. This theme has had an impressive showing every year since this award's inception in 2016, placing in first or second every time. While I'm sure we can give Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel most of the credit here, I wouldn't be surprised if Super Mario Odyssey had some influence in this theme's popularity.

In second place, we actually have a two-way tie! The first runner-up is City/Town, which also won second place last year. Like Space/Moon, this is a popular one, placing in at least second every year since 2017, no doubt thanks to the Metro Kingdom from Super Mario Odyssey. The second runner-up is Feudal Japan, a brand new addition this year! Given that this is a pretty uncommon level theme in the Mario franchise and could be seen as a breath of fresh air, and, once again, appeared in Super Mario Odyssey thanks to Bowser's Kingdom, I think it's easy to see why it did so well. Interestingly, despite Feudal Japan's performance, both Space/Moon and City/Town didn't see too much of a drastic reduction in votes.

The Beach theme, which took third place for the past three years, still holds quite a bit of popularity, only being bumped down to fourth place, and still having a similar proportion of the vote as it did then. Although there was a beach level in Odyssey, this theme is pretty common in the franchise, going back as far as Super Mario Bros. 3, so an explanation for exactly what sources are responsible for its popularity here are anyone's guess. But hey, who doesn't like the beach?

I don't know if it's just me, but it seems like Super Mario Odyssey really cleaned up the award here, having kingdoms with each of the top four level themes. Additionally, with Space/Moon, City/Town, and Feudal Japan all being level themes that aren't typically seen in Mario games, it would definitely seem that the majority of voters prefer themes that are more varied and not just the same old themes that keep popping up in the New Super Mario Bros. games.

M14 - Favorite Species (BabyLuigiOnFire)

My friend Pleima can't write all that well, ¡but she'll be pleased to know the poll results!

¡Hola! My name is Blueshift. I'm very closely affiliated with the Protectors, but I'm not quite part of them; I don't have the same gear that they do. If you see Redshift around here, tell him I said, hi, ¡'cause I'm his younger sister! I journey in the cosmos with my Luma friend, Pleima, so I don't have much time for this Protector stuff, but that doesn't mean I don't chip in and help them out every now and then. I've heard that Sergeant Ray Trace got this poll thing going and I'm glad to write this. The section I picked was Favorite Species. The Mario series sure has its large share of varied and diverse species, and ¡we're here to explore you guys's faves!

M14 - Favorite Species

Yoshis 18.85% (354 votes)
Shy Guys 10.22% (192 votes)
Toads 9.42% (177 votes)
Lumas 7.45% (140 votes)
Boos 7.29% (137 votes)
Koopa Troopas 5.75% (108 votes)
Kongs 5.22% (98 votes)
Humans 5.11% (96 votes)
Goombas 4.37% (82 votes)
Dry Bones 3.89% (73 votes)
Hammer Bros. 3.67% (69 votes)
Bob-ombs 3.25% (61 votes)
Piranha Plants 3.04% (57 votes)
Magikoopas 2.50% (47 votes)
Chain Chomps 2.02% (38 votes)
Wigglers 1.65% (31 votes)
Lakitus 1.38% (26 votes)
Toadies 1.28% (24 votes)
Total Votes: 1878

Topping the list are our cute, friendly dinosaurs the Yoshis from their eponymous island once again, having a consistent win record across the years. ¿And who couldn't resist them? They come in all colors, including two types of blue, they're soooooo cute when they're flutter jumping, and best of all, they are very heroic, helping both Baby Mario and Baby Luigi out. Their long tongues can deal with most threats and their aim is top-notch, always hitting their eggs where it needs to be thrown at. They do have some less than savory characteristics such as their insatiable appetite, but fortunately, most of them keep it under control and prefer to eat fruits over people anyway. I'd like to ride on a Yoshi someday, experience how it was like to be Baby Mario on an adventure. Sometimes, it's great to use low-tech methods of traveling once in a while...

Number 2 are Shy Guys, little masked cuties who don't really like Yoshis because of their tendency to gobble them up, though to be fair, much of these Shy Guys work for Kamek and the Yoshis are simply a response to that. They consistently win second place, barring one year where Toads managed to beat them. No matter if some are bad or not, these little guys are very talented and come with a large amount of varieties, whether they are Fly Guys, Sky Guys, Spear Guys, and what have you. Just like Yoshis, they come in all sorts of colors, some of them just directly matching Yoshis, ¡but it's nice to see the different color variations hang around! Both Pleima and I sometimes ponder what's behind those masks...hey...¿they aren't just their faces are they? Maybe we will never know.

We then have Toads, our most common resident in the Mushroom Kingdom, who are also a consistent face on the polling. ¿Aren't they just about the most innocent citizens around? They always seem to be carefree and happy, optimistic about things in general, and even if they are a bit helpless at points, ¡there's always at least someone who is willing to give them a helping hand! We sometimes come across the Toad Brigade in our travels, and they're always a fun crew to be with. Pleima can especially tell me stories about the Toad Brigade's escapades in far-off lands as they interact with other Lumas.

Speaking of Lumas, I have to give special mention to them that they placed fourth on the results, but they sometimes manage to get third, even second as far back as 2010, and they always score well in these events. I'm very happy to tell you that Lumas are indeed amazing little babies with great little super powers such as transforming into a lot of stuff, ¡no wonder Rosalina enjoys taking care of them!

It's also pretty amusing that humans themselves took number 8 overall, despite my data indicating that the majority of the people who voted in these polls are humans themselves. ¡Shows you how even they can strongly appreciate other species!

All in all, I like seeing how all species have an ample amount of votes for them. Even something as evil as being a man-eating Piranha Plant can win you fans, perhaps of their awe-inspiring vicious nature or their funny playable appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. We also have quite a bit of write-ins, our most popular write-ins were the clumsy large Isle Delfino Piantas and the prickly cactus Pokeys, both tying at 6 votes each, though there are some puzzling write-in entries, namely the ugly and obscure Attacky Sack from Yoshi's Story, the Shake King's species (whatever that is) from Wario Land: Shake It! and Bowser's species, which I'm pretty sure are Koopas.

M15 - Favorite Mario Instrumental Track (Waluigi Time)

Hey look, I'm back! Next up we have Favorite Mario Instrumental Track, an award that has a disturbingly low amount of Paper Mario series themes in the top 10. But hey, the rest of the franchise has good themes too, so let's talk about them.

M15 - Favorite Mario Instrumental Track

The Grand Finale (Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story) 13.04% (231 votes)
Gusty Garden Galaxy (Super Mario Galaxy) 10.33% (183 votes)
Waluigi Pinball/Wario Stadium (Mario Kart DS) 7.57% (134 votes)
Buoy Base Galaxy (Super Mario Galaxy) 6.95% (123 votes)
Steam Gardens (Super Mario Odyssey) 6.27% (111 votes)
Dire, Dire Docks (Super Mario 64) 4.74% (84 votes)
Rainbow Road (Mario Kart 7) 4.63% (82 votes)
Comet Observatory (Super Mario Galaxy) 4.46% (79 votes)
Staff Roll (Super Mario 64) 4.35% (77 votes)
The Ultimate Show (Super Paper Mario) 4.35% (77 votes)
Total Votes: 1771

Originally the winner of this award back in 2019, this track only took second place last year. Not to be outdone, The Grand Finale from Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story takes back first place! As I'm sure you all know, this track plays during the final confrontation with Dark Bowser, and it's certainly a good fit. It took a surprising lead this year compared to previous years, with over 2% more of the poll's votes than second place. I have to say I'm really glad this won, seriously, did you see TPG's presentation?

In second place we have last year's winner, Gusty Garden Galaxy from Super Mario Galaxy! This is a bit of a notoriously divisive track, with some fans loving it and others thinking it's overrated. Looks like the former group won out here!

In third place for the second year in a row, Waluigi Pinball and Wario Stadium from Mario Kart DS! A personal favorite of mine for reasons you can probably guess. Even though it was used for both Wario and Waluigi themed tracks in its debut game, it's really become synonymous with Waluigi, moreso than any other track associated with him in the franchise. With that in mind, I do have to wonder if it places so well because of Waluigi himself rather than the track's own merits.

There's pretty much nothing out of the ordinary here. All of the top three winners from last year are still here, just in a slightly different order. I find it interesting to note that the only recent game that could have had an effect on the results is Super Mario 3D All-Stars, though it seems odd that Gusty Garden Galaxy actually placed lower in that case, so most likely none of the recent game releases have had an impact here.

M16 - Favourite Item (BBQ Turtle)

Hi again! I obviously didn't do a bad job analysing this award last year as I haven't been thrown out for trying to do this again, so let's take a look at what's changed with the top ten:

M16 - Favourite Item

Cape Feather - 183 (10.16%)
Super Bell - 170 (9.43%)
Tanooki Suit / Statue Leaf - 137 (7.60%)
Penguin Suit - 111 (6.16%)
Hammer Suit - 105 (5.83%)
Fire Flower - 100 (5.55%)
Propeller Mushroom - 100 (5.55%)
Double Cherry - 98 (5.44%)
Giga Bell - 95 (5.27%)
Cloud Flower - 85 (4.72%)
Total Votes: 1802

And compared to last year, we have two new entries to the top ten on this award- one returning favourite an another one that's all new on the ballot this year. While I'm not sure what's pushed the Cloud Flower back up to tenth, the Giga Bell in ninth was a fairly safe bet to see as a new entry as Bowser's Fury was pretty popular and has done pretty well across the awards this year, and giving 3D World a bit of a boost while it's at it- the Super Bell has managed to make its way back up into second this year, and I imagine it's been appreciating the help. So what's shifted to make the room? Well, it looks like it might be a little more dangerous to go alone now, as one of the items that's dropped is the Master Sword from Super Mario Maker 2, though that can probably be pinned to recency bias. The game isn't quite as popular now as it was at that point in the time. The more surprising drop-out is the Super Star- I don't know quite what's caused that one. Maybe its more infrequent appearances at the moment aren't causing it to stick in the front of players' minds? The Super Star has really been suffering in these awards recently. Anyway, going back to who we're looking at this year, it's another top spot for the Cape Feather, which has been going strong for quite a while for some reason... I honestly don't get what it is for this one. And then the Tanooki stuff is down in third, but that I think can just be put down to the Super Bell increase. Penguin Suit is up a fair bit to fourth this year, pushing the Hammer Suit down to fifth. They've been pushing it quite a bit in Mario Kart Tour, so perhaps that's brought it up in people's minds? The Propeller Mushroom has stayed in a consistent sixth, but has managed to tie with the Fire Flower which has made a small jump for it this year- it doesn't seem like the classics are entirely out of fashion, so I don't know why this has gone up while the Super Star goes down. The last item to crack the top ten is another consistent one, the Double Cherry sticking in eighth. It'll be interesting to see how this proceeds next year, as with some of the shake ups this year, it'll be something to see if any of this sticks- with a new entry and some unusual ups and downs, it could be all change next year. Now, let's see what the next award has in store:

M17 - Favorite Mario RPG (Waluigi Time)

Hey, what gives? Waluigi isn't even in any of these games! Well, uh, anyway, behind the main platformers themselves, the RPGs of the Mario franchise are probably some of its most beloved games, aside from the ones that people get mad at because they aren't as good as the ones they like. Which ones ranked the best?

M17 - Favorite Mario RPG

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door 19.38% (356 votes)
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story 17.58% (323 votes)
Super Paper Mario 10.45% (192 votes)
Paper Mario: The Origami King 9.58% (176 votes)
Paper Mario 8.49% (156 votes)
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars 7.29% (134 votes)
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle 6.15% (113 votes)
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga 5.55% (102 votes)
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team 4.63% (85 votes)
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time 4.41% (81 votes)
Total Votes: 1837

In first place we have the game that anyone who knows the history of this award probably saw coming, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door! Ever since this award was introduced in 2012, The Thousand-Year Door has won every single year. Generally considered the best Paper Mario game, this game brings back the unique style of the first game and builds on it. Maybe one of these days Nintendo will finally re-release it...

Moving on from the most beloved Paper Mario game, in second place we have the most beloved Mario & Luigi game, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story! Another long-time winner here, this game has taken second place every year since the award's introduction in 2012. With the king of awesome himself taking center stage here, the return of Fawful, and new mechanics taking advantage of the Nintendo DS' features, it's worthy of this spot, I'd say.

In third place, unlike these other two we have a very divisive game, Super Paper Mario. While it hasn't taken this spot every year since the award's inception like the other two, it's still had quite a run, taking third place every year since 2016. You probably know the drill here, either you love this one or you hate it. (I'm in the former camp myself.) Though considering it beat out most of the other games on this list, it seems to have a decent sized fanbase around here.

So, not much out of the ordinary here, with the exact same results going back all the way to 2016. Whether that's a testament to the quality of the older games, a critique of the more recent games, or a bit of both, is up for interpretation. The newest RPG, Paper Mario: The Origami King, did pretty well, though it wasn't enough to get into the top three. Something to look for next year will be how Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope performs, assuming it's released by then. Personally though, I don't expect next year's results to be much different.

M18 - Favorite Mario Party Game (Ninja Squid)

Hey there, everyone! It is Ninja Squid (talk) here. Yes, your resident ninja and Statistics Manager. I am here to take a closer look at the results of the Favorite Mario Party Game poll, and doing a little analysis of it. There is no point in making the suspense last longer than necessary, so let us get right into it!

M18 - Favorite Mario Party Game

Super Mario Party 15.52% (272 votes)
Mario Party DS 12.95% (227 votes)
Mario Party 8 12.89% (226 votes)
Mario Party 2 10.27% (180 votes)
Mario Party 6 7.53% (132 votes)
Mario Party 3 7.19% (126 votes)
Mario Party 7 5.82% (102 votes)
Mario Party 9 5.36% (94 votes)
Mario Party 4 5.13% (90 votes)
Mario Party 5 4.11% (72 votes)
Total Votes: 1753

Super Mario Party reign on top once again and has been #1 since entering in the poll in 2019. Despite this, I notice that its percentage of the vote has been slightly declining, going from 20.80% to 16.91% in 2019 to 15.52% now. This can be explained by the fact that the game is not quite new anymore, and I wonder if there was some expectation from the players towards the possibility that this game was going to receive updates, such as new boards, modes or minigames, which did not materialize leaving many a little disappointed as well. In any case, Super Mario Party being at the top can be explained as being the game that brought back the series to its roots, after multiple attempts done by NDcube to change the formula of collecting stars, which served the series well until its eighth console installment and one handheld game. I say well, because, by taking a closer look at the poll, we can easily notice that of all of the Mario Party games done by Nd Cube, only Mario Party 9 is on the top ten. The only Mario Party game with a different formula than the one that the series is known for. Now, with a new Mario Party coming to the Switch very soon, I do wonder how Super Mario Party will do next year. Will it manage to keep the top of the podium? Who knows!

In second and third places, we have the usual Mario Party DS and Mario Party 8, with only one vote that separates them. I say usual, because if we look in this poll's historic, and since 2015, both of these games were always in the top three, and switching places constantly. My stance on why I believe there are placing that high consistently may result in both of these games being released on highly successful consoles, and selling incredibly well, leaving with many new players discovering the series for the first time. With a bigger audience, many players will probably remember both of these games fondly, probably more than previous games from the series.

Mario Party 2 being not far away at fourth place. This is one of the oldest Mario Party games, and in comparison with the very first one, has not cause the famous joystick controversy that left many players with blisters on their hands, and thanks to that, I think that Mario Party 2 is definitely remember more favorably. This is not the only thing though. Mario Party 2 was also released on the Wii and Wii U's virtual consoles, which also allowed many players to discover this game too.

I cannot end this without mentioning my beloved Mario Party 6. If you know me, you know how much I absolutely love Mario Party 6 due to its day/night system making this game very interesting due to how the rules are changing depending of the time of day it is on the board (which explains why I also like Horror Land in Mario Party 2 lol). Looking at last year's result, I am thrilled to notice that Mario Party 6 got a few more votes, allowing it to go from the sixth to the fifth place. Keep it up Mario Party 6! Next year, go and cast your votes for Mario Party 6. This game deserves to reach the top.

Overall, there isn't a lot of changes on this poll compared to last year, aside from fluctuation in votes, but next year with the addition of Mario Party Superstars, things will definitely be more interesting, and will probably shake things up a bit.

M19 - Favorite Villain (Gray Discord)

Yay, I have recently been created by a creature who calls himself Discord, who just went into what he said was called the Mirror Pool. However, since he turned me gray I for some reason have not felt any tolerance for the word discord itself, or anything else low in quality in general. This poll covers villains who fans see as quality, so let’s hope that they are right… and not vastly, pathetically wrong.

M19 - Favorite Villain

Bowser 23.14% (451 votes)
Fawful 11.13% (217 votes)
Bowser Jr. 10.31% (201 votes)
Dimentio 8.77% (171 votes)
King Boo 8.11% (158 votes)
Count Bleck 6.57% (128 votes)
King K. Rool 5.85% (114 votes)
Koopalings 5.59% (109 votes)
King Olly 2.72% (53 votes)
Kamek 2.62% (51 votes)
Shadow Queen 2.57% (50 votes)
Captain Syrup 2.26% (44 votes)
Koopa Bros 1.49% (29 votes)
Shroobs 1.33% (26 votes)
Wart 1.23% (24 votes)
Cackletta 1.18% (23 votes)
Lord Crump 0.92% (18 votes)
Sir Grodus 0.67% (13 votes)
Total Votes: {{{totalvote}}}

In first place we have… Bowser. Truth be told like always with me and almost never with other creatures, I vastly prefer when Bowser and Mario team up, as they are able to stop every brainwashing that villains like Fawful and Count Bleck allow and cause to happen. Since I’ve had my mind altered to be no nonsense, it does feel… a bit unnerving that my personality was changed so much, but not actually bad outright as my capacity to offer levelheaded, objective and calm criticism has increased. Also WHEN BOWSER ONLY KIDNAPS PEACH INSTEAD OF A NEW PLAN IT MAKES ME WISH NINTENDO NEVER EXISTED. They should know better than to come up with and rehash such unoriginal ideas, especially when I would have come with much more original ideas.

In second place we have… Fawful. My, my, a character that has never been in a main series game before gets the silver medal. Although I do not think I deserve the silver medal in terms of whose reviews for the awards are best, only the gold medal. Fawful is actually a recurring villain, occurring first as someone who works for Cackletta in Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga, and then the primary antagonist in Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story. My hard work has paid off for playing video games as I have already beaten Bowser’s Inside Story in the few weeks I have been alive, and my my, does he have a great presence here. No one is totally out of reach of his control, and he takes control of Bowser’s minions so not even Bowser’s henchmen can back him up, only Mario and Luigi. He also almost succeeds in killing Bowser repeatedly, if it was not for the Mario Brothers saving him. And that is not to forget his final battle, with both phases being exhilarating and having one of the best, and in my opinion, which is fact, best boss theme in Mario history.

In third place is Bowser Jr.. This is quite good that Bowser Jr. has gotten enough kindness on this poll… after Mario has shown him unkindness by destroying his machines. The best one out of his battles is in the second Super Mario Galaxy game, where Mario has to use Cloud Flowers to jump up to the top and ground pound his Boomsday Machine. However, each of his boss fights have personality, compared with the more intolerably and ignorantly boring fights against the Koopalings in some games. He himself has quite a lot of personality as I dislike all boring people, dragons, or ponies, having a loyal attitude to his dad but a mischievous attitude towards Mario. In Paper Mario: The Origami King and the Bowser’s Fury section of Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, he actually puts aside his pride and teams up to help Mario save the day, even though most of the reasoning for that is wanting to save his father in both games.

As for other places below third… I have a clear opinion. Count Bleck would place much higher instead of just sixth. His motivations are very clear, instead of just greed, it is the desire to destroy everything because of his hurt and abandonment, causing Super Paper Mario to have a much clearer arc instead of just having a weak, shallow plot like so many games have nowadays, as I know despite only being around for a bit of time. He gets a good redemption by undoing the damage he caused, but no spoilers, and some of the best songs in Super Paper Mario, especially Champion of Destruction. So he would definitely make the Top Five.

M20 - Favorite Sports Game (BabyLuigiOnFire)

Look at how handsome I am! I am the perfect embodiment of any anthropomorphic form!

Canoncity Note: Ray Trace can't actually read and write English but let's pretend he can and this is from him himself.


Здорово! My name is Ray Trace, third-in-command of the Protectors, and I am the strongest, fastest, smartest, handsomest, tallest, and funniest Protector of them all. I am the chairperson of this poll committee, so naturally, MY section out of everyone here will be the biggest and bestest out of everyone. I'm not saving the best for last, why save the best for last when you can have the best whenever I, Ray Trace, third-in-command of the Protectors, wherever, eh?

If there's one thing the most handsome Chairperson of all Poll Committees is extremely good at, it's most definitely sports. Why, I can kick the golf ball the most yards before I get hit by a racket, I can toss perfect 3 pointers in soccer every time, and I can dribble a puck for a hole-in-one every time I play volleyball. Naturally, I'm not playable in any sports, including Mario sports titles, because I'd have that much of an unfair advantage that it wouldn't be fun and that my game would lead the polls, but let's see what we have here, shall we?

M20 - Favorite Sports Game

Mario Super Sluggers 13.81% (222 votes)
Mario Strikers Charged 12.45% (200 votes)
Mario Tennis Aces 11.57% (186 votes)
Mario Power Tennis 7.97% (128 votes)
Mario Sports Mix 7.29% (122 votes)
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games 6.47% (104 votes)
Super Mario Strikers 5.29% (85 votes)
Mario Tennis (N64) 5.04% (81 votes)
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 4.92% (79 votes)
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games 4.92% (79 votes)
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour 4.54% (73 votes)
Mario Golf: World Tour 3.73% (60 votes)
Mario Hoops 3-on-3 3.61% (58 votes)
Mario Superstar Baseball 2.68% (43 votes)
Mario Tennis Open1.37% (22 votes)
Mario Sports Superstars 1.31% (21 votes)
Total Votes: 1607

Being in the lead once again is Mario Super Sluggers, the Mario Baseball game with an incredible roster, and beating out Mario Tennis Aces, reclaiming its throne. Not only you play baseball in it and you get to express your love for your teammate by jumping on his head, but there's a large amount of characters you can play as. You can be the little highly uncoordinated Baby Luigi duking out against the giant Banana King King K. Rool, or you can be a floating squid Blooper if you like, despite being out of water. The game has a story mode where you can recruit your baseball teammates to fight against the evil Bowser who wants to take over the Baseball Kingdom, and it has these captains who can do impressive things such as talk to plants, something that my Lieutenant Redshift may have been inspired from. The minigames are very great too! You can paint the ground, body check others, create beautiful fireworks, or just splay iron balls across the field and damage these stone Bowser statues! Lots of fun to be had here! Don't forget to pelt those outfielders with your error items, heh!

Mario Strikers Charged is up and at it again, this time also reclaiming its second position. Obviously I, Ray Trace, would be a Playmaker, I'd be extremely fast and I'd do these acrobatic and impressive somersaults to show off! But what people really liked about this one is its very rough, aggressive playstyle, its grungy and unique aesthetic from the rest of the Mario series, and how brimming with personalities these characters are! Wow, I'd thought to NEVER see Luigi THIS angry but here we go! The Mega Strikes are mega eye-candy as well, and all of the characters look gosh so amazing in them! Did I also forget to mention the game has a rockin' soundtrack? I sure forgot. I wish I can get shoved into an electric fence by none other than Mario himself! Okay...well not maybe...sounds a little bit painful if you ask me. can get brutally blown up in this game...but they sure look like they're having a good time!

And the game that lost its first place since 2018, it's Mario Tennis Aces! It is currently third place on the poll, and the results aren't even that close between it and Mario Strikers Charged. I'm going to guess its new game flavor had worn off, which explains the drop, but the game itself ain't a bad tennis game by any means! It has a pretty robust roster, ranging from that hot newcomer Pauline to that giant bikini clad plant Petey Piranha, to the things that are literally just a bunch of bones Dry Bones and Dry Bowser, so there's a lil' something for everyone! Well, aside from the lack of Baby Mario and Baby Luigi, I'm a bit biased for them 'cause my species tends to look like them for one reason or another. But I digress! I enjoy breaking tennis rackets with these amazing special animations each character gets, and these characters on the court sure do look the part! Plus, Mario gets that story mode all to himself! Huh! What if one day, I, Ray Trace, gets a solo campaign all for myself in the game's story mode where I go on a quest to defeat an evil tennis racket? Would you buy the game?

Not much other major upsets, as the games that typically perform well such as Mario Sports Mix and Mario Power Tennis still perform the charts pretty well. We had one game get a considerable amount of write-ups this year, that being the recently released Mario Golf: Super Rush. Will we see that title into the best games of 2022? Hmm! Only time will tell. Well, they don't say I'm an amazing forecaster for nothin', so I'm gonna place my bets on Mario Golf: Super Rush makin' the rounds for next year! I hope the Awards Committee don't make me into a liar, that would be disastrous for my impeccable predicting record!

M21 - Favorite Puzzle Game (BabyLuigiOnFire)

Salutations! Do you have a surface that needs cleaning?

Attention! This is General Phongik speaking! Ten-hut!

Huh? Wait. All I'm doing is writing a section about puzzle games? Brain games that do not highlight combat at all? Very well then! I will write a section stat!

Let me introduce myself. I'm Phongik, I'm named after a shininess material used for 3D models. I'm the General of the Preservers, a rival organization of the Protectors, second-in-command, and on duty! My Commander, Grayscale, specifically told me not to say too much details about what we do and why we're rivals with the Protectors. She's very powerful and intimidating, and you may see her...well...opinions further down on this paper. There was a specific section she enjoyed to write for because of how much misery it caused other players and.......well you know, her heart is in the right place? I hope she doesn't take the wrong message of what I'm trying to say here.

Say, that table down there needs some polishing. A little wax could go a long way in its presentation!

M21 - Favorite Puzzle Game

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker 40.40% (663 votes)
Dr. Mario (series) 16.21% (266 votes)
Donkey Kong (Game Boy)/Mario vs. Donkey Kong (GBA) 10.85% (178 votes)
Tetris Attack 6.70% (110 votes)
Mario vs. Donkey Kong (2 and onwards) 5.79% (95 votes)
Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition 4.69% (77 votes)
Mario's Picross (series) 4.45% (73 votes)
Wario's Woods 3.60% (59 votes)
Yoshi 2.86% (47 votes)
Yoshi's Cookie 2.68% (44 votes)
DK: King of Swing/DK: Jungle Climber 1.65% (27 votes)
Total Votes: 1641

In an overwhelming victory headed by Captain Toad and Toadette is the platformer puzzle game, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. Here, Captain Toad and Captain Toadette are required to take tactical maneuvers in a diorama-styled map around hostile forces, retrieving strategically important resources such as Power Stars and Green Stars. Important weaponry included in these battles are Turnip and Turnip Cannons, serving as the captains' artillery weapon and their primary battering weapon, Super Pickaxes. They need to face off against the hostile commander of forces, Wingo, who has his array of a military presence. This tale has captivated hearts of many Mushroom Kingdom troops, showing that any Toad, no matter how small, can serve their kingdom.

Second place deals with the combat prowess of the Dr. Mario series, where medical professional Dr. Mario is required to line up his weapon, Megavitamins, to fend off the hostile viruses. Proper usage of megavitamins require you line three pills of the same color against the foe, thus properly eliminating them, though other games may require less pills to eliminate the germs. The entire series sits at a respectable 266 votes, and that includes Dr. Mario World, where it too, has an inspiring story that anyone can be a doctor, no matter how young or how they lack arms necessary to provide the essential services.

Third place involves Commander Mario and his battalion of toys called Mini Marios to take down Commander Donkey Kong (Mario vs. Donkey Kong), though the other battle listed has Mario without his army (Donkey Kong for the Game Boy). Both games are platforming challenges, taking place in a Basic Training-like obstacle course where Mario must make his way through and use plenty of parkour in order to reach his main nemesis. The outcome of the game for Mario vs. Donkey Kong essentially teaches that any villain, no matter how beastly, can be forgiven in the end if you have a kind enough adversary.

All three of these polls have had consistent results throughout the years, proving that these games have a dedicated and loyal fanbase willing to serve their cause of providing their opinions on their favorite puzzle games.

M22 - Favorite Mario Party Board (BabyLuigiOnFire)

Hi there guys...

...Hi. I'm Aqua Marine. I usually hang out with the Protectors...well it's a long story on why I'm with them. I've decided to help them collaborate with this section, looked really tough to do, and I'm glad they're able to push this out. I've picked Favorite Mario Party board since they sound like fun times though my personal favorite, Undersea Dream didn't quite make the list. Ah well...

By the way, originally, this one was Favorite Battle Course. Just something I'd thought I'd let you know...

M22 - Favorite Mario Party Board

Koopa's Tycoon Town (MP8) 15.18% (230 votes)
Shy Guy's Perplex Express (MP8) 8.58% (130 votes)
Kamek's Library (MPDS) 8.18% (124 votes)
King Bob-omb's Powderkeg Mine (SMP) 7.79% (118 votes)
Waluigi's Island (MP3) 6.60% (100 votes)
Western Land (MP2) 6.20% (94 votes)
Horror Land (MP2) 6.01% (91 votes)
Magma Mine (MP9) 4.69% (71 votes)
Peach's Birthday Cake (MP) 4.62% (70 votes)
Neon Heights (MP7) 3.89% (59 votes)
Mario's Rainbow Castle (MP) 3.76% (57 votes)
Pagoda Peak (MP7) 3.37% (51 votes)
Shy Guy's Jungle Jam (MP4) 2.57% (39 votes)
Faire Square (MP6) 2.51% (38 votes)
Sweet Dream (MP5) 2.44% (37 votes)
Whimsical Waters (MP10) 2.31% (35 votes)
Castaway Bay (MP6) 1.91% (29 votes)
Shy Guy's Shuffle City (MP:IT) 0.99% (15 votes)
Total Votes: 1515

Taking first place is Koopa's Tycoon Town from Mario Party 8, and it has a pretty big lead, at 230 votes, around a hundred more than its second place option. It's a property-owning board, similar to Windmillville from Mario Party 7, except you can increase the value of your hotel by investing it, making it more similar to the board game, Monopoly. I think people like the Monopoly-styled board, and they love seeing their hotels grow into something really big....there are two upgrades you can invest in a Star locations are always fixed, meaning the element of luck plays less of a role here. I also think people like stealing hotels from others too, by investing more money into that property. The second place option is also from Mario Party 8, Shy Guy's Perplex Express, where you're in a single loop on a train. Maybe people like traveling through the train cars, as the board itself is a pretty unique concept in that it takes place entirely on a moving vehicle, and the single loop has you manually traversing back to the start, rather than automatically being sent there like in most single loop boards...

The third place is from Mario Party DS, Kamek's Library. Because everyone was shrunk down to the size of chess pieces, everything looks really big to them, and so everyday objects become major obstacles for them. What makes Kamek's library unique is the jar system, similar to Neon Heights from Mario Party 7. There are three jars around the board, one contains coins, another is a monster that sends you back to the start, and the last contains a Star. Obstacles you normally find at a library are prevalent, such as books, though Kamek adds a magical flavor to them...him being a dangerous wizard and all...and he isn't above not using them to totally mess with you.

What is interesting is that the fourth place option, King Bob-omb's Powderkeg Mine, is the only Super Mario Party option on this list and it managed to place pretty well, though we have write-ins for three other entries, namely Whomp's Domino Ruins, Kamek's Tantalizing Tower, and Megafruit Paradise.

Since this poll type is new, it doesn't really have a history behind it, but I've noticed one write-in rivals the amount of votes as last place (which is a multiplayer exclusive board in Mario Party: Island Tour, not really the most accessible one), namely Bowser's Pinball Machine from Mario Party DS, getting 10 votes. Perhaps we may see it in a future poll....

M23 - Favorite Game Mechanic (Hooded Pitohui)


Thank you for summoning me to analyze the Favorite Game Mechanic award, Mr. Trace! I've been studying the various game mechanics that have appeared in the Mario franchise and its sub-franchises, and I've come up with a hypothesis regarding which game mechanics will be most popular with voters!

...well, it's not really a hypothesis, because it isn't testable, but we can still examine the date and find out if it matches my expectations! Let's investigate it scientifically, and we'll be sure to find answers! Oh, and, Mr. Trace, do you think it'd be possible to summon Mr. Marshall and show him and Mr. Shmaluigi this analysis? Please tell them that Ema Skye carried out this investigation!

M23 - Favorite Game Mechanic

Cappy/Captures (Super Mario Odyssey) 25.08% (458 votes)
Partners (Paper Mario series) 10.90% (199 votes)
Gravity (Super Mario Galaxy) 9.31% (170 votes)
Two racers (Mario Kart: Double Dash!!) 9.15% (167 votes)
Bros. Attacks (Mario & Luigi series) 6.52% (119 votes)
Timed hits/action commands (Mario RPG titles) 6.08% (111 votes)
F.L.U.D.D. (Super Mario Sunshine) 5.86% (107 votes)
Kart customization (Mario Kart series) 5.42% (99 votes)
Badges (Paper Mario series) 4.11% (75 votes)
Anti-gravity (Mario Kart 8) 3.89% (71 votes)
Total Votes: 1,826

What!? This is an anomalous result! I expected that the top three mechanics would all be from the main platforming-based Super Mario games, but only two out of three are. Unexpected results always lead to the most interesting discoveries, so we'll examine these results one at a time and see what we can conclude!

Cappy/Captures has over a quarter of the votes for this award, but anyone who searched through the literature would expect that. Super Mario Odyssey is a massively popular game. It has won the Favorite Modern Game (DS/Wii and Newer) every year since 2018. For many people in our time, Super Mario Odyssey is synonymous with the Super Mario franchise, a defining title. It's natural that the core mechanic of a popular game is well-liked. We can conclude that the flexibility of the mechanic further increases its popularity. Not only can Cappy help players perform longer jumps or more precise jumps, just as previous game mechanics like F.L.U.D.D., but capturing different species gives players entirely new abilities and new ways to play the game. Capturing an enemy like a Pokio or a character like Yoshi can give a player so many new abilities that it almost feels like playing an entirely different game. The brain gives novel situations more attention and rewards us for encountering novel situations, so maybe the novelty of all the different Captures helps players remember this mechanic!

...or maybe it's just fun. I don't have a large enough control group to design an experiment to test that idea, so we won't speculate on neurochemistry.

The second place mechanic surprises me. Partners (Paper Mario Series) beat out Gravity (Super Mario Galaxy) and F.L.U.D.D. from the Super Mario platformers, even though the Mario RPGs are considered a sub-series and proper partners only appeared in two games! Did the modified partner system in Paper Mario: The Origami King lead players to appreciate partners again? Or is it more likely that partners are popular because Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door remain immensely popular despite both being over fifteen years old? Looking at the data, I have to conclude that its the popularity of those two old titles that helped the partner system reach second place. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door has taken first place in Favorite Classic Game every year since 2016, beating out even platformers like '"Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario World. I suspect that the popularity of this Gamecube title and the lack of partners in recent Paper Mario titles have made people nostalgic for the partner system and eager to see this mechanic return.

Gravity (Super Mario Galaxy) being in third place is also easily explained by examining the data from another award! Super Mario Galaxy has taken second place in the Favorite Modern Game award every year since 2016. We can conclude that Super Mario Galaxy has an enduring popularity that time is not, by itself, eroding quickly, and that many players have fond memories of Super Mario Galaxy and players discovering the game now through Super Mario 3D All-Stars are enjoying the game, too. Since the gravity mechanic is a central feature of the game, and affects everything from using inertial to let players fly past Pull Stars to walking across the entire surface of oblate spheroids and truly spherical planetoids, if you enjoy the game, you practically have to enjoy the gravity mechanic! With so many players who enjoy the game, it's easy to understand how it made it to third place.

It's surprising that the two racers mechanic from Mario Kart: Double Dash had only three votes less than gravity. If this were a more scientific analysis, we would call that difference statistically insignificant. Mario Kart is a popular sub-series, but that mechanic only appeared in one game and managed to beat mechanics introduced in later games. Functionally, it didn't do anything besides let players carry two items at once, and you can do that in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with the return of Double Item Boxes. Did players like being able to select two characters that much, or are we missing a potential explanation? Perhaps what players actually liked was the ability to get two different types of special items unique to the racers they chose!

This analysis has not only provided us answers, but it has raised more questions, just like a thorough scientific analysis should! Maybe "Special Items (Mario Kart: Double Dash!!)" can be added to this award next year so we can elucidate whether players like using two racers because it lets them use two characters, because it lets them carry two items, or because they like the special items mechanic from that game tied to the two racer mechanic!

M24 - Favorite Merchandise (BabyLuigiOnFire)

This is me! Hello all!

Salutations all of you! This is Bluminescence, and I'm fourth-in-command of the Protectors, or the corporal of you will. I don't really like this very silly rank terminology though, so you can just call me Blue! Ray Trace, a chairperson (congrats to him to securing such a thing!) has asked me to contribute writing a section for something called the Poll Committee and it sounds like a ton of fun, so you can count on me to deliver a section! I picked Favorite Merchandise because I love toys!

M24 - Favorite Merchandise

amiibo 29.90% (485 votes)
LEGO Super Mario 17.02% (276 votes)
Original Soundtrack releases 12.39% (201 votes)
San-ei Super Mario plushies 9.62% (156 votes)
Super Mario Bros. Monopoly 5.12% (83 votes)
Super Mario Cereal 4.81% (78 votes)
Super Mario Chess 4.62% (75 votes)
Mario Hanafuda 3.45% (56 votes)
Jakks Pacific Super Mario figurines 3.33% (54 votes)
UNO Super Mario 2.90% (47 votes)
K'NEX figures 2.71% (44 votes)
Super Mario Characters Figurine (2010 Platinum Elite Status Reward) 1.54% (25 votes)
Furuta Chocolate Egg figurines 0.43% (7 votes)
Jakks Pacific playsets 0.37% (6 votes)
Total Votes: 1622

First place we have is amiibo, merch you are probably all familiar with pretty much because you can do a lot of cool stuff with it in a variety of games, not to mention it looks super neat on your desk! It's very heavily marketed by Nintendo, and it was especially popular in its golden times in the first waves released, but it has sadly tapered off recently, I'd really love to see more of it! I own quite a bit of the merchandise myself, the little figurines of these guys are just about the most adorable thing, aren't they? My favorite line is the Super Smash Bros., and I occasionally even roleplay them fighting each other on a coffee-table, which is their Final Destination if you ask me! Imagine if all of us Protectors got an amiibo of our own, how splendid would that be?

Second is our favorite building blocks, LEGO Super Mario. While not a traditional set, it does come with super cute characters, including the one and only Mario himself, where he is electronically powered! I love how he emotes and how he talks, and all of the little sound effects that go into it. Plus, the courses themselves are super fun to build! I don't have much room for everything unfortunately, but this set is a dream come true for many children, who has wanted a LEGO Mario for years and I'm glad to see the dreams delivered. No wonder it's number two on the results!

Then, we have the only item on the list Ultra Violet wouldn't mind owning, the original soundtracks. Since Mario is primarily a video game franchise with a lot of great and memorable tracks, a good number of fans would also love to own these little CDs that have their favorite background music playing in them. Whether you have a physical or digital copy, playing it straight from your audio player or ripping the tracks, everyone likes a great tune!

That's all for the top three choices! If you ask me what my favorite of the merchandise is, it would personally be the cute, fluffy, and soft plushies, most notably the San-ei variety, who has made plushies of the huge chunk of the Mario (not to mention the other franchises they partake in such as Kirby or The Legend of Zelda). It's number four on this list so I'm glad to see there are people who agree with me! I wonder what the other Protectors' favorites are?

M25 - Favorite 2D Mario Level (BabyLuigiOnFire)


Hello! My name is Crepuscular Beam and I'm part of the Preservers! Even though Ray Trace has been our third-in-command rival, he doesn't sound that bad of a person, and he was kind enough to ask me to do a section. So I will! Unfortunately, it seems like only Phongik, Grayscale, and I wanted to participate, the rest don't really seem to care, and I'm still surprised at Grayscale wanting to write something for Ray Trace after all! Anyway, this analysis deals with your favorite 2D Mario Level! Well, I'm glad it's a favorite level. Usually, those aren't too hard and scary to complete! Er...right?

M25 - Favorite 2D Mario Level

Painted Swampland (NSMBU) 19.45% (283 votes)
World 1-1 (SMB) 17.18% (250 votes)
World 8-7 (NSMBW) 9.14% (133 votes)
Yoshi's Island 2 (SMW) 7.35% (107 votes)
World 1-1 (NSMB) 6.87% (100 votes)
Donut Plains 1 (SMW) 6.60% (96 votes)
Forest of Illusion 3 (SMW) 4.47% (65 votes)
Donut Secret House (SMW) 3.85% (56 votes)
Front Door (SMW) 3.57% (52 votes)
World 2-3 (NSMB) 3.44% (50 votes)
World 5-3 (SMB3) 2.75% (40 votes)
World 4-1 (SMB3) 2.27% (33 votes)
World 1-2 (SMB) 1.99% (29 votes)
World 8-4 (SMB) 1.86% (27 votes)
World 2-Pyramid (SMB3) 1.58% (23 votes)
Total Votes: 1455

Taking first place is Painted Swampland from New Super Mario Bros. U. Aaah! While it may be...pretty to see it in its painted glory reminiscent of Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night, the level is filled with GHOSTS! And dangerous poison water! Not my idea of a level I'd like to visit! Maybe Bluminescence of the Protectors would appreciate it, but he'd think anything is fun and games! I've heard it's one of the prettier haunted levels, but it's amidst a dangerous jungle. Well...the level has always ranked highly, with it being 3rd at worst, but after 2D level was split between series, it's frequently seen tussling up with its second place option. Speaking of which...

World 1-1 from Super Mario Bros. once again scores highly, and is probably my favorite level overall too! This is a beloved classic level that many Mario players are familiar with, and it's a nice easy level to get acquainted with the game. Many beloved memories are formed because of this impression. It's so beloved, its layout has seen multiple appearances in many 2D Mario platformers since, so if you played a 2D Mario game, chances are, you're familiar with the set up. Blocks. A Super Mushroom. A Goomba. Fun fact about this level: this wasn't the first level ever made for the game. Actually one of the later levels, because the developers thought the gimmicks and fun stuff they introduced is more suitable late game while early game required to set up players for the rest.

Third is...a rollercoaster level over lava!? THAT World 8-7? From New Super Mario Bros. Wii? AAAAHH!!! I don't like rollercoasters! I don't like lava! Maybe someone like Ray Trace loves the thrill-seeking nature of it, but I don't! Too scary! You'll dip up and down ramps at excruciatingly high speeds, like you're on a real roller coaster, and you need to jump to get those coins and avoid lava pillars! Tons of lava below! Aaaah! Thinking about it makes me feel sick...Sometimes, this level loses out to World 1-1 from New Super Mario Bros., but not this time, as Yoshi's Island 2 from Super Mario World has passed it this time.

By the way, this poll has a lot of write-ins. And I mean a lot! The 2D Mario series has a huge plethora of levels, well over a hundred of course! But, we can't fit everything into one poll, so sorry if your favorite level is not represented on this list! Thank you for writing in your options if they are not represented in this poll, good sirs! Let's see, the level with the most write-ins is...World 8-5 from New Super Mario Bros....!? Another lava filled volcano level?


M26 - Favorite 3D Mario Level (Waluigi Time)

Waluigi Time here again, back with the results of Favorite 3D Mario Level. The 3D platformers are some of the most popular and beloved games in the Mario franchise, so it's no surprise that many of the locations have stuck with players. Which ones fared the best this year?

M26 - Favorite 3D Mario Level

Metro Kingdom (SMO) 20.68% (359 votes)
Bob-omb Battlefield (SM64) 8.01% (139 votes)
Bowser's Kingdom (SMO) 7.26% (126 votes)
Whomp's Fortress/Throwback Galaxy (SM64/SMG2) 7.09% (123 votes)
Gusty Garden Galaxy (SMG) 5.93% (103 votes)
Wooded Kingdom (SMO) 5.65% (98 votes)
Toy Time Galaxy (SMG) 4.95% (86 votes)
Delfino Plaza/Airstrip (SMS) 4.61% (80 votes)
Good Egg Galaxy (SMG) 4.26% (74 votes)
Mount Must Dash (SM3DW) 3.97% (69 votes)
Total Votes: 1736

In first place, with a commanding lead over the rest of the competition, is the Metro Kingdom from Super Mario Odyssey, continuing a winning streak which began in 2018. It's probably the most iconic of all of Odyssey's locations, and with how popular that game is and continues to be, it's no surprise that the city that never leaps continues to perform exceedingly well in this award.

In second place, we have another streak holder, Bob-omb Battlefield from Super Mario 64, which has taken second place every year since 2018. While it may not be nearly as iconic as World 1-1 from Super Mario Bros., this level really is the equivalent for the 3D platformers. No wonder it continues to hold so much popularity even all these years after the game's release.

In third place, Bowser's Kingdom from Super Mario Odyssey breaks into the top three after taking fourth place last year! With a unique twist from the standard Bowser level fare by adopting a Japanese theme, it definitely stands out among the Koopa King's usual domains.

Whomp's Fortress/Throwback Galaxy, which previously took third place every year since 2018, still remains quite popular, being bumped down to fourth place this year. Interestingly, it actually took a slightly larger percentage of the votes this year than it did in the previous years.

For an award that has seen the exact same top three winners the past three ceremonies, it's a bit refreshing to see a new level break into the top three winners. The latest 3D installment, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, doesn't seem to have influenced the poll very much this year, with only one level from that game just barely making it into the top 10. Super Mario 3D All-Stars doesn't seem to have had very much effect at all, with all three games included in the compilation still having the exact same levels placing in the top 10 as they did last year, no more, no less.

M27 - Favorite Boss Battle (Gray Discord)

Hello, it appears that I am a clone of another… draconequus. I think that everything should be taken extremely seriously, and nothing bad is a laughing matter. And I believe that anything good is a laughing with joy matter. The topic of the best boss battle is quite definitely a good one. However the question is, will the fans choose an actually good, well-thought-out choice, or just a mindless and bad one that shows that they are both uniformed and misinformed? Let everyone else now know.

M27 - Favorite Boss Battle

Fury Bowser (SM3DW+BF) 13.27% (229 votes)
Dark Bowser (M&L:BiS) 12.63% (218 votes)
Bowser (SMG) 8.52% (147 votes)
Bowser (SMO) 8.46% (146 votes)
Bowser/Meowser (SM3DW) 6.78% (117 votes)
Shadow Queen (PM:TTYD) 5.27% (91 votes)
Bowser in the Sky (PM64) 4.46% (77 votes)
Kaptain K. Rool 1 and 2 (DKC2) 4.35% (75 votes)
Super Dimentio (SPM) 4.17% (72 votes)
Megaleg (SMG) 4.06% (70 votes)
General Guy (PM) 3.59% (62 votes)
King Olly (PM:TOK) 3.01% (52 votes)
Mechawiggler (SMO) 2.95% (51 votes)
Elder Princess Shroob (M&L:PiT) 2.72% (47 votes)
Rawk Hawk (PM:TTYD) 2.49% (43 votes)
Kingfin (SMG) 1.80% (31 votes)
Popple and Rookie 1.80% (31 votes)
Brobot (SPM) 1.68% (29 votes)
Total Votes: {{{totalvote}}}

In first place we have… Fury Bowser. I will admit that as responsible as I am with playing and protecting the games that I do have, I do not have Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury. However, the boss battles between Mario and Fury Bowser look very fun which again is necessary for someone as hardworking as me. This is especially brought up by that one is giant when playing as Mario, and in the first few fights that person runs around attacking Giant Bowser through normal methods used to attack enemies in Mario games, like scratching as Cat Mario, and ground pounding. In the final battle the goal is to ride Plessie and shove crystals with three Super Bells into Fury Bowser. In the boss battles Mario is giant too, making it feel all the more interesting, and even epic. This is what happens when Nintendo makes a remake of a game that actually has effort put into it, in this case meaning a whole new game mode, instead of making the wrong, selfish decision that means that it’s just the exact same game but with amiibo.

In second place we have… Dark Bowser. This is something that should have been first place instead. The epic and climactic final boss theme pushed the DS’s limits, and is the best boss theme not just of any Mario Role-Playing game, but of any Mario game, and I am so happy that people made the right decision to give it first place out of Mario songs this year. Although to be fair the DS version pushed the DS’ speakers more than the 3DS version pushed the 3DS’s speakers. The gameplay has actual effort instead of laziness put into it and shatters high expectations instead of only meeting low expectations, with its alternation between Bowser being exhilarating hurting Dark Bowser and the Mario Brothers heroically dodging Dark Fawful’s attacks like rotating lasers, this is an unforgettable boss battle, for the best out of the four Mario and Luigi games that I have played a lot of. I was expecting to have to correct fans who think this boss battle is poorly or even mediocrely done, but every person, pony, and dragon seems to agree this one is great. Which is quite the right opinion to have.

Third place, being just Bowser but in Super Mario Galaxy, is by no means bad, and I have seen some bad choices quite high on lists on some of the Fail Awards so the voters are at least doing something right. However, this fight falls very short of the amazing second place, and is only decent in some aspects. While the final boss theme is nearly up to par with other songs in Super Mario Galaxy, the gameplay is much too easy here. It would have been better if Mario had to deal Bowser fifteen hits, and every single consecutive hit Bowser became more powerful or received an extra powerful tool from the environment somehow. So it is very fitting that this fight isn’t quite as powerful as the towering second place, which is shameful because there was much potential for it to be obviously still not as good as Dark Bowser, because nothing is, but at least not even more vastly inferior like this fight turned out to be.

What would I change aside from that? Well, the highest place to not get any medal, even silver or bronze, is definitely not something I would give to something as easy as Super Mario Odyssey Bowser. Like with Bowser in Super Mario Galaxy, it is not the absolute worst fight like the Fawful Express was, but it was far too tame to be to my, or any smart creature’s extreme liking. Playing as Bowser to run out from danger is much more exciting in that game. General Guy would have placed fourth instead, with it being a chaotic battle with so many Shy Guys, showing what potential for originality not mediocrity that the Paper Mario games had, that the first game and other games lived up to. This even applies to Sticker Star although most other people are right that that is the weakest game out of the four Paper Mario games that I have played. I am not saying that for the entire series because I have not played Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door or Paper Mario: Color Splash.

M28 - Favorite Game Setting (Goombuigi)

Goombuigi here again, this time I'm going to analyze M28 - Favorite Game Setting! Which games have the most interesting and memorable settings? Let's find out.

M28 - Favorite Game Setting

Super Mario Odyssey World 20.17% (354 votes)
Comet Observatory & galaxies (SMG) 15.33% (269 votes)
Isle Delfino (SMS) 10.14% (178 votes)
Rogueport & surrounding areas (PM:TTYD) 8.15% (143 votes)
Lake Lapcat (SM3DW+BF) 5.24% (92 votes)
Peach's Castle (SM64) 4.96% (87 votes)
Mushroom Kingdom (PM) 3.93% (69 votes)
Mushroom Kingdom (PM:TOK) 3.59% (63 votes)
Flipside/Flopside & dimensions (SPM) 3.48% (61 votes)
Super Mario RPG World 3.36% (59 votes)
Total Votes: 1755

To the surprise of probably no one, the Super Mario Odyssey kingdoms have achieved first place, as they have been since 2018. After all, Super Mario Odyssey is one of the most influential recent Mario games. Interestingly, though, the percentage of votes it has received has declined each year (from 26.49% in 2018 to 23.14%, to 21.21%, to 20.17% this year). Perhaps it will fall behind the Comet Observatory in the coming years? Speaking of which, the Comet Observatory and the galaxies from Super Mario Galaxy has received second place, and the 3D Mario trend continues with Isle Delfino from Super Mario Sunshine in third place. Both worlds have unique species to talk to, and tie in to the games' stories well, in my opinion. Super Mario Galaxy's world is likely higher because of the game's more positive reputation, plus the tie-in with Rosalina's backstory.

In fourth place is Rogueport from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, which is likely because Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is one of the most praised Mario RPGs. Several other Paper Mario games made it in as well, which were the Mushroom Kingdom from Paper Mario in seventh place, Flipside and Flopside in ninth place, the Mushroom Kingdom from Paper Mario: The Origami King in eighth place, as well as the the world from Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. The Mario RPG games are known for having possibly the most detailed stories and developed worlds in the Mario franchise, which explains why they take such a large portion of the top ten. The only games whose worlds aren't present are Paper Mario: Sticker Star and Paper Mario: Color Splash, likely because of their dumbed down stories and uninteresting locations.

In comparison, the only games not present from the 3D Mario series are Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Super Mario 3D Land, probably because the galaxies Super Mario Galaxy 2 are essentially more of its predecessor, and because Starship Mario isn't as interesting as the Comet Observatory, and because Super Mario 3D Land's world mostly resembles the New Super Mario Bros. series.

Overall, the most popular settings are ones from the 3D Mario series and the Paper Mario series, with 3D Mario series settings overall scoring better than the Paper Mario ones.

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


So. Here we are. Name's Clement Cores. I work with the Protectors as their weapons developer and specialized metallurger and yes, their rivals, the Preservers. That doesn't mean I'm affiliated with them, no. They pay good and they can be friendly I suppose but their sticky conflict between each other is something I wish to stay out of. You've probably seen me in official artworks for VS. Wrecking Crew. Ray Trace offered me a side-payment for this position so I accepted it. It's not like this will be as difficult as making their gear. So anyhow, what am I talking about? Oh, okay. Favorite Classic Game, starting from the GameCube era and going back. Easy.

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

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door 14.32% (260 votes)
Super Mario 64 13.22% (240 votes)
Super Mario World 10.30% (187 votes)
Super Mario Sunshine 8.65% (157 votes)
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! 5.89% (107 votes)
Super Mario Bros. 3 5.89% (107 votes)
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga 5.56% (101 votes)
Paper Mario 5.34% (97 votes)
Luigi's Mansion 4.79% (87 votes)
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest 4.19% (76 votes)
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island 3.74% (68 votes)
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars 3.41% (62 votes)
Super Mario Bros. 2.97% (54 votes)
Mario Party 3 2.37% (43 votes)
Mario Kart 64 2.31% (42 votes)
Donkey Kong Country 1.82% (33 votes)
Wario Land 4 1.76% (32 votes)
Super Mario Bros. 2 (USA) 1.05% (19 votes)
Total Votes: 1816

Leading the poll once again is about a game where Mario, who is paper for some reason, needs to fight a demon behind a thousand year door. Yeah. I guess that premise alone is why people like it a lot. I mean, I wouldn't prefer to do that. Glad to have hero type characters willingly throw themselves in these dangerous situations alongside any friends they made along the way. Don't see the fun in that myself but hey, I ain't telling these guys what to do. Oh, and Mario has a nice lookin' hammer. I admire the person behind that weapon. Especially the beautiful Ultra Hammer.

Second is a game where Mario must jump headfirst onto paintings. Last year, that game tied with a Thousand Year Door. Not this year, though a 20 vote gap is pretty close I say. Some people say Mario smacking into walls helped to codify the 3D platforming genre. Well, I never played that game so I'll take their word for it, even though I think that sounds weird. I guess I'm missing specific contexts about it but eh. I suppose Mario turning metallic is a cool power-up, but it invites many questions about it. Wonder what type of metal he is made out of that makes him invulnerable...?

Third is a game where Mario smacks his friends in the head and baby dinosaurs that already eat anything they can get their mouths on instantaneously grow into adults the moment they hatch out of their eggs. What a terrifying prospect. At least here, the Koopaling castles I've heard are pretty much made out of toothpicks because Mario otherwise effortlessly destroys them the moment he rids them of those beastly children.

Fourth is a game where the main plot is that Mario gets sent to jail and must perform community service as punishment. Ouch. Wonder what Mario did to get that punishment huh. Maybe he got blackmailed, doesn't really sound like something he'd do. I mean, going to jail. Not doing community service.

Beloved 2D platformer classic Super Mario Bros. 3 is tied with a game where babies can get dragged behind their vehicles due to an explosion.

What a time we live in.

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

WAHAHA it's me again. I'm analyzing Favorite Modern Game (Wii/DS and newer) this time. I'm running out of interesting things to say in these openings so let's just get into it.

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

Super Mario Odyssey 23.03% (436 votes)
Super Mario Galaxy 13.52% (256 votes)
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury 7.71% (146 votes)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 7.55% (143 votes)
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story 5.86% (111 votes)
Super Mario Maker 2 5.86% (111 votes)
Super Paper Mario 5.12% (97 votes)
Mario Kart Wii 4.86% (92 votes)
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 4.23% (80 votes)
Paper Mario: The Origami King 3.75% (71 votes)
Total Votes: 1893

In first place, we have Super Mario Odyssey, with a commanding lead continuing its winstreak from 2018. Between the popularity of the Switch and the fact that it's still the newest 3D platformer not counting ports, it's not much of a surprise to see it here again. Recency bias aside, it's still a genuinely well-crafted game. I guess you could say it's really captured our hearts!

Second place is taken once again by Super Mario Galaxy which has consistently held the position since 2016. Nintendo definitely made a solid game here considering how much popularity it continues to enjoy over a decade after release.

The winner of third place has been different every single year since this award's inception in 2015. This year, that honor goes to Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury! Considering that the original Super Mario 3D World took eighth place last year, that's quite an impressive jump. There's a few reasons I can think of for why this happened. A port will obviously bring an older game back into the spotlight and more recent games typically perform very well in the polls, the added content from the Bowser's Fury side mode may have been a factor, and being ported to the Switch after previously being a Wii U exclusive will expose more players to the game.

Last year's third place winner, Super Mario Maker 2, took a bit of a dip in popularity this year, tying for fifth place with Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story.

Unsurprisingly, the 3D platformers did pretty well here. It will be interesting to see if Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury manages to retain its popularity next year, or if this was a one-time thing and a newer game, or perhaps a popular older game, will win third place instead.

Fail Awards

F1 - Worst Character (Gray Discord)

Oh goodness! I seem to be a clone of who every pony calls the Spirit of Disharmony… especially since he told me he went through the Mirror Pool to clone himself. Then he took my color away. So not an extremely joking creature unlike him, as since he took it away, I feel the urge to take everything EXTREMELY seriously. A very serious matter indeed is… which Mario character is the worst.

F1 - Worst Character

Pink Gold Peach 34.59% (677 votes)
Baby Rosalina 11.75% (230 votes)
Koopalings 4.75% (93 votes)
Waluigi 4.04% (79 votes)
Spewart 3.32% (65 votes)
Birdo 2.91% (57 votes)
Mimi 2.86% (56 votes)
Lubba 2.81% (55 votes)
Fawful 2.66% (52 votes)
Starlow 2.61% (51 votes)
Princess Daisy 2.25% (44 votes)
Mario 1.89% (37 votes)
Wario 1.89% (37 votes)
Petey Piranha 1.79% (35 votes)
Toad 1.64% (32 votes)
Bowser Jr. 1.43% (28 votes)
Rosalina 0.77% (15 votes)
Total Votes: {{{totalvote}}}

So the top, or bottom three in this case, are exactly the same, and in exactly the same places as last year. The least I can say is that consistency among fans can be a good thing. In first place we have… Pink Gold Peach. Hmmm, that is not too surprising, as many people and ponies both seem to not like recolors of old characters. Both pink AND gold at the same time feels quite convoluted, if you ask me. Many ponies have said they’d prefer a character from a turn-based battle system game. A lot of other ponies I know have praised Pink Gold Peach what they call “sarcastically”, saying that she should be in the next Smash Bros game. The prospect known as sarcasm does not make sense to me. Why would you say something you don’t believe? But back to the character, why the name “Pink Gold” Peach? That is such a folly name. It is like calling indigo “blue purple”, and it is clearly unprofessional. The developers at Nintendo should be ashamed of themselves for making such a lame, and frankly poor character. Hmph!

Second place is... Baby Rosalina. Well, this is not a surprise, and I was going to say “I suppose” it is not but I’m right on everything, so I do not suppose anything, I merely know it. Rosalina is someone that a lot of fans seem to like, with one reason being her backstory, and how she traveled through space in order to find a baby Luma’s mother. But that Rosalina races against her baby form leads to some odd questions. For instance, if Rosalina hurt her baby form extremely badly in Mario Kart, would that not lead to major damage causing HER to be hurt too, in the future? For that reason, it would be a reckless and foolish decision for Rosalina to throw any item at her baby form, when then could create a time paradox and injure past Rosalina so badly that she wouldn’t be able to help the baby Luma, and would never be able to run the Comet Observatory, and cause present Rosalina to start failing in the race. Just like creating this character is a reckless and foolish decision without thinking about the implications. However, I would still say that I dislike Pink Gold Peach a small amount more.

Third place is a character from the first place most disliked Mario RPG not just on the forum but everywhere, none other than… Kersti! This is an interesting case as I do not detest Kersti quite like some other fans do, and think that her good intentions, but a quick temper so people do not patronize you or take you for granted are valuable traits. I have heard that quite a large amount of people see this game she is in, Paper Mario: Sticker Star, as the worst Mario role-playing game. So maybe that’s just everyone’s bias against the game, as she still sacrifices herself to help Mario defeat Bowser at the end. At least that’s SOME sacrifice, compared to most people who give up very little to help anyone.

I feel 50/50 about some of the other characters placing pretty high too. While I enjoy all of the different designs that the Koopalings have, their boss battles in the New Super Mario Bros. games sometimes have originality, but are other times very bland, and their battle music often is bland too, showing how it hurts Nintendo when they are selfish, unoriginal people. Lubba is fairly high too, and that makes sense considering he is vastly inferior to Rosalina, but I do not hate him still. With Toad not placing higher that is something that surprises me, as his species appears far too much in many of the Mario Role-Playing games.

F2 - Worst 2D Level (BabyLuigiOnFire)

I tend to agree that The Very Loooooong Cave is the worst choice.

Greetings. My name is Redshift, second-in-command of the Protectors, and I have been selected to write a section analyzing a poll result under Sergeant Ray Trace's request. This section will focus on the results that the Worst 2D level has got, which includes levels from Mario, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, and Wario titles.

F2 - Worst 2D Level

The Very Loooooong Cave (SMW2:YI) 15.27% (217 votes)
Tubular (SMW) 13.72% (195 votes)
World 9-7 (NSMBW) 8.30% (118 votes)
World C-3 (SMB:TLL) 7.81% (111 votes)
World 8-3 (SMB) 7.74% (110 votes)
Fire Bar Sprint (NSLU) 6.26% (89 votes)
Mine Cart Madness (DKC) 4.86% (69 votes)
Pendulum Castle (NSMBU) 4.64% (66 votes)
World 8-1 (SMB) 4.36% (62 votes)
Endless World of Yoshis (SMW2:YI) 4.22% (60 votes)
World 7-4 (SMB) 3.10% (44 votes)
World 8-Bowser's Castle (SMB3) 2.39% (34 votes)
Stampede Sprint (DKC3) 2.32% (33 votes)
Lakitu's Wall (SMW2:YI) 2.25% (32 votes)
World 7-8 (SMB3) 1.90% (27 votes)
World 4-2 (SMB2) 1.76% (25 votes)
Doodle Woods (WL4) 1.69% (24 votes)
The Big Board (WL4) 1.06% (15 votes)
Total Votes: 1421

In my opinion, cave levels and sewer levels in platformer titles are just as bad as each other, as I do not appreciate the claustrophobic vibe that they give off. Turn it into a rather slow, auto-scrolling level that can be interpreted as rather mundane and boring, and you have The Very Loooooong Cave from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, which is not all that easy to link to, by the way. Couple that with the game's 100% requirements in that you need to collect everything in a single run (purposely losing a life after a Checkpoint Ring to collect a missed collectible notwithstanding) and you have a sordid recipe for a level. Despite its unpopularity, the level archetype has survived into The Cave That Never Ends from Yoshi's Island DS and Hotfoot Hurdle from Yoshi's New Island, all which are fifth levels of their last worlds in their games respectively, and all of them are slowly auto-scrolling, lava cave death traps. If we see another Yoshi's Island entry, ¿perhaps expect a fifth level in the last world similar to this unfortunate precedent?

Second place is Tubular from Super Mario World. It typically goes toe-to-toe with The Very Loooooong Cave in these results, in some years receiving first place, but it has been outranked this year and last year. As with all Special Zone worlds, the name is derived from archaic 70's and 80's slang, though the level's placement indicates that it is anything but excellent. The level in of itself consists of very little platforms, many hostile Chargin' Chucks, but more importantly, requires expert use and maneuvering of the Power Balloon over an endless death pit through many obstacles. The Power Balloon in of itself is, in my opinion, a less than desirable power-up, as it is slow, temporary, and is a rather unflattering state to be in. I really hope Mario and Luigi feel fine after having to deal with something like this.

Our third place has been the consistent World 9-7 from New Super Mario Bros. Wii, a late-game level accessed in World 9 by collecting all Star Coins in World 7. While the location in of itself is rather unique to the game, taking place in a frozen forest, this is a level where you must be quick and careful at the same time, as reckless usage of fireballs reduces how many platforms you may stand on during your trek through the level; in this case, the ice covers both Munchers and a fall to an endless pit. In this level are many Fire Piranha Plants, who will shoot fireballs at you and also melt your ice platforms, as well as Fire Bros who toss fireballs in the same fashion as your fire form.

The poll has many options to pick from, as it encompasses a wide variety of platformers with a wider variety of levels, with many dissenting opinions on what could be classified the worst. Much of these levels picked here are more known for their difficulty as many of these are late-game levels, with a few exceptions. The two Wario Land 4 levels are the niche picks with the least votes, though reading about the main element of Doodle Woods, being Hoggus spawning infinite enemies does not sound like an easy journey. There are quite a number of write-ins for this poll, though many of them are merely single write-ins. The most popular write-in option was World 8-4 from Super Mario Bros., the final level of the game, with six votes.

F3 - Worst 3D Level (BBQ Turtle)

Hello all! I'm here to cover some fail awards now, and where better for me to start than the third award that just so happens to cover the third dimension? Let's take a look at the top results:

F3 - Worst 3D Level

Pachinko Game (SMS) - 324 (19.67%)
Lily Pad Ride/The Toxic Waterfall (SMS) - 231 (14.03%)
Wing Mario Over the Rainbow/Over the Rainbows - 190 (11.54%)
Corona Mountain (SMS) - 170 (10.32%)
Darker Side (SMO) - 91 (5.53%)
Champion's Road (SM3DW) - 81 (4.92%)
Sling Pod Galaxy (SMG) - 63 (3.83%)
Dark Side (SMO) - 55 (3.34%)
Rolling Gizmo Galaxy (SMG) - 54 (3.28%)
Fuzzy Flood Mine (SM3DW) - 45 (2.73%)
Stone Cyclone Galaxy (SMG2) - 45 (2.73%)
Total Votes: 1647

Well, Super Mario Sunshine always performs well (or should that be badly?) on this award, and this year is no exception, with the notorious Pachinko Game and Lily Pad Ride taking the top two spots again, as well as Corona Mountain scooping up the fourth place as well. Most of them are here for the same sort of criticisms people bring up for Super Mario Sunshine in general- poor level design paired with bad mechanics and questionable control schemes. Add in some instant-death and a requirement for excessive caution and you've got "How to make a bad Super Mario Sunshine level for Dummies". Filling out the top three is Super Mario 64's Wing Mario Over the Rainbows course, making for the game's only high-ranking nominee on this award. This top four has been fairly consistent for a while, and fifth place follows the same trend- Odyssey's Darker Side (phrasing it like that seems to make it sound really dramatic) has stayed in roughly the same place since it first arrived on the award. Its slightly lighter counterpart, Dark Side, however, is down a little into eighth place this year. Taking the spots above it are 3D World's Champion's Road in sixth and the Sling Pod Galaxy from, you guessed it, Galaxy, taking seventh. Champion's Road's voter increase is likely due to its appearance in Bowser's Fury, where it probably managed to pick up a whole new set of enemies on top of the ones from before. I imagine Sling Pod is also getting a similar boost from its appearance in 3D All-Stars, along with its other Galaxy buddy the Rolling Gizmo Galaxy that made it up to ninth place- seems like updated control schemes just aren't saving these two. Interestingly, we also have a tie for tenth place! So well/badly done to Fuzzy Flood Mine from Super Mario 3D World and the Stone Cyclone Galaxy from Super Mario Galaxy 2. Though it's not really a surprise that these two landed in this place, as both have been bobbing around this rough spot for a few years now. So going forward, what do I reckon we can expect? Well, the results here are likely going to change if a new 3D game brings a stinker of a level along with it. This year also suggests that rereleases can also have a fairly big impact on the results, so I think any huge changes will mostly be based on new releases in this area. We'll have to wait and see, but in the meantime, you might as well take a look at the next award...

F4 - Worst RPG Area (Ninja Squid)

Your squid is here again for another analysis. This time though, we will take a closer look at RPG areas. You know I love Mario RPGs, but there is locations that we are not particularly fond of, and well with F4, we will have in better details which one is definitely among the worst in existence. Let's take look, shall we?

F4 – Worst RPG Area

Joke's End (M&L:SS) 8.99% (121 votes)
Long Fall Falls (PM:SS) 8.62% (116 votes)
Twilight Trail (PM:TTYD) 7.95% (107 votes)
The Overthere (SPM) 6.98% (94 votes)
Sammer's Kingdom (SPM) 6.91% (93 votes)
Sandshifter Ruins (PM:SS) 6.17% (83 votes)
Merlee's Mansion (SPM) 5.50% (74 votes)
Dreamy Mount Pajamaja (M&L:DT) 5.35% (72 votes)
Dry Dry Desert (PM) 5.13% (69 votes)
Drybake Stadium (PM:SS) 4.98% (67 votes)
Total Votes: 1346

Looks like we have Joke's End from Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga in first place yet again. Looking at the historical results of the Fail Awards, Joke's End has been winning the title of worst area since 2016, which means for six consecutive years. I know that the music from this area has been known for being extremely repetitive, which doesn't help with the fact that Joke's End is a long area with many puzzles in the game. A good recipe for driving gamers insane.

In second place, we have Long Fall Falls from Paper Mario: Sticker Star, a game that is already a problem on its own, but I am not here to let you know why Sticker Star is bad (You will understand why with F6, F9 and F15), but rather why Long Fall Falls is bad. The main problem with Long Fall Falls is that pretty much the entire part of the level result in Mario standing on a raft, while avoiding a Cheep-Chomp that will try to eat him. The problem here is that the draft is awfully slow to move around, thus causing more trouble than it should to avoid the fast attacks of the Cheep-Chomp. Oh, did I also said that if the Cheep-Chomp eat you, it would result in a Game Over? Awesome, more waste of time… Looking at the results from past year, it seems like Long Fall Falls has returned to the second place after falling to the third place to Twilight Trail in 2019 and 2020. Before that, Long Fall Falls was the constant second place. I am kinda happy with that though, as I do think Long Fall Falls is definitely more boring and annoying than Twilight Trail.

Twilight Trail from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is in third place this year, falling of one place from last year. Twilight Trail has a problem with backtracking, which definitely become a waste of time. Going back and forth from Twilight Town to the Creepy Steeple multiple times is mostly what you will be doing in Chapter 4 of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. Oh, and while walking through Twilight Trail, do not expect this to be an easy ride, no… Crazee Dayzees are enemies that you can find there, and they are incredibly annoying. They have an ability of putting Mario asleep, thus not letting him doing attacks for one turn, so if you are facing many foes, that can become quite brutal. Therefore, this does not really help Twilight Trail, and does not make Chapter 4 in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door very enjoyable in the end. By the way, thank you Koops for the rant on this! ;-)

In fourth place, we have The Overthere from Super Paper Mario, which did a good jump in the poll going from the seventh place to the fourth place. The Overthere is a pretty boring area in Super Paper Mario, and not that much memorable. For most of the level, you will be doing a long vertical climb of extremely similar cloud platforms with pretty much the same enemies all around. Nothing exciting to see here…

Not much has changed aside from that, and one thing that is interesting with this poll is mostly how nothing from Paper Mario: The Origami King made it to the top ten, with the first thing you'll get from The Origami King in the poll is Origami Castle with only two votes, which was actually a write-in answer. I think that we can take away from this award is that Paper Mario: The Origami King have some solid areas all around, which means that Intelligent Systems has definitely improved over the year with making RPG areas.

F5 - Worst Level Concept (Goombuigi)

It's time to take a look at the worst level concepts in the Mario series. Let's get right to it.

F5 - Worst Level Concept

Autoscrolling levels 15.56% (284 votes)
Restrictively low timers 14.30% (261 votes)
Cappyless/F.L.U.D.D.less missions 8.49% (155 votes)
Automatic levels (SMM) 8.38% (153 votes)
Checkpointless challenges 7.18% (131 votes)
Roshambo Temples (PM:CS) 6.90% (126 votes)
Star Ball galaxies 6.03% (110 votes)
"Secret of _" levels (SMS) 5.48% (100 votes)
Water levels 5.42% (99 votes)
Blast the Fury Blocks (SM3DW+BF) 4.88% (89 votes)
Total Votes: 1825

At the top are autoscrolling levels, which is likely placed high due to the fact that they're present in numerous games in the Super Mario series. They tend to move either rapidly or at a snail's place, causing a level to either place stress onto the player, or become boring to the player. Restrictively low timers are placed in second, which is possibly due to the amount of stress they can create due to the player always having to be on the move. Although restrictively low timers tended to place first in the past, a few times (such as in 2018), it was overtaken by autoscrolling levels. Cappyless/F.L.U.D.D.less missions are in third, and these are missions Cappy and F.L.U.D.D., which are a big part of Mario's movesets in the respective games, are unavailable to use, leaving Mario with a stripped down moveset. Automatic levels from the Super Mario Maker games are in fourth, since there's no effort required or challenge present in these levels, because automatic levels are structured in such a way that no player input is required to beat the level. In fifth are checkpointless challenges, which tend to create a lot of frustration since the entirety of the challenge has to be completed in one go, otherwise the player has to retry it from the beginning.

Next are Roshambo Temples from Paper Mario: Color Splash, which are places where Mario has to play rock paper scissors against multiple NPCs. Although there tend to be hints as to what Mario has to pick to win, much of the temples come down to luck. Following that are Star Ball galaxies, which rely on motion controls to control the ball, which could lead to potential frustration due to having to gently and precisely move and twist the controller. Following that are "Secret of" levels from Super Mario Sunshine, which each have secret courses to complete. They tend to be frustrating to clear due to Mario being unable to use F.L.U.D.D. in these courses. Next are water levels, which are present in most Mario games, and tend to be sluggish due to Mario's movement mechanics underwater. In tenth are "Blast the Fury Blocks" missions, which require Fury Bowser to hit specific block to gain a Cat Shine, and Fury Bowser's firing is somewhat luck-based, which can be frustrating to deal with.

That's all for the worst level concepts. It seems that concepts present in multiple games place higher than others present in one or a few games.

F6 - Worst Spin-off (Luigi 64DD)

Hello once again, my friends, Luigi 64DD here. I've returned to analyze the results of F6 - Worst Spin-off for the people! The Mario franchise has had a massive number of games with many different types of gameplay. Some of these divergent entries have provided fun and rewarding experiences for fans the world over. Meanwhile, others have... not. Let's look at what the voters have to say about a few of those.

F6 - Worst Spin-off

Paper Mario: Sticker Star - 426 (23.76%)
Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash - 271 (15.11%)
Mario Kart Tour - 221 (12.33%)
Super Mario Run - 154 (8.59%)
Mario Pinball Land - 109 (6.08%)
Mario Party 10 - 101 (5.63%)
Dr. Mario World - 93 (5.19%)
Mario Party Advance - 86 (4.80%)
Game & Wario - 72 (4.02%)
Mario Party 9 - 65 (3.63%)
Total Votes: 1793

Coming as a surprise to no one who has followed the awards in recent years, Paper Mario: Sticker Staris in first place with 426 votes. After getting many write-in votes year after year, this game was finally added to the award in 2016, at which point it immediately began dominating the list every year. This is again no surprise as this game has long been hailed by many Paper Mario fans as the game that caused the series to start going downhill (although that's far from being universally agreed upon). Keeping with its streak, Sticker Star took almost 24% of the vote, just slightly more than last year. Though it lost about 5% of the vote going from 2019 to 2020, it has not seemed to decrease any further, and I doubt it will given Nintendo has slowed down on releasing mobile games (hint, hint). I predict that this game will continue to win this award for years and years to come.

Next, we actually have a reversal of second and third compared to last year. This year, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash took second with 271 votes and Mario Kart Tour took third with 221 votes. This is in contrast to last year where Tour took second and Ultra Smash took third. Now what caused this? Well, in terms of number of votes, Ultra Smash has about the same number of votes as last year, but Tour lost 74 whole votes in the transition. Apparently, Tour has become somewhat less hated in the past year. Now why is that? It's hard to say, but it likely has to do with the game getting older and the griminess of its monetization practices becoming less of a hot-button issue now that some time has passed. A shame, I say, because I think the game deserves flack for it, but it's still clear that fans are none to pleased with it considering it made the top 3.

Going down the list a bit, we see this very same trend happening with Dr. Mario World. Mario Party 10 has risen up to sixth with 101 votes as compared to its seventh place status last year, and Dr. Mario World has dropped to seventh place with 93 votes as compared to being sixth last year. Thus, these two games have undergone a switcheroo as well, following the trend of the gacha mobile games seeing an apparent decrease in their infamy. Unlike with Mario Kart Tour, however, this switch is just as much of a result of Mario Party 10 getting more votes as it is Dr. Mario World getting less. This difference is small enough that I don't think that we can gain any interesting info about Mario Party 10 from this, but the gacha mobile game decrease trend is still clear. I could easily see them dropping down the list more in the future, though I don't think they'll ever stop getting votes entirely, as their negative reputation isn't going anywhere even if it may be less intense.

Aside from the aformentioned switcheroos, this list is pretty much identical to last years in terms of placement, with the usual suspects such as Super Mario Run, Mario Pinball Land, and Mario Party Advance. Here's hoping Nintendo comes out with some new bad games so that this list can see some variety. Just kidding, that would suck. Nintendo, if you're reading this, please don't listen to me.

F7 - Worst Enemy (Waluigi Time)

Waluigi Time here yet again, with the results of Worst Enemy. If you've been paying attention the past few months, you'll know I kind of have a thing with this award, so who better to analyze the results than me? Several people, probably, but you're stuck with me. Wahaha!

F7 - Worst Enemy

Hammer Bros. 16.70% (277 votes)
Cursyas 10.97% (182 votes)
Big Berthas 9.76% (162 votes)
Fuzzies 9.70% (161 votes)
Lakitus 8.08% (134 votes)
Bloopers 7.72% (128 votes)
Urban Stingbies 6.15% (102 votes)
Grinders (SMW2:YI)/Ukikis 5.55% (92 votes)
Bandits 3.13% (52 votes)
Wizzerds 3.07% (51 votes)
Total Votes: 1659

In first place... Oh Hammer Bro., why do the people hate you so much? Poor Hammer Bro. has won this award every year since 2016. Interestingly, spikes in Hammer Bro. votes for this award have coincided with popular YouTubers releasing videos talking about how Hammer Bros. are the worst enemy in the series... Clearly, there's some sort of anti-Hammer Bro. conspiracy at work here! Don't worry Hammer Bro., next year things will be different. Down with Porcupuffer!

Ah, sorry, I went on a little tangent there. Anyway, in second place we have Cursya for the second year in a row. Cursya has always placed pretty high in this award, appearing in the top three every year since 2010 and even winning it five times. It's kind of surprising to see it here honestly, given that it's a pretty niche one-off enemy from a fairly old game that's not even part of the main series.

In third place is Big Bertha, and while it's consistently placed pretty high in this award for a while, this is the first time it's made the top 3 since 2015. It was pretty close too, it just barely got here with a single vote! Once again this is kind of an odd choice in my opinion, since Big Bertha hasn't been seen since Super Mario Bros. 3, and there haven't been any recent re-releases or anything like that. Maybe a lot of people are playing it on Nintendo Switch Online all of a sudden, who knows.

Last year's third place winner, Fuzzy, isn't far behind, only one vote short of tying for third place.

Since Hammer Bros., Cursyas, and Fuzzies have taken some combination of the top 3 every year since 2016, it's interesting to see another enemy break in, especially one that isn't all that relevant these days. You know what that proves? It proves things can change! Vote for Porcupuffer next year, we're making it happen!

F8 - Worst Mario Kart Course (Goombuigi)

I'm a big fan of the Mario Kart series, but not all of the courses are great. Some are boring, bland, frustrating, or plain bad. Which ones are the worst? Well, here's what the community decided on.

F8 - Worst Mario Kart Course

Baby Park 12.41% (200 votes)
Figure-8 Circuit 11.11% (179 votes)
Rainbow Road (SMK) 6.89% (111 votes)
Bone-Dry Dunes 6.27% (101 votes)
Cheese Land 5.71% (92 votes)
Rainbow Road (MK8) 5.59% (90 votes)
Rosalina's Ice World 5.09% (82 votes)
Banshee Boardwalk 4.78% (77 votes)
Grumble Volcano 4.59% (74 votes)
Rainbow Road (MKWii) 4

4.35% (70 votes)

Total Votes: 1611

Baby Park is in first place, but it seems to be one of those courses that many people like, but many people also hate. Personally, I don't like this course very much. It's a simple oval, undoubtedly the simplest layout a Mario Kart course has ever had, with no obstacles and two sets of Item Blocks, and with seven or five laps (depending on the game) instead of the usual three. The "fun" in the course is supposed to come from the fact that all of the racing takes place in an extremely small space, meaning that a good amount of items will be thrown around, causing chaos. This can either be great fun, or great stress. Mario Kart tends to be infamous for having items screw over a person's chance at victory, which is amplified in this course.

Close behind in second is Figure-8 Circuit, which also has a simple layout. As the name implies, it's shaped in a figure-8, and similarly to Baby Park, it doesn't have any major obstacles besides the off-road. Unlike Baby Park, it takes place on a wider playing field, which alleviates some frustration that could occur with Baby Park, but in contrast, Figure-8 Circuit tends to be more boring. Although it is the first course in its game, it's not exciting or lively like other courses may be.

Way behind in third is SNES Rainbow Road, which is the final course of the first Mario Kart game, Super Mario Kart. Since it's the last course, it's also the hardest, but a point of frustration is how brutal the course is. The road is narrow, with numerous sharp 90-degree turns to conquer, to the point where you have to be an expert to clear it all without falling. The remakes of this course in Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart 8 have rectified this issue, but it is still very present in the original game.

And that concludes the worst Mario Kart courses. The top three positions have remained the same since 2019, and probably won't change anytime soon.

F9 – Worst Direction of Series (Ninja Squid)

Hey there, everyone!

It's NS here for one last time. It seems I will be in charge of doing an analysis of which series took a direction for the worst. Well, what are we waiting for? Let's get right into it!

F9 – Worst Direction of Series

Paper Mario 34.42% (589 votes)
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 13.68% (234 votes)
Mario Party 11.40% (195 votes)
New Super Mario Bros. 10.58% (181 votes)
Dr. Mario 7.77% (133 votes)
Mario & Luigi 5.79% (99 votes)
Wario Ware 4.85% (83 votes)
Mario Tennis 3.39% (58 votes)
Yoshi 3.16% (54 votes)
Mario Kart 2.98% (51 votes)
Total Votes: 1711

Paper Mario is taking the crown of shame once again this year, and it seems that Paper Mario: The Origami King has not remedy to the bitter taste that Sticker Star left on the series. You may think that Color Splash and The Origami King definitely improved over Sticker Star, but it is more than just that. When you start a series as a role-playing game genre, that you develop a fan base because of that genre, and that over the years you series start changing style, don't be surprised if your fans are upset. Honestly, when you look at The Origami King, I feel like it's almost a fraction of what the series once was. As someone who love Mario RPGs, I am definitely disappointed with what Paper Mario now is, because it does not have the same appeal to me that something like The Thousand-Year Door is giving me. Which comes to say that Nintendo and Intelligent Systems have only themselves to blame to what is currently happening with the Paper Mario series. After all, it is isn't broken, don't fix it.

We have Mario vs. Donkey Kong in second place again this year. Mario vs. Donkey Kong originally started as a puzzle platformer that involves controlling Mario in a series of puzzles while interacting with switches and various items. It also brought back the original rivalry between Mario and Donkey Kong. That game was acting as a spiritual successor to Donkey Kong, a game released in 1994 for the Game Boy console. Then, from the second game onward, the focus changed around controlling mini toys around gimmicky levels, and speaking of gimmicks, the last game released in the series is Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge which is a spin-off that required players to make use of amiibo figures, and we know that amiibo-centric games has never been known to be that great (hello there Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival :-/). Therefore, my guess is that a lack of ambition and focusing on gimmicks has not really help the series.

The third place belongs to Mario Party, and looking at past years results, it is the first time since 2017 that Mario Party returns to the top, although, it isn't by quite a lot to be fair, mostly resulting from New Super Mario Bros. getting fewer votes this year. Mario Party suffers from the change of formula that NDcube did with games starting with Mario Party 9, with none of them standing out or being overly popular over the classic style of collecting stars that the series has been known for. Although, the latest game in the series, Super Mario Party, returned to the classic formula, to the point that Nintendo even described it as a "complete refresh" of the Mario Party series. The problem though, is that Super Mario Party, despite being a great game in my opinion, still has some issues. Stars only costing 10 coins, which is pretty low for the standard, very few boards that are smaller as well are some of them. Mario Party Superstars seems to be correcting some problems, so I am quite interested to see how Mario Party will do next year in this poll. Let's hope this is the start of an era of awesome Mario Party games!

So far, nothing really shocking with this award, but I am still impressed that Mario Kart isn't very high on the poll despite a new Mario Kart that is starting to be long overdue, and the latest games in the series not being all that impressive or focusing too much with gacha. I guess there is much bigger problems with the top three right now...

F10 - Worst Game Mechanic (BabyLuigiOnFire)

This is me, in case you need to see me about any issues or if you want to complain about my section. I'll be happy to answer your concerns.

This is Dark Light, the Commander of the Protectors speaking. I have no clue what sort of things my third-in-command is up to, but he told me that what he's doing is a community service project and that he isn't getting paid for this. So he told me I should chip in, "for the betterment of this community". His words, not mine. I was initially opposed to the idea, because he's full of nonsense like usual, but Redshift told me that it looked like Ray Trace was quite passionate for this project and that I'd break his back if I didn't help, on top of this not going to take much off my free time, so I agreed to this. This isn't any different than writing some police report anyway.

So what do I have here? Worst Game Mechanic? Video games in general have terrible mechanics to keep their kids hooked onto it but I digress.

F10 - Worst Game Mechanic

Gacha 23.32% (420 votes)
Stickers/Battle Cards (PM:SS & PM:CS) 11.77% (212 votes)
Content requiring amiibo 11.66% (210 votes)
Vehicles 9.55% (172 votes)
Must use easy mode character in 4 player mode (NSMBUDX) 7.77% (140 votes)
Joystick twirling (MP) 7.66% (138 votes)
Gyroscope/motion controls 5.11% (92 votes)
Chance minigames (Mario Party series) 3.94% (71 votes)
Non-boss ring battles (PM:TOK) 3.28% (59 votes)
Button mashing (MP) 3.22% (58 votes)
Camera (3D games) 3.00% (54 votes)
Limited inventory (PM & PM:TTYD) 2.83% (51 votes)
Boilerworks rafting (LM3) 1.94% (35 votes)
Extra life system 1.50% (27 votes)
Star Bits (SMG & SMG2) 1.05% (19 votes)
Dimensional Flipping (SPM) 0.83% (15 votes)
Vibes (SPP) 0.50% (9 votes)
Total Votes: 1801

Here's what you guys call a "hot take" of mine. It'll blow you away.

Kids shouldn't gamble.

I know, it's against the law for kids to even participate in casinos, they need to be 18+. I'll personally arrest parents who even try to get their kids hooked on these disgusting slot machines. Personally, I think gambling in general should be illegal, because so much people wasted their life away in hopes of getting that jackpot that will never ever happen. Yet here, the exact stupid gambling mechanics have squirmed their way into these grotesque mobile titles masquerading as something kid friendly and these mobile titles all generally share the same addictive trash associated with never getting the thing you want despite thinking you'll know you get the thing you want and seeing other people share their results, which frankly disgusts me on so much levels. Why did I classify my opinion as a hot take, despite winning this poll by a huge margin, more than twice of second place? Because it's stupidly popular with these companies, that's why. As long as this thing's not regulated, more people will fall prey to it, and more and more people will realize how much of a scam these "deals" are. All I'm saying is that Belgium did the right thing by banning them.

What is number 2? Stickers and battle cards? What, is this a variation of the trading card stuff which overlaps with gacha? Apparently no. It's basically consumable items from Paper Mario: Sticker Star and Paper Mario: Color Splash, and it regularly places high on these lists. I'd normally scoff at using stickers to attack people, but given that Mario is in a paper world, I guess that makes sense in that context. The Protectors HAD been turned into paper before, and let's just say things are quite fundamentally different than our flesh world. Man, imagine if I can't use my nightstick or taser because I don't have the sticker for it. Or if I can't breathe without a battle card that says I can breathe. I can't imagine living in a world where I can't tackle people because I lack the item I need to do it rather than, I don't know, using my own physical attributes. Another thing I've been told is that a huge reason these things place highly is because they replaced a revered battle system from Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (there is a third entry but that's not really what people have in mind). People wanted more tag-team Mario enemies in these outfits I guess. This is like me replacing my second-in-command Redshift with some stupid Sticker with him on it and he appears only for a very short while...not even him but like, some vague representation of him. Man, maybe now I'm getting why people are so peeved at this.

Third place is even further monetization from these terrible game companies, this time coming in the form of these cheap plastic toys called amiibo that'll just sit on your shelf and gather dust without any sort of practical purpose. You can get yours at the low low price of 13 dollars. If you don't spend hours waiting in line for even a chance to get it at that price that is. If not, pay the scalpers at these huge overinflated prices for these...things. Oh and there's some content locked behind them as well! Splendid! What if you just wanted the data behind them without having to spend extra for a toy that'll just take up space! It's already bad enough that some kids can't even get them because of greasy, filthy no-life scalpers online. Imagine having to tell your child they can't have that Gold Mario amiibo for their birthday because it was all grabbed up by some fully grown, selfish thug of a person to flip others off.

What do we have next here? Ugly vehicles from Mario Party titles that are piloted by people who can't drive? Requiring to use a baby-mode character because the developers are too stupid to make, you know, a normal character? Breaking your control stick? New gimmick technology that barely works as intended but implemented into games anyway because the developers soooo want to show off their shiny new toy? MORE gambling-like games? I'm done here. Now you see why I don't really like playing video games? Ugh.

F11 - Most Shameless Business Decision (Waluigi Time)

Hopefully you're not getting sick of me yet because I have another award to analyze! Most Shameless Business Decision is a new award for this year, replacing Biggest Missed Opportunity. There's still a bit of overlap there so thankfully I still have data to compare to last year!

F11 - Most Shameless Business Decision

Refusing to fix issues causing Joy-Con drift at point of production 18.99% (340 votes)
Frequent takedowns of fan content 17.54% (314 votes)
Limited-time availability of Super Mario 3D All-Stars 14.36% (257 votes)
Nintendo Switch Online subscription 9.50% (170 votes)
Restricting availability of old games 9.44% (169 votes)
Mario Kart Tour/Dr. Mario World gacha 8.99% (161 votes)
Requiring YouTube creators to surrender a sizeable cut of their profits 7.15% (128 votes)
Reselling older games at the price of modern releases 5.59% (100 votes)
Artificial scarcity (NES/SNES mini, certain amiibo) 4.41% (79 votes)
Adding advertisements to LEGO Mario voice lines 2.85% (51 votes)
Total Votes: 1790

In first place is something a lot of us probably saw coming a mile away, our good friend Joy-Con drift! Can you really blame people for being upset that their $80 controllers keep breaking and Nintendo refuses to actually fix the problems with their product? Everyone who has experienced drift is probably rejoicing right now.

In second place we have the previous third place winner of Biggest Missed Opportunity, frequent takedowns of fan content. Especially when this fan content is completely original and doesn't involve modifying or recreating official games, it can be frustrating to see it taken down, especially when other companies allow and even encourage similar works.

In third place, the limited-time availability of Super Mario 3D All-Stars. This is another one that isn't all that surprising to see here, considering all of the internet discussion that this decision caused. It's a pretty strange decision on Nintendo's part considering they could've just kept selling digital copies on the eShop even if they didn't want to keep producing physical copies.

Nothing really too surprising here, other than maybe the fact that gacha in mobile games ended up so low here. I think the most interesting thing to look for next year will be to see if the amount of voters for the limited availability of Super Mario 3D All-Stars sticks. Hey, maybe by then Joy-Con drift will be fixed! (Don't count on it.)

F12 - Worst Game Objective (BabyLuigiOnFire)


Well well well. What do we have here? Game objectives specifically designed to make players suffer? I like the sound of that. Perhaps I'll devote a section to talk about this cruddy Poll Analysis after all, and maybe that'll get my organization to shut up about this thing. I don't know why it attracted the attention of my subordinates, who, for some reason, seem perfectly thrilled to waste their time writing for a pointless paper. A lot of these tasks are considered "optional" but let's face it, you're not really powerful if you choose not to complete the entire training process and experience only the "fun" parts of it.

Need to know who I am? You don't. My name is Grayscale. That's all you need to know about me.

F12 - Worst Game Objective

9,999,999 Coins (NSMB2) 22.04% (397 votes)
Completing every level with every character (SM3DW) 17.10% (308 votes)
Jump-Rope Challenge (SMO) 10.11% (182 votes)
Blue Coins (SMS) 9.16% (165 votes)
Beach Volleyball (SMO) 5.16% (93 votes)
Chasing General White (PM:TTYD) 5.05% (91 votes)
One million Coins (NSMB2) 5.00% (90 votes)
Collecting 999 Power Moons (SMO) 4.50% (81 votes)
Super Expert Mode (SMM) 3.50% (63 votes)
Flopside Pit of 100 Trials (SPM) 2.72% (49 votes)
Purple Coins (SMG1 & SMG2) 2.72% (49 votes)
Rabbits (SM64DS) 2.28% (41 votes)
Duel of 100 (SPM) 2.22% (40 votes)
Boshi race (SMRPG) 2.17% (39 votes)
Green Stars (SMG2) 1.72% (31 votes)
Piccolo (SPM) 1.05% (19 votes)
Yoshi Eggs (SMA) 1.00% (18 votes)
World 9 (NSMBW) 0.94% (17 votes)
Total Votes: 1801

This list tops once again with your 10 millionaire dream from that metaphorical cash grab, New Super Mario Bros. 2. Gaining money in of itself is a good thing, but there should be an obvious catch to it that wasn't obvious to these bone-headed developers: you need to use money to spend on stuff. What can you spend your hard-earned 9,999,999 coins on in this game? Practically nothing. You may as well collect 9,999,999 grains of sand on a beach, since that's the exact value these coins have. Oh you can get an extra life for every hundred coins. Who cares? You respawn anyway when you die, and lives systems are outdated cruft that should have died when games stopped being hunkered by machines that ate your cash: why don't other genres of games such as FPS's have "live systems" when you fail?

Taking second place is beating Super Mario 3D World with your party of morons, one-by-one, painstakingly. It historically used to be first, until it was overtaken by the bazillion coin one in 2020, but I guess the developers added this in to make every character feel 🌸🌸🌸special🌸🌸🌸. You know what else feels special? Killing every single enemy you could in a level. How about dying as every character at least once? All of the playable guys in that game deserve to contribute to the team effort of losing their combined lives at least once.

Vying for the third slot is skipping rope in Super Mario Odyssey. Well, I think forcing Mario to skip rope 100 times is an acceptable form of torture. If he doesn't get his ankles injured by it or exhausted by jumping repeatedly, he'll at least get very bored or very angry at them. Congrats New Donkers. You're even more of a monster than Bowser was. What's funny is further down the list is that there is another form of torture from the so-called "good guys" where Mario is subject to smack a ball around 100 times.

Sandwiched in between the two fiendish missions from Super Mario Odyssey is collecting the Blue Coins from Super Mario Sunshine. Not only are the Blue Coins cryptically hidden, the game does a bare minimum effort of keeping track of them, and some of these appear in very specific missions, forcing Mario to tediously slog around the giant death-ridden courses to get one. There's 240 of them, and you have to deal with a black market to get some of those Shine Sprites. Honestly, dealing with the black market is the real crime Mario is doing here, because anyone with a brain can see that the guy responsible for trashing Isle Delfino isn't Mario. It occasionally tosses against the Jump Rope Challenge and personally, I think the Blue Coin is more delightfully torturous than the Jump Rope Challenge, because more time is being wasted hunting for those blue-colored worthless disks of torment.

Blah. Here's your section. That's good enough. Now excuse me, I'm going to hide 9,999,999 Blue Coins around this world in order for you to collect Green Stars and Power Moons, and you need to do this with every playable character, and I have spare jump ropes, volleyballs, and white generals to muck around with.

F13 - Worst Remake (BBQ Turtle)

And here I am again to do another Fail Award for you! They say that number 13 is unlucky for some, so let's see who those unlucky few are:

F13 - Worst Remake

Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS - 478 (27.99%)
Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition - 243 (14.23%)
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe - 198 (11.59%)
Diddy Kong Racing DS - 187 (10.95%)
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr's Journey - 179 (10.48%)
Super Mario 64 DS - 94 (5.50%)
Super Mario Bros. Deluxe - 86 (5.04%)
Luigi's Mansion (3DS) - 66 (3.86%)
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions - 62 (3.63%)
Super Mario Advance - 47 (2.75%)
Total Votes: 1708

Making its way all the way up to the top spot this year is Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS, a remake who thought it was a good idea to remove one of the main functions of the original. Second place is another nominee that's made a bit of a jump in the form of Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition, a limited edition rerelease that brought next to nothing new to the table. The following two games have stayed in roughly the same place for the same reasons as Super Mario All-St...- I'm not typing all of that out again- with New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe in third and Diddy Kong Racing DS in fourth. Fifth place was a slight drop for the unnecessary and abysmally selling Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey- good grief, what is with all these long names? Sixth and seventh place were still fairly consistent though, with Super Mario 64 DS and Super Mario Bros. Deluxe taking the respective spots (Thank goodness, shorter names). The 3DS remake of Luigi's Mansion has taken a bit of a fall though, only making eighth place this year. The last two results are also in about the same place as usual, with (Oh no another long name) Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions in ninth and Super Mario Advance rounding out the top ten. I think this award could be in for some more changes next year though- as this award is still fairly new, a lot of the nominees are still to fully settle into a consistent place, and I think we could see a few new entries in the award this year if 3D All-Stars and Bowser's Fury get added. And of course, there's always a chance that another remake will get screwed up in the meantime, and that often means it has a chance to make its way onto the award. It does seem like its chance might be fairly good if it comes with a name that's much too long for its own good! Well, I think that's enough whining from me for now, I'll let you go onto the next award.

F14 - Worst Setting (BabyLuigiOnFire)


AARRGH! My name is Kontrast, and... why am I writing this!? This is all part of Ray Trace's stupid little project here! You know, I tend to hate all of Ray Trace's stupid ideas, but this may be the dumbest one yet! I think Commander Dark Light has truly gotten nuts because it looks like every Protector wrote at least one section so far, and she should have known about it. Even the stingy Ultra Violet is a-okay with this! And already! Why am I always the last one to get these sorts of news!? Have I gotten mad around here! GRAAGH!

ANYWAY, this is the WORST SETTING. It's a place you don't wanna vacation to! You won't have a fun time if you decide to travel ANYWHERE near these places! Don't say I didn't warn ya!

F14 - Worst Setting

Mushroom Kingdom (PM:SS) 17.91% (254 votes)
Egg Island (YNI) 9.73% (138 votes)
Subcon (SMB2) 8.82% (125 votes)
Party Islands (MP:IT) 7.33% (104 votes)
Shroom City (MPA) 7.05% (100 votes)
Party Cube (MP4) 6.98% (99 votes)
Mushroom Kingdom (SM3DL) 5.78% (82 votes)
Sprixie Kingdom (SM3DW) 5.71% (81 votes)
Flipside/Flopside & dimensions (SPM) 5.15% (73 votes)
The Fun Fair & surrounding areas (MPL) 4.65% (66 votes)
Star Carnival (MP8) 4.44% (63 votes)
DK Isles/Crocodile Isle (DK64) 3.88% (55 votes)
Transformed Wario Castle (WW) 3.39% (48 votes)
Pi'illo Island (M&L:DT) 2.33% (33 votes)
Starship Mario & galaxies (SMG2) 2.19% (31 votes)
Mushroom Kingdom (M&L:PiT) 2.12% (30 votes)
Total Votes: 1418

Before ya say, "WHADDYA MEAN MUSHROOM KINGDOM IS ON THE TOP!? That's where I live!", keep in mind this talks about the Paper Mario: Sticker Star variation of it, the one allegedly in a boring storybook. It's the one littered with countless generic Toads, the same boring grass, desert, ice, whatever that you're all sick and tired of seeing, basically one of the dullest and most ho-hum representations on what should be a vast, diverse, and, most of all, INTERESTING kingdom. I'm not surprised that it consistently places on the top ever since it got introduced in 2017! No one likes it there! I certainly don't!

Second place on this list is Egg Island from Yoshi's New Island. Huh? Wait, why does it look exactly like Yoshi's Island? Is it some really scary tourist trap? What's going on here!? I've heard that Baby Bowser wanted to turn this into his own personal resort but he kinda got bored of it halfway through and just slept in his dingy castle. God, if there was a brat who deserved a pounding, it would definitely be him! Not like he did much in terms of story in that game anyway. Have you seen that darn planet that island is situated on? It's all perilous waters, and a GIANT VOLCANO! Hello? Why would ANYONE make their homes there!? Are the Yoshis nuts?

Subcon is third on this list I'm guessing because, it's ONLY a dream, so it's obviously fake, that's why it's third for the second year in a row. It sometimes gives way to the Party Islands and Shroom City but nope! Not this year. Do you want to be part of Mario's stupid fever dreams? I sure don't!

Not much has changed between the years, aside from several new additions, such as several incarnations of Mushroom Kingdom. We still got Party Islands and Shroom City doin' as bad as they should be doin' (these Mario Party events are some of the worst parties I've ever been to, let me tell you that), though we don't have quite a huge gap between the votes as that darn Sticker Star incarnation of Mushroom Kingdom got.

Man, I hope what I wrote is enough to make Dark Light happy. Don't care how Ray Trace feels.

F15 - Most Disappointing Game (Hooded Pitohui)

Hello, all of you readers of The 'Shroom! It's me, Hooded Pitohui, appearing unmasked for once, to look at the results of F15 - Most Disappointing Game. Now, I'll be honest, I really expected Mario Kart Tour to have a bigger impact on this award, which is part of the reason I wanted to do the analysis for it, but it appears that, the more things change, the more they stay the same...

F15 - Most Disappointing Game

Paper Mario: Sticker Star 22.04% (414 votes)
Super Mario 3D All-Stars 10.76% (202 votes)
Mario Party: The Top 100 10.06% (189 votes)
Mario Kart Tour 7.19% (135 votes)
Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash 6.87% (129 votes)
Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS 6.71% (126 votes)
Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition 4.53% (85 votes)
Super Mario Party 4.10% (77 votes)
New Super Mario Bros. 3.51% (66 votes)
Yoshi's New Island 3.30% (62 votes)
Total Votes: 1878

Yes, indeed, for the sixth year in a row, one particularly reviled 3DS game has been crowned the most disappointing game, so, say it with me now, folks: "WE STILL DON'T LIKE STICKER STAR!" Now, this award having a consistent first place and a shifting second and third place is consistent. It's been that way for the past six years, with Paper Mario: Sticker Star somehow coming out on top year after year while lackluster and bland sports titles, remakes that went on to join some of the worst-selling Mario games of all time, minigame compilations, downgraded ports, unaltered emulatec compilations, and even a game built on a predatory gacha business model duke it out for second and third. I really can't say anything about Sticker Star that hasn't been said before. People dislike the game for reinventing the Paper Mario formula, for cutting out partners, for using only characters that previously appeared in mainline platformers (save for Kersti), for its battle system based on consumable items, and for its bosses that feel more like "apply item to puzzle" than tests of endurance and strategy. It's a despised game among many Paper Mario fans, and it looks like it'll stay that way for some time.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars is an expected addition to this year's top three, seeming somehow even lazier than the old perennial podium-placing Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash. Now, personally, I am glad that these three titles were released on the Switch, but, also, I think that limited-time releases are, if you'll excuse the bluntness here, dumb. That shouldn't be a thing. We already have enough issues with digital preservation as is, and, let's be honest, limited-time releases are meant only to create a sense of exclusivity so that people who might otherwise sit and wait to think on whether they really want a game or not or who would prefer to wait for a sale will instead go out and buy it immediately before it can disappear. Clearly, voters don't like limited releases, since the old Wii Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition cracked the top ten this year. Add to that marketing strategy the fact that these games were simply emulated versions of the originals, with minor tweaks instead of full quality of life changes some of these games could have used (we're looking at you, blue coin checklist in Sunshine), and this compilation release felt like a letdown for a big anniversary. At least Ultra Smash, as barebones as it was, could boast of new content. These games barely added anything!

Now… Mario Party: The Top 100 getting all the way into third and beating Mario Kart Tour, I have no explanation for that. I mean, I'm sure it's a disappointment to folks who wanted more than a collection of minigames they've already seen, but it's not exactly a recent game, and it wasn't even in the top ten last year, so I struggle to come up with a reason it received a surge of votes this year. Did a YouTuber make a video about it? I genuinely don't know what brought forth enough anger from voters to let this title displace last year's second and third place titles, but, apparently folks dislike it even more than Mario Kart Tour and Mario Tennis Ultra Smash. If you really hate this game or found it disappointing and want to explain why you think it did so well in this poll this year, well… can I interest you in writing a section about it for Critic Corner in The 'Shroom?

Anyway, that's all I'll talk about for now. Will we ever dethrone Sticker Star? Unless Nintendo releases Mario Kart 9: Trade Your Firstborn for a Gacha Roll, I wouldn't bet on it happening in the next few years. If you want to watch this award, watch it to see if Mario Party: The Top 100 stays in the top three, or even top ten, next year, or if this was an odd one-off surge!

Community Awards

C1 - Favorite Active 'Shroom Writer (Waluigi Time)

Expecting me not to talk about The 'Shroom? TOO BAD. COMMUNITY AWARDS TIME. They didn't have a "Favorite Cereal Magnate" award so I took the next best thing. Time to talk about 'Shroom writers!

C1 - Favorite Active 'Shroom Writer

Anton 15.22% (21 votes)
winstein 10.14% (14 votes)
Shoey 9.42% (13 votes)
Goombuigi 7.97% (11 votes)
Hooded Pitohui 6.52% (9 votes)
Magolor04726 6.52% (9 votes)
Lakituthequick 5.80% (8 votes)
MrConcreteDonkey 5.80% (8 votes)
Superchao 5.80% (8 votes)
Total Votes: 138

Coming in first place for the third year in a row, Anton takes home another well-deserved win! Anton's claim to fame is of course his Critic Corner section, Anton's Half-Baked Reviews. As a matter of fact, Half-Baked Reviews currently has a Section of the Month winning streak going all the way back to June 2020! Now that's impressive. Even if you're reading it for the first time, it won't take long to notice how much time, dedication, and money that Anton puts into his section on a regular basis. With in-depth reviews on a variety of subjects every month, appealing visual design, and even fun art, it's not hard to see why this section has a virtually undisputed reign over Critic Corner, and why Anton continues to be voted Favorite Active 'Shroom Writer.

In second place, we have winstein! If you don't already know, winstein is the author of Palette Swap's Drawn and Pressed. winstein does an excellent job here, introducing readers to more obscure comic strips that they may have not heard about before in this consistently entertaining, well-written, and visually appealing section. And while it didn't exist until after the Awards, I can't talk about winstein's contributions to The 'Shroom without giving a quick shout-out to his Strategy Wing section, Dr. Mario World Check-Up. If you're interested in learning about less well-known media, definitely give his sections a read. To quote winstein, thank you for reading.

In third place is Shoey! At the time of the Awards polls going up, Shoey's active sections included Mushroom Tribune in Fake News co-written with Hooded Pitohui, Word Search in Fun Stuff, The Devious Workings of Phineas J. Shoe in Palette Swap, What's in a Campaign? in Pipe Plaza, and So You Want to Conquer Japan? in Strategy Wing, along with various one-offs and News Flushes. Since then, he's started other sections including Our Leaders and Inside Look in Fake News, and An Ogre Battle Section in Strategy Wing. Whether it's an in-depth look at Robot Wars, a playthrough of an obscure SNES game, a fun, lighthearted section, or something completely different, you're bound to find something you like from Shoey.

Congratulations to the winners of this award, and really to all of the writers of The 'Shroom. Everyone does a great job and the paper obviously wouldn't be what it is without them! Keep up the great work, everyone!

C2 - Favorite Retired 'Shroom Writer (Hooded Pitohui)

Pass the time...

Welcome, readers. Name's Seam, pronounced "Shawm." A little man speakin' Russian came up to me to ask if I'd give him an Awards Analysis section. Figured it couldn't hurt. It passed the time.

Nobody else was payin' any attention to the writers who left your newspaper before your Awards this year, so I looked over 'em. Looks like recency and how long a writer stuck around have the biggest effect on your Favorite Retired 'Shroom Writer.

C2 - Favorite Retired 'Shroom Writer

Toadbert101 16.42% (22 votes)
ZelenPixel 16.42% (22 votes)
Super Mario Bros. 14.18% (19 votes)
Mr. Edo 9.70% (13 votes)
Luigi 64DD 7.46% (10 votes)
Lord Bowser 6.72% (9 votes)
The Pyro Guy 5.97% (8 votes)
Shokora 4.48% (6 votes)
Meta Knight 3.73% (5 votes)
Tucayo 3.73% (5 votes)
Total Votes: 134

I already said what I think is goin' on here. Writers who stayed writin' for a long time, they're the most remembered. Toadbert101 wrote Peddler's Place for years during a time when Fake News was the most popular section of the paper. Surreal humor and a lot of attention, apparently it keeps you in people's minds. Toadbert101 has won first place in this award for three years now. All that time he had to develop a particular style and to get his section in front of all of Fake News' readers, it pushed him to the top after he left. I'd guess there's lots of readers who wouldn't mind seein' him come back.

He ain't the only winner this year, though. ZelenPixel tied him for first, and she only had five editions of her section Kingdom Battle Ramble in Strategy Wing, so it can't just be about how long someone wrote. 'Course, she won three section of the month awards with those five sections, so she must of had a quality section that people liked readin'. She only wrapped the section up a few months before awards this year, so it had to have been fresh on the minds of voters. Guess you can leave an impression even with a short section, if you write it well and make it fun.

Third place winner goes back to demonstratin' how writin' for a long time makes it easier for voters to remember you. Super Mario Bros. was the longest-serving Director in the paper's history. For over five years of the paper's history, give or take, you'd see his name if you opened up the Director's Notes or the Opening Statement. Hard to miss him, when he was a part of most of the projects for years, and wrote a whole crop of sections over that time. Might be because he's thought of as "Director first, writer second" that he doesn't reach quite as high as Toadbert. His sections were more spread out; he'd write different sections at different times. It ain't easy to forget him, though. He reshaped parts of the paper in his years as Director. Any long-time readers votin' for this award probably remember seein' him announcing new issues and projects.

The top three here show anyone can become a remembered 'Shroom writer from the past. Maybe you stick around for years writin' one section like Toadbert. Maybe you spend time as a staff member, and people get used to seein' your portrait pop up for years. Or maybe you come in and write a short section, but make it a fun one with a good hook. Doesn't matter how you do it. This ain't a big publishing company. You come in and write and try to help the community, people will remember you. There's a lot more writers these days. Some will probably retire by awards next year. Is that gonna shake up this award? Guess we'll see…

C3 - Favorite Artist (Luigi 64DD)

Hey all, Luigi 64DD here. Ripping off popular Youtuber intros aside, I'm here for the last time to bring you an analysis of C3 - Favorite Artist! We have a boatload of great artists in the community that provide fun visuals and sounds in many different formats and styles. Let's take a look at some of the community's greatest artists!

C3 - Favorite Artist

BBQ Turtle - 27 (18.12%)
The Pyro Guy - 16 (10.74%)
Anton - 13 (8.72%)
Toadbert101 - 13 (8.72%)
ZelenPixel - 11 (7.38%)
Turboo - 10 (6.71%)
Koopa con Carne - 8 (5.37%)
Fawfulthegreat64 - 7 (4.70%)
Baby Luigi - 5 - 3.36%
Lakituthequick - 5 - 3.36%
Magolor04726 - 5 - 3.36%
Waluigi Time - 5 - 3.36%
winstein - 5 - 3.36%
Total Votes: 149

Coming in first place by a wide margin, we have BBQ Turtle (talk) with 27 votes, who happens to be another one of the people writing the analyses you're reading right now! In addition to her skills of analysis, BBQ is a fantastic artist, using traditional art to create very colorful and striking images. The quality of this art is truly impressive considering the difficulties that can come with the traditional format and getting it to look right on a computer screen, and as a traditional artist myself, BBQ's art is inspirational. Her art can be seen in many awards presentations, 'Shroom art galleries (such as the massive Super Smash Bros. Ultimate-inspired user art collage she drew several months ago), and of course her very own art thread on the forums. BBQ specializes in drawing user ocs in addition to the Mario cast. I wouldn't be surprised if she's drawn more user ocs than nearly anyone else in the community! In any event, I'm quite glad to see BBQ's artistic skills getting the appreciation they deserve.

In second place, we have The Pyro Guy (talk) with 16 votes. This pyrotechnic fellow is very well-known in our community for his brilliant displays of digital art in both the 2D and 3D planes. In fact, he hold the title of The 'Shroom's very own Graphic Design Manager! A vast majority of the art you see in the framework of the 'Shroom is done by TPG, including staff portraits, backgrounds, and more. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, he's drawing up a whole bunch of images for The 'Shroom Trick-Or-Treat in this very issue (go check that out if you haven't already, by the way)! Some of TPG's other artistic endeavors include winning this year's Scribble Deathmatch tournament completely undefeated as well as producing a wealth of very high-quality artwork and even videos for last year's Awards Killing Game 4. The dedication he puts into providing various community functions with lots and lots of very high-quality art is quite admirable and we really are lucky to have him to fulfill that artistic role for our paper.

For third place, we actually have a tie between two of our artists! Hypnotoad (talk) (more commonly known as Anton) and Toadbert101 (talk) both received 13 votes this year. Both of these users are known for writing some 'Shroom sections with very well-done and amusing art. Anton's art is an integral part of the experience in his currently ongoing section Anton's Half-Baked Reviews as well as past sections such as Dear Anton, providing a very effective visual element to his various escapades. Although quite handy at digital art, Anton's true area of artistic expertise is various forms of experimental traditional art. Anton is the only user I know who will regularly draw with crayons, and to great effect! I'd say Anton is one of our most skilled artists and it really shows in his craft. Like Anton, Toadbert has used his artistic skills to greatly enhance his 'Shroom sections in the past. His classic section Peddler's Place is full of fake advertisements that are not only very funny but also very well put-together visually in order to achieve the desired effect. He also is known for his annual presentation sprite comics that he co-produces with Super-Yoshi (talk). These are always a blast to read wherever they show up during awards. In addition to all that, Toadbert is a very good digital artist as can be seen in his contributions to the community throughout the years. Both Anton and Toadbert certainly deserve their high placement in this award.

And that's about it for this analysis! Congratulations to all the artists in this award and thank you all for the creative talent you bring to the community. It truly makes this place a whole lot brighter to see all the colorful and visually appealing works that are lovingly made for us. I hope we continue to see more great art from these artists as well as all-new artists coming in to bring their skills to the community. Keep on arting, everyone!

C4 - Favourite 2020 Awards Presentation (BBQ Turtle)

Hello everyone, here I am to look at a community award this time! So let's see what everyone voted for this time:

C4 - Favourite 2020 Awards Presentation

M29 - Favourite Classic Game (GCN/GBA and older) - Mr. Edo - 18 (14.06%)
M28 - Favourite Game Setting - BBQ Turtle - 16 (12.50%)
M5 - Favourite DK Game - Reverse Input - 13 (10.16%)
C2 - Favourite Retired 'Shroom Writer - GBAToad - 8 (6.25%)
M15 - Favourite Instrumental Track - Roserade & Zange & The Pyro Guy - 8 (6.25%)
F8 - Worst Mario Kart Course - Mr. Edo - 7 (5.47%)
M10 - Favourite Lyrical Song - Zange & Roserade - 7 (5.47%)
M13 - Favourite Level Theme - Toadbert101 & Super-Yoshi - 7 (5.47%)
C6 - Favourite 'Shroom Team - Lakituthequick - 5 (3.91%)
F7 - Worst Enemy - Baby Luigi - 5 (3.91%)
M17 - Favourite Mario RPG - Fawfulthegreat64 - 5 (3.91%)
M18 - Favourite Mario Party Game - MrConcreteDonkey - 5 (3.91%)
M23 - Favourite Capture - Hearts - 5 (3.91%)
Total Votes: 128

Now wasn't this award full of ties? I'd say that's quite a good thing though- it shows that everyone on this award has been producing top-quality presentations that people are having a tough time deciding between! Everyone deserves to give themselves a pat on the back for that at least. But as for the top spot, Mr. Edo managed to win it with his presentation for the Favourite Classic Game. The presentation managed to include a blend of all sorts of different elements, and I think that helped it to stand out that little bit more. I'd prefer to skip over my presentation in second, but then we're onto Revin's third place presentation for Favourite DK Game, which built on his already popular presentation from 2019 using a similar premise and turned it up to 11. Fourth place was the first of our ties, between GBA Toad's Favourite Retired 'Shroom Writer which brought a dose of AKG4 nostalgia with some wonderful art, and Rose, Zange and the Pyro Guy's Favourite Instrumental Track arrangement of the Gusty Garden Galaxy theme using a very unique set of instruments. And from one tie to another, with a three way tie for sixth place, with all three presentations making use of the users' tried-and-true methods to make outstanding presentations. Good work on Mr. Edo's Worst Mario Kart Course, Rose and Zange's Favourite Lyrical Song and Toadbert and Super-Yoshi's Favourite Level Theme. Knocking out the rest of the top ten- somewhat literally- is a five-way tie (Do I get overtime for doing these extra results? :P). These five spots are taken by Lakituthequick's Favourite 'Shroom Team presentation that made wonderful use of papercraft and actual fire (That's not something you see in every presentation!), Baby Luigi's Worst Enemy presentation that took the form of a fun comic about everyone's least favourite annual winner, Fawfulthegreat's Favourite Mario RPG presentation that made wonderful use of the paper artstyle to tell a fun story, MrConcreteDonkey's Favourite Mario Party Game, which took the form of a very impressive image featuring elements of all of the Mario Party games and Hearts' Favourite Capture presentation that made brilliant use of some very expressive drawings. And that covers the top 13- what a brilliant round number. :P While the results from this award won't carry to next year, it's always fun to see what the favourite awards are from this year's ceremony. Onto the next award, then!

C5 - Wiki Contributor Award 2020-2021 (Hooded Pitohui)

It's me!

Hi everyone! It's me, your Venus! Everyone's Venus, that's me! Ray Trace has asked your wonderful Venus to come and talk about your Favorite Wiki Contributor from 2020-2021!

C5 - Wiki Contributor Award 2020-2021

Waluigi Time 22.83% (29 votes)
Ray Trace 17.32% (22 votes)
Alex95 10.24% (13 votes)
BBQ Turtle 9.45% (12 votes)
LinkTheLefty 8.66% (11 votes)
Koopa con Carne 6.30% (8 votes)
Doc von Schmeltwick 3.15% (4 votes)
Scrooge2000 3.15% (4 votes)
The Mansion 3.15% (4 votes)
Total Votes: 127

There's so many people working so hard on the Wiki at the center of this community, and they should all be honored for working on the many projects that help the Super Mario Wiki grow! Join your Venus in thanking them all, everyone! While all of these contributors work hard, a few of these contributors go above and beyond and contribute to the Wiki and the community around it, and it's contributors like these who fill out the top four in this award.

Waluigi Time skyrocketed from thirteenth place last year to first place this year, a rising star just like everyone's Venus! What happened? Waluigi Time started working on other projects in the community, and all the people who care about the community but don't edit the Wiki were able to meet him. Many voters couldn't have told you much about Waluigi Time that wasn't in last year's Community Awards Dossier when they went to vote last year, but this year, he's written 'Shroom sections, made presentations for awards, created Shmaluigi, has played mafia games with others, has joined the Poll Committee, and has gone and talked to others in casual settings. Take it from your Venus, everyone! People can't know who you are if you don't go out and meet them! With as much as Waluigi Time does around the community and the Wiki both, people have been paying attention to him and discovered how much work he does, and he's been thanked for all that work with votes. Keep one eye on your Venus and another eye on Waluigi Time, everyone, because this rising star could shoot up to the top and become your 'Shroom Director someday!

Ray Trace (Baby Luigi the user, not the character Ray Trace) rose from ninth place last year to second place this year. It's not a coincidence that Ray Trace has been talking to more people on Discord and on the forums, has played in a game with others this year, and has started writing 'Shroom sections again! Ray Trace is even the Poll Committee Chairperson this year, and has been contributing more and more in the community to match while still contributing to the Wiki. With all of that hard work, voters took notice of Ray Trace, just like they took notice of Alex95 and BBQ Turtle for consistently contributing to community events and projects.

Your Venus is out of time, everyone, but your Venus knows you can see where this is going. Wiki contributors can contribute even more and have a fun time here by getting involved in the community and its projects and games. Come over to the community on the forum, everyone on the Wiki. Be like Waluigi Time, and watch how this award changes next year!

C6 - Favorite 'Shroom Team (Goombuigi)

It's your favorite green-hatted Goomba, back at it again with another poll to analyze. This time around, it's for the favorite 'Shroom team.

C6 - Favorite 'Shroom Team

Critic Corner 26.28% (36 votes)
Fake News 26.28% (36 votes)
Fun Stuff 13.87% (19 votes)
Strategy Wing 11.68% (16 votes)
Palette Swap 10.95% (15 votes)
Pipe Plaza 10.95% (15 votes)
Total Votes: 137

Critic Corner and Fake News have been fighting for the throne for past few years - at first, Fake News lead by a large margin, but in 2018, Critic Corner overtook it and remained unchallenged since. Until this year, that is, for they have tied for first, each with over a quarter of the votes. While Fake News had traditionally been one most the most popular teams on the 'Shroom, with sections such as News Flush, along with it being the oldest, Critic Corner also has it's fair amount of great sections, q prime example being Anton's Half-Baked Reviews.

In third place, with around half the votes of the top spots, is Fun Stuff. This is perhaps the most interactive team, with various activities for readers to complete. In fourth, only three votes behind, is Strategy Wing, and tied for last are Palette Swap and Pipe Plaza. It seems that sections about art and the wiki / forums aren't as interesting for readers, which is a shame if you ask me.

To conclude, it seems that Fake News and Critic Corner will continue to compete for first place for a while yet. Besides that, though, anything seems to be fair game. I personally think it's prime time for Palette Swap to move up a few spots, as it's been in last for a good few years now.

C7 - Favorite Community Event (Goombuigi)

It's Goombuigi again! This is my final poll analysis (phew), and the Favorite Community Event is a brand new award for this year, too! So, let's get to it.

C7 - Favorite Community Event

Awards Killing Game 4 29.08% (48 votes)
April Fool's Day 2021 17.02% (24 votes)
Awards Ceremony 2020 12.77% (18 votes)
Mushroom City Car Wash (roleplay) 9.93% (14 votes)
Sheep Mafia 7.09% (10 votes)
Rogues in Rogueport Mafia 5.67% (8 votes)
Super Mario 3D World Bowser's Fury Photo Contest 4.26% (6 votes)
Ultimate Location Battle 4.26% (6 votes)
The Altonia Files (roleplay) 2.84% (4 votes)
Warm Beverages vs Cold Beverages 'Shroomfest 2.84% (4 votes)
Total Votes: 141

In first place is Awards Killing Game 4, undoubtedly one of the most influential community events as of recent, as it garnered nearly a third of the total votes. It was hosted by GBAToad (talk) and The Pyro Guy (talk), and while the Killing Games had become a tradition at that point, Awards Killing Game 4 introduced a fair amount of things to freshen the gameplay, such as the NPCs and the stock system. (Plus, it is AKG4 we have to thank for the existence of Big Changes.)

In second is the April Fool's Day 2021 event. The wiki has done April Fool's Day themes for a number of years, but this year's event had to do with the "death" of Mario on March 31st, as a joke of various "Mario" games and events being restricted and terminated on that date. As such, the wiki was rebranded from the "Super Mario Wiki" to "Super Wiki", with all mentions of Mario being removed. This led to numerous humorous sentences in various articles across the wiki.

The Awards Ceremony 2020 is in third, and for good reason - it was the very event where the results of last year's Awards polls were revealed. Presentations were made to unveil these each of these polls' results. The Awards Ceremonies have been a tradition since 2007, when the wiki was still in its infancy, and they tend to be where some of the most impressive, most humorous, and most interesting pieces by many community members appear.

Two freeform roleplays made it to the top ten. In fourth is the Mushroom City Car Wash by Long John Spaghetti (talk), and in ninth is The Altonia Files by Magolor04726 (talk). The Mushroom City Car Wash likely scored high due to it essentially kick-starting a wave of roleplay threads on the Super Mario Boards, and it is currently the thread with the second-highest amount of posts.

Mafia has been resurrected on the Boards this year, with three games being held at the time that this poll went up. Two of them, Rogues in Rogueport Mafia by Ninja Squid (talk) the Sheep Mafia by [Reverse Input], made it into the top ten. In addition, several 'Shroom events have made it as well, those being the Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury Photo Contest, the Ultimate Location Battle, and the Warm Beverages vs Cold Beverages 'Shroomfest.

C8 - Best 'Shroom Section Design (Waluigi Time)

Here I am once again, talking about one of my favorite things, 'Shroom sections! There's lots of great 'Shroom sections, but some of them go above and beyond to look extra presentable and memorable. This award is about those sections. (Also everyone write more 'Shroom sections so there can be more candidates next year)

C8 - Best 'Shroom Section Design

Anniversary Announcements (Lakituthequick) 14.75% (18 votes)
Drawn and Pressed (winstein) 12.30% (15 votes)
Super Mario Maker Showcase (Goombuigi) 9.84% (12 votes)
Anton's Half-Baked Reviews (Anton) 9.02% (11 votes)
Mach Speed Mayhem (Superchao) 8.20% (10 votes)
Picross (Goombuigi) 8.20% (10 votes)
'Shroom FM (MrConcreteDonkey) 5.74% (7 votes)
TV Tomorrow (Quizmelon) 5.74% (7 votes)
It's aMAZEing (Lakituthequick) 4.92% (6 votes)
Parallax (Baby Luigi and LeftyGreenMario) 4.10% (5 votes)
Total Votes: 122

Coming in first place is Lakituthequick's Anniversary Announcements from Pipe Plaza! This section has always consistently done well in this award, previously winning during this award's first year in 2019, and taking a respectable second place last year. Lakituthequick has done an excellent job with this section's visuals, with all of the information cleanly presented in an easy-to-read format with sleek tables.

In second place is winstein's Drawn and Pressed from Palette Swap! Considering the section focuses on comic strips, it's only fitting that winstein does a fantastic job at blending text and visuals here. After introducing the reader to the comic with a banner image, various images are included in the section, often showing important milestones from the comic strip or providing an example of a recurring theme. This includes a gallery at the end of the section where the majority of the images are, ensuring that the section doesn't feel overwhelmed with images.

In third place is another Palette Swap section, Goombuigi's Super Mario Maker Showcase! Goombuigi excels at providing information in a visually appealing way, with each level getting its own table containing the details of the level before jumping into the layout of the level. This keeps the section compact and nice to look at while making sure that you don't miss out on any essential information.

Well done to all of the writers on this award, you've certainly earned it! Keep those 'Shroom sections coming!

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

Expecting Waluigi Time? Too bad! It’s Hooded Pitohui time, because I couldn’t go and let this fine fellow push himself too hard having to take on the last few remaining Awards. As ‘Shroom Director, I’m proud of each and every one of the sections writers, whether experienced or new and trying to improve, contribute to the paper! What sections did voters choose to recognize this year? Let’s find out.

C9 - Favorite Written 'Shroom Section of the Past Year

Anton's Half-Baked Reviews (Anton) 23.44% (30 votes)
Mach Speed Mayhem (Superchao) 17.97% (23 votes)
Drawn and Pressed (winstein) 10.94% (14 votes)
Mushroom Tribune (Shoey and Hooded Pitohui) 8.59% (11 votes)
The Odyssey of a Squid (Ninja Squid) 5.47% (7 votes)
TV Tomorrow (Quizmelon) 5.47% (7 votes)
Anniversary Announcements (Lakituthequick) 4.69% (6 votes)
Kingdom Battle Ramble (ZelenPixel) 4.69% (6 votes)
Monthly Inquisition (Goombuigi) 4.69% (6 votes)
Site Seeing (Lakituthequick) 3.12% (4 votes)
Total Votes: 128

Looking at this top ten list ought to give you an idea of just what a wide range of topics ‘Shroom sections cover and how many different forms they can take! Let this be a lesson, folks. You can turn almost anything in a ‘Shroom section, and there are readers out there who will appreciate you sharing your interests with them!

Narrowing our focus a bit, though, why don’t we look at the top three specifically? Drawn and Pressed, by winstein, Mach Speed Mayhem, by Superchao, and Anton's Half-Baked Reviews, by Anton are among the paper's most thorough, well-researched sections. Drawn and Pressed outright uses citations, documenting the history of a comic, information shared by the comic creator, or neat trivia facts. Mach Speed Mayhem points to specific in-game bios and specific episodes of the F-Zero anime, sometimes even translating obscure Japanese material so it can exhaustively cover everything we know about every F-Zero character. Anton's Half-Baked Reviews, meanwhile, offers numerous links every month, directing readers to resources that can help them learn more about the food Anton reviews, broader social issues (such as irresponsible or harmful corporate practices) related to the items he reviews, or any number of topics that add to his reviews.

Not only are these three sections well-researched and thorough, but they're organized neatly, divided into subsections that make them more digestible for readers. Rather than presenting readers with a wall of text, they use headings, galleries, and images to break up the sections into bite-sized portions that still manage to flow together smoothly. Anton goes the extra mile, putting his knowledge of photography and his artistic talents (sometimes the artistic talents of guests) to really make the images he uses in his section stand out.

What else unites these top three? Not only are they thorough and visually-appealing, but they're written with personality and their own unique styles! While Mach Speed Mayhem and Drawn and Pressed focus less on stating opinions and justifying them, Superchao and winstein still let their personal opinions come out in the sections, whether describing personal memories of the comics featured in Drawn and Pressed or complaining about baffling choices made by the F-Zero team. Far from a simple, bland list of facts, winstein, Superchao, and Anton all make their sections approachable by imbuing their writing with a distinct, natural voice, not disguising their opinions and personality, but embracing them.

Now, clearly, a whole range of different sections received votes this year, but it seems that readers particularly appreciate sections that are thorough, that are backed by research, which are neatly organized and visually appealing, and which have personality and a casual writing style behind them that make it easier for readers to enjoy reading them.

If you're already a 'Shroom writer, perhaps this poll will give you something to think about as you refine your sections in the future. If not, well, perhaps seeing all the different sections that earned votes this year will encourage you to write about something you like and join The 'Shroom! I look forward to seeing your applications!

C10 - Outstanding Community Achievement Award (Waluigi Time)

Here I am one last time, wrapping it up with the Outstanding Community Achievement Award! There certainly are a lot of outstanding members of the community (haha get it) who keep things running smoothly and generally make this community a better place to be. Let's talk about them, shall we?

C10 - Outstanding Community Achievement Award

Hooded Pitohui 24.09% (33 votes)
Lakituthequick 10.95% (15 votes)
Goombuigi 9.49% (13 votes)
Porplemontage 7.30% (10 votes)
Turboo 5.84% (8 votes)
2257 5.11% (7 votes)
Anton 5.11% (7 votes)
Baby Luigi 5.11% (7 votes)
Glowsquid 4.38% (6 votes)
The Pyro Guy 4.38% (6 votes)
Waluigi Time 4.38% (6 votes)
Total Votes: 137

In first place we have Hooded Pitohui! If you know much about the community side of things around here, there's a very good chance you know Pitohui. Most people know him as the 'Shroom Director, but he's also been the Poll Committee Chairperson and a member of the Awards Committee. He certainly does a lot of work around here! But arguably more important than any of these positions is how much he gets out there and interacts with members of the community, getting them engaged and encouraging them to interact and participate more. It's hard to imagine where we'd be without him around.

In second place is Lakituthequick! He's a very active member of the 'Shroom staff and works with the coding and technical aspects. Basically, he's responsible for all that fancy behind the scenes stuff that doesn't get appreciated enough. Thanks LTQ! In addition to his technical expertise, he also helps preserve community history, including archives of The 'Shroom, Userpedia, and various logs and pastes, as well as handling the records from our past Awards ceremonies. Since a lot of his work deals with behind the scenes stuff, he's sort of an unsung hero around here, so it's nice to see him get recognized.

Finally, in third place is Goombuigi! He's a relative newcomer to the community who joined the Wiki and Boards in March 2020, but in that short time he's become very active around here. He's written multiple sections for The 'Shroom, made Awards presentations, been a member of the Poll Committee, hosted events like Ultimate Location Battle with Ninja Squid and Toad Brigade Mafia, and even made a run for Sub-Director of The 'Shroom! If anyone is proof that you don't need to be a longstanding member of the community to get involved and make an impact, it's Goombuigi.

Congratulations to the winners, and thanks for getting involved and making this community a great place! That goes for everyone else too, regardless of votes. Everyone brings something unique to the community and makes it a more fun and welcoming place to be. The next time you talk to someone who made the community better for you, how about thanking them for it? I'm sure they'd appreciate it.

So what did you think, eh? Best section ever written, right? I'll be accepting campaign donations now. Make sure you vote for my analysis as the section of the month...wait....what do you mean there is no favorite section of the month poll thing here!?

The 'Shroom: Issue 175
Staff sections Staff NotesThe 'Shroom Spotlight
Features Fake NewsFun StuffPalette SwapPipe PlazaCritic CornerStrategy Wing
Specials Awards AnalysisTrick-Or-Treating With The 'ShroomWahn Special 'Shroom SongWaluigi Time's Writer Testimonials