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Scrappy Mechanic / Super Mario Bros.

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Wow, even Mario doesn't want to spring into action with this power-up. That's a pretty bad sign.

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    2D Platform Games 
  • Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels:
    • To unlock Worlds A through D in the original Famicom Disk System version, you must beat the entire game eight times. You can lessen the time by using Warp Zones, though. Even if you do enjoy the Sequel Difficulty Spike, this is still Fake Longevity at its finest. Fortunately, the Super Mario All-Stars version loosens the unlock condition to "just beat the game once".
    • Using a warp zone before reaching World 9 locks you out of getting to World 9, even if the pipe you entered leads to an earlier world. In the All-Stars version, this includes any future attempts after you've already beaten the game. So if you save after using a warp zone without realizing this fact, your save file can never get to World 9 ever again.
  • Super Mario Bros. 2:
    • In the NES version, you can only choose a character when you're starting a new level. If you feel like you're having too much trouble in a particular section or level with your current character and want to select another, too bad. This was rectified in the All-Stars and Advance rereleases: You can select a character every time you lose a life.
    • Restoring your health in the NES as well as in the All-Stars remake. In order to restore your health, you have to kill ten enemies. At that point, a small heart floats up from the bottom of the screen. Which is very missable if you take too long to get it, or worse, appears in a part of the screen where you are unable to get to it. The Super Mario Advance remake alleviates this by making hearts far more plentiful and much easier to obtain through different methods.
    • The NES version of Super Mario Bros. 2 is the only Mario game aside from the first Super Mario Land to enforce a limit on how many times you are allowed to continue after getting a Game Over. While Super Mario Land allows you to get a continue with every 100,000 points you earn, Super Mario Bros. 2 gives you a hard limit of two, with no way to earn any extras. This means that if you Game Over three times over the course of the game, it's back to 1-1. While this isn't as much of a problem if you use Warp Zones, players who prefer to see everything that the game has to offer may end up with a lot of pressure on their hands to use the best character for every level and stockpile lives. Luckily, both the Super Mario All-Stars and Super Mario Advance remakes incorporate saving and unlimited continues.
  • Super Mario Bros. 3 has one major problem in the original NES release: there is no saving at all, and the game spans eight entire lands with lots of things to do between "begin World 1-1" and "beat Bowser", as there are now 90 levels instead of 32, 52 or 20 like in the previous games respectively. Sure, you can use Warp Whistles to "resume" your game, but you have to start from the very beginning of the world with no forts destroyed or keyhole doors removed, as well as an empty item inventory. This is why every subsequent release has included some form of saving, whether it's save files in All-Stars and Advance or suspend saves in the Virtual Console releases.
  • Super Mario World:
    • The Snake Blocks go pretty fast, speeding through lots of dangerous obstacles, above bottomless pits and lava, and take the most convoluted paths imaginable, as if the game designers felt extra malicious and wanted to punish the player. They're back in Super Mario Galaxy 2, but this time in 3D and with gravity mechanics.
    • The coin trails directed by the D Pad and where you have to hit a P-Switch to turn into temporary blocks. It gets to be very nightmarish when trying to get the secret exit in Valley Ghost House: You need to direct the coin trail up to a ledge with a key to access the secret exit. Unfortunately, the ledge is far above the top of the screen, you need to direct the coin path to create steps leading up to it, and the hole at the ledge is only big enough for Small Mario, so if you're Big Mario, you better hope you have enough room to try to slide through, or you'll have to take the long, winding path back to the room and start all over again. Notably, many players will take the simpler (and less sanity-taxing) option of using a Cape to fly up to the ledge, which Mario can just barely stand on if he flies up right next to it. From there, Mario can squeeze through the gap by ducking and jumping.
    • The P-Balloon, which turns Mario or Luigi into a barely-controllable balloon, as its name suggests. The fact that Tubular uses it for the entire level doesn't help things. Luckily, when Super Mario Maker 2 brought it back with a post-release update, it was reworked to make it much easier to use.
    • Mario/Luigi on the overworld map moves at a tortoise's pace. It's not really noticeable if you're merely moving from one level to the next, but if you want the Top Secret Area and you're somewhere like Chocolate Island or Valley of Bowser where lives are easily lost, and you're not using the Star World, then you have to waste a fair number of minutes plodding all the way to the Top Secret Area, and then you have to plod all the way back; it's a vexingly slow and tedious process. In the GBA release, you can warp straight to whichever level you want... once you've reached all 96 exits, that is.
  • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins is not a notoriously difficult game, as there are many different ways for Mario to earn lives. The door to Mario's Castle requires the (what else?) 6 Golden Coins in order to enter, and each one is earned by beating the boss of the Zone that the coin corresponds to. In the event that Mario loses all of his lives, he will find out the hard way that Continuing is Painful, as a Game Over removes every single coin that you have earned. The only way to get them back is to replay all of the boss levels and beat them again.note  This punishment can be especially damning in the final stage, Mario's Castle itself, as it is the notable Marathon Level and Difficulty Spike of the game where lives can easily be lost - lose one too many and you've got six more stages to beat before you can give it another shot.
  • New Super Mario Bros. series:
    • The Mega Mushroom from the first game. Initially, it's fun to destroy everything in your way, but you must be careful not to accidentally destroy a pipe leading to a Star Coin; otherwise, then it's time to start the level all over.
    • One of the most common criticisms of New Super Mario Bros. Wii was having to shake the Wii Remote to spin jump, get off Yoshi, and pick up objects, despite them leaving out the B button on the Wii remote. This could cause lag in actions that lead to untimely deaths.
    • The Ice Flower can be less useful than it sounds, as the ice balls have a slower bouncing pattern than the fire counterpart, and you are required to take another step to defeat the enemies you freeze. In many cases, it's the level's designated power-up when it's not really helpful to you.
    • The platforms in New Super Mario Bros. U that shut down once too many objects are on them. Taken Up to Eleven in "Red-Hot Elevator Ride", where the platform will only keep moving if Mario is the only thing on it. So, naturally, the level provides plenty of enemies and even coins to stop the platform and prevent you from moving up, all while lava fills up the tower.
  • Super Mario Maker:
    • Commenting a level automatically stars it. To avoid giving a star when providing constructive criticism, you have to view comments from Course World or the website. A patch rectified this problem by allowing people to leave a comment on the level directly without giving it a star.
    • There is no text search for levels, not even on the website.
    • Levels are represented by 16-digit codes, but there is no QR code support in the game even though the Wii U can handle QR codes.
    • A maker's upload limit is determined by how many stars they have. Until they get 50 stars, they're limited to 10 levels at a time. The willingness of players to give stars to levels dips and bobs over time, with a downward trend as more levels are added to the game. Makers with a following on streaming sites basically get a bunch of free stars from their fanbase for anything they upload.
    • The game makes a point of giving you a clear flag when you clear a level, but after clearing enough levels, the earlier flags disappear. This can happen to levels you've starred and played as well, making it impossible to go back and play your old favourites unless you follow the maker, bookmark the level on the site, or jot down the course ID.
    • Levels that don't earn stars are not only deleted from Nintendo's servers, but banned from ever getting posted again. For some eclectic levels, it's luck of the draw if you get players that appreciate the level. Even well-regarded levels can be banned; this seems to be tied to high win-rates much of the time, but there is no official explanation whatsoever.
  • Super Mario Maker 2 fixes some of its predecessor's problems (like increasing the starting cap for level uploads to 32, then bumping it up to 64 for everyone, and then again to 100), does nothing for others, and even adds whole new issues. Respectively:
    • Levels will no longer be deleted no matter how badly they're rated, just not placed in popular lists or Endless mode. It is not necessary to earn hearts in order to upload more levels, either.
    • There's still no text search, though the codes have been shortened.
    • Several course maker features taken for granted in the first game are removed here, such as now requiring you to manually remove ground to make room for parts that used to automatically do so when placed and no longer being able to overlap pipes with one-ways or other pipes. Finally, while a level may not be in itself banned, it will still be deleted (automatically) if it features any "corrupt data" like certain glitches, notably the famous black hole glitch, and this will happen even if you don't upload it.

    3D Platform Games 
  • Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 all share a mechanic that causes you to lose a life when you fail a race or minigame. Failures like losing a race against Il Piantissimo in Sunshine or failing to get all 100 Purple Coins in a Galaxy level where you have to reach the end with all of them since you cannot backtrack in case you missed any is lethal.
  • Super Mario 64: The 100-coin stars. Having to collect 100 coins in each of the 15 regular courses to get a star slows the pace of the game to a crawl, and dying at any point resets your coin collection to zero, forcing you to start over. Some courses are plentiful in coins if you choose the right mission, but some courses like Dire Dire Docks are scarce in coins no matter what. Not helping things further is that you only get one chance to get coins from enemies and blue coin blocks, forcing you to start over if you miss them. Tellingly, in a popularity survey, the 100-coin stars consistently perform poorly, and the DS remake adds a mechanic that makes these stars much less painful: Yoshi can swallow an enemy that gives you more than one coin, turn the enemy into an egg, and throw the egg at enemies that only give one coin - each enemy hit will yield the same amount of coins as the enemy he ate.
  • Super Mario Sunshine:
    • F.L.U.D.D., while useful in battle, is not particularly liked since he replaced Mario's long jump. There's also the fact that any information he gives the player is not particularly useful as the player can figure things out themselves.
    • The red coin missions and especially the blue coin locations drive everyone nuts simply due to the sheer number of them in the game. However, if players want to beat it 100%, then they must beat them all. The blue coins deserve special mention. In Mario 64 they were worth five coins, but in Sunshine they are a special currency used to obtain Shine Sprites, the same things Mario is tasked with retrieving to clear his sentence. Story headaches aside, there is also no checklist whatsoever for blue coins. If you find you missed one somewhere and your memory isn't helping you, you have massive levels to go over again and again until you find out which ones you missed. Oh, and some are only available in certain episodes of the level too.
    • The F.L.U.D.D.-less levels can be seen as this. Special mentions goes to the ones in Sirena Beach's casino and Pianta Village's "Secret of the Village Underside"; in the former, the only way into the level is to get triple 7's on both of the casino's slot machines and solve an irritating panel flipping puzzle, while the latter revolves around talking to Piantas to throw you. This must be done with perfect timing and positioning, otherwise the Piantas will chuck Mario straight into the abyss. The F.L.U.D.D.-less levels also draw attention to how downgraded Mario's moveset is in comparison to Super Mario 64. He can't long jump, back flip, or change his momentum in mid-air by kicking, and the only real attack he has is the ability to jump on things.
    • Just like in Super Mario 64, you have to collect 100 coins in one of the main stages to get another Shine Sprite. Only this time it's worse, as only a particular mission or two in each stage will be able to give Mario the 100-coin Shine, as some missions won't have 100 coins to collect; so it's easy for the player to pick the wrong mission and waste a lot of their time. Which mission has it? The game doesn't tell you.
    • Yoshi, of all things, manages to amount to a massive one of these. Firstly, not only does Yoshi die in one hit if he touches water (which is everywhere), but he also dies if he goes too long without eating fruit. This turns every Yoshi mission into a Timed Mission where one slip up costs you Yoshi and forces you to start over. Secondly, nearly every Yoshi mission simply involves relying on Yoshi to reach one of the F.L.U.D.D.-less levels as mentioned above. While riding Yoshi feels like a rewarding powerup in most Mario games, in Sunshine it simply feels like an awkward difficult chore.
  • Super Mario Galaxy:
    • When you get a game over in the original Galaxy, you're forced to go back to the start menu ("Would you like to save and quit the game?") and find your save file again when you die (possibly a form of Anti Poop-Socking?). Every time. This gets pretty annoying and tedious after a while, and was luckily fixed in the sequel: here you just go back to the Hub Level, like it should be.
    • The Spring Mushroom power-up, whose very artwork conveys the impending frustration the player will feel while using it (it's the very image at the top of this page). You can't stand still while you're wearing it, the movement is very wobbly, and it requires precise timing in order to do a high jump (and unsurprisingly, the areas in which you find the spring require many such jumps). It doesn't help that it doesn't appear until very late in the game, which means you have to use it on some of the harder levels without having a chance to practice using it in easier levels first. It even appears to be this in-universe, as the promotional picture of this power-up shows Mario looking horrified as if to say "STOP THIS CRAZY THING!!!"
    • Rolling the Star Ball in the Rolling Green Galaxy, the last part of Mission 2 for Melty Molten Galaxy, and Rolling Gizmo Galaxy. Even a slight tip in the wrong direction of the Wii Remote has a chance of resulting in complete and utter failure.
    • The bubble blowing levels, like the Star Ball levels, require a lot of great accuracy with the Wiimote or Mario will likely fall to his death.
    • The manta ray race in the Loopdeloop and Loopdeswoop Galaxies. Even if you've already seen "GOAL!" flash on the screen, you can still fail and lose a life if Mario falls off the stage before the screen fades out.
    • Bob-omb tossing in this game is annoying due to how inconsistent it is to aim, along with the bombs' long, 11-second fuse length that can't be shortened in any way. While waiting for the bombs to blow up can be tedious on its own, it's when you have to blow up an entire planetoid's worth of trash using bombs in only 30 seconds when most people will find themselves frustrated with the mechanic.
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 has Fluzzard:
    • Waggle is in full effect - the bird is very annoying to control. It is also something of a Replacement Scrappy, of both the Red Star and Manta (which, though sometimes just as irritating, was generally fun to use). Then there's the Comet Medals and Green Stars in the Fluzzard levels. You know those rings you went past? You have to go through them all, then catch the medal in mid air at high speed. One of said rings requires about a 90-degree sharp turn into a tunnel from the other side of the level. And Green Stars? They're extremely easy to miss even when Fluzzard is directed straight at them.
    • The worst part is that the Fluzzard levels are almost identical to the Fruit Pop Flight Challenge from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. However, the Fluzzard levels are outclassed by far by the minigame from a game that came out four years earlier. In the Zelda minigame, the game involves actual flight, more mobility, and works off of the Wii's pointer function instead of inaccurate waggle controls. Why they couldn't have simply copied the mechanics whole cloth and come out with a much less frustrating mechanic is anybody's guess.
  • Super Mario 3D World:
    • For 100% Completion, you must beat every level as every character. If you're playing multiplayer, everyone's character counts, but there's a fifth character, so you have to backtrack no matter what, even if you can find three friends to play the entire game with. Factor in the nigh-impossible later levels of the game, and it's enough to make one break down.
    • The microphone-controlled Propeller Platforms in "Captain Toad's Fiery Finale" can be risky, as the microphone may not be responsive one hundred percent of the time. It's a problem here because precision timing is required to advance through the level and there's a Fire Piranha Plant shooting at you.
  • Super Mario Odyssey has the Motorbike, Jaxi, and Rocket Flower, which all boost Mario's speed insanely... at the cost of next to no mobility. Jumping with a bike or flower can turn you around in mid-air, leading to accidental deaths, but is usually required to get certain moons. Part of the reason why Gushen is so popular is because it's the only fast thing that's easy to control.

    Mario Kart 
  • Series-wide: The Blue Shells, Lightning Bolts and POW Blocks. All of them all but undodgeable and all of them far too commonly occurring given their power. This shifting baseline has caused what used to be items that occurred twice in a 4-race Grand Prix to appearing in concurrent pickups.
  • Super Mario Kart: The first iteration of the coin system is oft-reviled. The more you get (up to 10 for best effect), the faster you go. Falling off the track, bumping into another racer, or being attacked makes you drop coins and you go slower. Have no coins? Just bumping anyone makes you spin out. Because of this, coins are also offered as an item, which is good to have if you are not good enough to pick up coins on the track, but this is more of an annoyance if you got enough coins or are looking for an item to defend yourself with. If that wasn't bad enough, in Mario Kart: Super Circuit, you have to collect a lot of coins in order to qualify for star grades at the end of a cup and unlock the SNES tracks.
  • Mario Kart DS:
    • The Bullet Bill is a big one: It turns you into a super fast giant torpedo that you don't even have to steer. Plus, anyone you hit bounces twice in a random direction, guaranteeing that they are catapulted off the stage on smaller levels. You'll only get it when you're nearly dead last, so it's not an issue for guys in first and second place. However, tell that to the player in 5th place who just got passed because the game decided to reward the 8th place player for being worse at the game.
    • Power-sliding, or worse, snaking. It's a difficult technique to pull off, but it rewards the user with a short speed boost when successful. Human players can do it alright, but it takes a couple seconds. The CPUs don't have this limitation (they can activate it very fast) and use, overuse, and abuse it on the 150cc setting, making it extremely difficult to reach the first place. Everyone will be faster than you. Everyone.
  • Mario Kart Wii:
    • The racer count being increased from 8 to 12 turned out to be quite the scrappy mechanic, because it increases how often annoying items are used. There have been horror stories of players getting hit by multiple blue shells in rapid succession, or taken down by a blue shell, a lightning bolt, a POW block, and a Blooper one after the other, which is all but impossible in normal gameplay because the lightning bolt normally causes everyone else (or at least, humans) to drop their items.
    • This game marks the first appearance of the Thunder Cloud in a home console Mario Kart — and to date, the last appearance of the Thunder Cloud in a home console Mario Kart. When you get it, it automatically activates, placing a cloud above your racer and slightly boosting your speed while letting you ignore the regular speed penalty for going off-road. The downside is that after a short period of time has elapsed, the cloud zaps you with lightning, shrinking you; the only defense is to pass it to another racer by bumping into them, but they can send it right back the same way. The contempt for this item is so great that a lot of fans are glad it's been exclusive to arcades since then.
  • Mario Kart 7:
    • The Blue Shell takes all the worst parts of the versions from the earlier games: it flies along the floor until it reaches the first place player, then flies up and blasts them to pieces. Unfortunately, both of these attack can really easily screw someone up; the players at the back due to them being in the middle of the track on a narrow course (guess where the Blue Shell travels, and you have about four seconds to move out the way or get obliterated) and for the person in the lead, it seems the impact of being hit is random, you fly to the side in some almost arbitrary direction and likely fly off the track. If a Blue Shell gets fired on SNES Rainbow Road, someone racing will pay dearly for it.
    • This game's version of the coin system is more forgiving; the only benefit to having them is a boost in top speed, and not having any will simply keep your kart performing normally. Additionally, you can only lose coins by falling off the track or being attacked by an item, and simply bumping into another racer will let you keep your coins. However, this turns the Lightning Bolt into one of the most hated items in the entire game, as it instantaneously makes every single other racer lose about 4 coins in addition to stopping, shrinking, and slowing them down. On top of that, the coin count maxes at 10, which means that stocking up coins for unlockables is a nightmare waiting to happen.
  • Mario Kart 8
    • Unlike in earlier games, you can't claim a new item from an item box while dragging another item behind you. While one can see what they were aiming for, this means that the first-place racer approaching an item box has to make the excruciating decision to drop the banana peel he's using to block red shells in the hopes of getting a Super Horn... or hold on to it in case they get some useless coins instead. The introduction of the second item slot in MK8 Deluxe mitigates this quite a bit.
    • In this game, items' distribution is not based on your current position, but on your distance to the first racer. In theory, this is supposed to help against a run-away leader, as the other racers will have better items to attack them with. In practice, this just ends with a big pack of racers with nothing but Stars, Triple Mushrooms or Triple Shells beating up each other with them, while the first-place racer stays far ahead of the mayhem.
    • Crazy Eight is a special item: get it and eight items will quickly rotate around you. While fun, it is hard to choose which items to use at the right time, and there's a Bob-omb among them which will definitely explode in your face if you crash into someone. The best tactic? Just throw everything as fast as possible.

    Mario Party 
  • Chance Time, for its tendency to screw over more skilled players with forced redistribution of coins and stars. On that same note, among more skilled players, and especially "Stop Having Fun" Guys, luck in general is this trope (one of the few things where it's possible for them to agree with Scrubs on something). Chance Time was removed after Mario Party 6 to cut back on the excessive luck, though Mario Party 7 incorporated some elements of it into the Duel mini-games (rather than choosing what to duel for, the stakes are decided by a roulette after the minigame is finished; it's even possible for the loser to luck out and not have to give anything), and Mario Party Superstars brought it back in full.
  • On the opposite end of the spectrum, Bonus Stars. In many games in the series, players who earn the most coins in mini-games will get one bonus star. Another star is given if a player also collects the most coins at one time during play. Those two bonus stars are usually won by the same person since a skilled player who can win a lot of mini-games will also wind up getting another bonus star for having the most coins as well, making them win 2 extra stars and most likely win the game because of it. Later games in the series add other types of bonus stars in the mix in order to encourage more diverse playstyles and reduce the amount of players sweeping the bonus stars effortlessly. Mario Party 2 onwards also give you an option to turn these off, at least.
  • Any game with secret star chests. Basically, there is a random chance that at some point (sometimes more) in the game, one player will randomly be given a star. Similar to Chance Time above (but not nearly as extreme) it's frustrating to players to suddenly go from winning to losing because somebody else got something off of pure luck, particularly on maps where getting a single star is a lot of work. Like with the Bonus Stars above, they can be turned off.
  • The first Mario Party features several mini-games where a player has to rotate the control stick. Hard enough for many, they ended up causing blisters and other painful side effects, and often damaged the controllers by players trying to rotate the stick too quickly and having it break. Nintendo received a ton of complaints, and ended up releasing special gloves for players who hurt their hands. It would be 15 years before Mario Party: Island Tour introduced another "rotate the control stick" mini-game, and when some from the original Mario Party reappeared in Mario Party Superstars, they came with explicit warnings that players not rotate the sticks with their palms.
  • The original Mario Party has Yoshi's Tropical Island and Mario's Rainbow Castle, where Toad and Bowser will at times switch places. A player can be near Toad only to have someone step on a Happening Space, and end up meeting Bowser instead, losing quite a number of coins.
  • Wario's Battle Canyon and Peach's Birthday Cake from the first game are also more luck based than usual. In the former, players are blasted between islands in cannons; the problem is that it's difficult landing in just the right spot, causing players to potentially land after Toad. In the latter, players are forced to play a lottery when they reach the board's only split path to determine whether they meet Toad or Bowser. Fortunately, when Peach's Birthday Cake reappeared in Mario Party Superstars, the split path was moved to after the star, preventing unlucky players from conceivably getting trapped in the Bowser area.
  • Mario Party 3's Game Guy minigames are a major source of frustration for many players. Landing on one of his spaces forces the player to gamble all of their coins on a (usually)note  entirely luck-based minigame, most of which have 50/50 odds at best and incredibly thin odds at worst (we're looking at you, Game Guy's Roulette), in the hopes of walking away with several times more coins than they started with. Unlucky players can lose every coin they have in a heartbeat (costing many of them the entire game), while lucky players who win a game after gambling lots of coins have a very good chance of winning the Coin Star— and in some cases (winning on low-odd Roulette spaces or longshot odds on the smaller Chain Chomp in Game Guy's Sweet Surprise, and landing on the final space in Game Guy's Lucky 7) possibly reaching the coin cap. Notably, unlike the aforementioned Chance Time, Game Guy spaces are frequently placed on the boards' main paths (whereas most Chance Time spaces are placed on Skeleton Key paths, meaning that players typically have to go out of their way to land on one), and even appear in Duel Mode (where losing all of one's coins is effectively a death sentence as it all but ensures that they won't be able to pay their partners' salary at the start of their next turn, leaving them completely defenseless until they find their way back to their Start Space). Even worse? One of the game's rarest items in the Battle Royale Mode lets the user force a Game Guy minigame on a player of their choice. Unsurprisingly, this is the only game where Game Guy appears.
  • Mario Party 4's Mini and Mega Mushrooms. The mechanic (replacing the skeleton keys from the previous games by having size changing mushrooms that open new paths — the Mega Mushroom allows you to skip board events, making it a borderline Game-Breaker, while the Mini-Mushroom... allows you to go down smaller pipes while having a limited number on your dice) wouldn't be quite as bad if there weren't a number of mushroom spaces giving you the items, meaning that if you want to even have anything else in your pockets, you must use them to get rid of them, leaving you in either form most of the time.
  • The main issues with Mario Party 5 are the lack of shops forcing players to rely completely on the luck of the draw from the capsule machine, and the fact that you can be hurt by traps you set yourself.
  • From Mario Party 5 on, battle minigames are no longer a board space and instead randomly replace a standard end-of-turn minigame. Despite having the potential to change the game dramatically, this isn't the problem. The problem is that the winnings and losses from these minigames count toward the players' Minigame Star count, basically ensuring that whoever wins the most expensive battle minigame is guaranteed the bonus star at the end, regardless of their performance for the rest of the game.
  • Bowser Time! in Mario Party 7. Every 5 turns, Bowser shows up to cause trouble such as taking a picture of the characters and forcing everyone to pay, or temporarily destroying one of the orb shops and setting up his own business where he sells the first person to pass by a Golden Bowser Statue (which has absolutely no impact on the game) or a Koopa Kid orb (both get stolen immediately, and the latter adds another Koopa Kid space on the board), to making some changes to the board's environment, like destroying bridges, either forcing players to take a different route or ending their turn as soon as they reach the bridge.
  • Mario Party 9 and 10 having linear maps and all players traveling together in a vehicle is this to some fans, as they felt it was too far a deviation from the original series and that being together in a vehicle robs any sense of control from the players.
  • Mario Party 9 also has at least one obstacle per board (aside from Toad Road) that will remove half of your Mini-Stars, which might as well be a death sentence for anyone who wants to win. If that wasn’t bad enough, Bowser might DOUBLE the Mini Stars of whomever's in last, handing them the win.
  • Mario Party 10 has amiibo Party, a mode designed as a simplistic throwback to earlier Mario Party games. The most obvious complaint is that you have to purchase compatible amiibo just to play the mode. But even when you get past that, there remains one insanely annoying mechanic: if you're playing as an amiibo (and at least one person must be), you cannot roll the die, pick up items, use them, or stop a spinner without physically touching your amiibo to the gamepad. Every time. It only gets more crowded when multiple players use amiibo.
  • Bowser Party in Mario Party 10 stacks the entire game unfavorably against the team running from Bowser. It allows Bowser to reroll his dice if his roll doesn't reach the team as well as gain a bonus when the team reaches the home stretch. Furthermore, the end of the board has tons of Bowser Jr. spaces ready to send the team back or take their hearts. Winning isn't impossible for the team, but it'll certainly take a lot of luck, which makes it an infuriating game to play for some players.
  • More generally, the fact that all the minigames in any game are initially locked and there's no way to play them without randomly unlocking them while doing the boards has never sat well with the Just Here for Godzilla crowd who are only interested in the minigames. (Especially since most other party games allow the players to jump into the minigames right out of the gate.) This was fixed in the NDCube games (with the exception of Mario Party: Star Rush which only has three minigames available by default), and a happy medium was found in Super Mario Party and Mario Party Superstars, which have most of the minigames pre-unlocked.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • The Mario & Luigi series features a mechanic that plagues the games all the way up until Paper Jam: Multiple Forced Tutorials that absolutely kill the pacing of the story and ruin a lot of replay value for many. Bowser's Inside Story and Dream Team also have more mechanics than the first two games, meaning more tutorials to sit through, even for mechanics brought back from previous games!
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story:
    • While in Dimble Woods, you have to do a minigame that involves eating a giant carrot in a minute or less. The good news is that if you find a special enzyme you can use it to break all of the pieces at once. The bad news is that said enzyme will get weaker if you don't find it right also. To make things worse, the piece that carries the enzyme looks the same as every other piece that you need to break and the only clue that you are given is that the piece with the enzyme will flash quickly.
    • The microphone in the original game. The player must blow on it to breathe fire during the Giant Bowser battles. If your microphone isn't up to snuff, it can cost you, especially during a boss battle. For the most part, you can get away with ignoring Giant Bowser's fire breath, but the Fawful Express is too short to hit with punches, which makes for That One Boss when combined with the strict turn limit. The 3DS remake instead changes it to tapping the touch screen when Bowser's charged his fire breath fully, bringing that showing of the attack out of this territory.
    • The minigame where you have to make Bowser sneeze. You have to flick the Bros in order to knock pollen into the sides of Bowser's nose. Flicking, which makes the Bros hard to control, and all the more difficult to knock the pollen into the last section. And you have to avoid the pollen that'll hurt you (3 hits and you have to restart). To finish it off, you have to fly into the bulging sections after turning all of the walls red, which go back down after some time.
    • Waiting ten real-time minutes for Bowser's back to heal. What really cinches this is that the DS cannot be closed while this occurs or it'll go to sleep mode. There is a button code (A, B, X, Y, L, R, Y, X, B, A) that speeds up the process, but it's only mentioned by one character (Toadbert at the information booth in Toad Square) at a very specific point in the game (after completing the Memory Banks sequence).
  • In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, the ring puzzles and mole hunting. The former are irritating puzzle minigames where you have to pass through a ton of rings without either running of steps, landing on the same space twice or hitting a mole, the latter have you burrow underground and jump up at the right time to catch crabs. The ring puzzles are just a huge Guide Dang It! moment due to the ridiculous complexity of the ones required for the last two Pi'illos (and misleading graphics than make it easy to think the rings are one space north of their actual location), the latter is slow paced, annoying and forced on you during the story for no real reason (in both cases, only because the guy running it wanted to rip off the main characters and make some money out them asking for help). Good luck getting the max score when you replay the mole game again later!
  • Paper Mario 64 and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door:
    • Both games have an inventory that only lets you carry ten items. Therefore, it is very common to end up being forced to throw a useful item away to pick up another item that is just as useful. The Thousand-Year Door at least has the Strange Sack which doubles your carrying capacity, but you need to get to the 50th floor of the Pit of 100 Trials to get it.
    • Switching partners during battle in these games is very cumbersome since partner swapping wastes a turn and doing it at the wrong time can cost you dearly. The Quick Change badge lets you switch allies without using a turn, but the badge itself eats up a good amount of BP to equip.
    • Trying to discard items. When you do so, the thing bounces all over the place and has a huge hitbox, and since most paths in the game are narrow and your character moves relatively slowly, that Dried Shroom or Peachy Peach is going to chase you around like a tiny ex-girlfriend until you get lucky and it happens to stop before hitting you again. It's really telling that dodging a discarded item takes more luck and skill than Superguarding. Expect, on average, to accidentally re-pick up a discarded item three times every single time you try to get rid of one.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door:
    • There are many kinds of random events and hazards that occur during battle due to the theme of the fights taking place on a stage.
      • The audience itself can be a huge distraction, as some of the audience members (mainly X-Nauts, Goombas, Koopas, Dull Bones, and Hammer Brothers) can throw rocks, cans or hammers at Mario or his party member and damage them. While a sign usually appears to inform you that someone is planning on throwing something, which gives you a chance to attack them in return and make them flee, you might be too focused on the combat to even notice. A warning sound can either play or not play when the sign pops up. Other audience members can throw helpful things at you, but is easy to mistake them for something hurtful, and if you attack those, not only will they flee, but other audience members near them can also flee as a result.
      • Shy Guys can run backstage to cause stage props to fall down on you or the enemy. Not only that, but random props can also randomly fall down on someone's head without the need of a Shy Guy and potentially inflict the "Dizzy" status effect, which makes most of the attacks miss.
      • Boos can make you or the enemy invisible to make all attacks miss for one turn. Good luck if it happens with an enemy that can charge itself to deal even more damage!
      • Bulky Bob-Ombs take up two seats in the audience, thus reducing the amount of audience members you can have. Not only that, but they can randomly light their fuse up and explote after a while, taking out a huge chunk of the audience with them (Especially Punis, who always flee when frightened).
      • Crazee Dayzees can potentially sing a lullaby and put a huge portion of the audience to sleep, thus reducing the amount of Star Power you can get from the audience.
      • Dull Bones never give any Star Power no manner how well you do in battle, no only that but they always throw hurtful things at Mario and his friends.
      • Once you reach higher ranks, the nozzles on the front of the stage will sometimes spew ice jets, fire, or explosions at the combatants. Unlike other stage elements, these all deal more than one damage, and the ice jets can potentially freeze you while the fire and explosion jets can make Bulky Bob-omb enemies explode instantly so that you either die from their explosions or get weakened enough that another attack can kill you.
      • The worst offender in this regard is the stage fog. It can appear without previous warning, lasts two turns and reduces everyone's accuracy to a 50/50 chance. While Bobbery's explosions and Flurrie's Gale Force can immediately get rid of the fog, it still causes them to waste their turn if the attack misses. What's worse is that the game never tells you that you can get rid of the fog this way.
    • The Glitz Pit's ruling of applying some random manner of handicap on you at the beginning of a match turns many of the already difficult higher level bouts into unfair and sometimes unwinnable battles if you want to increase your rank. It's unbelievably frustrating to lose a match you normally could have won to boost your rank just because the Random Number God decided you're not allowed to attack for the first three turns or restricts you from using your jump against an aerial foe. Since it's random, it's even possible to be told you can't use your partner or Flower Points, which are needed to execute certain abilities, against The Armored Harriers, a battle where the only way to damage them is with Mini-Yoshi's Gulp ability, which costs 4 Flower Points (which will ensure a rematch against them and the possibility to get one of those two handicaps again).
    • Enemies always pursue you in an attempt of initiating a fight regardless of your strength level, which is not helped by their long vision range. This makes backtracking and exploring early-game areas in order to complete sidequests incredibly annoying unless you have equipped either the First Attack or Bump Attack badges (which allow you to skip low-level encounters), as there will always be at least one random enemy from whom you only get one experience point for defeating constantly harrassing you in every place you visit.
    • Enemies can hold items and use them in battle. You let that enemy holding a Stopwatch live longer than intendeed? Get ready to get frozen in time and be pelted with attacks for a long time! What's worse, if an enemy is holding a Life Shroom they can either revive a fallen enemy, or themselves upon defeat, meaning that there is no way to prevent them from using it unless you have Ms. Mowz steal said enemy's item... which she can't do if the enemy is airborne or has another type of protection (such as being made of fire or surronded with spikes).
  • Paper Mario: Sticker Star:
    • All moves you can perform on the battlefield are done with stickers. Stickers have a finite carrying capacity (over the course of the game, you can eventually reach 120 max capacity), and most of the more powerful ones take up more space in the Sticker Album. If you run out of stickers during battle, however unlikely it may seem, you might as well reload your last saved game. To make matters worse, you cannot choose targets, cancel attacks, or even skip turns, so you will be forced to waste stickers or take damage if the battle does not go exactly how you predicted at the start of your turn. If you do win a battle, but still have unused stickers left in your attack queue, they’re lost all the same.
    • There is no level or stat system at all; you can increase your HP with special items, but the game has no experience points of any kind. All enemy battles give you no rewards other than coins, making frequent combat rather pointless. The coins themselves aren't even that helpful, since they're mostly just for buying more stickers, but you can find a ton of stickers just by exploring levels, so you really only need to replenish your stickers if you just spent a bunch fighting enemies. Combined with all the issues of the sticker/card system, players quickly learned that it was better to avoid battle whenever possible since they gained nothing of value from non-mandatory fights.
    • The boss weakness system. The bosses (except perhaps the first) have so much HP and defense, you need to use the right sticker at the right time to have any hope of defeating any of them. What sticker and what time that is, more often than not, is quite a Guide Dang It!, and even if you do figure out partway through the battle what you need, it will most likely be too late anyway; what are the chances of having that particular sticker already in your album ready to use at that moment, given that most of the weaknesses are of the aforementioned "requires extra inventory space" type? The final boss takes this to its ultimate and horrible conclusion, with a five-part boss battle, each of which requires specific stickers to complete. And if you do manage to beat a boss without exploiting its weakness, or simply want to fight it normally, the game has your helper insult you for not doing what it wanted.
  • Paper Mario: Color Splash takes some of the annoying mechanics from the previous game and fixes some of them, but also adds a few of its own.
    • Possibly the most reviled is Kamek, who can randomly show up during battle to set a curse on you that messes with your cards. These curses have effects that range from giving you a random (smaller) selection of cards to changing all of your cards to a single type, but what's constant is that the curse essentially holds your current deck hostage until you win the battle. Somewhat annoying under normal circumstances, but not a deal-breaker... until you realize that game does nothing to prevent, say, getting stuck battling a flying enemy with only hammer cards that can't reach it, or a spiked enemy with only jump cards that will hurt you if you use them. Since Kamek also disables your ability to run from battle, if such a scenario happens, your only options are to either waste every card in your hand so the game will let you escape, or reset and lose everything since your last save.
    • The Shy Bandit. He shows up at random and heads for a specific level that you have filled in the colourless spots of. If you fail to intercept or stop him, you will lose all the colourless spots you filled in and need to fill them up again. If he happens to go for a level on the other side of the map from you then stopping him becomes a Luck-Based Mission, if you can stop him at all.
    • The game increases the number of Non Standard Game Overs. While these have shown up before, the ones in this game have a tendency to come out with little warning (like the giant Chain Chomp that chases you in Marmalade Valley) or with little idea of what to do to avoid getting a game over (again, the above mentioned chomp). Some also show up in places where there was not a game over in a similar situation in a previous game (this game's quiz show does kill you instead of making you fight some Demonic Spiders like the past games).
    • Unlike in Sticker Star, you are forced to use Things on the main bosses at points in their fights. If you try fighting them normally anyways, they'll auto-dodge all attacks that aren't their weakness, even if the attack would hit them otherwise. In addition, Replicas of Things will not solve the boss puzzles. This means you only get one shot per fight. The only silver lining is that the game is much better than its predecessor about telegraphing what you'll need well in advance.
    • The new Enemy Cards that can summon the enemy on the card to act as a pseudo-party member in battle seems to be an Author's Saving Throw at the removal of partners, however they're here because how near useless they are. For starters they're all generic enemies that you have no control over and all deal pathetic amounts of damage. In addition, They only last about one turn because on enemy turns, they act as meat shields that are easily defeated in one or two hits. Thanks to Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay, it is also possible for some cards (mainly shelled enemies) to ricochet off of the far walls of an enclosed arena and hit you after they have damaged the enemies. To make things worse, they are completely useless in boss fights, as they run away the moment they're summoned, which means you just wasted a card slot. The Koopalings can be gathered as rare Enemy Cards, but in addition to also being useless in boss fights, they're nothing more than Fright Jars, as they do nothing but chase away the enemy with no variation between each Koopaling. The only thing Enemy Cards seem to be good for is completing the Museum, but other than that they're almost useless in the main game.

    Sports Games 
  • Mario Tennis:
    • For players that play tennis regularly, the Power Shots are this as using them usually guarantees an instant point. Said players prefer to win by more skilled tactics.
    • The primary way to earn coins in Mario Tennis Open is to play the Special Games... and that's it, unless the player wants to replay the tutorial for 200 coins each when it takes 155,000 to purchase everything in the shop.
  • Mario Superstar Baseball:
    • Getting each character's Star Missions if you want to use their Superstar version. The requirements must be done in Challenge Mode, with a minimum difficulty setting and can range from hitting a homerun, getting MVP or stealing a base, to dropping a squeeze bunt or getting a minimum score in a minigame. Particularly hard are Mario's "Get a Perfect Game", which has you win without the opponent ever getting on base, and Baby Mario's "catch a booted ball", which is a Luck-Based Mission where you need to get a batted ball to hit him and then catch it before it touches the ground.
    • The game does not even indicate the existence of some of the mechanics needed for these missions. It also doesn't bother to explain any of the baseball jargon in the descriptions, so if you aren't an avid follower of real baseball, which is quite likely if you don't live in North America or Japan, a lot of missions will leave you not even understanding what you're supposed to be doing. There's Guide Dang It!, and then there's this.
  • Mario Super Sluggers:
    • The game has the star power mechanic, where the pitcher and the batter can use special powers to gain an advantage, such as tossing the ball really fast or hitting the ball with the bat and splitting the ball in two to confuse outfielders. To get more star power points, up to 5 max, you have to make successful strikes or successfully hit the ball without the ball being caught for an out. However, Mario Kart rears its ugly head for this mechanic where the losing team will gain more star points, thus they can effectively spam their special moves over and over again until they can catch up.
    • There's also the robbing home runs with two players with good chemistry teaming up and robbing your home runs in the more difficult challenging levels. It's really frustrating if you're looking for a clean game but a competent computer opponent.
    • On close plays at third or home, baserunners are allowed to attack the third baseman or the catcher by jarring the ball loose from the fielder. When it comes up, you're only given a quick warning to wave your nunchuck and beat your opponent. Either way, it's frustrating if you're playing against the computer. If this happens at third base and you're playing defense, you may have to stop the computer's runner from advancing to home.

    Other Games 
  • Luigi's Mansion (Series):
    • Luigi's Mansion:
      • The poisonous mushrooms shrink Luigi, disable his vacuum, and make him lose some coins. They don't make the game harder, just more annoying, especially when catching Portrait Ghosts and Speedy Spirits.
      • In the basement, one room has dirt piles which take a while to clean up and they return every time you come back into the room.
      • As you go further into the game, the Boos become very annoying to capture, since their health escalates to the triple digits and they can potentially escape into a room Luigi either can't enter yet or can only access through an incredibly convoluted path. This can include going from Area 3 to Area 1, which can only be gotten to by going back to the foyer on the first floor, and escaping into the Sealed Room, which can only be entered by climbing onto the roof and jumping down the chimney.
    • Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon has an Unexpected Gameplay Change to platforming in your survival horror-lite, with motion controls of which the game does not see fit to inform you, and that involve holding the 3DS perfectly still for extended periods of time while Luigi inches excruciatingly slowly forward on a tightrope over a bottomless pit in an ice level, while being buffeted by winds, In a game where you only get up to one extra life per level.
  • Unlocking secret paths in the Super Mario Bros. edition of Puzzle and Dragons. You need to clear orbs of an element not normally found in the course by using a Skill to turn a different orb into the appropriate element. The problem is skills become usable after spending a certain number of turns building up combos and attacking meaning you can't just build up combos at the branch point. The branch points generally come very early in a stage requiring you to use weak attacks and hope you don't accidentally set off a huge combo and the skills often take a lot of turns to build up without reducing the number with semi-rare and random items. That's all without mentioning that most of the secret courses don't open a way to the next normal stage even if cleared. All in all, it can be a major exercise in frustration.


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