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The Top 10 Frustrating Super Replay Moments
Oh Super Replay; all the fun of Replay
stretched out over an unknown number of episodes. There's a wonderful amount of
fun to be had with taking a journey through an entire game with Tim, Reiner,
Dan, Jeff, and anyone else they manage to wrangle into the Replay room. The
show has allowed us to fall in love with the personalities of the Game Informer
editors and share laughs, victory, defeat, excitement...and frustration.
One of the drawbacks to watching a game be
played through from start to finish is ...watching a game be played through start
to finish! As the Replay crew has stated on numerous occasions, they are
professional writers and journalists, NOT professional gamers. As also noted,
it's not easy to come up with witty banter and dialogue while playing a
difficult game, especially one you've never played before.
Still, with all that being said, there are
times where the gang will do something so infuriatingly dumbfounding that you
can't help but start talking or yelling at the screen, hoping that somehow,
through some metaphysical way, they can hear you. These are the Top 10 Most
Frustrating Super Replay Moments.
But quickly, before I begin, a couple of
things to note.
I think Replay/Super Replay should
be looked at as a privilege. This is not something the editors of a magazine
need to do, but they do for us week in and week out because they know we enjoy
it. It's one thing to point out frustrating moments like this; it's another to
leave hateful, spiteful comments and saying how much one of the editors "sucks."
Funny, constructive criticism improves the Replay community, ignorance and
name-calling do not.
This list was made not only to
have some fun reminiscing about some interesting Super Replay moments but also
as a way to chronicle what caused some of these messes so as to help prevent
them from happening again.
Spoilers, darling. If you haven't
watched all these Super Replays, you're going to have moments spoiled for you.
These Top 10 moments are limited
solely to Super Replay episodes, not general Replay ones...to which another list
will be dedicated in the future.
Jeff Cork Can't Play Zelda - The Legend of Zelda
Cork, lord bless 'em. His razor sharp wit and hysterical sarcasm make him an
always reliable contributor to Super Replay episodes. As evidenced by his unique
performance on The Legend Of Zelda Super Replay though, razor sharp wit does
not translate to razor sharp reflexes. It can be incredibly hard to contribute
entertaining commentary while playing a demanding NES title but episodes 7-10 were
dedicated to the final dungeon alone, even with a walkthrough in hand.* Of
course, things would've been a LOT easier if Jeff had found the Skeleton Key beforehand
but he didn't, and that just added to the frustration of watching him fumble
his way to Gannon. Overall, the Zelda Super Replay was entertaining, but those
last few episodes were tough to get through. (*Episode 10 is only about 25
minutes and a complete walkthrough was not used for the entire time)
for future frustration - Give Jeff soothing back
massages during the course of the Super Replay. I'm convinced this was done
during Psychonauts to great effect.
9 - Let's
Sell The Farm - Mega Man Legends
One that goes down
in Super Replay history. In order to raise money to buy better body armor, Tim
goes to sell a bunch of items they've built up. Unfortunately, Tim fails to
recognize that the weapon parts he has equipped are also listed in the things
you can sell, and he sells them too. To make matters worse, we watch as Tim
saves over the file that he could've loaded up from before he did the sale.
*sigh* frustrating, but it did cause Tim to go back through areas he didn't
explore and find new things. And actually, this made the experience of the game more complete, which is why it's not quite as frustrating a moment as it could've been.
for future frustration - Know your inventory
8 - Waiting
For The World to Change - Tail of the Sun
odd one. Somehow during all the running around Dan did during the Tail of the
Sun Super Replay, his terrible sense of direction kicked in during one of the
later episodes. Dan was convinced that he was following the same route to the
East every time, not realizing he was going at a slightly different angle each
time. Dan thusly convinced himself that the map of the world had changed in
some way. Even more confounding is that Dan's lunacy was contagious and even
Reiner began thinking the world had changed. If only someone had brought Occam's
Razor into the Replay room. Honestly, what's the simpler explanation? Does Dan
has a poor sense of direction, or did the game that has not shown any sign of
change at all, since the start of the game, now suddenly changed?
for future frustration - Occam's Razor.
7 - It's
Christmas Eve! - Blue Stinger
Sometimes subtlety is
lost on our beloved Super Replay crew. During one episode of the Blue Stinger
Super Replay, Tim had to complete a shooting gallery game in order to impress a
little girl, who would then give him the 4 digit password to a locked door.
Upon completing the event and talking to the girl she replied, "I'll give you a
Christmas present! It's Christmas Eve!" Instead of figuring out that "It's
Christmas Eve" meant the four digit password was 1224 (December 24th)
they somehow came to the conclusion that the game either glitched up or didn't
include the password in the localization translation. Dan had to turn to a
walkthrough to give them the answer. To their credit, Jason later figured this
out and told them, but the lack of puzzle solving skills here was an odd
momentary lapse of reason for everyone in the room.
for future frustration - Occam's razor again. Which is the
simplest explanation for the problem? A mass released game has a previously
unmentioned localization problem that doesn't give the answer to a puzzle, or
we're missing something that we haven't figured out yet.
6 - Shoot
the Treads! - Mega Man Legends
The Marlwolf tank is
a fairly early boss battle in Mega Man Legends. This large, robotic tank is heavily
armored and capable of launching some pretty enormous energy blasts. The only
way to defeat it is by attacking the unarmored hatch on the upper side of its
back. There is however, a way to slow down its movements by shooting its
treads, thus allowing you to attack the hatch with ease. The game is nice
enough to give you this information in a text display that comes up right
before the boss battle, in a kind of quick mission briefing if you will. Unfortunately,
no one in the Replay room read this...even though it was displayed before every
attempt at beating the Marlwolf. On the plus side, it did make them defeating
it all the more impressive, and also to their credit, they did realize their
folly several episodes later. They even brought it up themselves in the Legends
2 Super Replay.
for future frustration - Reading is fundamental!
5 - Na-na-na-na-na-na
Bat-Maniac! - Overblood 2
Otherwise known as, "Dan
Jumps to Conclusions," there came a point where the crew needed to find a suit
that would allow them to ride the winds of a hurricane, up to a floating
island. Dan instantly says it's the Bat-Maniac suit, a costume they had seen
being sold in the main town. However, nothing about the suit indicated it would
be helpful in the least and instead of searching for the actually helpful suit,
they go on Dan's advice and begin an exercise in futility. Eventually they turn
to a YouTube Let's Play that gets them through this. In defense of Dan, this is
not entirely his fault as the whole crew was guilty of not exploring things
well enough in the main town
for future frustration - Take the time to fully
explore areas and talk to everyone.
4 - Hey...Is
Our Health Decreasing? - Galerians
example of what happens when you don't read the game mechanics: Galerians. The
main character, Rion, has an AP meter that increases with the use of psychic
powers. Once it reaches its max, Rion goes into a mode known as "shorting" that
causes him to walk slower, his health to constantly drain, and cause instant
death to nearby enemies. The Super Replay crew realized the 1st and
3rd parts of this, but failed to notice the second. Eventually, Phil Kollar noticed their health decreasing...too late to do anything about it. They also
completely missed how to decrease the AP meter because of their failure to read
the tutorial instructions. Sure they got it all sorted out, but getting to that
point was less than pleasant.
for future frustration - Always read the in-game text.
And just like your car's dashboard, always check your gauges periodically.
3 - Can't
We Just Hit Control + F? - Cyberia 2
This is one of
the few intensely frustrating moments that was of no fault of the Super Replay
crew. There are several points of Cyberia 2 where it's required to go into a
computer system and access files with very little indication of what you're
supposed to find. Additionally, the "virtual
reality" interface that allows you to access these files in a series of tunnels
is absolutely ridiculous. The amount of time Tim spent trying to successfully
navigate these areas was equally ridiculous and a reflection of poor game
design. It also made for frustrating watching given how tedious these sections
became. Even if the crew knew exactly what to look for, it wouldn't make these
areas any more pleasant to watch.
for future frustration - Never play another Cyberia
2 - Anti-Gravity
Boots - Overblood 2
Say it with me now; "IT'S NOT A PAIR
OF BOOTS!" There was a device acquired in the game that allowed the characters
to jump much higher and farther: an anti-gravity device. This device, a controller
of sorts, is an inventory item, located with other key items. Somewhere along
the line, they started taking to calling this device, "Anti-gravity boots,"
things they clearly were not. So when it came time for them to turn them back
on, they started searching through the clothing and boots section of the inventory
and not finding them. This led to them thinking somehow that they gave the
boots to a party member and couldn't access them, when in fact, everyone had a
shared inventory. Eventually, Tim took to going through his entire inventory,
piece by piece, and found the switch. But leading up to that point...torture.
for future frustration - Know your inventory and never
call something a boot that is not in fact, a boot.
1 - Tim
Forgets How To Play A Game - Luigi's Mansion
one of the stranger moments in Super Replay history. When they started off the
Super Replay, the gang rushed through the game's tutorial mission and text.
Mind you, this is not an uncommon occurrence, but fortunately, it looked like
this wasn't going to pose a problem for them...then the end of the game came
around. In a staggering turn of events it seemed like every game mechanic Tim
had been using or managing to succeed without using properly, came back to bite
him in the butt. In hindsight, it's staggering the crew managed to get that far
while not understanding core game functions. The best example of this is the
flashlight. It's explained at the game's start that the closer a ghost is to
your flashlight when you flash it on them, the longer they'll be stunned.
Ideally, you're supposed to leave the flashlight off and turn it on when the
ghost closes in on you. Tim managed to succeed at the game without doing this
properly for so long that he was convinced it was not a game mechanic to begin
with. And the less said about the poorly edited final boss fight; the better.
for future frustraion - Taking the opening to a game
very slowly and reading any and all text.
MENTIONS: Anything involving the Hook Shot in Overblood
2, Not finding the portable heater in Blue Stinger, the Milkman level of
Psychonauts, and a special shout-out to Dan's playing of Half-Life, which to
some people may have been frustrating to watch but to me...was absolutely
awesome and hysterical.
UPDATE: The Overblood Facebook Group has mentioned another source of frustration coming from Blue Stinger. At one point in time, the crew completely missed a staircase that had opened, resulting in them wandering around even with a prompt on screen directing them to the noise of the staircase being revealed. Reading is fundamental!
But of course, along with all these
frustrations came so much fun and laughs. Part of the charm of Super Replay is
the possibility of failure. The frustration mostly just comes from watching the
editors we adore fail to do things we know they're capable of, or miss things
that we know they're normally observant enough to catch. That's why, hopefully,
looking at these moments with tongue in cheek will lead to less frustration and
more chaotic fun in the future!
Thanks to everyone of the Replay Crew for all that you do and especially to Tim for playing so many terrible games and always giving it his best.