31st May2019

The Retro Replay Live Experience @ MCM – May 2019

by Xenia Grounds

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I remember watching the first episode of Retro Replay so clearly. I had just woken up at 7am on a Friday morning. Barely awake, I shuffled straight to the kitchen to make some coffee, grab breakfast, turned on a television and put on some Retro Replay. By the end of it, I was trying not to laugh out loud so I didn’t wake up anyone else in the house because I fell in love with it. Over a year later, Retro Replay is still going strong and has grown over 100k subscribers.

The premise of Retro Replay is that iconic actors Nolan North and Troy Baker play games of yesteryear. It’s not a Let’s Play because as Troy ever so accurately said: ‘If so, we aren’t very good at it.’ It’s more of a ‘Try to Play’ than anything but with so much great comedy, stories and one-liners that a 30 minute episode will just fly by. Although, they are currently doing a Let’s Play of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and having the Drake Brothers provide commentary is something that I would highly recommend to any Uncharted fan to check out. The plan is to cover more of the Uncharted series and I am personally looking forward to when Nolan gets to the train sequence in Uncharted 2. If he thinks Drake’s Fortune can be tough then he’s in for a ride in the sequel.

On the last day and in the final hour of MCM Comic Con, there was a Retro Replay Live Show. To cut straight to the chase, this is how you end a Comic Con with style! Now I got moved to the front row for this which made watching this so much better and soon enough, the men of the hour took to the stage. Going into this, there wasn’t much known about what to expect apart from surprises and a mystery guest. After seeing Troy and Nolan riff off each other, the first sign that told me this was going to be amazing was an animated bit that paid tribute to the first episode of Retro Replay which had everyone laughing. Then we had a musical number ‘Seamus the Knight’. The video for it is on YouTube somewhere if you want to check it out because words aren’t going to do it justice. Now if you’re a Troy Baker fan then you know he’s a very gifted singer. You can find his album on Spotify or if you’re a gamer then you may have heard a taste of that in Bioshock Infinite. However, I wasn’t expecting Nolan to sing as well and I wouldn’t say he’s as gifted as Troy but he held his own.

The game they chose was Aladdin which couldn’t have been timed better with the recent release of the live-action remake. I believe they’ve played this game at previous MCMs in other parts of the UK. It was a lot of fun especially with the Rug Race which is basically that scene where Aladdin must ride on the magic carpet to get out of the Cave of Wonders. It was surprisingly intense as the speed kept on increasing as the score went up which made dodging obstacles very difficult. It was very interactive as the audience spent the entire time going ‘Whoa’ as the speed picked up. Unfortunately, Nolan didn’t quite manage to get to the end of the level.

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However, help was on its way in the form of…JackSepticEye. For those who don’t follow the YouTube Gaming Scene, Jack is one of the biggest Let’s Players to ever grace YouTube and he is genuinely one of the few big YouTube gamers that I enjoy watching. He came out to ‘Holding out for a Hero’ and the entire crowd was cheering and screaming at the top of their lungs. Now I had a strong suspicion that it was going to be Jack because Troy did hint at it quite a lot on his Twitter but the energy in Centre Stage was something else when he came out. As Jasmine would put it: Indescribable feeling.

Although Jack didn’t exactly fare much better than Nolan. As he perfectly put it: ‘It’s a sad day when Nolan North has to help me play video games.’ Nolan North is not the best gamer in the world but he’s better than he was prior to Retro Replay. After much failing on both parts, the two called it a day. Jack couldn’t finish a level but Nolan managed to finish one or two which probably is even funnier considering the former makes a living playing video games. The show was running longer than it should have too. It was meant to end at 4:45 but we got to the end at around 5:15… probably because we had announcements saying the convention was over and we had to leave sadly.

We may not seen the end of the Rug Race Level but we got treated to Troy, Nolan and Jack singing ‘A Whole New World’ and of course the entire crowd joined in as well. The three were moving up and down the stage. It’s the strangest comedy bit I’ve seen in a while but you couldn’t end Comic Con more iconically if you tried.

If Retro Replay comes back to MCM in October then I am definitely going to watch it live again. I hope it gets moved to the main stage next time because there were a lot of people who went to see it. The queue stretched from one side of the Centre Stage to the other. My mind was racing in trying to process the experience and I couldn’t stop smiling for hours afterwards. I was grinning while writing this recap too. I’m not sure if it’s going to be shared online yet but I do hope that you check out the snippets available for it on YouTube because writing about it is one thing, watching it is another.

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