What Do You Do When You Get Stuck In A Video Game?

I am so stuck on a video game right now. Should I rage quit, read a walkthrough or just cry out to the Internet via random forums to help me?

Each of those ideas presents problems to me as a gamer. Rage quitting is usually beneath me as a lady. Walkthroughs are only for use when I need to get through a game quickly for work purposes. And asking the Internet for help – particularly on puzzle games where there's no way to give hints without just telling you the solution – just feels wrong.

Obviously, my circumstances are different from the average gamer's because I have publicists for many games on speed dial. However, I don't like to abuse these connections when I'm playing a game for fun and not for review purposes. So instead, I usually stick to a ritual of behaviour.

First, I pause the game during the part where I'm stuck. It could be a bum boss battle, a room where I can't figure out how to progress or at a point where I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing or where I'm supposed to go. I'm the level-headed type, so I assume that this must be a case of user-error. Maybe I need to review my stats or my gameplay objectives and make sure I'm not under-leveled or something. This solved my stuck problem during that level with the train in Valkyria Chronicles.

If that doesn't work, I usually double back in the game to look for a special item or grind my level up in the case of bum boss fights. I usually don't have to do this because I'm a completion-obsessed gamer who searches every area, breaks every crate and fights every random encounter just for the experience points. But, hey, sometimes I missed a crate – sometime I forget to check the shops for all the armour upgrades. So maybe being stuck really is my fault. This tactic resolved an ugly boss fight in Tales of Vesperia – you know, the one with the demo boss only he's way harder in the retail game? And you can't go back and grind very much because the road is cut off?

Above: Sometimes, it's not your fault...

The third time, though, I stop blaming myself and indignation sets in. Why would they make a game this hard? How could I possibly have missed whatever it is I need to get past this point? What is wrong with the developers that they make something I can't figure out? This is a dangerous line of thinking because it's a small step away from a rage quit unbecoming of a lady. It also has way of contaminating the rest of my opinion of the game. Which is why I never finished the first Modern Warfare on Xbox 360 (stupid barn mission with the tanks – why don't you shoot them, Price, while I try not to die for the millionth time!).

The final part of my ritual is to quit the game – not rage quit, mind you; just a normal save and quit – and sleep on it preferably ‘til a Saturday morning. Then I come back to it while in my jammies with some cereal, the same way I played many a video game on Saturday morning as a child. It calms me down, gives me a fresh perspective and reminds me that games are supposed to be fun. This totally saved my experience with Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (I hate you, Vamp – die in a fire).

There are exceptions and games that totally defeated my ritual, of course. I broke down and used a walkthrough on The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time after two and half years of wasted Saturday mornings ($%#&ing Water Temple!); I also looked up a puzzle solution in Puzzle Quest because I really wanted to capture a Wight or something and just couldn't figure it out.

But for gamers out there like myself who sometimes hit a wall with games we love (or would love to try and love), I ask you: How do you deal with being stuck?

Further reading: Stuck!! – 21 game levels that stopped you dead in your tracks Getting Stuck Sucks: OXCGN's Games That Frustrate

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Comments

    I'm a combination of rage quit, walkthrough and forum depending on the circumstance. I usually don't walk away from a game and come back to it without looking up why I'm stuck just in case it's a bug. I have this unfortunate knack of running into the most major game stopping bugs (on last count it was 7) resulting in me having to restart the game from scratch or goin from a much earlier save.

    If it's clearly cuz I just can't work out a puzzle though, I'll walkthrough it, will ragequit sometimes beforehand. I am fairly persistent though, probably won't resort to help for a good number of hours.

    I'll ask myself whether I like the game thus far, weigh that up against how much I paid for it and then decide on whether to stick at it or read a bit of a walkthrough.

    If I really like the game I will almost always just stick at it until I become unstuck. If I haven't enjoyed the game that much and just want some story progression, then I'll straight for a walkthrough and follow it till I'm no longer stuck.

    Text adventures of yore are the epitome of being stuck. Thankfully there was no easy copout back then, bar Level9 hint sheets and Infocom invisiclues.

    I used to have a few going at once, when I was raging too hard I'd just walk away from it and would usually have an epiphany later on.

    Do it count that I looked up when to pump ramps in EA Skate 2 yesterday?

    Turns out you pump before the ramp, on the flat. I pump at the start of the ramp in real life which works well for me.

    Anyway that had me stuck for about 2 hours. Couldn't be happier that I looked it up.

      i remember thinking the same thing. it is hard to pump at the right time for the game when you naturally would do it a bit later in real life. but then it gives you more time to do whatever you want to do once on the ramp so actually works better for the game and probably why they did it.

    I've been avoiding using walkthroughs anymore. Normally I just step away from the game if I get stuck after a while. Perfect example is Braid. I really want to finish it but some of the later puzzles have me scratching my head. So I've just let it sit for a while, and I'll eventually go back to it with a fresh mind.

    Depends on the game really, sometimes I will just rage and leave it for later. Also depends how far I have to go back, with games where dying takes you back a long way I often resort to walkthroughs quicker as I get frustrated by the repetition of the ENTIRE level again just to get kicked back to the start by the boss.

    Rage quit ftw. Especially when it means throwing a huge duke controller when stuck in the prison in Half Life 2 on Xbox. There's no way I am picking up that game again...

    On the topic of ragequitting, I have just started playing through 'I wanna be the guy' the notoriously rage inducing indie platformer.

    I am finding that as I expect to fail every five seconds it is far easier for me to not become consumed with rage.

    Though from what I have seen on youtube this does not seem to be a common response.

    The biggest problem I have, is when I get to the point where I'm so frustrated I see no other option besides looking on gamefaqs... It's like when you are drinking and you have your first fatal piss, and then your back in the loo every 10mins for the rest of the night. It's to easy for me to alt+tab out and have another look at the walkthrough...

    I usually have the walkthrough up on my laptop, just so I can quickly go for it, though I have been trying really hard to stop relying on walkthrough without trying the level first. I don't really see the point for going on a forum if their is already a walkthrough, but I do go on forums for Trophies, however

    Especially with boss battles, as Einstein said “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”, so I pretty much try everything a different way before resorting to a walkthrough, that includes leveling up, finding items etc.
    I guess I rage quit too, only to come back later.I was once playing Persona 4 for about 10 hours and going, and I couldn't beat our little wake-up boss Yukiko. I handed the controller to my sister, went to take a break, a sandwich, a fire resistant persona then proceeded to beat her again. Voila.

    forum and walkthroughs. I generally dont quit it.

    Modern Warfare 1 mile high club on veteran uuuu baby the rage oooozeed out of evry oraphis.....

    I ask any of my friends who have previously finished the game. If they got through it, they can help me get through it. Other times I resort to a walkthrough...some games I have ragequitted or in rare cases, use a cheat to get past a particular bit. But only when absolutely necessary...like, I've read the walkthrough, but for some reason it can't work when I try what they told me.

    my idea at least is too do one of 2 things

    1. restart the game, once with MGS2 to got to the last fight(lots of metal gears #%^scary%$#) then found i had it on normal diffacult restarted on easy finished it in a day not one of my best idea

    2. move on to a diffrent game for a time then come back to it, i did once when i got back to the game a week or so later beat the bit in one go

    so what you what you could say is i
    Rage temp Quit

    I use a bit of perseverance. I'll keep going until I get it done. For example, I got stuck on a tile moving puzzle on RE4. Took me 3 hours and didn't sleep til 2 o'clock.

    I try to look at the reason I'm stuck, Lack of skill/timing/luck. Clueless on what to do next or just don't have stuff. Stuff being XP/Armour/Weapons/Power up what ever. Generally I take a break from the game, sleep on it or wait a few hours and try again.

    If after multiple tries I fail I look online for solutions. Generally this is to Puzzle games rather than strategies often if I can get the first puzzle I get an idea of all subsequent ones.

    I have never played a game with a walk through beside me, I don't count making my own notes if I write down the hidden locations of things I find I don't count it as a guide.

    If it's an item I generally back track, if it's XP I grind when I can focus my attention elsewhere.

    The thing I got stuck on most recently, The Scarecrow's Lair in Batman Arkham Asylum, why? Because when I went there first I wasn't able to scan it because the scan feature was disabled, because I had already been there I thought the thing I was looking for was elsewhere. Keeping in mind the ? flying over the map do make the puzzles in that game easier. And not nessecary to completion but still fun to do.

    With Metroid Prime, fighting Ridley where it's technique and persistence, I ended up dropping the game. I had tried to beat him for many days on end, and after each session my hands were totally cramped. 12 months later I played it again beat him within a few attempts.

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