For those who like to watch videos about video games, they most likely know who the Angry Video Game Nerd is. He reviewed bad classic games, combining insight with tons of profanity and a hatred for them. Created by filmmaker James Rolfe, the character and web series started out as the Angry Nintendo Nerd before he started to review bad games from other platforms as well, from the Atari to even the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation. While he is now working on the AVGN feature film (yes, that is no joke), here is an AVGN game.
Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures is a game developed by FreakZone Games and published by ScrewAttack Entertainment (who are themselves known for making review videos and such) which is a bit like an irony in itself. Fans would wonder on how the Nerd would be if he himself is in a game, and this is the full-blown answer. This is a game that is best for those who are fans of the Angry Video Game Nerd since they would be the ones who can get the references and in-jokes from the show that are in this game.
Quite fittingly, this game is a platformer, and much of it is about retro games that comprises most of what the Nerd reviews, like a tribute to what eventually gave birth to the Angry Video Game Nerd. Gameplay is quite challenging since it harkens back to the 8-bit era, when one of the games’ main ways of retaining audiences is through having a high degree of difficulty. At the very least, this game does not have one of the things that the Nerd whines about constantly, which is bad controls.
You play as the Angry Video Game Nerd himself, armed with a Nintendo Zapper and his pissed-off demeanor. He has to go through various levels that reference a lot of past episodes from the show. For instance, there’s Assholevania from his retrospective of the Castlevania franchise (and how much he hated Simon’s Quest), Blizzard of Balls from his yearly Christmas specials, The game that emulates much of the visual style of Mega Man, with the Nerd himself sporting his glasses and trademark frown. The same goes for the music and sound effects, which are equally 8-bit.
What FreakZone has done is to combine a lot of the things that the Nerd had moaned about in his reviews that make for bad games and threw them into a blender to come out with this game. They should make this game extraordinarily bad, but that’s actually what comprises its charm since it all goes back to what pisses the Nerd off. Those elements like questionable level design, various visual gaffes, and so on do make the game relentlessly difficult, but perhaps that’s par for the course since that’s what the show was about. You do get three difficulty levels, from Easy and Medium to Hard As Balls, so you can at least choose how much you want to suffer.
As you play, you unlock various stuff, including other playable characters that are mostly from AVGN and James Rolfe’s other shows, like the Guitar Man that plays the theme song and so on. You also get power-ups, which don’t seem to do much good though. There are also lots of cameos by Internet personalities connected to the publisher who themselves make videos and other content about video games. Only the really big fans of stuff like this will ever recognize them, but they do get depicted very well in this game.
For what it does and for its rather short length, the price point makes this game not that enticing. Most of those who would buy this are big fans of the show and perhaps a few curious stragglers. However, if you are apprehensive, then perhaps you’re right to be. You could wait for a sale to get it cheaper and then you can play it to your heart’s content. It’s a game that pays tribute to a supposedly bygone age of gaming and a man who brought attention to it in our time with his passion and enthusiasm. It’s available now on PC, and is set to come out for Wii U and 3DS (since the Nerd loves Nintendo so much) on 2014.
If you don’t know who the Angry Video Game Nerd is, then you should check out James Rolfe’s work through his website and his YouTube channel. Catch up on the episodes and you’ll see why this game is such a great tribute to the character that started the whole revolution of reviewing bad games for comedy and posterity.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 7/10