the-angry-video-game-nerd-deluxe-edition-review

The Angry Video Game Nerd has made quite an impact on geek culture over the years. What began as a simple drunk rant about Castlevania II Simon’s Quest, quickly became a long-running online series. The online persona spawned over 180 episodes, a movie, and even opened the door for other projects by the creator James Rolfe. You can view more at the official Cinemmassacre website.

Today we will be looking at “The Angry Video Game Nerd I and II Deluxe“. If that name isn’t a mouthful then I don’t know what is. This collection is comprised of two equally long titles. “The Angry Videogame Nerd Adventures” ( 2013) and “The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures II Ass-imilation” (2016). Both games were developed by “Feakzone Games” and published by “Screenwave Media“.

Originally released on Steam, both titles have now received ports on Nintendo Switch. Aside from a few minor tweaks and the removal of some references, the collection still stands on its own two feet as an amazing tribute to retro gaming.

Gameplay

The Angry Videogame Nerd I and II have gameplay based on the Mega Man Series. Players will have to dodge obstacles and jump from platform to platform. There are also checkpoints from time to time to help you along the way.

Toasters Angry Videgame Nerd
Nin-Toasters can be found to place a checkpoint

Depending on your difficulty, your health and enemy durability may change. Playing on normal will give you 3 bars of health portrayed as the AVGN’s favorite brand of bottled beer. You can collect these scattered around each stage for a better chance of getting further.

As you progress you will also be able to play as other characters such as Mike Mattei, BS Man, and Couch Guy. Each has their own stats and abilities to help you through the different stages.

Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures Review | What were they thinking?!
Mike Mattei in-game as a playable character

The Angry Videogame Nerd Adventures II adds a few more gameplay mechanics to the mix such as new powerups and sidescrolling mechanics. You no longer have multiple characters to choose from. However, this is replaced by giving “The Nerd” multiple new abilities as the game progresses. Some of these abilities include being able to hang on walls, charging shots, and punching.

Levels and Progression

The first game features a Mega Man styled stage selection screen. Each stage is themed after a classic game or genre. You can choose to play the stages in any order. Once you have finished all the available levels you can challenge the final stage.

Level Select Screen
The level select screen for “The Angry VideGame Nerd Adventures”

The second game’s structure is more reminiscent of “Super Mario Bros 3″. Worlds are divided into different themes similar to the first game. However, each world has its own road map of stages that need to be completed. This time there are only 5 worlds but each world has 4 stages. Once again you can tackle them in any order and then proceed to unlock the final world.

World Map
Level select screen for “The Angry VideoGame Nerd Adventures II”

Difficulty

“The Angry Video Game Nerd” has complained about many inclusions in old NES games. From knockback damage, hard to maneuver enemies, and stage hazards. Take every one of these and combine them for a glimpse at what awaits you in the collection. You will need to make jumps while dodging enemies. Beware now the platforms are disappearing, all while you try to avoid the infamous death blocks which kill you if you touch them.

The Angry Video Game Nerd titles are infamous for their difficulty. However, this does not mean the games are impossible. They offer a challenge but much like other games, you will eventually begin to anticipate the next set of obstacles. It just takes a bit of trial and error.

For accessibility reasons, some of the death blocks have been changed for stage optimization. However, you can still find these when cranking up the difficulty. One of the new features for the current release is the inclusion of a difficulty scaler. You can play the game in the original hardcore settings or something easier if you wish.

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References Galore!

There are plenty of references scattered across both games. This includes enemy types, background designs, and even gameplay mechanics. The first game is comprised mostly of levels based on videogames that have appeared in old AVGN Videos. Castlevania, even the obscure Atari porn games.

“Doom” and “Bioshock” inspired enemies lurk in the sewers.

If you love The Angry Video Game Nerd or if you are a fan of James Rolfe’s other internet personalities then you are in for a treat. “The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures II” takes more inspiration from his other works. This includes levels designed after the AVGN Movie, Cinemmassacre, and Board James.

Board James Boss Fight
Board James makes an appearance as a boss.

Changes in the Ports

The Nintendo Switch edition of both games features some minor changes in regards to references and gameplay. For starters, N-E-R-D cartridges similar to K-O-N-G medallions from Donkey Kong have been added to the first title. This was a feature only available in the second title until now.

In the references department, The Nostalgia Critic no longer makes an appearance as a mini-boss and is instead replaced by game developer Fred Fuchs. Some minor references to “The Angry Video Game Nerd Movie” have also been changed.

AVGN 2: Assimilation - All Nostalgia Critic Battles - YouTube
Nostalgia Critic as seen in the original release

Conclusion

The Angry Video Game Nerd I & II is a frustratingly fantastic addition to the Nintendo Switch E-shop. It manages to take nuisances from classic games and turn them into a challenging but fair gauntlet. If you enjoy challenging games or you’re just a fan of James Rolfe’s work then I definitely recommend it.

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