Review by bit8gent
"He'd Rather Have, a Buffalo..."
The Angry Video Game Nerd is a popular character based on a web-series by Cinemassacre, who reviews video games (mainly older 8 and 16 bit games). He swears a lot, he drinks a lot, and the jokes are raunchy and immature. That's what makes it great though. If you're a fan of the show, you will love this game.It's chock-full of AVGN references, and it feels like a game right out of the 80's. It's very difficult, but it feels rewarding.
Story: There's not much to the story. It's a throwback to the Cheetahmen game, where a kid gets sucked into the TV, then ends up in a video game world. For the most part, there isn't much else in terms of a plot. The Nerd will give some dialog from time to time throughout the game (which talks about how the game is bad, and references a lot of nerd episodes and jokes). These references are hilarious for AVGN fans, but non-fans may not understand. Most of the bosses have also been seen in the AVGN episodes, and it's hilarious when you see them. The story is very minimalistic, but that's the point; it plays like an old 8 bit platformer, where games didn't have much story at all.
Graphics: The graphics are great for what they are. They're a throwback to old 8-bit games, and the sprites work extremely well. Every level is bright an colorful, and has a distinct difference from other levels. The animations are great, and there's a lot of little touches that add to the atmosphere of the game (such as the nerd flipping you off if you wait for a while without moving). The visuals fit well with the game; nothing groundbreaking, and nothing we haven't seen before, but they do the game justice, and they look natural for the AVGN.
Sound: The music is pretty good. The chiptunes have a retro feel, and most of the songs are catchy, and very well done. They sound like music you would hear in an NES game, and the songs get you pumped up to keep playing. Some songs are better than others, but for the most part they're all pretty good. During boss battles, you hear a remix of the AVGN theme song. It sounds very good in 8-bit, and it gets you motivated to fight the boss. Other than that, all the songs are all original. The only other song I can think of that references something, is when you pause the game; it plays a tune that resembles the Battle Toads pause music. This is great for a reference to the show, but it's kind of annoying if you want to leave the game paused for a few minutes (kind of like how it was in Battle Toads). It's funny the first few times, but I wish there were a way to set it to mute permanently. The sound effects work well, and feel natural. One complaint I have with the sound, is the music seems too quiet sometimes. I wish there was an option where I could adjust the music/sound effects levels.
Gameplay: The controls feel great! No delay, and it feels very natural. I would definitely use a gamepad with this game. You start in an introductory level, which isn't very difficult, then you get a selection from 6 different levels (kind of like in Mega Man where you can choose which order you want to progress the game). The gameplay is hard, very hard. You will want to chug Rolling Rocks, and yell at the game while playing, but it feels so satisfying when you win. The game quickly respawns you at checkpoints whenever you die, so it's really easy to quickly get back into the action, and it helps that there are many checkpoints scattered throughout the levels. Each of the 6 levels have a very distinct feel to them, and are full of AVGN references. None of the levels feel the same. There are 3 hidden characters you can unlock, which help you in different situations. Unfortunately, I rarely used most of them, and I can only think of a few instances where they felt necessary. There's only a few power-ups in the game, and they're not very useful. The rock attack is weak and arches over everyone you try to attack (this is more of a joke, because it is a references to terrible weapons in a lot of old video games), Glitch Gremlin, which glitches out the game and freezes a lot of obstacles, Super Mecca Death Christ, which kills every enemy on screen, and the Super Scope, which kills any enemy (minus bosses) in one hit (but disappears when you take a hit). The last 3 power-ups sound great, but the main problem with them, is you usually can't find a good time to use them; the powerups are usually placed at locations where you won't have a chance to hang onto them, unless you're very good at the game and are able to continue for a while without dying.
I've mentioned that the game is very difficult and rewarding, but every time you play it, it feels a little bit easier. You start to remember the layout of the stages, and memorization in key to a lot of retro platformers, so it feels natural in this game. I have a list of a few things that make the game very difficult. Blocks with skulls: No matter what, you die in one it when you touch these. Some of the hardest parts of the game require you to dodge many of them in a short amount of time. They were very relentless in some of the parts of the game with these. Darkness: This is when you can hardly see any of what's going on. This is mainly in the "Boo Haunted House" level. It's a reference to a lot of games the AVGN has reviewed, but very frustrating nonetheless. Cheap Deaths: They were pretty good about this, but I feel there are some times where it's very hard to avoid something coming at you out of nowhere. For the most part, there isn't much problem with the gameplay, but there are some flaws I have addressed.
Replay Value: Once you beat it, there's not much to do afterwards. There's extra difficulties, but there's really no reason to go after those, unless you love an extra challenge, or want Steam achievements. I wish there could have been something extra there to keep playing. Maybe speedruns, additional unlockable characters, boss rush mode, etc. I can't complain too much though, since this was made to play like an old-school platformer.
Final Thoughts: This game is very hard, but very rewarding. AVGN fans, and retro gaming fans will feel at home with this. For all others, there isn't much reason to play it. The game is a lot of fun, but very short. I completed it in less than an hour. It's definitely worth the price of admission if you're a fan of the Angry Video Game Nerd. If you're an AVGN fan, I would definitely buy this.
Pros and Cons:
+So many AVGN references
+Awesome 8-bit style graphics
+Lots of diversity in terms of graphics
+Challenging, but rewarding
-Music too quiet at times; no way to adjust
-Some cheap deaths
-Unlockable characters don't seem useful very often
-Little to no replay value
-Kind of expensive, but worth the price if you're a fan of the nerd
-Last boss will make you want to break every controller you own
7.5/10, rounded to 8/10
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/09/13
Game Release: Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures (US, 09/20/13)
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