Review | Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures
James “Angry Video Game Nerd” Rolfe may be one of the more famous video critics out there.
For years, he has played through some of the worst games out there for viewers worldwide to see just how terrible some older games were. However, during these years of playing, he got an idea. Why not make a tough as nails title for others to experience his frustrations, but make it a good game.
It seems a hard line to tread, and it can be at times. However, FreakZone Games has done a solid job of putting some of the worst in games into one game and yet have it be fun. No matter how many lasers, death blocks or spikes you may accidentally end yourself over, the polish of the game can be seen, as well as the actually way to beat an area.
The game starts with the Nerd and friends being transported to Game Land, with eight different levels covering many of the games the Nerd has played over the years: Assholevania, Blizzard of Balls, Dungeons and Dickholes and more.
Each of these levels features the standard spikes and death blocks, but many have unique twists that will be familiar to fans of the series. Assholevania, for example, features things that fly like Medusa Heads through the level, while Blizzard of Balls will have you sliding on ice, a common annoyance in some of his titles. There are also some locations that feature a famous Mega Man pitfall: the moving and disappearing platforms.
This is one of the strong points that FreakZone Games manages to pull off: putting bad game choices into a good game. To truly experience the Nerd, the game couldn’t just feature things that make games great. It had to feature the cheap traps, instant death kills and annoyances that turn us off games. However, the game does it in such a way to make them not cheap, just frustrating as you try to find a way through the area.
FreakZone Games also manages to capture some of the charm of the Nerd’s commentary throughout the game. As you go through the game, text will pop up showing the Nerd’s frustration at parts of the game. When you die, a random one-liner from the Nerd will pop up with him belittling his own game from an array of terms the Nerd has used in the past.
Going along with these key points are a solid action platforming title. Sure, it’s hard, but the controls are refined enough and checkpoints littered about to keep you progressing forward. However, I definitely have to recommend playing with a controller, the keyboard just didn’t seem to give me enough of a quickness with some jumps or fights as I needed.
Besides featuring traps from plenty of games, it also features many nods to games as well. Early on you’ll find Naggi, a Navi clone, tagging along with you until you either beat the intro or kill it. There is also the moon from Majora’s mask, a Cacodemon clone from Doom and plenty more to find.
The game also features nods to the series itself. Instead of a health bar, you have Rolling Rocks that count as hits that can be taken. There are also power-ups, such as the Glitch Gremlin or Super Mecha Death Christ to use. Shit Pickle, an occasional character in the series, is hiding in some levels as well.
There are also a few different characters to play as, if you can find them. You start as the Nerd, who can fire in any direction. However, you can find Guitar Guy, who shoots through walls and runs faster, Mike, who jumps higher and can see hidden pitfalls, and Bullshit Man, complete with a double jump. The game also features a few cameos from other people in the industry, such as Egoraptor and Jim Sterling.
Getting away from the cameos and back to the game, it is worth noting how the game builds up to the final level. Each level has a few unique traps to it, as mentioned above. However, once you get to the final world, everything will come back to haunt you, letting you see the game at its most evil.
The game also offers a few modes of play behind its retro exterior. The modes range from an easy, with unlimited lives, to a normal mode with 30 lives and unlimited continues, to even harder levels that reduce your health and lives to next to nothing.
The soundtrack through the game is also a joy to listen to. It has plenty of retro beats that are enjoyable, with each level having a new track to enjoy as you die again and again.
The spirit and anger of the Nerd is nicely captured in AVGN Adventures. Sure, it may frustrate you, but that’s what it is made to do. Don’t come in expecting the game to hold your hand, yet don’t expect it to be impossible either. Expect a game that can offer a classic NES challenge, and have a good time with it.