Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures | Intro

Quick Review: Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures (PC/3DS/WiiU/Switch/PS4/XONE)

Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures is a game that is a lot more unique than it looks. While it may look like just another retro style action game attempting to cash in on retro nostalgia and fans of the web series; it also takes a rather unique approach to its design. Specifically, it manages to handle an absurdly high; I Wanna Be the Guy like, difficulty level in a fair fashion, which is something that is certainly rare to see. In addition to this, you also have something that is very loyal to its source material and is just a blast to play.

The story in the game is mostly an excuse plot about the nerd being sucked into a bad game he is playing and needing to fight his way out of it. As a result, he has to put up with the flaws of every game he reviewed in one game. This provides the opportunity to have many references to games he reviewed in terms of both general design choices and specific games such as the NES Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Street Fighter 2010, Custer’s Revenge, as well as various titles by LJN (who has the dubious honor of representing the game’s final level). There are plenty of references to specific gags in episodes of the Angry Video Game Nerd as well that only fans will get.

In the nerd’s defense, I’d be pretty angry if I was molested by my video game console.

In terms of graphics, Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures is rather bland; serviceable, but still bland. It seems like the standard NES pixel art that is not going for anything other than being able to tell what everything is. There is also a lot of gore and toilet humor involved, which I personally did not care for but is in line with what to expect from the Angry Video Game Nerd. The sound effects are decent but not especially great. The soundtrack, however, is notably brilliant with chiptunes that pack a notable punch in the bass department and are both intense and catchy. It is also a very nice touch that the music does not reset when you die because it would have been very annoying if it did.

As for the gameplay, it can best be summed up as something like I Wanna Be the Guy on easy mode; the level design is insane, but there are a lot of check points. This ends up helping the game far more than one would think though. More check points means that it is easier to practice these tricky obstacles, and less time spent repeating old ones. One may argue that this defeats the point of of being a difficult game in the first place, but it surprisingly does not. When back tracking through earlier levels in order to find unlockable playable characters, I often found myself much better at levels that gave me a lot of trouble earlier.

Even the downright sadistic final level of the game was a lot easier to play through the second time than the first. I should make it clear that I played this game on easy mode though, and that it highly recommended that you do to for your first playthrough. The key difference between the difficulty modes comes in the forms of the amount of hits you can take and the amount of lives you get per level. On easy mode, you have six hits and infinite lives, on normal you have three hits and 30 lives, and on hard you have one hit and five lives in addition to having to beat the game in one sitting.

The surprising thing is that, despite the game’s difficulty, I was still tempted to try the game on normal when I was done with the game. The reason for this is that I felt good enough at the game that only the final level would give me trouble with a limit on my lives, and that it would be manageable. Additionally, I could imagine that I may have been up to playing on hard mode had I beaten normal mode. That is always a sign of a very well balanced difficulty curve.

*Record Scratch* *Freeze Frame*
Yep, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I ended up in this situation.

The only issue with the game overall would be the fact that the game lacks longevity and can be beaten in a short amount of time. However, there is a lot of replay value offered considering the way the game scales its difficulty, and the fact that the levels are just flat out fun to play. The game also adds incentive in the form of three other unlockable characters to play as that are found hidden within the levels (and one of them is pretty much necessary to defeat the final boss reasonably). Overall, I can easily recommend Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures, as I had quite a bit of fun with it.

This review was originally posted to GameFAQs on April 8th 2016.

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