Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures
3DS Video Game Review Written By: Adolph Vega
Warning this Review contains Adult Language
The best word to describe the stereoscopic visuals of this game is “inconsistent”. Some levels look very nice with multiple layers of 3D used in good ways. In other levels, the 3D element isn't present and only has one or two layers of depth. The main action of this game is on the mid-ground and the pop out 3D visual effect is limited to when you defeat enemies. Some enemies, when you defeat them, explode and some of the body parts of the enemy will briefly pop out and fly toward the player. This pop out effect is minimal, but it's worth noting. One hellish level within the game is my favorite use of 3D. You play in a lava cave, and you see several layers of 3D with different stalactites going deeper into the screen, and this gives the player a nice sense of being inside of a cave. Another level is in a very dark environment and the 3D is not noticeable. The smoothness of gameplay is not at all impacted by the stereoscopic 3D visuals. The game can look a little blurry in 3D depending on the level and intensity of the 3D. The game is supposed to resemble the 8 or 16 bit graphic styles, so it uses a low resolution, which at times can look worse in 3D; it's just dependent on the level. I use a NEW Nintendo 3DS, so the 'super stable 3D' kept it looking good for most of the experience, but I can imagine it not looking so hot on older 3DS models. Overall, I liked the stereoscopic 3D element presented in the game. It never amazed me, but often looked good and is decently implemented.
Final Verdict: Good 3D
I must begin this review with some context of the main character that you play, before I go into the game itself. The Angry Video Game Nerd (James Rolfe) used to be called the Angry Nintendo Nerd, and he does an online video series that has made him very popular. To quote the lyrics written by Kyle Justice from the intro of his show:
He's gonna take you back to the past
He plays the worst games of all time
They're horrible abominations of mankind
He's the angriest gamer you've ever heard
He's the angriest most pissed off gaming nerd
He's the Angry...
Atari, Amiga, CDI, Colecovision, Intellivision, Sega, Neo Geo, Turbo Grafix 16, Odyssey, 3DO, Commodore, Nintendo-Nerd!
He's The Angry Video Game Nerd.
James Rolfe, The Angry Video Game Nerd, has reviewed over a hundred truly terrible video games in the past 12 years and even did a full length movie a few years back. James has done other videos outside of the Nerd character for his website Cinemassacre and most of them are on YouTube to watch for free.
The Angry Nerd video reviews can be described as such: foul mouthed, immature, crude and often hilarious. He is entertaining because of how upset and angry he becomes with the video games that he plays as he points out the flaws of various, poorly-made video games of the past. I don't believe that James Rolfe had direct involvement with the game as it was being developed. Previously, this game was released on PC and other consoles before it was finally released on the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.
Now onto the game itself, which is a fairly standard 2D side scroller. The game revolves around the Angry Nerd as he is sucked into a video game that he is reviewing, and you play mostly as his character within the video game. I understand and enjoy how self-referential and meta fictive this entire review is. I am reviewing a video game that is based on a game reviewer, who is stuck in a video game that he is reviewing. he game is self aware, and the characters acknowledge that they are in a bad video game.
The game has three difficulty settings to select from; Easy, Normal and Old School (Hard). I heard that more difficulties open up after you defeat Hard, but I was only able to beat the game on the normal difficulty level. The easy difficulty gives the player a six hit life bar, unlimited lives, strong weapons and weak enemies to fight. The medium difficulty has a three hit life bar, thirty lives, normal weapons and normal enemies. Finally, the hard difficulty has a three hit life bar, fifteen lives, five continues, normal weapons, normal enemies and invisible checkpoints with no saving. The game is liberal with the amount of checkpoints, and I can really appreciate that aspect because you will die quickly and often within the game, and losing your progress is only a relatively small inconvenience.
The game has eight levels, which include one introductory level, six regular levels and a final level that is only unlocked once you defeat all of the previous levels. The game allows the player to select from any of the six standard levels. From my experience, the level design, enemies and boss characters are all identical, regardless of which difficulty that you play. Each level of the game is based on an episode or reference from the Angry Nerd online videos or other videos of James Rolfe. In this fashion, the game parodies those levels and episodes, and if you are not familiar with the episode, you are not given any context within the game. The game is filled with inside jokes and references to the various works of James Rolfe.
As you play the levels, you will find three other playable characters that are based on characters from Angry Nerd and other James Rolfe videos. Once you find the character within the various levels, you can play as them, while switching characters on the fly by tapping the touch screen icon. Each character has distinct abilities and attributes that change how you play the game. The first character that you play is the Angry Nerd himself and he uses a zapper (NES game controller) to shoot strait lines and is the most balanced character.
The next character is the skeleton of the singer of the theme song of the Angry Video Game Nerd videos. This character has a slightly higher jump compared to the Angry Nerd, and his weapon is a guitar that shoots out in a wave pattern. This wave pattern is useful to attack certain enemies and can even penetrate through walls. The third character is 'Mother Fucker Mike' who produces the show and sometimes plays the games with him in the other web series 'James and Mike Mondays' where he and James (not in character) play different video games with their live commentary. Mike's abilities include the highest jump of all the characters, a weak light saber melee weapon and the ability to show invisible blocks visible and destroy hidden walls. To play as Mike, the controls seem to be a little more slippery compared to the other characters, which seem to have tighter controls.
The final character that you can play as is the BS man. BS man is short for Bull Shit and it's from the web video series, “You Know What's Bullshit?” that James Rolfe often rants about different things he objects to. BS Man uses piles of fecal matter for his projectile weapon that he tosses at a slight arch. This fecal projectile is actually a powerful weapon that can kill some enemies in one hit. BS Man can also do an explosive, juicy fart in mid-air and give the player a double jump. The jump of BS Man is slightly lower in height compared to the other characters, and he is slower overall, but the strength of his projectile feces and the length of the double jump can make up for his slowness.
As you explore the levels, you will find a few other cameos, but those characters are not playable. The ability to switch between characters at any time is a nice feature, and some areas of each level might be easier to complete with a certain character. You do not need a specific character to complete a level, so don't fear if you don't find them all. However, you may need certain characters to be able to unlock other characters, so the player may miss out if they play in a certain order. I would have preferred the game to not allow the player to choose the level because of the issue of some characters only being unlocked once you already have a specific character. This system is unfair to the player who may guess the wrong order and not be able to unlock the other characters. The group of characters is interesting and gives the game some variety.
The inside jokes continue with the different power-ups that you are able to find. One item is a pile of rocks that you can toss – a weapon that isn't helpful at all, because the arch of the rock is too small and very weak. These rock projectiles are worthless and are only in the game to reference the first Angry Nerd episode with a similar weapon. The glitch goblin power-up makes the entire screen glitch up for a brief time and allows the player to move when the enemies cannot. Another power up, the "Super Mecha Death Christ 2000 B.C. Version 4.0 Beta", will destroy everything on screen. Finally, the Super Scope weapon gives the player a temporary, very powerful projectile weapon. Sadly, these weapons and power-ups will vanish from your inventory after the player dies. I feel that the power ups are not used enough to make interesting gameplay sceneries. I wish you could upgrade your life bar or weapons, because the gameplay gets stale quickly even with several characters.
The game is a traditional side scroller that resembles games from the 8-bit Nintendo era. Regardless of the difficulty setting chosen by the player, the game is incredibly difficult because of the level design. Overall the levels are constructed in a way that feels uninspired, boring and totally forgettable. The level design directly references other video games (episodes of the Angry Nerd) and is specifically made to be difficult.
The most glaring example of this extreme difficulty is the use of death blocks. The various levels within the game are infested with death blocks that instantly kill the player. Some of the death blocks will vanish and reappear, while others are strategically placed to make the design more difficult and tedious to play. Many of the on screen enemies seem to be placed to cause you to fail, and are purposely meant to annoy and frustrate the player. To complete a level, the player must memorize every aspect of design and locations of enemies and death blocks and play it perfectly. Fortunately, the controls of the game are perfectly responsive and tight, so any deaths will be because of the game's unfair level design or any less than perfect play throughs by the player. Each level ends with a boss battle, and sadly all the bosses within the game are forgettable.
The bosses all have repeating, simple patterns and it's always just a matter of shooting them and requires little to no strategy to succeed. I played old NES games of the past. I have played difficult games and found enjoyment from them, but this is the pathetic combination of boring and frustrating level design. You cannot forgive bad level design and give it a pass because it is attempting to be 'retro'. Brutally difficult games don't have to be poorly constructed video games. The 1987 Contra video game from Konami is both difficult and well made. I know you can't spell frustrating without FUN, but this game sadly is missing that key aspect of what makes video games so enjoyable. I did have fun once in the game and that was when I was riding a lava shark, but for the most part, this game is annoying, tedious, aggravating and a total chore to play.
The game starts off as a parody of other games, but it forgets those aspects and is mostly just a burden to play. I know that this game is supposed to be for 'fans' of the show, but the jokes and gags get tired and old after you die the 100th time on the same level, because your timing was a little off and you didn't 100% memorize the level lay out. I totally reject the argument that a parody or satire has to sink to the same level as the subject they are ridiculing. I consider parody and satire a high art form, and if you don't know what you’re doing you shouldn't attempt it. You can't simply give something a pass because it's a parody or satire. Let me give you an example of a well done parody, with the popular animated TV show "The Simpsons". When "The Simpsons" does a parody episode people just don't give it a pass if the story is a mess, and I refuse to give this game a pass for being a parody video game. Great parody can make fun of another subject and be its own thing at the same time. Unfortunately, this video game is neither and is just a bunch of tired old, foul mouth, inside jokes. So if the Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures is trying to be a quality parody of other video games it has totally failed. If you want to compare the satire and parody elements within this game with other popular culture this isn't the brilliant news satire that is "The Daily Show" but is more in line with the idiotic and juvenile "Scary Movie 5".
If you’ve never seen an Angry Nerd video, you will not be able to 'enjoy' this video game, and that is a key aspect of any quality satire – that it should be able to stand on its own merit. I like the idea of a video game parodying other video games. I just wish that it were done with a more enjoyable game than this crappiness. Parody is not often used in video games, and it would work well in a talented game developer’s hands. I wish that the game used the glitch power-up for puzzles and to make the level design more interesting. That would have been a clever use of parody to make interesting gameplay. Sadly, the game programmers are not as clever as I am and only use parody to make fun of previous Nerd Episodes and not really other gameplay aspects. How the game begins and parodies the fairy from The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time was clever and fun, but this aspect is dropped soon after. The aspect of parody is an idea that is wasted on this game, and it's a real shame. The game loves to comment on itself, and it seems more in love with the idea of being a parody video game than actually being a parody video game.
I have been following James Rolfe and his many different video series since the beginning. I have watched all the episodes of the Angry Nerd and can find enjoyment in those videos, but I cannot find enjoyment in this badly constructed game. From a technical aspect, the game works fine and doesn't crash or have problems with the audio or control input. That being said, the level design is totally bland and forgettable, and the humor it attempts to portray grows tired and is lacking the punch of the show and seems totally forced and lacking.
To complete the game, it took me nearly 16 excoriating, brain numbing hours and 2,682 deaths, and after my experience with this game I cannot in good conscience recommend it even to the super fans of Angry Video Game Nerd. For all the frustration that this game gave me, the worst assault is its not being worthy of my time. As a portable game, I wanted to throw my Nintendo New 3DS against the wall and scream so many times because of this game! Trying to beat a level in a lunch break just ruined my break and made me angry and unproductive for the rest of the day. This game is not as horrible as the games he reviews in his videos, but you would think that somebody who is always complaining about bad games would be able to learn from those games and make his own game be well crafted in contrast to those games. James Rolfe should be ashamed that his character the 'Angry Video Game Nerd' inspired this annoying and unfunny video game.
Final Verdict: 3/10
© 2015 Freakzone Games All rights reserved.Site
© 2006 - 2015 ScrewAttack Entertainment LLC/Fullscreen, Inc.
2015 Cinemassacre Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved