He plays the worst games of all time
They're horrible abominations of mankind
They make him so mad he can spit
Or say cowabunga, Cowa-fuckin'-piece'a dog shit
He's the angriest gamer you've ever heard
the Angry Video Game Nerd Theme Song.
For me, it was spending $30-$40 on a brand new game (the
title of which has faded, thankfully, from my memory,) for the NES that
much unplayable. Why do I jump a second
AFTER I push the button? How come if I
miss this jump I get stuck and have to reset the whole system? Who designed this piece of shit, and why did
they think they could sell it to unsuspecting kids (or poor college
my case)? How do they sleep at
night?? That's when I became an angry
gaming nerd. It wasn't until decades
later however that James D. Rolfe stepped in front of a camera and
Angry Video Game Nerd (AVGN), a character that everyone who has ever
ripped off by a crappy game can relate to.
Randy Miller III did a great job covering the history of the
AGVN in his reviews of volume
1 and volume
two of the series. I won't go over
that ground again, but check
out his reviews, they're worth it.
I have to admit I was a bit surprised when The Angry Video
Game Nerd Volume Three showed up at my door.
I was expecting it, I had to play rock-paper-scissor with Randy
e-mail to decide who got to review these (man, he's good too!), but I
realize that it was three discs crammed full of AVGN goodness. (The first two disc run about 2 hours each!)
First some confessions:
I'm a nerd, and so are my sons.
While they like the new systems, I'm a die-hard old school gamer. We currently have 13 different systems (15 if
you count a Sega CD and 32X as separates, and not including half a
hand-held systems) hooked up to three TV in our family room. We have literally hundreds of games,
and accessories cluttering up the cabinets and shelves.
My wife describes it as "a shrine to playing
video games." (When she says it, she
makes it sound like a bad thing though.)
So when the AVGN starts talking about the time line in Zelda, my
prick up and I say "yeah, I've been wondering about that.
Just when does The Wind Waker take place??" In other words, James and I are on the same
In a typical episode, James in his AVGN persona will review
a bad NES or Sega Genesis game or series of games.
He'll explain the plot, the controls, and
just why the game play is so unbelievably horrible, all while downing a
Rock beer and swearing like a sailor.
There are some great episodes in this three disc set.
He takes a look at the Nintendo Virtual Boy,
a system that I vividly remember wanting before it was released. Then it came out and the local Target had a
demo. Bad idea Nintendo.
They would have sold a lot more of these if
they didn't let people get a look at the system first.
As is pointed out in the episode, it was
supposed to be a portable system, but it was nearly impossible to play
with a table (there was a stand to hold up the 'goggles' you looked
into and impossible
while traveling in a car. Not only that,
but the red and black graphics were outrageously bad and the game play
games was atrocious.
He also looks at Superman games. As
is pointing out in the intro to that episode,
he's the most recognized superhero in the world. Heck,
'super' is even in his name! So why are
the games based on this iconic
character so horrible? The icing on that
cake is Superman for the N64. (Another
absolutely horrible game that I
devotes a whole episode to that steaming
pile of crap, and, if anything, he goes a bit light on the title.
The highlight for me however was the three part look at the
Phillips CD-i, one of the few systems I don't have.
Not only did he look at this rare platform,
but he managed to track down some rather rare and expensive titles for
it: the trilogy of Zelda games (Link:
The Faces of Evil, Zelda: The Wand of
Gamelon, and Zelda's Adventure)
as well as the Mario title for that platform, Hotel
Mario. If these are any indication,
it's easy to see why the platform failed.
(How could you make not one, but three bad Zelda games??)
The episodes on these three discs are:
The Wizard of Oz
Double Vision Parts 1 and 2
Super Mario Brothers 3
Batman Parts 1 and 2
CD-i Parts 1-3
Bible Games 2
These three discs come in a single width triple Amray case.
The stereo mix is about what you'd expect from a show that
some guy is making in his basement.
There's some slight distortion in a few parts (mainly when the
screams) but his rants are clear and the audio fits the feel of the
Like the audio, this web-based program isn't a reference-quality
disc. The full frame image looks fine,
though the game shots are soft and there are some artifacts (mainly
but some blocking) present. It's not a
horrible looking show by any means, just about what you'd expect from a
shot in someone's basement.
There are a good number of extras, all on the third disc.
First off is the Top Ten AVGN Moments from
2008, a thirteen minute rehash of the material in this set. Then there's a reel of fan art and a
hilarious compilation of fans performing the AVGN theme song on various
instruments. It's really worth watching. I particularly enjoyed the nicely dressed
young Indian girl who was playing the song on the piano.
I could just imagine how proud her parents
were that she was such an accomplished pianist, never guessing what the
lyrics were saying.
Speaking of the theme song, there's the earliest recorded version
of it, from an early writing session, and a reel of outtakes that lasts
minutes. That's followed by a 23
tour of the 'nerd room', the basement where the show is filmed. It's pretty cool to see all of the neat video
game junk he's acquired. What's even
more impressive is that it's mainly organized.
The bonus section is wrapped up with a series of trailers for
Overall these are very funny, entertaining, and informative,
a rare combination. James really knows
his video game history and his over the top rants are classic. Anyone who remembers spending all of their
money to rent a video game before a three day weekend, only to discover
the game is wretched, will really relate to these shows.