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Angry Video Game Nerd Volume 3, The

Other // Unrated // January 1, 2010
List Price: $23.98 [Buy now and save at Screwattackstore]

Review by John Sinnott | posted March 24, 2010 | E-mail the Author
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
                                                                        -from 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 was pretty 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 students in 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 created The Angry Video Game Nerd (AVGN), a character that everyone who has ever been 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 through e-mail to decide who got to review these (man, he's good too!), but I didn't 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 dozen hand-held systems) hooked up to three TV in our family room.  We have literally hundreds of games, controllers, 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 ears 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 wavelength.

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 Rolling 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 at home 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 for most 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 purchased.)   He 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:
Disc one:
Zelda Timeline
Virtual Boy
The Wizard of Oz
Double Vision Parts 1 and 2
Super Mario Brothers 3
NES Accessories
Indiana Jones Trilogy
Disc two:
Star Trek
Superman 64
Batman Parts 1 and 2
Deadly Towers
Dick Tracy
Disc three:
CD-i Parts 1-3
Bible Games 2

The DVD:

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 AVGN screams) but his rants are clear and the audio fits the feel of the show.
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 aliasing but some blocking) present.  It's not a horrible looking show by any means, just about what you'd expect from a webcast 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 unsung 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 about 7 minutes.  That's followed by a 23 ½-minute 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 various AVGN episodes.
Final Thoughts:
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 allowance money to rent a video game before a three day weekend, only to discover that the game is wretched, will really relate to these shows.  Highly recommended.






Highly Recommended

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