Title: The Angry Video Game Nerd: I & II Deluxe
Developer: FreakZone Games
Release Date: October 30, 2020
Reviewed On: Switch
Publisher: Screenwave Media
I’m not one to get attached to YouTubers, but the one internet celebrity that has been a part of my life for over 10 years is The Angry Video Game Nerd. I never thought that this character would ever leave the confines of his small room or basement, but now we see him in a game that fits the theme of everything he hates. Screenwave Media has decided to bring both titles to Nintendo Switch as The Angry Video Game Nerd: I & II Deluxe, with a few quality-of-life updates. Through these added options and improvements, I will say that anyone looking for a hardcore platformer should definitely pay attention.
The Angry Video Game Nerd: I & II Deluxe features both titles for players to play through. Even though these two titles share similarities in level design, I would say they are vastly different in terms of content. The first entry, Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures, is a bit more straightforward across themed stages. It’s a game that feels like it was made with a low budget but developed to the best of the team’s abilities. Through this version, the game feels and plays vastly different than what I remember in the other versions.
Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures is full of punishing levels that go beyond simply running to the right. The developer gets creative but stays in-line with the fandom. You have levels that feature disappearing blocks, strange lava pits, and the famous “Where the fuck do you go?” stages. It pisses you off in a few areas, but with the game, I can’t be sure if this is what the developer wanted or not. One issue that resides is the boss encounters that boil down to how quickly you can smash the shoot button. The bosses themselves resemble memorable characters such as the devil and the “Where did you learn to fly?” face. I was pleasantly thrilled with the designs, but their attack patterns and the fights’ length didn’t really amount to anything too epic.
During the adventure, it’s possible to find secret characters who each have their individuals benefits. I didn’t use too many of them for the most part throughout the game, but traveling to previous levels might make collecting some of the NERD icons easier. If you’re well versed in retro platformers, you can probably get through the entire game in 2 hours.
Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation is a shitload of fuck…just kidding. This is where the series spreads its wings a bit to provide players with feedback from the first title. The game borrows a Super Mario Bros. 3 layout as the Nerd can now travel through a series of themed stages. The levels are punishing the further you get, but the team does a lot more with the actual themes instead of subjecting them to only one stage. I liked this approach and found this entry to be a bit more entertaining. Those playing through the series for the first time might appreciate the natural progression of it when playing through each title.
This release’s benefits are that the gameplay physics is the same across both titles, so going from the first game to the second doesn’t require you to relearn skills. Other elements, such as character upgrades, add variety to the platforming that extends further than riding on lava sharks. Overall, it’s a great experience that encompasses the best of what this series offers, which may or may not force you to have an anal evacuation. I assure you that the jokes in this entry also revolve around some of the newer episodes.
The Angry Video Game Nerd: I & II Deluxe gives players the choice of difficulty. Each gives you a layer of difficult platforming sections, but the health is distributed less casually in higher difficulties. Furthermore, you can choose whether or not stages have lives. This is only for hardcore players who know the levels’ layout because you will die a lot. The game’s challenge isn’t on the scale of unbeatable, though. Will you get frustrated? Probably, but now you know how the Nerd must feel. If you complete both games, you unlock a special bonus stage that.
Graphically, The Angry Video Game Nerd: I & II Deluxe looks great for what it’s going for. The retro designs of the characters and inside jokes that the creator has spawned over all these years. During each level, you connect to the obstacles you encounter from random things that Nerd said. If that does pique your interest, then I’m sure the game’s amazing soundtrack will keep you jamming for a few hours. However, this game is very much directed towards the web series’ fans as it draws inspiration from the show. If you don’t partake in that content, you may find it difficult to understand just what the hell you’re doing.
The Angry Video Game Nerd: I & II Deluxe is the definitive version of these challenging platformers. There’s more to love about the game for fans of the Nerd, which might make some of the jokes and references go over some heads. Although you also have some throwaway stages and unmemorable boss battles, this makes for a pleasant way to spend a weekend. Just try not to break your controller.
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