Angry Video Game Nerd I & II Deluxe Nintendo Switch Review

Angry Video Game Nerd I & II Deluxe is a playable tribute to the long history of the Nerd and offers a challenging retro experience full of funny moments that will appeal to fans and retro gamers

By Grayshadow, Posted 30 Oct 2020

James Rolfe is one of the most notorious YouTubers on the platform. Best known for his character the Angry Video Game Nerd this persona often plays awful retro titles for review and entertainment purposes, with the figure being translated into many video games over the years. The Angry Video Game Nerd 1 and 2 Deluxe packages the original AVGN Adventures into 1 game with new difficulty options, quality of life improvements, and a brand new campaign. Not only is it a playable tribute to the long history of the Nerd but offers a challenging retro experience full of funny moments that will appeal to fans and retro gamers.

Angry Video Game Nerd I & II Deluxe,NoobFeed,

The collection comes packages with both The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures and its sequel The Angry Video Game Nerd Assimilation along with a third campaign for beating the 2 games. Before selecting a file the player can choose from several difficulty options ranging from easy to 1 life and no progression saved. This goes for all 3 games so you can’t choose separate options for each of the games.

The first game, The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures, has the nerd attempting to escape Game Land, a virtual reality that he and his friends are sucked into. The Nerd is armed with his NES Zapper and must travel through 9 worlds based on popular retro games. The story is basic and ends on a low note but the gameplay makes up for this shortcoming.

Each world is themed with distinct elements that fit the environment. There’s a level based on Castlevania stage teeming with Medusa heads, a happy land where everything is smiling, and much more. Each stage ends with a boss fight, usually taken from the Nerd’s show and repurposed for the adventure. Such as Skylar, a nickname for the green head that appears in Cybermorph and Battlemorph for the Atari Jaguar. The game is full of AVGN references along with various easter eggs from retro games and popular movies that I had a joy searching for.

Angry Video Game Nerd I & II Deluxe,NoobFeed,

Graphically the game is colorful with a lot of visual variety. Stages sometimes use the same assets such as bloody spikes but mostly every stage has unique assets and enemies. Animations are smooth and enemies burst into an array of parts. The musical score is terrific with a lot of great tracks that get you excited for the upcoming stage.

Every stage has 4 NES cartridges that spell out NERD, collecting 1 but dying afterward will reset it. Checkpoints are fashioned after the AVGN’s Nintoaster and if triggered after getting a collectable will save its collection. There are also unlockable characters with unique attacks and cheat codes to complete the retro game atmosphere.

Controls are simple enough, the Nerd has 1 default speed and can shoot in 8 directions. Shooting can become annoying when enemies are inside the dead zone since the Nerd does not have full 360 motion when shooting. Platforming ranges from avoiding basic obstacles to 1-hit death objects such as Death Blocks and lasers. Thankfully checkpoints are ample but the player is rated based on their time and how many times they died. These are mostly cosmetic but completing a stage without dying is challenging as the game can become unforgiving. You can tackle any stage in any order but I found the stages got harder as you moved down the list.

Angry Video Game Nerd I & II Deluxe,NoobFeed,

Damage can be fickle. The invulnerability period between damage is very short and getting hit sends up back a flying back. On small platforms this usually means death. However, seeing this game was to capture the intensity of classic titles and the Nerd’s rage towards these mechanics in a way benefits from this in terms of presentation.

The Nerd will have access to temporary powerups such as the Super Scope, kegs that regenerate the Nerd’s health, the Glitch Gremlin, and Super Mecha Death Chris 2000 B.C. Version 4.0 Beta. These are 1-time powerups and getting another will overtake the previous item. 

Next up is The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures II: ASSimilation. After a beam from space turns everyone into monsters and the world into a terrible game The Nerd wakes up to find that Fred Fucks has returned and is attempting to locate the Fucks Capacitor for some reason. This is a major change from the original game. The original title had the Nerd facing against the Nostalgic Critic but now has been changed to Fred Fucks from the first game due to legal issues. It isn’t a big deal but facing a weaker version of Fred compared to the first game is repetitive since he follows the formula of popping out of nowhere, insulting the Nerd, and fighting using the same tactics.

Angry Video Game Nerd I & II Deluxe,NoobFeed,AVGN,Freakzone Games,Screenwave Media,

The world select screen has been remodeled to reflect Super Mario World 3, with each section having 3 stages and ending with a boss fight. The final boss encounter for each set of levels is separated into its own stage, allowing you to instantly fight the boss without having to go through a level like the first game. Boss fights have been increased with some stages including a mini-boss fight. These fights, like the first game, are taken from the AVGN show and some are remodeled after iconic characters such as Dracula.

The Nerd still has the same moveset from the previous game but can now collect upgrades hidden in certain stages. The first upgrade is mandatory and gives the Nerd the ability to slide on walls like Mega Man X but doesn’t have the same level of control. The grip when sliding is strong but attempting to leap from this action takes a bit of getting used to since the Nerd drops like a cement block. Other upgrades include a more powerful weapon, gliding, finding hidden paths, and more. Each one is modeled after an item from the Nerd’s show such as the Turbo pad and Super Scope. Once you collect them you can exit the stage immediately and keep the upgrade. Collecting all of these is necessary to get the game’s true ending but this ending only adds a couple of new scenes making it a poor reward.

Like the first game, the sequel is challenging. There are a lot more 1-hit death obstacles here and you’re rated based on time complete and deaths. With 4 optional NERD NES cartridges scattered in each stage except the boss levels. Getting these can range from annoying to simple. Checkpoints are plentiful and restarting is quick but some obstacles can be frustrating such as the portals and the ghost blocks that only reveal themselves when you’re close to them. You can also find certain obstacles placed just to make certain sections harder and break up the game’s momentum. Forcing the player to wait for a chance dying, and having to wait again for that moment despite restarting being so quick. That 2-3 seconds before you get the opportune time after death is upsetting.

Angry Video Game Nerd I & II Deluxe,NoobFeed,AVGN,Freakzone Games,Screenwave Media,

The stages are as visually pleasing as the previous game with locations based on popular games and movies. You have a sewer stage that takes reference from NES Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, an entire set of levels based on Board James, and more. The game ends with a boss fight against an original character. Like the first game, the ending for the sequel is lacking, especially the Good Ending which only adds 2 sets of dialogue. It would’ve been more ideal to provide access to the upgrades as part of story progression instead of making them optional given how the reward for obtaining them is so poor.

The Angry Video Game Nerd Assimilation is a decent sequel that builds on the original’s strengths and provides a challenging retro experience. A lot of the aspects that made the first game fun are here and the short stages make it just as appealing to play in short bursts.

After completing both games the player gains access to a new campaign with 3 new stages and a brand new boss fight. These take all the challenges from the previous games and just throws them at the player. With the opening stage being a collection of the hardest obstacles. The second and third levels take on distinct identities by providing unique challenges to overcome such as the truck from Big Rigs Over the Top Racing speeding across the stage and a level that takes the Castlevania system but adds a new mechanic. Where the player heads to one side of the side and pops out on the other. This is used in clever ways as you use the perspective to hit switches and find the correct path.

Angry Video Game Nerd I & II Deluxe,NoobFeed,AVGN,Freakzone Games,Screenwave Media,

The final boss fight is against a notorious enemy of the Nerd and offers a new challenging boss fight. However, like the previous games, the ending is poor. Things just end with the final boss defeated and the Nerd in a certain place I cannot say for spoilers. 

The Angry Video Game Nerd 1 and 2 Deluxe is a great remastering of these titles. It offers enough new content for veterans to enjoy and challenging levels based on the popular YouTube show and retro gaming mechanics. The title is mostly geared towards fans of the AVGN, those not interested in the character will likely be turned off by the humor. Ultimately, The Angry Video Game Nerd 1 and 2 Deluxe is a quality pixel adventure based on the AVGN that delivers a solid retro experience full of great boss fights and colorful levels. It sticks to what works and benefits for it, using the Nerd’s personality to help amplify the experience as you control him through his hell of being part of bad video games. The Angry Video Game Nerd 1 and 2 Deluxe is a great platformer and an excellent game for fans of the Angry Video Game Nerd.

Adam Siddiqui,
Managing Editor, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC
Publisher(s): Screenwave Media Inc.
Developer(s): FreakZone Games
Genres: Adventure
Themes: Gaming
Release Date: 2020-10-30

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