As a long time fan of the angry video game nerd I was naturally excited by the announcement of this game.
At its core AVGN adventures is a platformer that specializes around satirizing other games. All of the levels in this game are parodies of old school late 80’s early 90’s platformer games. And with titles like “Dungeons and Dickholes”and “Asshole Vania” how could you not help but chuckle.
Though the novelty wears off soon after you’ve played through all the stages it’s still a fun time to be had by platformer game fans. What I mean is the game may be fun at first glance, but after you’ve played all the levels, they start to feel very similar. Sure one stage may have more death traps then another, and some stages have a more colourful pallet to them, they all basically function the same. Each level has invincible enemies that rotate around in a certain pattern. These enemies can be spike balls, ghosts, fireballs, and just about anything that typically would appear in a platform game. The games biggest offender would have to be the insta kill blocks that kill you instantly. These skull marked boxes often appear out of nowhere and it can be extremely difficult to see where they are in dimply lit stages such as a haunted house themed stage.
I know that platform games are supposed to be about trial and error, but here it feel like it’s more about luck then skill most of the times. Also since it’s release the game has been a bit glitchy, there was a moment that my character was frozen in place forcing me to exit the level and restart the stage because the options menu doesn’t just let you restart from a checkpoint, instead you have to exit the level in its entirety.
This only happened to me once, but I have seen videos of people complaining about this happening constantly, as well as steam forums demanding that this be fixed. So until a patch is released you will just have to settle with a game that occasionally glitches up.
Since this is a game based on a character who makes skits about games as well as other topics you can expect to see a lot of references to James Rolfe’s work and his friends make cameo appearances as well. Some of witch are playable characters. Kyle Justin the Guitar guy can shoot sound waves through walls to hit switches and enemies that would normally be inaccessible to other characters. Mike Matei can jump higher than other playable characters, see cracks in certain walls and break them to reveal hidden objects. Bullshit man ( Yes that’s his name) has the power to double jump allowing you to get to areas that would other wise be inaccessible.
While the novelty of playing as these characters is a guilty pleasure non of them are necessary because the nerd (Your default character) is the only one you need to beat the game. It would have been nice to see a secret stage that required the powers of all 4 playable characters to progress through. However whenever you are fighting bosses, or have just aquired a gun power up the nerd is the best character to use. He is the only one who can shoot in multiple directions, and since almost all the games bosses float around the screen in a figure 8 pattern the nerd is the only one who has the ability to inflict damage most often. Also I’m not sure if this was intentional, but every time I pick up a gun upgrade with the nerd, and then switch to another character and back the upgrade he acquired was gone.
This doesn’t happen with any of the other upgrades that I got so it makes me wonder if this was just something the developers overlooked. I can understand getting hit causing you to loose a power up, but switching characters? As far as the power ups go their are rocks that are pretty much useless and only there so that the nerd can make fun of them, there’s the game glitch gremlin that freezes all the enemies in place, and Super Mecha death christ 2000 B.C. 4.0 beta that acts as a screen nuke and kills all small enemies in your line of sight. The game also occasionally suffers from poor level design. Outside of insta kill death boxes there was one time when I tried to grab a beer ( Beers are health in this game) while walls with spikes were closing in on me making it impossible to get the beer without getting hurt yourself. The nerd even makes fun of this stating “who the hell put a beer over their are you really expecting me to get that.” This is a reference to one of his earlier reviews for teenage mutant ninja turtles. I got the reference because I’m a fan but non fans will just see this as bad level design. Also in one level when I went down a latter I instantly fell down to my death into a pit of sharks, spikes and just about every other hazard there was. I can understand that this was a reference to his Pitfall harry review, but what’s the point of having all these references if the only people who will understand this are fanatics of his show. I get that they wanted to put references in the game, but weren’t all the cameos enough? Farcry 3 blood dragon proved that you don’t need to make a game’s level design bad in order to make fun of itself. And separated itself from games that I like to call “Bad games that think that they can get away with being bad by making fun of their obvious flaws genre” Games such as the Simpsons game, Duke Nukem Forever, and the fairly recent Deadpool game all fall into this category.
AngryVideo Game Nerd adventures manages to stay just shy of being placed into that genre due to its solid level design great sense of challenge, and awesome set pieces ( What other game lets you fly on top of the back of a gigantic lava shark that shoots laser beams out of its eyes while you are surfing on lava.)
AVGN Adventures is a mix of old school level design, Hard difficulty some comedic elements and the nerd we all love