Hello Dwellers and Welcome To The Basement...
Let me start off by saying, I am not the biggest fan of the Angry Video Game Nerd character, but I am a fan of James Rolfe, the person behind the foul mouth character that is kind of a stereotype of some of the worst aspects of video game players when it comes to getting frustrated with a game. That said, I do think that Rolfe is pretty fair minded with the reviews he's done over the years in regards to retro games
So when the AVGN Adventures game came out in 2013, there was some expectations of it either being a very good game, or a very bad done. In my opinion it leans towards being a pretty damn good game and I will explain my point of view.
First off, one has to have a general idea of what Rolfe tends to like as a gamer, and what he tends to focus on in his AVGN reviews or the James & Mike Monday videos: controls, game play, difficulty and unique nuances.
The Controls are solid and responsive, which allow for quick learning when trying to figure out patterns to jump from one platform to another, dodge enemies, or timing when to attack. You cannot blame the controls in this game for any lack of progress you make in the game.
Which brings me to game play, it's your standard side-scrolling adventure game, with various enemies, jumping puzzles and enemies to kill. You are kept on a path of where to go for the most part, so there is not that much exploring, but with how the stages and traps are laid out. You will get any idea instantly on how to proceed but have to learn how to do so correctly.
And that leads to difficulty, playing the game on it's normal settings, the game has a stiff difficulty in regards of getting from point a to point b, either because an ill time jump can send you plummeting to your demise or losing part of your health. The thing is the difficult is the fun part, it makes you frustrated, but it keeps you wanting to play to see if you can get through either till you run out of lives or succeed to make it to the next portion. The save points in each level is a big help and are spaced out decently enough to give the player a chance to focus to figure out how to advance. Also of note, if you get hit by an enemy, you tend to move back a bit, just like in a lot of the old platform games from 20-30 years ago.
And finally the nuances... well because of the difficult you are going to die a lot... and one of the more annoying aspects is the profanity filled 'I Would Rather...' you have died screens with various rants about what the AVGN would rather have done to him than be in the game. Most find them humorous, I don't, but I get that it's part of the AVGN experience. What is great is the pop up dialog within the game, such as coming across a Silver Surfboard in one stage, and knowing that is a reference to one of the hardest games ever Silver Surfer, is quite clever. And speaking of clever, the life bar, is represented by Rolling Rock beer bottles, which is featured heavily in the AVGN videos.
Graphics wise, the game is comparable too many 16-Bit platform side-scrolling games on the SNES / Genesis from back in the 1990s, everything looks great. Sound wise, the sound effects are nothing special, but the music tracks are pretty damn catchy, serving as decent background music that blends with the game play.
The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures is available on Steam, and it does have a sequel, which I hope to get around to playing in the near future.