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Review: Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures photo
Review: Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures
by Tony Ponce

For years, James "Angry Video Game Nerd" Rolfe has suffered the worst that retro gaming could toss at him for the sake of your amusement. Why does he do it? Is he a masochist? Does the rage that burns inside with every sudden death and game-breaking bug fill him with purpose? Why does the pain give him so much power?

To know the Nerd, you have to become the Nerd. You can't just film yourself playing any ol' NES game, spout a few curse words, post the poorly edited footage onto YouTube, then call it a day. It's not that simple. No, we must dive into the deepest corners of his psyche.

There was once a Z-grade movie of sinister renown called MANOS: The Hands of Fate, which was recently translated into videogame form by FreakZone Games. AVGN show partner ScrewAttack knew that the only way to do a Nerd game justice would be to assign development to a team with experience making palatable the most unpalatable of media dreck. Only by folding pain over pleasure could we truly begin to understand.

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Very Quick Tips: Volgarr the Viking photo
Very Quick Tips: Volgarr the Viking
by Chris Carter

Let's talk about fake difficulty in games. In the olden days, often times due to the limitations of the hardware, developers would create certain portions of games that forced you to resort to trial-and-error tactics, often creating cheap deaths and frustration.

But of course, to say every retro game resorted to this is a complete fallacy, as I could name a large number of great platformers that did not enforce to this limitation -- namely Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers by Capcom, which allowed for a failsafe "box shield" mechanic to avoid unnecessary cheap deaths.

Volgarr the Viking is another fair game that can be described more as "challenging" than cheap. So to help you out a bit with the challenging part, I've created a small list of tips to nudge you to the finish line.

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Review: Volgarr the Viking photo
Review: Volgarr the Viking
by Tony Ponce

Can I talk about DuckTales Remastered for a minute?

I'm not going to cite any specific examples, but I've read more than a handful of reviews that knocked Remastered down for being a bit too "classic" in the difficulty department. Some people had such a rough time that it actually soured their opinion of the original -- I guess DuckTales was just more flawed than we dared to admit, and it took this remake to finally bring the truth to light.

I am very disappointed in those people.

It's f*cking DuckTales, one of the easier games in the NES library! Are you so spoiled by modern design leniency that you spout tired labels like "cheap" and "unfair" whenever a game punishes you for your failure to learn and adapt? Or is it that you'll only accept above-average challenge when offset by a safety net -- like checkpoints seemingly every two steps -- to spare you the horror of having to exercise caution and restraint? Heaven forbid a game asks you to plan ahead before plunging headlong into uncharted territory.

If that's you, you need to play Volgarr the Viking and gain some goddamn perspective.

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8:00 PM on 07.02.2013

Add your own colorful phrases to AVGN Adventures

In my E3 preview of the upcoming comedy platformer Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures, I noted that each time you die a random Nerd phrase appears on screen. Fans of the Nerd's foul-mouthed escapades are quite familiar with the...

Tony Ponce

3:05 AM on 06.13.2013

Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures ISN'T a sh*tload of f*ck

Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures is a game that wants you to curse at it. It wants you to flip out and go ballistic and yell at small children. It wants to give you the experience of being the Nerd in more ways than one. AVGN...

Tony Ponce

10:30 PM on 04.22.2013

Check these 3DS Circle Pad Pro mods from Japan

Anybody test out the 3DS XL Circle Pad Pro yet? Is it the cat's knees and the bee's pajamas? How does it stack up to the original Circle Pad Pro? For a certain set of Japanese gamers, the stock devices are hella weaksauce. Mo...

Tony Ponce





2:45 PM on 04.09.2013

Brain Age: Concentration Training makes you feel dumb

The latest entry in Nintendo's line of brain training software, Brain Age: Concentration Training, released to practically no fanfare whatsoever back on February 10. I think it's safe to say that the "brain age" craze has lo...

Tony Ponce

2:15 PM on 03.26.2013

How to play BioShock Infinite's 1999 mode from the start

Those looking for a heightened sense of challenge from BioShock Infinite will want to give the game's 1999 Mode a look. Although most players will gain access to this difficulty option by clearing the game normally, it can al...

Jordan Devore

11:00 PM on 03.18.2013

Why there hasn't been a Kickstarter for Dwarf Fortress

I've spent a lot of time over the past couple of weeks checking out random indie games from Kickstarter, like Mage's Initiation, and I've also been playing a lot of Dwarf Fortress. I started to wonder, "Why doesn't ...

Joshua Derocher



Ex-Nintendo chairman Howard Lincoln had big brass balls photo
Ex-Nintendo chairman Howard Lincoln had big brass balls
by Tony Ponce

The Nintendo of today is known for being quiet and humble, making conservative decisions, and doing its best not to intentionally piss potential third-party partners off. Most of the complaints directed at Nintendo's current state can partially be attributed to this behavior -- which isn't to say that it didn't work for the Wii and DS. This wasn't always the case, though. There was a time when Nintendo of America was the biggest, baddest shark of them all, and software developers and retailers were genuinely afraid of the House of Mario.

One of the key figures in establishing Nintendo as a Western powerhouse was Howard Lincoln, the lawyer turned Nintendo executive who was recently the focus of a lovely feature by Not Enough Shaders' Emily Rogers. He defended Nintendo against Universal's "Donkey Kong" lawsuit, became senior vice president of NoA in 1983, then served as chairman from 1994 until his departure in 2000. In his nearly two-decade tenure, he was responsible for some of the most influential decisions in Nintendo's third-party relationship history.

From bringing on both Rareware and Retro Studios as second parties to defending Nintendo during the videogame violence Senate hearings in the early 90s, Lincoln wasn't afraid to take risks. He also wasn't afraid to speak his mind -- some of his words regarding the competition were so brutal that you can still feel the scorch marks years later. Could his actions be part of the reason many third parties became wary of working with Nintendo later on? Possibly, but you can't deny that the man got results.

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Review: Black Knight Sword photo
Review: Black Knight Sword
by Chris Carter

Within my first thirty minutes of playing Black Knight Sword, I encountered a menu option called "cat head grass," a giant mother eye that eats hearts, and severed skulls in a microwave oven that serve as health power-ups.

Yep, this is definitely a Grasshopper Manufacture and Digital Reality joint.

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3:00 PM on 12.10.2012

Jimquisition: Dumbing Down for the Filthy Casuals

There are valid concerns with the "dumbing down" of our entertainment, but as with so many issues, there are just as many invalid ones. This is especially true when "inclusiveness" and "dumbing down" are seen as the same thi...

Jim Sterling

8:00 PM on 10.22.2012

Pat the NES Punk & brentalfloss channel their inner Queen

[Update: Whoops! The actual NES marathon ended yesterday at 3 PM PST, but Pat is still accepting donations through his site until tomorrow.] Zealous NES collector Pat the NES Punk is holding a Child's Play charity that runs ...

Tony Ponce

9:00 PM on 09.30.2012

'Worst game ever' gets an awesome tribute/sequel

Back in 1986, famous Japanese actor/director Beat Takeshi contributed to the design of a videogame. Legend has it that Takeshi did not have an affection for videogames at all (not unlike Jack Thompson), and in a half-intoxic...

Jonathan Holmes

1:00 PM on 07.15.2012

I Wanna Be the Guy: Gaiden is out and making adults cry

The quasi-prequel to 2007's relentlessly difficult platformer I Wanna Be the Guy is finally released and ready for your *ahem* enjoyment. So, how hard is it? Considering I died 15 times in the first minute on the map screen, ...

Allistair Pinsof

10:00 AM on 07.01.2012

I Wanna Be the Guy: Gaiden to melt brains at EVO 2012

Oh, sh*t. While discussing the Indie Showcase at the upcoming EVO, we failed to mention another little surprise that will be making an appearance. During the July 5 pre-show at 10 PM PST, I Wanna Be the Guy: Gaiden will be p...

Tony Ponce