The one, the only, the man who made Internet reviewing a genre singlehandedly—the Angry Video Game Nerd. A bespectacled man in a white button-down shirt with a pocket protector, the Nerd sits in his basement and vents his impotent rage over terrible video games of days gone by. He has a perennial rivalry with The Nostalgia Critic.
Anti-Role Model: A lonely, alcoholic, foul-mouthed young man with an uncontrollable temper who has nothing better to do with his life than to hole himself up in his basement and put himself through the torture of playing shitty games all day even though he knows full well he hates it. What's not to love?
Games without the pause features, such as Ghostbusters 2 on NES.
Seeing the LJN logo on a game cartridge has also caused him to snap.
Which makes it even more funny when he finds out that Spiderman: Maximum Carnage on the SNES, which he considers the only Spiderman game that is good, was also made by LJN. The fact that LJN made a good game practically breaks his mind in the most dramatic way possible.
In Batman Part I, when he explains the utterly ridiculous controls of the SNES Batman Forever game, which was designed with the Mortal Kombat engine. He actually seems to have strained his voice by the end of the review.
AC adapters with built-in prongs (which tend to preclude the usage of the two adjacent sockets) also greatly annoy him, as seen in the Sega 32X and Dracula reviews. Related to this, ancient consoles which force the player to make use of an RF connector box for television hookups as opposed to just plugging a cable into a much simpler coaxial converter.
Loading times. His annoyance with them is most pronounced in the Superman (Commodore) and Zelda's Adventure reviews.
Also seen in the Batman Forever review, which ironically was a cartridge game.
Nerd: ...Whenever you access a new part of the game, it says "Hold On". Hold on for what? It has to fucking load?!
Any game that has annoying design element that just makes the game more irritating to play—Kid Kool is one example he particularly singled out, where he lists numerous design flaws (fittingly named "Seven Deadly Sins of Game Design") that blatantly hamper the experience, such as "One Way Bullshit" note Referring to the games Ratchet Scrolling, which can cause you to accidentally lose your method of attack "Topside Aquatic Ass" note A bizarre game mechanic where you have to do a mandatory jump by skipping across water three times, with the third time having to be perfectly timed or you die on the spot and "Two-Gear Diarrhea" note You can only run at two speeds, super slow or at uncontrollable speeds, and this also ties into the fact that the limited view ahead of the character makes it easy to collide into enemies, and some jumps require you to build momentum on very tiny ledges .
A minor one by comparison; having the music continue when a game is paused.
Out of his usual complaints, games with bad controls seem to be the chief problem. Generally, he can forgive a game for having bad graphics, obnoxious music, or obtuse clues, but never if it's a chore to actually operate.
Everyone Calls Him Nerd: It has been suggested numerous times that the character's real name is simply The Nerd or the The Angry Videogame/Nintendo Nerd. He usually introduce himself as such or as The fucking Nerd. Even when he sees his future tombstone, it is engraved with the name AVGN, and everytime he receives a package, the boxes are directed to AVGN. The only exception to this is a scene in the Winter Games episode: while he complains about how he can't type more than four letters in the name entry screen, we can see he (unsusccesfully) tries to type the name James.
In the Spider-man episode, Spider-man calls him James.
Friend to All Living Things: He is disgusted by the overly graphic animation of the dog getting run over by a car in the Genesis version of Action 52
Future Loser: Looks like he's stuck playing shitty games for the rest of his life. He even gets shocked when he learns that he will die from a heart attack while reviewing Boogie for the Wii at an old age, and decides to swear off playing shitty games after that incident, popping in Super Mario World and proclaiming that he will only play good games from that point onwards. Needless to say, it doesn't last very long, and he simply says "fuck it" and decides that he prefers to bash shitty games anyway.
Good Counterpart: The Anti-Hero to the Critic's broken wreck. You can even see it in how they deconstruct being a Caustic Critic; while Critic locks himself in a pit of self-loathing because he hates his job and what it does to his life, it's made explicit in the Nerd movie that Nerd is driven by love of his fans, not his hate of games.
Good Is Not Nice / Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He is notorious for his very short temper and legendarily colorful language, but the Nerd is unmistakably a force for good, and he can be quite friendly and passionate about a game he loves when he's not railing off on a bad game or dueling another foe—but he isn't afraid to call things as he sees it when it comes to crappy games, or even flaws in things he likes (i.e. the Zelda II review, a game he admires as a legitimate classic, but isn't above acknowledging it's flaws, such as it's schizophrenic, hair pulling difficulty), and he is more than willing to give his foes more than a taste of their own medicine.
Hidden Depths: Many of the Nerd reviews have him trashing the games, swearing his head off, and probably destroy the disc or cartridge in the process, or beat up the character from the game. Every now and then James Rolfe will put the Nerd persona aside in a Nerd video and give an in depth and detailed look at topic like the Jaguar or the 16 bit wars, where the Caustic Critic only occasionally comes out.
Hollywood Nerd: His lame dress code, occasionally bad hair days, and mouth breathing tendencies, coupled with the frequently seen deranged caricature art make him very awkward looking. In appearances as James Rolfe though, where he's cleaned up quite a bit and totally rocks the leather jacket/nice sweaters/goatee, he's really not bad looking, in a doughy sort of way.
Man Child: A central part of The Nerd's character; he is very immature, short tempered and foul mouthed, and has an obsessive passion for old video games and 80's pop culture (right down to still owning a huge collection of video games, board games, movies and vintage toys) and he literally lives in his basement, spending his days complaining about games he hates. Sometimes these traits are celebrated, but usually they're played for laughs.
Laser-Guided Karma: After heckling the Nerd throughout all of the Birthday Blowout review, the Nerd is more than willing to turn the tables on him at the end. Bugs returns the favor in the follow up.
Made of Iron: In both of his appearances, he takes an excruciating amount of punishment from the Nerd, and even gets his head ripped off in his second appearance, and still keeps on kicking. It takes a Cartoon Bomb to bring him down.
Mythology Gag: He sprouts the head of Woody Woodpecker in the climax of the Crazy Castle review, a nod to the earliest Bugs being similar to Woody, being co created by Ben Hardaway, and both characters initially being voiced by Mel Blanc.