A Video Review Show that is a self-proclaimed ripoff of The Angry Video Game Nerd. Derek Alexander, a.k.a. The Happy Video Game Nerd, copies the style of AVGN right down to the opening theme song (at least for his early episodes)... and then he inverts it. He really is the happiest gamer you never heard, as his specialty is to review old school games that he actually likes; to date, he has reviewed the following classic games as well as few recent titles.
He reviewed a technically-new game (Mega Man 9), but he did so because of the self-parodying Old School feel to it; he later reviewed 10 as well (and was much less kind to it). He also reviewed the new Rocket Knight and Splatterhouse games, as well. After a break from reviewing games, he started taking a look into video games from the seventh console generation.The Happy Video Game Nerd (HVGN) is a deliberate attempt to contrast the trend of Caustic Critics on the Internet, and it's also a way to bring up old retro gaming classics that deserve a little more attention. Surprisingly, James Rolfe — The Angry Video Game Nerd himself! — subscribes to Derek's YouTube account.Episodes of HVGN can be found on Retroware TV (the show's official home) as well as HVGN's YouTube account.Compare Wiiviewer and Classic Game Room.
"First up, let's get dangerous, with good ol' DW, the KING of Disney cartoon cool!"
Affectionate Parody: One towards The Angry Video Video Game Nerd and caustic critics, right down to the opening theme song of his earlier reviews and parodying a few of AVGN's reviews. Unlike AVGN and other critics, instead of bringing up awful video games that are best avoided, he talks about overlooked and under-rated video games not many played or heard of.
2008: He posted an audio-only vlog ripping into the AVGN (originally titled "Sick to death of hearing about the Angry Nintendo Nerd") that was actually a parody of the infamous Armake21 vlog ripping into the Irate Gamer.
2010: He switched shows with the Gaming Historian, another Retroware personality. Derek talked about Shenmue, while Norman reviewed Ristar. This is also the only April Fools prank to date in which Derek does not break character, at least not explicitly.
2011: His friend and bandmate Calvin hijacked his show, and did an improvised quasi-review/playthrough of Chrono Trigger.
2014: The first episode of the meme-overloaded LIKECOMMENTSUBSCRIBESHOW with "Scare Cam" Cody and The Shitty Goose as they list the Top 10 NES boobs (at least two of the listed characters don't even have any) and start going to some really weird places.
Bizarro World: He presents himself as the exact inverse of AVGN; not only does he review retro games positively, but he drinks red wine instead of beer (at one point getting confused when someone replaced his wineglass with a beer bottle).
In his reenactment of the Bugs Bunny AVGN episode with Nightshade, at the point in the dialogue where AVGN punched Bugs, instead Nightshade punches HVGN.
They are also mirror images of each other in Real Life professional choices, with James Rolfe being a filmmaker and Derek being a musician.
Bowdlerise: In a special video produced before his review of the 2010 Splatterhouse game, HVGN explored the changes made to the original Splatterhouse — including the Bowdlerized elements — in its transition from the arcade to the TurboGrafx-16.
He also appears in the Board James review of "Loupin' Louie", a Live Episode filmed at PAX 2011, and is identified by an onscreen caption. It's the first time he has ever appeared in a Cinemassacre video, and Derek naturally joked about it being "the much anticipated AVGN-HVGN Cross Over".
Caustic Critic: Inverted, as his reviews are (generally) positive in tone.
Characterization Marches On: He started out aping the AVGN style as closely as possible, to the point that a few of his videos are directly "inspired" by specific episodes (the intro to Metal Storm was lifted from The Karate Kid; Nightshade is a riff on Bugs Bunny's Birthday Blowout). Over time, he's dropped most of the AVGN (and anti-AVGN) elements, and now all that remains are the name itself, along with a few props (the shirt and the wine).
Dark Is Not Evil: The Happy Nerd wears a black shirt, as opposed to the Angry Nerd's white shirt.
Divergent Character Evolution: The Happy Nerd started out with the gimmick that he was the opposite of the Angry Nerd, and many of his early videos are shot-for-shot remakes of the Angry Nerd's videos, only with him extolling a good game instead of swearing at a bad one. Now, he does his own thing, although he still dresses like the Angry Nerd and drinks at the end of every review (which is actually something the Angry Nerd has generally stopped doing).
"Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: He covered the AVGN theme himself, playing the guitar and singing modified lyrics. Later, his band Starship Amazing remixed the song, and eventually they composed and performed an original instrumental piece.
Dramatic Pause: Every once in a while; often, he smiles creepily right after one.
Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Usually played straight but sometimes subverted. He mentions in his review of Eternal Darkness that viewers comment on his name as if that's his only modus operandi and that he should be praising games all the time. Instead, he reminds them that he's just honest about games he doesn't like but provides constructive criticism (backed by personal experience shown in the reviews) as to why that is.
Follow the Leader: So relentlessly, cheerfully lampshaded that he seems to have escaped the wrath of even AVGN's fervent fanbase. (As pointed out above, AVGN even subscribes to his YouTube account.)
Freudian Slip: In calculating the score for The Sum of All Fears, Derek blurts out "NEGATIVE FIFTY" before correcting himself, explaining that the review score starts at +50 and works downward. This does not speak well for the forthcoming tally. (The final score was just shy of zero.)
He did say, in his Enemy Zero review, that it was too frustrating (and one time that even he will say that Contra 4 is too hard), so he has his standards when it comes to difficulty.
Nostalgia Filter: Averted and/or subverted; HVGN proves that there really is some stuff in the past that is really good, some of it just got passed over.
Played straight in his reviews of Mega Man 9 and 10. He acknowledges that he rated 9 — which helped kick off the recent Retraux trend — as highly as he did partly for this specific reason. Now that "all that's old is new again" is getting...well, old again, he was able to take off his nostalgia-tinted lenses for 10. He does stand by his original review for 9, though, and cites other reasons why 10 is a weaker game.
Overly Narrow Superlative: While livestreaming 007: Nightfire on the GBA, Derek is amused when a review is found for the game calling it "The 3rd best GBA FPS."
Pokémon Speak: Nekbone the sock puppet shouts his name every few seconds.
Precision F-Strike: Nekbone, who normally only speaks by shouting his own name, shouts out "OH SHIT!" when confronted by Nightshade.
Self-Deprecation: Derek blatantly admits that he is inferior to both James Rolfe and Kyle Justin.
"Keytars Are For Retards (So We'll Take Two)".
Sequelitis: Invoked: Two of three of his negative reviews were sequels to games that he loves. He's also spoken poorly of several other sequels.
Shout-Out: Other than his appreciation of AVGN, HVGN also gives shout outs to other YouTube video game reviewers, including Little Miss Gamer and Still Gaming — both of whom would eventually join That Guy with the Glasses.
Spinoff: His 'SSFF' and 'Is it really that bad?' series of videos, usually featuring his friend Calvin. They're all improvised, edited-for-length-and-highlights videos of Derek playing various games not featured on HVGN.
Take That: In the stinger to his Final Fantasy Mystic Quest video, he deliberately pronounces "NES" as both "Enn-ee-ess" and "Ness" just to "piss everyone off".
HVGN: "What are you gonna do about that, haters?"
In his review of Aladdin, he makes a jab at the The Irate Gamer's infamous review.
HVGN: "You know Nightshade, some people don't like this game." Nightshade: "Really?" HVGN: "Yeah." Nightshade: "Like who?" HVGN: "Some people (gestures at camera) on the internet." Nightshade: (looks towards camera) *Beat* "Fuck you."