Fans mistook his joke review of Castlevania II: Simon's Quest as a serious example of this. He later did a more balanced and in-depth look as part of his Castlevania retrospective, where he acknowledged that the game did have a lot of good qualities, even if he didn't think the overall package stacked up. Predictably however, there were still complaints that the new review was too negative.
Just by holding a Mischief Makers cartridge briefly during the title sequence, the Nerd got so much backlash that he had to put up an FAQ question noting that he didn't have ill feelings toward the game and promised he'd never review it.
An even bigger example of this trope was invoked during his Castlevania: Symphony of the Night review, with which he got plenty of heck for not praising it to the high heavens. To be fair, he did spend quite a bit of time comparing it unfavorably to Super Castlevania IV, but that was mostly because he had a personal preference for the old style of Castlevania gameplay.
His Sega CD video earned some backlash from people who genuinely enjoyed the system, even though he qualified that he didn't think the system was terrible per se (certainly not when compared to the 32X), and that most of the non-FMV games were generally pretty decent, although he contended that said games didn't have much that couldn't be done with the regular Sega Genesis. Several reviewers have even posted "rebuttals" on Youtube
Archive Panic: It is manageable, but after 100+ episodes (and often roughly 10-15 minutes of content per episode, with some being close to 30 minutes) spread over ten years, it's not easy to catch up if you're new or even if you're just rewatching a bunch of old favorites. Although they have been separating entire seasons and putting them on individual videos, so that makes it a little bit easier. He also released a blu-ray with the first 100 episodes with a 'Play All'-feature that will run for 19 hours.
Of course, if you count all the non-Nerd content as well, you're not going to run out of things to watch any time soon.
The 8-bit remix of the AVGN theme which plays over the end credits of the Halloween episode.
Base Breaker: Mike Matei and Kyle Justin, whose guest appearances get heat from viewers who prefer Rolfe to go solo and focus entirely on the games themselves. Kyle got this especially bad with the Ikari Warriors episode from those who didn't like his style of music and singing, and Mike for his screen-hogging disruptions of the Bugs Bunny's Crazy Castle reviews.
Bias Steamroller: In the eyes of many of his fans, Rolfe and his friends (especially Mike Matei) seem to have a... complicated relation with Sega games and consoles, especially the Genesis. While he actually did own up to liking the Super Nintendo more than the Genesis, some of his other videos, such as the one in which he impersonates various gaming systems, did get a lot of heat from Sega fans, who accused him of being biased against the Genesis. He did, however, win at least some of his pro-Sega fans back with his review of Seaman, in which he called the Dreamcast "a great console to go down with" and even went on the record by saying that even though he considered Seaman the worst game ever released on the system, he still didn't think it was actually bad.
His Tiger Electronics episode has garnered some mixed opinions if you read the comments. Most find the episode entertaining, but the main complaint is he's being much too harsh in regards to the hand-held Tiger games, and pointing out that most of them actually were playable, and even had "plots". All he had to do was read the manuals.
He came down pretty hard on Mega Man Legends and admitted that he rejects it partially because it's so different from the 8-bit Mega Man games he played as a child. He acknowledges that it has its own fans, and compares the difference in taste to liking or not liking anchovies on pizza.
The Nerd pulling out "The Flowers of Robert Mapplethorpe" for C Di and playing it for about a minute during the Lester the Unlikely episode.
The Bullshit Man's cameo in the "Tiger Electronics" episode, which plays out like an honorary episode of James Rolfe's other series You Know What's Bullshit?
The Teaser for the first CD-I video is a mini-review of a Donkey Kong doll from the early 80s who appears to be making an obscene gesture with his fingers. It has nothing to do with the rest of the episode, and is never brought up again after the theme song rolls.
Bile Fascination: The games he reviews, of course. The show itself is pretty damn good.
Over the quality of his videos, and whether or not they've gone downhill.
The "AVGN Clip Collection" filler videos seem to have done this.
James has mentioned that his Atari 5200 review has garnered mixed reactions. Some people dislike the fact that it doesn't show the games being played (they run, but have no controller input), instead being devoted entirely to the Nerd trying to get the console to work. Others find it hilarious for that exact reason. Since Rolfe wasn't able to get any working controller input during the course of production, it makes sense that he'd dedicate a large portion of the video to bitching about it.
The Toxic Crusaders review. Some fans claimed it to be a funny episode, while it's also the most disliked episode yet. Some find Lloyd Kaufman's antics to be funny and the epitome of Refuge in Vulgarity, while others found it to get tiresome and irritating after a few minutes.
His review of Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing;; has had a fairly varied reaction amongst fans, due to the markedly different approach where he actually seems to enjoy the game's faults as opposed to his "angrier" style of reviewing. Some people think that the episode was a sign of the show Jumping the Shark during his hiatus, and that James seemed less interested and not as genuine in his reactions. Others thought that the episode was downright hilarious, with parts such as the fictional commercial and the ending receiving praise, and that it was even one of his best reviews yet.
"Sega Activator Interactor Menacer" has also split the fanbase, one side enjoys the over-the-top nature of it all, the other side doesn't care for the same feel and don't like how the video focuses more on being a parody of '90s video game ads with lots of bottle-smashing than reviewing the products themselves.
His movie costing $5 to rent or $10 to buy via Vimeo. On one hand, fans had argued that James raised a lot of money, and whoever donated ought to receive the movie for free, whereas others argued that it was a fundraiser and James isn't obligated to give anyone any special treatment. Others out-right state that the movie should be completely free.
He gets some of the post-Symphony of the Night games mixed up in his four-part Castlevania special, in which he confuses Aria of Sorrow for its sequel, Dawn of Sorrow. In the same sequence, he complains of all the recent games taking place entirely in the castle in lieu of the varied outdoor settings like forests and graveyards, citing the Sorrow games and Portrait of Ruin as examples despite Dawn and especially Portrait having significant outdoor portions. He completely overlooks the third DS game, Order of Ecclesia, which has even more of a variety outdoor settings such as forests and graveyards, with the castle itself only accounting for the last 20% of the game.
Similarly, many YouTube commenters pointed out on his Castlevania 64 video that the "Fatal Flaw" is actually player error (the Nerd tried to use the mandragora/nitro by going into the inventory menu, rather than hugging the wall and pressing the A button).
In both his Batman and Terminator videos, he claims he played all the games available. He actually missed two: Terminator and Batman for the Genesis, which are massively different from both its NES and SNES counterparts (though in all fairness, by "available" he may have meant all the games that he actually owned).
In the "making of" video, James noted that before he releases videos, he has his friends watch them to see if they can point out any errors, and cites one example of a friend pointing out when he compared a game character to Grimace from Sesame Street...who is actually from McDonald's.
The annual Cinemassacre Monster Madness (in which Rolfe reviews horror movies throughout the month of October) tends to be chock-full of these. For example, inn the review of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, he stated Rodan was trying to eat Baby Godzilla's egg. What actually happened was that Rodan was protecting the egg, and was a surrogate brother for Baby Godzilla.
In his review of Mary-Kate & Ashley: Get a Clue!, the Nerd criticizes the game for making Mary-Kate and Ashley indistinguishable from each other other than their abilities, forcing trial-and-error. What he doesn't realize is that he played this Game Boy COLOR game on the Super Game Boy, and when the game is played on a Game Boy Color or Game Boy Advance, the twins' clothing colors are completely different.
When he reviewed Home Alone 2, he claimed that the game stole sound effects from Bart vs. The Space Mutants, since both were by different companies. While both games were published by different companies (THQ vs. Acclaim), they were developed by the same company: Imagineering.
"You'd rather listen to your only infant child puking to death. That is, choking on its own puke chunks." (beat) "That's disgusting. I apologize." This line becomes even harder to listen to knowing that as an infant, James' daughter experienced some complications after being born that required her to visit the hospital frequently for the next three years.
Any stream-of-consciousness rant that relies on fecal matter-euphemisms as adjectives. Bonus points if he ends with something like "And I didn't like it."
Designated Hero: In his Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout review, the AVGN knocks Bugs to the ground just for starring in a game that he hates. He proceeds to beat Bugs up for heckling him, and at the end of the review, he beats the ever living shit out of Bugs and shits on his face just because of the ending to the game.
AVGN was simply one of James Rolfe's film projects that he didn't expect to take off as much as it did. He even admits it wasn't even that serious of a project, just something he slapped together to amuse his friends. After being encouraged to put it online, he did so and uploaded it to YouTube, and the rest is history.
Kevin Finn, who played the ninja from the Ninja Gaiden episode and the Glitch Gremlin, became popular very quickly.
Epileptic Trees: The re-review of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ends with the Nerd making a surprisingly deep analysis of the game involving morality and Freudian psychology, before concluding "Or you could just say the game fuckin' sucks."
Foe Yay: With The Nostalgia Critic. In the behind the scenes of the TGWTG Anniversary Brawl, the Nerd and the Critic are angrily exchanging insults when one the other reviewers says "make out!", causing everybody to crack up.
In the NES Superman review, he makes a big deal about how part of the plot of the game involves Clark being sent to investigate an unexplained drop in stock prices, and how it was a ludicrous element to include in a superhero game. Funny then. Cringe-inducing for anybody with a 401(k) in the wake of the stock market dropping 1,000 points over the course of thirty minutes.
In his Back to the Future game review, he makes a joke about how in the NES version, Marty seems to have contracted a disease that has made him lose control of his legs. Michael J. Fox contracted Parkinson's disease not long after the game's release.
Harsher in Hindsight: The Swordquest review can be rather sad to watch now in light of knowledge that three of the prizes, the sword, medallion and even the Philisophers Stone that someone won, were melted down for money. The only prize that is absolutely certain to still exist is the Chalice—it's believed that the crown might still exist after it was revealed that a secret contest was held for it, but nobody knows who the winner is or where he and the crown are.
In the NES Accessories reviews, he said about the Konami Laserscope that he loves Konami, but "this thing reeks of ass". If he did the review in 2015, he'd likely wouldn't have said that about Konami at all given all their recent actions (most infamously the Konami vs. Kojima debacle).
He panned the Genesis port of Altered Beast in his 2010 Christmas video, and not soon later people began complaining.
A day after his review on Metal Gear got released on YouTube, the video was suddenly flagged for unknown reasons, probably because some Metal Gear fans were a bit angry with his criticism of the game. This is largely because, although many find the NES version inferior, it actually has a devoted fanbase that prefers it over the original version. Its narm factor (The truck have started to move), the fact that the trucks aren't just a trap, the different soundtrack, and the fact that, although unintentionally, it's less linear than the MSX2 version, what with the amount of Sequence Breaking one can do (although you must still kill all of the bosses) are all reasons for this. The fact that the rooftop enemies no longer fly around probably helps as well.
While not too many people were upset with his criticisms of the gameplay in Beetlejuice for the NES, his criticism of the game's "bad music" got a much angrier reaction, as it's often considered one of David Wise's best NES soundtracks despite the game's overall questionable quality. In fairness, his actual complaint was that the soundtrack didn't fit the visuals rather than actually being poorly composed, though quite a few disagreed even on this count.
Making fun of the potential title of the fourth Rambo movie. At one point before the release, the fourth Rambo movie was actually called John Rambo and the title remained as such in certain territories. Lampshaded in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre review and, aptly enough, Rambo review.
At the end of his original Back To The Future review, he destroyed the cart for Back To The Future Parts II & III by putting it in his toaster. As of mid-2010, the Nerd has switched to having the "Nintoaster" as his main way of playing NES games, which — as he himself noted in his revisit of the BTTF games — made his actions at the end of the original review look bizarrely prescient. Speaking of his Back To The Future review, go watch it again. He says that he'll never play the game again, that it's his last time. What does he do in 2010? He plays it again for his re-review.
In his McKids review, he mentions "There are definitely much crappier games such as Bugs Bunny's Birthday Blowout and Silver Surfer, for example." Guess which two games he reviews nearly a year later?
The phone number you need to call in the Who Framed Roger Rabbit game to get hints on the game currently leads to a sex hotline. But it's not nearly as Hilarious in hindsight with Wally Bear and the No Gang...
In a non-Nerd video, he talks about Street Fighter sequels. He brings up Street Fighter 2010, and adds, "I couldn't tell you where that fits in." As he found out, it fits absolutely nowhere in the original Street Fighter series. In that same video, he talks about both the Mega Man and Mega Man X series, and says, "Now if only they made a Mega Man 9, it would come full circle." Guess what Capcom made a couple years later.
He tries to use Guile's Theme to make it seem like Street Fighter in his review, only to say it doesn't work. This makes it one of the few exceptions to Guile's Theme Goes With Everything (though it predates the meme).
When the Nerd is experimenting with the Laser Scope and trying to get it to fire when he swears, he says "fuckfire".
In the Bible Games 3 review, the Nerd mentions the strange sight of a bird laying an egg while flying and compares it to a marathon runner running a marathon and then giving birth. This really did happen to a New York City Marathon runner a few months before the review was released.
Some aspects of the Nerd's review of Godzilla: Monster of Monsters seem downright prophetic if you've read the NES Godzilla Creepypasta, particularly when he rants about how much The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard and claims "the game fucking cheats". In Zachary's experience, the game did indeed try to cheat - to kill him.
In another "Chronologically Confused" timeline of The Legend of Zelda, the Nerd makes a point that Nintendo "can't even make a sequel that follows in consecutive order. Instead, they just keep going back, and then maybe taking a small step up again, and then back again!" One example is noted that The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is a sequel to the young Link after he got sent back in Ocarina of Time. Little does he realize that he was making an alternate timeline of what happens to Link in Ocarina of Time, which was years before Hyrule Historia came out, and the prequel to the prequel's prequel, Skyward Sword, didn't come out at the time this episode was released, as well as the sequel to the prequel's sequel, A Link Between Worlds.
In his Doublevision part 2 review, he mentions how crazy it is that the Colecovision has an expansion module that lets you play Atari 2600 games on it. He says that sort of thing would never happen today due to potential lawsuits, fast-forward to 2013 and now you can hook up a PS4 or a Wii U to an Xbox One.
In his Fester's Quest review, he mentions the concept of Fester fighting aliens makes as much sense as Tim Allen fighting dinosaurs. Flash forward to Part Two of his "Wish List" video, where one of the games he reviewed is Home Improvement: Power Tool Pursuit, the very game where Tim Allen fights dinosaurs.
When reviewing the Virtual Boy, he describes the Water World game on Virtual Boy as being "like puking on a pile of shit". Fast forward to the Toxic Crusaders episode, and puking on a pile of shit actually happens.
In the Virtual Boy episode, the nerd comments that "what the system really needed was some first person shooter games, like Doom, that would have been awesome!" There actually is a (sort-of) first person shooter (survival horror) game called Insmouse No Yakata. There were also more Virtual Boy games uncovered sometime after the episode aired, such as a standard version of Tetris and different versions of Space Invaders. To be fair, a lot of them are obscure (like Jack Bros, which was released in Japan and then in North America in October 1995), and are really just more games that could have (and had already been) done on other platforms, not to mention those obscure games never came out of Japan.
In his Milon's Secret Castle review, he tells you to imagine what it would be like if you get attacked on the world map in any other game. In Eryi's Action, this actually happens.
In his Nintendo Power review, he ponders if they ever gave a rain check to the winner of the contest to star as an extra in the aborted Mask 2 film (not related to Son of the Mask). The last issue of Nintendo Power issued an apology to the winner of the contest!
In the Virtual Boy review, he states that "nobody gives a shit about virtual reality anymore." The Oculus Rift and its competitors have caused the concept of VR games to see a massive spike in popularity once again.
In the Ikari Warriors episode, the Nerd doesn't have a friend to play co-op with him, so he has to revive the Guitar Guy. Hm, who else doesn't have any real friends to play games with?
In his 2008 Indiana Jones episode, he proposes that there needs to be a dance that goes "Whip it! Uh! Whip it! Uh!" He essentially predicted the Whip Dance vines.
His review of Universal Studios Theme Parks Adventure for the Nintendo Gamecube, in which he bashed Universal for authorizing the "shitty exploitation to promote the theme park," got some renewed attention after Universal secured the theme park rights to Nintendo's intellectual property just six months after the review was posted.
When trying to play Punch-Out!! with the Power Glove, he says in disbelief: "I lost to Glass Joe. I lost. To Glass Joe." More people could say the same after the release of the Wii game, which has Glass Joe put up a good fight in the Title Defense circuit.
In the Alien 3 game review, he rationalizes the addition of weapons and extra xenomorphs that weren't in the movie because if you only fought one alien with no weapons, the game would get boring quickly. A few years later, Alien: Isolation comes out, where the bulk of the game pits you against a lone xenomorph until midway through when you kill the first xenomorph, but the climax of the game leaves you at the mercy of several other xenomorphs at a time and your weapons are borderline useless against it, resulting in a survival horror that is decidedlynotboring.
I remember one time in school - I had an X-Men coloring book, and the teacher looked over and said “Hmm. ‘X-Men’, huh? There’s women in there too, aren’t there? That’s kinda sexist.” And I said “Well, what’s wrong with being sexy?” No, I didn’t say that. But I’ve always remembered that, because... it’s a good point. I guess "X-People" just doesn’t sound as good.
In the review of Superman for NES as well as the Tiger Games video, he comments on how idiotic an idea it is to make a video game about the stock market. Come 2016, and one of the games for the 3DS's StreetPass Mii Plaza is about...the stock market. And it's much better than it sounds. Not to mention that Wall Street Kid, an NES game from 1990, is, in fact, all about the stock market.
Prior to the upload of his re-visitation of his older reviews, some comments on Super Back to the Future II stated that the Nerd would probably be happy with the game. Guess what happens?
Whenever something not related to the Angry Video Game Nerd comes out there will always be arguments between fans on Cinemassacre.com, chastising James for not doing a so called "obligation" or defending James because AVGN isn't the only thing he does.
He started a fundraiser for the upcoming AVGN feature film. To say there's a backlash would be the understatement of the century.
It gets From Bad to Worse. Lately, he released a video about a Kickstarter project for a fixed version of Cheetahmen II. Let's just say that it makes the backlash for the fundraiser look tame compared to this.note it should be noted that the backlash was not caused by the fact James and Mike were asking people to donate money to fix the game, since many people actually did. The backlash was caused because it was soon discovered that the game had been fixed by romhacking.net's member Paco Chan in July 2011 already. It wasn't until much later that James and Mike cleared it up by saying that this new version was going to be released on an actual NES cartridge and is intended to fix all the glitches found in the original game, which Paco Chan's version did not (for example, it still has the original bad collision detection and buggy graphics). And then the game finally came out... and turned out to be worse than the original Cheetahmen 2note None of the bugs were fixed, and several were added; for example, you can get stuck in walls you couldn't in the original. The only fix was that you can now play all levels without having to cheat..
Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie was given a digital release on Vimeo's On-Demand service at the cost of $5 to rent and $10 to buy. To say that the fandom wasn't pleased at having to pay is an understatement. Again.
Like You Would Really Do It: Inverted when he destroyed the two Nintendo World Championship cartridges, two of the rarest and most expensive games ever made (the grey cartridge and the gold cartridge). It's shown in the credits he destroyed replicas, but there are still people who believe he actually destroyed the real things. And just to clear things up, in a later video where Pat the NES Punk reviews The Punisher, AVGN shows the cartridge and reveals that he merely destroyed fakes.
Misaimed Fandom: Some fans of the Nerd begun to quote him and accept his word as fact. Never mind that he never intended to be a legitimate reviewer, but as a comedian and a parody of Accentuate the Negative reviewers and isn't meant to be the "recommendation guy".
Misblamed: LJN wasn't a game developer, they merely published the games from a variety of subcontracted developers. He finally addressed this criticism in his Beetlejuice review, saying he knows this, but that it doesn't change the fact that whenever the familiar LJN rainbow logo appears, he's in for a bad game.
To be fair, they could still have taken the responsibility to make sure the names with their logo or of some quality.
Any time the Nerd takes a dump on something, like the game/console being reviewed... or Bugs Bunny's face. This gets turned Up to Eleven in the Toxic Crusaders review, where Kaufman takes a dump on the game that gets a little too much focus... then the Nerd pukeson the shitpile. And the audience is shown it for ten seconds straight.
Older Than They Think: The fake Sega CD ad at the beginning of the Sega CD review. To younger viewers it may seem like something silly James made up, but he was actually re-enacting a real ad.
Some fans have seen Nerdy Turd as this to Shit Pickle. He's only been seen in one episode as a result.
After Motherfucker Mike took over the game reviews for a while, the reception was lukewarm, not helped by his wildly different format.
Seasonal Rot: Some people think he's been going downhill since 2010 or so due to a much slower output or adding more skits than necessary. He seems to be growing out of this after he finished with the movie as the complaints have lowered to a degree.
Seinfeld Is Unfunny: While in 2006 and 2007, the premise seemed like a fresh style of reviewing, it seems that every reviewer since then has tried to replicate the style, and while there are some good takes on it, there's others that aren't. Not to mention, in 2006-7, James wasn't as informative. His 2010 and above videos were trying to be a little more educational.
Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: His claim that the Mega Man series being dormant was actually a good thing because it was better than it becoming a Franchise Zombie. While it may be little consolation to Mega Man fans, it does raise an important point about how fans in general can't just force game creators to make games they want while expecting them to be interesting and creative, since that often leads to the game being below expectations anyway. Sometimes, fans just have to accept a series' dormancy.
In the Christmas Carol episode, the Ghost of Christmas Future segment has James wearing a fake beard. The beard has fake lips that clearly do not move while James is talking, and the beard almost falls off at one point.
The Ninja Gaiden review has moments where the green screen is visible, especially around the ninja's hands.
This also occurs in the Spider-Man review during the song sequence at the end.
In the Atari 5200 review, the Trak-Ball controller can be heard moving left and right rapidly while James is playing Super Breakout, coinciding with the motions on screen. While he islooking for things to mock, it does break the illusion fairly quickly, as it shows nothing is actually wrong with that specific controller.
The end of the Alien 3 review uses green screen to take this Up to Elevennote mimicking the ending of the movie, the Nerd falls off a platform (lying down perfectly) and the (two-dimensional) Cinemassacre logo rips through his chest, even though it's pretty clearly invoked.
The cameo by Board James in the "AVGN Games" episode, is pretty well-done for the most part, showing The Nerd and James on-camera at the same time, and the two interacting with one another. However, if you watch carefully, The Nerd reacts to Board James sitting on the couch, about one second before we actually see Board James first enter the shot.
If the Atari 5200 video was rather poor for being uninformative about the games (an entire third of the video is just the Nerd trying to plug the console into a TV), at least it does show the Fatal Flaw of the system: the controller.
To be fair: one of the reasons why the Atari 5200 didn't do well commercially was because most of the games in its library were just ports of games that were already available on the 2600; most of which were arcade classics or decent games that were unplayable because of the poor controller.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: There's a very sizable portion of the "old school" fanbase who complain that the Angry Video Game Nerd isn't "angry enough" in his more recent videos. Either that, or they'll complain about the show becoming too "cinematic" or "gimmicky" and will demand the "glory days" of raw, straightforward riffing be "brought back".
There's a small section of people that believe the AVGN ripped off Seanbaby because they reviewed the same games and made "similar" statements. Never mind that their styles are completely different and the "similarities" are problems anyone has playing the game.
During a huge rush of angry reviewers around Youtube in the late 2000s, it looked like anybody talking about games on YouTube is a AVGN ripoff. Including raocow, bizarrely. It still comes around every once in a while.
Win Back the Crowd: The Paperboy episode for many people was when the Nerd started showing his energy again.