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.
Author's Saving Throw: A lot of fans criticized the Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) review for feeling too short, incomplete, and for being half-assed. Then, a second part to said review happened which, while still short, has the AVGN going further into the rest of (the first part of) the game. This also happened with his return to Superman 64.
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.
Fred Fucks, as played by Gilbert Gottfried in the Life of Black Tiger video, has been a divisive affair. To some fans, it was great to see a physical representation of a familiar Running Gag and found him to be one of the funniest aspects of the episode. To others, he was too annoying and loud to find funny and found the constant gross-out humor around him cringeworthy.
The Nerd pulling out "The Flowers of Robert Mapplethorpe" for CDi 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.
In the Star Trek games episode, The Nerd is attacked by a knife-wielding Klingon at one point, after making a snide remark about them, but as soon as he defeats the Klingon, he just moves on as if nothing happened.
In the Atari Jaguar review, The Nerd is attacked by Skylar and later the Atari Jaguar logo for seemingly no reason. After both of their defeats, this is never brought up again.
In the opening to his "Game Boy Accessories" review, we see The Nerd lose at a random game, before giving the finger to the camera while spinning a fidget spinner.
Returning to the Nerd Room in "Superman 64 Returns" after his talk with Skylar, the Nerd finds four reviewers in his place. He shoos them out and we never hear from them again for the rest of the episode.explanation It's actually referencing "The Return of Superman" follow-up series where there are four people claiming to be Superman.
Bile Fascination: The games he reviews, of course. The show itself is pretty damn good.
Bizarro Episode: The Sega Genesis Accessories episode. The Nerd never actually loses his temper or becomes angry the course of the episode and there is no swearing.
Over the quality of his videos, and whether or not they've gone downhill and when. Some feel he's been going downhill since as early as around 2010-2012, but more commonly, he is seen to have been going downhill since 2018, when Screenwave Media started to write his scripts, instead of James himself.note James admitted that he had become so busy with family responsibilities that he would not be able to continue without their help. That said, another portion of his fanbase still enjoys the new episodes.
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 of 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 series Seasonal Rot 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. Going by the massive like to dislike ratio (which is barely 1 percent of the total rating bar), this seems to be a rather large example of a Vocal Minority.
"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 doesn'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. One group says that since it was crowdfunded whoever donated ought to receive the movie for free; a portion goes further and says it should be free for everyone like his episodes. Others argued that James isn't obligated to give anyone any special treatment.
The ending of his Polybius video; more specifically, ending the episode with multiple jump scares. Some fans feel that James saving them for the very end of the review made them all the more effective, citing how James himself hates how carelessly they're used in big-budget horror movies, while others feel that the inclusion of them at all were just a cheap grab at scaring the viewer compared to the build-up throughout the rest of the video.
In early 2018, new AVGN episodes began debuting early on Amazon Prime Video (in the US and UK only) a week before being uploaded to YouTube. Some viewers are fine with the move given that it presumably provides a little extra revenue, provides an incentive to use the service, and the episodes are free to watch within a week anyway. Others are extremely furious about it, calling it unfair to anyone who doesn't have a Prime account or lives outside of the two countries with access to the early uploads.
The Chronologically Confused video on Kingdom Hearts has drawn a lot of debate from the fans. Some saw it as a fine video, not out of the unusual compared to other Chronologically Confused videos and appreciated that James focused on a more modern game for a change. Others thought it was really out of place, believing it deviates too far from what the Nerd was known for and saw it as a quick cash grab only made for the then-upcoming release of Kingdom Hearts III. Not helping matters is James in the narrations admitting that hes never played the games before.
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. In the Crazy Castle review, Bugs chews him out for this.
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: Played for laughs 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 of 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.
All of the digs made against the Nostalgia Critic can come off as this in the wake of "Not So Awesome" controversy that all but destroyed Channel Awesome and tarnished the reputation of Doug Walker.
In the "Wrestling Games" episode, he tells Vince McMahon off for selling out (by letting the infamous LJN produce so many bad wrestling games for the NES). During The New '10s, McMahon has gained no shortage of X-Pac Heat for being seen as the primary cause of World Wrestling Entertainment's streak of widely panned decisions.
The references to Billy Mitchell as the "World Video Game Champion" in the Transformers review has become this after it was discovered in 2018 that he cheated to obtain some of his high scores. Though considering how his famous hot sauce didn't appear to help the Nerd beat the Transformers game on Famicom, it may double as Hilarious in Hindsight as well.
The show is also very popular South Korea, and practically every episode has Korean subtitles.
Growing the Beard: While his 2004-2006 episodes were all good and established many of the hallmarks of the series, it was the move to GameTrailers that was a turning point: The video quality improved, he had a more consistent release schedule, he covered a lot more consoles than just the NES, and his videos got more informative.
In terms of video quality, Bible Games 3 from 2011 marked a turning point for the better, as he began to shoot the videos in HD.
The Swordquest review can be rather sad to watch now in light of knowledge that three of the prizes, the sword, the Philosopher's Stone, and the crown, were returned to the Franklin Mint to be melted down. The talisman was also melted down by its winner in order to pay for college, but he did keep the small sword that was attached to it. The only prize that is absolutely certain to still exist is the Chalice, which, according to the winner, is being kept in a bank for safekeeping.
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, then he'd likely not have said that about Konami at all given all their recent actions (most infamously the Konami vs. Kojima debacle). On the other hand, however, the Nerd seems very much unfazed with Konami's recent actions or was able to differentiate Konami's present controversial self (which he wouldn't even touch) and past respectable self, and respecting the latter as seen in the Bartman Meets Radioactive Man review, where he lamented that Konami couldn't have been the one to develop the NES Simpsons games and instead he's stuck with Acclaim who also absorbed LJN back then.
One he points out in the Mega Man games review: there once was a time when Mega Man games were so omnipresent that in 2004, the Nerd could crack a joke about there eventually being a Mega Man X20 in 2016 (similar to the Jaws 19 joke in Back to the Future Part II). Fans would have grumbled about Sequelitis back then, not realizing they would eventually mark the end of an era, and Mega Man would go through a long drought period with no new games or media coming out until Mega Man 11.
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.
James also got some notable heat for bashing the Dizzy games, accusing them of having bad controls and graphics and writing them off as trash. This didnt sit well with Dizzy fans.
Some feel like his review on The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask made poor complaints about things that could easily be avoided or adapted to. For example, detailing what the 3-day system allows the game to do before immediately questioning its pointnote It allows for NPC's to have more fleshed-out schedules and stories, as well as add tension to the game, complaining that the time limit made him nervous, which is arguably its point, and falsely stating that if you miss the heart container after defeating a boss, you have to beat the boss again.note You only have to beat the boss again should you go back in time. If you go back to the temple before doing this, you can easily pick the heart up.
James Rolfe more often than not shows genuine rage when playing the Nerd in some episodes, especially the Dick Tracy review.
Mike Butters was the guy seen in the "cutscenes" in the Pepsiman game. According to him, the directors told him to "act bad", to give the cutscenes a campy feel. When Butters reappeared in the same role in the Pepsiman episode, he shows real talent when he explains his character's Tear Jerker backstory.
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...
He tries to use Guile's Theme to make Street Fighter 2010 feel like actual 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 time at the end of 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, hadn'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. Doubly hilarious because the Colecovision's first expansion module did lead to Atari siccing their lawyers on them.
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 Waterworld 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.
Also 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.
As well, his mention of Doom became funny when Doom VFR came out on all the VR consoles in 2017.
Also 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 spike in popularity once again.
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 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 Alien³ 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 year later, Alien: Isolation comes out, where the bulk of the game pits you against a lone xenomorph (albeit with other threats in addition) 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 once and while there are an assortment of weapons to use, they're borderline useless against it, resulting in a survival horror that is decidedlynotboring.
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. (Though to be fair, on at least one of these instances of him claiming it would be idiotic, the Nerd was talking about Wall Street Kid.)
Similarly, in the Colecovision video, one of the games he goes over is the Campaign 84, a game about the Reagan-era elections, to which the Nerd says is one of the worst ideas for a video game. Then comes The Political Machine, a game based on the 2016-era elections, made much more entertaining and presentable.
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?
In the Sega CD episode, he stated in his review of Night Trap that the traps against the augers are "ridiculous", criticized the bad timing of the traps and the augers' "wobbly" movements, and panned the graphics of "64 simultaneous colors" on a "12.5 MHz processor" along with the campy scenes that are so choppy, that "I think I'm watching a shitty horror movie". Well, with the Updated Re-release of the game that was released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in August 2017 along with the extra features, deleted scenes and higher-quality video on a high-definition VHS format (which is what it would have been intended for the unreleased NEMO), it's possible the Nerd might change his tune.
The "Beat-A-Game Button" gag, where the Nerd invents a controller to automatically beat any game, becomes funnier in lieu of devs and game journalists talking about how they want more games with skippable gameplay like how games have skippable cutscenes. Some of the Nintendo Switch Online games also feature "SP" versions, which skip straight to the last level.
His review of the Mega Man games on DOS, PS1, and PS2, which talks about the franchise's dormancy in The New '10s, is this now that Capcom released Mega Man 11.
His review ofNintendo Power ends with the Nerd reading an interesting complaint from a reader who notes that Nintendo marketing the N64 to kids was a missed opportunity since it alienated older gamers and that children are more interested in what young adults are doing anyway. The editor replies with a non-answer which the Nerd mocks. This complaint reached new heights with Nintendo's panned Wii U ads criticized for the focus on hyperactive children, and Nintendo turning it around with the Switch ads that focused on cool young adults. The strategy mentioned by the reader was noted.
In the third part of his coverage of bad Ghostbusters video games, he rants about how Hollywood can make pointless sequels to any movie imaginable, yet Ghostbusters 3 has yet to happen. Fast forward to 2019 and Sony has confirmed that Ghostbusters 3 is set for a 2021 release.
The same episode also mocks how the slingshot weapon has the player literally throw slingshots at the enemies, staying that if they added a gun then the player would be throwing that as well. This is exactly what happens with the only gun in Katana ZERO.
During the Christmas Carol episode, the Future Nerd says that the Wii was revolutionary for its time, but in retrospect was "like a baby's toy." While the comparison was a Shout-Out to Back to the Future Part II, it does uncannily prefigure the less-charitable views that certain modern gamers now have towards the Wii, seeing it as something innovative for the time, but plagued by overly simplistic games.
Way back in 2009, while discussing Bible Adventures, Nerd goes over Color Dreams' other unlicensed dealies, namely finishing on one Raid 2020, and remarked he'd only ever review it in the year 2020, before scoffing at the mere possibility... About that.
In his Wii Salute video from 2006, when "Saturn" made its appearance, a picture of a Saturn was superimposed over the video with the caption: "I don't own a Saturn". Clearly, things have changed a lot since then, as James Rolfe has collected so many consoles, including the SEGA Saturn, it makes your head spin.
Nerd notes during his review of Majora's Mask that the game's in-game timer gives players 54 minutes or so overall, and quips that nobody can complete any Zelda game in that time frame, much less Majora's Mask. The entire speed-running community would beg to differ, with even regular speed runs only going slightly over that time limit.
In the Raid 2020 episode, when Nerd does his long speech about having to review games with future years in their titles where he'll have to review in their year, he mentions reviewing Cyberpunk 2077 in the year 2077 if it's ever bad. Considering the Porting Disaster that followed with the console versions of Cyberpunk 2077, Nerd was not that far off.
In the Ghosts 'N Goblins episode, he claims that the game's outrageous difficulty comes from the devs creating an expert difficulty for the game, but forgot to add it in the menus, resulting in the Harder Than Hard antics he has to deal with. The release of Ghosts 'N Goblins Resurrection indeed has a difficulty selection, with the highest emulating the difficulty of the NES game.
In the Corpse Killer episode, the Nerd is dumbfounded at how the game, alongside other titles from Digital Pictures, have been re-released on modern platforms, wondering why there's still demand for bad games to get re-released. One can only imagine how he felt when a few weeks after the episode's posting, none other than Plumbers Don't Wear Ties was announced to have a modern re-release!
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.
Jerkass Woobie: The Nerd himself. He's a loud and abrasive jerkass but with the horrid games he has to sit through and the constant mayhem they cause in his life, it's perfectly understandable.
Memetic Badass: Around the late 2010s, The Nerd's comeback against the Nostalgia Critic where he said "You're a poopy head!" and threw another pen at the screen, got used in a way of cutting through a scene of something being attacked by a pointy thing causing great damage. This mutated into thinking that the Nerd is stronger than anything and can beat down anyone with just a pen throw.
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.
After showing a glitch in Drake of the 99 Dragons, he says "Good job, Majesco." Except Majesco only published the game; it was developed by Idol FX, a Swedish company.
Narm Charm: There's no denying that the comedy in the series can come across as cheesy and corny, especially with the high amounts of Vulgar Humor and less than convincing special effects. But that's really just part of the fun.
Some fans have seen Nerdy Turd as this to Shit Pickle. He's only been seen in one episode as a result. He also received a Take That, Scrappy! in The Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation where a surprised Nerd claims he thought he flushed him away for good, implying he's never coming back to the main series.
While James was busy shooting The Movie in Los Angeles, Mike took over the game reviews for several months in 2012. However, the reception was lukewarm, not helped by his wildly different format.
It's hard to pinpoint when exactly the Angry Video Game Nerd series first started to decline, but many will agree that once Rolfe started having Screenwave be heavily involved with making new episodes, the show had a noticeable drop in quality compared to the show's golden age.
Some argue the first one hundred or so episodes were great, and everything after that wasn't as good. Others argue every episode after the AVGN Movie was when the Seasonal Rot first began though there were still good episodes here and there following the movie.
Seasons 12 and on have caught no small amount of flak from long time viewers for among other reasons, the increasing reliance on green screen effects and gags involving the Nerd living out scenarios from the games, the Nerd being at full volume 100% of the time instead of alternating between screaming rage and tired frustration, replacing old video thumbnails with cringy, clickbait-style ones, lackluster jokes, the Nerd making modern gaming references that, by all means, he shouldn't even know of as a perpetual basement dweller obsessed with retro games, and the somewhat repetitive nature of the newer scripts, which really double down on scatological references even by the show's usual standards.
"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 are others that aren't. Also, in 2006-7, James wasn't as informative. His 2010 and above videos were trying to be a little more educational.
Signature Scene: The moment in the Top Gun episode, where the Nerd screams "ASS! FUCK!!!" after failing to land the plane yet again, has become the defining image of the character. The visual was used as part of the title card for a while, it used to be the main page picture for the show on This Very Wiki, and the memorable "ASS!" scream has been used in a few more episodes since its first appearance.
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.
During the scene when Boo the Cat fights off the Atari Jaguar cube, the cube doesn't move quite fast enough to cover up the red laser pointer.
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.
In the same episode, the poop that James holds is white, almost looking like it's made of glass, due to post-production issues. Addressed during one James and Mike Mondays episode.
In the reviews for the Bugs Bunny games, Mike Matei's neck is clearly visible in a few shots. We also see part of Matei's bare legs and arms and the back of the costume being unzipped in other shots, and near the end of the Birthday Blowout review, as Bugs crawls into the kitchen before the Nerd shits on him, the painted shoes that Matei is wearing are missing.
The end of the Alien 3 review uses a 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.
In the Mega Man games episode, the Nerd travels into the past and interacts with his past self. Understandably, Past Nerd and Present Nerd look to be the same age. Most of the green screen work is actually pretty effective, but at the very end, 2016 Nerd looks over (actual) 2004 Nerd's shoulder. It doesn't look good. At the end of the episode, it's obvious that Bugs Bunny is a guy in a costume, but certain shots make it more apparent where you can see the person's eyes through the eyeholes.
During the Chex Quest episode, it's painfully obvious that the image of the game was blatantly superimposed onto the TV screen as the blue outlines and light pop up on occasions, and the blue screen reflects off of James glasses. Plus the word Video can be seen on the top right corner.
In the "Super Hydlide & Virtual Hydlide" episode, the Nerd goes to a store to buy a battery for his Sega Saturn. Looking closely at the signs and the magazines shows that they are mirrored. The signs next to the door also shows that the store is a CVS.
In "Greendog: The Beached Surfer Dude," after the Nerd dies once again in the Crash Test Dummies NES game at the beginning of the intro, he jostles the controller in anger. You can see the cord flailing wildly, indicating that it isn't actually plugged into anything. Pausing at the right time and you'll even see the loose connector itself.
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".
The new thumbnails for the older videos introduced in January 2019 have drawn criticism for looking like standard clickbait video thumbnails. (Mike Matei defended this by describing how they are forced to use the YouTube algorithm to keep making views.)
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 an AVGN ripoff. Including raocow, bizarrely. It still comes around every once in a while.
When reviewing Jack Bros. for the Virtual Boy, the AVGN never touches on how the three titular Bros. are actually demons from the Shin Megami Tensei series, with Jack Frost being its central mascot. While Persona 3 and Persona 4 were still in the realm of Cult Classic in the west before the series exploded in popularity in the 2010s, a lot of his mostly western viewers were left in the dark about the greater significance these three characters had, the video never touching on the greater franchise they were a part of.
The Nerd was all set to review Cool Spot and Yo! Noid at the beginning of the Pepsiman episode but was forced to review Pepsiman instead. It would've been interesting to hear what the Nerd had to say about those two games.
As mentioned on a James and Mike Mondays episode, James wishes that the Batman & RobinPlayStation game could've been part of the Batman two-part review back in 2008, but he and Mike didn't know about it back then.
A missed opportunity is on the Robocop episode, where he doesn't cover the Xbox version, a notoriously bad game made by the same people who made Superman 64.
The Shrek episode only reviews the Game Boy Color fighting game Shrek: Fairy Tale Freakdown, when the movie series inspired many other unworthy games, most notably the one based on the first movie that was an Xbox launch title (and got a later port for the GameCube).
Played for Laughs at the beginning of the Gameboy Accessories when the Nerd flips you off while spinning a fidget spinner.
A common criticism with modern AVGN episodes is that they either utilize modern video game references (such as comments about EAs controversies and video games past James time like Bioshock), and the game selection either being stuff already talked about by others in the past (like the Aladdin Deck Enhancer) or tackling whats considered "meme games" (such as Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing, Hong Kong '97 and Pepsiman).
The Shrek: Fairy Tale Freakdown review is more about referencing Shrek memes that are almost a decade old than reviewing the titular game.
What an Idiot!: The Nerd is this in Episode 148, his whole motivation for playing the game Treasure Master is to win a contest, never mind the fact that this is an NES game which would indicate that the contest is old. What wasn't helping the fact was that the nerd had already tackled another game before this review that also had a contest which he was fully aware of was over by the time he reviewed it. Given it was done for comedic effect, however, its somewhat forgivable.