If you're a fan of the Angry Video Game Nerd webseries, you'll like this game a lot. It does a great job of emulating the Nerd's typical brand of crude, geeky humour. The game is all about what the show is about: raging at old-school, hardcore gameplay that is often frustratingly hard.
It plays just like a classic Nintendo platformer, with levels poking fun at famous - as well as infamous - games of the 80's and 90's. What is great is that it throws these old-school frustrations at you without it being badly designed. It's done in such a way that it is hard not because it's poorly designed, like many of the Nerd's most despised games, but because it requires skill and some effort. It's not unfair if you start at the easiest settings.
The Nerd humour is recognizable in every element of the game: there's a randomly generated line of cursewords if you die, Mecha Jesus powerups, a laser-shooting shark in Hell, snowboarding on Santa's corpse, sh*t pickles and gratitious amounts of potty humour. Each level is distinct and full of geeky references to the show.
In the style of Capcom classics like Mega Man or DuckTales, you can start at any level you want, with an additional final level opening up once you beat all of them. Each one is based on different Nerd episodes and video games. At one point you are fighting Doom-inspired poop demons and a big-toothed Satan in Hell, the next moment you play through a colourful level reminiscent of Super Mario World and in another instance you find yourself shooting ghosts and zombies in a Castlevania-based world. There's even a level based on the 'Atari Porn Games' episode which really must be seen to be believed.
Hidden inside the game are three additional playable characters from the Cinemassacre.com
universe as well as cameos of Screwattack.com
stars. Fans of the Nerd will know what I am talking about. Power-ups include Super Mecha Death Christ and the Glitch Gremlin, two funny allies that attack all enemies on screen. There's also somewhat useless grenades, poking fun at that one useless power-up that every video game in the 80s and 90s seemed to have.
It's that parody element that makes this game so great. It's not just an old-school 'NES-hard' game, it's also a parody of every game ever made in that genre, both the classics and the ones that are the subjects of the Nerd's crudely graphic tirades. If you like that type of humour and are a fan of the show, this game is for you. If you are unfamiliar with the AVGN and the show's inside jokes, the game falls a bit short, however. Look past the Nerd twist given to classic gaming tropes and the levels turn out to be fairly similar in gameplay elements and are only different enough in the visual department.
If you like old-school, NES-hard platformers, you will feel right at home. You will die. A lot! At the easiest setting, you have unlimited lives, plenty of checkpoints and more health. The credits will roll in a few hours. Try normal, hard or one of the unlockable even harder (!) modes and you will face a much more meaty challenge that will leave even the most veteran gamer screaming in frustration.
There are plenty of similar old-school platform games available on Steam. Wether or not you want to buy this particular one ultimately boils down to the question of wether or not you are a fan of the Nerd. If you are, it's worth your ten bucks. If you aren't, it's just one of many games to choose from for fans of this genre. You won't get much of the inside jokes that make up much of what sets this game apart from others. Thankfully, the overlap between genre fans and the AVGN fandom is probably big enough to make this a game I can recommend.