The Angry Video Game Nerd: Season 1
R0 - America - Cinemassacre/Screenwave Media
Review written by and copyright: James-Masaki Ryan (13th February 2017).
The Show

“The Angry Video Game Nerd: Season 1” (2004-2006)

The web series “Angry Video Game Nerd” has been a continuous mainstay on YouTube for over 10 years now - a lone white button-up shirt wearing nerd that plays terrible retro games and takes out his frustration with Rolling Rock beer and loud outbursts of obscenities. Conceptually it sounds like many other YouTube channels of useless videos of so called critics commenting haphazardly and without merit, but writer/director/star James Rolfe sets his show apart from others with creative production work, witty scriptwriting, great editing, and rewatchability. While episodes used to come every two weeks, Rolfe started to slow down the pace of AVGN episodes to concentrate on other work - other web series such as “Board James” and “James & Mike Mondays”, and the theatrical feature film “Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie”.

The AVGN web series had been released on the DVD format in separate volumes 1-8. Recently, they have been re-released with new artwork and newly remastered discs along with the release of the 9th collection. The re-released collections are now labeled “Season” rather than “Volume” and the latest release is coined “Season 9”.

For all the re-released seasons, the discs have been re-authored completely. "Volume 1" had 2 single-layer DVDs with the episodes and extras divided along the discs. The reissued "Season 1" has all content on a 1 disc dual-layer DVD. The menu screen on the left is for the older DVD release. The one on the right is the reissued DVD release.



Both releases contain the same following episodes. Note that a * symbol means the theme song intros have been reinstated to the episode on the "Season" set. On the "Volume" set the intro was a separate extra.

- "Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest" (9:22)
- "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (6:29)
- "The Karate Kid" (4:30)
- "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (3:46)
- "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (7:04)
- "Back to the Future" (6:24)
- "McKids" (7:08) *
- "Wally Bear and the NO! Gang" (4:32)
- "Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu" (4:20) *
- "Top Gun" (7:34) *
- "Double Dragon 3" (4:09) *
- "Friday the 13th" (11:00)
- "A Nightmare on Elm Street" (12:36)
- "The Power Glove" (12:26) *
- "Chronologically Confused: Movie/Game Sequels" (11:05)
- "Rocky" (6:55)
- "Bible Games" (21:27)


Also note the following episodes have content changed from the original versions, due to copyright or updates, bot h on the "Volume" set and the "Season" set:
- On “Back to the Future”, clips from the first “Back to the Future” film have been removed.
- On “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, new music replaced the "Nightmare on Elm Street" music.
- On “Wally Bear and the NO! Gang”, an additional scene has been added.
- On “Rocky”, the opening scene in which the Nerd is playing the first five Rocky films on every TV in his house, as well as clips from the Rocky movies played throughout the review, have been removed. Also, this version has the re-release alternate ending of the Nerd at the Philadelphia Museum of Art stairs.

Video

The videos were shot and edited in standard definition in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Both the original and reissued sets include all the episodes in non-anamorphic 1.33:1 in the NTSC standard. Comparing the older DVD release and reissued DVD release, the video quality slightly differs. The older release suffered from interlacing issues that caused ghosting and vertical lines of the previous frame can be seen on scenes with fast motion. The reissued release is a progressive transfer and the motion is smoother and cleaner. But there are also issues with the reissued release. The image seems a little softer and certain shots are not as sharp as the older transfer.

For the following screenshots the original "Volume" release is first, the reissued "Season" release is second:





















As seen the ghosting from the interlaced transfers of the old DVD set are evident. The newer progressive transfers are smoother in motion, but there are issues of the new transfers not being as sharp in comparison.

Audio

English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Both releases offer the same Dolby Digital track. Both use stereo separation for the background music, effects, and introduction while almost all the video game music and dialogue is center based. There are no issues to speak of except in terms of original source material fidelity.

There are no subtitles offered.

Extras

The extras are slightly different on both releases. The BOLD portions are exclusives.

"Volume 1"
Intro (3:01)
“What Was I Thinking?” making-of featurette (13:08)
“The Anger Begins” featurette (1:28)
Deleted Scene from “Chronologically Confused” (1:05)
“The Fuck Reel” featurette (1:47)
“2006’s Top 10” featurette (3:56)
“Duck Tales” Special VGV Episode (1:42)
“James Rolfe’s Demo Reel (2006)” (1:46) (easter egg)
Trailer for “Slayer” (2:15) (easter egg)

Intro (2:54)
Original Intro (0:39)
“Wii Salute” featurette (4:47)
“Toilet Video” short (0:35)
GameTrailers Interview (4:02) (1.78:1 anamorphic)
Outtakes (14:23)
“Shit Reel” featurette (1:01)
“The Angry Video Game Nerd Theme” cover by Dustin Assmuteit featuring Wally Dude (3:18)
Gallery (2:34)

"Season 1"
"Angry Nintendo Nerd Intro" (0:40)
“Duck Tales” Special VGV Episode (1:42)
“The Angry Video Game Nerd Theme” cover by Dustin Assmuteit featuring Wally Dude (3:16)
"Fan Gallery" featurette (2:34)
GameTrailers Interview (3:58) (1.33:1 anamorphic)
“Nintendo 64 Shit Video (Toilet Video)” short (0:37)
“The Anger Begins” featurette (1:28)
“2006’s Top 10” featurette (3:50)
“The Fuck Reel” featurette (1:48)
“Shit Reel” featurette (1:02)
“Wii Salute” featurette (4:48)
“What Was I Thinking?” making-of featurette (13:09)
Outtakes (14:24)

There are a few differences in runtimes, order, and titles of the extras. Strangely not all the extras have been carried over. The "Chronologically Confused" deleted scene does not appear on the "Season 1" set. The easter eggs have not been carried over either. Also noteworthy is that the "GameTrailers Interview". which was originally in anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen has been cropped to 1.33:1 on the reissued release. Also as stated before, the Intros on the "Volume 1" set are carried over to the "Season 1" set by reinstating the intro theme song to the episodes that were previously missing the intro in the "Volume 1" set.

Packaging

Both releases have differing artwork, done by Cinemassacre's Mike Matei.

The re-released season sets 1-8 and season 9 have continuous spines which if lined up create the full artwork, similar to that of "Dragon Ball" comics, Oscilloscope Laboratories DVDs, and the “Star Trek” I-VI VHS boxset.

Overall

"The Angry Video Game Nerd: Season 1" is not necessarily an upgrade from the previously released "Volume 1" set. The new video transfers improve by being progressive, but have a softer image compared to the older interlaced release, and having slightly less extras. The older DVDs are out of print and harder to come by, so for fans wanting a physical media release on DVD the reissued "Season 1" set is still recommended for hours of anger filled retro gaming fun.

The Show: A Video: B- Audio: B+ Extras: A Overall: A-

 


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