The Angry Video Game Nerd; Season 2
R0 - America - Cinemassacre/Screenwave Media
Review written by and copyright: James-Masaki Ryan (13th February 2017).
The Show

“The Angry Video Game Nerd: Season 2” (2007)

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 2" had 3 single-layer DVDs with the episodes and extras divided along the discs. The reissued "Season 2" 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.

- "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3" (VHS Tape Destruction) (0:41)
- "Atari 5200" (9:32)
- "Ghostbusters" Part 1 (16:23)
- "Ghostbusters" Part 2 (10:22)
- "Ghostbusters" Part 3 (12:06)
- "Spider-Man" (9:36)
- "Sega CD" (10:02)
- "Sega 32x" (8:01)
- "Silver Surfer" (10:21)
- "Die Hard" (8:11)
- "Independence Day" (5:05)
- "The Simpsons" (12:10)
- "Bugs Bunny's Birthday Blowout" (8:27) *
- "Atari Porn" (8:51)
- "Nintendo Power" (14:21) *
- "Fester's Quest" (9:05) *
- "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (12:28)
- "Halloween" (15:53)
- "Dragon's Lair" (9:04) *
- "An Angry Nerd Christmas Carol" (14:56)


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:
- The “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III” Parts 1&2 movie review episodes are not on the DVD set due to rights issues, though only the destruction of the VHS tape remains.
- On “Ghostbusters”, the Ghostbusters theme song has been replaced with a sound-alike version of the song. Also, clips of the movie and TV series have been replaced with still images.

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 due to the original source material. Compared to the "Season 1" set, the picture of "Season 2" does look a little sharper with edges and colors.

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.

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 2"
Intro (3:17)
Audio commentary for “Bugs Bunny’s Birthday Blowout” with director/writer/actor James Rolfe and actor Mike Matei (7:39)
Audio commentary for “Spider-Man” with James Rolfe and musician Kyle Justin (9:35)
Audio commentary for “Fester’s Quest” with James Rolfe (4:32)
Audio commentary for “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” with James Rolfe (12:23)
“Top 10 Nerd Moments of 2007” featurette (9:12)
“Nerd Room Tour” featurette (7:03)
Intros (1:21)
Vintage Nerd Material
- 1989-1991 First Game Reviews (6:44)
- 1995 Street Fighter 2 for Gameboy (2:44)
- 1995 Midnight Demon Theater (2:22)

Outtakes
- “Bugs Bunny’s Birthday Blowout” (4:23)
- “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (4:59)
- “Halloween” (6:49)
- “An Angry Nerd Christmas Carol” (0:42)
Outtakes, 2008
- “Virtual Boy” (0:24)
- “Wizard of Oz” (4:06)
- “Super Mario Bros. 3” (1:50)
- “Doublevision” (1:01)
- “Star Trek” (1:48)

- “Batman” (0:38)
- “Batman: Uncut Joker Fight” (2:15)
YouTube Trailers for 15 episodes (with Play All function) (13:59)
"Donald Duck" (0:43) (easter egg)


"Season 2"
Audio commentary for “Bugs Bunny’s Birthday Blowout” with director/writer/actor James Rolfe and actor Mike Matei (7:39)
Audio commentary for “Spider-Man” with James Rolfe and musician Kyle Justin (9:36)
Audio commentary for “Fester’s Quest” with James Rolfe (4:32)
"Autograph Video" featurette (8:17)
"AVGN Remix" music video (3:10)

“Top 10 Nerd Moments of 2007” featurette (9:23)
“Batman Fight (Full)” (2:15)
"The First Game Reviews (1989-1991)" featurette (6:45)
Outtakes
- “Bugs Bunny’s Birthday Blowout” (4:24)
- “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (5:00)
- “Halloween” (6:49)
- “An Angry Nerd Christmas Carol” (0:42)
- “Batman” (0:38)

There are a few differences in runtimes, order, and titles of the extras. There are two new extras on the "Season 2" set - the "AVGN Remix" music video and the "Autograph Video" featurette. Though unfortunately there are a few extras from the older "Volume 2" release that did not get carried over - The audio commentary for "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", two selections from "Vintage Nerd Material", and 5 episode outtakes. To say, the 5 outtakes were actually from episodes featured in the "Volume 3/Season 3" set. It would make sense to port those over to the reissued "Season 3" set, but guess what? They weren't... "What were they thinking?!" In addition, the 15 trailers and the easter egg were also not carried over to the "Season 3" 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 2" is not necessarily an upgrade from the previously released "Volume 2" set. The new video transfers improve by being progressive and better sharpness (though still a bit soft). While the new set has 2 new featurettes, it loses a commentary and a few other extras from the older set. 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 2" 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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