The Angry Video Game Nerd: Season 5
R0 - America - Cinemassacre/Screenwave Media
Review written by and copyright: James-Masaki Ryan (17th February 2017).
The Show

“The Angry Video Game Nerd: Season 5” (2010)

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 5" had 3 single-layer DVDs with the episodes and extras divided along the discs. The reissued "Season 5" has all the 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.

- "Street Fighter 2010" (16:46)
- "Hydlide" (7:22)
- "Ninja Gaiden" (14:37)
- "Swordquest" (8:58) *
- "Pong Consoles" (11:44) *
- "Action 52" (25:29)
- "Cheetahmen" (19:24)
- "Game Glitches" (15:54)
- "Zelda II: The Adventure of Link" (15:01) *
- "Back to the Future Re-Revisited" (21:57)
- "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Re-Revisited" (15:44)
- "Lester the Unlikely" (10:32) *
- "How the Nerd Stole Christmas" (12:01)


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 “Action 52”, the reference and music of Rob Base and DJ EZ-Rock’s “It Takes Two” has been removed.

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. Some shots look nearly identical at glance but on inspection there are certain shots where the reissue is superior while others the older release is superior.

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





















Overall, the progressive transfers of the reissues are the improved points while the minutely softer image of the reissues may be due to compressing all the content to a single DVD. Both releases has their own strong and weak points. Notice for example the on the caps with the Power Glove that the TV has zig zagging lines on the reissue while the older release looks smoother with the lines.

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 titled and ordered differently on the releases. All content that is in widescreen is presented in anamorphic widescreen. The BOLD portion is an exclusive.

"Volume 5"
"Mike's Game Glitches" (with Play All function) (42:17) (1.78:1)
- “Super Mario Brothers” (1:31)
- “Megaman 1&2” (2:18)
- “Kung Fu” (1:48)
- “Super Mario 64” (3:07)
- “DuckTales” (3:20)
- “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” (5:04)
- “Megaman 2,3,4,7” (3:44)
- “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (2:18)
- “Super Mario Bros. 2” (2:49)
- “Horror Games” (3:49)
- “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past” (5:21)
- “Super Smash Brothers” (2:29)
“Top 20 AVGN Rants” featurette (15:35)
“Holiday Memories” featurette (13:23)
“Music by Bear McCreary” featurette (5:20) (1.78:1)
“Convention Appearances” featurette (9:46) (1.78:1)
“Vintage Nerd: Castlevania 4” featurette (1:51)
“Piece of Meat” music video, featuring the Angry Video Game Nerd in a cameo (3:58) (1.78:1)
Outtakes for “Piece of Meat” (3:27)
Outtakes for “Ninja Gaiden” (6:38)
Outtakes for “Game Glitches” (2:19)
Audio commentary on “Back to the Future Re-Revisited” with Director/Writer/Actor James Rolfe and Mike Matei (22:19)
Audio commentary on “Ninja Gaiden” with James Rolfe and actor Kevin Finn (14:41)
Audio commentary on “Game Glitches” with James Rolfe and Kevin Finn (15:56)
Outtake of “Lester the Unlikely” (0:28) (easter egg)

"Season 5"
Audio commentary on “Back to the Future Re-Revisited” with Director/Writer/Actor James Rolfe and Mike Matei (21:57)
Audio commentary on “Ninja Gaiden” with James Rolfe and actor Kevin Finn (14:37)
Audio commentary on “Game Glitches” with James Rolfe and Kevin Finn (15:54)
“Top 20 AVGN Rants” featurette (15:35)
“Bear McCreary Christmas Special” featurette (5:20) (1.78:1)
“Castlevania 4 Review” featurette (1:51)
“Convention Appearances” featurette (9:46) (1.78:1)
“Holiday Memories” featurette (13:23)
"Mike's Game Glitches"(42:17) (1.78:1)
- “Super Mario Brothers”
- “Megaman 1&2”
- “Kung Fu”
- “Super Mario 64”
- “DuckTales”
- “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time”
- “Megaman 2,3,4,7”
- “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”
- “Super Mario Bros. 2”
- “Horror Games”
- “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past”
- “Super Smash Brothers”
“Piece of Meat” music video, featuring the Angry Video Game Nerd in a cameo (3:58) (1.78:1)
“Piece of Meat - Behind the Scenes” featurette (3:27)
Outtakes
- “Ninja Gaiden” (6:38)
- “Game Glitches” (2:20)

The "Lester the Unlikely" deleted scene which is an easter egg on the older DVD release is not carried over to the new reissue. If it is also an easter egg on the new reissue, I was not able to find it. One thing to be noted about "Mike's Game Glitches" that is a little different: On the older DVD release, the individual episodes could be chosen or a "Play All" function could be chosen. For the new reissue, there is only one option - to play all episodes. At least it is in the original 1.78:1 widescreen ratio, unlike the "AVGN-X" Blu-ray in which the episodes were cropped to 1.33:1.

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 5" is a bit of an upgrade with the new video transfers that improve by being progressive, but there is some weakness in the new transfers. The reissue includes all the main extras from the previous release but it loses one easter egg extra and adds nothing new. 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 5" 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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