AVGN X3 [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - America - Cinemassacre/Screenwave Media
Review written by and copyright: James-Masaki Ryan (12th August 2017).
The Film

“AVGN X3”: Episodes 115-140 (2013-2016)

What was the world like before the Internet came along? Future generations may never know the true answer to that question, but what they will know is that before Twitch, before Let’s Plays and before “Retro Gaming” was a thing, there were in fact people that played video games on their own at home without the world being able to see your progress. No leaderboards, no interactive online community, just pop in the game and experience a world of fun and frustration. With the age of the Internet and the rise of YouTube, gaming and retro gaming in particular started to rise in popularity, and the webseries “The Angry Video Game Nerd” captured the hearts of millions worldwide with his video reviews of badly made retro games. Swearing and destruction galore, the episodes were crafted as mini-movies with impressive production value well above the usual YouTube fare.

2014 was an especially busy year for Rolfe, focusing on the 10th anniversary of the series which led to the theatrical film “The Angry Video Game Nerd Movie”. 2015 was another busy year focusing on Rolfe’s webseries “Board James”. And 2016 was another milestone as it was the 10th anniversary of the first YouTube upload for the Angry Video Game Nerd. The Nerd may not seem as busy with an episode coming once every two months or so, rather than the twice a month rapid pace in the early days, but Rolfe has kept busy on the Cinemassacre website with movie reviews, let’s play videos, music based shows, and much more on a weekly basis. The biggest fanbase may be The Angry Video Game Nerd, but as Rolfe said, it’s about quality vs. quantity at this point and with more than 140 Nerd episodes to his credit, it does get harder and harder to top himself, especially with the ambitious episodes such as “R.O.B.” and “Megaman” done. Though it should be noted that his latest episode as of this writing “Planet of the Apes” was one of the best episodes of his filmography thusfar, and so the ideas are not slowing down.

Rolfe has always been a fan of physical media, so releasing his series on DVD and Blu-ray has been a thank you to the physical media fans looking to have the series on disc. For Blu-ray the first volume included the first 100 episodes in standard definition (as they were shot in) on a single disc. Volume 2 included episodes 101-114, while this latest Volume 3 includes episodes 115-140. The numbering may be a little uneven, but they are in chronological order with a huge wealth of bonus features, most of which were included on the season/volume DVD sets. Here are the following episodes included in this set, all included on DISC ONE:

Episodes (with Play All) (276:20)

- "AVGN Games" (21:55)
It was only a matter of time that the Angry Video Game Nerd would inspire people to make video games of their own, and who better to make a main character than the Nerd himself? The Nerd takes the challenge of playing the indie games created with his character. “The Angry Video Game”, “Pixel Land Blast”, “AVGN KO Boxing”, “AVGN Planet”, “AVGN Game Over I and II”, “The Angry Video Game Nerd”, “AVGN Vs. Dr. Wily”, “Texting of the Bread”, and “AVGN Adventures” are all given a look. They are not terrible games by any means but they are hard as hell and filled with in jokes galore.

- "Wish List" Part 1 (15:06)
The Nerd’s wishlist is not exactly his own. Instead this is a viewer wishlist for games he should play for the holidays, such as “Skate or Die” “Bad Dudes”, “Karate Champ”, as well as doing a slew of bad Sonic the Hedgehog games. (Although “Sonic 06” is not here!) Also of interest is the opening in which the Nerd goes through old department store catalogs and looking at some of the crazy stuff within.

- "Wish List" Part 2 (15:26)
Part 2 continues with more requests from fans such as “A Boy and His Blob”, which the Nerd actually likes, “The Three Stooges” which is filled with terrible controls and the annoying “WaWaWa!” by Curly, “Home Improvement” where Tim Allen battles… dinosaurs? Alse the at-the-time groundbreaking game “Pit Fighter” which is nearly unplayable in today’s standards, “Bubsy 3D” which is the anti-Mario 64, and “Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage” - a surprisingly good game by LJN.

- "Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing" (15:44)
Racing games are always fun. Sure some have bad controls or bad graphics but there is always the challenge and racing against others are enjoyable aspects of any racer out there. But what if there was no challenge? What if no matter what you did you would always be greeted with “You’re Winner”? This Russian PC game answers that with a game that is impossible to lose, does not follow any particular rules, and is barely considered an actual “game”. The fake TV commercial for the game is a certain highlight in this episode with its faux VHS sourced feel.

- "Desert Bus" (15:29)
Penn & Teller produced a video game in the 1990s that was to be ported to the Sega CD, though the game was never released. Though a leaked copy, the Nerd plays one of the minigames that is said to torture any serious gamer out there, as the only thing the player must do is drive a bus to Las Vegas. There are no beautiful graphics, no interaction, nothing. In addition to this terrible game, the Nerd plays the fanmade “Simon’s Quest Redaction” which improves almost every aspect of the second Castlevania game.

- "E.T. Atari 2600" (7:00)
Rather than an actual episode, this is a clip from “The Angry Video Game Nerd Movie” in which he reviews the nearly legendary bad game of "E.T."" at the Atari landfill (as seen in the "Atari: Game Over" documentary). Note that the film was shot and distributed before the actual Atari landfill dig was done. And while not a big spoiler, the game is not as bad as many make it out to be. (Just see “Desert Bus” or “Big Rigs”.)

- "Beetlejuice" (13:53)
The games based on films are always bound to disappoint and “Beetlejuice” is no exception. The difficult controls, terrible color palate, and rules that are never consistent make the game a frustration fest.

- "12 Days of Shitsmas" Episodes (with Play All) (67:55)
From December 11th to December 22nd 2014, the Nerd opens 12 video game presents once a day for mini-reviews, rather than a full length episode on a single title. The following 12 episodes are part of “The 12 Days of Shitsmas”:
- "Tagin' Dragon" (3:50)
- "ALF" (4:01)
- "CrazyBus" (4:06)
- "Ren & Stimpy: Fire Dogs" (5:16)
- "Rocky & Bullwinkle" (4:06)
- "Mary-Kate & Ashley: Get a Clue" (4:15)
- "V.I.P with Pamela Anderson" (4:53)
- "Lethal Weapon" (4:37)
- "Porky's" (6:02)
- "HyperScan" (6:32)
- "Universal Studios Theme Parks Adventure" (11:29)
- "LJN Video Art" (8:42)
There are some terrible stinkers in here. The Venezuelan bus title “CRAZYBUS” barely qualifies as a game. If you’ve never been to Universal Studios but only play “Universal Studios Theme Park Adventure”, you’ll probably never want to go there ever. The “HYPERSCAN” console breaks a new record on slow loading time. “LJN Video Art” is one of the most frustrating things that the rainbow color company ever released. But there are some that are not too bad. The “Ren & Stimpy” game does have good graphics and even the Nerd says that the “Mary-Kate and Ashley” game is “not bad”. These episodes are part of the complete “Play All”, but they can also be played back on a separate "12 Days of Shitsmas" “Play All” option.

- "Hong Kong 97" (12:30)
The game “Hong Kong 97” was an unlicensed game made in 1995 and the origin is still quite mysterious. As the Nerd was not able to get a physical copy since its elusiveness and legality proved it difficult to acquire, this was the first time a game was played over a PC with an emulated version of the game. When a game starts with Jackie Chan’s 16 bit face and text saying “a herd of fuckin’ ugly reds”, it’s obvious this is no ordinary Super Nintendo game. There is broken English and Japanese text all over, an insane backstory, and over the top gameplay Bruce Lee’s “relative” killing people. It is said this was made by a Japanese company over a week’s time and never got proper distribution, but I find it hard to believe a Japanese company or Japanese programmer would make a game with so many bad Japanese mistakes in the text leading me to believe this was a Taiwanese game. In one of the featurettes on DISC TWO, James and Mike show off a physical game cartridge acquired but even that had some Japanese text on the cover that didn’t make grammatical sense. The mystery and conspiracy continues…

- "Darkwing Duck" (13:22)
Disney Afternoon’s TV series “Darkwing Duck” was a spin-off of “DuckTales” mixing film noir and DC Comics style heroism. The Nerd plays the TurboGrafx 16 version of the game, which also happens to be the first time the TGX16 was used for a Nerd episode, where he shows off the way-too-short controller cables. But with bad hit detection and delayed controls, the Nerd obviously cannot control his frustration.

- "Seaman" (16:58)
The Sega Dreamcast makes its debut here, which to many people to this day consider it as one of the all time best consoles, if not greatest video game console ever. “Seaman” was actually one of the most popular games for the system - a simulation game where the player must take care of a half fish/human creature in a virtual tank in real time. The Nerd has a nerd-out moment when he hears the voice of the narrator of the game - Leonard Nimoy. It’s not a terrible game at all but it is a weird one that requires patience, but there are a lot of insanely hilarious moments of the Nerd reacting to the weirdness. Also shown in this episode is the Japanese Famicom Disk System game “Explosive Fighter Patton” which has one of the most infamous lines of text on any Nintendo game.

- "The Crow" (9:42)
For the Halloween episode, the Sega Saturn game of “The Crow” is played. Based on the sequel film “The Crow: City of Angels”, the game is plagued with bad controls, a repetitive soundtrack, bad camera angles, and overall darkness that makes it hard to see what is going on.

- "Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub Zero" (10:02)
The Nerd discusses and shows clips of the older Mortal Kombat games but mentions that he had never played this particular game which was released on various platforms in 1997. The Nintendo 64 version is played and the angry frustration comes to life with the game’s bad controls and unfair gameplay.

- "Mega Man Games" (25:06)
April 6th 2006 was the date that the first AVGN videos were uploaded to YouTube and the creation of the channel. To mark the 10th anniversary, a franchise that has always been a bright spot in gamers’ minds is talked about - the Mega Man series. The Nerd introduces the classic first 6 NES games and the upgraded Mega Max X series, but unfortunately decides that he should call it quits as the Angry Video Game Nerd. After he throws the shirt away and walks on a lonely road, he is suddenly transported back to past, encountering his younger self and realizing the importance of his “job” and coming to terms with who he really is. And the episode proves that there are some bad Mega Man games and spinoff games out there… What was Capcom thinking?
The 10th anniversary episode is one of the lengthiest and one of the most ambitious. The “It’s a Wonderful Life” / “Back to the Future” elements aside, it’s the integration of the current Nerd character and his younger selves in the older episodes are amazingly fun to watch - like alternate versions of the episodes. Not only that, but the episode is topped with the seemingly never-ending Bugs Bunny duel that has been going on for years…

- "Paper Boy" (16:05)
"Paper Boy” is a classic game that started in the arcades and later moved onto every computer and console over the years. But in the current years with newspapers being basically obsolete, does “Paper Boy” have its relevance? Regardless of that the game is actually very fun but as the Nerd finds out it is incredibly frustrating in its controls, timing, and crazy neighbors that attack the boy for no apparent reason. And a house with gravestones and the Grim Reaper following? It’s a hellish job but someone had to do it…

The episodes from “AVGN Games” to “Beetlejuice” were previously available on the “Season 8” and “Volume 8” DVD sets while the “12 Days of Shitsmas” episodes to “Megaman” were available in the “Season 9” DVD set. “Paper Boy” makes its physical media debut on this set, and most likely will be included on an eventual “Season 10” DVD set once that is announced.

Note this is a region ALL Blu-ray which can be played back on any Blu-ray player worldwide

Video

Cinemassacre/Screenwave Media presents the episodes in 1080i 60hz in the MPEG-2 codec, in the original 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Although the packaging states 1080p the episodes are in 1080i. Regardless of the fact the episodes look very good. Shot in high definition, the colors are very well reproduced, depth is great, and look just as good as the YouTube HD versions. The interlacing does not give any trouble with ghosting or framerate issues at all. There are certain issues with vintage footage being used that look weak and some of the game footage does look blurry as well but that is due to the original footage or the original game design and not a fault of the transfer.

There was one issue with the “Seaman” episode on the “Season 9” DVD set having one seemingly subliminal frame inserted into the episode, not part of the original YouTube uploaded version. The Blu-ray corrects the issue and plays without the small error.

All the episodes are uncut with all the original footage and music intact.

Audio

English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
The original stereo audio track is offered in lossy Dolby Digital. It may not be a lossless audio track even though this is a Blu-ray disc, the sound is fairly good. Music sounds great using left/right separation while dialogue is always clear and mixed well with the music and the game’s soundtracks, with no issues of hisses or distortion even with the frequent yelling and screaming.

There are no subtitles provided for the episodes.

Extras

All the extras are available on the second Blu-ray disc.

Bonus Features (with Play All) (314:43)

- "Jekyll & Hyde" trailer (3:57)
A fake trailer for a movie based on the game based on the movies based on the novel. Note that the trailer is not for an actual movie in production as Rolfe has stated.
in 1080p MPEG-2, in 1.78:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 without subtitles

- "Jekyll & Hyde" outtakes (5:49)
Alternate takes and flubs are presented here.
in 1080p MPEG-2, in 1.78:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 without subtitles

- "Jekyll & Hyde" Making-of featurette (9:13)
Rolfe talks about the complicated making of the short which took over a year to shoot due to scheduling and other production issues. There are behind the scenes footage and photos while Rolfe gives his narration in this featurette. There is an error on the bonus menus, in which if this is selected the outtakes play. The only way to watch this featurette is to select the “Play All” option in the main menu,
in 1080p MPEG-2, in 1.78:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 without subtitles

- "Nerdy Challenges" documentary (34:09)
Rather than doing specific audio commentaries for this season’s episodes, James Rolfe and Mike Matei individually talk about the episodes made from the good ones to the not-so-good ones. Discussed about are the lengthy time it took to capture footage for “Seaman”, the reason to do 12 mini-episodes for the “Shitsmas” episodes, how the fake wall created for “Mega Man” would not break as easily as expected, and more. This documentary was previously on the “Season 9” DVD set.
in 1080p MPEG-2, in 1.78:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 without subtitles

- "Adventure Island" NES Marathon episode (5:12)
Shot as part of Pat the NES Punk’s yearly charity event featuring a variety of gamers, the Hudson game for NES “Adventure Island” is played. It’s a fun classic that does have its share of frustration. This was previously on the “Season 9” DVD set.
in 720p MPEG-2, in 1.78:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 without subtitles

- "Danny Sullivan" NES Marathon episode (4:41)
Another short made for Pat the NES Punk’s charity, this one features the NES racing game starring NASCAR racer Danny Sullivan. This was previously on the “Season 9” DVD set.
in 1080p MPEG-2, in 1.78:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 without subtitles

- "Game Gear" featurette (11:16)
Mike Matei gives his thoughts on the Sega Game Gear. There was always trouble with reviewing titles for the handheld since it couldn’t connect to a television, but Matei uses a modded Game Gear that can be played on a television set, and so the footage from games like “Streets of Rage” and ”Shinobi” are taken directly from the carts. This was previously on the “Season 8” and “Volume 8” DVD sets.
in 720p MPEG-2, in 1.78:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 without subtitles

- "Ghostbusters Leftovers" featurette (8:46)
Mike Matei reviews a set of “Ghostbusters” games that were not covered in the AVGN “Ghostbusters” including the Game Boy game and a PAL exclusive release. This was previously on the “Season 8” and “Volume 8” DVD sets.
in 720p MPEG-2, in 1.78:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 without subtitles

- Volume 8 Commentary 2013-2014 (27:41)
Rolfe gives comments on the busiest year of the AVGN, which was the 10th anniversary of the character. The AVGN movie, making the bonus features, continuing to do episodes, and other work made things incredibly busy, but thankfully Rolfe is able to take time to talk about the episodes made during the year. This was previously on the “Season 8” and “Volume 8” DVD sets.
in 720p MPEG-2, in 1.78:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 without subtitles

- AVGN Outtakes 2014 (11:30)
- AVGN Outtakes 2014-2016 (10:20)

A series of flubs, outtakes, and behind the scenes footage from the 2014-2016 episodes. These were available on the “Season 8” / “Volume 8” DVD sets and the “Season 9” DVD set.
in 1080p MPEG-2, in 1.78:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 without subtitles

- "Console Setup" featurette (12:51)
Rolfe introduces the Nerd room’s setup with the new television and how all the consoles are setup. Shot on an iPhone, it is handheld and shaky, but the image is clear and easy to watch. He is not exactly organized on how to present the setup so there is a lot of back and forth. This was previously on the “Season 9” DVD set.
in 1080i 60hz MPEG-2, in 1.78:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 without subtitles

- "AVGN Scripts Collection" Part 1 (30:56)
- "AVGN Scripts Collection" Part 2 (25:18)
- "AVGN Scripts Collection" Part 3 (25:31)

With the Cinemassacre Charity Auction for Shriner’s Hospitals in 2016, many props, scripts, and other memorabilia were auctioned off including original AVGN scripts and notes. James Rolfe and Mike Matei sit and sift through some of the old notes before they are about to be given away to fans. They laugh hysterically at some of the old notes, the coffee stains, the drawings, and some of the memorable lines and scenes throughout. There’s rapping, memories of the nerdiest moment ever at a strip club, and a script note with probably the filthiest line ever written for AVGN - but not used in the actual episode. This was previously on the “Season 9” DVD set.
in 720p MPEG-2, in 1.78:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 without subtitles

- SGC 2014 Panel (35:29)
This Q&A features Rolfe and Matei at the SGC in Dallas, Texas just before the premiere of “The Angry Video Game Nerd” panel. This was previously on the “Season 8” and “Volume 8” DVD sets.
in 720p MPEG-2, in 1.78:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 without subtitles

- TMG 2014 Panel (19:29)
Rolfe and Matei are also joined by Cinemassacre’s Bootsy for this Q&A at Too Many Games in 2014. Not only games, but a lot of movie-talk is done. This was previously on the “Season 8” and “Volume 8” DVD sets.
in 1080p MPEG-2, in 1.78:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 without subtitles

- TMG After Midnight 10th Anniversary Panel (33:25)
Matei, Bootsy, and Kyle Justin give introductions on their impressions of James Rolfe including the first time they met him. Rolfe later appears on stage with the others to talk more about his work. The sound is not especially good on this featurette as the sound is not coming directly from the microphones. This was previously on the “Season 8” and “Volume 8” DVD sets.
in 1080p MPEG-2, in 1.78:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 without subtitles

"You Know What's Bullshit?" episodes (with Play All) (65:45)
- "DVD Packaging" (1:05)
- "Pennies" (1:04)
- "Shoelaces" (1:12)
- "Penguin Movies" (0:46)
- "Post Office Pens" (1:03)
- "Pay Toilets" (1:11)
- "Temperature" (1:21)
- "Printers" (1:22)
- "Christmas Aftermath" (1:38)
- "Hotel TVs" (2:02)
- "DVDs" (5:03)
- "Movie Titles" (1:58)
- "Too Much Cream Cheese" (2:02)
- "Fiber Envelopes & Packing Peanuts" (1:48)
- "DVD & Blu-ray Cases" (3:30)
- "Traffic Spikes" (1:55)
- "iTunes" (4:14)
- "Feeding Birds" (1:50)
- "Wire Hangers" (1:14)
- "Microwaves" (2:45)
- "Assholes" (2:09)
- "Car GPS" (2:03)
- "Warranties" (2:01)
- "Grass" (1:50)
- "Vampires" (3:51)
- "Hotel Rooms" (2:24)
- "Word Pronunciations" (3:18)
- "Public Bathrooms" (2:08)
- "Water" (2:02)
- "Sleep" (2:37)
- "Dangerous Funeral Processions" (2:03)

Rolfe started this series of rants on every day annoyances back in 2007, and still continuing from time to time. My personal introduction to Rolfe’s work on Cinemassacre was seeing his first “You Know What’s Bullshit” episode entitled “DVD Packaging” in 2007. Users of this site and fellow DVD collectors surely know the same frustration that is talked about. Other silly episodes such as “Coat Hangers” and0 “Microwaves” are easily realtable and episodes such as “Vampires” and “Feeding Birds” are bizarrely hilarious. On the “Volume 6” DVD set there were 22 of the episodes available. On the “Season 6” DVD set there were 3 of the episodes available. This marks the first time that all 31 episodes are collected together in one set.
in 720p MPEG-2, in 1.33:1 and 1.78:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 without subtitles

All the extras from the “Season 8” and “Season 9” DVD sets are included on this Blu-ray. 6 hours of bonus content with nothing missing and since this includes all the “You Know What’s Bullshit” episodes on one disc for the first time and the “Jekyll and Hyde” extras, this makes huge added value for the Blu-ray set in terms of extras.

Packaging

The cover design by Dan Shoening is a great design capturing the Nerd in an anime style artwork, but note that the rear does say “26 episodes in glorious 1080p”, even though the episodes are in 1080i.

Overall

“AVGN X3” is yet another great collection of episodes from The Angry Video Game Nerd. With 6 hours of bonus features included, it has an amazing amount of extras for fans to go through and appreciate. Great video, good audio, and endless replay value make the set very highly recommended. Game on!

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

 


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