An Amazing 8Bit 2D Platformer based on the AVGN series, inspired by old school platformers and a compilation of the Original 2 Games with a neat Rendition of the AVGN theme alongside a really good soundtrack for each game where you will mainly be playing as the Nerd to hit the end goal of each level.
AVGN 1 Intro
Now since there are multiple games, let’s start with the first game and it’s important to note that despite being a simple 2D Side-Scrolling Platforming Shooter, the game is extremely difficult even on the normal and easy difficulties. So you will be dying a lot (Like a lot)
AVGN 1 also happens to have a story that is very simple, but serviceable for this genre of games and blends in quite nicely, allowing you to jump right into the meat of the game.
Also for the purpose of this review, i played in the Normal difficulty so while I had 3 HP and can only be hit twice, I do have infinite Lives but is still very challenging
On that note, how is the gameplay? The controls are simple enough with the D-pad or analogue stick to move, B to jump, Y to shoot, X to use a sub-weapon, L/R to swap characters, ZR to let you aim the Zapper and depending on the Difficulty, the Health you get ranges from 1 to 6 hits and Health is denoted by Beer bottles so you can pick up more Beer Bottles along the way to heal up. From here on, you get to pick from 8 different world’s with an unlockable 9th world (Which is actually unbelievable unfair) each with their own unique level’s referencing multiple different AVGN Episodes with Castlevania or Street Fighter 2010.
Though it’s a game that anyone can pick up and play, due to the game referencing AVGN Episodes and the running theme of these episodes are that the nerd plays bad games most of the time and the level design in certain levels can reflect that with purposely difficult and sometimes downright unfair level design that where if you make even 1 small mistake, it can mean death for the nerd.
Now as you progress through each level, they generally get harder as they introduce new mechanics like traps or instant death blocks and certain early levels can feel a lot more difficult than the later ones. For me personally, Blizzard of Balls was harder than some of the levels after it like Beat it & Eat it for example.
The game doesn’t just leave you with the character’s weapon, but also includes sub-weapons like the super Mecha death Christ (Another reference to a nerd episode) which obliterates all enemies on screen. Power up’s in this game are very infrequent so don’t rely on these too often and although you can try to make these sub-weapons counts, if you pick up a new sub-weapon, it replaces the one you are currently holding so depending on what you have equipped, even the sub-weapons can be an obstacle in this game
There are also collectibles which come in the form of NES cartridges with the letters N, E, R and D so that it spells out Nerd.
You also aren’t alone on this Adventure, you can unlock more characters to play as you search for them while progressing through the worlds like Guitar Guy who can shoot through walls but is limited to shooting only left and right but you aren’t limited to using only 1 character per level and can swap with just a push of a button, so choose the best character for each situation wisely
So how about the Bosses? They each feel unique but the combat encounters boil down to shooting them enough times till they die with some different mechanics when facing them depending on the world boss.
Now we get to talk about the fun part, in terms of overall graphics, AVGN 1 looks stunning and the game has improved visuals over the original game and the personality of each world shines and I found myself Enjoying these worlds and even finding the references in each world with very nice effects/particles that are pretty much everywhere. The best part? The game Runs at a Rock Solid 60FPS even when a ton of particle effects appear on the screen. Nice!
While the game does have an amazing rendition of the iconic AVGN theme, each world has their music that sounds amazing on their own but can get somewhat old since you’ll be dying a lot and hearing them multiple times over and over. But asides from that, the game has incredible retro-sounding SFX like for death and shooting.
AVGN 2 Intro
Continuing from the first game, AVGN II Plays very similarly to the first but with added mechanics making the gameplay more like Megaman especially when you obtain powerups as you progress through the game.
AVGN 2 also has story, but like the first game is quite simple and simply intended to explain why you are doing the things you do in the game and give an End Goal.
The Control’s remain largely the same but you will have to learn a few new moves like wall jumping to help progress through the level and gravity buttons which just flips your orientation and this includes items in the level too, so keep that in mind. Further, into the game, you will also get the power glove which lets you punch and destroy certain objects to enter secret area’s or an upgrade that lets you press and hold the fire button to shoot a more powerful shot. Although honestly, spamming the fire button is still the better option.
An important thing to note is that while the gameplay is generally about the same, the level design is quite different to what you’d normally find in the first game and there’s even more unique boss fights, enemy types and traps.
Not only that, an issue I found with the first game is that each world felt like they overstayed in their welcome and AVGN 2 while there are fewer worlds, each world is broken up into multiple shorter levels which feel just right and suit portable gaming more than the first with the last world generally ending with a pretty fun and uniquely different boss fight for each world.
Upon Clearing the boss of each world you get a Capacitor which is required to unlock the final world of AVGN 2
Just like the first game, AVGN 2 continues with being extremely difficult but less unfair for the worlds you have access to when you first start playing the game. And just like the first game, there is also an unlockable final world which also happens to be extremely unfair and somewhat cheap including the final boss where depending on your luck, you can be instantly killed and have to start the fight from the beginning. So be warned if again, if you don’t have the patience to sit through dying multiple times I can’t recommend this game. But if you enjoy a challenge then go for it!
The collectable NERD cartridges are also in this game so good luck trying to find them all!
This game has quite a bit more going on in terms of graphics, with a lot more effects and in some cases, backgrounds that move to make the world feel more alive like with the ninja gaiden level where there are 2 Kaijuu’s fighting each other. And with the improved graphics, the game still manages to hit a rock-solid 60fps required for a fast-paced platforming shooter. Some stages change the colour palette which adds a nice variety to how each world looks and feels and neither feel like they’ve overstayed their welcome.
Also continuing from the first game, the Soundtrack and Sound effects are once again amazing and still have the retro feel to them like when the nerd punches or charges up a shot. Not only that, but AVGN 2 also has more music compared to the first game giving more variety and also references even more nerd episodes so have fun finding out these references!
The games include some Accessibility features namely for people who are affected by flashing lights or get motion sick easily. Allowing for more people to enjoy this neat package of a game!
This game also isn’t just a simple repackaging of the original 2 games but also includes a Final Chapter that you can unlock upon beating the first 2 games. You also carry over the power-ups you earned in the 2nd game so if you’re having a hard time beating this final chapter, then go back to collect more power-ups if you haven’t done so because the Final Chapter is easily the hardest part of this game, so have fun trying to beat this tough as nails and sometimes unfair game!
Lastly, Thanks to Screenwave Media for providing a review copy for this game!