Most years, James Rolfe, also known as the Angry Video Game Nerd, puts out at least one Halloween Special and each time, they’re some of his most adventurous videos. They’re always amongst his most memorable, so I thought today I’d pay homage to The AVGN by sharing three of his Halloween Specials and talking briefly about them. I’m gonna take you back to the past (and present) – To watch some Video Game Reviews. Though as a forewarning, the Nerd’s content is Not Safe For Work! Okay, warned now? Let’s do this and drink plenty of beers and watch amusing videos.
When I started writing this article, I realised “oh yeah, there’s a lot of them”, so sadly not every entry will be added. Instead I’m focusing on just three entries. I’ll talk briefly about what I liked in each of these episodes, as well as a link to each.
Again, NSFW warning.
This style became a common way for The Nerd to produce videos for Halloween; indeed some other review styles followed this sort of format. This might not have been the first of its kind for The Nerd, but it was arguably one of his most successful. I think everyone who’s watched The Angry Video Game Nerd for any period of time has probably seen this one, but it bears worth mentioning again, because it is such a good episode.
I think one of the reasons I always go back to this, it’s a simple topic. Dracula has had so many games and of course, he goes over as many of them as he can in one big go. There are some truly funny picks, such as The Count from Sesame Street… And some of these games I really should try, just to get a laugh out of. Nevertheless, this is a typical old-school AVGN episode. Worth a watch.
In many ways, The Nerd had sort of plateaued until this point. His content was always excellent, with some genuinely funny and memorable moments… but in many ways, he was just doing what he had been doing for ages up until this point. With a slight foray into more modern games, The Nerd had to think of something new to talk about and yeah, he chose really well with this piece. He decided to circumvent his status quo and go for something wholeheartedly different. He wasn’t going to cover something real, but instead bring us a horror story and tell it in the best way imaginable… complete with a proper payoff!
This was smart storytelling, letting us into the secret that is Polybius, explaining all about the well known video game urban legend. If you’re unaware of the story, Polybius is supposedly an old arcade game that had some mind-altering effects. No known versions of the original arcade exists, although as Chris can attest to, a real version of this now exists and is rather addictive. The Polybius video was brought to us over three parts, all of which build up the suspense of The Nerds encounter with the mythical arcade machine. It sounds far fetched and it is, but he delivers it in a genuinely entertaining and unique manner.
The Immortal (2019)
This one is phenomenal. A true break from the norm which shows the wicked progression the Nerds content has gone through. Over the years, the Nerd has been refining his craft more and more. Throughout his childhood years and into the current day, the Nerd has always been big on video editing. He’s genuinely the type of person who understands the process, which he exemplifies in his craft and talking about it in additional content (I.E podcasts and even other video formats). So with that, I’m going to have to refer back to a point he made about his work, in that he’s not very good at getting things done in one take. He’s a perfectionist at heart, something I can wholly understand. There’s a certain appeal to crafting and editing something to a perfect state.
So for him to then release this episode, it was definitely a step away from his comfort zone. The Nerd was always good at trying to push boundaries, but that includes his own. I dread to think how many tries it took, but the piece is so seamless that if it isn’t a one-take, I dread to think of how tricky that would have been to edit. Nevertheless, to achieve such a perfect piece would have taken a lot of rehearsals regardless of how edited it could be. Genuinely one of the most unique pieces I’ve seen on YouTube all year and as content creators, we should all strive to break our boundaries as The Nerd has done so many times.
Have you seen any of the Angry Video Game Nerd before and did you find his humour too crass? What do you make of these Halloween Special episodes? Did I forget his best one? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter. I hope taking you back to the past has made you more inspired this Halloween season.