The Angry Video Game Nerd: Season 4
R0 - America - Cinemassacre/Screenwave Media
Review written by and copyright: James-Masaki Ryan (15th February 2017).
The Show

“The Angry Video Game Nerd: Season 4” (2009)

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 4" had 3 single-layer DVDs with the episodes and extras divided along the discs. The reissued "Season 4" 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.

- "Michael Jackson's Moonwalker" (9:52)
- "Milon's Secret Castle" (11:21) *
- "Atari Jaguar" Part 1 (8:09) *
- "Atari Jaguar" Part 2 (14:08)
- "Metal Gear" (13:04) *
- "Odyssey" (10:45) *
- "X-Men" (13:09)
- "Terminator" (14:36)
- "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (13:13)
- "Transformers" (12:30) *
- "Mario is Missing!" (9:19) *
- "Plumbers Don't Wear Ties" (20:27) *
- "Bugs Bunny's Crazy Castle" (16:46)
- "Super Pitfall!" (10:53) *
- "Godzilla" (15:33) *
- "Wayne’s World" (10:04) *
- "Castlevania" Part 1 (9:55)
- "Castlevania" Part 2 (12:10)
- "Castlevania" Part 3 (12:38)
- "Castlevania" Part 4 (9:30)
- "Little Red Hood" (13:50)
- "Winter Games" (9:27)


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 “Wayne’s World”, footage from the movies “Wayne’s World”, “Wayne’s World 2” and “Borat” have 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 the Famicom Optimus Prime has straight lines on the older DVD but has zig zags on the reissue. With the Godzilla poster, on the older release the text on the poster is a little unclear but on the reissue it is sharper there.

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 4"
“The Making of Crazy Castle” featurette (12:25)
“Crazy Castle” Outtakes (8:50)
“My NES Collection” featurette (6:14)
“Playing Odyssey” featurette (5:53)
“Title Cards” featurette (7:34)
“Hanging Out in the Nerd Room” featurette (15:12)
“Virtual Reality Stuntmaster” featurette (14:34)
“Sega 3D Glasses” featurette (2:42)
“Top 10 Nerd Moments 2009” (11:50)
22 Trailers (with Play All function) (17:35)
Swearing outtake (0:11) (easter egg)
Uncensored ending to “Godzilla” (0:54) (easter egg)


"Season 4"
“Hanging Out in the Nerd Room” featurette (15:13)
“NES Collection” featurette (6:14)
“Top 10 Nerd Moments 2009” (11:51)
“Playing the Odyssey” featurette (5:53)
“Sega 3D Glasses” featurette (2:42)
"Stuntmaster" featurette (14:35)
“The Making of Crazy Castle” featurette (12:26)
“Crazy Castle” Outtakes (8:51)
“Title Cards” featurette (7:34)

As with the previous comparisons, some of the titles of the extras are slightly different and runtimes are also slightly different by a few seconds. The 22 YouTube trailers and the easter eggs from the older release has not been carried over to the reissued "Season 4" set. If the easter eggs are again encoded as hidden easter eggs, I was not able to find them.

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 4" is a bit of an upgrade with the new video transfers that improve by being progressive, but not with the extras department. The reissue includes all the main extras from the previous release but it loses a few minor extras 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 4" 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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