Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation (PC) Review

By Aria DiMezzo 01.06.2016 1

Review for Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation on PC

The first Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures was a fun title, but it was hindered by an obvious problem: how can a video game jab at bad game mechanics, while avoid being a bad game itself? Though it had many flaws as a result of conscious design choices, it was also filled with other problems - notably, an obscene overabundance of the insta-death Death Blocks. With FreakZone Games promising to lower the number in the sequel, have any other problems with the original been resolved? Cubed3 enters a game world within a game world to find out.

Despite its many flaws, the original was still a lot of fun to play because it was charming. It was, at times, quite obnoxious with the Death Blocks, but that was the least of its problems. The biggest was the utter lack of originality, leading to every stage feeling exactly the same, only with different graphics. Sadly, this trend persists into the sequel, causing every level to feel right at home alongside the ones in the first game. Furthermore, almost every enemy and obstacle is identical to the enemies from the first in everything but appearance.

Screenshot for Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation on PC

That's a shame, because ASSimilation is left immediately looking like a pack of DLC stages and not a true sequel, minor gameplay changes aside. Some indestructible enemies move in vertical patterns, some in circular patterns, and some in more eccentric manners, and the only thing that ever changes is what they look like. Each stage is therefore practically identical to any other stage, though the graphics and background music change. Seeing as one of the Nerd's classic criticisms of games like Back to the Future is that the stages only look different, it's possible that this, too, was intentional.

If the goal, however, is to take everything that the Angry Video Game Nerd character ever complained about and turn it into a game, it raises the question of, "Why would anyone want to play this?" That's the problem here - it's just a bad game. There are several worlds, and each of them contains four NES cartridges that can be collected, as well as a few miscellaneous power-ups here and there, but it's simply not much fun, especially since each stage is indistinguishable from the others.

Screenshot for Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation on PC

It seems that FreakZone Games missed the mark here. In the original, the AVGN is hounded in a short tutorial stage by a nagging fairy that can be killed at the end, doesn't stop the game to provide instructions, and is just there to be funny. Here, however, everything comes to a dead stop so that Mike (because there are no additional playable characters this time around) can explain in excruciating detail exactly what to do, because it's evidently inconceivable that players might have noticed of their own accord that beer equals health. It's a fundamental shift in priority that heralds what is coming in the rest of the game.

Armed with his trusty Zapper, the Nerd jumps through the stages, and it's satisfying to fire the gun and shatter enemies (the sound effects make it great). It can be hard to even hear the sound effects on top of the annoyingly high-pitched music, but there are luckily some options this time - resolution and other effects are still unchangeable, but at least volume levels can be adjusted. That's a step in the right direction, even if it is ridiculously restrictive for a PC game. Strange frame-rate drops appear occasionally, as well, but the Nerd's death usually clears those up.

Screenshot for Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation on PC

Chasing after the Nostalgia Critic through so many levels in pursuit of the Sexforce is not very interesting, and repeatedly fighting him is tedious, since he basically copies Proto Man from Mega Man 3 but is much easier. So much is borrowed from other game franchises that it could easily make a fun drinking game trying to identify all of them, but it doesn't make a fun video game.

On top of that, random bits are pulled from various Cinemassacre series and slapped together with reckless abandon, while the Nostalgia Critic and Mike are shoehorned in simply for the sake of appealing to fans. All charm is lost, and it remains nothing but a subpar platformer with bland level design, intentionally bad mechanics, and a foul-mouthed protagonist. Hardcore fans of all that James Rolfe does will likely enjoy it, but those who are just looking for a fun game would do better to look elsewhere.

Screenshot for Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation on PC

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

"Obnoxious" is the best description of ASSimilation, as might be guessed by the entirely meaningless suffix in the title. There are fewer Death Blocks, but the level design isn't any better, and is, in fact, more generic than ever. Enemies and obstacles too clearly fall into one of about five categories and change only appearances between the stages, and the bosses are just as uninspired. A replay of the initial Angry Video Game Nerds Adventure would be vastly superior to waste a few hours - if your desire is to play repetitious stages filled with interchangeable hazards, then why not save some money and just buy the cheaper and superior original?

Developer

FreakZone Games

Publisher

ScrewAttack Games

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I hate this series EXACTLY because I'm a hardcore AVGN fun.

Can't a fella drink in peace?
                                -Farnham

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