Angry Video Game Nerd Christmas episode receives mixed reviews
By Reinier Macatangay
James Rolfe of Cinemassacre continues to produce Angry Video Game Nerd episodes after all these years, and each December brings forth the traditional Christmas-themed episode. This year is no different, as Rolfe just released Episode 143 titled “Sega Activator Interactor Menacer.” The episode features special guest Keith Apicary.
Apicary’s presence brought some contrasting fan reviews. Before going through a few of them, here is a short recap below of the debated episode.
The Nerd opens with a short introduction about how this is the “giving season,” and how Santa “better get his fat ass down the chimney and get me the presents now.”
This is where Keith Apicary comes in, as he brings the presents that he stole from Santa. The two men unwrap the first box, which reveals the Sega Activator, a Sega Genesis body motion-control accessory.
After demonstrating the Sega Activator with Eternal Champions and Streets of Rage 2, it became clear the Activator had flaws. From the gameplay showed, both of them appeared to get stuck in certain situations.
Next, they moved onto the Aura Interactor, which looks like a vibrating backpack designed to give the player hit feedback. Apicary ended up on the floor, and a bottle fell on his head and broke, followed by a cooking pan.
The Nerd then tried the Interactor, and Apicary took his place inside the Activator. After taking a piledriver from Zangief in Street Fighter II, the Nerd fell and crashed through a table. He then fell through a stack of presents.
The TeeVGolf was next, and Apicary unsuccessfully tried this accessory with Sonic the Hedgehog, before the Nerd had mild success using it with PGA European Tour. Apicary decided to hit himself with the cooking pan anyway.
Their next two accessories were the Victormaxx Virtual Reality Stuntmaster and Batter Up baseball bat. The combined demonstration failed as well, and Apicary eventually grabbed a real baseball bat by accident.
Last on the agenda was the Sega Menacer, a shooting device. More physical hijinks ensued and both men caused unruly destruction to the room, while a version of the familiar New Year’s theme played and the episode ended.
Did the episode work? The top comment underneath the YouTube upload gives a harsh assessment.
“Too bad there was no actual interesting and/or informative stuff about those devices. You know, like in that NES Accessories video. Instead, we got a bunch of unfunny slapstick,” one critic pointed out.
Someone else wrote, “There was no actual review content… it was just all exaggerated slapstick. The slapstick is great in AVGN, but only when it’s added to the actual analyses of the games or peripherals.”
Still, the Christmas episode brought defenders to the table as well.
On the show’s Reddit, a fan wrote, “Well you can see they had a lot of fun when making this one, and to be honest I enjoyed it. Not what I expected to see, but was still fun to watch all of the shit break, all of the products shown are just terrible gimmicks that don’t work and were just an excuse to destroy the entire set, which was pretty good imo.”
The Christmas episode comes down to whether a viewer enjoys an onslaught of slapstick comedy or not. As a longtime fan though, hopefully the show keeps going on for many more years, even if only a couple of times a year.
Check out the episode below.