Monday, March 01, 2010

Angry Nerd does "Swordquest"

I'm assuming that most of us are familiar, at least by reputation, with James Rolfe - aka "The Angry Video-Game Nerd." If not, in brief: He's probably the first genuinely important video gaming commentator to emerge from the world of web videos. His hook: Rolfe - in character as a foul-mouthed nerd archetype - reviews infamously-awful vintage games, frequently as part of an over-arching comedy skit.

The humor and the ever-increasing retro-popularity for gaming obscura made the character an instant hit a few years back, though many initially dismissed him as yet another one-note Youtube phenomenon; he quickly revealed himself as something much more: A remarkably insightful critic and historian of gaming arcana. The Nerd's focus is almost-exclusively on games of the pre-Playstation era, and - by intent or not - the specific "game-is-bad-must-beat-it-anyway" rage that is his trademark is itself a recognizable relic to Gamers Of A Certain Age: The masochism of having bought/been given a stinker and forcing yourself through it anyway because... well, what ELSE were you going to play?

As part of that broader nostalgia trip, occasionally The Nerd lets (some) of the angry-cussin' veneer drop for episodes that are more like history lessons, and in his newest episode he's tackled a doozy: "Swordquest," the epic (failed) Atari 2600 experiment in which a (planned) series of four games were to be played as part of clue-hunt through tie-in comics that would yield players prizes in the form of real gold-cast "treasures" valued at tens of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, the Crash of 83 cut the whole event off in the middle; leaving behind dissapointed fans and a two decade long unsolved mystery involving - yes - a lost sword.

Just watch the video, which I'd say is easily one of the best episodes he's ever done...

How nuts is that, right? It's like the pre-title backstory to one of the "National Treasure" movies!

10 comments:

underthepale said...

Ah yes, this. Fascinating, but really just a sign of how decadent and short-sighted the pre-crash era was. It's a lost time, and it was a grand time, but it wasn't a very intelligent time, sadly...

Now, why do his videos display properly on embed, but yours don't? Probably The Escapist. Fricking Escapist.

AVGN RULEZZ TeH inTERWEbs!!!!!! said...

This nerd video came out over a week ago, If your going to update us on what the teh nerd has recently done, plz make it recent.



Trust me when I say this Bob, all of your fans consist of people who LOVE the AVGN and probably dislike that ugly guy from escapist. At least I do. Every now and again that dude yahtzee or whatever his name is comes out with a good video, but he will never compare to AVGN

noob.

Peter S. said...

You best check yo'self boy, Yahtzee is easily one of the funniest people to come from the interwebs and well on a par with James. It's also rather presumptuous of you to say that ALL of Bob's fans love the Nerd and hate Yahtzee, as there are probably more than a few Moviebob fans who can't stand the Nerd and think Yahtzee is the second coming. I'm not one of them as I enjoy all three interwebs talents about equally. And besides, Yahtzee and the Nerd are two completely different styles (not to mention one reviews old games and the other new) and don't necessarily need to "compare" to one another.

And ANOTHER thing... why does Bob NEED to update us on the Nerd the second the video comes out? Maybe he just got around to watching it and felt he needed to let as many people as he could know how he felt about it. I personally shared Bob's sentiment on the episode and thought it was a very insightful and impassioned history lesson on one of the great, failed experiments in video game marketing and competition. Who cares if the episode came out a week ago and he just found it now?

Kyle said...

Thanks for posting the video. Wicked awesome. I've got chills. (seriously)

Smashmatt202 said...

I saw that episode, and quite frankly, I loved it!

Dave said...

@ Pete S.

I'd have to disagree. yahtzee was funny the first few times before the formula of video trolling+british accent+rnadomly inserting the word "gobblecoque" into ever bloody sentence at rapid fire becomes tired and old. It's the same damn schtick every time. All he does is parrot popular opinions, sometimes about stuff he admittedly doens't actually know anything about, while swearing at people to show how edgy he is.

He's the internet equivalent of south park. Funny is subjective. Insight and originality however aren't. And he ain't expressed either of those in a LOOOOONG time.

soldierhawk said...

Ah, I love the Nerd, but don't keep up as often as I should. Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention, Bob! It really was a great episode.

Peter S. said...

@ Dave

While I agree with your opinion that funny is subjective and I won't debate that kind of an issue because it'd be pointless to do so, I will say I disagree with your opinion that he simply "parrots popular opinions." I don't know which Yahtzee you've been watching, but from my point of view he's the very equivalent of an anti-fanboy. And besides, after a while of honing their craft people will eventually run out of creative steam at some point or another. Personally, I'll stick by Yahtzee's side (even if I don't completely agree with him) because at the very least he provides an amusing 5 minute diversion on my Wednesdays.

Oscar said...

"National treasure"? I think the end of the story makes a better premise for a nerdy heist movie, a la ocean's eleven.

Anonymous said...

Loved the videoclip, thanks for posting it Bob.