Saturday, June 18, 2011

Angry Video Game Nerd's Castlevania Marathon

And now for something completely different. Ever since the Angry Video Game Nerd did his Castlevania 64 review there seems to have been a massive growth in haters for this game, and since I'm doing this Hi-Res mod for it, I've had to deal with a couple of them. So, let's finally get it all over with, I'm going to point out all the flaws I found (some of them nitpicks, I admit) in the Nerd's review of CV64 and while I'm at it I'll tackle the other videos as well.

But let me first point out that I'm well aware that the Angry Video Game Nerd is largely a satirical character. However, a large portion of his fanbase still takes his videos at face value (as I've personally discovered). Furthermore, this video series was supposed to be a tribute (and he admitted these are mostly his genuine opinions) which makes it a bit harder to swallow than his regular reviews. By no means do I post this as a personal attack to James Rolfe though, I just think it's a little unfair that we bash every word the Irate Gamer says but somehow look the other way when the Nerd screws up.

Case in point

Part 1 - Castlevania (NES)

04:00 - The candles represent lost souls that are trapped in Dracula's castle. I don't care for the skits he does with the candles and whipping the wall either. Was that supposed to be funny?

05:18 - It's kinda silly to say falling backwards ruins the entire series when it gets handled pretty well after the NES era.

07:41 - They probably replenish your health because the game continues from the start in a harder setting after you beat the game.

Part 2 - Simon's Quest (NES) & Dracula's Curse (NES)

04:08 - The guy named Error in Zelda 2 has a use. Some guy later in the game asks you to talk to Error.

Other than that I don't have much to say about Part 2, so I'll just congratulate James (and probably Mike as well) on a job well done.

Part 3 - Super Castlevania (SNES), Castlevania: Dracula X (SNES), Castlevania 64

Castlevania 64
Frankly, I think this review is Irate Gamer levels of horrible. He's either lying for humorous effect or way too incompetent to even think about reviewing the game. Either way he's misrepresenting the game. Even if he basically retold the story of how he played the game when he was younger, he could have still explained how all this stuff works.

07:71 - There weren't 2 games with a similar style of gameplay. 'Castlevania' was the early release and 'Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness' was the director's cut with bug fixes, changes in level design and 2 additional characters. He doesn't even mention this.

08:35 - This isn't the first time you play as a girl. Maria Renard and Sypha Belnades came before her. Furthermore Carrie is the descendant of Sypha. Basically he's faulting the game because he didn't know about Rondo of Blood.

08:40 - It's a pretty small complaint but he has a point.

08:55 - Most people agree that the Frankenstein monster (who serves as the gardener of the hedge maze, hence the chainsaw) in this game is one of the scariest enemies in the series. Especially considering he's invincible, chases you around a maze and has 2 dogs that grab you so he can finish you off.

Skeletons on motorcycles is indeed pretty odd considering the timeline, but let's not forget Castlevania is a fantasy world and Dracula obviously has access to more advanced science (which the Nerd would have noticed if he ever got to the Tower of Science or looked around in the Castle Center).

09:10 - He claims the music sucks because there is no music while showing an area where no music plays. This is obviously a blatant lie as parts he shows later obviously have music playing in the background. The only places where there's no music are the parts where it benefits the mood.

09:35 - The camera is a problem indeed but he also doesn't even attempt to center it or use a different view. Then he goes off to randomly jump into the water without looking to demonstrate this???

09:55 - Ah, the main problem with the review. It doesn't matter if you pick the Mandragora or the Nitro first. Furthermore he has no clue how to put it down so he keeps going into the menu screens. James, you are halfway the game and we are supposed to believe you don't even ATTEMPT pressing the action button? That just doesn't make ANY sense to me. Even if you try out the menu before anything else, you just played HALF the game using the action button on absolutely everything yet somehow you forget about it here?

A couple of months ago I even made a quick video about how you do this because a lot of people were asking.

10:40 - The statues ARE giving you hints. You don't have to talk to the statues to use anything, making this entire rant pointless. The statues only reveal at what location the small statues need to be in the Observatory.

11:05 - You DON'T have to get the Nitro first, you just need to press the action button ...

11:20 - Why start the game over? Let's say you did need to restart this part. You could easily reset you N64 and reload your save. Even if that didn't work you could have easily just gotten yourself killed by something and restarted the stage.

11:30 - Just a minor thing, but he makes it look like he's picking Normal but you can tell by the 'GOLD -----' on the HUD that he's still playing Easy.

11:45 - You don't have to walk really slow and you are allowed to touch stuff. You just can't jump or get hit. Meaning he is artificially making his running sequence slower (or once again making a critical mistake that could have been solved by reading).

12:25 - Again he wants us to believe he got through half the game twice and still it doesn't occur to him to try the action button.

Part 4 - Bloodlines (Sega Mega Drive / Genesis), Symphony of the Night (PS1)

1:30 - This part isn't that bad but I find it pretty odd that his mind gets blown because Castlevania considers Bram Stoker's Dracula to be part of the canon. It's both Dracula and practically every other series about Dracula considers the Bram Stoker novel to be part of the canon, so why not Castlevania?

Symphony of the Night
3:25 - Valid complaint but you don't die that often and you can skip the Game Over screen earlier than he shows. Furthermore, if it bothers him that much couldn't het just reset the console the second he dies?

5:10 - SOME RPG elements? That's a bit of an understatement, isn't it.

5:45 - (Just pointing it out, not complaining here) Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness for the PS2 were also Metroidvania style games, only in 3D.

5:50 - It wasn't out back then so he couldn't know about it but The Adventure Rebirth is a classic linear style Castlevania. Not to mention the remake of Rondo of Blood for the PSP.

6:10 - No excuse here, Order of Ecclesia doesn't take place in Dracula's Castle until the last third of the game. Portrait of Ruin also goes outside of the castle.

6:30 - That's not the story of Dawn of Sorrow. That's the story of Aria of Sorrow. Also, the castle technically doesn't emerge from a solar eclipse in Japan, Soma is transported to the castle because of the solar eclipse. (Also, there's no Dracula stomping around since he is dead)

In conclusion, if for some reason you want to read more about why Castlevania 64 does not suck, I recommend this guy's post:

Also thanks to the guys over at for linking my video. I was wondering where all the views came from.


  1. I'm confused; you mean there's people who actually give a shit about what that guy and his crappy, unfunny videos say?

  2. Hey, man, I'm the guy whose blog you're linking at the end!

    thanks for the souht out, but unfortunately, that blog was removed.

    i'm working on a video version of that same topic, and I'd love it if yoy'd let me promote youir work on that video.

    Great work, keep it up!

  3. And sorry about the typos gallore :P

  4. @SagatBelmont

    Unfortunate indeed, that was a good post. :(

    And sure, free promotion is always welcome. Be sure to link it to me though, I'd love to check it out. :P

  5. Someone spent the time to draw up the criticisms about his videos? This article made me lol so hard! I can't believe someone was so uptight enough to do that!

    1. Ladies and gentlemen, if you look up you'll see the typical reaction of the average AVGN fanboy.

  6. When I had first read about what you though of James' review of the game, I thought you were just being whiny. But coming to this site and learning about the lack of support for your high-res remake, I think being upset was truly justified. But critically analyzing all of his Castlevania review was a little overboard making it seem like you just wanted to deliberately be mean to him. If you had just pointed out the flaws in his review of Castlevania 64 that would've been fine. Now it just seems like you went out of his way to ridicule him.
    I'm not saying anything about your person, I'm just saying you could've been a little more tactful about how you addressed the topic.

    1. Look, I'm sorry but did you read the first part of this blog? This isn't meant to be some personal vendetta against the nerd (even though the fanboys certainly think it is), I had some free time and I thought looking over his Castlevania videos would be a fun thing to do because I actually know a thing or two about that series.

    2. As a matter of fact, I DID read the first part, and I sympathized with you. I understood why you would be upset that the amount of effort you put into the high res remake of the game would be put to waste. The aspect of you having "fun" doesn't shine through at all though.
      I'm going to finish on this word of advice: Be careful the way you address a popular topic. It can end up getting FAR more negative attention then intended. Know about the PETA Super Mario 3D land game? That backfired completely for PETA and I'm sure this was fairly similar for you.
      And I can't stress enough, don't take it personally! I'm just trying to offer some constructive criticism to be nice. Be offended if you want, but sometimes to better to look at something with a level headed mind set. =)

    3. Controversy equal traffic, that's at least partly what I was going for. Besides, the fanboys were butthurt back when this was just the video showing that the level could in fact be completed as opposed to what the AVGN said. The fanboys were going to complain no matter what I did.

      The thing I find hilarious however is that they don't seem to realize I embedded his videos. They want to white knight the AVGN against my "evil campaign to bring him down" but they have yet to catch on that with him being a partner I'm almost literally throwing money at him.

  7. I gotta say, I borrowed Castlevania 64 from an ex girlfriend once, and I had a pretty fun time with it once I got the hang of it.