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A Video Review Show that is a self-proclaimed ripoff of The Angry Video Game Nerd. Derek Alexander, aka The Happy Video Game Nerd, copies the style of AVGN right down to the opening theme song (at least for his early episodes)...and then he inverts it. He really is the happiest gamer you never heard, as his specialty is to review old school games that he actually likes; to date, he has reviewed the following classic games:

Games Reviewed by the HVGN

He reviewed a technically-new game (Mega Man 9), but he did so because of the self-parodying Old School feel to it; he later reviewed 10 as well (and was much less kind to it). He also reviewed the new Rocket Knight and Splatterhouse games, as well.

The Happy Video Game Nerd (HVGN) is a deliberate attempt to contrast the trend of Caustic Critics on the Internet, and it's also a way to bring up old retro gaming classics that deserve a little more attention. Surprisingly, James Rolfe - The Angry Video Game Nerd himself! - subscribes to Derek's YouTube account.

Episodes of HVGN can be found on Retroware TV (the show's official home) as well as HVGN's YouTube account.

Compare Wiiviewer, Classic Game Room.

The Happy Video Game Nerd provides examples of:

  "First up, let's get dangerous, with good ol' DW, the KING of Disney cartoon cool!"

  • Affectionate Parody
  • April Fools' Day: He's done something on April Fools' Day every year since starting as the HVGN, one of only two occasions (the other, of course, being Halloween) for which this is the case:
    • 2008: He posted an audio-only vlog ripping into the AVGN (originally titled "Sick to death of hearing about the Angry Nintendo Nerd") that was actually a parody of the infamous Armake21 vlog ripping into the Irate Gamer.
    • 2009: The obligatory "Goodbye Forever" video, in which he announces his new rapping career. His band Starship Amazing even made an actual rap EP, which can be found here.
    • 2010: He switched shows with the Gaming Historian, another Retroware personality. Derek talked about Shenmue, while Norman reviewed Ristar. This is also the only April Fools prank to date in which Derek does not break character, at least not explicitly.
    • 2011: His friend and bandmate Calvin hijacked his show, and did an improvised quasi-review/playthrough of Chrono Trigger.
    • 2012: He finally failed to deliver his customary April Fools prank, promising in a blog released the following day that he would return in full force in future years.
  • Big "What?":

 HVGN: Until next time, gang, remember: good games are great because they're good.

Nightshade: *Beat* WHAT!

  • Bizarro World: He presents himself as the exact inverse of AVGN; not only does he review retro games positively, but he drinks red wine instead of beer (at one point getting confused when someone replaced his wineglass with a beer bottle).
    • In his reenactment of the Bugs Bunny AVGN episode with Nightshade, at the point in the dialogue where AVGN punched Bugs, instead Nightshade punches HVGN.
  • Bowdlerise: In a special video produced before his review of the 2010 Splatterhouse game, HVGN explored the changes made to the original Splatterhouse -- including the Bowdlerized elements -- in its transition from the arcade to the TurboGrafx-16.
  • The Cameo: A few.
  • Caustic Critic: Inverted, as his reviews are (generally) positive in tone.
  • Characterization Marches On: He started out aping the AVGN style as closely as possible, to the point that a few of his videos are directly "inspired" by specific episodes (the intro to Metal Storm was lifted from The Karate Kid; Nightshade is a riff on Bugs Bunny's Birthday Blowout). Over time, he's dropped most of the AVGN (and anti-AVGN) elements, and now all that remains are the name itself, along with a few props (the shirt and the wine).
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Happy Nerd wears a black shirt, as opposed to the Angry Nerd's white shirt.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: The Happy Nerd started out with the gimmick that he was the opposite of the Angry Nerd, and many of his early videos are shot-for-shot remakes of the Angry Nerd's videos, only with him extolling a good game instead of swearing at a bad one. Now, he does his own thing, although he still dresses like the Angry Nerd and drinks at the end of every review (which is actually something the Angry Nerd has generally stopped doing).
  • Do-It-Yourself Theme Tune: He covered the AVGN theme himself, playing the guitar and singing modified lyrics. Later, his band Starship Amazing remixed the song, and eventually they composed and performed an original instrumental piece.
  • Dramatic Pause: Every once in a while; often, he smiles creepily right after one.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: His basic shtick is showcasing retro gaming's ensemble darkhorses.
  • Follow the Leader: So relentlessly, cheerfully Lampshaded that he seems to have escaped the wrath of even AVGN's fervent fanbase. (As pointed out above, AVGN even subscribes to his YouTube account.)
  • Gushing About Characters You Like: Rick (Knife-Puncher) Taylor from Splatterhouse.
    • When HVGN discovers that Darkwing Dark can deflect knifes, he gleefully imagines who would win in a fight -- then realized it's pretty much no-contest.
  • Halloween Episode: Much like the Angry Nerd, Derek likes to review horror-themed games in late October, as well as in May under the same logic as Christmas in July.
  • Hypocritical Humor: At the end of his Metal Storm review:

 HVGN: Remember, there are way too many great video games out there to be so fucking angry all the time...

  • Picks up the controller*


  • Incredibly Lame Fun: The end of the Zombies Ate My Neighbors review.
  • Mid-Review Sketch Show: There has been the occasional cut-away, especially with earlier reviews, but there is only one full-fledged instance of this trope: the Nightshade review (itself a blatant homage to Bugs Bunny's Birthday Blowout).
  • Needs More Love: The point of the show.
  • New Sound Album: Thatz a Rap.
  • Nintendo Hard: Having grown up from the School of Hard Games, this guy will not be put off with Nintendo Hard.
    • He did say, in his Enemy Zero review, that it was too frustrating (and one time that even he will say that Contra 4 is too hard), so he has his standards when it comes to difficulty.
  • Nostalgia Filter: Averted and/or subverted; HVGN proves that there really is some stuff in the past that is really good, some of it just got passed over.
    • Played straight in his reviews of Mega Man 9 and 10. He acknowledges that he rated 9 -- which helped kick off the recent Retraux trend -- as highly as he did partly for this specific reason. Now that "all that's old is new again" is getting...well, old again, he was able to take off his nostalgia-tinted lenses for 10. He does stand by his original review for 9, though, and cites other reasons why 10 is a weaker game.
  • Pokémon-Speak: Nekbone the sock puppet shouts his name every few seconds.
  • Precision F-Strike: Nekbone, who normally only speaks by shouting his own name, shouts out "OH SHIT!" when confronted by Nightshade.
  • Self-Deprecation: Derek blatantly admits that he is inferior to both James Rolfe and Kyle Justin.
    • "Keytars Are For Retards (So We'll Take Two)".
  • Sequelitis: Invoked: Two of three of his negative reviews were sequels to games that he loves. He's also spoken poorly of several other sequels.
  • Shout-Out: Other than his appreciation of AVGN, HVGN also gives Shout Outs to other YouTube video game reviewers, including Little Miss Gamer and Still Gaming - both of whom would eventually join That Guy With The Glasses.
  • So Proud of You: The Angry Video Game Nerd is a subscriber to his account.
  • Take That: In the stinger to his Final Fantasy Mystic Quest video, he deliberately pronounces "NES" as both "Enn-ee-ess" and "Ness" just to "piss everyone off".

 HVGN: What are you gonna do about that, haters?

 HVGN: You know Nightshade, some people don't like this game.

Nightshade: Really?

HVGN: Yeah.

Nightshade: Like who?

HVGN: Some people (gestures at camera) on the internet.

Nightshade: (looks towards camera) [[[Beat]]] Fuck you.

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