(This review is a clip from Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie, but it has been turned into an episode)
Crowd: (Chanting) Nerd! Nerd! Nerd! Nerd! (cheering)
The Nerd: E.T. on Atari 2600. To begin with, it's not a game you just pick up and play. Most games this generation were very simple. Shoot a bunch of aliens, climb to the top of the screen, stop missiles or chomp down all the pellets, but E.T. is an enigma. With all these random symbols appearing at the top of the screen and falling in holes all the time, it's no wonder why gamers did not understand how to play this game. You have to read the instruction manual. So, once you understand how to play the game... IT STILL FUCKING SUCKS!
(Laughter and cheering from crowd)
The Nerd: When the game starts, E.T. comes down from space. Now he has to go back? Why did he come down in the first place? All he had to do is stay on that ship and there wouldn't be a game, and wouldn't that be better? If E.T. just came down and went right back up again? Were there any colors available besides just green? The ground is green, the pits are green, and even E.T. is fuckin' green. I feel like I'm taking a color blind test. No matter where you go, you fall in pits. They're fuckin' everywhere! You get out by extending your neck, it somehow makes E.T. float. When in the movie did E.T. extend his neck to float out of a pit? Once you reach the top, most of time, you just keep falling back in. Uh, ugh, fuck! Get out of the pit, get out of the pit! Ugggh, fuck!
The Nerd: There's a trick. You gotta fuck about with the controls, just right, it's just a really bad learning curve. There's a way to catch yourself before you fall down, but you'll never be expecting it when you fall. Oh, look! Shit! The human brain can't react that fast. I don't know who can pull off that trick? Maybe ninjas that take speed and sit around play Atari all day. The goal of the game is to find three hidden pieces of a phone that E.T. needs to call home with and guess where you find them? In the pits.
The Nerd: When you're walkin' around, you pass over these invisible spaces which hold special items. When you're standing on these spaces, you can use them to perform a certain action. For example, if you come across an arrow, you can use that to transport you to the next screen. But half the time, you're gonna end up on a pit. So, if you want to use an arrow, you need to remember what's on that space on the other screen, as if the game is forcing you to think fourth dimensionally. What is this game, for fuckin' scientists? It's marketed like it's for little kids, and that really shows a lack of communication. Also, the whole game works off a randomizer. All these zones, and the phone pieces, everything, they're always hidden in a different spot every time you start the game. Some fans have spoken out in defense of this game, saying that it's different every time you play it. Kinda like how every time I take a shit, it's always different.
The Nerd: What I really hate are the FBI agents and the scientists. The scientist takes your ass back to the buildings and the FBI agent takes all your phone pieces. What an asshole. Trying to outrun these guys without stepping in the holes is a real pain in the ass. (The FBI agent chases E.T.) Uh... Come on... Come on, you motherfucker! Motherfucker! Motherfucker! Come on! (E.T. falls into a hole) FUCK! How come they can pass over a hole and you can't? Yeah, yeah, go ahead, pass over the hole again, yeah fuck you. I'm gonna pass over your mom's hole. Even if you find the pieces, it's worth jack and shit, and Jack left town. That's because you need to find the "Phone Home" zone also. It looks like a Space Invader alien, but there's only one in the entire game, and keep in mind, it's always some place different, so you have to trace over every fucking space. It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack, or like a turd in a mudslide.
The Nerd: All this senseless running around drains your energy. That's right, E.T. dies from moving around too much. So maybe I'll find the call zone first, after all, finding the phone pieces are easier because the question mark zones show what pits they're in. Got the call zone, but oh fuck, I wasted all my energy. Maybe I'll find the phone pieces first. (E.T. collects all the phone pieces) Okay, got the phone pieces, but oh shit, the FBI guy took 'em away. It's like a big brother who wants to give you a noogie and a wedgie at the same time, and if you do manage to find everything you need in one flawless run, guess what? You can't call home unless there's nobody on the screen. So if the call zone happens to be on the screen where the FBI and scientists are, you're fucked! Why does E.T. need to be alone when he calls? Like a teenage girl. So when you find the call zone with all the three phone pieces and you phone home, then you gotta make your way back to the landing zone, but even worse now, there's a time limit. You have to be standing on the landing zone at the precise moment at the precise time when the timer runs out and if an FBI agent or scientist walks into the screen, it doesn't work. Why does E.T. need so much privacy? Does he need to tug on his little green beam or something?
(E.T. goes back home in his spaceship, and the Nerd beats the game.)
The Nerd: Phew... So, is it really the worst game of all time? Umm... I don't think so. It's frustrating, it's challenging, and it's a brainteaser, but that's what makes it so addicting and considering it was made in such a short period of time, it's more sophisticated than anything of its era. Raiders of the Lost Ark was just as strange and cryptic and that game was met with glowing praise. Both of these games came with instruction manuals. Now I can understand kids just wanting to pick up a game and enjoy it without having to read anything, but if you could understand Raiders, you could understand E.T. So what was it that gave this game such a reputation? I can't answer that. It's just something that happened, it's something we needed. Is there something mystical about the game? (The Nerd nods) There is. It's a floor plan to Area 51 as well as an access key and every cartridge contained a piece of the alien ship. Sure, but, forget about all of that. The mystical thing about all these old craptastic games is that they somehow hold a place in our hearts and bring us back to that special time when we were kids, and that's the power of the classics and the not-so classics that we love to hate.
(The crowd applauds and the episode ends.)