A softer, gentler FreakZone Games has brought about the return of the Nerd with Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation, giving players a challenging sidescrolling experience that is less frothy-rage-inducing than its predecessor. Not easy, mind you. Just less likely to make you break your controller, hurl your PC out a window, and then burn down your house.


The sidescrolling action has been complemented with some new power-ups, letting players glide, wall jump, and access hidden blocks. All of these items have been carefully buried throughout the levels, Mega Man X-style, encouraging you tackle each stage a few times to make sure you've earned all of its secrets. These items make a huge difference when the game moves into its final stages. Again, I said this was easier, but definitely not easy. The Final Tower will not leave you with a smile on your face.


AVGN II: ASSimilation is the more approachable game for sidescrolling novices (but you can crank that difficulty up if you want), being much more accommodating to screw-ups yet still capturing moments of heartless challenge for those who want it. There's more AVGN in-jokes, more stages based off of miserable old games, more power-ups, more secrets, and...less skull blocks. What else do you need?

Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation is available for $14.99 on Steam. For more information on the game and FreakZone Games, you can head to the developer's site or follow them on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.