Man I still love James and the Nerd. I've gotten a lot of mileage out of those compilations where he uploads a whole 'season' in one video. I was going to point to the football rant in Atari Sports as an example of the 'new' episodes being funnier than ever, since it's one of my all time favorutie AVGN moments, then I realised that episode is already bordering on five years old. Holy shit what.
I thought the Sonic 06 episode was just okay, it's another example of a game that everyone's already destroyed and I prefer when the games are a bit more obscure and almost educational. That's what really sucked me into the AVGN, seeing old systems like the Intellivision that I'd never seen or heard of and getting an honest look at it from an entertaining character. The use of green screen for several jokes was also really weird and jarring, the first time it was kind of impressive, after that not so much.
Honestly my favourite parts are when the Nerd isn't hating on something, but celebrating it, and talking about his childhood with fondness. I might prefer the Cinemassacre channel is it was just James as himself talking about games, or pursuing his other interests.
I still enjoy the episodes but at this point I don't think people would be too upset if he decided to end the character or put him on an indefinite hiatus. 145 episodes of anything is more than enough. James said he considered making episode 100 the finale and that idea was still knocking around while making the episode, so obviously he recognises this too. I trust James' foresight but I'd also hate to see this character completely run into the ground.