Yahtzee has a long history of making jabs at Japan when reviewing games that were developed there, so when he begins his review of Yakuza 4 with a screen that simply reads, "The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan was an unqualified tragedy, and Yahtzee offers his deepest sympathies to a country and people that has long held his admiration and respect", the words of condolence are especially touching to hear from him. The next screen reads, "This statement is given to karmatically balance out the following one" since the video was made before the disaster. Yahtzee pokes fun and makes jabs, but he's not the sort of person who would knowingly mock the country right after a disaster.
His surprisingly gentle pan of Portal 2, where he states that despite its inability to live up to the original Portal, it's still a great game in its own right.
He later named it Game of the Year.
For that matter, the fact that he could not find a single thing wrong with the original Portal, the first and only time such a thing has happened.
Absolutely sublime from start to finish and I will jam forks into my eyes if I ever use those words to describe anything ever again!
While he doesn't feel the humor in Portal 2 is as good as the original, not only does he still feel that the game is hilarious, he also praises it for not delving into The Cake Is a Lie meme, which he states the spread of ruined the line for him.
His review of inFAMOUS 2. It's both surprising and heartening to hear him praise the quality of the writing, especially since it's a sequel (having long been skeptical of sequels) and especially since it followed his Duke Nukem Forever review, in which he sounded genuinely disheartened. Bonus points for him reluctantly admitting that he was touched by the good ending, and in the Extra Punctuation column following it, his endorsement of the studio.
All in all, well done Sucker Punch, they deserve to be bigger names than they are.
His real review of Duke Nukem Forever. Granted, he DID pan it because it didn't live up to the long wait, however, it sounds like instead of being mad or insulted (like how most of what he reviews does), he sort of sounds upset about the outcome. Even thought it doesn't seem like it, THIS helps prove that notion:
I guess I want it to be good because that's how the story's supposed to end.
For similar reasons as for the Spec Ops: The Line example below: After watching the video once, it feels as if when he says he hoped Duke was going to be played seriously, he's just grasping at straws, trying desperately to believe it will end well, in stark contrast to his Foreshadowing that '"If Duke Nukem Forever doesn't turn out to be a shining, genre-defying masterpiece that cures at least two types of cancer, I and every other game critic are going to saw its bollocks off!"
The opening of his Devil May Cry 4 review, where he says he doesn't think all anime is bad, despite how much he bashes the subculture in his reviews. He continues to savage the game for the rest of the review (as he says, it follows certain trends he dislikes), but the bit at the beginning puts things into context.
In the ending of the Super Mario Galaxy 2 review, he admits it's fun despite bashing it for five minutes.
His admission that the White Phosphorous incident in Spec Ops: The Line made him feel "like shit afterwards." It so totally flies in the face of his Misanthrope Supreme persona that it actually humanized him a bit.
He then named Spec Ops as his Game of the Year for 2012, even calling it one for the history books.
Even better, he remarks that Spec Ops singlehandedly stopped him from abandoning the military shooter genre, which he had a long and storied history panning in the years prior (this was, after all, the same year he began referring to the genre as "Spunkgargleweewee"). Considering that this came after giving Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 "Worst Game(s) of the Year" in 2011 and Medal of Honor: Warfighter "2nd Worst Game of the Year", this is incredibly high praise.
The week after that, he admits he doesn't hate all cover-based shooting, he only hates when the interesting bits of a game serve it, not the other way around. it's a bit paltry compared to a lot of other Heartwarming Moments, but if you're a Gears of War fan then it's hard not to be happy.
The Walking Dead game actually has something surprising. You should all know that Yahtzee has a hatred for children, but during the game, he gets to a point when he has to either save a kid or save a adult. Knowing Yahtzee, you would expect his to save the man and let the kid die, when he than proceeds to save the KID instead. Surprising to see that Yahtzee will be nice to kids when it matters.
In DayZ, him talking about how so far all the players that he met tried to kill him when he runs into a player right after barely surviving a battle with an entire horde of zombies. Said player proceeds to give him some blood packs.
From the same review (and an earlier installment of Extra Punctuation): Many a Minecraft fan was pleasantly surprised to learn that, despite Minecraft not making his Top 5 of 2011 listnote on the basis that he was hesitant to consider it a game as opposed to a very fun creativity toy and Yahtzee's well-known aversion to replaying gamesnote see the Top 5 of 2010 episode, in which even among his top recommendations, only his #1 and #2 picks were good enough for him to want to keep playing them after having reviewed them, he has been playing Minecraft's hardcore mode in his spare time for awhile now.
His retro review of Half-Life where he sounds quite openly relieved at the end to be able to state quite uncategorically that, fifteen years on, the game is still good.
His follow-up article on Black Mesa a mod that gives the game HD graphics, counts as well.
Even moreso in light of the fact that he generally looks down upon remakes, an opinion he made beyond perfectly clear at the end of his Fear 2 Review. Yahtzee is rarely the type to change his mind on these sorts of things, so the fact that Black Mesa got through with only a couple of minor complaints certainly qualifies.
And usually lampshades it when picking the bad path gives better rewards, meaning he deliberately took the harder route.
While he completely tore Never Dead a new one in its review and eventually ranked it "4th Worst Game of 2012", he did respect its intentions of being a unique experience, even going as far as to defend it to a degree during his top and bottom 5 of 2012 video. He seemed more disappointed in its failings than genuinely angry, which is rare for him.
In Yahtzee's review of Crysis 2, he mentions liking Alcatraz because he can seem immortal and yet feel very vulnerable due to the wounds sustained at the start of the game, despite him a silent protaganist (As mentioned in his Dishonored review, he usually hates these, but in this case it may be because the game establishes that Alcatraz can't speak), and got really pissed off at Prophet for body snatching Alcatraz and completely forgetting about him in the third game, minus a mention in a video for newcomers to the franchise.
At the end of his Dragon Age Origins review, he thanks everyone who took part in a contest where Escapist fans could make their own Yahtzee themed games.
In his Wind Waker HD review, Yahtzee mentions that it's one of his favorite Zelda games because of all of Link's character quirks. He even mentions that he doesn't care that the latter part of the story returns to the traditional formula, because by then he's invested in the story.
His review of Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, aside from giving the game a rare positive review, he also states that he prefers Luigi over Mario because he finds him easier to relate to given how he seems closer to a normal person.
His video on A Link Between Worlds is less a review of the game and more an intervention for Nintendo, noting that while he has given them tons of shit in the past, he wants them to succeed as they're the only hardware maker that still makes video game consoles and not inferior PCs.
The credit animations say it all—The first two frames are of Sega and Nintendo making what look like nooses— the last one shows they were actually building a swingset to play on together.
His review of the Strider reboot. He states the game doesn't bring anything new and innovative, but what it does have it does very well, comparing it to a pie that isn't anything he hasn't eaten before but is still a tasty pie.
Yahtzee's review of Epic Mickey highlighted the camera controls, personifying the camera being uncontrollable. During the Stinger, the imp hides in the bushes before jumping and ambushing a runaway camera. The last image has the imp, all beaten up with an equally beaten up camera, using said camera... to film a wedding.
His review of Dark Souls II, he admits that despite his complaints, even if the game was just "more Dark Souls" and cash grab, he still enjoyed the game despite the faults in it, notably the change in focus to your Silent Protagonist over the world the game is set, stating that he liked learning more about the game's world and preferred it be the focus rather than a Silent Protagonist.
While he has frequently taken shots at Call of Duty, he admits that he liked the original Modern Warfare and felt that the death of one of the game's playable characters was a well done Player Punch, which he feels the sequels have missed how the moment being unexpected gave it power and have just resorted to trying to include a shock moment every game, which ceases being a shock if the player expects them.
His review of Bayonetta 2, he deflects criticisms of Bayonetta being a sexually objectified character and goes into details on who he likes for "giving representation" to the demographic of "people who are capable of enjoying themselves", having gotten tired of all the grim and depressing protagonists in gaming.
His Extra Punctuation column on Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, where he recounts the tale of an orc he became particularly attached to by the name of Khosh the Drunk, a Mook who had killed him in combat twice before Yahtzee eventually brainwashed him after he fled from a duel, and whom Yahtzee trained and help him climb up the orc hierarchy, eventually having him become a backstabbing bodyguard for one of the enemy Warchiefs. He even admits to feeling "genuinely sad" when Khosh was killed after Yahtzee's ambush on said Warchief went terribly wrong. He ends the article by imagining that there was a new star in the sky that night, albeit a sweaty little green one that drank too much.
While Yahtzee's videos regarding E3 are predictably cynical, it's pleasant to see his depiction of Nintendo in them as being like an elderly relative he's come to pay a visit to. It hammers home the idea that, while usually disappointed in their conferences, he doesn't look down on them in the same way he does Microsoft or Sony.
The Extra Punctuation on Undertale wherein Yahtzee admits that he is extremely impressed by the game's writing, especially admiring how heartfelt the story and its message about the value of showing kindness in the face of hostility is, noting that "anything that can touch my stony heart deserves a good hard analysis."
And for the kicker, he hadn't reviewed the game officially by the time he released his "Top 5 of 2015" video.
Yahtzee: As always, only games that have been reviewed in Zero Punctuation are in the running for the Top and Bottom 5. That being the case, bear with me a moment. (Cuts back to opening theme)Reviews: UndertaleUndertale is a good game. (Closing credits roll) Etc. Etc.
Considering how defiantly offensive Yahtzee usually is, his removal of a transphobic joke from the Papers Please review and his apology in a corresponding Extra Punctuation counts as this.