Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, critic and amateur game developer, decided one day to conduct an experiment. He was faced with a demo of The Darkness he wished to review for his website, but wanted to try something new. So he took Photoshop, Windows Movie Maker, a headset mic and his sense of humour, and turned them into a YouTube video. He then turned to Fable: The Lost Chapters.Less than a month later, he was hired by The Escapist, an online magazine with a big boat made of money (see the page quote), to release one of these video reviews a week. That explains the origin of Zero Punctuation in the driest possible way, but not the popularity of it; the combination of caustichumour, rapid-fire delivery, and visual gags made Zero Punctuation an instant success.Yahtzee has started doing a weekly follow-up column, called "Extra Punctuation", in order to explain his views and opinions on the game of the week in greater detail, and bring up points he could not turn into jokes.Starting in February 2011, he also did a column called "Extra Consideration" with Bob "Movie Bob" Chipman and James Portnow of Extra Credits (though Portnow was replaced by Jim Sterling of The Jimquisition and Destructoid fame after he left the Escapist). The column petered out by early September, sadly, but its entire run can still be found here. However, in April 2013, Yahtzee and Jim started up again with the segment Jim & Yahtzee's Rhymedown Spectacular, where they recite slam poetry about the game topic at hand.Previews of the next video were shown on X-Play for a brief period in 2008.Do not confuse with No Periods, Period or No Punctuation Period.
Tropes which Zero Punctuation provides an example of:
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Accentuate the Negative: Yahtzee's style, to the point where he'll occasionally rattle off a four-minute list of a game's flaws and then sum up by saying how much he enjoyed it. ("But having now whinged myself inside-out, I have to say that I find S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky weirdly compelling.") Presumably this means there are some positive qualities, but listing them isn't his department and has claimed "people don't like me being nice to a game".
Lampshaded in his reviews, where he describes his job as "ruining the developer's retirement plans." His standard operating procedure after playing a game, according to animation, is to toss aside the controller and boast, "And now to tell the world it sucks".
In his response to a fan letter saying if he doesn't like a game he points out everything that's wrong with it. "Hands up, you've got me there. I do point out everything that's wrong with a game, but then again, I'm a critic; it'd be weird if I didn't."
He stated in his inFAMOUSreview that he views his job as tearing the bad and the mediocre games to shreds so that the rare game that could be called great can shine all the brighter.
In his review for Batman: Arkham Asylum Yahtzee says that he's more of a QA man and that anything he doesn't mention in his review is a good part of the game.
As he put it in the same review: "You don't call a sewer technician to redecorate your bathroom, and you don't come to me to hear about how a game is good."
"In fact, I might go so far as to say that Tom Clancy's HAWX has sold me on air combat games. But that's not funny, so let's find more things to rip on."
From the Orange Box review: "If I did have to criticise it — and I do." [Cue Escapist logo holding up a contract.]
Portal: "I can't think of any criticism for it." [Cue Escapist logo holding up a contract, and Yahtzee's avatar apologizing] and "Absolutely sublime from start to finish and I will jam forks into my eyes if I ever have to use those words to describe anything else, ever again."
Inverted: when he finally got the chance to play Duke Nukem Forever, Yahtzee was actively trying to like it and ignore the faults, but eventually had to relent because he'd been harsh to games for far lesser reasons.
Spoofed in his Gears of War 2review, where he tries as much as he can to hate it, but lists off some of the stuff it does well that prevents him from hating it. It ends with, "There aren't even any quick-time events! Oh, wait, there is one. A little one. I guess that means I have to hate it."
Retroactively played straight again; he bashed the entire Gears series with the release of Gears of War 3
Alas, Poor Scrappy:invoked Yahtzee said during his review" for Duke Nukem Forever that the cancellation of the game wasn't the end of the world since it had been overshadowed by other franchises, most notably Half-Life. However, in his Extra Punctuation article, while reflecting on the plans of bringing it out in 2011, Yahtzee admitted that too many FPS have taken the cover-based combat route and he'd like a return to the basics with one guy facing armies all at once.
His first instance of this is reviewingTomb Raider Underworld, where he portrays Lara as an irreverent, iconoclastic kleptomaniac. Later reviews add "sociopath" to the tally, and he theorizes that Lara is actually a hedonistic thrill-seeker with a murder fetish who only got into the "archaeology" business because it provided the best opportunities for travel, death-defying stunts, and, well, murder.
Cole Phelps from L.A. Noire is a robot who's named after the fuel he runs on (i.e. Coal PH31-P5).
He's also available for birthday parties.
Bowser of the Super Mario Bros. games is a charismatic union leader who defies the upper-class bourgeoisies of the Mushroom Kingdom but secretly yearns for their approval; hence the cockney accent.
Additionally, Bowser is painted as a multifaceted villain (quoting Iago in one review) who chooses to be evil because he has seen what "goodness" in his world leads to: an airheaded ditz like Peach consorting with a pair of foreigners.
His reason for suspending judgment on the Kinect. "Pope Urban VIII probably thought he was very clever when he condemned Galileo, but who got the last laugh there? ...Well, he did when Galileo died in poverty and dishonour but what I'm saying is I'm basically like the Pope."
Then there's this example from his Catherine review:
And I Must Scream: Starts Animal Crossing: New Leaf off describing a hypothetical situation in which a person's mind is locked out of his body, but is still fully concious as his body proceeds to move around on its own... only doing utterly mundane and insignificant things.
Annoying Arrows: Averted and Lampshaded in his review of Crysis 3 where the guy exclaims to Prophet that for some reason the Bow and Arrow is 12 times more powerful than any gun for some reason.
"I could talk about how the combat flows, and how the atmosphere is solid, and how the highlights for me were the Scarecrow sections where Batman's perceptions of reality are skewed in favor of a nightmarish introspective delusional glimpse into the darkest recesses of his soul and how jumping on people is cool."
The list of things George Lucas will never do: Definitely end popular moneyspinning franchise, refuse a second helping of pancakes, admit failure, survive in vacuum, shave.
In his Resistance 3review, he accuses the game of copying Half-Life 2. Amongst his accusations are identical mechanics, a straight Expy of the Ravenholm level, and "the scientist has a beard." Because, you know, Gordon Freeman and Dr. Breen have beards.
Nolan North's presence in a game tends to be a sour point for him (especially if he voices the maincharacter). However, he's stated that it's nothing against the man himself, though even cases of Playing Against Type will make him hate the character as long as he knows it's him. He did, however, give a glowing review to Spec Ops: The Line, in which North plays the protagonist, perhaps because the game is in part a deconstruction of North's usual character type.
Yahtzee: Oh you ignorant little bastards, stick your balls up your ass and clench yourself castrated. I was into shooters when you were sucking on Wiimotes, you cover-loving, health-regenerating, murderer-come-latelies.
He tries to be fair about it, but he really doesn't like multiplayer in general (because he feels it brings in factors beyond the game's control and thus affect the review), so when he faces a game with executive-mandated shoehorned-in multiplayer (like Dead Space 3) he'll get particularly steamed.
Croshaw has an absolute dislike of games that shoehorn in gimmicks. Since most games made for recent Nintendo systems make excessive use of either motion controls (for the Wii), the secondary screen (Wii U) or 3D graphics (3DS) he'll usually go off on Nintendo as a whole for this. His issue isn't so much that gimmicks exist as it is that they tend to handicap the game more than enhance it.
Games-as-art products that forget the "game" part. While he doesn't dislike artistic games and indeed is a strong proponent of games being an artform he hates when a game lets being artsy get in the way of being something enjoyable to play.
The constant vilifying of Russia in many modern military FPSes is also a bit of a sore spot for him.
"Short answer: no. Long answer: nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo."
Bilingual Bonus: When Yahtzee "quotes" a ZP fan extolling Siren:Blood Curse to him, said fan starts spouting off about Yahtzee's love of Japanese horror, eventually devolving into random Japanese words: "Watashi wa baka gaijin," which roughly translates to "I'm a stupid foreigner."
In his Sniper Elite V2 review: "I love Russians! Worked with a Russian girl as an office temp and I imagine we would've gotten along great if I'd understood a word she was saying." And what is she saying? "I hate you".
Black Comedy Rape: When remembering the time he lost his virginity to an obese black woman in his review of Dragon's Dogma, you can see an image of said obese black woman dragging him away by his leg as he is obviously horrified by her. Complete with claw marks on the ground by his fingernails.
Black Dude Dies First: Describes Lara Croft's support team as "a small team of ethnically-diverse archaeologists who all seem to be wearing digital clocks on their heads counting down". The black dude's readout is nearly at zero.
Blatant Lies: In his Heavy Rain review, Yahtzee claims that Scott Shelby is a "fat private investigator, not interesting enough to dwell on", which is only true if you overlook the fact that Scott is the Origami Killer, and thus arguably the most important character in the game.
Yahtzee: Darkness 2 is more like an attempt to recreate the comics...[a]nd I've never liked [the] sort of comic...[that features] women proportioned like ice lollies balanced on two chicken drumsticks standing around like God gave them a vicious Chinese burn around their waists.
The No More Heroes review opens with the Stranglers song of the same name. However, the song's abruptly cut off: "No, no, that's a bit too obvious." This isn't mentioned throughout the entire review. Finally, in the credits, the songs used in the video are listed as normal, except that "No More Heroes" has been thoroughly scribbled out.
Another one consisted of a spoiler warning in mid-episode, where Yahtzee told spoiler-sensitive viewers to plug their ears and wait for the credits. The credits mini-comic consisted of a series of famous spoilers from other works. (It was his sled, Keyser Soze = Kevin Spacey, etc.)
In his Quantum Conundrumreview, he makes a reference to his contract with the Escapist, which is represented by a piece of paper with "say cunt a lot" on it. At the end of the review, naturally, he launches into a Cluster C Bomb.
A subtle one, in his Mass Effect review he explains how he named his character Titty Shepard. Several years later when Mass Effect 3 came out, he refers to Shepard as Titty with no prior mention of the earlier review. It should also be noted that it isn't mentioned in Mass Effect 2 review, at all.
Also, throughout the Mass Effect 3 review, Shepard is wearing the pink armour that Yahtzee had dressed him in the first review.
In Epic Mickey Yahtzee talks about his fear of Theme Park Mascots. In Hitman he mentions how he has killed many Theme Park Mascots.
Butt Monkey: Yahtzee's avatar gets hurt in a variety of ways throughout his reviews.
Button Mashing: In his review of Dm C Devil May Cry, he notes that he always ends up doing this reflexively in action games so moves that require him to pause in the middle of a combo are extremely difficult for him to pull off.
The phrase "triple-cunted hooker" makes a number of appearances.
In the Hard Resetreview, Yahtzee compares the game to Painkiller by dint of the fact that many who worked on the former were also among the crew of the latter. While praising Painkiller for its array of creative death distribution implements, the avatar onscreen wields a shotgun that has tits and is on fire — precisely the phrasing Yahtzee used in his review of Painkiller.
In the Super Mario Bros Wiireview the credits state that Yahtzee only has two friends. Later in the NieRreview we find out that this was referring to the imp and the extremely bored looking man respectively, hence why they are the only recurring characters in his videos.
In Dead to Rights Retribution he imagines that Jack Slate worships "some mad ocelot god only he can see". Years later, in Max Payne 3, another tortured ex-cop murder spree game, the head of an ocelot appears on screen when Yahtzee says the phrase "the face of God".
In the Hitman: Absolutionreview, the ocelot returns to urge Yahtzee to take therapy for his (fictional) habit of killing theme park mascots.
SpunkGargleWeeWee seems to have become this anytime he talks about an FPS he doesn't believe should be classified as a Shooter.
Yahtzee: A world without Nintendo would be a far bleaker one than this, and yet there's something about them I find incredibly infuriating.
Cargo Ship:invoked In his Red Faction Guerrilla review, Yahtzee admitted he pretty much proposed to Saints Row 2 in his review of it — complete with picture of him and the game in bride and groom attire, respectively.
In his Silent Hill 2retro review, he lampshades his fondness for "dropping to my knees and wrapping my lips around old titles from time to time", and another review shows him humping the Silent Hill 2 box art.
Child Hater: Every so often, he's made it very clear that he finds children annoying. He's even said that he'd rather commit suicide than to have kids of his own. Granted, this is Yahtzee we're talking here, so how much of it is true is up for debate.
Complaining About Things You Haven't Paid For: In this Extra Punctuation blog, Yahtzee announces that there will not be an update next week, and informs anyone who has a problem with this, "Now, you only have a right to complain about this if you are actually paying money to watch and read this stuff. And even then, only because someone appears to be pulling a fast one on you."
Conspicuous Trenchcoat: He observes that Beyond: Two Souls stealth mechanics come into play only once, "which by staggering coincidence happens to be the bit that was in the gameplay trailers." Developer David Cage then creeps behind the sofa wearing one of these disguises while Yahtzee admonishes him.
"When the bottom falls out of the game criticism market and I have to start prostituting myself to developers, BioWare will be one of my first ports of call, because there are few enough developers in the world who treat writing as an integral part of the game rather than an optional set of colorful tassels to put on the handlebars."
In his review for the second game he spends almost the whole review talking about the changes in gameplay, then mentions casually how the writing and characters have gotten better, but because it's BioWare they don't get any points for it.
Considering his positive mentions of SeriousSam 3 and his love of Painkiller, along with his positive review of Dead Rising 2, Yahtzee also seems to like games that pit the player against large hordes and give them the freedom to just go wild.
Also, for whatever reason, he likes to somehow include or feature Marmite and Branston Pickle in his reviews, preferably at the most unfitting times. He must be really fond of Marmite and Branston Pickle.
That's the British Marmite made by Unilever which is sold in Australia as Our Mate, not the New Zealand Marmite made by the Sanatarium which is sold in Australia as Marmite.
Credits Gag: The text next to his name at the end. Also, the opening and closing credits each had a clip from a song whose name and/or content was a pun on the content of the review. For example, Haze, about drug-fueled mercenary super-soldiers, used Afroman's "Because I Got High". This stopped after a while, for fear of lawsuits.
Also, the credits themselves have a little minicomic going on, acted out by the little figures he uses in the reviews. The one for Spore had a flying saucer alien abducting Batman, who then beat it up and stole the flying saucer. Additionally, there is generally a caption referring to something earlier in the video.
"Bryce is also immortal, capable of regenerating from any injury, having been cursed by the king of the demons 500 years ago, when the king of the demons wasn't entirely sure what the word 'curse' means."
Dare to Be Badass: Well, at least "dare to be different", in his Super Mario Galaxy 2review. In spite of his bashing of it he does admit in the end it is fun and if people want to play the same games he can't really do anything to stop them, but he does request that those people go out and do one thing they never have before.
"If you are like me: handsome, talented, and secretly longing for death."
While fielding questions about Mogworld, he mentioned someone recommending a webcomic with a resemblance to his own novel. Yahtzee feigned indifference, but his hand kept spasming upward to point a pistol at his head.
"So you've looked at Penny Arcade seen the massive amount of money, prestige, and money those guys get for nine panels a week, and decided you want in on that." The visuals go a step further: when he says "money", "prestige", and "money" again, ever-increasing piles of cash and swanky clothes appear on the two people meant to represent Gabe and Tycho... and even when he gets to the word "decided" another layer of largesse is added.
The ZP review of Mirror's Edge also suggests this: we only have the plot's say-so that the police chasing you are the bad guys, and as far as we know, the packages could be bombs to blow up someone's grandma.
He has this reaction to the ISA of Killzone, suggesting that the entire series is basically them being horrible to the Helghast and the Helghast being treated as evil for retaliating.
He also believes this about most spunkgargleweewee protagonists, noting "We've got killdroids, they've got rocks!" in his review of Medal of Honor: Warfighter. In one column, he suggests that this is because they tend to treat a threat to America as self-evidently evil, which he doesn't get, not being an American.
Yahtzee: *weary sigh* Remember when shooters were about killing demons from hell? Those were good days. Perhaps this is an inevitable part of gaming growing up as our childish fantasies are torn from us, and we are forced to confront consequences in an unfair, uncaring and unavoidable world of hatred, misery, and death. *Farting noises.*
Didn't See That Coming: At the end of his Prototype vs. Infamousreview he declared both games to be equally good and couldn't decide which one was better. So he jokingly suggested the two developers (Radical Entertainment and Sucker Punch Productions respectively) to send him a picture of the opposing main character wearing a bra, and whoever made the better one would win. They went with it. At the end it was narrow, but Sucker Punch Productions and Infamous won.
Discretion Shot: The statement that a premise has been "stretched wider than a catamite's rectum" is accompanied by a black screen with the text "IMAGE VERY CENSORED".
Does This Remind You of Anything??: Subverted/Lampshaded in the video where Yahtzee takes a tour of Washington, D.C. He makes a few mentions that certain buildings or monuments remind him of something, but goes on to mention something mundane and non-sexual. He then double subverts it while looking at the Washington Monument:
Yahtzee: It's really long and tall, has those trees at the bottom from this angle. Kinda like, uh... a big cock and balls.
Do Not Call Me Paul: Apparently he hates being called Ben by people on the internet. In one podcast, Yug and Matt of Australian Gamer (his best buds) stated that they don't even call him that in real life. Matt says everyone except his parents calls him Yahtzee.
Enemy Without: As Yahtzee plods through Duke Nukem Forever while trying to like it, the part of him which "takes an almost sexual joy in ruining other peoples' fun" emerges from its thought bubble and holds a gun to his head.
Yahtzee, you and I both know you have pushed games off of subway platforms for less problems than this.
Ensemble Dark Horse:invoked In his review of Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, he notes that he's always preferred Luigi to Mario, since he at the least isn't Peach's personal gopher. He also wonders why Tails gets so much more hate than Sonic despite the fact that he's basically Sonic with flight.
Epic Fail: This was Yahtzee's conclusion about Ride to Hell, when all was said and done. When Yahtzee cautiously commands the game to "lie down and don't move", the floor gives way underneath it.
Epileptic Trees:invoked He jokes that 50 Cent's game is a prequel to Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare showing how the West destabilised the Middle East.
Er... thanks for your input, Mr. Poster Man, but I wasn't talking it down for not being extreme enough. Or 'ironic' enough. I doubt emptying an entire lorry full of toddlers into the woodchipper would have improved my opinion any.
Fair for Its Day: invokedIn the Lollipop Chainsaw review he notes that despite Juliet's design and position as a cheerleader she's always in control of the situation, has a stable family life and that the game never calls on the player to defend her from rapists.
Final Exam Boss: Has repeatedly stated that every boss should fit this trope - that is, a test of all the skills the player has learned thus far in the game, with the Final Boss testing all of the abilities the player has learnt throughout the game.
Specifically, "Angsty Spice"note Cloud, Squall and Hope, "Serious Spice" note Quistis, Auron and Lightning, "Manly Spice"note Zell, Zidane and Snow, "Ethnic Spice"note Barrett, Amarant, and Sazh and "the inevitable 'Kooky Spice'"note Yuffie, Rikku and Vanille.
Fish Eyes: Used very, very often to depict the many, many moments of stupidity of both Video Game characters and Real Life people. Expect said "Down's Syndrome" eyes to be the first thing you see whenever a game's "AI" or Idiot Plot is brought up.
Flanderization: Believe it or not he's actually gotten louder and faster over time. Compare his earlier reviews (for instance, Psychonauts) with with his more recent ones (for instance, Dishonored).
Flash Step: His avatar does this against a boss in MadWorld to stick a chainsaw into its back.
"Pyramid head: An über-masculine powerhouse who is repeatedly seen plunging his massive, throbbing knife into the other monsters' moist, quivering bodies, which obviously symbolises... neo-conservative imperialism."
Fridge Brilliance:invoked Sometimes denoted with the expression "HOLY SHIT I JUST GOT THAT".
The series itself has started to become one of these. At first it was a simple case of Follow the Leader as imitators sprang up on YouTube, but now that threeseries on the Escapist itself have followed suit, two of which are not review shows, it's safe to say this is a legit genre now.
Gay Option: In his Dragon Age II review he mentioned having hooked up with Anders, more or less because Snarky!Hawke annoyed him and came off as gay to him anyway, though he later detailed that roleplaying played a major part of it and ultimately did develop a genuine fondness for Anders, even forgiving him for blowing up the Chantry and naming his Tepig after him.
Gratuitous German: Yahtzee apparently studied German and he frequently points it out when games uses it incorrectly.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: His Tabula Rasa character, Gareth Gobulcoque, was so named to test the game's name filter. It passed. Likewise the penis-faced Mii named "Senor Koquonfaes" from the 3DS review.
Giant Mook: Bosses in games are sometimes portrayed by giant imps.
Giant Spider: These show up in the visuals occasionally. Usually they represent something being either unexpected, very difficult, or both.
Arachnophobic prospective viewers should take warning that they're usually taken from photos of actual tarantulas.
Yahtzee: For me, the interesting relationship is the one between Mario and Bowser. I mean on some days they fight to the death in fiery climatic showdowns while other days they go Go-Karting, play tennis, or even team up in some of the RPG's.
Good Bad Bugs:invoked Depicted in Arkham Origins as a ladybug Yahtzee gleefully rides on top off of. (The aforementioned "good" bug is bat-toting enemies who freeze in mid swing.) Then there's the Game Breaking Bugs that manifest as a cockroach firing a bazooka at his set, and the "common bugs", a cricket wearing a cockney cap.
Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Whenever he swears in the narration, the animation will replace it with something far more innocuous.
Sometimes inverted—he'll say something (relatively) tactful in the narration, and the animation will unleash what he REALLY thinks.
For instance, in his Assassin's Creed review, he remarks; "This video review was created by a not particularly multi-cultural person, but who really loves religious extremists a big huggy bunch," where the text displayed reads "...not particularly multi-cultural person who invites religious extremists to suck out his farts and die."
On the flip side in his Halo Wars review when the units he runs out of time for the mission he was on (And thus the units he was escorting magically disappear when they were right at his front door) he cries out "Bull! Fucking! Shit!" which is displayed on screen by "What arbitrary silliness."
Grammar Nazi: In his "Mailbag Showdown" video, while reading out some of the more obnoxious examples of hate mail he received, he corrected them onscreen in the manner of a primary school teacher, coupled with letter grades, giant question marks and "SEE ME" at the bottom. Also, his "Split Stroke Second Colon Velocity" and "RIse: Son of Rome" reviews.
Guilty Pleasure: Considering how critical he is of "serious" games, easily calling much of them banal, asinine, or insipid, he loves Cooking Mama and Animal Crossing. He says that despite all the criticism he gave to Animal Crossing: New Leaf, he can't stop playing it.
In his Saints Row 4 review, he refers to "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" by Aerosmith as "that one Aerosmith song from the Armageddon soundtrack that everyone seems faintly embarrassed to admit is kinda alright"
Gushing About Games You Like: invoked He's frequently held up Silent Hill 2 (and, with equal ferocity, the Commodore 64 relic Fantasy World Dizzy) as the gold standard of gaming. Sometimes this obsession is double-edged: For his Top 5 of 2012, he compared the difficulty of X-COM with a 3 A.M. drug-induced fever dream — which for Yahtzee usually involves an apparition of Dizzy hovering over his bed shrieking, 'YOU KILLED MEEEEE'.
Developer: And we've still got the power-up that turns you into a dog. Yahtzee:(GAAAAASP) With the little doggie nose at the bottom of the screen?♥ Developer: Yup! Yahtzee: And the adorable little paw that comes up when you press buttons?♥ Devloper: Uh, no, we forgot about that. Yahtzee: ...........ONE STAR.
Tried "Tiddles" in Deus Ex but was slapped down by the game's system of using "JC Denton" as a codename.
"The moment you put in your own name it goes "Wrong! Your name is JC Denton."
Heroic Blue Screen of Death: After Yahtzee reviewed Spec Ops: The Line, it was brought up several times more after that in following Zero Punctuation videos and Yahtzee's Extra Punctuation column, and the actual review of the game has Yahtzee sounding depressed during it.
For a while before the 100th Episode special, The Escapist used this little stinger at the end of allZero Punctuation shorts to, guess what, advertise Zero Punctuation-related merchandise.
In his Duke Nukem Forever review he rants about how people should be sacked for not doing their jobs, and the picture shows him being dragged out of his office with a sign saying "job: review games that actually exist" (Duke Nukem Forever had been cancelled at the time the review was made, and would not be Saved from Development Hell for over a year).
In his Minecraft review, he calls out Americans for being uninformed about current events in countries outside the US, only to turn around and say he wasn't aware of the flooding in his own city because he doesn't keep up with current events.
End Credits for his Left 4 Deadreview: "There is a special circle in Hell 4 people who replace numbers for letters".
He accuses the protagonist of Fable 3 of bestiality due to the weird way he interacts with his dog, when in his review of Fable II he complains that if the game was truly open-ended he should be able to marry any NPC he wants, including his dog.
"Ess-Tee-Ay-Ell-Kay-Ee-Ar: Clear Sky is set in the area surrounding an alternative post-disaster Chernobyl, where presumably the station ran on fairy dust before the meltdown and released a cloud of magic instead of boring old radiation..."
"All you really need to know is that there is a gun that shoots shurikens and lightning. I wish I could make something like that up. It shoots shurikens and lightning! It could only possibly more awesome if it had tits and was on fire!"
In the Red Faction: Guerilla review, he says in the end that game could have went pretty well if it really was based off sneaky guerilla warfare, as opposed to its focus on smashing stuff "... which is less guerilla and more chimpanzee." Followed by the credits gag "Spent ten years thinking up that last pun."
In his review of Monster Hunter Tri "You play an adventurer-type showing up at the prerequisite village of immobile retards in a time when dinosaurs ruled the earth to try to be a hunter of monsters. A Monster Hunter Try, if you will."
It Was His Sled: invokedLampshaded; before pointing out the flaws of the plot of Tom Clancy's HAWX, he says to stop paying attention until the "generic rock music" of the credits if you want to avoid spoilers. In the credits his avatar and a single imp hand out a series of this type of spoilers (they even start with THAT sled).
Jumped the Shark: invokedLampshaded in the end credits of his LEGO Indy review, the first time the new, original opening and closing song was used, rather than two licensed songs:
"Now this is all looking a lot more professional, isn't it, although I'm certain some of you pricks are already putting this down as my shark jumping moment."
"I started playing Peggle in the afternoon, and emerged some time later to find the authorities had declared me legally dead."
After flooding prevented him from leaving his apartment and thus getting a new game to review:
First thought: "Oh, cock! All the nearest game retailers are in the CBDnote Central Business District because some retarded pile of cartilage on the town planning department thought it'd be a great idea to put thirty EB Games shops within the same ten square yards." Second thought: "Oh, balls! With humanitarian aid selfishly obstructing the delivery services, I won't be seeing any of my imports any time soon, either!" Third thought: "Oh, goody! That means I can go back inside and keep playing Minecraft!"
"A good sandbox is one where you can mess about for hours after making the hollow promise to yourself that you'll stop any minute now, and inFAMOUS 2 certainly has that."
He also states that Prototype 2 is the prince of jumping around time wasting. Claiming that even the mere act of getting around the city is surprisingly addicting.
Land Down Under: Yahtzee was born in Britain but moved to Australia, and often makes jokes about it.
The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Deus Ex: Human Revolution has breathtaking visuals, the impish appeal of stealth, rewarding exploration, but most importantly, you can pick up every vending machine in the building and pack them in the office of your least favorite co-worker.
"...Catherine, a Japanese game centrally about the difficulties of relationships, such as unexpected pregnancy, the impetus of commitment, and being chased up an infinite staircase by a giant, monstrous girlfriend trying to eat you with her butt. Did I mention it's Japanese?"
Mean Character, Nice Actor: Debatable. Some who claim to have met Yahtzee IRL report that he is capable of being quite unpleasant towards others. The same persons, however, also noted that this is mitigated by the fact that he is also fairly shy and quiet. He claims he's only a jackass when provoked... which is often.
Tycho at Penny Arcade speculates that Yahtzee is quiet in person in order to save up all his hate and rage to bellow it out really quickly in his weekly reviews.
Men Are the Expendable Gender: Yahtzee lampshades this in the new "Tomb Raider" game where he questions why when a woman is being beaten up we are supposed to admire her strength and character where as a man is beaten up we are supposed to laugh.
"I'm not to proud to admit that I was welling up at inFAMOUS 2's good ending, a little bit. Well, not much at all really. It was more like stoically nodding my head while doing squat-thrusts and grunting."
Further spoofed in his Silent Hill 2 review, a retro review that actually would be special:
"But what could be more special than my one-hundred and second video?"
Monster Clown: Having recently plowed through Arkham Origins and finding himself parroting the same lukewarm opinion on Black Flag as the two previous sequels, Yahtzee scrawls Joker makeup on his face and hangs himself upside down, telling Assassin's Creed, "I think you and I are destined to do this forever."
Moral Guardian: In his 3DS review he states how he's trying his best to not sound like one of these while criticizing the potentially malicious acts people can do with the "Street Pass" feature.
More Dakka: His review of Spore shows the civilization stage as imps strafing other imps cities from the air, with the caption "Dakka Dakka" under the war planes.
Motor Mouth: "Zero Punctuation" comes from how he has a tendency to ramble on and on so quickly that his speech has almost no pauses, and thus there is zero punctuation. More or less.
He has said he edits out the pauses, but definitely does not speed up his voice.
He was strangely slow in his delivery of the review of Lego City Undercover; this may be ascribed to the post-Bioshock Infinite melancholy he claims to be suffering from.
This is taken a bit further than usual in the end of his FIFA 13 review, after getting distracted from reviewing it by several other downloadable games:
"How much time do I have left? 8 SECONDS? FUCK!! Uh, FIFA 13 is a game in which you and your burly friends help a small leather sphere realize its dream of being in a net, and I think we can all agree that that's basically a positive thing—nighty night."
Mugging the Monster: In his Fallout: New Vegas review, he mentions that it occurred to him that it might be a good idea to stop stealing things. After getting attacked by bandits and taking their stuff, he mentions it is not stealing because they attacked him, which makes it his by the international law of "Go Fuck Yourselves."
Mundane Made Awesome: When talking about the wet clothing feature in Uncharted, he talks a bit too much about it, considering it means absolutely nothing in terms of plot or gameplay. He realizes this, of course, stating at the end of his praise "Well, I think it's interesting!".
Mythology Gag: During his Final Fantasy XIII review, Yahtzee separates each hour he played the game with a brief break showing a black screen with the unit of time and then which unit he's on (Hour 1, Hour 2, Hour 3, etc.). He used a similar mechanism with three of the games in the Chzo Mythos.
Nerdgasm: Has made a few references to getting erections at really good games.
(Increasingly amused) "... there's a moral choice aspect where you answer questions based on your own substantial experience with relationships *stifled laughter* " (accompanying visual is of a fat glasses-wearing guy sitting next to a blow-up doll.)
Newly-Popular Updating: Expect any game he reviews to have a new quote entry at the top of its page by the end of the day, appropriate or otherwise.
This trope is why he quit playing The Witcher 2 - and to be fair, he played it when enemies could knock Geralt down mid-swing (and KEEP knocking him down), and before a tutorial was added to acclimitize players to the controls.
No Fourth Wall: Technically doesn't qualify as there's no suspension of disbelief, but a review still pushed back the boundaries when Yahtzee addressed the viewer as "Adrian", and noted that while that's not particularly likely to be any given viewer's name, "it was worth it to freak out all the Adrians in the world."
"If you've been paying attention, you'll notice that all these games are sequels. And if you haven't... *claps twice* OI!"
"Stop watching my reviews, Dad!"
The Super Mario Galaxy 2 review has the distinction of genuinely breaking the fourth wall, as Yahtzee suggest pausing the video, while his avatar points to the pause button on the video player.
"I shouldn't have to talk about the core gameplay, I consider that an insult to you and me. My review of Mario Galaxy 1 hasn't gone anywhere, why not pause this video, pour yourself a glass of wine and go and enjoy that. I'll just wait here slapping myself in the face until you return. *cut to black, slapping sounds and Yahtzee groaning, then cut back, Yahtzee now with a bruised face* Finished? Right, well, Mario Galaxy 2 is more of that."
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: At the end of most reviews, there's a couple of still shots during the credits and theme-music with a little joke about the game. In the case of Final Fantasy XIII, there was no punchline, just Yahtzee beating and shooting Vanille to pieces in increasingly elaborate ways.
Observation On Originality: Numerous reviews allude to this concept. His running metaphor about Branston Pickle (to describe something so original and distinctive that it must be appreciated in spite of its flaws) more or less amounts to this trope.
Oh Crap: In his FIFA 13 review, after he's been distracted from reviewing the game throughout the video:
"...universally identical bodies that leave Hawke's elderly mother with the same massive, curvaceous bosoms as a table dancer, Freud Freud."
"...the male orcs, trolls, and undead are all hunched, twisted monstrosities while the females are basically just discolored human hotties with bad dentistry."
OOC Is Serious Business: Spec Ops: The Line depressed him so much that he actually took a huge pause near the end of the review and sighed wearily before wrapping up. The game went on to be his pick for Best Game of 2012.
The problem is that this isn't a Paper Mario game. It looks like one, it wears the skin of one, but that doesn't make it one! I am not a fat woman, even though I've- I've just been advised not to finish this sentence. (with the accompanied image of him wearing the bloody skin of a fat woman.)
Otacon: Metal Gear Snake: Metal Gear? Otacon: Metal Gear! Snake: Bugger me!
PC vs. Console: AKA "Dirty Console Peasant vs Glorious PC-Gaming Master Race". He blames multiplatform console development—along with the mentality of console gamers—for "dumbing down" BioShock in comparison to its spiritual predecessorSystem Shock 2. He returns the favor the following year criticizing PC gamers in his Witcher review for their love of overly complicated gameplay design that inevitably results in an unintuitive game that is a cumbersome chore to play.
Karma Meter: He argues that usually "you need to be all the way good or all the way evil to unlock the best toys" which eliminates choice and forces an evil player to do some really ridiculous things to maintain their evilness. He also argues that such meters are "just forcing us to play the game twice to see all the content."
Press X to Not Die: Trope namer, as noted above. He has clarified that he doesn't mind Quicktime Events when they're part of the core gameplay (as in Heavy Rain), but objects when they are unexpectedly thrown into the middle of a cutscene, as in this trope.
Sequelitis: invoked His biggest issue with the current games industry.
Stealth-Based Mission: He likes the stealth genre, but a "forced stealth section" in the middle of a non-stealth game is one of his pet peeves.
Take Cover: One of his main beefs with current-generation shooters. In his review of Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days, he observed that he doesn't mind this trope as long as it's not the only thing the player is expected to care about. In his words, "you can still have it, in all its pop-up shooting gallery tedium, but you've got to have something else!" Such as stealth gameplay for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Bullet Time for Max Payne 3, or an amazing story for Spec Ops: the Line.
Waggle: invoked One of his key issues with Nintendo consoles, because how shoehorned-in it seems.
Pet the Dog: In an Extra Punctuation, although he couldn't sympathize with gamers who cried at Aerith's death in FFVII, he said that the emotions they felt were real and no one could call them fake or wrong.
Tomb Raider: "Press X to I'm Not Even Going to Fucking Touch This One" (describing the use of a quick-time event in an "attempted rape" scene)
He actually explains a couple of the reasons why licensed games tend to do poorly while reviewingPrince Of Persia The Forgotten Sands, released to promote the Sands of Time movie, citing that most of them put too much focus on the story or license (as opposed to gameplay) or get rushed enough to where notable issues don't get fixed (both of which, he says, are evidently the case with the 2010 Prince of Persia games). He still finds the game enjoyable despite having the look and feel of a licensed game.
Ret Gone: The final product of Duke Nukem Forever was apparently such a transcendental work of awesomeness that it collapsed reality and ended up being cancelled before completion in the new timeline. Now the new version sadly fails to live up to the "original".
Yahtzee: "Once your budget hits seven digits you're supposed to make Gun Battle Slap Fight Thirty-Seven for the Playstation Twelve...!
Rock Beats Laser: Invoked in his Medal of Honor: Warfighter review, in which he points out that the soldiers in the game have a massive technological advantage against the supposed villains. Upon describing the assault drone sequences, in which the player remotely controls a heavily-armed robot to mow down enemy guerrillas, whose only means of defeating it is to bash it with a rock.
The Roleplayer: Yahtzee states that he does roleplay when playing RPGs because it's the entire point of the genre. This ranges from deciding that Hawke should be gay after primarily taking the sarcastic dialog options to not making his Skyrim character a Kleptomaniac Hero by saying that the character has a hatred of success.
Calling cookie-cutter modern military cover-based regenerating-health FPS games that he refuses to classify as typical shooters (Such as Battlefield, Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, etc.) by the term, SpunkGargleWeeWee. As of E3 2013, he's replaced redefined the term slightly to replace "modern" with a No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom, specifically one in which the player is dragged along a linear procession of pre-determined, barely-interactive setpieces, through overcrowded war scenes that are so noisy and chaotic they become totally meaningless, so many NPCs that any contribution you're making is negligible at best, and no context for who you are or who you're slaughtering, except that you are obviously the aggressor and considerably better-equipped.
Calling any example of generic zombie-based media (games or movies) "Dem Cunts Be Dead".
Yathzee makes a mentioning of Drake's hair behaving "like it's held in place with polymer cement." The subsequent reviews of the other Uncharted game shows bullets bouncing off Drake's hair, and when Yahtzee muses that with all the damage Drake takes, he will probably end up as "a big pile of giblets and teeth", said pile is shown with Drake's hair-do proudly sitting completely unharmed on top of it.
Any time Yahtzee calls a game "absorbing", it's seen literally absorbing him with a "SHLORP" sound effect.
Sarcasm Mode: The entire Duke Nukem Foreverreview. Let's start from the fact that he's reviewing a game that (at the time) was canceled and work from there. The part that qualifies this as this trope is the bit at the end where he points out there is no actual game, as the lawyers told him to do.
Schrödinger's Cat: In his "Console Rundown", he compares his Xbox360 to a Schrodinger's Console, constantly swinging between a broken and unbroken state.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here: What he believed the plan to DC Universe to be, claiming if there were enough crazies in the world the Aliens would just go away rather than get involved.
Self-Deprecation: While his Zero Punctuation persona is obviously an arrogant Caustic Critic, Yahtzee is known for making blunt, humourous digs at himself from time to time.
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Notes that if people didn't try to kill DeWitt for being the guy who would kill everyone and fuck everything up, DeWitt wouldn't be killing everyone and fucking everything up.
Shoot The TV: Halfway into playing Medal of Honor: Warfighter, he put the controller down. Not content with shutting off the console, Yahtzee puts it in terms the game can understand: Blasting the set to smithereens with a revolver.
He starts his review of Brütal Legend by professing his adoration for Tim Schafer, including stating that if he had a doomsday machine he'd reduce the entire population of the world to himself, Tim Schafer, and one woman if she promised to wear a Tim Schafer mask.
It's clear from his review of Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon that he's got some deep sexual feelings for...Luigi. Something about the mustache apparently does it for him. Plus the fact that, between Mario and Luigi, Luigi is the only brother who ever gets any semblance of personality.
Spoofed with Their Own Words: The review of Medal of Honor: Warfighter opens with Yahtzee stating that normally, he makes fun of a game by increasingly altering the title through the review until it gradually becomes ridiculous. In this case, he says that he can't do that, because there's nothing more silly than simply using its actual name.
Stealth Insult: His Modern Warfare review features "Killing in the Name" (which contains the repeated line "fuck you, I won't do what you tell me") by Rage Against the Machine playing over the end credits, which becomes hilarious when you consider that he has spent most of the review telling people who suggest things to him to get fucked.
"I do point out every little thing there's bad about a game. But then again, I'm a critic! It would be weird if I didn't. If I put people's balls in my mouth for a living, I'd be a prostitute, or possibly a GameSpot employee."
Talks like a Simile: For humorous effect, given the nature of the similes. As an example, one of them involved the voice acting in a game being comparable to being raped in the ear by a man wearing a sandpaper condom. Though technically it wasn't him who said it, it was his roommate. And "Not in those exact words, of course."
Matt maintains he actually described it as like driving a corkscrew into his ears.
"I wonder if the Geneva Convention covers torturing metaphors?"
If you give [Gamers] guns, they will shoot old ladies. If you give them cars, they will run over old ladies. If you give them aircraft, they will ascend to the highest possible height and hurl themselves out onto an old lady.
Viewers Are Geniuses: In Yahtzee's review of Deathspank, how many people got that he picked the town name of Northampton for a visual gag about a mystical place because it's very close to the real life English town of Daventry?
What Could Have Been: At some point, Yahtzee was offered a job as one of the head script-writers for Duke Nukem Forever, but was rejected by the game's head developer, because his interpretation of Duke didn't fit with the game's tone.
He states in Prototype 2 that despite the fact the game developers tried to focus more on the fact that Heller is more sympathetic than Mercer, they are still both controlled by a player who would still slaughter everyone for fun.
Yahtzee: I think you should look up the word "objective", because I don't think it means what you think it means.
Lampshaded by Yahtzee himself in one column, where he mentions that he's caught himself using certain words so many times that he's had to step back and wonder what the hell he's actually talking about. Helpfully, he put together a handy little glossary of some of his favorites.