Zero Punctuation / Tropes A to D

Main page | Tropes A-D | Tropes E-H | Tropes I-L | Tropes M-P | Tropes Q-T | Tropes U-Z | | List of reviewed games
  • 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".
    • He begins his Mindjack review expressing disbelief that people have trouble telling whether he recommends a game or not, but acknowledges this trope (along with the mesmerizing fat folds of a close relative) as the cause.
    Yes, I exaggerate every slightish negative feature regardless of overall quality, but how else would developers learn? It's like Chinese parenting, but less nightmarish.
    • 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 inFAMOUS review 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."
    • Played with during his review of Wii Sports Resort, where he attempts to appeal to a fan who'd left when Yahtzee's constant railing on the Wii upset him by sarcastically portraying the game's negatives as positives. He notably skips over two sports that work too well to criticize.
    • "In fact, I might go so far as to say that Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 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 criticize 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." He stuck to that promise too, having never given another game a flawless review since, not even Silent Hill 2, which he only reviewed retrospectively for the purpose of explaining why it's possibly his favourite game of all time.note 
    • From the Clive Barker's Jericho review: "I could go on listing the stupid design I will."
    • Even going back to his BioShock review: "If my Psychonauts review taught me anything it's that no one likes it when I'm being nice to a game..."
    • 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 2 review, 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. In that case, he acknowledged that he thought it was okay back then, but then he tried to look back on the experience, and realized that he couldn't recall anything meaningful from it.
  • Action-Adventure: He once observed that this genre is little more than a catch-all term for any game that's difficulty to classify, under which one can comfortably lump together everything from Deus Ex to Killer7.
  • Action-Based Mission: Provides the page quote.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: One of the things which have just slightly less screen time than the devils and someone being violently assaulted onscreen. In particular:
    • At the start of his Halo 4 review, he says that Master Chief spent his four years of absence masturbating to Cortana.
    • At the start of his Half-Life review: " this point thereís only one thing I can do: masturba- I mean retro review!" He apparently uses a toy giraffe while doing it.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: His opinion on E3, taken from the E3 2014 video:
    End this execrable endurance event entailing eager editors endlessly entreating eminent entertainment egotists for efficacious endowments of effluence!
    Delighting as it is that the drought is dying down, doing Destiny drained your debonair delegate. Dominant developers delay for a dogís age, then deliver a desperately draft discharge and dare to describe it as the due destination for depictions of destruction. Dammit, I donít desire the designate devotion to drudges as dull as ditchwater, so Iím declaring a downloadables day, derived directly from discovering D4: Dark Dreams Donít Die!
    • To a lesser extent, it persists for his next two videos. In the review of Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, he says he's trying to break the habit.
    • From his review of Pikmin 3.
    And all of the sudden, pinpointing the previous Pikmin protagonist is your party of pillocks' primary priority.
  • Adult Fear: In his review of Doki Doki Literature Club!, Yahtzee is actually relieved when the game enters "silly horror town" after Sayori hangs herself, since he found her realistically-depicted depression really uncomfortable and sad.
  • Adventure Game: When he first started playing games these were his favourite genre, and he's made several of them himself, though he admitted in an Extra Punctuation column that he's grown to strongly dislike the genre more recently, and noted that he's always liked adventure games in spite of their gameplay rather than because of it.
  • 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.
  • All Men Are Perverts: He jokes about being an example himself, but he still expresses dismay at how widespread this trope is in real life, lamenting that all a crappy game has to do to become wildly successful is stick a picture of a busty scantily-clad woman on the cover.
  • All Women Are Lustful: Brings this up in The Witcher, but takes it as a sign of the game including fanservice in attempt to come off as mature.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: invoked Yahtzee loves that trope.
  • Almighty Idiot: "God" is represented as a giant, etherial ocleot (something like a Fun Size leopard) telling whoever He appears to to "Kill the whores!"
  • Aluminium Christmas Trees: He did acknowledge that "warfighter" is an actual term used by the military which rather justifies its usage as a subtitle, but didn't think this made the title of Medal of Honor Warfighter any less ridiculous.
  • Anachronism Stew: In his review of Skate 2, when arguing that skateboarding is an activity which could only exist in the decadent modern world: "Take any other period of history, a guy puts wheels on a plank, grinds down the steps of the Parthenon and breaks both his kneecaps on a pikestaff, they'd have him slung in Bedlam to be gawked at by gin-addled chimneysweeps for the rest of his life."
  • Analogy Backfire:
    • 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, about the characteristion in Catherine:'s as if men are all directionless tidal waves and women are all dikes built in the path of their raging floods. Blimey, what a badly worded metaphor.
  • 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.
    The higher part of your brain can see how utterly asinine the experience is but it's just getting dragged along for the ride, like a bunch of helium balloons tied to a wonky supermarket trolley. "Sure, lower part of the brain, a blue-tiled roof probably would solve all our constantly crushing sense of emptiness— OH GOD, STOOOP!"
  • And That Little Boy Was Me: Invoked in his Red Faction: Guerrilla review.
  • Annoying Arrows: Averted and Lampshaded in his review of Crysis 3 where the guy exclaims to Prophet that the Bow and Arrow is 12 times more powerful than any gun for some reason.
  • Anticlimax Boss: invoked One of his Pet Peeves.
  • Apocalypse Wow: Yahtzee states that if No More Heroes was combined with Branston Pickle that the world would end. And it would be AWESOME.
  • April Fools:
  • Arbitrary Mission Restriction: Yahtzee sardonically refers to this trope as the "sandbox paradox", referring to Wide Open Sandbox games in which the player is given complete freedom to do what they like outside of missions, but within missions must precisely follow a linear series of instructions.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Lee Drummond, apparently a bully in His childhood.
    • Michael Atkinson, Australian politician and chief Moral Guardian against the evil of video games.
    • Quicktime events.
    • Nintendo, specifically post-Super Mario Galaxy for "lack of innovation" and "poorly implemented control gimmicks".
      • No longer seems to be the case as of the 8th console generation, he calls the Wii U the best and most respectable of the new consoles, holding contempt for the PS4 and Xbox One for being consumer-unfriendly devices that have abandoned the last of their remaining advantages that consoles traditionally had over PC gaming.
    • The new console generation, specifically the big two PS4 and Xbox One.
    • EA games.
    • Ubisoft
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: A few blink-and-you'll-miss-it examples. (As a rule, a list of things - such as skills to buff in RPGs - will get silly at the end, or all the way through.)
    • In Batman: Arkham Asylum:
      "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."
    • On a signpost in the Witcher review:
    • 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 3 review, he accuses the game of copying Half-Life 2. Amongst his accusations are identical mechanics, a straight Expy of the Ravenholm level, and as the final straw, "the scientist has a beard." Because, you know, Gordon Freeman and Dr. Breen have beards.
    • From his Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles review: "Umbrella Chronicles is a heavily cut down retread of three of the major Resident Evil games, starring Johnny Bravo, a prostitute, an idiot, a mullet, a 9 year old boy, a brick shit-house, and Carlos."
    • In his review of Shovel Knight (posted on July 16, 2014), he talks about the July games drought (which for Australia takes place during the winter) and his efforts to alleviate the boredom caused by it:
      "It's bad enough that we have to huddle in our homes trapped by the cruel blast of one degree below ideal surfing weather without AAA releases drying up and forcing us to pass the time with games like 'Guess how many kicks to the bollocks it takes to draw blood' or Frozen Grandparent Tetris, or for those who are truly lost, Boggle."
    • While reviewing Alpha Protocol, there's a claim that Deus Ex lets you specialise in "combat, hacking, or playing the cello".
  • Aroused by Their Voice: His opinion on Stephen Fry in LittleBigPlanet as well as Rucks in Bastion; he's a fan of famous voices in general, and feels that having them as One Scene Wonders is a waste of potential.
  • The Artifact: Feels that the Vigors, the stand-ins for the plasmids in BioShock Infinite, are this since they're kept around for the sake of retaining a gameplay element for the earlier games, an element that he feels is fun to keep around, but lack the significance to the story the plasmids had.
  • Ascended Meme: He originally coined the "Glorious PC Gaming Master Race" phrase as a jab at elitists. That said, when he wrote an article on building himself a new gaming PC, he referred to it as himself returning to the Glorious PC Gaming Master Race. Said article was written long after the phrase became a memetic badge of honor for PC gamers.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: In "Where I Get My Ideas", Yahtzee ascribes his writing process to listening to talking ravens, aliens and leprechauns. We can surmise he gets asked about this a lot.
  • Ass Pull: invokedAfter playing Castlevania: Lords of Shadow he accuses the writer of pulling the Dracula plot twist out of his "biggest and sweatiest ass".
    • Also invoked in his Gears of War 3, where he describes the "exploding planet" plot point as still having "a few stray taint hairs" on it.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: In his review of F.I.F.A. 13, he keeps getting distracted by downloadable games.
  • Attention Whore: From what we see of the Mario Bros. back in the old days, fixing toilets in Brooklyn, Mario was already a giant egomaniac who shouts "ITSA MEEEE" at any provocation. (Luigi's Mansion 2)
  • Author Appeal: He notes some of this in Ni no Kuni with his Studio Ghibli bingo card.
  • Author Filibuster: Occasionally.
  • Awesomeness Is Volatile: Yahtzee implied this would happen if No More Heroes were combined with Branston Pickle.
  • "Awesome McCool" Name: The little Fairy refers to Yahtzee as "Benjamin Yahtzee Sebastian Godzilla Croshaw" in his review of Haze.
  • Ax-Crazy: Yahtzee (or at least his avatar) tends to kill people from slight provocation, like setting a Dark Souls fan on fire for refusing to tell him what the game was like until he tried it.
  • Bait-and-Switch: His review of The Witcher, the quote at the start of the page.
    • He opens his review of Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, his last video before Christmas 2015, with one:
    Well it's that time of year again: the stockings have gone up, and the owner of the stockings has been paid $20 and left my hotel room.
    • And at the end his Trine review:
  • Bathos: On occasion, sometimes overlapping with Mood Whiplash.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: A surprising amount of people write in with requests and then get offended when he rips into the game.
  • Berserk Button: As someone who is professionally angry, Yahtzee has quite a few. While many are specific to a game (and thus too numerous to list) some recur:
    Yahtzee: Oh, you ignorant little bastards. Stick your balls up your arse and clench yourself castrated! I was into shooters when you were still 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. However, due to Dark Souls and Titanfall, he's getting a bit more kinder for multiplayer.
    • 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. However, he doesn't hold them as much as he does the others due to various things, Nintendo being more focused on games and fun being a major part.
    • 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. Something of which he praised Watch_Dogs for - the trailer only showed gameplay.
    • He also seems to dislike kids.
    • Resurrection of the dead, as seen in both Ori and the Blind Forest and Mortal Kombat X, since it removes all sense of stakes for him.
      Yahtzee: When your plot establishes magical resurrection, all the stakes and drama immediately collapse. Where's the meaning in self-sacrifice if we can just get resurrected? Oh, the villain was motivated by her dead babies? NEVER MIND! PBTH they're alive again, be more careful this time! Actually, don't! Who cares? Here's three more babies, fuck it!
    • And who could not forget from his Halo Wars review:
      "We lost contact!" went the character... BULL. FUCKING. SHIT. (the words "WHAT. ARBITRARY. SILLINESS." appear in synchrony with his swearing). All possible threats were dead! We didn't lose contact - I was looking at them - They were RIGHT. FUCKING. THERE! They were so close we could communicate by waggling our eyebrows at each other! What the fuck happened when the stupid arbitrary time limit ran out!? Did their Battle Royale collars explode!? Did they lose honor and disembowel themselves? WHAT?!
      And just to put the cherry on it, you know who they were? Absolutely bloody no one! Generic faceless pricks of the sort I'd vat-grown about fifty of that day alone! But we didn't make it in time, so they were going to make me do the whole fucking mission again!
      As the exasperated Chinese zookeeper said to the last male panda in the world, FUCK! THAT!
    • In one of his Extra Punctuation columns he noted that he extremely disliked Rhianna Pratchett's writing style, having observed many recurring problems in Mirror's Edge, Thief (2014), Tomb Raider (2013) and Rise of the Tomb Raider.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: A gag in many videos, with a particularly favored one being the implication that he masturbates to dolphins.
  • Be Yourself: He is strongly against Reviews Are the Gospel, even regarding his own.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: "I made this chart to see how many people visit The Escapist on days besides Wednesday..."
  • Big Bad: Electronic Arts, whose abhorrent business practices and representing of all that is wrong with the video game industry he has a habit of going into Author Filibusters about.
  • Big Eater: Several references have been made to Yahtzee eating (or at least wanting to eat) some absurdly huge quantity of food in one sitting. For example:
    • In his review for The Talos Principle, Yahtzee's avatar can be seen lying on his back next to a conveyor belt rolling an entire cake towards his open mouth.
    • In his The Bureau: XCOM Declassified review, he talks about wanting to call Domino's to ask if they'll make "...a sandwich with pizzas instead of bread. And nine pizzas instead of filling."
  • Big First Choice: Not a fan of it, although he wrote a lengthy Extra Punctuation column about it and argued that Wolfenstein: The New Order's use of it was probably the best implementation he'd seen.
  • Big "NO!": The Spore review. Twice. But with a twist.
    "So can his new game, Spore, possibly live up to that legacy? In short: no. In long: nooooo...." (for 15 seconds without taking a breath)
  • Bile Fascination:invoked
    "It's bad. It's explosively, apocalyptically bad, and you should totally buy it. I'm serious, you have to see this shit!"
    • He also claims the only reason Daikatana was released on Steam was so people could see how bad it is.
  • 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 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".
    • In his review for Yakuza 4, when he notes that the game is set in a particularly peculiar japanese-style sandbox, one of the little black imps has the Kanji character for Oni (demonic ogre-like creatures) on it's body.
  • Black Best Friend: He invokes this in his Call of Duty: Ghosts review, suggesting that the main characters only cared about Alex's death because they couldn't claim to have a black person on their side any more.
  • 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: Mentioned in many of his reviews, particularly ones about modern military shooters (or spunkgargleweewee.)
    • He 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 to the point at which they are unwillingly made part of someone else's character development". The black woman's readout is nearly at zero.
    • In his review of Watch_Dogs 2, when describing the main cast, he singles out Horatio as a "fairly indistinct black dude" that he points out "That motherfucker is gonna die soon", including drawing a bullseye on his character.
  • Bland-Name Product: In order to avoid mentioning any real gaming webcomics in his review of the genre, he used Benny Barcade and Bontrol Bolt Belete as names instead. This was a Shout-Out to Monty Python's Flying Circus, with its National Bocialist Party and their boncentration bamps.
  • Blank White Eyes: Used frequently to show strong emotion.
  • 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.
  • Boobs-and-Butt Pose: Makes reference to this at the end of his review for The Darkness 2
    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.
  • Book Ends: Before reviewing Fable II, Yahtzee notes that all he needs to do now is review The Darkness a second time then be "sucked into a grown woman's vagina" and his life will have been more-or-less symmetrical.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Yahtzee's description of the three types of levels that typically come up in a random pull in Super Mario Maker:
    Yahtzee: A level with ten million of something, the kind of obnoxious difficulty a Roald Dahl villain would come up with, or ten million of something being obnoxiously difficult.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick/Freudian Slippery Slope: The end of the review of Tomb Raider: Anniversary.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Standard procedure for Penumbra and Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
  • B-Roll Rebus: Nearly all of the visuals that aren't meant to represent gameplay. His Wikiquote entry even Pot Holes some of them for lack of images.
  • Brain Bleach: It's a favorite reaction by Croshaw.
  • Brick Joke:
    • 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.)
    • The sausage-slicing machine in the Killzone 3 review.
    • In his Quantum Conundrum review, 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.
    • In the Super Mario 3D Land review, he contemplates how a more faithful depiction of Tanooki would work, "in which case it's the Thwomps I feel sorry for." Later, in the Star Wars: The Old Republic review, he mentions as one of the smugglers' moves being "crafty knees to the bollocks, which for some reason also works on robots. Perhaps they're wearing Tanooki suits."
    • 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 his 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.
    • The "Whipped Cream Genocide Brouhaha" from his review of Darksiders reappears at the bottom of the list of "build-your-own combos" in his review of Remember Me.
    • His review of Halo Wars has one with a shorter setup than most. While talking about the unit selection issues in the game:
      Yahtzee: "Lacking click-and-drag, all you can do is select one prick, select one prick and all his prick friends standing within a fixed diameter, select all the pricks on the current screen, or call a great big all-map prick hoedown. So if you just want to, say, select all your flying pricks for a strategic insertion than youíre going to have a bit of prick trouble beyond the might of any soothing cream."
    • In his Alien Isolation review:
      • At the beginning:
      Yahtzee: "Welcome back to the second week of our excursion to opposite-land, where the carpets go on the ceilings, people eat feces and poo out breakfast cereal and somehow the best games going are AAA movie franchise tie-ins"
      • In the middle:
      Yahtzee: "When the alien finally does show up, uncoiling and plopping down from the ceiling in front of you like a big drippy shit into the cereal bowl that is your life"
      • At the end:
      Yahtzee: "Sure, I could go alone into hostile territory yet again to fetch your key card. But how about instead, you eat the contents of this cereal bowl."
    • His double-review of Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons and Papers, Please opened with a rather drawn-out metaphor involving a potential sex partner being turned off by talking about your anime obsession, where after first talking about Neon Genesis Evangelion the demonstrating imp follows up with "Now moving onto Cowboy Bebop". At the end of the review when he brings up samey, unengaging military war shooters, Yahtzee is crouching behind a chest-high wall with another imp, both holding guns and under fire, and he turns to the imp and asks "You ever watch Cowboy Bebop".
  • Broken Record: "You couldn't get away with releasing a buggy game in the cartridge and cassette days; you'd be trampled under the company Brontosaurus. But I'll tell you the worst part- worst part- worst part- worst part- *system error* ...and whistled for a baboon!
  • Broke the Rating Scale: Ride to Hell: Retribution "won" the #0 spot on Top Worst of 2013. This was being charitable, as Yahtzee's reasoning was that "it's not a game; it's congealed failure."
    • It wasn't just for worst game of 2013 either. It was a reward for worst game that he had ever reviewed and a title that he said that it would hold until an even WORSE game came around. Which would be around the time apes had retaken the earth.
  • Brutal Honesty: Yahtzee definitely doesn't sugarcoat anything when reviewing games. Especially critically acclaimed games.
  • Buffy Speak: His metaphors descend into this while reviewing LittleBigPlanet. Lampshaded in the same review — it was very hot that week and he couldn't think of anything better.
  • Bullet Dancing: Why do developers shun the Wii U? Because, Yahtzee explains, Nintendo has a somewhat strained relationship with developers who don't wish to incorporate their horrible hardware gimmicks into the games. We then cut to the Nintendo logo firing a six-shooter at EA while barking, "DANCE". (A Link Between Worlds)
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Yahtzee's avatar gets hurt in a variety of ways throughout his reviews.
    • The black imp also seems to get a fair amount of pain dealt to him. Especially when he gets a Nazi helmet, at which point Yahtzee will do things like pulling his toenails out with pliers.
  • 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.
  • Call-Back: As far as the eye can see.
    "Bang! Punch! Bang! Punch! Bang! Punch! Woof!"
    "Grr! Kick! Grr! Kick! Grr! Kick! Splat!"
    • The phrase "triple-cunted hooker" makes a number of appearances.
    • In the Hard Reset review, 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 New Super Mario Bros. Wii review the credits state that Yahtzee only has two friends. Later in the NieR review 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.
    • The "paddling pool full of disembodied breasts" analogy in the Saints Row 2 review returns in an exaggerated form in the Saints Row: The Third review.
    • In his The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings review, he refers to Geralt as "Gerald", which continues a Running Gag that began in his review of the first game and carried on in his review of the third.
    • 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: Absolution review, 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.
    • He mocks the Word Salad Title Black Knight Sword by calling it "Purple Monkey Dishwasher," which is what he called Red Dead Redemption in a previous review. It doubles as a Shout-Out to The Simpsons.
    • In his review of Paper Mario: Sticker Star he calls out the habit of recent Mario games to always have a world order of "grasslands, desert, forest, jungle, ice world, fire world, boss (nn-ch-nn-ch-nn-ch-nn)." This surfaces again in his review of Ni no Kuni in a completely non-Mario context.
    • His review of Alone in the Dark: Illumination has him comment on how the game is behind the times by having the game portrayed as saying, "Boy, I'm looking forward to the Watchmen movie", referencing Yahtzee's video on E3 2008 when he finished the video by doing exactly that.
  • Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: How he describes Nintendo in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass review:
    Yahtzee: A world without Nintendo would be a far bleaker one than this, and yet there's something about them I find incredibly infuriating.
  • Captain Morgan Pose: Used to deify certain characters in a game, ranging from (most frequently) Yahtzee wearing a halo, to Andrew Ryan in BioShock Infinite, to a nutter survivalist in Rust who shoots Yahtzee in self-defense after spotting a rock in his hand.
    "How fortunate this community must be to have a watchman so dedicated to rigidly enforcing the laws against unlicensed rocks."
  • 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.
  • Caustic Critic: The Trope Launch Pad for Caustic Critic was named "Parent Genre of Zero Punctuation".
  • Chained to a Railway: Used as a metaphor for why Andrew Ryan is a sympathetic villain. A Dastardly Whiplash character advises the girl to "maybe not stand there", apropos railroad tracks.
  • Challenge Gamer: Sometimes Yahtzee will like a game because it's murderously hard, as with DayZ and the hardcore mode in Minecraft.
  • Chaotic Neutral: Yahtzee claims to be this alignment in his Spider-Man: Web of Shadows review and encourages his fans to argue on the forum as to whether he is or not. invoked
  • Chew Bubblegum: A zombie Duke Nukem says "Time to kick ass and chew brains" in the Battlefield: Bad Company 2 review.
  • 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.
  • Cliffhanger: Strongly dislikes them, especially in cases where a brand new IP ends on one under the creators' mistaken assumption that the game is destined to become the first entry in a franchise (which turns out not to be the case, thereby leaving the game's story permanently unresolved). In an Extra Punctuation column he went so far as to argue that a game with an unresolved story is effectively an incomplete product, and hence selling it is tantamount to fraud.
  • Clip Show: The Holiday 2010 episode, after Yahtzee mocks the viewer for showing up when they should know that he gets that week off.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: At least once per episode. One of his most infamous clusters was delivered in the opening to his MindJack review:
    So in the name of keeping things nice and clear for you touchy sods, let me as unambiguous as possible in this critique: MindJack is FUCKING FUCKING FUCKING FUCKING BAD BAD BAD BAD. DON'T DON'T DON'T DON'T PLAY IT!
  • Cluster Bleep-Bomb: Seen in his review of Monster Hunter Tri, in relation to '"Japanese Sex Games":
    I waggled my (CENSORED) at her (CENSORED) until her (CENSORED)ed at her (CENSORED) until it started emitting a sorrowful howl.
  • The Coconut Effect: Discussed in his Extra Punctuation column on Boss Battles.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Referred to by the exact name during his Overlord II review.
  • Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch:invoked He has accused the Zelda series of being incredibly formulaic. However, he also admits to being very unfamiliar with the franchise. To wit; he's used Majora's Mask, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (which are some of the most non-formulaic games in the franchise) to represent the series when discussing this.
  • 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.
  • Continuity Nod: In the Mass Effect 2 review, Yahtzee's Shepard dons hot pink armor in memory of Gareth Gobulcoque, his character from Tabula Rasa.
    • He will genuinely continue or at least reference character-related gags when reviewing the sequels of games he's previously covered, but rarely brings attention to this fact.
  • Continuity Snarl: Says the metaplot of Resident Evil "sprawls all over itself like an incestuous farming cult."
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Apparently whoever designed the inventory system for Resident Evil 5 should be sent to a special Hell where he has to pack shopping for old ladies... or just get punched in the stomach.
    • Also says that any developer that holds back stuff for DLC should have their hands cut off, and then put back on after paying 1200 Microsoft points.
  • Cosmic Deadline: Yahtzee has accused several games of falling prey to this, including Dark Void, Splatterhouse, and of course Indigo Prophecy aka "Baron von Teapot's Fucking Ludicrous Adventures."
  • *Cough* Snark *Cough*: In his Lollipop Chainsaw review:
    "But there are certainly games with worse combat, and games with more offensive depictions of women, cough Metroid: Other M unconvincing-cough."
  • Crack Pairing: invoked His Tomb Raider: Underworld opens with Yahtzee remarking on the best potential husband for Lara Croft - Jason Voorhees.
    "They've got so much in common! They both have an embarrassing amount of adventures that all follow an extremely specific formulanote , they both have an irresistible compulsion to murder God's creatures, they both spend lots of time underground, and most importantly neither of them will ever just fucking die!"
  • Creator Backlash: In-universe, he noted that 99% of artists claim to loathe everything they made more than five years ago and the remaining 1% are liars.
  • Creator Thumbprint:
    • Platformers and games that don't use bloom and brown gritty graphics earn a somewhat higher note in his book.
    • "Survival Horror is what I call a pet genre. A pet I keep in a tool shed and feed with broken glass."
    • Saints Row 2 is one of the few games that pleased him, resulting in a review that sounded like, in his own words, "an overlong wedding proposal" due to the fact that it entertainingly combines Rule of Fun and Video Game Cruelty Potential.
    • He also has a great love for anything that does things differently like Portal and No More Heroes; he complimented Mirror's Edge for trying something new even after tearing the actual gameplay apart, and Assassin's Creed I got praise for being original even though it was let down by highly repetitive gameplay. Similarly, he praised Dark Void for being an ambitious failure, and as such, better than "committee-designed sludge". He also liked Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, despite hating Silent Hill spinoffs and saying that the monsters and chase scenes weren't scary and the psych test gimmicks weren't enough, for actually being a decent remake, and removing what didn't work the first time. He raves about Shadow of the Colossus for creating, naming and codifying the Colossus Climb, and ICO got a love note from him for making him care about a Cute Mute Love Interest.
    • He also has a taste for Scenery Porn, although he has said in his reviews that while he loves a good beautiful skybox as much as the next person, he much prefers exploring said beautiful skybox.
    • Cats seem to pop up a lot in his reviews (which sort of makes sense), as do dogs. In fact, he said that one of his three wishes would be a puppy.
    • A warped sense of humor is also a big plus for him, as in Psychonauts, the Monkey Island series and the aforementioned Portal.
    • Good writing impresses him as well; the Mass Effect series has led him to give BioWare a dirt-cheap offer of his soul.
      "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 Serious Sam 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.
    • The worse you can act towards Nazis, the better, by his books. Bonus points if it's spectacular or amusing.
    • He mentioned a particular fondness for Shaun of the Assassin's Creed series, partly because he reminds him of himself and partly because he often insults Desmond Miles.
    • He has fondness for games that actively embrace Video Game Cruelty Potential and particularly creative ways of The Joys of Torturing Mooks.
    • He has a thing for large open environments with interesting ways to traverse the world, such as Le Parkour or flight.
    • His distaste of America which puts them as overly decadent whiners who try to make a world empire.
    • He's also a fan of first person games that allow a bit of freedom and reward exploration such as Half-Life, Thief, System Shock 2, and Deus Ex.
    • 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.
    • Music used interestingly in his No More Heroes review, as mentioned above for Brick Joke.
    • 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.
  • Crossover: With Unskippable. Yahtzee appeared in their Star Ocean: The Last Hope riff and Graham Stark of Unskippable appeared in the first section of the Halo Wars review to review X-Blades before running out of things to say and getting kicked out by Yahtzee.
    • A throwaway gag, mere seconds into the aforementioned Halo Wars review, poked fun at Eternal Sonata, which was Unskippable's premiere episode.
    • Furthermore, in the review of both Left 4 Dead 2 and New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the Credit Sequence features a short mix-type crossover of the two reviewed games.
  • Cross Player: Yahtzee becomes one for Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures.
  • Crying Indian: The Fallout 3 review featured a deer crying over the landscape being littered with rubble.
  • Curse Cut Short: He spends the entirety of his 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand review carefully wording his criticisms so that nothing can be misconstrued as racist, then ends the episode on an inspiring speech, saying people of all creeds and colors should try to put aside their differences and work together to build a better world for everyone, but then punctuates that speech with this sentence:
    "Not that they'd know anything about work, the lazy nig-" [END CREDITS]
    • From his Half-Life review, after bemoaning the lack of any new games to review before Christmas: "at this point there's only one thing I can do, MASTURBA- I mean RETRO-REVIEW!"
  • Cursed with Awesome: In his review of NeverDead:
    "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."
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Wonders aloud if Deus Ex: Human Revolution's ending is intentionally bad, so players will purchase the DLC.
  • Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: This trope, and the infrequency with which it is played straight, is discussed in his Mafia II review.
  • Damned by Faint Praise:
    • In the Killzone: Shadow Fall review, Yahtzee mentions that Knack "looked pretty spectacular after I fired it out of my clay pigeon launching machine."
    • In his Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare review, after saying he liked it more than Call of Duty: Ghosts, he then says "In order news, I also enjoy Chinese water torture more than the hobbling wheel".
  • Dare to Be Badass: Well, at least "dare to be different", in his Super Mario Galaxy 2 review. 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.
  • Darker and Edgier: Once a simple story, "the new Bionic Commando has taken the dark and edgy route", illustrated with said commando slashing his wrist and singing "CRAAAWLING IIIIN MY SKIIIN".
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy:invoked A big irk for Yahtzee is games where protagonists are just as (if not more) unlikable than the antagonist, citing WET, Kane and Lynch: Dog Days and the God of War sequels as major examples.
    • He also stated that he found Max Payne's constant self-loathing and pessimism in Max Payne 3 to be tiring and off-putting.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Of course.
    • However, most Deadpan Snarkers in games tend to annoy him, notably Nathan Drake of Uncharted and the Snarky dialogue options of Dragon Age II.
      • Though for some reason, he likes Shaun Hastings from Assassin's Creed.
  • Dear Negative Reader: invoked Most notably in his video on webcomics and the grandly titled "Mailbag Showdown", though Yahtzee more often than not turns his gun barrel back on himself.
  • Death Seeker: More of a Suicide as Comedy, but noticeable in this line for Batman: Arkham City.
    "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.
  • Deep-Immersion Gaming
  • Delayed Ripple Effect: Or, to give his own name for it from his Darkest of Days review, "The Back to the Future rules of Time Travel", where one can change things, "but the timeline is rather easygoing about it".
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
  • Designated Hero:invoked In his Extra Punctuation article of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Yahtzee portrays Nathan Drake as one, accusing him of massive Moral Dissonance.
    • 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.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Yahtzee's review of Spec Ops: The Line is barely humorous, with Yahtzee apologizing for the lack of humor and with a downright depressing wrap-up.
    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.*
  • Dethroning Moment of Suck: invoked It's rare that he experiences any of these, but there have been specific moments in a few games (such as a boss too poorly-coded to be defeatable, a bad AI forcing him to restart a level he was just about to clear, if not making it outright unwinnable) that made him give up on a game outright.
  • Developers' Foresight: Discussed in his Alpha Protocol review. He also devoted a column to discussing games that have done it well, singling out Metal Gear Solid for particular praise.
  • Didn't See That Coming: At the end of his Prototype vs. inFAMOUS review 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.
  • Disappointing Last Level: invoked Yahtzee described this trope in his review of BioShock Infinite where he discussed both it and the original game suffering from "Shitty Final Level Syndrome" or "the Shinfles".
  • 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".
  • Disposable Vagrant: Yahtzee keeps a spare vagrant chained in his basement — in case he needs to review a co-op game.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Comes up often. In his Bionic Commando review, for example, he's on the fence about whether or not it's a bad game, but ultimately decides that it is because of all the Product Placement for Pepsi, which he doesn't like.
    "Yes, I can be petty."
  • Dissimile
  • Does Not Like Women: A Non Sequitur toward the end of the The Sims 3 review. Yahtzee later explained that the bit was the result of a minor Creator Breakdown as he had just broken up with his then-girlfriend.
    • After Rebecca Mayes' love/hate song that called him out on this he claimed he does hate women, but only because he Hates Everyone Equally.
    • From the Credits Gag for the Catherine review: "I'm not a misogynist, I only hate the bitchy ones".
  • 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.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: Lampshaded in his "Best of 2012" video, noting that neither Far Cry 3 nor Spec Ops: The Line are related in any meaningful way with their respective franchises.
  • 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. Summed up best during one of his Let's Drown Out videos on youtube
    Gabriel: His name is Benjamin. Call him Benjamin.
    Yahtzee: Don't call me that.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: In his Medal of Honor: Airborne review, he refers to the German flak tower as a "doom fortress".
  • Dope Slap: Yahtzee's been known to do this to viewers for continuing to buy sequels ("Sonic doesn't need another game; he needs help!").
    • He also headslapped anyone who chooses to play as the Alliance.
    • For retrogressing back into a plain villain again, Bowser earned a slap with a rolled-up newspaper.
  • Double Subversion: In commenting on how out-of-place the swearing in Bayonetta 2.
    I like my swearing, but in the wrong place it brings down the whole gosh darn tone. You cunt.
  • Drinking Game: invoked
    • Suggested one for his review of Brink, which was to take a drink every time he compared the game to Team Fortress 2.
    • Suggested one for Rise of the Tomb Raider: take a drink every time Lara makes a specific panting noise, and every time Lara says she's "got to" do something.
  • Dumb and Drummer: Invoked in his Guitar Hero World Tour review in response to some of the songs having non-English lyrics.
    Yahtzee: If you don't speak Spanish, singing them is like if the guitarist was required to play wearing mittens. Or if the drummer were required to think.