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 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."
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 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 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."
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.
Accidentally Accurate: In his review of Diablo III he decried the use of procedurally-generated dungeons, comparing it to a book with randomly ordered chapters: "If a book randomly rearranged its chapters with every read, then every chapter would have its characters doing fuck all, because the plot wouldn't make sense otherwise. So the end result will always be a fucking boring book." Someone actually did write such a book, in which the chapters are unbound and can be read in any order, and true enough, nothing much happens in any given chapter. It's open to debate whether the end result is a boring book however.
And then follows it up with a few victory laps in his review for Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor.
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 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 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.
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."
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)
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.
"So can his new game, Spore, possibly live up to that legacy? In short: no. In long: noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo." (for 15 seconds without taking a breath)
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 woman's readout is nearly at zero.
Mentioned in many of his reviews, particularly ones about modern military shooters (or spunkgargleweewee.)
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 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.
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 you’re going to have a bit of prick trouble beyond the might of any soothing cream."
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)
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.
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.
"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.
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.
Curse Cut Short: He spends the entirety of his 50 Cent reviews 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!"
"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."
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."
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. Summed up best during one of his Let's Drown Out videos on youtube