Follow TV Tropes


Web Video / Jimquisition

Go To
Everybody's out to get me but I feel alright, Everybody's out to get me but I feel alright, Everybody's out to get me but I feel alright, Everybody's thinkin' 'bout me...

"The video game industry is full of bullshit."

James Nicholas Stanton (born 1 January 1984), better known by the pen name Jim Sterling, is the host of the web video series known as The Jimquisition. Sterling is an independent pundit (formerly of Destructoid and The Escapist) focused on video games and the video game industry, known for his tendency to stoke controversy.

Sterling assumes the persona of a caricature of gaming journalists to make broader points about video games and the video game industry. Episodes can be found here and here and new content can be found on his website. Just make sure to include the "the" as, for unknown reasons, is something rather different.

Jim's show comes in the following major formats:

  • The Jimquisition: Jim's main show, where he editorializes about current events and trends in the gaming industry. Sometimes the main subject is followed by one of his company-specific short news updates, of which there are three:
    • "Oh Ubisoft!" - Discusses Ubisoft's most recent action that has managed to piss everyone off or royally fuck up.
    • Advertisement:
    • "Fuck Konami" - The same, but for Konami, though they mostly just piss everyone off. Formerly "FucKonami News".
    • "Bethesda is Bethetic" - Yet another, this time for Bethesda, usually when Bethesda really screws up, pisses everyone off, or both. Usually heralded mid-segment instead of post-credits, with Jim dancing to the Pokémon Sword and Shield gym music like so.
  • Spray n' Play: Here, Jim takes a game and does a blind, 10-40 minute playthrough on it, commenting on its gameplay, graphics and such and, at the end, decides whether he recommends it or not. Needless to say, Sturgeon's Law is fully in effect here. Oh, and it also includes many, *many* titles in Early Access. Formerly known as "Jimpressions" and "Squirty Plays".
    • Jimpressions: Based on the less popular format of what was *formerly* called Jimpressions. This series has Jim doing post-commentary about his first, and consequent, impressions of a major title he played recently, with the game's footage in question being in the background.
  • Commentocracy with Duke Amiel du H'ardcore: A spin-off show where Duke Amiel, the painted-up aristocrat, reads YouTube comments portraying "Elite Gaming Wisdom" after popular demand and positive reception from his first appearance in May 2017.
  • Advertisement:
  • Industry Bullshit: While not exactly a series, it *is* a weekly feature with Jim taking a gander at recent controversial or notable enough gaming news - and stating his opinion on the subject matter.
  • Direct To Video: In which Jim plays, and naturally rips to shreds, the utter dreck that gets on Steam via Steam Direct - a system that is somehow even less limiting than the defunct Greenlight.
  • Podquisition: A podcast under the Jimquisition brand where Jim chats with his friend — originally Laura Kate Dale and Gavin Dunne, with Gavin being replaced by Conrad Zimmerman in late 2019 — about gaming news, the games they have been playing recently and any other topic that might come up.
  • The Spin-Off Doctors: A podcast released every couple of months where Jim and Conrad Zimmerman summarize and review movies and tv shows spun off of or somehow about video games. well as retired or rare series, such as:

  • Best Of Steam Greenlight Trailers: Here, Jim takes a look at terrible, provocative, and/or absurd Steam Greenlight trailers, while offering constructive criticism and advice to the developer as to how they can improve it. Retired due to the discontinuation of Steam Greenlight.
    • Greenlight Good Stuff: A spin-off of Best of Steam Greenlight Trailers, which features positive coverage alongside the ones of which he was critical. Here, Jim looks at the genuinely good games and explains why those games look appealing. He may even play them for a Jimpressions segment when the game is approved for Greenlight.
  • Nitpick Theater: Here, Jim does a short, angry rant about some small gripe with a game or game company in which he blows the problem ridiculously out of proportion. This can range from a small plothole or a company's obsession with an annoying (but not necessarily harmful) practice.
  • Tasty: Here, Jim inputs a certain keyword into the search bar of the games website and handpicks the most interesting games that come as a result of this and gives his thoughts on them.
  • OH MAH GAWD HYPE!: Jim takes footage of video game trailers designed to hype people up and completely snarks at them, which is doing the complete opposite of other YouTube celebrities where they hype the hell out of a game based on the trailer alone.
  • Video Game Show What I've Done: Rory Fingers, a young and mostly-ignorant child, attempts to review games while clearly having no idea what's going on, usually commenting on the way a game is perceived in the process. Originally credited to Jim Sterling himself, while the show still was on Destructoid.
  • Jimquisition Reviews: These were to replace the text review format of with a narrated one, game footage playing in the background included - but after a few of these, Jim laid off reviewing the games the old-fashioned way entirely, so now the part is filled by Jimpressions, giving games a good or bad review without giving out a numbered score.

Jim Sterling announced on November 14, 2014 that he would go crowd-funded via Patreon, so none of his anti-corporate videos would be powered by corporate-sponsored ads. Thus he will be free of editorial oversight as well as any hypocrisy. Donate to him yourself if you like.

Don't confuse him with Jim Starling.

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes Used in The Jimquisition 
Born different, born innocent, born perfect, I'm not like you...

Tropes featured include:

  • Accentuate the Negative: Although he's willing to expound on it if he feels it's truly negative.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: In his episode on the disastrous Tales of Symphonia PC port he gives a shout-out to someone who called him "the most obnoxious fat lesbian I've ever seen."
    • He admits this about a single joke in Candice DeBebe's Scandalous Secrets, a game that had, earlier in that episode, forced him to ask whether the definition of "joke" in England had changed since he left.
  • Affectionate Parody: The Jimsaw episodes parody the Saw movies, both with the Jigsaw-esque Chessmaster Death Trap enthusiast who is in fact neither very good at chessmastering or designing death traps and with the fact that his would-be victims spend more time querulously complaining and challenging his 'games' instead of playing along like the victims in the movies do.
  • And Another Thing...: "Oh and fuck Konami."
  • And That's Terrible: During the Squirty Play of Playing History: Slave Trade, an incredibly ill-conceived Edutainment Game about exactly what you think, the game's mascot (an incongruously cheery Off-Model cartoon mouse) finishes a description of the horrific treatment of slaves with "this was certainly not nice". Jim references the Trope Namer in response.
  • Appropriated Appellation: After the "epic meltdown of the Slaughtering Grounds developer", Jim started calling himself Jim Fucking Sterling, Son, which was an insult thrown at him in the developer's review of his review. ("I don't need to fix that because I'm Jim fucking Sterling, son!") He's since made it into a Catch Phrase.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Ubisoft has become this, with eight episodes about them in 2014. Jim frequently lampshades this. Like Konami, Ubisoft has earned the 'honor' of also getting special post-episode segments dedicated to especially notable blunders by the company every now and again, called "Oh, Ubisoft". This really hit its nadir in 2020 when reports came out that Ubisoft actively protected high-ranking executives who abused their employees for years.
    • He was blacklisted by Konami for his video on them back in 2012, and his relationship with them has only gone downhill since then. It reached new heights when Jim's anger towards Konami explodes in The Silent Hell that is Konami, telling the company how much he hates them while also telling them to fuck off multiple times. This utter contempt has only worsened in light of the shadier revelations about Konami. It seems any mention of them is enough to prompt Jim to proudly say "Fuck Konami." In fact, his hatred of them exceeds his persona's own narcissism, as he ends his "Fee 2 Pay" video with "Fuck Konami. And thank God for me. And hit the lever. But most importantly, Fuck Konami." To put things in perspective, Jim no longer has full episodes about the screw-ups Konami makes. He dedicates entire post-episode segments to a feature called "Fuck Konami News" whenever there's any negative buzz about them.
    • Digital Homicide has been getting on Jim's case ever since the fiasco the two sides had during The Slaughtering Grounds meltdown. Things have only escalated ever since, to the point of DigiHom attempting to sue Jim for $11 million. However, Jim doesn't seem to view them as arch-enemies, stating that a lot of things involving Digital Homicide were brought to his attention by other people.
      • The two have talked over the phone before. If you think flying accusations, taking Jim's Large Ham persona seriously, and reductive logic bombs make for humorous conversation, it's available in the Podquisition catalogue.
      • On February 21st 2017, the lawsuit has been "dismissed with prejudice" or, in non-legal terms, the judge said they were stopping the process and Digital Homicide can't start a new lawsuit about the same thing.
      • Early 2020 had Digital Homicide making a return where they posted games on and a blog explaining what happened to them since the lawsuit fiasco. The very first thing Digital Homicide did was blame Jim Sterling for their troubles. Even years after the lawsuit was dropped, the Romine brothers are still giving Jim grief.
    • Warner Bros. is starting to look like one as well. He considers them one of the trinity of dickish publishers (along with Ubisoft and EA) and is particularly exasperated that they get away with much worse behavior because people don't consider them a game publisher (since they're primarily thought of for movies and TV.)
    • Randy Pitchford is a very personal one for Jim due to Pitchford having lied in front of Jim's face at a face to face interview in regards to certain content in Aliens: Colonial Marines. It only escalated further when Randy made some passive aggressive quips at Jim and, at one point, pretended to forget Jim's name during a recorded interview.
    • Jim's relationship with the entire "Triple-A Industry" has always been strained, but over the course of 2017, "the Year of the Lootbox", it has devolved into outright enmity. Between Electronic Arts, Warner Bros., Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft, Jim has nothing less than absolute hatred for almost the entire mainstream game development industry, considering them soulless, morally bankrupt, sleazy, dishonest rip-off merchants for whom there is absolutely no depths to which they will not sink in their never-ending pursuit of more money at the expense of their customers. He no longer has any benefit of the doubt left to spare for them and sees no reason to believe anything they say.
    • Electronic Arts is a particularly notable one for the utterly repugnant stunts they have pulled and their tendency to devour and destroy smaller video game companies. Jim has taken to calling them "Unicronic Arts" because of this.
    • However unethical the aforementioned companies may be, Jim now considers Take-Two Interactive and Activision Blizzard to be worse. His fury primarily stems from the fact that the two own some of the best-selling video game franchises ever, thus ensuring that they are practically guaranteed to be make a large and constant profit, yet continue to stuff loot boxes, microtransactions, and freemium economies into their $60 games on top of season passes, pre-order bonuses, sponsorships, and collectable editions just to wring as much money from customers as possible. The two publishers have come to embody everything Jim feels wrong with the Triple-A gaming industry since they continue exploitative business models not because of need but greed.note  Jim in particular holds Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick in high contempt for laying off employees en-masse even as the he pockets massive payouts and boasts about the company's massive profits.
    • Downplayed with Square Enix, who also tend to frequently get it in the neck from Jim, since in their case it is often less to do with unethical business practices (though they are not exactly immune) and more to do with frustratingly convoluted, pretentious and confusing narrative decisions which mar otherwise decent games.
    • Similarly, his relationship with the three major console manufacturers, Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, is a bit more nuanced than with the major third-party game studios. In particular, he does not see Nintendo as an arch-enemy, unlike the other two, since he sees Nintendo as being less rapacious than the other two. However, because of this grudging respect, he will fall on them like a ton of bricks when they do act in any way he sees as anti-consumer.
    • Jim now considers himself the enemy of the entire "triple-AEYYY" video games industry, regarding almost all members of it as irredeemable, amoral slime who are raking in huge profits by actively making games worse so as to psychologically manipulate vulnerable people into spending money they can't afford in order to compensate. At the end of "The Addictive Cost Of Predatory Videogame Monetization" he finished by declaring "You damn right I'm anti-triple-A."
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: At the end of "Piracy - Trying To Kill It Makes It Stronger":
    Nobody's ever going to beat piracy. You can't stop people from wanting stuff for free, just like you can't stop people murdering, taking drugs, robbing houses, or watching Jeff Dunham shows.
  • Ass Shove: In "The Game Industry's Performative Concern for Children", this is the gist of Jim's response to the people behind the "Get Smart about PLAY" campaign:
    Today's video is dedicated to all the game industry executives out there, especially those plucky little guys sitting right at the top of the corporate structure. I'm talking about such "adorable" characters as Bobby Kotick, Yyves Guillemot, and—a-ha-ha-ha, of course—"Android" Wilson! To those hardworking cats with such thankless jobs, I say SHOVE IT UP YOUR ASS! Like, just shove everything up your ass! Your companies? Shove them up your ass—your disgusting business models, shove them! Up your ass! This Disney Parks commemorative Mr. Potato Head mug? Right up the ass, right into the hole of it!''
  • Author Appeal: Jim has an open and unabashed love of the Spider-Man villain Mysterio. When asked about why he liked him, he explained that Mysterio's use of illusions and mind games is a cool supervillain gimmick and he can be genuinely dangerous if a writer invests in him. He was very enthusiastic indeed about Mysterio's appearance in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
  • Author Filibuster: The entire series is just one Author Filibuster after another, though it's tongue-in-cheek.
  • Backhanded Apology: After Jim's call for calm discussion in "Dragon's Frown" backfired spectacularly, Jim decides to "apologize" for the backlash he incidentally caused.
    It is entirely my fault that the tumult was as tumultuous as it was, because I, in my blind foolishness, appealed for calm. I appealed for reason, and for that, I am truly, utterly, deeply sorry. And for that, you have my word, on my honor, as a brilliant game-talky man, that I will never, never be reasonable again. Thank you.
  • Badass Boast:
    • At the end of his "Skate Man Intense Rescue: A Steam Spite Story" video, he tells Digpex Games that he now owns them (in a metaphorical sense) because whenever people think of their shitty game, they'll only think about how Jim tore them down after the studio tried to silence his criticism and are now just another example of other indie developers who tried to pull the same stunt before.
    • At the end of "When Jim Sterling Was Sued For $10 Million By Digital Homicide", his overview of his legal dealings with Digital Homicide, he notes that he's received messages from Trolls threatening to try hitting him with spurious lawsuits en mass in an attempt to silence him or even destroy his health... and promises that if they try, he'll really take the gloves off, since despite how some may spin it he was actually remarkably lenient in allowing the Digital Homicide matter to be settled as it was.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Jim's "apology" for the Nigel Farage comment in Exposure.
  • The Barnum: Jim's latest opening after switching intro music shows him as the owner of a more than questionable fair featuring characters and running gags from previous episodes.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Jim's assistant Chip (SHUT UP CHIP!), who has only ever been seen in some context where he is being tormented by Jim.
  • Berserk Button:
    • The "you didn't play the game correctly" argument as a response to not liking a game. Also see Cluster F-Bomb and Everyone Has Standards.
    • Now added to the list: Aliens: Colonial Marines, or more accurately, developers bold-facedly lying about their games in order to grab money from unsuspecting gamers and run before the bad press hits. When he addressed this in a video, said video opened to him battering a copy of the game with The Penetrator from Saints Row: The Third.
    • Discrimination is a frequent topic, specifically homophobia and sexism (in both gaming and in general).
    • The belief that "real gamers" are invariably cisgender (non-trans) heterosexual white males, as shown in this Stealth Insult saturated video.
    • He spits the words "Appeal to a wider audience" with dripping disdain. The Golden Mean Fallacy drives him up the wall.
    • He also rails against the anti-consumer practices of the industry, with the most recent fixation being on "Fee to Pay" gaming. Full priced video games adopting the free to play model to create games that players pay up front for, and then try their hardest to make players pay for more stuff afterwards. To this end, he gave Final Fantasy: All the Bravest and Dungeon Keeper Mobile his "Worst Game of the Year" awards for 2013 and 2014, respectively, because of their overuse of microtransactions.
      • Conversely, any AAA game which uses microtransactions is automatically disqualified from his "Best Game of the Year" awards on principle, which kept both Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided out of contention for Game of the Year in 2015 and 2016 respectively despite their 9/10 scores. Jim was particularly torn up about the latter, since he absolutely loved the game otherwise, and was later made aware that the team had been forced to include them at the publisher's insistence late in development.
    • The concept of pre-orders. While he makes an exception for games that would go out of stock easily by studios such as Atlus and NISAmerica, he's against developers making certain parts of the game pre-order only, saying that: 1. It's almost impossible for the game to go out of stock, 2. The hypocrisy of AAA publishers decrying the used games industry, yet willing to work with Gamestop to make exclusive material, a chain that encourages said used games market. and 3. Cutting out parts that should be on the games proper or as DLC.
    • The mere idea of the "AAA games" industry is so offensive to Jim, he can barely bear to even say it without sneering sarcasm. The idea of "games as a service", even more so.
    • Customers who believe that since appealing to a wider audience via social issues makes them uncomfortable, developers should restrict their artistic pallet to cater exclusively to them, and then claim they're being "reasonable."
    • Disregarding one's own legacy and history, especially with their intellectual properties, angers Jim to no end due to how utterly fucked a franchise and/or game company can become with such an attitude and having little hope of recovery.
    • Unaltered storebought Unity assets. To clarify, he's completely fine with developers using storebought assets as a basis for their own original work, but he has spent a good bit of time railing against developers whose games consist largely of storebought materials that were left unchanged, the reasons being that the assets tend to look terrible next to each other and that it showcases a general lack of effort. It gets even worse when the game is entirely something the developer bought and resold. He's gone so far as to say that the people who do that shouldn't even be considered game developers.
      • The Minecraft-inspired Unit Z asset pack in particular deserves special mention. Jim was utterly flabbergasted at the sheer volume of Steam users who were just buying the pack and trying to resell it with no changes at all.
    • The idea of a "crunch period", when stressed developers spend insane hours working to finish a game before its release, possibly even staying overnight and sleeping at their computers. He made a whole episode on the subject, in which he lambasted it for benefiting only the people on top, who only care about the finished product and not how it's made.
      • Furthermore, companies that try to justify firing developers by saying that people who can't keep up with unreasonable schedules, refuse to or can't work unpaid overtime, demand employee benefits, or demand time off "aren't passionate enough" to work in the games industry.
    • The thought that entertainers on YouTube who rely on living off their channels doing videos that they enjoy making aren't working "real jobs".
    • As of 2017, loot boxes, which Jim describes as being one of the lowest attempts by AAA developers to monetize games via what he calls "glorified gambling". It is such a point of contention for him that he not only has vowed to never stop bring them up and criticizing them (even as fans and critics alike tire of it), he has been begging for government regulation to come to the games industry specifically to halt the practice, celebrating when Hawaii was making a bill to get rid of them, and celebrated once more when Belgium officially classified the lootboxes in Overwatch, FIFA 18. and Counter Strike: Global Offensive as Gambling. Interestingly, Star Wars Battlefront II (2017) avoided this verdict as a few months beforehand, EA removed the lootboxes from the game specifically to avoid any more bad press.
    • As a longtime Dynasty Warriors fan, he was particularly upset about Dynasty Warriors 9 and what it DID to Zhang He, to the point where it started to sour his opinions of the earlier games as well.
    • He absolutely despises game segments where you have to look for something via a "hot or cold" style mechanic, claiming that the only video game trope worse than it is the Escort Mission.
  • Blatant Lies: Played for Laughs
    Randy Pitchford: (in a past interview) That British guy's got a hard-on for me.
    Jim Sterling (holding a dildo bat) I have no idea what would give you that impression.
  • Blessed With Suck: "The Episode About Unity Engine Being Good" discusses how Unity is a free, powerful game engine that can easily be used to make games. The problem is, this is why so many people will try to use it to make asset flips. It also points out that to avoid limiting the free engine too much while still gaining enough money to continue development, the main thing buying Unity engine use gets you is not having an obligatory 'powered by Unity' logo when you start the game — which means that it is always made immediately obvious that Unity asset flips are made in Unity, while professional Unity games tend to require looking it up.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Happens to Jim in "Content Divided: Death To Pre-Order Culture" after he sees the trailer to pre-order Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Nintendo in Jim's eyes makes so many decisions off in their own corner that comprehension is often difficult and their own antics are good and bad in Jim's eye in very different ways from the other major game companies (and keep Nintendo off Jim's list of arch enemies despite multiple videos).
  • Blue Blood: Duke Amiel du H'ardcore, the central character of Commentocracy, is an 18th century aristocrat projecting gaming wisdom as told by elitist gamers across the internet.
  • Breakout Character: Duke Amiel du H'ardcore, who appeared to read Youtube comments as an 18th century aristocrat, and was so popular, he spawned an entire sideshow reading "gaming wisdom" on a regular weekday.
  • Book Ends: Jim notes that his first episode about Square Enix was before his back injury and when he just found out about his problem with Square Enix. His (hopefully) last one has it after he found out just how bad the situation with the company was, and after his back operation.
  • Bring It:
    • At the end of "When Jim Sterling Was Sued", Jim has this to say in response to an alleged Greenlight developer's threatening comment about multiple developers joining to harass him with simultaneous frivolous lawsuits:
      And if anybody, if any fffucking idiot thinks they can repeat what James [Romine] did, and somehow succeed, well you're welcome to try. Because I won't show mercy next time. And you will break yourselves upon me.
    • Jim normally doesn't taunt people to try and attack him, but after many of his videos were Content ID'd by Nintendo, he posts video from Hyrule Warriors Legends with a Pixellation filter on it, taunting them to try and Content ID that.
    • As of "Copyright Deadlock", he's extended this along with a massive middle finger to anybody who tries to wrongfully content ID him. When Jim knows that a company is going to try and profit off his videos, he puts in multiple sources of content ID-alarming content so the multiple copyright claims cancel each other out and none of the companies get any money and no ads can be put on his videos. Just to be safe, any video using Nintendo footage includes the Erasure song "Chains of Love".
    • For the Chains of Love usage, it's now averted. Jim found that in his usage of Chains of Love prior to 20 February 2017, that it no longer triggered the Copyright Deadlock. Interestingly, he did find that a clip of North American Nintendo footage, and a clip of Japanese Nintendo footage do cancel each other out...
    • After Randy Pitchford tried to pin the blame on Sterling for Aliens Colonial Marines' failure and critical reception, Jim was rather forward about how he is ready to go if Randy were to continue with the slander. Special mention goes to Jim replaying Pitchford's interview, where Pitchford says "That British guy has a hard-on for me," and then cutting to Jim holding the dildo bat, and replying "I really don't know what would give you that idea."
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • The whole gaming industry to Jim; he used to admire it, but repeated transgressions by virtually every major company on the map have left him jaded and cynical.
    • One specific straw that broke the back of the camel that was Jim's trust in the video game industry was Aliens: Colonial Marines. As a diehard fan of the Alien film series, it was the one game Jim was most hyped for. After it came out, however, the blatant lies the trailers presented about the game that would be released, as well as Randy Pitchford's own untruths about the game (some of which Pitchford told Jim personally) would make Colonial Marines the last game Jim would ever be excited for pre-release, and destroy any trust he had in pre-release marketing, or Gearbox and Pitchford in general. Even years after, he holds a massive grudge over it.
    • Jim says he used to like EA, but now he thinks they're one of the worst companies in the industry.
    • While he liked amiibo initially, Nintendo's repeated failures to produce enough to go around, led to him throwing all his amiibo off his lectern, saying he was done with them.
    • Spelled out when Overkill Software added paid Microtransactions to PAYDAY 2, when they had previously said the game would never have it. Jim felt ashamed that he previously used Overkill as an example of a company that didn't rip off its fans; and summed it up as "Never make me regret loving you." Thankfully this has gotten better in 2016, when the devs purchased full ownership of the game and the first thing that they did was remove the microtransactions. Jim was very pleased when he heard the news.
    • His view on Konami can be summed up as massive contempt. He loved the company back when they were actually making good games, but then swore off Konami due to their complete disregard to their IP's histories and how shady their business and ethical practices had become over time.
    • Jim once championed the mobile gaming market, taking to its defense against critics who considered it to not be "real" video games. As the mobile market became increasingly saturated with cookie-cutter games, many of which played themselves and almost all of which including rampant microtransactions, he has changed his tune and has now condemned the mobile gaming market.
    • Before Call of Duty: Ghosts was released in 2013, Jim proudly declared himself a fan of the series and defended it against invokedIt's Popular, Now It Sucks!. Beginning with Ghosts, however, Jim finally began feel Its The Same Now It Sucks, in addition to being turned off by the series' increasingly aggressive monetization strategies. The final straw was Modern Warfare Remastered, which Activision (a) "held to ransom" by initially only making it available through the Special Edition of Infinite Warfare, (b) added Microtransactions to shortly after the launch of the Remaster and nine years after the original game, (c) didn't bundle all previously released DLC with, but instead sold it separately again for a higher price than the original DLC was, and (d) finally released as standalone product after promising that they wouldn't, screwing over everyone who bought an expensive special edition of Infinite Warfare because they were told it was the only way to get the Remaster. Needless to say, this shattered what little faith Jim had left in the series and made him swear to never let Activision live down what they did with Modern Warfare Remastered.
    • He has disowned the Dynasty Warriors series as of Dynasty Warriors 9. In The Dismal Degradation of Dynasty Warriors, Jim admits that this particular pedestal had been cracking for a long time, but he'd been letting the publisher get away with a lot of shady stuff because he still loved their games. The catastrophe that was DW9 was the tipping point, and Jim no longer wants to have anything to do with the series until it redeems itself. Jim was so angry at the whole thing that not only he had a Jimquistion made for it, but also made another video before it ranting about how badly Koei Tecmo screwed up.
    • While Jim once appreciated Valve Software for their high quality games and pioneering Digital Distribution service, his relationship with them grew very strained over the years due to the company doing very little to curate content being published on Steam and having next to no communication with anyone, along with their steadily declining game output over the years. The resentment finally boiled over in mid-2018 where Valve announced they would no longer curate any game and would instead let the community filter out content they don't like. Jim was incredulous, believing that a problem he felt was already bad was only going to get worse.
    • Bethesda used to be one of Jim's favorite AAA publishers for sticking to its guns in making single-player games and refusing to copy gaming fads like microtransactions and online-only multiplayer. This all changed with Fallout 76, which was a broken, derivative survival game with microtransactions and online-only multiplayer, causing Jim to lose any confidence in the company's future installments. This really came to head in "Bethesda is Officially Obsolete"; not only did Jim find The Outer Worlds by Obsidian Entertainment to be better than Bethesda's Fallout games in every way, Jim says Bethesda's sheer number of mistakes and inadequacies is actually starting to make Konami look good by comparison.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: When he included Middle-earth: Shadow of War in his "Shittiest Video Games of 2017" list, it was because of its inclusion of Microtransactions allowing the player to simply buy an army of Orcs, rather than play through the game and building an army through the Nemesis System. When he finally faced his nemesis at the end of the game, it was a random Orc that he only just met; the Orc acted like he was Jim's rival throughout the game, but Jim outright said "for me it was Tuesday".
  • Butt-Monkey: Chip, the new head of research, who only exists to be yelled at and to be blamed for mistakes. This even extends to the new (as of mid-2017) intro sequence, in which the attraction named after him is the "Chip Memorial Porta-Potty."
    "SHUT UP, CHIP!"
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes":
    • Jim states in his first video about the Xbox One that he was very annoyed by all the tweets asking him to make a video against it. He said he was not the public's "performing chimp", and he wasn't going to "tear it a new one" just because they wanted him to. Then he adds that well, he was going to tear it a new one, but not just because they wanted him to.
    • From the Jimpressions video for A Hat in Time:
      I always say: A Jimpressions is never late, nor early. It always arrives exactly when I mean it to. Unless it... goes up late. They're never early! They always... go up late, if they're gonna go up at all.
  • Call-Back:
    • In "Why Square Enix Is Carving Its Games To Bits", Jim showed that he had predicted a video game publisher dividing their game up back in mid-2013 by showing a clip from his earlier episode "Fee 2 Pay".
    • In "Where's the Fair Use", Jim points out that Nintendo's habit of content ID-ing his videos that don't actually break copyright laws removes any incentive to respect the copyright laws, because it wouldn't make a difference. In "Newtendo" Jim puts in footage from several different games that don't belong to Nintendo in an attempt to make Nintendo fight with other corporations, since multiple corporations could exploit the copyright system.
  • The Cameo:
  • Canon Welding: Virgillio Armarndio is a carryover from his Destructoid show "The Videogame Show What I've Done."
  • Captain Obvious: Everything in his "100% objective" review of Final Fantasy XIII. "Final Fantasy XIII is a video game. It has graphics, and sound. When you turn on the game, the graphics and the sound start at almost exactly the same time, and that is the signal that the game has begun."
  • Cassandra Truth: Jim has a rather long (and mostly sad) story of foreseeing both major and minor video game trends correctly. He's also got a lot of apologists trying to disprove him and call him out on overreacting - at least, until things go from bad to worse. Case in point, in "Turning Players into Payers", he outright calls himself The Cassandra of Video Games.
    • Jim made a video concerning the utter disregard for quality control for non-Valve Steam games way back in 2014 while he was still working for The Escapist. As much as people didn't care before, the amount of subpar games on the storefront grew exponentially each and every year - to the point where 2016 saw Steam's already massive library increasing by a whopping *forty percent*! Naturally, it was far from the last video Jim made about Steam, or anything closely related to it, not even after Steam Greenlight, an already notorious service, was succeeded by much less restraining Steam Direct.
    • In 2015, worried assumptions were made about Visceral Games, of Dead Space fame, that they would eventually be shut down by Electronic Arts, after a string of really short-sighted business decisions. On October 17, 2017, the studio was disbanded in the middle of developing a linear story-based Star Wars title.
    • Then there's the immense popularity of Overwatch and its lootbox system. It's not the first time the publishers were charging some extra cash from the players, either for virtual consumables or for a chance to win a unique skin - Team Fortress 2 did this a few months before it went F2P, but unlike TF2, Overwatch has gathered a lot of defenders who consider its microtransaction system to be the most consumer-friendly out there. Jim, as much as he liked the game, really didn't think so. Fast forward a few months, and it's topic of mass controversy, as nearly every big-name video game publisher features a variation of a business model which discourages playing the game directly to progress - and encourages using your wallet instead.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • "And thank God for me!"
    • "Wrong!" (Said in a manner of increasingly silly ways)
    • Blending this with a variety of Overly Long Gag, he also has a tendency to at least once in a video (usually during the closing) draw out a word. Particularly "Fffffffffffucking."
    • He sort of has visual catch phrases too; whenever he talks about certain things, he usually shows stills or clips from certain sources, again and again. Greedy capitalists get one or a slideshow of Cyril Sneer from The Raccoons, Claudaine or his pet kitty Fat Cat from Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, for example. Also there is usually at least one picture of a shrimp per episode.
      • Any time he comes close to saying the word "cunt", it gets interrupted by a tidbit of the Skeleton Warriors title sequence.
      • Rahaan the Barbarian has become the show's unofficial mascot - all thanks to his rage-induced yet goofy face - used either as a "wait, what" reaction for someone releasing unbelievably dumb statements or as a censor for video watermarks.
    • "I'm Jim Fucking Sterling, Son." See Appropriated Appelation.
    • "Fuck Konami!", done in various ways, after the cancellation of Silent Hills and the removal of P.T from the PlayStation Store was the last straw for him with them. He's even started randomly saying it at the end of episodes that don't have anything to do with Konami at all! For example, The Stinger for "The Asset Flip" is simply the words FUCK KONAMI in giant Courier font.
    • "Helps to have a map!" Said for any game with said map as a jab towards Guise of the Wolf, which had a rather not so helpful map and guards who said little else other than it helps to have a map.
    • "Hoy there, small fry.", said as an opener to any episode of Tasty. Lifted directly from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.
    • "Is this memes?" Said for games where the developers seem to have focused on cramming in as many memes as possible rather than making a good game.
    • "Cheesed my onions" is Jim's favorite go-to phrase when something really bothered/angered him.
    • When the subject turns to matters of an X-rated nature, Jim will often end up inviting the audience to imagine him in some kind of graphically-detailed debauchery involving someone "POUNDING IT... POUNDING IT... POUNDING IT..." in some way, with a suspicious smacking noise in the background.
    • [Condescending chuckle] "Oh, Ubisoft."
    • "just look at it!", to underscore the fact that a game is not only bad, but obviously bad.
    • "Video games!", either muttered darkly or loudly shouted, to express dismay at the course of the genre as a whole, and how a particular game reflects it.
    • *snide, pinched nose voice* "Triiiple-AAAAAAYYYYY", normally used whenever a game starts indulging in hated developer behavior for no apparent reason other than every other big-name game is doing it, such as season passes, microtransactions, or a game's price going up to $60 for no real reason.
    • He often describes greedy triple-A developers who sell full-price games then try to milk their players for as much extra cash as possible after the initial sale as "trying to have their cake and fuck it too".
    • "It's... fine." His go-to description for So Okay, It's Average games, where he can't dismiss it as total rubbish but won't recommend it either.
  • Category Traitor: Jim is especially disgusted with the use of DMCA takedowns to try and silence critics of the game Fur Fun, since the developer is a YouTuber himself and would know firsthand how annoying and harmful false copyright claims are to YouTube content creators.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: His appearance and even his voice are quite similar to that of Garth Marenghi, which he even lampshaded on a podcast.
  • Characterization Marches On: Shortly after the show began, Jim settled into a dictator-like persona, complete with black gloves and banner, as a way of comedically "owning" criticisms that he came across as a self-important opinionated Know-Nothing Know-It-All. As time went on, he added more wacky Running Gags to the schtick, which took it in an ever more bizarre and flamboyant direction. In 2017 he finally dropped the dictator routine and shifted into more of The Barnum, as a proprietor of a carnival of the strange, which by that point was not much of a stretch from the earlier persona. Jim thought that the original gag had gotten a little old, and that given the state of world politics at the time, even comedic faux-fascism felt a little too uncomfortably close to real.
  • Chewbacca Defense: Near the end of "A Quiet Conversation", he jokes that saying "I breathe through my skin" can be used to justify anything, no matter how heinous or ridiculous it may benote .
  • Couch Gag: Since the updated intro animation debuted in May 2017, a wall on the background always contains a different message displayed in graffiti each episode.
  • Country Matters: Initially, but Jim has since made it a point not to use gender-specific slurs (though he's still happy to use "cocking", "cunting", and "clitting" as stand-ins for "fucking"). Eventually he got into the habit of cutting of the C word with the opening theme to Skeleton Warriors.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Jim hardly backs down from obscenities, but it was Dead Space 2's crappy multiplayer and online pass system that drove him to previously unseen levels of profanity.
    As a new, paying customer, I hate, hate, HATE that barrier being put in front of me, where I can't just hop into an online game on a whim, instead of having to redeem a fucking 21-digit redemption code on a fucking controller using the Xbox 360's fucking laggy input just to play Dead fucking Space fucking 2's fucking multi-player that wasn't even fucking any fucking good in the fucking first fucking fucking place, fuck!
  • Companion Cube: Miniature Fantasy Willem Defoe
  • Commander Contrarian: Jim will occasionally take up controversial point of views specifically for the point of antagonizing people into rethinking their positions... or at least getting pissed off about it.
  • Constructive Criticism: Jim uses this in his Squirty Plays/Jimpressions of early access games by pointing out the things he likes, what he doesn't like, and what he thinks can be improved upon. He uses Brutal Honesty a lot (although he has made an attempt to be less brutal), which has caused many indie developers (including the infamous Digital Homicide) to lash out against Jim with Disproportionate Retribution since the majority of them Can't Take Criticism. Jim will drift into Caustic Critic territory if the game is really bad.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: According to Jim, Square Enix needs to stop announcing games all the time or Yoishi Ada needs to get kicked in the ass with steel-toed boots.
  • Corpsing:
    • In "Game Over, Randy", Jim inadvertently knocks the Xenomorph figurine off the podium with his Dildo Bat. He begins laughing and loses his train of thought.
    • In "The Mighty Has Fallen", Jim calls those who watch the show for free (that is, non-Patreon supporters) "fucking parasites" as a joke. He immediately laughs at that comment, claiming he was "goof-bushed" by himself.
  • Critic Breakdown: While he is generally less prone to giving this sort of reaction than several other online Caustic Critics, he has had more than one such outburst over the years.
    • Had a screaming fit over Pixel Rising on finding that it is yet one more UnitZ asset flip; he had reviewed seven versions of the same game with different names uploaded by different 'developers' by this time, so a degree of outrage was called for.
    • Was sent into a state of existential despair by Digital Homicide's E.L.T.: The Extra-Large Testicle.
    • During his "Squirty Play" (Let's Play-style playthrough) of Zen Fish Simulator[1], he mused first whether he was 'on some secret drug [..] like some government shady psychotropic test', then whether he was trapped in a Jacob's Ladder-style dying hallucination and was really 'on a stretcher in Vietnam or something'.
    • Alternated between devolving into child-like gibberish ("it's bad time game, game bad!") and scenery-chewing ranting in his review of Contra: Rogue Corps, which he describes as being the antithesis of a Contra title.[2] Admittedly, this was a Konami title made after the departure of Hideo Kojima, which automatically makes it a something of Berserk Button for Sterling.
  • Critical Research Failure:invoked Played for Laughs in "I'm Not Saying Emulators Are Cool, BUT...". He says that Emulation is a taboo subject among AAA companies, "like Voldemort from that movie Game of Thrones", while showing a picture of Sauron.
  • Crocodile Tears: At the end of Goodbye Greenlight, he invites the viewer to cry with him over the death of Steam Greenlight. Said crying is obviously insincere and devolves into insane cackling after a few seconds.
    Thank God for me.
    Oh, hold on, I'm gonna cum as well! UURGH
  • Curse Cut Short: while he normally has no issues whatsoever swearing without filters, he cuts off a certain c-nuke with the intro to Skeleton Warriors. He extended the joke to his blog in the new comments system where anyone who posts the "c" word gets replaced with [♪SKELETON WARRIORS♫]
  • Damned by Faint Praise:
    • Jim's second look at Digital Homicide's Deadly Profits has him pointing out the one or two extremely minor details that were changed for the better (such a boss fight having its exploitation fixed) and that the game itself was worth buying due to the $1 sale the developers were promoting.
    • "It's... fine." Jim's go-to phrase for "Jimpressions" when reviewing games that he considers average fare.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Combined with You Keep Using That Word, Jim's counter to the "Video Games Are A Luxury" justification for bad business practices is that luxuries are, by definition, inessential goods that people will forgo if they can't afford them. Thus, by thinking that the price of its products have no upper bound, the video game industry is setting a course to drive itself off a cliff by alienating huge portions of their customers.
    • In "Unity Has An Image Problem" Jim says this about the Unity Engine's policy of forcing developers using the basic editions of Unity to display the engine's logo at their games' startup, while giving those who pay for more premium versions the option of not doing so. This results in Unity becoming associated with low-quality and low-budget amateur Shovelware, and not the numerous high quality and professionally-made games which have in fact used Unity.
    • In "Of Course There's a Game With a Mass School Shooting In It on Steam," Jim argues against the game being published not for its content, but because he worries about what will happen when "powerful people get offended", citing the reactions to the first Mortal Kombat game, which led to the creation of the ESRB. Jim says whatever value one might get out of "pwning libs" or "triggering snowflakes" won't be worth it if it means it leads to actual censorship.
    • An example that applies to Jim himself: During a bit as Cucumber Succulence in "I Won't Be Sponsored By Your Trash Product", Jim pours several pumps of hand sanitizer into his mouth to "disinfect his lungs". Later in the video we cut to a shot of Jim hunched over the sink, weakly trying to justify doing so and attempting to scrub the taste from his mouth while another person asks in bewilderment "Why would you do that??"
    Jim: Because it was funny! I had to disinfect my lungs...
  • Different in Every Episode: Starting from A Bitter Post-Mortem Of Modern Warfare Remastercarded, the intro has a unique message written on the wall every episode, usually commenting on the episode's topic.
  • Disapproving Look: According to Visceral's John Calhoun, people expect mobile games to have Freemium content in it, so a console horror game must include it as well. Jim tips down his glasses and sighs.
    • In general, this is his reaction when words fail him.
  • Dissimile: In the "digital games" episode:
    You know, some weeks I finish a video, and I think "That was righteous! That was glorious! That was the truth! You sir, Jim Sterling, are Hitler!"— (pregnant pause) But a good one, obviously. I'm a good Hitler. The good Hitler of videogames.
  • Divide and Conquer: In "Newtendo", Jim puts videos from several other games studios because they (including Nintendo) abuse YouTube's copyright system and try to claim ad revenue on any video containing their content. By putting several different games on one video, he finds the copyright holders get stalemated as trying to put ads on the video draws the attention of the others and leads to conflicting copyright claims.
  • Don't Try This at Home: During Jim's playthrough of Radiator 2, he warns viewers to not try what he was about to do to a male character in game and proceeds to spank said man's ass over and over again until the guy passes out.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: The motivation for Jim moving away from his original "dictator" persona, since he felt that with the state of world politics it was no longer funny or amusing.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Acknowledged by Jim in "How Publishers Exploit Your Confusion and Your FOMO". Jim admits that while he doesn't think highly of Dilbert creator Scott Adams on the whole, due to the latter's advocacy of right-wing conspiracy theories, Jim does think Adams has had some good ideas over the years such as his concept of the Confusopoly which Jim applies to the AAA video game industry in the video.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The beginnings of the Duke Amiel du H'ardcore persona actually took place during the "Mario, Take the Wheel" episode - when he mocked a person bashing the inclusion of White Tanooki Suit in Super Mario 3D World. Royston, Amiel's right hand, gets a name just one episode before his master does.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The earliest episodes (available on Destructoid's Youtube channel) did have their fair share of differences from the usual format:
    • The opening sequence changed more often, lacked the "Truth, Pride, Garme Jurnalizm" motto and usually lasted longer.
    • The episodes mostly showed Jim talking, with video game footage being played in a corner of the screen, as opposed to current episodes, which show either Jim or video game footage in full screen, but never both at the same time. They also weren't structured with an introduction or a conclusion, Jim would just get to the main point the moment the episode started, and the episode would end as soon as he was done.
    • Jim didn't have a podium and a backdrop, and simply stood in front of a white wall with a microphone in his hand. The miniature fantasy Willem Dafoe didn't exist neither.
    • Jim didn't have his Small Name, Big Ego persona yet, and was more of a (moderately) angry ranter. Instead of self-congratulatory quips, episodes ended with Jim dropping his microphone in annoyance and walking away.
    • Jim's "Best of Steam Greenlight Trailers" was mostly just him giving his reactions and impressions of bad or potentially bad games on Greenlight while having a good snark. He later adopted a critique style where he gives his criticism of the trailer and reads the game's description on its homepage. Ironically, this effort to be more constructively critical coincided with a decided increase in harsh, snarky reviews, though this was in part due to the growing number of poor games coming to his attention, mostly via fans who loved watching him tear them to shreds.
  • Enemy Mine: Jim has backed some Kickstarter projects purely out of spite. He backed Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night as a Spiritual Successor to Castlevania, which Konami had screwed over, and Yooka-Laylee as a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie, which Microsoft Studios had screwed over.
  • Enforced Plug: Parodied. Jim himself tries to market Mountain Dew, taking a sip... which makes him go blind.
    "It tastes like sugar and hedgehog piss!"
  • Epic Fail:
    • In the episode "How Do You Fuck Up Tetris?", he is so flabbergasted at how Ubisoft and EA managed to fuck up making a simple game like Tetris. In Ubisoft's case, the game is riddled with bugs, frame rate drops, and forcing users to use Ubisoft's intrusive uPlay application. For EA, they filled the game with microtransactions, DLC, and a subscription service.
    • In Jim's Halloween specials, Jimsaw's plans always culminate in the trap failing.
    • Jim admitted on Facebook and Twitter that playing against bots in a game of Paladins and not realizing it was one of the stupidest things he has ever done.
      Jim: I've done some stupid things in my job, but playing against bots and not realizing it and thinking I'm great? I out-DSP'd DSP on that one.
  • Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: In this episode, Jim is dressed up in a gimp mask for the intro and only able to speak through a built-in kazoo, supposedly as 'punishment' for 'bollocksing up [his] biggest show of the year'. The skit is accompanied by captions translating his unintelligible kazoo speak, but at one point:
    Seriously I forgot what I said.
    I feel sexy(?)
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • He may be a monstrous ball of rage with a god complex, but woe betide those who spout sexist or otherwise discriminatory bullshit. And any game that treats rape and misogyny lightly will get heaps of scorn (why he listed Duke Nukem Forever as the worst game of its year). After "Mass Effect 3: A Gay Erotic Love Story," he did a 'normal' video tackling the subject for everyone who found the previous one too subtle, during which he goes increasingly berserk as he addresses each point brought up in the arguments people make against Mass Effect 3's Gay Option.
    • He's against the antics of corporate executives, but he respected Satoru Iwata decision to cut his own salary in half instead of firing his employees, in order to keep company morale up. Similarly, he takes pains to point out that Square Enix of Japan is a different wheelhouse when it comes to corporate dealings and behavior, even distancing them from criticism he's made of their US and European branches, treating them as a whole different entity that don't really act the same way their western counterparts do.
  • Every Episode Ending: Jim telling the public to thank God for him.
  • Evil Laugh:
  • Exact Words: Jim says that he had several good opportunities to take a shot at David Cage in his "Irrational Decisions (or Freedom in Chains)" video, but wasn't going for the easy shot because he's mature. In the video, he doesn't mention Cage once; instead he waits until the closer and hammers him there.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Despite Sterling's fondness for both the film Aliens and his constant pointing-out of "borrowed" assets, he completely fails to recognize a Conestoga-class starship in Desertland 2115, despite spending at least a minute running up to it and past it.
  • Flowery Insults:
    • Jim, showing that this trope and Cluster F-Bomb are not mutually exclusive, composes this gem for "AAA" game developers who try to make loot boxes sound like something good for customers. In the style of the Star Wars Opening Crawl, no less:
      FUCK YOU
      Fuck you, you predatory, exploitative, callous, audacious fucking scavengers.
      You duplicitous shovelers of digital filth, you can fuck right the fuck off with the insincere slime that dribbles from your decaying mouths whenever you try to validate the harmful business practices and your decision to steadily erode the value of your games while asking for ever more money.
    • In "Is Loot Box Regulation Censorship Of Art?":
      It's no secret by now that yours truly utterly hates loot boxes for these reasons and more: They're an exploitative polyp dangling from the milky anus of the "AAA" game industry, and if they were to be scrubbed from the game industry overnight I wouldn't shed a single goddamned tear.
  • Foil: In "The Artistic Arrogance Of A Horrible Hollywood Hedgehog", Jim makes two sets of contrasting comparisons.
    • The X-Men Film Series and the Marvel Cinematic Universe: The former was a textbook case of an early comic-book movie that was ashamed of its source material's goofiness, resorting to Movie Superheroes Wear Black and even adding a line about the traditional yellow spandex that read like an Author Tract against the same. Meanwhile, the latter's gleeful embrace of the visuals and concepts of the source material no matter how goofy, with the odd tweak to better fit the movie's purpose, has legitimized such goofiness through Marvel's dominance of the international box office — up to and including the arrival of a live-action Mysterio in a comics-accurate costume and his signature fishbowl helmet, which Jim sees as proof that anything is possible.
    • Pokémon Detective Pikachu and Sonic the Hedgehog (2020): The former film received widespread acclaim for invokedits beautiful CGI recreations of Pokemon, keeping the proportions of the games with furry and scaly textures as a compromise; some might look a little creepy, but for good or for ill they were true to the original designs because the film's creators trusted Pokémon's developers had nailed the designs long ago. By contrast, the latter film was widely decried for its CGI version of Sonic, which Jim decried as atrocious, high-end Accidental Nightmare Fuel that made him want to be sick, and which the film-makers had pursued against the advice of SEGA itself, even though SEGA were the ones who had kept the Sonic licence alive for almost thirty years.
  • Frivolous Lawsuit: Was nonchalantly threatened by Digital Homicide to be sued for slandernote  and tried to force him into signing an agreement with their lawyer saying that he would stop dragging their name through the mud. Jim casually mentioned that he would need to talk to his own lawyer before signing anything, which made Digital Homicide extremely upset.
    • As of the fourth of March, 2016, they've actually followed through, believe it or not.
    • As of July 2nd and 13th, 2016, it looks like the case will be dismissed and Rommie, who does not have a lawyer in the case has no clue what he is doing.
    • And in February of 2017, the case has been dismissed with prejudice, which means that the case is closed and cannot be reopened.
    • In "PUBG Makers Start Suing Over Copyrights And Frying Pans", the news is that Blue Hole Entertainment is suing Chinese mobile game developer NetEase for making Rules Of Survival and Knives Out, which copy the formula and look of Blue Hole's PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and PUBG Mobile. PUBG was not the first Battle Royale format videogame, Jim notes, but it was the Trope Codifier that put that genre on the map, and immediately other devs started to Follow the Leader. Epic Games' Fortnite has since overtaken PUBG in the Battle Royale genre's top spot, and while PUBG is still popular and profitable, it's understandable that Blue Hole would feel a little peeved. What's really not cool, Jim says, is that after eroding the community's goodwill by making threatening noises towards Epic Games, they went and filed a lawsuit against NetEase in the Northern District of California, which makes nitpicky and ridiculous arguments about how all sorts of game mechanics and features can be found in other games, which are somehow copyright-able in the battle royale genre. Things like the shrinking playing arena, having a frying pan as a weapon, the phrase "winner, winner, chicken dinner" is apparently "iconic" to PUBG; “The total look and feel of Battlegrounds", they claim, "constitutes copyrightable subject matter.” This just reinforces what Jim said in his previous video about PUBG, "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Is A Successful Failure", in which he shows that despite succeeding in creating a fun and popular game, the PUBG team made the mistake of releasing a very nondescript and generic-looking game with hardly any costumes, weapons, character designs, set pieces, or other assets that are really memorable, original, or subject to copyright—things which Fortnite, for example, has in abundance. Since the features that made PUBG successful are ones that are broadly understood in the game industry to be fair game for imitation, he thinks that PUBG hasn't got much of a leg to stand on.
  • The Ghost: For all the... "trouble" that James Romine has caused, Jim has never so much as spoken to him, let alone met the man; The "interview" was with Robert, James' brother, and James himself only communicated with Jim through legal documents and other written correspondence.
  • A God Am I:
  • Godwin's Law: Jim considers himself "The good Hitler of videogames," being one of the few cases of a Hitler comparison not being used to condemn the person compared.
  • Greed: Along with Complexity Addiction, his central thesis about the modern triple-A gaming industry. He argues that a lot of the problems facing the industry stem from the publishers and corporations behind the games having let their greed spiral completely out of control, causing them to lunge wildly into ill-advised, ridiculous, desperate and damaging behaviour, as Jim frequently puts it "they're not satisfied with making a lot of money when they could make all of the money."
  • Gushing About Shows You Like: In-universe. Jim loves the Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare games, and sighs resignedly when both games instituted microtransactions a month after release, when normally he'd rage about it with other games.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: On Konami after the company announced it wanted to win back the trust it lost with its fans. Jim rejects the notion, saying that Konami is only crawling back to the gaming public because its grand gambit of refocusing on glitzy pachinko machines and mobile titles has been an unmitigated disaster, and that talk is cheap and they'll need to take action. He also claims he'll never forgive them for the personal and professional mistreatment he's experienced at their hands.
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms: In "Genitalia" when talking about the fully-rendered vagina that had slipped into Watch_Dogs 2 on one of the female NPCs, Jim used every single slang term for female genitalia he could possibly come up with, such as snatch, clamshell, muff, twadge, sugar-notch, flap-dragon, quim and bookbinder's wife. Apparently he googled them. In the same video he also used a variety of terms for penises, although not to the same extent.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Quite often.
    • When clarifying his views on Chick-fil-a, he said he believed that no religious statements should be made outside of a church or religious discussion, right before saying his Catch Phrase.
    • Whenever he corrects a previous error, it's presented as "Only a complete idiot would have done this very specific thing by accident, and I never make mistakes! I did it on purpose, obviously!"
    • After chewing out publishers for exploiting business models he used to like, he'll pretend to use the same business model himself (often to illustrate his point).
      • His video about "early access" is unfinished
      • In his video about Evolve and its saturated pre-order bonuses Jim advertises that next week's video has pre-order bonuses.
      • His video where he opposes whole games being arbitrarily split up into episodes abruptly switches over to a Rednex music video ("Old Pop In An Oak") three times and ends with a sudden cut to black followed by a fake On the Next teaser.
    • In "A Tale of Casinos and SEO Juice", Jim's criticism of critics who take payments from representatives of online casinos to mention and link to them in reviews in order to increase the casino's search engine optimisation is interrupted every so often by gushing plugs for Juicy Slots, a parody of online casinos. He admits that he was tempted to go even further and sign up with one such service in order to expose and slam them while at the same time getting paid by them, but decided against it on the grounds that (a) after researching it he was so disgusted by the practice it was beneath his dignity and conscience to do so even for the purposes of irony, and (b) they were only offering him $100 anyway.
  • Hypocrisy Nod: At the start of his video on Gearbox Software developer Randy Pitchford, who still defends the awful Aliens: Colonial Marines. Jim wants him to just give up and admit the game sucked, and then points out the irony that he is still hung up on how terrible the game is.
  • I Meant to Do That: Jim took some cell phone video at SGC 2015, but held the phone upright instead of sideways, so the video was tall and narrow instead of in widescreen. Jim says he doesn't make mistakes, and he was doing it deliberately.
  • Insane Troll Logic:
    • In a conversation with the founder of Digital Homicide, Jim was accused of rallying his audience to attack his games. The 'evidence' of this: a video clip where Jim talks about growing a genetically engineered army with mad science.
    • DigiHom also attempted to paint Sterling as someone who exploits his fans by quoting a completely unrelated joke from a video about a terrible game when he was mocking "game jurnalizm" and its tendency to say things that get a buzz out of fans, without even accounting for the obvious sarcasm in his tone.
    • He likens Nintendo's given explanations on why they can't have Zelda as a playable character to him claiming that he wears a red tie because a blue tie would make his opinions less valid.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • Jim has taken to referring to some companies (such as EA DICE and Activision-Blizzard) by their full name. This is probably to remind people that certain companies who are regarded as Sacred Cows by certain portions of the gaming community, or as above, the typical industry shenanigans, are in fact Not So Above It All by virtue of both their own practices and their connections to other companies with lesser reputations.
    • In this episode Jim explains why he dislikes the word "Consumer", and why he always replaces it with the word "Customer" instead (even "Consumer Advocate" is a phrase he doesn't like using, but he does use it sparingly). Jim points out that "Consumer" means an audience that consumes a product, without feeling or emotion. Customer, however, is a word that feels more personal, and one that treats the person buying the product as a human being, rather than a mindless sheep as above. He admits that while to the majority, both words have the same word inflictions, he feels that using "Customer" instead of "Consumer" is much less degrading term as a whole.
  • Insult Backfire: In "Objectification And... Men?", Jim takes up accusations that he's too smug and smarmy by making a wordless noise, combined with a series of facial expressions, that can only be described as smugness personified. The Stinger revealed that the noise is him stretching out the word "me" as long as possible.
    • When the Slaughtering Grounds' developer used the phrase "I'm Jim fucking Sterling, son" as an insult against him, Jim declared it one of the best things he'd heard in a long time and adopted it as a regular Catch Phrase.
    • Similarly, in "So Let's Talk about Mods Being Sold On Steam", Digital Homicide saw fit to take yet another shot at Jim with a "Zombie Troll" card, featuring a fat zombie performing the Russian Roulette pose that Jim does in his Youtube profile picture. He found the card quite amusing, and declared that whatever profit that Digital Homicide made on the card would be thanks to Jim Fucking Sterling, Son.
  • Internal Homage: Jim's new circus intro is a nonstop Continuity Nod to the show's running gags, including the Skeleton Warriors riding a roller coaster, the Pogchinko machines with Pog-Fucker's mask on them, a poster of the Steam Cleaner, Pyramid Head from "Fuck Konami News", Rahaan the Barbarian running a dart game played by Skeletor (with apple-shaped TVs and ninja blocks as prizes), Jimsaw and the Scarecrow in the House of Horrors, the Cornflakes Homunculus as a sideshow, the Chip Memorial Port-A-Potty, and a trash can featuring games he loves to hate.
  • I Warned You: Jim has made several warnings and admonitions over the years that, though they may have been mocked or criticized when he first made them, eventually turned out to come true.
    • In 2014, he was attacked for saying Valve's policies were too loose, allowing too much shovelware into the online store. In 2016, he noted that 40% of Steam's entire library was released within that year, and that those critics are silent now.
    • Given EA's history of shutting down studios after their games under-perform (typically because EA's Executive Meddling adversely affected their quality), Jim predicted that Visceral Games was next on the chopping block, given what happened to Dead Space 3 and Battlefield Hardline. Sure enough, in 2017, his prediction came to pass and EA shut down Visceral.
    • Jim predicted and warned many times that if the AAA gaming industry kept pushing with their microtransactions and loot boxes, governments from around the world are going to take action and regulate gaming due to the implications of gambling. It got to the point where several countries and a U.S. Senator wanted to pass a bill that would ban microtransactions and loot boxes, which caused Jim to say "I told you so" towards everyone who claimed he was making a big deal over nothing.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Noticed just how cynical he had become while watching the latest Star Wars: Battlefront trailer, and kept thinking how much EA was going to screw it up. He used to be much more positive over the game industry, but the years of crap that the industry pushed out has worn him down to this. (Ironically, he wears red - that is to say, rose - colored glasses on the show.)
  • Large Ham: As a persona.
    • He went Visual Pun by depicting Reggie Fils-Aime with an actual large ham in "Nintendo of America."
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: In every yearly "sh*ttiest games" list, Jim usually explains in detail why every game on the list is bad... nine times out of ten. There is always one game on the list (never the number 1, but almost always in the top 5) on which Jim does not elaborate. Here are his comments on these games in their entirety:
    • 2010: Alpha Protocol, All Points Bulletin, and Dark Void:
      Jim: ... (pretends to vomit)
      Jim: Imagine Grand Theft Auto, except John Candy's corpse exploded all over it. That's APB.
      Jim: Nolan North rides around on a jetpack and crashes into everything because the controls are fucking shit! Enough said.
    • 2011: Knight's Contract:
      Jim: Fuck. No.
    • 2012: Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir:
      Jim: Load of cuntin' wank.
    • 2013: The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct:
      Michael Rooker: (from the trailer) Merle and Daryl in a game. What can be better than that?
      Jim: Apparently, most things, Mr Rooker.
    • 2014: The Forgotten Ones:
      Jim: (after showing an in-game Shout Out to PewDiePienote ) I think that says everything that needs to be said about The Forgotten Ones.
    • 2015: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5
      (nothing but video clips of the player taking multiple spills to the theme of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983))
    • 2016: Zenith (an action RPG on Steam)
      Jim: A completely unfunny, broken bucket-load of red, raw, milky cSkeleton Warriors!
    • 2017: 1-2-Switch
      Jim: It's a game about looking your good friend right in the eye and then miming masturbation in front of her. Still if you want to know what being a stand-up... [interrupted by some demonic gagging noises]
    • 2018: Agony (2018)
      (just a bloodied grotesque character from the game staring blankly at the camera in total silence for 10 seconds)
    • 2019: WWE 2K20
      Jim: (while showing a buggy character creation screen) What the fuck is this shit?
  • Lets See You Do Better: He's heard this line before, and his response is that he's not a game developer, so he's not going make a crappy game of his own and try to sell it.
  • Laughing Mad:
    • After it was taken off of Steam, Jim decided to do a live-stream of Five Nights at Freddy's World (since he still had the game loaded on his computer). After a full hour of playing (and dying many, many times), he finally snaps and starts laughing uncontrollably... which turns into screams as the live-stream ends.
    • The unveiling of Konami's Silent Hill Pachinko machine also provoked a bout of this.
  • Loony Fan: In "Guns Blazing", Jim notes that, whilst his fan base is generally friendly and even buys him gifts of his online wishlists, he inevitably attracts the occasional creep. Cue Jim revealing a fan recently bought him a sex toy — a rubber replica fist of pornstar Belladonna to be precise — that he never even asked for.
    • And it only gets loonier. Later gifts have included a dragon-tongue sex toy, and gay furry porn.
      • All of these gifts have been featured on Jimquisition episodes.
  • Leitmotif: Did someone include a predatory microtransaction system into their $60 game? Cue the MIDI of ABBA's "Money Money Money"!
  • Loophole Abuse: He invented the "Copyright Deadlock" technique to avoid copyright claims on his videos. How it works is that you put in a bunch of gratuitous footage from all kinds of different companies, videogame related or not. And because of the amount of Content ID claims, no single company can actually make money via ads on the "offending video", since that would mean they all own it, and yet only one of them can legally make money off of said video. Meaning, rather hilariously, his work remained ad-free due to no one company getting ad-revenue from Content ID. It's taken to another level with Nintendo where Jim is so fed up with Nintendo's shenanigans on YouTube and in the gaming industry that he inserts video content from Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Japan so that both companies, despite being basically the same company, claim the video and are unable to make money from it.
  • Madness Mantra: When Jim did a Squirty Play of Air Control, he already started to see the mess of problems the game had. After playing the "complete" version of the game, he sees a mess of organs strewn all over the place and sees how huge the brains are and could not have possibly fit in the heads of the character models sitting nearby. The whole sight sent him into a short raving fit as he kept looking between a person's head and the loose brains.
    Jim: Why are the brains that big!? That's a head! That's a brain! Head! Brain! Head! Brain! Five dollars! Five dollars everyone! Attention all surgeons on deck! This game costs five dollars! Brain! Head! What the fuck!?note 
  • Mad Libs Catch Phrase:
    • "Hello, you (incredibly silly yet sleazy insult to the audience), Jim Sterling here, and this is (name of the game in question)", whenever a Squirty Play is released.
    • "This is a Steam Greenlight trailer for (name of prospective game in question)", whenever he looks at a Steam Greenlight trailer.
  • Manchild: As an exaggerated stereotype of gaming elitists, Duke Amiel du H'ardcore gets into emotional fits and temper tantrums over gaming, and calls upon "Mumsy" and "Sir Teddington" for comfort.
  • Manipulative Editing:
    • In "Nintendo's Virtual Console Is Trash Garbage", Jim cuts an episode of Best of the Worst so that it seems like Rich Evans is saying "Thank God for Jim".
  • Mean Brit: Jim's persona has strong elements of this. Especially when talking about something that upsets him.
  • Mic Drop: Done twice so far (since it stopped being a regular thing, that is) :
    • Played straight in "Free-to-wait".
    • Another episode parodied it, with Jim forgetting to unplug the mic or even turn it off, so the mic just swung back and forth making noise each time it hit the podium.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Jim has noticed this trait among Steam developers. When Jim does a video Squirty Play or Best of Steam Greenlight Trailers video, some will use a copyright strike against him over his video of their content. However, when Jim files a counter-claim, no developer actually follows through, as the next step is an actual trial, and they would probably be laughed out of court.
  • Mockumentary: "Thank God For Me: The Jimquisition Story."
  • Motor Mouth: Some of more long-winded rants might make you stop for breath in sympathy, because he doesn't appear to.
    • Used at the end of the video "Batman is Everything Wrong With Square-Enix" has he rattles off a list of increasingly desperate pleas for Square-Enix to stop making everything it does so damn weird and complicated.
  • Name's the Same: Paul Ryan (not that one) of Brash Games, frequently mentioned during Jim's critique of the site's exploitative practices towards its writers in "Exposure", shares the same name as the US Speaker of the House of Representatives at the time the video was made.
  • Never My Fault: Jim's old response to small factual mistakes in videos was to say he did them on purpose. His new response is either to blame Chip or to claim that it was a result of him breathing through his skin.
  • Nice Hat: Jim wore a dapper bowler hat for Jimquisition up to 2017, when he switched it for a top hat with what looks like a corset around it (as seen in the page image).
  • Nightmare Fuel: In-universe. During "The Survival of Horror" special, Scarescrow unleashes some of his fear toxin on Jim and we see what Jim is most fearful of: Making out with a copy of Aliens: Colonial Marines.
    • On the Podquisition, Jim's story about the "Black Widow Motel" (from the episode of the same) is nothing short of terrifying.note 
  • Noodle Incident: Most episodes of The Videogame Show What I've Done include off-hand references to absurd or horryfing details from Rory's life, from Rory being suspended from school for some incident involving glass and having at some point found his uncle's corpse to his father being in jail for a hate crime.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: "EARLY AAACCESS."note  Funnily enough, even Jim, the guy that made it, falls victim to this trope.
    Jim: Early triple access... Early ahhh-access... Early triple aches-es?... Ahhhxis?... I think the buzz term I invented works better in text.
  • Oh, Crap!: When he thought he didn't have to discuss something controversial, and then was told the week's subject was art games.
  • Once an Episode:
    • Jim's squirty plays always begin with "Hello you [adjective] [noun]!"
    • Nearly every episode of the Podquisition has included them railing against Ubisoft for one reason or another. This wasn't planned, Ubisoft just seems to screw up that much.
    • Every Greenlight trailer starts with "This is a Steam Greenlight trailer for [game's name here]!"
    • Every Nitpick Theater ends with "That mildly annoys me sometimes."
  • The One Thing I Don't Hate About You: Jim spared the infamous "Air Control" from being any further than 7th place on his list of the shittiest games of 2014, despite it clearly being the most broken and half-assed game on the entire list, because he admitted it was at least funny in its particular brand of shittiness.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • "The Addictive Cost Of Predatory Videogame Monetization contains a lot more malice and anger than a regular Jimquisition video and is noticeably devoid of the normal humour seen in Sterling's other videos. Most notably, it's one of the few times Jim says 'Triple AAA' without speaking in a condescending & sneering tone.
    • "A Truly Fucked Up Industry keeps the same humorless, coldly furious tone throughout the video while discussing the abuse of employees promulgated and covered up by Ubisoft.
    • "Shut Up, Stop Thinking, And Play Games Guilt-Free!" may have written like a gag, but Jim is obviously genuinely furious as he points to all the hypocrisy and evil in the video game industry in response to a person telling him to not be a downer. At the end of the video he can't stop himself from rambling on about how furious he is and sounds on the verge of crying.
  • Orphaned Series: He did two episodes of a new show in collaboration with Cultaholic, "WreSterling," focused on wrestling instead of video games, but abandoned it shortly thereafter due to Creative Differences, including his decision to stop watching any and all WWE programming due to their going ahead with Saudi Arabia shows following the murder and dismemberment of a journalist at the order of the regime's crown prince.
  • Overly Long Gag:
    • At the end of the Amiibo episode, Jim repeats the infamous Splatoon "You're a kid now, you're a squid now" line on a loop for well over two minutes.
    • In "A Quiet Conversation", he goes on a tangent to say how much he likes to watch genitals "Pounding it... Pounding it... Pounding it... Pounding it...". Shows up again in "Fallout 4's S.P.E.C.I.A.L Relationships".
  • Overused Running Gag: In "Fallout 76 Players Were Getting Remotely Robbed By Hackers This Week", he explains that he had intended to use the "Bethesda Is Bethetic" rave Running Gag only every few months or so, but Fallout 76 has made the news for its bugginess so frequently that he had already used it four times in just a few weeks. So as a compromise between those who wanted to see it because it was expected, and those who didn't want to see it because it was getting old, he played it at double-speed.
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: In Babysitting the Survivor, Jim starts referring to games that were "launched" on Early Access as "blaunched".
  • Phrase Catcher: "SHUT UP, CHIP!"
  • Poe's Law: Apparently, some people didn't get that Jim Sterling's persona on the show is intentionally abrasive and narcissistic. So he decided to point it out as blatantly as possible without breaking character.
    Instead it should be more ironic... I don't know, just pulling this at random, some fat blogger with a whiny English accent, dressed up in a trenchcoat with glasses like he's some sort of rock star, with a background that makes it look like he's in a bad production of V for Vendetta. You know, something so blindingly, obviously ironic that only a fucking idiot would take it as a genuine persona.
    • When Jim searched for a strong female video game protagonist, one that wasn't a player avatar, was of an alignment lower than "mostly unambiguously good", that was unattractive, that had goals other than stereotypically girly things, and didn't depend on men; he comes up with Vertigo from Primal Rage. He adds that he is not joking, he seriously went looking for a playable female video game character who fit all of the above criteria, and a giant, blue, snake-headed, poison-spitting dinosaur was the best he could find.
    • This was the big reason he gave for abandoning the Norsefire bit in the Retool. In the mid-2010s real would-be fascists embraced hiding behind "ironic" fascism as a standard tactic, so it really wasn't obvious that it was a joke anymore.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: invokedA frequently Discussed Trope. Ultimately, he's of the opinion that people who claim this is the case in Real Life are almost always blowing things out of proportion.
  • Promoted to Scapegoat: After getting the wrong price on a game in a previous episode, Jim announces that his assistant Chip is the new head of research, and while he takes full responsibility for the previous error, it really falls on the research department and the idiot rookie running it.
  • Properly Paranoid: During his interview with Kinda Funny Games' Colin Moriarty, Colin was impressed with Jim's ability to predict the worst abuses of the games industry before anyone else. Jim says that he's a natural worrier, and that when he sees something (like day one DLC, season passes, etc...), his brain jumps to the worst possible conclusion. Eventually, someone takes the idea and proves Jim right.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
  • Putting on the Reich: In "Review Scores Are Not Evil" Jim contemplates his new black leather gloves, and he comments that they make him look like a fascist dictator, and that he doesn't enjoy this fact (although the tone of his voice and his Evil Laugh indicate otherwise).
  • Rage Breaking Point: Jim arguably owned up to hitting his in "The Addictive Cost Of Predatory Videogame Monetization" in response to a critic on Reddit accusing him of "not being pro-consumer but anti-triple A".
    I say this not with affected "internet outrage", but with a genuine. Understated. Ice. Cold. Fury. I genuinely hate most video game publishers, their executives, and every seedy, slimy, corrupt thing they've done, to both the industry at large and, more importantly, their many victims. You damn right I'm "anti-triple A".
  • Rant-Inducing Slight: Jim dedicates a whole episode to this in regards to the amiibos. Having previously defended the idea behind them, despite Nintendo not producing enough for everyone to buy (and Nintendo promising they would make more in the future), Jim finally snaps in the "The Splatoon Straw That Broke Amiibo's Back" episode. He goes on a huge rant over how Nintendo failed to produce enough amiibos yet again, making features in their games that only a fraction of the fanbase can enjoy due to how difficult it is to get an amiibo, and feels like Nintendo is only catering to scalpers who are seeking to buy up entire stocks of amiibos just to sell them back for a big profit. Not only does Jim declare he doesn't give a shit about amiibos anymore, he actually knocks off all the amiibos on his podium to drive the point home.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": When he was told that week's subject was the controversy of "The Definition of Art Games".
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: When Jim joked that EA was responsible for all human deaths past, present and future, he follows it up with a statement prepared by his lawyer saying that it was a joke and that EA is not responsible for human mortality. He continues to read the letter through the part where his lawyer asks if he wants to get sued again.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "When Jim Sterling Was Sued For $10 Million By Digital Homicide" is a big one against the Romine Brothers of Digital Homicide infamy, where Jim spends over half an hour detailing the epoch of the Frivolous Lawsuit leveled against Jim for criticizing their games and lack of ethics as developers. Having been legally unable to discuss the matter until the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice (read: case closed, never to be reopened), Jim took great pleasure in tearing the Romines a new one.
  • Rebuilt Pedestal: Overkill, the developers of Payday 2, when they purchased full ownership of the game and the first thing that they did was remove the microtransactions. Jim was very pleased when he heard the news.
  • Refuge in Audacity: In the video, Copyright Deadlock, Jim explains a way to counter a Content ID claim, which is to make it so that your video has multiple Content ID claims. This creates a conglomeration of claims and if one says no monetization, no ads play, thus, no one earns anything. Jim proceeds to mock the claimants and YouTube for the train wreck of the Content ID system literally making additional violations easier and more attractive than honest attempts at compliance.
    • To further highlight how broken the system is, he would discover that he could get Nintendo to make conflicting claims against itself by using footage from both the American and Japanese branches.
  • Retool:
    • In 2017 he dropped the Norsefire inspired pseudo-fascist bit in favor of a carnival showman persona. He explains the reasons for it here.
    • Later the same year, he announced that he would forego doing reviews in favor of making criticisms and analysis of video games a part of his other videos, citing reasons such as gaming journalism reviews being too ingrained in a Four Point Scale and focusing on content that people enjoy more.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The main gimmick behind Jim's Tasty series is seeing what strange games he can find on the titular website by putting in a search term related to a recent news story or video game release. Past search terms have included Hello, Superhero, Star Wars, Trump, Warfare and Pig.
  • Running Gag:
    • Jim's obsession with Willem Dafoe, as represented by Miniature Fantasy Willem Dafoe.
    • Any one of his many catchphrases.
    • The appearance of a shrimp picture in every episode.
    • "Because Konami is Konami," to explain whenever Konami screws something up. Sometimes extended to "Because Konami is Konami and Konami is the worst."
    • When playing a video game that allows Jim to enter a name for the character, his hands-down favorite is "Chungus". Jim will invariably present this as though he's just thought up the name for the first time.
    • Whenever Jim makes a video about Amiibo (2 so far), he regularly intersperses clips of him holding two amiibo (which he rapidly switches out) and moving them like they're performing sex acts on each other.
    • He frequently speaks the phrase "Triple A" in a condescending, faux-whiny way, more so when one commenter complained that he found said gag "annoying."
    • Due to the ubiquity of first-person horror games on Steam, whenever he plays one he'll say that he'll play from such a genre "to try something a little bit different."
    • "Pounding it".
    • After the CS:GO Gambling Scandal, Jim began frequently mentioning a website called "Pogs for Boglins" that he definitely does not own.
    • As mentioned above, any time Nintendo is mentioned or their footage is used that video will also feature Jim dancing to Erasure's song Chains of Love, just to screw with YouTube's Content ID system.
    • The angry (and easily mistaken for confused out of context) facial expression of Rahaan that he found absolutely hilarious during his review of Age of Barbarian Extended Cut has repeatedly been used in the thumbnails of his youtube videos and occasionally appears during his reviews as well.
    • The Silent Hill Pachinko trailer, especially the "HIT THE LEVER!" audio has been widely used in his show. Especially during Konami related news, along with the "Erotic Violence" scenes from the Castlevania Pachinko trailer.
    • Cutting off an utterance of the word "cunt" with part of the opening to "Skeleton Warriors".
    • The Kellogg's Cornflake Homunculus, a faux corporate Mascot originally introduced as a Take That! regarding the repeated appearances of the Schick Hydro Man during the 2016 Video Game Awards show.
    • Paul Ryan, owner and editor of the scandal-plagued website Brash Games, happens to have the same name as U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Whenever Jim speaks the Brash Games owner Paul Ryan's name, he displays a picture of House Speaker Paul Ryan, and almost immediately adds "not that one", upon which googly eyes or some other silly modification is added to the Speaker's picture to show he's not talking about that Paul Ryan. Similarly, during "Gaming Disorder" he eventually shortens the World Health Organization to The WHO and follows it with "not that one". (Along with pictures of the band.)
      • It is then applied to Starr Mazer: DSP in a later video, sharing part of its name with DarkSydePhil, aka DSP. The same silly modification was applied to DSP's face.
    • Any time he talks about Dynasty Warriors 9 he'll mention "what they DID to Zhang He", his favourite character.
    • After joking on The Podquisition about Black Mirror's premise being "What If Phones But Too Much?", Jim has become fond of describing other story premises in a similar manner, e.g. describing Detroit: Become Human's premise as "What If Robots But People?".
    • Each "Top Ten Shittest Games" list will include an entry where either not a word is said by Jim, letting the footage speak for itself how terrible the game in question is, or he sums it up in a single pithy line.
    • When talking about developers he has an issue with, Jim sometimes puts up footage with captions claiming it's from one of that developer's games, when the footage is actually from an unrelated, cheaper looking game.
  • Sanity Slippage: In the video that has him watching the trailer for "the new Silent Hill game", only to show it's a slot machine, Jim starts crying pathetically, followed by maniacal laughter and ending with him chugging a bottle of pills.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Happens occasionally, but rarely do entire episodes get made out of pure sarcasm. A good example is "The Good Boys of YouTube" which praises TMartin and ProSyndicate, the infamous undercover owners of CS:GO gambling sites, to heavens - at least, until Jim gets to discussing PewDiePie who... yeah.
  • Sarcastic Clapping:
    • Jim's response to the Xbox One being an overly restrictive gadget aimed at privileged consumers with lots of money, who already have other gadgets that do what the Xbox One can do, only better.
    • In the FucKonami News segment at the end of "Stadia, Subscriptions, and the Death of Game Ownership" he sarcastically applauded Konami for make a new Contra game where the guns have cooldowns that regularly force you to stop shooting. In a Contra game!
  • Schmuck Bait: His "Best of Steam Greenlight Trailers" and "Squirty Play" series have become popular enough that some developers are now creating "Sterling Bait" to deliberately antagonize Jim. The first obvious example of this was Poxel Z, a UnitZ asset flip that had Jim's face plastered over the faces of all the zombies. It gotten to the point where Jim hates it when someone puts out absolute trash in the hopes that he will cover it. In the "Call Me Skyfish - On the Subject of Sterling Bait" episode, he tears the author of a poorly-made game apart not just for purposely making something bad as bait material, but for also clogging up Steam with yet another shitty product when a legitimate good game could have been on the front page.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Jim reveals in the "A Tale Of Casinos And SEO Juice" that one of the online casino websites that contacted him was willing to offer him money as long as Jim uses his blog to connect it to casinos in some way. Jim thought about taking the deal and using the money to complain about shady casino affiliates as irony, but decided to not go for it since he felt that he could get the point across without taking money from the same people he was complaining about and said people only offered Jim a paltry $100.
  • Self-Deprecation: Whenever he wants to highlight the absurdity of his persona, he engages in a little self-deprecating humor, though without completely breaking character.
    We all know why ["Gamer Guys" pretend to like videogames], don't we?
    To get the attention of women and gay men and people like me who'll bang anyone thinking that they'll impress me.
    • It's far from the only time. In his episode about Duke Nukem he not-so-subtly implied he tries to make his persona come across as much as a complete tool as possible so that no one will think for a second he takes himself seriously.
    • He also tends to make fun of his own weight (eg. mentioning that he's "too fat to walk over there and show you" when mentioning that something he's holding is too small to be seen from the camera.)
    • Invoked when Jim compared himself to Boglins in that they're both Ugly Cute and didn't make as much money as they'd intended to.
    • Lampshaded (and then immediately subverted) at the start of "Shadow of Warner Bros":
      Today's Jimquisition touches on some heavy issues, and I'm not just saying that because I'm fucking fat! Haha! Self-deprecating humour. Which is very hard for me to do because I'm so great.
    • Jim describes State of Decay's Bloater and Juggernaut as 'a zombie that looks like me in the morning'.
    • In "Mister Negative" he says that while the Jimquisition channel skews negative in general, it at least tries to be funny and entertaining, "and every so often it almost is".
  • Serial Escalation: One video has Jim explain how, after he uploaded a review of "The Slaughtering Grounds", the angry developer made a review of Jim's review, where he constantly insulted Jim. Jim genuinely thought the result was hilarious, and made a review of their review of his review where he recorded laughing over their video, which was his original video with added text. The developer then made, in Jim's words "A review of my review of their review of my review".
  • Serious Business: For Jim, all of video games counts, but rental games and the problems surrounding them seem to be his biggest pet peeve.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: This is used as a basis for an episode, where Jim gives each sin to a AAA company:
    • Greed: Activision-Blizzard who pump pay-to-win microtransactions into their game and partially for what they did to Modern Warfare Remastered, where they initially tied it to a special edition of Infinite Warfare, added pay-to-win monetization, and resold the DLC at a higher price.
    • Sloth: Valve for their refusal with quality control regarding Steam, where they became complacent due to their success and lack of competition. The result of this has been a shovelware problem basically amounting to the Wii's problem times a billion and, even worse, a wide range of homophobic and hateful games being allowed on the storefront of these once-esteemed developers.
    • Lust: D3 Publisher for creating games that all involve females in minimal amounts of clothing, with its most notorious game series Onechanbara featuring girls wearing bikinis fighting zombies with samurai swords.
    • Envy: Bethesda who put out Fallout 76, a broken and embarrassing attempt to cash in on the Live Service trend, despite having no place in this area. Outside of the game, they botched the Collector's Edition (with flimsy nylon bags instead of the advertised canvas bags) and leaked sensitive customer info trying to fix it.
    • Gluttony: Ubisoft due to the sheer amount of special editions they have (at least 6 for each game), putting microtransactions in their games which can sometimes enhance gameplay, food promotions for unique in-game equipment and even a tie-in with the Alexa Echo speaker.
    • Wrath: Konami for basically everything they've done over the past 4-5 years. This includes slamming anyone who criticizes their games, having a PR department that doesn't market their games and their year long battle with Hideo Kojima, who got banned from receiving an awards at the 2015 Game Awards because of Konami's vindictiveness.
    • Pride (and Accomplishment): EA for constantly disregarding customers and the manipulative gambling schemes in their games, instead acting like the company isn't doing any wrong. So far, EA has killed over 15 studios (who have all been forced to make games outside of their specialties, which were always inferior to their typical fare for much the same reasons Fallout 76 was a disaster) and at the time was fighting Belgium to keep gambling in the form of lootboxes in their games.
  • Shaming the Mob: Jim once had to make a video asking his fans to stop attacking developers that make terrible games. He says that while it's fine to call a bad game absolute shit, calling the developers themselves shit or making threats to them is not cool at all.
  • Shaped Like Itself: His "100% Objective Review" of Final Fantasy XIII, in avoiding all subjective descriptions of the game, resorts mostly to tautologies, such as "You will like Final Fantasy XIII if you like Final Fantasy XIII".
  • Shoot the Messenger: "Delayed Reaction" was all about Jim's incredulity that some gamers have a tendency to do this for any bad news. As an example, Jim brings up a journalist who broke the news that Final Fantasy XV was delayed by two months and subsequently got accusations of a conspiracy, questions to his integrity, and even death threats from more rabid "fans". This is despite the game, in Jim's eyes, having a good reason to be delayed: to put all the features on the disc that Square Enix wanted to avoid a large day-one patch.
  • Shout Out:
  • Show Within a Show: "Virgillio Armarndio's Art Hole," which is also another case of Stylistic Suck.
  • Sidekick: Jim has one in the form of Miniature Fantasy Willem Dafoe, who usually yells outrageous things at the top of his voice.
  • Sincerity Mode: In his 100th episode, his satirical "thank God for me" running gag is changed to the completely sincere "I would like to thank God for me".
    • In "Exposure" Jim drops every bit of sarcasm and talks with utmost sincerity, seething with anger and disdain towards the sites and people who use "exposure" as a form of "payment" for aspiring reviewers.
  • Signing-Off Catchphrase: "and thank God, for me!" If he doesn't say it, it's usually either for a joke or because he's really angry. Or doing an In Memoriam episode for a person he respected.
  • Slash Fic: Jim wrote, and did a dramatic reading of, a story about a gamer turning gay because of Mass Effect 3 to make fun of the controversy (and often latent homophobia) surrounding the game's Gay Option.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: He parodies this trope by comically acting as though he's a gift from God, sent to grace the audience with his presence. Though a couple times he has mocked people who think he actually means it. He uses the same gag for his wrestler character Sterdust; the whole bit is that he struts around like a supervillain but devolves into a whimpering mess who doesn't even fight back when actually called on to wrestle.
  • Smug Smiler: Jim was criticized for attacking Microsoft over the DRM in the Xbox One, and accused of ignoring Sony who would almost certainly follow suit; Jim was withholding judgment until Sony clarified its position on the used game market, as only Microsoft had jumped into the phone home DRM market. You couldn't find a more smug dance when Sony announced at E3 that they would not block used games on the PS4.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": He makes it very clear that the Jimquisition website's URL is He has uncharacteristically humble reasons for this.
  • Spit Take: When asked to do an episode about Microsoft offering $100 for PS3 trade-ins on an Xbox One Jim said he wouldn't because the video would consist of nothing but him drinking coffee and doing this.
  • Spoofed with Their Own Words: His Commentocracy series made concise, where Sterling reads out comments from elitist gamers word-for-word, while dressing and acting like a snobby aristocrat.
  • Springtime for Hitler: In an interview with Colin Moriarty of The Kinda Funny Gamescast, Jim says that the Jimquisition only started being popular after he tried to actively sabotage it. People hated his original Escapist videos, and decided that, since he was probably never going to have his contract renewed at that rate, he might as well go out gloriously. Ironically, the more he tried to get people to hate his character, the more they loved the show, and the rest is history.
  • Squee!: Upon learning of (and defending) the upcoming Dynasty Warriors/The Legend of Zelda mashup, he excitedly describes it as "game of the year game of the year." The complete lack of punctuation is audible.
  • Start X to Stop X: Jim tried to abide by the rules of Fair Use on his videos, but he would always get hit with a content ID claim from various corporations, which also places ads on his videos and he was trying to avoid having ads in the first place. What does Jim do to stop the ID claims? Put in more footage in his videos to make even more ID claims pop up. Since multiple entities can't claim the same video, no one will make money off of Jim's videos and said videos remain free of advertisements.
  • Stepford Smiler: In the opening of Crying Through the Laughs.
  • Stock Footage: Jim tends to use a lot of clips from the games he's talking about, voicing over the footage to fill up time.
  • Stopped Caring:
    • Discussed in the "Enjoy The Silence, Feel The Noise" episode where Jim notes how consumers and gaming media becoming more apathetic is the very reason why publishers get away with shenanigans like on-disc DLC and microtransactions. Jim believes that publishers bank on people giving up and stop caring about such issues so that the publishers can continue to screw people over and they also rely on people becoming aggressively apathetic where they tell people like Jim that keep complaining to stop whining.
    • Jim admits to feeling this way in "Konami is Konami" where he nearly stopped caring about Konami constantly screwing up and killing their franchises because if Konami doesn't care, then he believes he has little reason to care either.
  • Straw Character:
    • Jim doesn't exactly go out of his way to use fair representations of the people he's arguing against. His persona is also set up as one, to an extent, but of course with the intent that Strawman Has a Point.
    • invoked Strawman Has a Point is the crux of his on-screen persona. In one episode he calls himself a madman, but then points out that the games industry is so messed up that madmen like him are the only ones speaking any sense.
  • Stunned Silence: Jim's reaction to Digpex Games' broken English-riddled response to Kotaku wanting their side of the story regarding the conflict with Jim.
  • Stylistic Suck: All original artwork for the show is done by Jim himself in MS Paint. He admitted on Desert Bus for Hope that the MS Paint art style amuses him, and that he'd never hire an actually good artist to do intentionally bad artwork.
    • In "Early Access," he decries game developers and publishers that choose to release unfinished, glitchy software to the public while charging for a full price game. So, of course, the episode is full of lazy editing, misstatements, inexplicable blank spots, and Jim even forgot his Catch Phrase.
    • After Microsoft reversed their always-online DRM policies with the Xbox One, Jim made an "emergency video" released the same day the announcement was made. The theme song abruptly cuts off with a Record Needle Scratch, Jim runs in with the lights off, and at the end of the video, he runs through his Catch Phrase very quickly.
    • The show within the show The Videogame Show What I've Done is made to look like someone just got their hands on their very first video editing software, along with gratuitous transitions and even more gratuitous video filters for the game footage. Said footage is also of a game in question being played badly. Or not the game in question at all.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    • Jim makes it clear he is not funneling the money from his Patreon to write a novel, the novel is not about Corey Feldman's bus pass coming to life and falling in love with him, and it is not called "Romancing the Bus Pass". It doesn't even have a publisher. He also does it in another video, this time about an accusation that he's been buying rare exotic black market cheeses (and name drops a French dealer as a hypothetical, allegedly rhetorical example and then adds that said person doesn't work on Tuesdays); he's later seen eating cheese.
    • In "Konami Takes The PES, Armors The Horse, And Needs To Fuck Off", where he denies the claim that he's been buying Pogs using his Patreon money, and then said that even if he was, he certainly wasn't engaging in "semi-sexual, ritualistic worship of said Pogs. That's a very specific, and steeeeeupid, allegation!". Jim then immediately puts on a ritual mask and begins having sex with his collection of Pogs.
    • Or, from The Great Atari Ransack:
      Jim: There's some rumors circulating that I don't know how to film things on a cell phone, because last week I showed a little bit of some stuff that I've been filming at SGC, and it was filmed vertically on my phone. Now, only an idiot would spend an entire weekend filming vertically without thinking about what he's doing, hoping to use that footage as extra footage when Jimquisition Live is finally uploaded, only to realize his mistake after he looked back at the footage and found out he fucked up, and ended up using a bit of it anyway and just hoping he could get away with it, and then finding out that he couldn't get away with it at all. Only an idiot, okay, would do that, and Jim Sterling isn't an idiot, is he? No, last time I checked, he's a fuckin' genius.
  • Take That!: Jim very commonly takes potshots at all and sundry to the point that a list of all the times he does it would be longer than the rest of the page. Frequent targets include...
    • Major developers Konami (Fuck Konami News segments), Ubisoft (Oh, Ubisoft! segments), and Nintendo (Jim has devoted multiple videos to bashing Nintendo's eccentric business decisions).
    • Small Name, Big Ego developers in general. Digital Homicide is the most notable, as seen all over this page.
    • The more rabid and immature fans of any particular thing, most recently shown in Sky Hype and Weapon Durability, Fanbase Fragility.
    • UK and US political figures including Nigel Farage, David Cameron, Sean Spicer, Steve Bannon, and Donald Trump supporters.
    • Snobby and hardcore gamers. He uses his Duke Amiel du H'ardcore character to impersonate and mock them.
    • Companies that use unscrupulous measures to monetize games and players. For Halloween 2017, Jim took a big pot shot at these, in particular the company Scientific Revenue, who offers services to game developers for "turning players into payers".
    • Sterdust was originally nothing more than a Take That! leveled at WWE as a rather petty revenge for the company very pettily content claiming one of his videos for briefly using a small part of an image of one of their more ridiculous promotional posters (an image of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's head warped in a silly-looking manner). He made a blatantly-obvious parody of Stardust/Goldust with the specific point that, obvious as it was, it was also parody and therefore protected speech. It was actually quite surprising when he actually started making wrestling appearances as the character.
  • Take That, Audience!:
    • One instance of this is combined with Self-Deprecation. When criticizing Nintendo's plan to "share" in YouTubers' ad revenue when they upload Nintendo related videos, Jim says the audience is there for the YouTuber, not because of Nintendo, so Nintendo deserves nothing. He explains it thus:
      People subscribe to Angry Joe because they're fans of Angry Joe, they subscribe to Boogie because they're fans of Boogie, they subscribe to me because they don't have better things to do.
    • In Jim's Shexy Shelob video, he has a trigger warning at the start that parodies trigger warnings, telling viewers that the video contains spiders and gender discussions which are two things that certain game playing audiences have a phobia of. Many of the replies in the video's comment section came from people who didn't get the sarcasm.
  • Take That, Critics!: On the occasion of his 100th episode, "Bullshit in Sheep's Clothing," Jim takes the opportunity to look back at all the criticism he received when he first started, especially calling out those that expected his series to be short-lived.
    When the Jimquisition first debuted on the Escapist, the initial response was spirited. "Who is this fat douche?" "Is he on drugs?" "How can we get rid of him?" "He's like Moviebob, but shit." "I can't believe the Escapist got rid of Lisa Foiles for this guy." "I do hope they cancel him soon."
    (Evil Laugh, with dramatic turn around)
    Here we are, 100 Mondays in, and it looks like the Jimquisition is here to stay... you lucky, lucky people.
  • Tastes Like Purple: He eats a Chik-fil-a sandwich before spitting it out and yelling "It tastes like hating gay people!"
  • Technically a Smile: Jim forces himself to maintain a smile in the intro of "Crying Through the Laughs".
    I'm SMILING!
  • Technology Porn: Combined with a bit of Hypocritical Humor; in "The Irony of PC Gaming," Jim spends a great deal of time talking about all the good games you can play without needing a $2000 state-of-the-art computer. However, he notes that he still has a pimped-out rig to play the latest games because "I'm a video game reviewer and we need that shit."
  • Tempting Fate:
    • At the conclusion of "Hate Out Of Ten", he nervously asks "At least we're not criticizing 9's, at least now. Right? Yeah?" Cue a blog criticizing Games Radar for giving The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword a 9, and a poem by him on Jim And Yahtzee's Rhymedown Spectacular called "Whine out of Ten".
    • In another episode, "Previewed, Preordered, Prescrewed", he worries that publishers will attempt to sell the right to preorder a game, a "preordering the preorders" if you will. Cut to a developer that's trying to collect preorders on a game that hasn't even been announced yet.
  • That Poor Cat: When throwing the chalice that he's holding in "When Publishers Kick, Developers Start", a yowling cat can be heard as it hits the floor.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: During Jim's "The Reason You Suck" Speech at the end of the episode about Skate Man Intense Rescue, the usual background music is replaced with the theme song.
  • Theme Song: "Born Depressed" by Drill Queen until the end of May 2017, at which point it was succeeded by "Stress" by Jim's Big Ego (yes, that's the actual band name).
    • However, just as people got used to the new tune, Randy Pitchford had a rather embarrassing interview concerning Aliens: Colonial Marines, in which he pretended to not remember Jim Sterling at all - and thus, The Jimquisition went back to "Born Depressed", with occasional returns of "Stress" and, as of October 2017, a special theme song for Sterdust's debut.
    • The songs accompanying his rants vary by time period. Early Jimquisition videos use "Jesters of the Moon" from Final Fantasy IX, then for the Majority of the time Jim is working for "The Escapist", he moves onto using a specially-written tune made by Danny Baranowsky (of the since-replaced The Binding of Isaac and Super Meat Boy soundtracks) for the show. The third tune was made by Carl Catron, and was titled "March of The Sterling Jester", which he started using from July 2016 - May 2017. Carl also has the honour of having his Jazzy Rendition of "Born Depressed" being used as the "Bonus Episode" theme tune.
    • In one episode, he goes on to explain that on reglarly scheduled Monday Jimquisitions, "Born Depressed" is his intro while "Stress" is his outro; on surprise or unscheduled Jimquisitions not released on a Monday, the order is reversed with "Stress" as the intro and "Born Depressed" as the outro.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Lampshaded; during the new opening credits after the retool of the show and the introduction of the new opening theme, the wall graffiti (that changes every episode) actually read "They Changed It Now It Sucks", as Jim had presumably anticipated this exact reaction to his new direction. He even dedicated an entire blog post to explaining the reason for the new theme.
  • Tough Love: Exaggerated. Jim insists that he is "the world's only real Nintendo fan" because he is the only one to criticize the company. In the episode "Switch Online Makes Nintendo Look Weak," he starts off saying legitimate critiques ("the Switch could do better, even if it had a good year"), but eventually goes into outright lying and disdain ("Breath of the Wild was the worst game ever" and "Nintendo has never made a good video game".)
  • Tranquil Fury: In his video covering the allegations of abuse and rape within Ubisoft, Jim is clearly pissed at the lengths Ubisoft went to cover up the allegations and telling people to keep it separate from their games. Jim was also pissed at everyone who ignored (or outright blacklisted him) his many years of coverage regarding abuse in the gaming industry, feeling like he was screaming into a void and smashing his head against a wall trying to get his point across to someone. Jim doesn't raise his voice beyond a harsh tone, but his utter contempt at the people covering up the incidents and those being complacent shows just how massively angry he is and he doesn't even do his catchphrase at the end of the video nor does he care that anyone would be bothered by such a trivial thing.
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: Jim is fond of this as a Played for Laughs Verbal Tic, especially when he wants to emphasize the pompous and vaguely posh persona he uses on the show.
  • Troll: Jim loves to provoke people into overreaction, especially so he can mock them later for it.
  • Uncanny Valley: invokedJim brings it up during his look at the trailer for Chipper & Sons Lumber Co., noting how all the animals had dead and fixated eyes that seemed to stare at you no matter where you looked. note  Jim brings mention to the uncanny valley again with Lucky's Tree of Puzzles where he notes how the squirrel looked like an old man with big eyes.
  • Unishment: After Jim screwed up by saying Middle-earth: Shadow of War was published by Take-Two Interactive instead of Warner Bros., he punishes himself in the next episode by wearing a bondage mask and speaking through a kazoo. He finds that he likes it.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Everything in "Mass Effect 3: A Gay Erotic Gay Love Story".
  • Upper-Class Twit: Duke Amiel du H'ardcore, the gamer aristocrat from Commentocracy (Jim's take on poking fun at the elitism of hardcore PC gamers in general). The Duke offers his insights of the privileges of the ruling hardcore class over the majority of n00bs, while often voicing his contempt and disgust for the "dirty console peasants".
  • Up to Eleven:
    • Jim stated during a panel that "Mass Effect 3: A Gay Erotic Love Story" forced The Escapist to create an age gate just for him, which has since been used for other videos.
    • Jim in general plays his egotistical self to over the top proportions.
    • Jim's Duke Amiel du H'ardcore character plays up the hardcore/elist gamer attitude to rediclulous levels while wearing an aristocrat costume.
  • Visual Pun: In discussing the assertion made by EA's Kerry Hopkins that their loot boxes are not gambling but "surprise mechanics", Jim introduces a character called the Surprise Mechanic who wears a welding mask with googly eyes on it. Just like the games he represents, the Surprise Mechanic suddenly attacks his unsuspecting victim from behind and then helps himself to the victim's wallet.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: Occasionally he'll end a comedy bit with open bewilderment at whatever he just did.
    Jim: Thank God for Baron von Breadknife what the fuck am I doing?! ("The Political Agenda of Dark Souls")
    Jim: Even more important than that, my Ekans can shoot lasers! Laser! Laser! Laser! Resal! [Beat] They're called resals when they come out of an Ekans! [Beat, shrugs] What?
  • Wild Card: Jim discovers that the reason most publishers refuse to give him review copies of their games is because they consider him to be too much of a "wild card" to rely on, as in he doesn't consistently give games praising reviews. Jim finds the wild card accusation funny and takes it in stride.
  • You Need to Get Laid: Thinks the main character in Hatred needs to have a good wanking session to get rid of his anger instead of killing people.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Sterdust, Jim's wrestling persona, was made mainly as a reply to WWE's draconian levels of copyright protection on YouTube. Knowing Jim, it's worth noting that, while he's got the looks of a wrestler (with lots and lots of spandex), but none of the moves. Not like he ever considered training and shaping up anyway. However, since he got involved with Mississippi-based wrestling promotion Pro Wrestling EGO, he's wrestled a few (tag) matches as Sterdust, and has even performed a few actual decent moves!

    Tropes Discussed in The Jimquisition Episodes 
I'm addicted to stress, that's the way that I get things done...

Tropes discussed in his reviews and videos include:

  • 8.8:
    • One of the topics in "Metacritic Isn't the Problem." invoked
    • The entire topic in "Hate out of Ten," wherein Jim critcizes people who consider 8 out of 10 to be a "bad" score. The video ends with Jim pretending to Go Mad from the Revelation when he sees a comment complaining that a game "only" got a 9 out of 10.
    • Parodied in "The 100% Objective Review of Final Fantasy XIII", in which Jim reviews the game by stating only facts and Captain Obvious statements, such as "Final Fantasy XIII is a video game." It was intended to mock the attitude of people who keep demanding reviews be objective without knowing what the word "objective" means. The video surmises that reviews are inherently not objective because they're based on the reviewer's opinion. Jim also argues that people who demand that reviews be objective actually mean that they want the review to contain an opinion which they agree with.
    • One early episode ("YOUR REVIEWS ARE TEH BIAS") discusses this by showing how often people complaining about his reviews keep misusing the word "bias" to describe any reviewer they vehemently disagree with. Jim's solution? "Create your own Tumblr blog and have bananas play Singularity all FUCKING DAY!"
    • Discussed in "Weapon Durability, Fanbase Fragility" after rabid Zelda fans DDOS'ed his site for giving The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild a 7.5/10, which is a good score on Jim's scale, but which they reacted to as if he had panned it. They were even outraged that his review caused the game's Metacritic score to drop a tenth of a point.
    • Invoked in a mini-episode about a supposed review he made about Super Mario Odyssey, where Jim supposedly gave the game a 7/10. The screenshot was fake as Jim hadn't given the game a scored review (and had, in fact, stopped giving scored reviews a good while ago), but did make fun of people who were mocking him for this "slight."
  • Aesop Amnesia:
    • In "Guns Blazing", he talks about how Namco Bandai hasn't learned a thing from the Dark Souls series' successes by focusing the game at a certain audience (much like the Follow the Leader entry further down), and is now dumping a AAA budget on the sequel and "hop[ing] to God that it works" in reeling in Skyrim's audience as well.
    • Jim brings up what he called "The Molyneux Cycle". Peter Molyneux has a bad habit of overhyping his games way beyond what he and his team are able to deliver, apologizing after the game is released and missed the goals he alone promised, and then promising the next game will live up to the hype while insulting his last project. The new game inevitably doesn't live up to Molyneux's new promises, and then the cycle continues.
    • Jim had previously criticized Square-Enix for changing the Final Fantasy series away from the traditional turn-based gameplay it was famous for, only to be surprised by the success of Bravely Default, a traditional turn-based JRPG, and to acknowledge their mistake. "Active-Time Prattle" revisits the issue by highlighting Final Fantasy VII Remake would do away with the classic Active-Time Battle system with a more action-based battle system.
    • In "Delayed Reaction", a particularly bitter-sounding Jim notes that customers have repeatedly been misled and negatively influenced by hype culture, and yet a vocal and damaging portion of gamers are unwilling or unable to learn from history.
    • In "Electronic Arts "disappointed' by 7.3 million Battlefield V Sales", Jim wonders why game publishers like EA have time and again made wildly optimistic or even impossible promises to their shareholders about how many copies their next big game is going to sell. What happens each time is that the game sells loads of copies but still not quite as many as the publisher's inflated goal, which leads them to announce that it sold "below expectations" and causes the share prices of the company to drop on the "bad" news. They then announce that the shortfall will have to be made up by firing and laying off the developers while increasing monetization in the game and future releases, and the cycle repeats. The publishers have gotten burned so many times before, and the investors should also know by now not to believe such unrealistic promises, but they keep doing it. Jim can't figure out whether it's the publishers Believing Their Own Lies, the publishers deliberately lying to the shareholders, or both sides having tacitly agreed that this dysfunctional cycle is somehow the new normal.
  • Allegedly Free Game: Jim has referenced the psychology of "free to play" games, which are given away for free, but are designed to entice the player into spending money for extras during play, calling it "psychological warfare". While it's bad enough on its own, and Jim thinks it's not too bad since he knows that free games will be trying to make money somehow, Jim rails against the industry playing the same mind games with full priced games. Games that cost full price should not be trying to beat players over the head to pay even more.
  • Analogy Backfire: In "Is Loot Box Regulation Censorship Of Art?", Jim digs into David Jaffe’s comparing the potential regulation of loot boxes to regulation of alcohol and traditional gambling, pointing out that those two industries are prime examples of things that are heavily regulated due to their proven harmful effects.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Invoked according to Jim's sources. The reason why Square Enix and other developers were screwing up their PS4 and XBox One games was because they thought console gaming was dying and that mobile and PC were the future.
  • Appeal to Novelty: In "Innovation: Gaming's Snake Oil", he doesn't criticize innovation, but he does criticize when change is made for no good reason other than to change something. Jim reiterates this in his Follow the Leader rant when he points out innovation is good when differentiating products from competitors, or exploring new markets.invoked
    • He also accuses SEGA of thinking this, due to their insistence on making wide-scale redesigns for each Sonic the Hedgehog game, rather than sticking to what worked in previous games and building on said games' good ideas.
  • Appeal to Worse Problems: After a developer of Ooblets went on a snarky tirade against entitled gamers and suggested they're going Epic Store exclusive wasn't a big deal compared to bigger issues like climate change, Jim turned it back at them by asking why are they making video games instead of fighting climate change.
  • Asshole Victim: In "EA versus Zynga — The Lesser of Two Evils," Jim reminds us that, just because EA had a legitimate grievance against Zynga doesn't mean we need to feel sorry for them. It certainly doesn't mean they've become the good guys.
  • At Least I Admit It:
    • In "A Quiet Conversation", he criticizes Quiet's Stripperiffic design in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain because he felt the game's explanation for why she dresses like that was a Hand Wave. He adds that he doesn't mind Stripperiffic characters in some games because those games at least admit that they're fanservice, instead of trying to come up with a flimsy justification.
    • In the "Oh, Ubisoft!" mini-episode attached to "A Cautionary Post-Mortem Of Evolve", he notes that he might respect companies who use microtransactions just a little bit more if they just admitted that they were trying to get some more money out of their consumers instead of trying to pretend that they were only there for the consumer's benefit, which he considers weaselly and disingenuous. He has also previously noted that while he'll never be a fan of the practice, he feels that a free-release game that includes microtransactions has at least some justification since the developers have to make money somehow, but this excuse does not work with a AAA game producer who will already be charging the player an often high fee to purchase the game in the first place.
    • He feels that if a game developer is going to exclude female protagonists from their games, that they should at least be straight up with it and defend such decision based on artistic merit, like Rockstar and Square Enix did for Grand Theft Auto 5 and Final Fantasy XV respectively, instead of coming up with nonsensical excuses like Ubisoft and Nintendo did for Assassin's Creed: Unity and The Legend of Zelda series respectively.
  • Auteur License: In "Creative Freedom, Strings Attached", Jim says that developers should be able to make the game they want, and that gamers cannot tell them how to make their video games. In this case, he was defending the makers of Puppeteer and Grand Theft Auto V because they have male leads, denying fans who were asking for a female option. However, he also pointed out that creative freedom does not mean freedom from criticism; the audience may not be allowed to force the developers to do anything, but it's their choice on whether or not to buy a game, and they can withdraw their support when the developer doesn't listen to them.
  • Breakable Weapons: In "Weapon Durability, Fanbase Fragility", Jim declares, with some sarcasm, that "Weapon durability systems should fuck off out of video games forever and never come back, because they're not fun, they're a pain in the ass, and I personally hate them." He refutes all the arguments for having breakable weapons in a game one by one:
    • Firstly, it's almost never realistic or immersive because games tend to depict weapons as being far more fragile than they actually are. He uses Breath Of The Wild as an example of this, as it has each of your weapons survive only a few blows, before falling apart in the middle of combat, and you are constantly having to pause the game to equip yet another disposable weapon from your inventory.
    • Secondly, he has a rebuttal for those who say that collecting and managing your weapons adds a challenge, Jim points out that it's not a fun challenge, but an unpleasant chore that takes time away from the fun of fighting, with the only game genre where he thinks it might sometimes be fun is Survival Horror, in which part of the fear comes from the player being intentionally underpowered.
    • Third; to those who say that weapon durability encourages you to try different types of weapons, he says that then the game isn't giving you the option to use what you like best, but forcing you to switch all the time whether you like it or not.
    • And finally, because it causes players to perverse incentives. In Breath of the Wild Jim eventually started avoiding combat because he knew that enemy drops wouldn't be good enough to justify the effort and damage to his equipment. Whenever he got a weapon he actually did like, it would be Too Awesome to Use and therefore neither a satisfying reward nor a good investment.
  • Can't Take Criticism: Jim will tear people a new one if they try to silence him on his criticisms of their games, since he feels that anyone that lashes out can't own up to their own mistakes or shortcomings when they're pointed out. He has contrasted this attitude with Scott Cawthorne, who took criticism of his early games to heart and has since gone on to massive commercial indie success.
  • Capcom Sequel Stagnation: invokedArgues that this is what caused the death of Telltale Games in "Tellfail Games." The developer had a smash hit with The Walking Dead in 2013, and a few decent successes with The Wolf Among Us and Tales from the Borderlands afterwards. However, Jim says that doing next to nothing to improve upon the formula and taking on more projects than it could reasonably release left the studio with Creator Breakdown among its staff with a lot of overworked, underpaid, burnt out employees, all of whom were making games on the same tired engine that was showing its age. By the time the final season of The Walking Dead was released in 2018, the franchise had gone from "one of the best-written games ever" to "something I couldn't even be bothered to watch a trailer for."
  • Cash Cow Franchise:
    • Made fun of in "In The Hall of the Mountain Dew," specifically mocking Halo 4 having tie-in promotions with Mountain Dew, Doritos and 7-11.invoked
    • Jim mocks Take-Two Interactive's CEO Strauss Zelnick when Zelnick was said to be "disappointed" by the lifetime sales of Grand Theft Auto V. As Jim notes, GTA V is the most profitable piece of media ever released in history, so he wonders what else Zelnick could possibly want.
  • Complexity Addiction: His central thesis about the modern AAA gaming industry is that it's essentially suffering from a bad case of this:
    • In his "How Do You Fuck Up Tetris?" video, he argues that the modern gaming industry is so bloated and obsessed with forcing the pointless inclusion of extraneous features such as DLC, subscription services and proprietary software that they can't even produce an updated version of Tetrisnote  without turning it into a broken, buggy and overly convoluted mess.
    • In another example, in the "Batman Is Everything Wrong With Square Enix" video, he uses this statue of Batman as designed by the designer of the Final Fantasy series to argue how it represents the ridiculous levels of complexity, clutter and over-design prevalent in the series. There's so much unnecessary detailing that it ironically becomes difficult to make out any actual details and, in trying too hard to be badass and loud, just becomes forgettable instead.
    • Jim tackles the topic again in "The Joykilling Culture Of 'AAA' Games", wherein he discusses what happened to We Happy Few after it went from an indie game to a game with a AAA publisher in Gearbox Software. Namely, it got all of the things Jim doesn't like about modern video game "pre-order culture": a jump from thirty dollars to sixty, DLC, a season pass, a Collector's Edition, and pre-order bonuses. He spends the episode not being angry so much as disappointed, wondering if AAA game publishers simply can't help themselves, as if this is the new normal.
    • He argues that the inverse happened with Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice in "Indie AAA", where the developers cut out all of the unnecessary stuff, up to and including the publisher, and just focussed on making a good game, with the result being a deserved success (in spite of the problems he had with the game itself).
    • Square Enix come in for another bollocking on this matter in "Kingdom Hearts Is Stupid Gibberish", in which Jim takes them to task for taking what should be a simple kid's story involving a crossover between Disney characters and the Final Fantasy universe and making it completely impenetrable thanks to unnecessary spin-off side-adventures and an utterly pretentious, convoluted and impossible-to-summarise Kudzu Plot.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Jim points out that he has donated to several Kickstarter campaigns, and there is debate as to whether or not reviewers are in a conflict of interest if they have backed games they are covering. Jim doesn't believe it's a conflict, because it's not a business or personal relationship, and since it's the reviewer sending money to the developer, it's an affirmation of the reviewer's existing beliefs, as opposed to the developer trying to influence the reviewer.
  • Continuity Lockout: Discussed in "Kingdom Hearts is Stupid Gibberish", in which he examines the Kingdom Hearts franchise and argues that the plot of the series is, well, stupid gibberish. In particular, Jim points out that in addition to the three main games, there's a series of tie-in games which, being on obsolete systems, are hard if not impossible for most gamers to access. Furthermore, there's uncertainty as to how many games there even are — Jim incredulously notes that while he literally only can count ten games, other sources cite eleven or even twelve. Nevertheless, it's essential to play every single Kingdom Hearts game if you want to have any clue what's going on, and even then it's all still mostly incomprehensible thanks to the game's Complexity Addiction-ridden Kudzu Plot. As such, Jim argues that anyone who just wants to play a fun kid's RPG about Disney and Final Fantasy characters will likely find the games utterly impenetrable, confusing, and not worth bothering with.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: invokedCourtesy of News Nine Adelaide not only failing to do research at all, he went to great lengths to point out just how wrong they got everything related to Grand Theft Auto, including not even bothering to find out who the main publisher is, or even reaching out to the publisher behind the "Adelaide shoot-em-up" for any kind of comment, instead choosing to pretend he had no comment at all.
  • Critical Research Failure: invokedDiscussed and mocked when a local news station were the main perpetrators. In Grand Theft Adelaide, after a news report about violent video games about a game similar to Grand Theft Auto but completely unrelated to the series in question, he blasts Nine News Adelaide, the station that did the report for the incredibly lax effort of research, most notably during a text message saga with the developer of said game when they didn't seem to recognize Rockstar Games, the developer of Grand Theft Auto.
  • Darker and Edgier: In the episode "Overwatch Porn," he refers to an industry practice that he calls "fusing," so named after the game Fuse went from a bright and colorful team-based shooter to a dark, grim, realistic, military-themed one, a change Jim absolutely felt was for the worse. Conversely, a "reverse fusing" is when a game becomes more bright and colorful, as DOOM (2016) and Battleborn did.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: invoked Discussed in his "Crying Through the Laughs" video, where Jim says that a story's sad moments have more meaning, and are therefore more memorable, if things were happy first. He uses Zidane from Final Fantasy IX as an example, saying his late-game Heroic BSoD had more weight because of his earlier characterization as a Chivalrous Pervert.
  • Developers' Foresight: Jim loves E.Y.E for this reason.
    You can hack doors, turrets, guns... but if you fail, the doors can hack you back. It's a game where you can get too scared to shoot... there's 32 player co-op, which is broken as fuck, but have it, just fucking have it!
  • Digital Piracy Is Evil: He maintains that pirates need to stop dressing up their activity as anything other than stealing. However, in 2012, he put up a video saying his views had changed a bit: He still thinks it's a crime, but the more he examines copyright laws, the more he realizes (in his words) it's less about protecting the rights of artists and more about protecting the executives who bought the rights from the artists and are making money off them. So getting upset at pirates is like getting upset at a thief stealing something that was stolen in the first place. (He puts in a caveat that this does not apply to self-published creators, in which case he still gets on people's cases to actually buy the product and give them the money they deserve.) He also tends to play middle-man too, also saying that there are no real good guys or bad guys in the piracy issue after 4.5 million copies of The Witcher 2 and a 90% piracy rate for World of Goo.
  • Discount Lesbians: Bordering on Berserk Button. While defending the availability of gay and lesbian romance in "Mass Effect 3 and the Case for a Gay Shepard," he mentions how certain fans make the argument that since Liara is an asari, she doesn't "count" as a legitimate Gay Option. He absolutely eviscerates this idea, saying that Liara may be "genderless," but given her feminine appearance, if FemShep is attracted to an alien who happens to resemble a human woman, then she just might be attracted to women to begin with.
    Jim: Grow. Up. It is a ludicrous argument to fuckin' say that Liara "doesn't count" because she's an alien without a gender. She looks like a woman. If another woman is attracted to her, she might have some gay tendencies. It's that simple.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Calls out publishers for adding DRM to their games and trying to hide it as a feature. When EA said that SimCity didn't have DRM and that it was an MMO, Jim said that the whole point of making it an "MMO" was to use the always online aspect as DRM.
  • Don't Like, Don't Read:
    • He says that if people were really going to hate the Water Temple changes in the The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time remake, or if they somehow knew a game that wasn't even out yet would suck, to just not buy it.
    • Jim discussed why this excuse doesn't work when companies defend the inclusion of microtransactions. Many developers and publishers keep saying how microtransactions are optional and players have the option of skipping them. However, Jim keeps pointing out repeatedly their inclusion would alter the game economies and progression, meaning that players would have to either buy them or slog through an unrewarding grind, making player agency seem meaningless. After all, why bother including microtranactions when no one is going to buy them?
  • Double Standard:
    • Jim points out a pretty arrant Double Standard surrounding a lot of retro games and Dynasty Warriors. Dynasty Warriors is constantly criticised (Especially by IGN) as being too "button mashery" and "simplistic", whereas people talk about games like Golden Axe and Final Fight and hold them in high regard...when Dynasty Warriors is more or less a spiritual successor. He also points out another Double Standard when Hardcore Gamers criticise games as being too simplistic, when of course, games that are often still held in high regards were no more complex than the games they hate on.
    • Also a more traditional double standard in "The Creepy Cull of Female Protagonists," where Jim notes that women in games seem to not be allowed to be protagonists while expressing any desire for physical intimacy or impetus towards a personal goal. One of the only times it gets close is in Fahrenheit, but even then the sex is initiated by the male protagonist.
    • From the same episode, Jim cites an interview by the Penny Arcade Report where the creators had to fight with their publisher to have a female protagonist, because female protagonists don't sell. Except it turns out that publishers tend to give games with female protagonists less funding and marketing, and even refuse to put them on their own box covers.
    • The gender divide is called out again in "Objectification and... Men?", where Jim dismantles the claim that video games objectify men as much as women. Jim counters by saying that males are idealized, not objectified, and are put in so that male gamers can take on the role of these characters to play out their power fantasies, instead of a piece of beefcake for women gamers to drool over.
  • Easier Than Easy:
    • Discusses the use of this in his "Zero Difficulty" episode where he feels games that include an easy or God Mode to appeal to new players doesn't harm the hardcore players since said hardcore players aren't forced to use them. He also picks apart the fallacies that are commonly used to criticize easy difficulty levels, such as the game being made easier as a whole or how people won't get better at the game if they stick to easy mode.
    • Discussed again in "A Difficult Subject". In addition to repeating many of the same points from "Zero Difficulty", Jim argues that a game appealing to more people should be a good thing, since it means good games will sell more copies. But "Hardcore Gamers™" criticize people who use easy modes and mods out of a misguided desire to "hoard games to themselves like a dragon on its mountain of treasure", and that said gamers don't get to complain if people don't buy these games because of all the Double Standards they employ in their arguments.
  • Environmental Narrative Game: He examined the genre in detail here, a quote from which video provides the page quote. He's rather ambivalent towards the genre, pointing out how it can be done well and how it can be done badly, and concluding that the standards really need to be raised for them because at the moment the majority of them are pretty bad and a lot of reviewers are giving them a free pass simply for being "different" (despite Dear Esther being seven years old at this point and The Stanley Parable, in his opinion, setting the gold standard in 2011).
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In his video asking why people hate EA, Jim referred to Activision as satanic, and follows it up by giving them the tagline "Hey, at least we're not EA!"
    • Also, in his video When the Starscreams killed used games he referred to big companies as Starscreams pretending to be friends with retail stores until they can cut them out of the loop entirely. Jim then voices Starscream himself and has him yell "How DARE you!? Starscream may be many things, but he never put microtransactions in Dead Space 3!"
    • In the first "Fuck Konami News" segment of 2019—the first in months due to Konami's lack of relevance in the video game industry—Konami did something right for a change. When Belgium denounced loot boxes as a form of gambling, Konami didn't protest or fight back, and instead promised they would remove the loot boxes from Pro Evolution Soccer in Belgium. Jim pointed to the game industry as a whole, and to Activision-Blizzard and EA specifically, and told them "Konami is better than you".
  • Fake Difficulty: In "Samael The Legacy Of Ophiuchus - The Worst PS4 Game Ever Made (Jimpressions)", Jim is furious that Gilson B. Pontes had the gall to write "Prepare for the hardest game ever made" on the PSN store page as if the game were legitimately Nintendo Hard instead of merely broken and unplayable.
    Fuck off! Fuck off! "Hardest game ever made." It's bollocks is what you've made—this isn't hard, this isn't difficult. It's just meandering to a vaseline-covered, shitty little monster, to be killed in one hit, and then start again! Over and over again! That's not difficulty—that's not difficulty by design, that's a mess! What you've made is a fucking mess and you're marketing it as hard. Fuck you! Go get fucked, and fuck off while you're doing it! Jesus Christ!
  • Fan Dumb: Invoked. Jim frequently mocks the overreactions of angry fanboys.
    • He especially takes them on in the "BOYCOTT!" episode. "Delayed Reactions" and "Sky Hype" also primarily focus on the reactions of the Fan Dumb.
      • Jim took on the idea of video game boycotts in a later episode. He mocked the idea, showing a memetic image of a Steam group dedicated to a boycott of Modern Warfare 2 with most of its members playing the game. Jim says that threats of a boycott have become a joke in the game industry and its fanbase because of how ineffective these boycotts are, and that it gives more power to developers by letting them think they can get away with anything because no one takes these boycotts seriously.
    • The character of "Duke Amiel du H'Ardcore" was created to mock rabid fanboys. The titular duke reads Fan Dumb comments in an overly pretentious, snotty, holier-than-thou voice, as if to say "this is what the Fan Dumb really sounds like to everyone else."
  • Fan Hater: Invoked. Jim condemns this type of mindset as being the lowest form of selfish.
  • Faux Horrific: Jim refers to the 2010 Konami E3 Press Conference as "One of the most perverse displays of human indignity known to man".
  • Focus Group Ending: invoked In "Damn Fine Coffee", Jim criticizes the use of focus groups and how they are driving game development; while focus groups are a useful tool, they have problems and can be abused. Some focus groups submit to peer pressure and say what they think people want to hear rather than their true opinion, which does come out when you study their buying habits. Other times, the researchers are creating focus groups with a built-in Confirmation Bias who only tell them to stay the course instead of pointing out problems that proper research would reveal. And there's the Follow the Leader issue, where companies competing against an established game will create a focus group of fans of that game, who tell them what they liked about the game and they copy it; but the game fails to sell because the fans of the first game already have the game in question and don't care about a knock-off.
  • invokedFollow the Leader:
    • In "Perfect Pasta Sauce", he chides the industry for its attitude of copying the most successful formulas instead of trying new or different ideas to seek a broader audience. He compares it to Prego pasta sauce who beat rival Ragu, not by making a better pasta sauce, but by making several varieties of sauces that could reach different markets. And in the DAMN FINE COFFEE episode he eloquently put it thus: "The people who like [Game X] already have [Game X]. They don't need your shitty version of it!"
      • Revisited with "A Frustrated Post-Mortem of Lawbreakers, Radical Heights, and The Culling", where Jim takes a look at the three aforementioned games in the video's title, and how all three of them chasing trends ended up getting them shut down due to being unprofitable. Jim is especially incredulous when Boss Key Studios, the maker of the first two games, shut down the hero shooter Lawbreakers because nobody was playing it... only to announce the battle royale game Radical Heights a mere four days later, which met the same fate.
        Jim Sterling: We've talked about "follow the leader" game development and why it's a bad idea before, but lately, these companies have gone fucking bananas in doubling down on mistakes that were cemented long ago as historic mistakes!
    • At the same time, following the leader doesn't always have to be a bad thing. In "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Is A Successful Failure", Jim looks at how Fortnite actually eclipsed the popularity of the game it copied, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, because in addition to PUBG's successful gameplay formula it added a bunch of colorful and original content that the makers of PUBG never bothered with. In "PUBG Makers Start Suing Over Copyrights And Frying Pans", Jim talks about the inevitability of a successful game attracting imitators for better or worse, and how Blue Hole Entertainment is being totally ridiculous by trying to claim legal damages from another game imitating its formula.
  • A Fool for a Client: James Romine, of Digital Homicide infamy, attempted to represent himself in his Frivolous Lawsuit against Jim, as detailed in his video on said lawsuit. It did not end well for Romine.
  • From Bad to Worse: After nixing its Greenlight program, Steam introduced "Steam Direct", a streamlined system for putting games on Steam, in the hopes of stemming the tide of shovelware that came from Greenlight. It accomplished the exact opposite: approximately 6000 indie games have been published via Steam Direct, the vast majority of which makes the trash released through Greenlight seem like quality games in comparison. The situation has gotten so bad that Jim was left gobsmacked.
  • Franchise Original Sin: invoked Discussed in two videos in 2018 "The Dismal Degredation of Dynasty Warriors" and "Six Times Bethesda Was Massively Incompetent. Jim says that his negative reaction to Dynasty Warriors 9 and Fallout 76 made him rethink his praise of prior games in their series, since he realized all of the flaws that brought down those two games were present in the earlier entires, only to lesser degrees or overshadowed by more positive things.
  • Game of the Year Edition: invoked Blames them, multiple store-exclusive Pre-Order Bonus, the Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition, and constantly discounting games soon after they come out for the reasons publishers have trouble selling games new. The die-hard fans feel cheated for buying the game when it came out rather than wait until the "complete" games comes out, and other consumers don't know which version to buy or just wait until the price drops.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The episode "Lugoscababib Discobiscuits" is mostly about people who don't know what "ludonarrative dissonance" actually is, but it does point out a straight example. As a show of solidarity that he isn't trying to outright shill Bioshock Infinite, he complains that the game abuses the Take Your Time trope, that no matter how urgent the story claims to be you always have time to stuff your face with cupcakes you dug out of the trash.
  • Girl-Show Ghetto: In-Universe. The Creepy Cull of Female Protagonists is all about this trope on the industry.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Between AAA studios and indie devs. Jim points out some big companies like EA, Microsoft and Ubisoft as lying, truly irredeemable companies obsessed with anti-consumer practices, but wind up shooting themselves in the foot. That doesn't mean indie companies get a free pass. While he generally supports indie gaming as an outlet for new and unique ideas, he calls out some companies like Dark Energy Digital and Wild Games Studios for their bullying tactics and constant abuse of YouTube's flawed copyright system in Corrupt, Censoring, Suicidal Indie Devs.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • In "Children of the Resolution", Game companies that once pushed the graphical envelope ahead of gameplay, like Square Enix, are getting what's coming to them as the graphical arms race is running them into bankruptcy, bringing them backlash from gamers when they can't keep up the pace of graphical advancement, and being overshadowed by games focusing on gameplay first, like Minecraft and Stardew Valley.
    • In "The Diablo Immortal Backlash Fun Parade", Jim says that Activision Blizzard should have known better than to cultivate a PC-centric hardcore fandom for the franchise, and then make the main announcement of BlizzCon 2018 that, instead of a Diablo PC game, they'd be getting Diablo Immortal, a mobile phone MMO produced in association with NetEase. Jim says that it's rich to hear that after encouraging that level of devotion and enthusiasm, Activision Blizzard turned around and said its fans are too whiny. In a broader sense, Activision Blizzard and the whole "AAA" game industry are at fault for the gaming community's lack of enthusiasm for mobile versions of their beloved franchises, since instead of producing high-quality games for the mobile market back in 2013 or so when mobile gaming seemed like a promising new field, these "AAA" companies succumbed to greed and helped bring about the oversaturation of the mobile market with derivative, grindy, pay-to-wait, excessively monetized trash, which has given consumers good reason to regard mobile games in general with apathy and skepticism.
    • In "Below Expectations", Jim talks about how the stock prices of "AAA" game companies take a dip whenever the latest games in their Cash Cow Franchises fail to exceed the numbers of their previous bestsellers, despite still making eye-watering levels of profit by any objective standard. This is because they have led investors to expect constantly increasing profits even when such growth is impossible to sustain, to the point that a franchise game not making more money than the last one is seen as disaster even if it's still one of the top-selling games of the year.
  • Hypocrite: Called out Ubisoft for the graphics in Watch_Dogs, and other developers who promote their games with better graphics than they can realistically deliver and then try to say "graphics don't matter" when they downgrade the graphics for the final release.
  • I Am the Noun: He doesn't say that Resident Evil 6 is about Survival Horror. He says that it is Survival Horror. That is, Capcom is terrified of losing money so they made the game a hodgepodge of so many different types of games that it resembles a soupy sludge. They will do anything to survive!
  • Iconic Item: Jim tore a strip off Ubisoft in "Ubiconic" for constantly trying to market accessories owned by their characters as "iconic" in order to offer them as preorder bribes when there was nothing iconic about them, such as Aiden Pearce's dopey black baseball cap with a barely-visible logo stenciled on it or the generic leather jacket worn by the operatives from The Division.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Showed a picture of Tetsuya Nomura's take on Batman as a sign of everything that is wrong with Square Enix. Nomura's designs are a clutter of details with no overall philosophy, and are immemorable due to the confusion, whereas the most iconic characters in video games have simpler, easier to identify designs. He extends this to whole games: Final Fantasy IV may have been trite and silly, but it was memorable for sticking to its plot, while Final Fantasy XIII is a mess of plot details that just confuses people rather than crafting a world that people can get into.
  • Inherently Funny Words: "Chungus." Originally comes from Jim's Destructoid podcast and YouTube channel.
  • In Name Only: invoked Mocked in "The Great Atari Ransack", where he cites the most egregious example of Alone in the Dark: Illumination, a co-op game where you have a flashlight, and are therefore neither alone nor in the dark.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Jim's impression of David Cage in "Emotions, Polygons and Ellen Page," mocking Cage's idea that a game is more capable of expressing emotions when it has a higher polygon count.
    If polygons equal emotions, and video games are made of polygons, then video games is emotions.
  • Ironic Echo: At the end of "Why An Always-On DRM Console Would Be Dumb Dumb Dumb", Jim chastises the industry for not trusting gamers and sticking all sorts of anti-consumer behavior on them, telling them to "deal with it"; Jim believes that soon the gamers will get tired of this and abandon the big publishers, and when they wonder what happened, the gamers will tell them to "deal with it".
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: Jim explains that the Steam community forum for Predator Simulator had a thread were in users were wondering if Jim would be summoned by the game.
    Jim: Someone in that Steam thread said: "Why would you want to summon that fat, unfunny, balding, short, British fuck?" or something like that. Now, I take great offence to that, because I'm not short, okay? I'm about 6 foot 1.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: invoked He calls it "Call of Duty Syndrome". While Jim himself has rather mixed feelings on the franchise, he chastises people who hate the series for no reason except that it was really popular.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: invokedJim would rather play short excellent games rather than long boring ones, but as a professional video game critic, he plays dozens of games throughout the year, and he gets review codes, so he doesn't pay for all those games. However, he notes that for average gamers who have to buy all their games, there is a value vs. cost judgement to make, so for someone who could only afford one game at a time, it's hard to justify buying a 5-hour shooter like The Order: 1886 vs. a weeks-long epic like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Ultimately, he believes it's about how well the game is paced and the ratio of good content to bad, not just a simple count of hours.
  • It Was His Sled: invoked As part of a rant about spoilers in general, Jim points out that since everyone's level of knowledge is different from everyone else, there are bound to be people who didn't know it was his sled. He refers to one of gaming's most well known plot twists, saying there are people who are now playing Final Fantasy VII Remake who haven't played the original, and don't know that Sephiroth kills Aerith.
  • Jump Scare: "Scare Tactics" was dedicated to defending this Trope from the criticism that's usually thrown toward it, namely that it's "cheap".
  • Kudzu Plot: "Kingdom Hearts Is Stupid Gibberish" is all about how Kingdom Hearts is complete nonsense, and how Square Enix seems to love relegating crucial plot points for their games into media outside of the games themselves. During the video, Jim attempts to summarize the plot of Kingdom Hearts, only for multiple video/audio files to take up the screen before Jim decides "screw it" and stops trying.invoked According to time stamps on the clips, it takes him almost ten minutes to get through enough prequels and spin-offs to actually start summarising the first main game, and about half an hour before he finally reaches his breaking point.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The ultimate fate of Digital Homicide: while trying to sue Jim and silence him, the Romine brothers continued to release shovelware onto Steam until they escalated their vitriol to the point where they were de-listed from Steam before ultimately going out of business, all while Jim continued to build his brand in spite of being unable to talk about the case until it was dismissed and becoming increasingly successful as the Romines were driven out of the games industry for good and all.
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: The episode "Attention To Detail, Obsession With Detail" discusses the practice of game studios adding unnecessarily complex gameplay mechanics, focusing on minute world-building details, or defying many Acceptable Breaks from Reality that other games use because doing so is more "realistic". Because of this, the studio starts favouring realism over gameplay convenience just so the developer could show off for a minute or two. Jim highlights Red Dead Redemption II in particular, saying that while it might have several details that are realistic, they also make the game less fun because they unnecessarily complicate the game.
  • Lazy Artist: A frequent problem on Steam. He coined the term "asset flip" for when developers take a generic stock asset and throw it into their game, as-is, without any alterations, and then make their game revolve around nothing but that. He also hates it when a developer makes it obvious that they don't care about their quality of work by not only doing the above, but taking other shortcuts to quickly pump out their game. note 
  • Lesser of Two Evils: Discussed in "Casinos and Video Games, Together At Last!". While discouraging gambling altogether, he nevertheless notes that if faced with a choice between going to a real casino or using the virtual casino introduced into Grand Theft Auto Online in 2019, you might as well just visit the real one. Both use psychological manipulation and various shady tricks to try and manipulate their guests into recklessly spending unsustainable amounts of money, but at least in the real casino there's still a slim possibility you might win something of actual worth, unlike the useless virtual currencies and in-game items that video game gambling mechanics "reward" you for spending actual money on. He also notes that in a real world casino there are ways of gaming the system for your benefit while spending as little as possible, which are not offered by a virtual casino; the example he provides is going to a local casino and filling up on the free drinks and buffet crab provided while spending only the bare minimum amount in the bar jackpot machines.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Discussed in "Only the Lonely", about the gradual increase in both forced multiplayer aspects and social networking of games impacting on the experience of those who play games to get away from other people for a short while. He criticizes developers and publishers who cite this trope as an excuse to bash single-player games and those who enjoy them, saying that there's nothing wrong with wanting to get away from other people sometimes.
  • Lying Creator: invokedDiscussed in "The Business of Lies", in which he talks about how pre-release misinformation has become so routine these days that you can't trust anything that creators or publishers say about which games they're working on, when and where they will give certain announcements or previews, or what features and content are going to be in the final version of the game. One kind that may sound relatively harmless is the "little white lie" told to keep fans from guessing some surprise that's scheduled to be revealed with great fanfare on a certain date, which may extend to denying leaked information that is actually correct. The problem is that creators who do this habitually lose all of their credibility, since the fans and journalists will inevitably find out what they lied about, and if they have any sense then they won't take the creator(s) at their word ever again. Hideo Kojima is a cautionary tale, as he pulled a legitimately brilliant misdirection on the audience with the Never Trust a Trailer marketing for Metal Gear Solid 2, but since then he has remained so addicted to pre-release stunts that everybody is expecting him to pull a trick on the audience, and it doesn't work like it used to. Besides that, creators telling lies can have serious consequences for other people who are depending on them to be truthful: it's kind of a dick move to deny leaked information brought forward by a fan or journalist, only for it to be revealed as true a week later, since that's basically throwing that person and their reputation under the bus just so the creator can keep their surprise. It also makes the creator(s) look rather foolish when they resort to Blatant Lies about something that everybody has already found out about. "Little white lies" are supposed to be okay, but exactly what things it's 'okay' to lie about and for what reasons is so vague and undefined that many creators think they can excuse or get away with anything, such as knowingly misrepresenting the graphics or gameplay in demos, or lying about whether things like DLC, DRM, and microtransactions will be included. They're so used to lying that they don't see how they're doing anything wrong, and they're going to keep doing it for as long as fans and the press keep giving them a pass.
  • Meaningless Meaningful Words: David Cage and "emotion," as discussed in "Emotions, Polygons and Ellen Cage." As far as Jim can tell, David Cage doesn't even know what emotions are. Ubisoft also has one in 'Iconic,' which Jim discusses in "Ubiconic."
  • Misaimed "Realism": Talks in various videos about how the fetish for "realism" has led to some ironically unrealistic game mechanics, such as "Weapon Durability" in which purpose-built weapons are ridiculously fragile compared to real life. In "Blood, Guts, And Videogames" he also talks about the skewing effects of obsessing over one area of realism while ignoring others, such that while games go to disturbing lengths to depict a realistic hanging, hardly any of them know how to depict a sex scene without it being total Narm.
  • Mis-blamed:
    • Discussed in-universe in "Toxic". Jim says that getting angry at anti-consumer behavior is justified, and that negative backlash can result in positive change, but it needs to be aimed correctly. Many decisions come from Executive Meddling, while community managers, and specific developers are in the cross-hairs as they are the most visible. Instead of picking on a single individual within a company, gamers should be aiming the blame at the company as a whole.
    • Discussed in-universe again in "Blaming Games For Mass Shootings Is A Disgusting Distraction", in which Jim grumbled about how American politicians and disingenuous journalists blame violence in video games for America's problem with mass shootings. Firstly, any allegations of such are nonsense, and in general are knowingly so, with video games making a good scapegoat for distracting people from the real causes of gun violence (like firearm availability, radicalization of people through white supremacist rhetoric online etc.) particularly because they have no intention of actually doing anything about them so they can keep doing it. Meanwhile, the Triple-A game industry benefits from this as well, because time people have to spend defending them from things that are not their fault (which Jim points out, but is tired of doing so) is time not spent discussing actual issues in the game industry like abuse of employees, predatory business practices, acts of incompetence and so on.
  • Motion Blur: A frequent problem on amateur Steam titles, so much that it often functions as a Camera Screw. Motion blur done poorly or in excess makes Jim feel ill, and bad cameras also gives off the same effect. Needless to say, he doesn't like it when game developers use motion blur for the sake of it, or don't know how to make a proper camera.
  • Moving the Goalposts: The theme of "Below Expectations" is about how companies keep saying that a game "sells below expectations" whenever their completely unrealistic sales goals aren't met. Jim mentions how Grand Theft Auto V is the most-profitable piece of media ever released, and how it's made Take-Two Interactive billions of dollars. And yet, Take-Two's CEO Strauss Zelnick was disappointed by the game's sales figures, with Jim citing that reaction as proof that game companies will never be happy with their profits.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The shortage of amiibos is hyped up to lead to an Amiibogeddon that leads to an eternal and deadly Black Friday.
  • Murder Simulators:
    • The episode "Desensitized to Violence" was about this. To prove his point about how people aren't stupid enough to not tell the difference between real violence and video game violence, Jim showed graphic video of Budd Dwyer's public suicide. Jim did this in order to demonstrate that realistic violence, while more understated than video game violence, is often too gruesome to be entertaining. By contrast, violence in games is far less desensitizing precisely because it's so over-the-top.
    • In 2020's "Blood, Guts, and Videogames" he revisits the issue, in response to reports that game developers are pressuring staff to watch graphic footage of real life violence and gore as artistic reference without any system to protect them from mental trauma, and trying to make the violence so lifelike as to disturb the player. For all their talk about trying to show the real horror and consequences of violence, Jim notes how creepy it is that these companies want a player to feel like they’re actually murdering someone, and how ironic it is that game devs denied during past controversies that they were making "Murder Simulators", yet now feel it fashionable to advertise that yes, they kind of are.
  • Network Decay: While Jim doesn't like it, he understands why a lot of video game news blogs would occasionally cover other topics, (like TV shows, movies, and Internet culture). They're trying to stay relevant and possibly feed off some of the popularity of big entertainment pieces so that they don't disappear into irrelevance. He also suggests that YouTube channels seem to be adverse to this phenomenon, and that the most successful channels tend to focus on one thing and stick to it.
  • Never My Fault: invoked Jim points out that the game industry always blames its internal problems on external sources: it's not the fact that their product quality is declining as they try to buy their way out of problems caused by bland, homogenized trend-chasing and corporate-mandated design without artistic merit, marketing and graphical budgets growing out of control, monetization overload, and the management and marketing departments getting too much power and say in how the game is made at the expense of the actual designers, no, they're not making money because of piracy/other forms of entertainment/used games/not enough Revenue-Enhancing Devices! And, as each external source peters out, but the same problems remain, the industry never does any soul-searching and instead starts looking for another scapegoat.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Another thing which is pissing Jim off, especially since he was a victim of it.
    • Aliens: Colonial Marines: A game with an infamous trailer showing one of the developers playing a heavily scripted version of the game, suggesting it was representative of the real thing. It wasn't. Jim made two videos covering this game: a break down of the phony Marines trailer, pointing out how much of it was or wasn't in the game, followed by one talking about people who watch phony pre-views and buy pre-orders are getting "pre-screwed".
    • Watch_Dogs: Another game that used prerendered graphics in a trailer, only for the real in-game graphics to not be as good. This was exacerbated because Watch Dogs was promoted as the next evolution of video game graphics, so even though the game still looked good, it was considered crap by comparison to the initial videos.
    • E3 2014: As far as Jim is concerned, Nintendo won E3 purely on the basis that they showed more gameplay videos and more live demos than anyone else.
    • One form of misleading advertising he's getting sick of is something he dubs "The Mic Trick", where game footage is accompanied by voice chat that's way too civil and organized to be realistic.
    • "Liar's Year" calls out the tendency of developers and console manufacturers to use unrealistic trailers to build hype in the lead-up to the new generation. Aside from pointing out the not-actually-gameplay trailers from Ubisoft and the impossible expectations of the new Unreal engine, he also gives a montage of multiple games used to hype previous generations that either looked worse or never came out.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Brings this up with Ubisoft and Sega's usage of post-release review embargoes to try and delay criticism of Assassin's Creed: Unity and Sonic Boom. Post release embargoes might result in more sales, but they end up doing very little to silence bad publicity, and do much more in associating the developers and their game with more than just the games problems.
    Thanks to Ubisoft, Unity is now synonymous with bugs and shady review embargos, so good job breaking it, hero.
    • Also brings up the irony with Glumberland's Epic Store exclusivity annoucement of Ooblets, which sounds like an attempt to prevent backlach from Steam users, but was so snarky and tone-deaf that it created the very backlash they were worried about.
  • No Export for You: The source of rage against Nintendo of America and its refusal to export a number of cult hits from Japan.invoked
  • Nonhumans Lack Attributes: When talking about Quiet's Stripperific outfit and the justification for it, Jim says that if they made her slightly inhuman like Mystique from the X-Men movies, she could parade around completely nude and no one would bat an eye.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Jim points out in his shittiest games of 2015 that because Alone in the Dark: Illumination is a co-operative game where you use light to fight your enemies, you are neither alone nor in the dark.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity:
    • invoked He feels that the vitriolic (and often sexually-charged) backlash against Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency has not only given her views more publicity than she could've dreamed of beforehand, but has inadvertently proven her point about sexism in gaming.
    • invoked Deconstructed in "The Rise of YouTube Fodder". Jim points out that developers who intentionally make bad games, in the hopes that YouTube celebrities will give them free publicity, will fail because their audiences are either too young to buy the game (fans of ranting YouTubers) or too smart to buy it (fans of more analytical YouTubers).
  • No True Scotsman: In "It's Not a Video Game!", Jim points to two groups who arbitrarily categorize specific video games as not being games. First are people who are trying to dismiss games they don't like, as if changing the label can remove them from discussion. Second are "artists" who view their artwork as something beyond normal video games, and thus immune to criticism from reviewers and critics.
    • He has, however, stated that the accusation of a game not being a game is legitimate when it's aimed at "Free To Wait" exploitative microtransaction games, as they aren't so much entertainment as engines of extortionist psychological abuse.
  • Not Me This Time: There was a doctored screenshot saying that Jim had given Super Mario Odyssey a 7/10, with many people calling for his head. Jim took great pleasure in debunking it, saying he no longer gave reviews with scores at the time the screenshot was made, as well as mocking the condescending tone of people who dismissed him.
  • Not So Different: AAA studios and indie devs. Both groups have a tendency to lie, make shoddy products for a quick buck, generally treat the customer like crap and threaten to crash the industry as a whole.
    • Had this trope leveled at him by Indie Developer Digital Homicide, claiming that he's no different from them. Jim mentions this trope by name.
  • Obvious Beta: invoked Discussed in the "Early Access" episode; this being the Jimquisition, the entire video is half-assed and clearly not up to scratch. It even culminates with Jim revealing he takes serious flak for releasing joke or filler episodes when the show can't meet deadlines, yet people are happily paying full price for widely disappointing and unplayable alphas/betas.
  • One for the Money; One for the Art: invoked Discussed Trope in "Game Journalism of Thrones", where he discusses the idea that news sources who produce otherwise legitimate and respectable journalism still have to indulge in short, low-quality clickbait articles, advertorials, and coverage of somewhat-off-topic material in order to stay relevant and keep their readership up. If it wasn't for the latter category of material, the former wouldn't exist.
  • The Other Darrin: invoked Discussed in "Revolving Door Vocal Cords". He criticizes video game companies for treating voice actors like they're expendable while neglecting their importance in a character's portrayal, and argues that the repeated changing of characters' voice actors prevents them from developing a consistent and recognizable personality and becoming as iconic as they could be.
  • Pandering to the Base: invokedJim doesn't consider it to be a bad thing at all, if done the right way. His big example of this is the Dark Souls series and '"Soulslike" genre, where the gameplay has continuously catered to its core fanbase, rather than try to appeal to a wider audience, and in doing so, it remains a top-selling game with a dedicated and growing playerbase, and has inspired no shortage of imitators. In contrast, while he doesn't believe that appealing to a wider audience is a bad thing at all, he has noticed a growing trend of games stripping beloved-but-niche features for the sake of trying to appeal to a wider audience, and it just leads to games feeling generic and losing that factor that made fans fall in love with the series or genre to begin with.
  • Parody Retcon: invokedIt really "cheeses his onions" when developers make a game terrible on purpose, and then try to claim it was a joke or satire. Jim feels like anyone that makes a shitty game on purpose has still made a garbage game that is taking up space. He also calls out people that push out crappy games out of cynicism and contempt for similar reasons.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: "Fear and Fury" is all about this attitude at Rockstar Games. According to anonymous sources within the company, every higher-up is allegedly a Manchild with a Hair-Trigger Temper who will go off on people for the smallest of infractions. Even trying to improve something in a game is seen as "not toeing the line," and can get someone fired. At the same time, every higher-up is a Slave to PR; they don't care about mistreating their employees as much as they care about getting called out for it. Also, going to strip clubs and excessive drinking is one of the few ways to get ahead in the company. Jim calls Rockstar's bosses out for all of this, putting on his "serious face" for it, lamenting how this sort of attitude is seen as normal because "everyone else does it."
  • Poison-and-Cure Gambit: What Jim calls "Solution Selling"; it refers to game companies who deliberately hinder their own games and have fixes that they sell as DLC. For example, in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019), the flawed Kill-to-Death ratio tracker from the previous games was removed and the developers created a better version of it note ; but instead of just adding the new version to the game, Activision is selling it.
  • Public Medium Ignorance: According to some industry insiders, a lot of the executives and marketing heads running the game industry were pulled from "packaged goods" industries, and have no idea how to operate in a content industry like the video game business. One e-mail said of marketers that if it wasn't Clash of Clans, Candy Crush, or Call of Duty, then they hadn't heard of it.
  • Railroading: He mentions that if you want to tell a story, you more or less have to do this, or else people will just ignore it.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Discussed in the episode "Rape vs. Murder". He concludes that the reason why rape is treated as more evil than, say, murder is because the latter action has societal justifications for it (revenge, paying evil unto evil, the glory of war and the military, etc.), while rape, which involves dehumanizing an (often) defenseless victim, almost never does. In addition, while all of us are eventually going to die, and very few of us face the threat of getting brutally murdered, rape is a very real threat for almost anyone and sexual violation is hardly a guarantee in the same way as death.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Heavily analyzed in "Blood, Guts, and Videogames", in which he analyzes the abusive practice of making artists and devs watch real life violence in order to get references for video games violence without any kind of psychological help. He mentions the fact that real life violence is not as dramatic or cinematic, it's the reason why it's not used so much, and even punches himself in the head to show that the sound of a punch is not very audible or dramatic, compared to the sound of punches in movies. He points out that, because most people have actually never seen gruesome real life acts of violence like people being decapitated, hanged or exploded, but are familiar with the stylized violence of movies and games it's more likely that this kind of overly-realistic visuals will fly over people's heads and come across as anti-climatic or unrealistic because it's so out of most people's frame of reference.
  • Refuge in Audacity: invoked The reason why his episode on abusive behavior in the gaming community is called "I'm Going to Murder Your Children." This is because an actual threat to murder a woman's children was made shortly before the episode came out, years after the game that so offended the death-threatener came out.
  • Rewarding Inactivity: In "PS4 - Doing Nothing, Meaning Everything", he is mildly disappointed that everyone treats Sony like heroes for not blocking used games on the PS4, when it means that they are essentially doing nothing different than before. However, he goes on to state that with Microsoft and several high profile third parties (EA, Activision, Ubisoft, etc...) going the DRM route, that doing nothing probably did take some fortitude and courage, and that gamers are right to praise a company that isn't shifting towards anti-consumer behavior, as sad a statement as that is about the state of the industry.
  • Romance Sidequest: Jim savagely goes after the entire concept (and its sister trope, the Optional Sexual Encounter) with a knife between the teeth in "Sexual Failing," mocking the way most games choose to handle them as juvenile at best. He even goes so far as to argue that the Dead Or Alive Beach Volleyball games are more respectable, since, as he puts it, they are at least open and honest about their nature as wish-fulfillment.
  • The Scrappy: [[Invoked]], Jim discusses how Duke Nukem would probably be far more likable as a character if they stopped trying to play him so straight.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: A lot of this Squirty Play videos end suddenly when he can no longer tolerate how bad the games are and he just stops playing.
  • Sequelitis: invoked Jim lambasts cowardly publishers like Ubisoft who only want to develop games they know are capable of churning out more sequels, with no compromise for one-off titles. It's gotten to the point where some developers call the first game in a series a loss leader which the profit from the sequels would cover. Publishers don't get all the blame, however; he criticizes the audience as well for constantly demanding sequels, even if the game ended perfectly as a stand-alone title, which often forces the hands of publishers seeing easy profit.
  • Self-Deprecation: At the start of "A Post-Nuclear Post-Mortem Of Fallout 76" Jim took umbrage with Bethesda director Todd Howard making a joke about how terrible Bethesda had been over the last year because, despite how truly farcical their performance had been, he didn't think Bethesda were in a position to be making light of it.
    Jim: You don't get to make the jokes about this, Bethesda, you are the joke.
  • Shame If Something Happened: At the end of "Homocide", used in describing the Microtransactions in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain where Konami is selling insurance on in-game assets, because in the online portion of the game other players are able to invade your base and steal your resources.
    Jim (as Konami): Hey, that's a really nice forward operating base you got there, shame if anything bad would happen to it.
  • Shoot the Money: invoked In "The Manhog Is Horrifying, Jim Carrey Is Jim Carrey (OMGH)", Jim takes note of this.
    You gotta have that in films, where, like, for a scene or near the end they look like the counterpart from the licensed property, but only for a bit, because they paid for that actor's face, and by God they're gonna get as much out of that actor's face as possible. That's why in all the Marvel films they spend most of the time actually out of the suits that the characters are famous for, because, you know, they paid for Robert Downey Jr. You'd better sure as hell not forget that it's Robert Downey Jr. Let's keep having a camera inside the Iron Man helmet, so we can see that beautiful, expensive face!
  • So Bad, It's Good: invoked The voice acting from the Dynasty Warriors games, especially the earlier ones.
  • Some of My Best Friends Are X: When reports of David Cage's studio Quantic Dream being a hostile work environment came out in early 2018, Jim called out Cage for using this defense, in which the latter claimed he could not be sexist, homophobic or racist because he had worked with Ellen Page and Jesse Williams. Jim listed all of the usual problems with this defense, but added that it particularly rings hollow in the case of Cage and Page, since they had a falling out after Quantic Dream made a nude model of Page to use in a game without her permission, and potentially in violation of her contract.
  • Something Completely Different: In "Vertigo," Jim is inexplicably wearing an eye mask that has a pair of eyes on them... which he points out in an almost operatic soprano. Supposedly, it's to distract from him falling back on his old habits of "gender issues and industry bullshit."
    But we do have one new thing for you, just to keep things fresh: my new eyyyeeeess.
  • Sprint Meter: Another frequent offender from the Steam garbage heap. He despises sprint meters when not used properly, since most bad games that use a sprint meter usually either throw them in for no reason, or the meter drains insanely fast and recharges incredibly slowly.
  • The Starscream: Jim compares the game industry to the infamous Decepticon in "When the Starscreams Kill Used Games". The game industry panders to used game shops like GameStop for exclusive promotions, while blaming the used game market for their own decline. If the used game market was hurting the industry so much, then why would the industry even work with GameStop?
  • Sturgeon's Law: When criticizing something on the Jimquisition, Sterling sometimes mentions it can actually be really good, but most of the time it's done very badly, to the point where the entire idea starts to look irredeemably bad. He specifically cites the Unity engine, which has made some very good games, but is used so often as a shortcut that any game seen using the engine is viewed negatively by default.
  • "Stop Having Fun" Guys:
    • Discussed in the "Dumbing Down for the Filthy Casuals" episode. He also identifies people who complain about easy modes and functions in games like Dark Souls, Star Fox, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as this, since, in his view, they're essentially raging and whining about purely optional game modes that enable other, less-skilled players to enjoy the same games that they enjoy, and trying to force everyone else to "git gud" at playing their favourite games the way they play them because they feel it's the only correct way to play them.invoked
    • "A Difficult Subject" mocks the "hardcore gamer" tendency to engage in Easy-Mode Mockery of people who play on easy mode or mod a game to make it easier. While mocking the attitude, Jim also clarifies his point that he doesn't care if games have easy modes or not, and doesn't see why anyone would. In Jim's mind, it's really not his business how someone else plays a game.invoked
  • Strawman News Media: His depiction of the news media as completely uninformed about video games, who react hysterically to any violence or sexuality in a game. Usually, the media operates under the assumption that video games are for kids, and therefore anyone who puts violence or sex in a game is trying to market sex and violence to kids. Jim suggests a way to fight back: Be as childish and relentless as the uninformed critics.
  • Streisand Effect:
    • Discussed in "Corrupt, Censoring, Suicidal Indie Devs", where Jim brings up the attempted removal of reviews and commentaries done by him and Total Biscuit. Namely, how attempting to censor negative criticism on the Internet never, ever works, and that any indie publisher who tries it will quickly disappear forever under a counterattack of mass proportions. invoked
    • Discusses this every time a developer tries to silence him for criticizing their work. Every time one of Jim's videos gets removed for "copyright infringement", Jim's popularity just increases while the person behind the strike gets bad publicity.
    • In "Oh Atlus, Honey, No," Jim brings up the effect by name when discussing the streaming controversy surrounding Persona 5. When Atlus warned players that they were not to livestream anything past 7/7 in the game, Jim decided to give Atlus the benefit of the doubt and say they just wanted to avoid spoilers. However, Jim then points out the Irony that by saying that, Atlus spoiled that something big would be happening when a player reached 7/7.
  • Serial Numbers Filed Off: Invoked. What Jim calls "asset flips," where developers make games entirely out of pre-made assets purchased from the Unity store and resold as an original product. The most extreme examples of this involve entire pre-made games being resold as original products, with the "UnitZ" asset pack being the most popular target of such reselling.
  • Ten-Second Flashlight: invoked He really hates it when a game has flashlights that drain the batteries far too quickly for the sake of "difficulty" and/or scares, feeling like it adds nothing to the game. He also doesn't like it when a flashlight barely lights the area in front of the player for the same reason; Jim showcased how a real flashlight looked in a pitch-black room just to point out the absurdity of it. Most of all, he claims these things are done just because other games are doing them, meaning, on top of everything else, they're artistically-bankrupt design choices.
  • Theme Music Powerup: Happens at the end of Skate Man Intense Rescue: A Steam Spite Story. Jim's theme song, "Born Depressed", starts playing as he viciously and mercilessly hammers in the point that he now metaphorically owns Digpex Games, just like he owns Kobra Studio, The Slaughtering Grounds devsnote  and all other corrupt small-name indie devs who tried to take down his reviews of their shitty games and failed, only boosting Jim's popularity in the process.
  • This Means War!: At the end of "PS4 - Doing Nothing, Meaning Everything", he says that Microsoft has declared war not on Nintendo or Sony but on the consumer for its used games policies.
  • The Problem with Licensed Gamesinvoked: Jim states that the problem with licensed games, worse even than the fact that the majority of them are phoned-in crap, is that even when they're good, they're never available for long in the modern digital age because licensing issues mean they're eventually pulled from digital download or, for older licensed games, never put up there in the first place.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • With the success of Bravely Default, Square Enix admitted it made a mistake in trying to reinvent Final Fantasy instead of sticking with the traditional JRPG stylings that made it famous in the first place. In "An Industry Of Pitiful Cowards", Jim chastises the big publishers who try to remake classic game series in an effort to chase popular trends, with no real evidence that there's anything broken.invoked
    • The same video also points out the opposite trope, Its The Same Now It Sucks, and that some publishers endlessly rehash the same idea over and over again until they run it into the ground. Attempting to avert this fate is one reason for running straight into They Changed It, Now It Sucks.invoked
    • The point of "Sonic Gloom." Jim posits that Sonic has had a few legitimately good ideas with Sonic Colors and Sonic Lost World, even saying that Sonic Generations was a good game. However, SEGA choosing to change Sonic every time a new game comes out stagnates and damages the franchise, even saying that the "Sonic Cycle" — the self-perpetuating idea that a Sonic game is going to suck before it comes out — is the company's own fault.
    • Jim overhauled the Jimquisition starting from the A Bitter Post-Mortem Of Modern Warfare Remastercarded episode in May of 2017, including a new intro & theme song and a revamped outfit, lectern, and background. He anticipated some people would have this kind of reaction, referencing this trope by name during the intro's first usage.
    • "The Artistic Arrogance of a Horrible Hollywood Hedgehog" is about how Hollywood movie studios apparently have no faith in the very licenses they buy and try to make movies out of. Jim uses the initial design of Sonic the Hedgehog from Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) as an example, saying that it's rooted in a mindset of "we're Hollywood, we know best." At the same time, Jim criticizes the people creating the movie for Sonic's design slamming headfirst into the Uncanny Valley out of a misguided attempt to "improve" a design that didn't need to be fixed. He also acknowledges, however, that as horrific and ill-advised the change was, it at least gained his interest (albeit in a "horrific trainwreck" sense) and that the studio's rush to correct it upon receiving an intense backlash both ensures that the movie will likely just be "bad" instead of "must-see unimaginably bad", and demonstrates the studio's ultimate lack of artistic integrity and interest in the film beyond potential merchandising profit.invoked
  • Too Awesome to Use: He feels that the weapons in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild break so easily that it would be just easier to avoid combat as much as possible in order to preserve the weapons. He compares it to hoarding Elixirs in Final Fantasy where you always save them "just in case" and then beat the game without ever using them.
  • Tropes Are Tools: For Halloween 2015, Jim criticizes several recurring and badly used Horror Tropes, such as Blackout Basement, Ten-Second Flashlight, Jitter Cam, and Implacable Man.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: invoked Discussed in "Boring, Lazy Art Games". He feels that the term "art game" is starting to become a euphemism for "boring, pretentious pile of shit", citing examples such as Dear Esther and The Path which force the player through an interesting setting, but give them absolutely nothing to do.
  • The Unapologetic: In "Tomopolgy Life", Jim brings up Nintendo's apology for not considering gay players when they put a marriage event in Tomodachi Life, and then apologized himself because the deadline for his videos meant he didn't have time to include it in the first video, and his rushing also misrepresented an aspect of the debate, painting Nintendo to be worse that they actually were. The rest of the video talks about this, how some people believe in never apologizing, compromising or admitting you're wrong; as some viewers saw Nintendo's reversal as a sign of weakness.
  • Uncanny Valley: invoked
    • Called out Team Ninja, makers of the Dead or Alive games, for making (and then defending) "sexy" characters that he finds to be downright hideous due to this trope, particularly with their ludicrous Jiggle Physics.
    • Shudders at the overly realistic and human-like redesign of Sonic the Hedgehog in the 2019 movie trailer, questioning whether kids this year will really be begging their mothers to buy them a "Sonic the Manhog" doll.
      I'm not joking, it genuinely makes me feel queasy. It looks like some sort of sick freak! It does! It looks like fucking... it looks like a monster! It's a little horrible elongated monster!
  • Unpleasable Fanbase: Invoked.
    • He has called the Zelda fanbase the "spoiled brats" of video game fandom, since they had Nintendo putting out new ones every couple years that were always well-done.
    • "Delayed Reaction" is all about Jim's incredulity over fan reaction to a two-month delay of Final Fantasy XV. To Jim, the reasons for the delay sounded rather reasonable. Jim sounds genuinely astonished that people would resort to death threats for a journalist just reporting that the game was delayed, saying "things didn't used to be this bad."
  • Values Dissonance: invoked In response to criticism over the Uncanny Valley use of Jiggle Physics in Dead or Alive 5, the developers defended themselves by saying that it was popular in Japan and that complainers from the West should just deal with it. Jim said it would be acceptable if the game was intended for Japan only, but since the game was made for an international audience, they have to conform to the social norms in foreign markets as well.
  • Villain Protagonist: invoked Jim likes games where he plays a villain, partially because of how horrific it is to play a character of such opposite morality, and because villains are more interesting. In "To Play the Villain", he points out games like Kane & Lynch and Saints Row 2 for putting players in the shoes of truly horrible people, while criticizing Overlord and later Saints Row games which pit the protagonist against people who are far worse, and come out looking like Anti-Villains or Anti-Heroes by comparison, thus losing the nastiness of proper villainous characters.
  • Waggle: invoked He despises games that shove in motion controls as a gimmick or tech demo, especially when they don't actually serve the game or a more-traditional control scheme would've served the player better. Nintendo in particular is often singled out for this, though the crowning example is Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor, which he outright called for a recall of, being almost completely non-functional thanks to its Kinect controls, and named as his worst game of 2012.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: Jim was pissed off by gamers and journalists actually giving praise to game studios who decide to be less of a Jerkass than usual. In "The Trap of Gamer Gratitude", he points to EA adding microtransactions to Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare because people were having trouble unlocking things, pointing out the game was designed from the start to be tedious to play for free to coerce players into spending money.
    • However, he actually does give Loadout praise for decency himself in the "Free to Wait" episode.
      Jim: That this game, a humble little game from a humble little studio can provide a genuinely quality shooter — and it really is a fucking good game — without perverting the free to play model, is worthy of applause. I mean, well, it shouldn't be worthy of applause, but in this world, unfortunately, it is.
    • He made a similar argument for praising Sony's decision to support used games on the PlayStation 4, arguing that while Sony wasn't bringing any new benefits the consumer and was in fact maintaining the status quo, they were still worthy of praise since in the current customer-hostile climate that pervades the game industry Sony's decision likely took a lot of consideration and courage.
    • In "So Are "AAA" Lootboxes Done?", published in the wake of the lootbox controversy, he has noted how publishers started to advertise their removal of or promises not to include lootboxes because of the good PR that they receive, but in particular lambastes certain developers (particularly Warner Brothers Interactive for Middle-earth: Shadow of War) for only doing it after including it to grab the easy good PR, when they shouldn't have done it at all.
    • When EA announced in 2019 that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order would be a story-focused, single-player game without any sort of microtransactions, Jim reiterated his distrust for EA and felt disgusted that they were proudly this for one of their games after having done so much to the contrary in the past.
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Didactic: Invoked and played with in "The Political Agenda of Dark Souls"; after delivering a lengthy analysis of the anti-capitalist themes of change vs. stagnation in Dark Souls, he pulls the rug out from it by remarking that it's "bollocks", and that everything he's said, while something he genuinely believes about the game, is merely his own personal interpretation of the game rather than something that is fundamentally present within it and might be challenged by the creator or other players. His broader point is not that his way of reading the game is automatically correct, but that all works of art fundamentally contain ideas and messages about the world and that creators and readers alike bring their own ways of interpreting a text when engaging with it, so it's useless to try and argue that a text is "non-political".
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Political: In "The Exploitation of Apolitical Politics". Jim criticizes game developers (focusing on the then-recently released The Division 2) for claiming that their work "isn't political" or "isn't trying to send a political message", even when their games deal with subjects like war, government, religion, gun ownership, patriotism, inequality, and racism that are inherently political. Such denials treat the audience like idiots while deprecating the artistic and social value of their own work. Another aspect of this that bugs him is illustrated by David Cage, who deflected comparisons of his game's robots to real exploited and scapegoated groups such as immigrants by insisting that Detroit: Become Human is just about androids who want to be free. To Jim this sends the cynical message that oppressed groups in real life can be a profitable source of inspiration for games that want to be topical, but do not deserve any acknowledgement or solidarity from the developers since that would mean the company taking a stand about something and thus maybe—possibly—offending some subset of the game's potential customers.
  • Why the Fandom Can't Have Nice Things:
    • While Jim describes himself as a defender of gamers, he is disgusted by the personal threats towards game developers like Jennifer Helper and David Vonderhaar. The hateful response towards developers will only overshadow legitimate criticism and discourage the industry from being creative.
    • Jim expresses annoyance and anger towards PewDiePie and his fallout for his use of the "N" word during a livestream. Jim was angry at Pewd's irresponsibility with racist quips and explained how it could cause advertisers to clamp down and demand regulation on Youtube, which would screw over everyone.
    • invoked When discussing the fact that Waluigi was not a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Jim noted the vitriolic reactions of a Vocal Minority who wanted Waluigi to be included as a playable fighter. He cites the constant abuse towards series director Masahiro Sakurai, and argues that such a level of abuse is the quickest way to not get what you want.
  • Widget Series: invoked Jim's "Nintendo of America" episode is about how the titular company refuses to localize niche Japanese games, despite the fact that said games usually sell more units in America than in Japan.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: His main criticism towards We Happy Few and other survival horror games is the reliance on this trope. He finds he can't do anything in the game because he is continuously being harassed by his own character's need to eat, drink, and sleep, and that constantly having to keep the rapidly-draining meters full becomes a chore rather than a pleasure if they're too intrusive.
  • Word Salad Title: Calls Square Enix out for their insistence on giving their games these in "Square Enix Has Stupid Game Names", in particular focusing on the handheld Kingdom Hearts games.
  • Workaholic: Discussed in "Look After Your Workers Or Get Out Of Games". Jim says being a workaholic is not a good thing and should not be seen as a positive trait, because being a workaholic can have a severe impact on a person's health.
  • X Meets Y: Invoked by Jim as he chews out the videogame companies social media presence, chiding them that they're being called on their bullshit by "someone who looks like Porky Pig joined a steampunk Green Day."
  • You Keep Using That Word:
    • In "Lugoscababib Discobiscuits", Jim is annoyed by everyone using "Ludonarrative Dissonance" just because it sounds cool. In particular, he says that people are using it to criticize violence in games, when it really means a disconnect between the narrative told in gameplay, versus the narrative told by cutscenes. He looked at Tomb Raider (2013), in which Lara Croft is supposed to be an archaeologist who hates guns, and yet spends the game killing people like a pro; and compared it to Bioshock Infinite, which also has lots of violence, but stars a violent person, being dropped into a city that looks peaceful but is really hiding a violent underbelly. Both have been criticized for ludonarrative dissonance, when only Tomb Raider is a true example.
    Just being violent is not ludonarrative dissonance; not when the story and world themselves are supposed to be fucking violent.
    • He directs this at Ubisoft at the end of Ubisoft - A Sad History of PC Failures. Ubisoft's constant use of "iconic" had gotten on his nerves, applying it to things like Aiden Pearce's attire or an Assassins Creed character's pocket-watch. It got to the point that the episode "Ubiconic" was all about Ubi's misuse of the word.
    • In his INNOVATION- GAMING'S SNAKE OIL video, Jim stated that he feels that critics put higher stock into "innovation" over actual quality.
    • "Censorship" for whenever a content creator cuts or changes anything, with the Fan Dumb invoked automatically believing someone else forced them to. Content creators should be free to edit their work as they see fit, and cutting things out is as much a part of creative freedom as adding things in.
    • One early episode ("YOUR REVIEWS ARE TEH BIAS") discusses this by showing how often people complaining about his reviews keep misusing the word "bias"]] to describe any reviewer they vehemently disagree with.
    • People calling any of his opinions they don't like "clickbait". He doesn't even have ads on his website or videos, so the accusation doesn't make any sense.
    • Jim criticizes people who demand reviews be "objective" without knowing what the word means. The "100% objective" review of Final Fantasy XIII showed what a review that was completely objective would look like, consisting only of Captain Obvious statements like "Final Fantasy XIII is a video game." To this point, Jim argues that anyone who demands a video game review be "objective" actually means "I want this review to contain an opinion I agree with."
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Jim is quite disgusted with how companies like EA only hand out to review copies to critics who are going to praise their games. He takes pride that they have since labeled him as a "wild card," and notes that he'd be more insulted if EA were actually giving him the games, meaning they saw him as someone who would blindly praise their games.

    The Podquisition 

Tropes featured on the Podquisition:

  • And Now For Something Completely Different: One episode is an interview between Jim and the infamous Digital Homicide.
  • Author Filibuster: When not opening the show with an Orphaned Punchline, Jim usually opens with whatever opinion is at the forefront of his mind at the time.
    • Of special note is the opening of Jeff Beezos where Jim briefly pretends to talk about Silent Hill before starting to criticise Jeff Bezos and billionaires in general.
    • Please Remove Yourself From The Internet begins with Jim doing a dramatic reading of a ranting comment spammed on several of his videos.
    • Similarly,Gamers Rise Up begins with Jim doing an energetic dramatic reading of a very lengthy example of a titular comment during a discussion of "gamer cringe".
  • Butt-Monkey: Gavin, who often gets made fun of by the other co-hosts (mainly for his love of Ubisoft) and gets known as "the slow one" by the audience.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: They consider Nintendo as a company to be one, as they put out competent games consistently but also have a tendency to make weird decisions.
  • Catch Phrase: "[A show about] whether your favorite video games are great or perfect".
  • The Cast Show Off: Gavin would occassionally get out a guitar and sing a song or two when he was on the show.
  • Couch Gag: Beginning with episode 19, each episode started with Jim off-handedly mentioning a new symptom of Gavin's "illness". It began with a real-life incident where Gavin had his foot stood on by a high-heeled shoe, but has since gone on to include rotting flesh, egg-laying insects and crows nesting in it. They eventually stopped. When a listener asked why in one episode, they answered that, essentially, they thought it had run its course. Recently Jim started adding an Orphaned Punchline to an unheard anecdote at the start of each episode.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Gavin talks about having one in "F*ck Live Services". Having been much more optimistic about the AAA game industry than the other two hosts for a long time, he claims that the downfall of BioWare with the disastrous launch of Anthem, their first live service game, as well as the news that the upcoming Dragon Age 4 was going to be Retooled into another live service, had caused him to lose faith.
  • Developers' Foresight: Referenced by Jim in episode 205 in reference to the responsiveness of NPCs in Red Dead Redemption II.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Jim has noted that he tries to ignore his birth name of "James Stanton". He's only mentioned it once on The Jimquisition, when it came up in Digital Homicide's Frivolous Lawsuit against him. Jim clarified on the podcast that he would legally change his name to "Jim Sterling" if not for the legal issues that would arise if he did so.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Jim immediately told Gavin to shut up when Gav made a joke based around hatred towards Millennials.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In-universe; in the early Podquisitions, Jim and Laura are positive about amiibos (with Jim even defending them in a Jimquisition). Later on, they're much more pessimistic about them, mainly due to constant supply problems and influx of rare amiibos.
  • Last Episode Theme Reprise: Gavin's final appearance as a regular member of the trio included a live accoustic guitar version of the Podquisition theme song.
  • Only Sane Man: Laura is the show's cat herder, who puts together a topic list and tries to make the other two talk about video games. Downplayed, as she is still entirely ready to join in with hijinks and gags.
  • Running Gag:
    • As always, the utter disdain for Ubisoft. Invoked though, considering that Ubisoft keeps giving them reasons to talk about them. A sub-running gag is that Gavin, who has on occasion worked with Ubisoft and doesn't want to burn bridges, adamantly does not participate in Laura and Jim's needling of the company. (It's to the point where it's a non-gag, i.e. they're entirely serious, when they say to the audience not to bother Gavin about this on Twitter or other social media, and for God's sake not to tag in Ubisoft's official accounts into the conversation.)
    • Around the time of Bloodborne's release and after, it keeps getting brought up, even when they're trying to dodge the topic.
    • The supposed Unresolved Sexual Tension between Jim and Laura.
    • Jim facetiously blaming "liberal arts students" for various things.
    • The specific way Jim will say "What they DID to Zhang He" when talking about Dynasty Warriors 9 and Gavin's utter delight at it.
    • They also have a habit of going on a minutes long intro tangent, then remembering they haven't done an intro and doing it belatedly. (Amplified when Laura is absent as Jim and Gav seem to rely on Laura to keep them on topic).
    • Since Conrad joined, they have come to describe the purpose of the podcast as "telling you whether your favourite video games are great or perfect" to make fun of people who complain when the podcast gets political or get overly upset at criticism of the games they like.
    • Jim's completely accurate and not at all false information about what an unpopular figure that week does in their spare time.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: Their topics often spin off into bizarre tangents, such as Kirby amiibos devouring other amiibos to explain amiibo shortages.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: They speculate that Reggie fils-Amie is out to get Laura after several odd problems involving Nintendo games.
  • Special Guest: Whenever one of the trio is absent, the other two try to bring a guest on. Most prominent during the weeks Laura was in recovery for surgery, where they had on, among others, Justin McElroy and Holly Green.
    • Parodied in one early Conrad-era podcast, where Jim spends the opening pretending to be a snooker player more interested in making trick shots the audience can't acctually see.
  • Take That!: Various powerful people get made fun of frequently, especially those in the video game industry known to be liars or who are leading companies known for labour violations. Many right wing political figures are also frequently satirised.
  • Take That, Audience!: Jim often makes fun of listeners who don't want them to get "too political" on the podcast. See Running Gag above.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Jim, Gavin and Laura.
    • Now Jim, Laura and Conrad.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: One episode has the very final topic being the unexpected return of Digital Homicide. Jim is outright floored by the fact that the news that week had been so bad that their return had completely slipped his mind.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Referenced by Jim and jokingly invoked with him and Laura.
  • We Didn't Start the Billy Joel Parodies: In Episode 238 "Surprise Mechanics", Gavin makes a "surprise summary" to the week by singing the song to the events of E3 2019, EA calling lootboxes "surprise mechanics", and clickbait.

Alternative Title(s): Jim Sterling


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: