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YMMV / Zero Punctuation

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  • 8.8: Some of his critiques (most notably Super Smash Bros. Brawl and The Last of Us) ended up causing a reaction like this. Also a notable inversion, in that his reputation as a Caustic Critic whose humor derives off of taking the piss out of games causes some people to shrug off his negative reviews as "Meh, it's Yahtzee, he shits on all games."
  • Acceptable Targets: Almost everything in his eyes. These are just the most frequent ones.
    • Swindon, George Lucas, generic modern-military first person shooters (Nicknamed "Spunkgargleweewee" after Medal of Honor Warfighter) and others.
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    • Any Sonic the Hedgehog game Yahtzee reviews will have no end of derision for Sonic Team, and their incompetent mismanagement of their franchise. Also any remaining Sonic fans, who are characterised at best as all being furries who fap to Rogue the Bat, at worst as all being zoophiles who molest the family pets, and universally as naive idiots who never know when to move on from what he sees as a Franchise Zombie.
    • Nintendo and their franchises gets ripped a lot too, largely for what he sees as "gimmicky motion controls" and a lack of innovation in main franchises from the Wii onwards. However, it's also very Zig-Zagged in the Eighth Generation of Consoles. He will still rail on Nintendo for their practices, but he's praised the Wii U the most of the eighth generation because it's been for him the only gaming console that wants to function AS a gaming console, rather than an inferior PC.
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    • Even though Yahtzee Hates Everyone Equally, he shows a clear preference for insulting Britain (his homeland), Australia (his past residence), and the United States (because he can get so much material from Eagleland, Boorish Flavor). He has a particular disdain for Margaret Thatcher.
    • Anything Japanese, especially anime and JRPGs. People who enjoy them to any degree are also unfailingly stereotyped as fat, virginal nerds who pleasure themselves to the female characters. His new Hatfall game even contains an Easter egg that, while host to some original jokes unrelated to Japan, is still set up as a massive Take That! against visual novels and those who play them. On the other hand, a lot of the anime references he throws in are so specific that there's simply no way he hasn't watched quite a fair bit himself.note 
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    • By extension of George Lucas, Star Wars never receives any kind words from Yahtzee (He even claimed The Empire Strikes Back, A New Hope (at first) and the original Knights of the Old Republic are the only good things from it in his The Force Unleashed II review, labeling the acclaimed Super Star Wars games and universally beloved The Clone Wars TV series as crap while proclaiming his hate for the series and its fans). His Extra Punctuation article "Why Exactly Do We Care About Star Wars" is rather blatant in this regard.
    • Nazis, as noted in his review of Sniper Elite V2. To sum up: They're basically the ultimate acceptable targets, and no matter how gory the kills are, you'll never feel bad, because they're Nazis! He also notes how Wolfenstein: The New Order completely dodges all possible moral debate in killing the enemy by making the enemy Nazis, and screw those guys.
    • He also seems to greatly dislike kids. Although this attitude has diminished in recent times due to him becoming a father himself.
    • Used in one review where, upon realizing he'd been exclusively insulting Trump and the Right (mid-rant, no less), he switches gears to start insulting the Left.
    • The DC Extended Universe. It's not that he prefers Marvel to DCnote , so much as that he's of the opinion that the MCU is a massive success and had already won the contest for cinematic supremacy before DC started desperately trying to play catch up. (In reality, Yahtzee professed one comic he enjoyed reading as a teen: Preacher. He's also made statements that would heavily imply he has read Watchmen and The Sandman.)
    • The Eighth Generation of Console Video Games in its entirety (the Wii U, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One); he was entirely unenthusiastic about them from the beginning (back when he reviewed PS4 launch title Knack he called it "the worst console generation") and has never mellowed out on them, arguing that, unlike the previous generation, they didn't bring anything new or unique or revolutionary to the table and basically offered nothing beyond slightly shinier graphics and an opportunity for games companies to force everyone to spend a whole lot of money on a new console and reset their quality standards back to square one again. While the Wii U is long dead, gone and not missed at all, he still to this day regularly refers to the other two as the "PissPoor" and the "Xbone".
    • David Cage (or as he insists on pronouncing it, "Dayvid Cayge"), an "auteur" game creators who he thinks has ambition (and ego) far outstripping his ability and an obsession with overblown melodramatic and often rather daft narratives that tend to get in the way of the gameplay, isn't nearly as clever, original or interesting as he apparently thinks he is, and imply that he'd rather just be making movies than games, and overrall just openly dismisses as a hack.
    • As of the Ghost of Tsushima review he is thoroughly over and done with "open world stealth action games with crafting and collectibles", which he gives (as with "Spunkgargleweewee") the derisive nickname "Jiminy Cockthroat".
  • Anvilicious:
    • He, naturally, has very strong opinions on the games industry (and games) as a whole. It's unlikely he'll go more than a video or two without making some reference to how broken the business model publishers of AAA titles is and how that bankrupts creativity, and how the industry is set to crash any day now. Of course, unlike the below examples, this is related to the medium he works in, so most would likely consider it justified as part of his job as a critic.
    • Yahtzee refers to the nightmare world of Inside as Thatcher's Britain. In the same review Yahtzee refers to mindless drones controlled by the player as "Brexit Voters."
    • He's also had a history of making pretty blatant jabs towards America and their politics, including the 2016 election and their candidates.
  • Archive Panic: A very rare web animation case. Yahtzee has been releasing videos weekly for over a decade now, and the series has passed 600 episodes (as of 2019). Even with the videos only being five minutes long, watching all of them would take a considerable amount of time at this point.
  • Ass Pull: Did a last-minute review of Undertale so he could include it in his Top, Middle, and Bottom 5 of 2015. Not a negative example, though; he had explicitly praised it in an Extra Punctuation article and in his Let's Drown Out series, and said that the experience couldn't be explained in detail without dulling it for those who haven't played it yet.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Boxer shorts with googly eyes in the LittleBigPlanet review. At the very end of the review it then came back as a Ringu-esque Screamer Trailer. Possibly connected to an earlier comment about "[sticking] googly eyes all over your mission hub".
    • The boxers come back in the hundredth Zero Punctuation for a split second.
    • The SimCity Societies review ends early and includes a Team Fortress 2 Heavy/Medic love tragedy told in pictures.
    • It's a bit of a meta one, but approximately 3 minutes and 22 seconds into his review of The Talos Principle there's a sudden crossfade transition between two shots that sticks out like a Great White shark in a pet shop aquarium, as it is literally the only such transition in the entire history of Zero Punctuation. It's generally believed to be a simple editing error.
  • Broken Base:
    • Generally divided into people that think he's hilarious, entertaining but not to be taken seriously, or unfunny, irritating, and bigoted.
    • And on a different note, the theme song. Awesome or generic? For some, the issue is not that the song is bad, but that his older reviews began and ended with songs either fitting or ironic toward the game reviewed.
    • Also there's people that say that he's too narrow-minded with his Bias Steamroller frequently showing in reviews of genres of games that he doesn't normally enjoy (i.e. JRPGs, Real-Time Strategy, Fighting Games, Modern Military FPS) while others find that it makes him interesting.
  • Critical Research Failure: Has its own page.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Very fond of racial/sexual jokes, stereotypes, and other forms of very politically incorrect humour.
  • Face of the Band: Even before the Escapist lost or fired most of their content creators, people (and Yahtzee himself) made jokes about Zero Punctuation being the most popular thing on the site by far. After the launch of V2, the announcement of a Yahtzee/ZP focused mini-documentary caused the jokes to resurface. Just compare the number of views his video reviews get on Youtube with other Escapist content (including the other content he produces for the site).
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • This quote from his review of The Walking Dead is not as funny after the closure of Telltale Games as of September 2018, which also means that The Final Season may never be finished.
      Telltale Games is a fucking one-company conservation effort. They're simultaneously trying to keep alive the point-and-click adventure game, the concept of episodic gameplay, every conceivable franchise that the original creator doesn't care about and which could always bleed out a few more pennies, and presumably also themselves if there's time left in the day.
    • In his Top 5 of 2012 video, when talking about XCOM: Enemy Unknown, he mentions how reimagining a '90s franchise for the modern audience is sometimes a necessity. The game his avatar is holding during that sentence? Dungeon Keeper.
    • On a more meta level: the jokes about Yahtzee being the only contributor of The Escapist were the sad reality for a period of time, as most other contributors, like Jim Sterling, jumped ship.
      • Related was his announcing in 2013 he'd be at the second annual Escapist Expo convention, saying "It's almost like it's a regular thing now." It would be the last Escapist Expo.
    • In the Top 5 of 2013 video, Numbers 4 and 3 indicate "Shaking hands with Kofi Annan" (Fourth Best), "Realizing your flies were unzipped the whole time you were shaking hands with Kofi Annan" (Fourth Worst), discovering that "It wasn't Kofi Annan at all, it was Nelson Mandela" (Third Best), and "Hang on, Nelson Mandela's dead, and you've just committed a faux pas at an open casket funeral" (Third Worst). Almost five years later, and we've come to the realization that Kofi Annan, too, has passed away.
    • In his review of The Order: 1886, Yahtzee says that the plot of the game is "like if Kevin Spacey just flat-out hadn't appeared in the final mission and the final boss fight was instead with Kevin Spacey's pet Staffordshire Terrier, with Kevin Spacey mockingly saluting from a hang glider with 'Sequel Hook' written on it." With the sexual allegations against Spacey, that quote is starting to make fans and people very uncomfortable.
    • His review of The Inpatient and DOOM VFR had him criticize the latter for getting too easy in the later levels, "when all the ridiculously powerful guns have been introducednote  and are now just lying around everywhere like there was an earthquake in an American high school locker room."note  The episode was first released on February 7, 2018, just one week before the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida. Even worse, it was uploaded to YouTube just two hours before the shooting, with commentators immediately noticing the unfortunate timing.
  • Genius Bonus: After the crossover with Graham Stark, the imps interview Pedigree Chum. As the Urban Dictionary notes, a "pedigree chum" is "someone whom you share a common sense of humour with, whether it's been months or even years can still be able to pick up where you left off and have that same banter."
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • His "iPhone Games" video praises the mobile gaming scene as the place where actual innovation seems to be happening and that it's not full of the shameless cash grabs that he's come to expect from the console gaming industry. Fast forward to today, and a great many people will argue that almost none of those compliments are still valid with the rise of tons of Clash of Clans clones and predatory microtransaction practices in games that are ostensibly free but in reality exist almost entirely as engines by which to extract money from the player.
    • Way, way back in his review of Halo 3 he complained that the story campaign was "criminally short, maybe eight to ten hours". The comment fields of that video on YouTube are filled with people from a decade or so later bemoaning the long-lost glory days when 8-10 hours was considered "short" for a full price shooter.
    • Similarly his review of Firefall opened with a discussion on full priced games vs free-to-play games and included the observation "a game bought from a store might cost a hundred bucks, but at least you'll never somehow lose track of how much money you've spent on it". In the modern era of full-priced games stuffed to the gills with microtransactions of both the cosmetic and gameplay-enhancing variety and even randomised lootboxes, this statement comes across as incredibly tragic.
    • In his review of the The Walking Dead (which, at the time of his review, only episodes 1 and 2 were out), he states that it would end either with the "evil military" coming in or "best case scenario, 2 to 4 of the least ass-holey survivors go and live on an island somewhere". He was... wrong. In fact, to quote a comment:
      Ellimation360: Ah hahaha, oh, none of the stereotypical endings happen...
      • In fact, there have been cries for Yathzee to do a re-review for the game if only for the conclusion.
      • His review of The Walking Dead Survival Instinct mentions him being emotionally hit hard by it.
    • Watch his review of Far Cry 3, play the game, and then watch it again. He briefly mocks the characters' whining, complete with an image of one of them saying "my bum hurts." The joke becomes much, much darker when you realize that Buck was raping his prisoner...
      • When Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon came out he praised it for being a fun passion project created using the original game's engine. The later releases of Primal and New Dawn show that Ubisoft didn't hesitate to exploit that very passion in order to double-dip on profits for the series.
    • The part about Oliver not getting his mother back, taking up taxidermy and wearing her dresses in his review of Ni no Kuni becomes far darker once you find out that she doesn't come back.
    • His review of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 opens with a desire for Duke Nukem Forever to come out just so he could play a shooter which allowed you to carry more than two weapons at a time. And then DNF came out, and it turns out it didn't (though a patch was later released for the PC version that allowed you to carry four weapons at a time).
    • When his review of Yakuza 4 was about to go up, the 2011 Japan earthquake hit. Realizing that a lot of the video was about Japanese cultural quirks that he finds weird/creepy and that this trope would come back to bite him in the ass hard if left as-is, he quickly went into a bit of damage control and made sure the video started with a disclaimer about the recent events and how he would never wish ill will upon a people who he has always had his admiration and respect, and he hopes they'll forgive him for the savage mocking that was about to commence.
    • In his review of the first Assassin's Creed, he praised it for trying something different in an increasingly homogenized industry, even if it wasn't perfect. Fast-forward to around 2015 and Yahtzee now views Assassin's Creed as one of the most Strictly Formula and uninspired franchises in existence. What's more, fast-forward to 2020 and Yahtzee has criticized the industry for essentially homogenizing into clones of Assassin's Creed: "open world stealth action games with crafting and collectibles"note .
    • While reviewing Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Yahtzee praised the game's sailing system but stated he could not see any way it could be implemented in other periods. Come Origins and Odyssey Yahtzee was annoyed at how Ubisoft was seemingly forcing in sailing systems simply because it was in Black Flag.
    • At the end of his Freedom Planet review, he goes off about how ceasing expectations culminates in "President Trump". Come November 8th, Trump became the official 45th President of the United States, and Yahtzee himself would remark about how the aforementioned remark was Tempting Fate in hindsight in his review of Ashen.
    • Yahztee once made a joke about nobody visiting The Escapist on days besides Wednesdays. Said joke became a reality - at least up until the late-2018 announcement of the site being rebooted under mostly-new management, all of the site's other talent outside of Yahtzee left.
    • One week after he released the review of "The Inpatient and Doom VFR", which has a joke about guns in high school locker rooms, another mass shooting occurred at a school in Florida.
    • On a grander scale, the "PC Master Race" joke he made quite some years ago was meant to be satire. However, some of the players took it upon themselves as a serious title but were also thought to be relatively harmless people having a laugh about it. As the years passed, more and more of those players ended up being (or becoming) really obnoxious gatekeepers to gaming; leading Yahtzee himself becoming more and more jaded on them as the years passed with jokes about said "PC Master Race" getting less subtle. Finally, in his ''Kingdom Come: Deliverance" review, he saw a group of those people praising the game's obnoxious design ideas and begging the developers to not change them because "if they do, the plebs might get into it", leading to him cursing a storm and now wishing he never used that term to describe those people.
      Yahtzee: Fuck you, toffee-nosed PC Master Race shitheads! I wish I'd named you something else now, like the "PC Gaming Dick-Slurp All-Stars"!
    • His review of Anthem opened with a rather funny sequence where he portrayed the game as the result of poor Bioware being driven by the manic whims of publisher Electronic Arts, characterised as an indecisive and temperamental Manchild that demands Bioware make a copy of Destiny for it even though it's not what they're known for or experienced at making. After Jason Schrier's famous article dropped in April 2019 it emerged that not only was the decision to make the game an open world online looter shooter one that Bioware had made themselves rather than being forced into it by Executive Meddling from EA, but during the game's overlong development the staff were actively forbidden from comparing the game to Destiny, which prevented them from using it as a point of reference to avoid making the same mistakes that Destiny had already made and corrected.
    • Yahtzee's recounting of the World of Warcraft "Corruped Blood" incident is all about the eerie parallels between that event and the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic, in particular that both were made worse by people ignoring quarantines and/or deliberately spreading the disease to other people.
    • Depending on your perspective this could also be considered Hilarious in Hindsight, but in his Ride to Hell: Retribution review: he opens with how he feels a wedge has been driven between him and fans of The Last of Us, complete with the graphic of a golf club being planted firmly in the ground. Come The Last of Us Part II and Joel is beaten to death by Abby with a golf club.
    • In his "Top 5 of 2019" video he gave the Resident Evil 2 (Remake) 4th best of the year, but expressed concern than Capcom had already announced the Resident Evil 3 (Remake), questioning whether they were ultimately planning on remaking the much-despised Resident Evil 6, saying "That'd be like when Europe took another crack at the bubonic plague." And then the very next goddamn year...
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Has its own page.
  • Ho Yay:
  • Hype Backlash:
    • Subverting this trope is basically Yahtzee's self-professed goal with his yearly E3 reviews. He repeatedly warns against E3 game trailers that rely on pre-rendered cinematics with no significant length of actual game-play footage, sighting this as a red flag that there's something wrong with the game-play that the developers "don't want us to see". He pointed this out for the Metal Gear Solid release when the developer rep actually fast-forwarded through game-play footage of the fast travel system because it was boring. He also despised the hype over the next-gen consoles because they were, in his opinion, overhyped, overpriced social networking platforms that alienate the player and undermine gaming history with console exclusives and the omission of backwards-compatibility (at least until Microsoft started offering it in 2015).
    • Not that Yahtzee himself isn't subject to this trope, thanks in part to how well known he is and the reactions of his Misaimed Fandom.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "The Glorious PC Gaming Master Race". It originally appeared in his review for the first Witcher game as part of a gag about it's interface being unnecessarily clunky and thus impossible to port. It was meant as satire (Yahtzee believes PC and console gaming are equally shitty) but it quickly became an Appropriated Appellation. There's even a subreddit named after it (which, to be fair, is somewhat tongue-in-cheek). In one review, he took back the appellation, and gave them a less appealing sobriquet.
      • He later wrote an Extra Punctuation article addressing concerns over its use, deciding that it's one of the most effective ways to say Take That! to the Third Reich - using a term they coined in such a spurious and (generally) joking manner completely deflates what the Nazis were hoping to achieve.
    • From his review of Dark, "TELL ME MORE ABOUT X", mocking the unnatural conversation flow resulting from poorly-written dialogue trees.
    • Press X to Not Die achieved memetic status so much so that it got a trope named after it (and another one too, by extension).
    • The "gaming industry never learns" jingle that pops up time and time again. Infinitely applicable, and hella catchy, too!
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • A portion of his fans are notably outspoken, and tend to feel strongly about his opinions towards works, an attitude he regularly decries.
    • The appropriated use of the "PC master race" by PC users is another one. The phrase was meant as satire in the first place. Yahtzee himself would alternate on reviews between playing it straight when a console version fails to deliver what a PC version could, but then bashes on it when the issue comes to the player-base being obnoxious. However, as of his Kingdom Come review, Yahtzee finally hit his breaking point with the term when he believes that those same players didn't want the developers to fix the game's save system because "the plebs might be able to play the game". This caused Yahtzee to let out a massive cursing stream, wishing he named those types of players the "PC Gaming Dick-Slurp All-Stars" instead.
  • Mis-blamed: Zig-zagged. Yahtzee caught a lot of flak in his Papers Please/Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons review on the grounds that he was transphobic. Part of it was a clumsy joke that he apologized and later edited out (the "sucking off pre-op transsexuals" line), but the "no trannies" sign he drew up for the Papers Please half was actually Yahtzee hanging a lampshade on the game (border guards are ordered to detain trans people if their paperwork isn't in order), not an endorsement of transphobia. (Nonetheless, it didn't stop him from naming Papers, Please as the second-best game of 2013.)
  • Most Wonderful Sound: "Let's all laugh at an industry / that never learns anything, tee hee hee!" While the "Occasional Guide To Special Moments in Gaming History" subseries is highly infrequent, it's nonetheless greatly anticipated by fans in part thanks to this little ditty.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Yahtzee apparently has a long-standing fear of theme park mascots, which he's previously let known in his old blog, that he conquered playing Epic Mickey. This was not helped during a trip to Disneyland, especially with the parade.
      The grins. A sea of grins. Staring. Judging.
      • This fear was apparently not-so-conquered, as he brought it up again in his review of Five Nights at Freddy's, saying that he couldn't play the game for more than three minutes at a time because it made him too tense.
    • From the series proper, in his Bioshock Infinite review, he lets out a surprisingly intimidating "Get Out!" when reminded of BioShock 2.
    • His suggestion in the "Nintendo Needs To Reboot Mario and Luigi" Extra Punctuation article that it would be a great thing if a failed reboot of Mario caused fans to commit suicide.
    • At the end of the video review for Doki Doki Literature Club!, we get this bit of Fridge Horror:
      What I want to know is where all these girls' parents are while they're going around flirting with suspect boys and hanging themselves.
  • Older Than They Think: Yahtzee hits upon an idea in his Watch_Dogs review of a game built entirely around the CCTV-based character escort missions. This, however, is an idea that République already did almost half a year before Watch_Dogs was released note . And before even that, back on the Playstation 2, there was Operator's Side
    • He touts the Brutalities in Mortal Kombat X as a new mechanic, even though they've been around since Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, albeit in a slightly different form.
    • His Extra Punctuation column on making other types of gameplay turn-based suggests the idea for a turn-based racing game. This idea actually exists in board game form with Formula D, and in video game form (albeit without cars) in the form of Quadriga.
    • In his review of Diablo III he decried the use of procedurally-generated dungeons, comparing it to a book with randomly ordered chapters: "If a book randomly rearranged its chapters with every read, then every chapter would have its characters doing fuck all, because the plot wouldn't make sense otherwise. So the end result will always be a fucking boring book." Someone actually did write such a book, in which the chapters are unbound and can be read in any order, and true enough, nothing much happens in any given chapter. It's open to debate whether the end result is a boring book however.
  • Pet-Peeve Trope: He's got a few.
  • Reviews Are the Gospel: Yahtzee despises both this sentiment among gamers and the fact that professional critics use scores. That being said, his more zealous fans follow this practice with his own reviews.
  • Sacred Cow: Zig-Zagged. Yahtzee's choices for 'Greatest Games Ever' can often line up perfectly with the majority of other critics—or diverge drastically. He holds some games in the same high regard as most other critics, such as Resident Evil 4, Deus Ex, Undertale, and Metroid Prime; in other cases, he regards poorly or outright hates games most other critics adore, such as Resident Evil, Shenmue, Super Mario 64, and Final Fantasy VII.
  • Unacceptable Targets: Transsexuals, judging by the comments under the Papers, Please/Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons review. See Mis-blamed.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • He suggests that this is why he dislikes games such as Call Of Duty. The games rely on the premise that the player possesses some degree of nationalism towards the United States, and for obvious reasons, he has no such feelings. That being said, his extremely negative portrayal of America isn't that flattering to those that are American or support the country either.
    • A gag (one of the signs on a border guard shack reading "no trannies") from the Papers, Please review got him in trouble. The USSR really was transphobic, a byproduct of trying to have a secular morality by copying Russian Orthodox dogma. It's also really one of the rules you're supposed to enforce in the game.


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