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Zero Punctuation / Tropes U to Z

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  • Unbroken First-Person Perspective: Provides the page quote.
  • Uncanny Valley: invoked
    • invoked Has alluded to the concept several times, usually in reference to particular poor animation and/or mocap, or games that simply feel realistic in some ways but unnervingly fumble it in others.
    • invoked He also used the concept to illustrate the problems inherent in creating and criticizing art, arguing that, in much the same way that the closer something comes to realism the more obvious its deficiencies become, the closer a work of art comes to "perfection" the more glaringly obvious its flaws become.
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  • Understatement: He describes Walker accidentally burning almost fifty civilians alive with white phosphorus in Spec Ops: The Line as a moment where "Walker and the player unwittingly do a bad thing".
  • invoked Underused Game Mechanic: Has complained about this several times, most notably in reference to the "memory remix" sequences in Remember Me, to the point that he wrote a column discussing how they might have been more thoroughly implemented.
  • The Unintelligible: The Imp, during his extremely short-lived Hostile Show Takeover.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Frequently invoked in his reviews of Tomb Raider (2013) and its sequels. He notes that while the game continually tries to invoke pathos by forcing Lara into horrible situations, she also has so little personality, agency, or emotive range that it's hard to care about her story, not helped by the game seesawing so frequently between "Lara is horrified at the prospect of killing even one person and basically alone and vulnerable" and "Lara can mow down 90 guys and is a master of survival and weapons." And her repetitive "I CAN DO THIS" dialogue didn't take long to annoy him.
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    • He also cited this in his reviews of the Fable series, saying that he didn't care about any of the characters - not because he disliked their personalities, but because there wasn't much personality to dislike, largely due to the game's reputation mechanics. He noted that he considered accidentally failing to raise enough money to save most of them at the end of III to be "a 100% positive result."
    "I am, of course, emotionally jaded, but the characters in the game don't have enough charm to make me want to marry or rule them. They all operate as some bizarre, schizophrenic hive mind who will chide you for your numerous murders one moment and praise your farting prowess the next."
  • Unpleasable Fanbase: invoked
    • "Fans are clingy, complaining dipshits who will never ever be grateful for any concession you make. Incidentally, why not buy a Zero Punctuation t-shirt?"
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    • "All right, fine, for fuck's sake; I'll review Borderlands if it will make you shut up! (Except it won't, will it? We both know nothing could do that, short of surgically removing your fucking jaw, and even then you could still drool down my ear.)"
    • "The point is, this is coming from a fan [of Dark Souls], so expect me to complain about how formulaic it's gotten while simultaneously bitching about everything that's different."invoked
  • Unreliable Narrator: A quick one where Yahtzee shows on a chart ranking games by violence, which claims that Barbie Horseback Racing is slightly more violent than the war game Resistance 3.
  • Unusual Euphemism:
    • Used as a Brick Joke in his review of DmC: Devil May Cry:
      Yahtzee: I thought my rowboat was about to be made seaworthy...
    • He also now believes that "Cake" is Princess Peach's code word for a booty call.
    • In his review of Wolfenstein: The New Order, he mentions stabbing a Nazi soldier "right up the lebensraum."
  • Vanity License Plate:
    • The one on Mario's faceship reads "1TSA M3."
    • He also mentioned that the somewhat unsatisfying ending to Rise of the Triad left him so worked up that he felt the need to run out and piss all over the first car he saw with one of these.
  • Verbal Backspace:
    • Running Gag in Bayonetta review.
    • From his Army of Two review, when he starts slipping into gay jokes again though he was trying to cut down on them: "No! Bad Yahtzee!"
  • Victory Cake: A few times, such as this God of War III review:
    The actual challenge of the fight is basically 'Go here, then here, then Quick-Time Event then win. Then cake.'
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Every once in a while even he admits to liking the characters that he plays or the NPCs he gets saddled with.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Zig-Zagged. On one hand, He's a really big fan of this trope. However, as mentioned in Hero Antagonist, if he's playing a game in which the violence is shown committed by the player's avatar done taken too far or without a degree of restraint or subtlety (to use his Mortal Kombat IX review's words, like someone filming a cumshot), he can be put off by it. He also claims to have found games like Overlord, where the cruelty potential is deliberate and heavily encouraged, not as fun - he sees being a jerk in a game as something that's fun in part because it's defying what the game wants you to do.
    If you give [Gamers] guns, they will shoot old ladies. If you give them cars, they will run over old ladies. If you give them aircraft, they will ascend to the highest possible height and hurl themselves out onto an old lady.
  • Video Game Setpiece: Not a big fan of them. He often uses the term "sightseeing tour syndrome" to refer to games which attempt to lead the player by the nose from one largely uninteractive setpiece to the next without attempting to really engage them on any level of gameplay or story.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: In Yahtzee's review of Deathspank, how many people got that he picked the town name of Northampton for a visual gag about a mystical place because it's very close to the real life English town of Daventry?
  • Vindicated by History:invoked
    • In-universe, Doom 3. For everything it dropped from the previous games in favor of ripping off System Shock 2, it was still a GAME that was driven by the actions of the player, which was more than Yahtzee could say for Medal of Honor: Warfighter (HA! Ha ha ha ha ha!)
    • In his Tomb Raider reviews, he tended to read Lara Croft as an utterly unsympathetic Nominal Hero who is more comparable to a slasher villain than a goodhearted adventurer. But when he got deeper into the reboot, he notes that he'd started appreciating Lara's original characterization more by comparison: while she didn't have much personality, she at least had a degree of levity that made her hard to dislike, as opposed to being a boring jerk in a very serious story.
  • Visual Pun: Many of the B-Roll Rebus visuals.
  • Vorpal Pillow: Yahtzee suggests doing this to the Paper Mario series after Super Paper Mario (which he actually thought was OK, if inferior to the previous titles).
    It's an enjoyable installment, but the developers don't seem into it anymore, so perhaps it's time to put this particular franchise to bed. Then smother it to death.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": He named his Tepig Anders.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Joked about. He once claimed to see no difference between True Love and brain damage.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Briefly discusses this in one Extra Punctuation about his concept for a stealth game with no killing in it.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Rebecca Mayes' love song to him, calling him out on the lowest-common-denominator parts of his humour then asking him out for a drink... and threatening to stab him with a screwdriver.
  • Whoring: Yahtzee both hates the very existence of and abuses the hell out of moves that can be used for extreme versions of this, including but not limited to a parry that automatically stuns the opponent, a tentacle attack with way too long a reach, tossing his helpless AI opponent around like a ragdoll, a flipping attack that carves up anything in the same room with you, and the "fuck you" button. They're usually described with some variation of "once you get [x], the game's over, plus a few hours of [y]." Indeed, this was part of the reason he disliked Ninja Gaiden 3; not only did he figure out a highly-damaging combo early on in a game that doesn't provide you any new upgrades or weapons to experiment with, but there are two attacks that essentially nuke the battlefield and take minimal effort (and one even gives a full-heal!), making the game remarkably easy.
  • When He Smiles: On the rare occasions when Yahtzee says anything nice about a game, or, heaven forbid, says it's good, it's a sure sign that that part of the game/game is truly special.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: In the Epic Mickey review, Yahtzee says he had a fear of Theme Park Mascots as a Child.
  • With Lyrics: Deus Ex theme with lyrics.
    ...and fight some conspiracies.
    Get experience...
    ...and level up abilities.
    Will you pick rifles, or computers?
    It's a shooter...
    ...and a role-playing game.
    The levels are ugly...
    ...and everybody looks the same.
    We're not the same Ion Storm that made Daikatana.
    Our games are good and they stay on schedule.
    cause we dumbed it down too much, cause we're thick.
  • World Building: Yahtzee loves games that do it without cutscenes or dialog, Half-Life and Dark Souls in particular.
  • X Days Since: Parodied in the Army of Two review as "X Hours Since the Last Gay Joke".
  • Yaoi Fangirl: One of these makes a brief cameo in the Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots review when Yahtzee points out that Snake and Otacon's relationship is a goldmine of Ho Yay.
  • You Bastard!: Yahtzee actually suggests this exact trope as an alternate name for Monster Hunter Tri when his first suggestion (he got as far as Hunter/Gatherer Of Innocent Young Dinosaurs Pathetically Mewling Their Last As The Memory Of Their Mother's Warmth Drifts Away To Be Replaced By The Unforgiving Coldness Of... before giving up) didn't really work.
    • He states in [PROTOTYPE 2] that despite the fact the game developers tried to focus more on the fact that James is more sympathetic than Alex, they're still both controlled by a player who would still slaughter everyone for fun.
    • He reported feeling quite guilty and depressed after playing Spec Ops: The Line.
  • You Can't Get Ye Flask: In his review for Thief (2014), he feels that the convoluted gameplay of choosing which door or window to open or enter feels like "playing a bad text adventure", which he imagines the game to be like as follows:
    You see a door.
    > enter door_
    You can't enter the door.
    > search room_
    You find one door you can actually enter and several guards spinning in place 'cause their AI bollocked up.
  • You Keep Using That Word: During the Mailbag Showdown:
    Yahtzee: I think you should look up the word "objective", because I don't think it means what you think it means.
    • Lampshaded by Yahtzee himself in one column, where he mentions that he's caught himself using certain words so many times that he's had to step back and wonder what the hell he's actually talking about. Helpfully, he put together a handy little glossary of some of his favorites.
  • You Killed My Father: Used as a Credits Gag.
  • You Make Me Sic: He employs this during the "Mailbag Showdown" video by correcting the emails in red as he reads them.
  • You Must Be This Tall to Ride: The couch gag at the end of the review of Lollipop Chainsaw shows the little mascot character strapping a disembodied head on top of its own head to get past a "You Must Be This Tall To Ride" sign.
    • In the review for Knack, Yahtzee says that "Knack can only grow from collecting specific objects, his size is largely dictated inorganically by progress through the level"; while he is speaking, Bucket!Knack encounters a Santa Claus figure that says, "You must be this tall to enter."
    • In the review for the 2015 video game Godzilla, Yahtzee says, "[Godzilla's] got like three attacks, and anything he steps on is not gonna be allowed on any rollercoasters any time soon. That's all you need." Cue the squashed imp reading a sign that says "You must be this tall to ride."
    • In the review for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: "...but I was already past the suggested level for the next main quest and I don't like being too overleveled." While Yahtzee is speaking, Gerald has the number 17 on himself and a sign appears which says, "You must be this badass to ride."
    • In the review of Titanfall 2 vs. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, he says that the latter game "takes place in the usual claustrophobic ruined cities and military bases, and I think you're only obliged to wall-run maybe twice in the whole campaign". While he is speaking, "Barry" sees a sign that says, "You must be this jaded to continue."
    • At one time while Yahtzee is playing Destiny 2, a stop sign approaches him and pulls up a sign that says "You must be this pathetic to proceed."
    • In the review for We Happy Few, at one time the protagonist sees an imp with a sign that says, "You must be this high to proceed."
  • Your Mom: She turns up a lot in Zero Punctuation, and Yahtzee usually either hits on her or tries to have sex with her.
    • Or in one case as shown in his Bionic Commando review, kicking some ass when he compares her to his own dad.
    Yahtzee: You can use traditional guns if you're boring and unlikeable and people's eyes glaze over when you're talking to them and you're my dad.
    Yahtzee: But sexy and exciting people - like your mum - can use the hook-shot arm to fling the scenery at your enemies, fling themselves at the enemies, or fling enemies at enemies if you're romantic, and there's enough room for creativity to keep things schadenfreude-tastic!
    • Quite thoroughly subverted in the Transistor review, though:
    Yahtzee: Lately though, I've been banging on about how game releases are drier than your mum after I cheated on her with your dad.


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