Zero Punctuation

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"Releasing videos on YouTube is kind of like throwing a message in a bottle out into a churning sea of messages in bottles: the chance of you getting noticed and someone being sent out to rescue you is punishingly slim. But every once in a blue moon, someone who owns a big boat made of money finds your message and agrees to let you ride on his big boat made of money if you keep making messages for him. Then the two of you go on adventures with a smart mouthed talking dog and travel to the land of the gumdrop king and I've sort of forgotten where I was going with this. Anyway, the point is, if you enjoyed my Darkness and Fable video reviews, you can now enjoy videos very much like them every week at The Escapist."
Ben Croshaw announces Zero Punctuation

Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, critic and amateur game developer, decided one day to conduct an experiment. He was faced with a demo of The Darkness he wished to review for his website, but wanted to try something new. So he took Photoshop, Windows Movie Maker, a headset mic and his sense of humour, and turned them into a YouTube video. He then turned to Fable: The Lost Chapters.

Less than a month later, he was hired by The Escapist, an online magazine with a big boat made of money (see the page quote), to release one of these video reviews a week. That explains the origin of Zero Punctuation in the driest possible way, but not the popularity of it; the combination of caustic humour, rapid-fire delivery and visual gags made Zero Punctuation an instant success. The result is quite a polarising, Love It or Hate It series.

Yahtzee has started doing a weekly follow-up column, called "Extra Punctuation", in order to explain his views and opinions on the game of the week in greater detail, and bring up points he could not turn into jokes.

Staring in February 2011, he also did a column called "Extra Consideration" with Bob "Moviebob" Chipman and James Portnow of Extra Credits (though Portnow was replaced by Jim Sterling of Destructoid fame after he left the Escapist). The column petered out by early September, sadly, but its entire run can still be found here.

Previews of the next video were shown on X-Play for a brief period in 2008.

Do not confuse with No Periods, Period or No Punctuation Period.


Zero Punctuation is the Trope Namer for:


Tropes used in Zero Punctuation include:
  • Accentuate the Negative: Yahtzee's style, to the point where he'll occasionally rattle off a four-minute list of a game's flaws and then sum up by saying how much he enjoyed it. ("But having now whinged myself inside-out, I have to say that I find S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky weirdly compelling.") Presumably this means there are some positive qualities, but listing them isn't his department and has claimed "people don't like me being nice to a game".
    • He stated in his In Famous review that he views his job as tearing the bad and the mediocre games to shreds so that the rare game that could be called great can shine all the brighter.
    • In his review for Batman: Arkham Asylum Yahtzee says that he's more of a QA man and that anything he doesn't mention in his review is a good part of the game.
    • As he put it in the same review: "You don't call a sewer technician to redecorate your bathroom, and you don't come to me to hear about how a game is good."
    • "In fact, I might go so far as to say that H.A.W.X. has sold me on air combat games. But that's not funny, so let's find more things to rip on."
    • From the Orange Box review: "If I did have to criticise it -- and I do" [Cue Escapist logo holding up a contract.]
    • Portal: "I can't think of any criticism for it" [Cue Escapist logo holding up a contract] and "Absolutely sublime from start to finish and I will jam forks into my eyes if I ever have to use those words to describe anything else, ever again."
    • From the Clive Barker's Jericho review: "I could go on listing the stupid design decisions...so I will."
    • Even going back to his BioShock review: "If my Psychonauts review taught me anything it's that no one likes it when I'm being nice to a game..."
    • Inverted: when he finally got the chance to play Duke Nukem Forever, Yahtzee was actively trying to like it and ignore the faults, but eventually had to relent because he'd been harsh to games for far lesser reasons.
    • Spoofed in his Gears of War 2 review, where he tries as much as he can to hate it, but lists off some of the stuff it does well that prevents him from hating it. It ends with, "There aren't even any quick-time events! Oh, wait, there is one. A little one. I guess that means I have to hate it."
      • Retroactively played straight again; he bashed the entire Gears series with the release of Gears of War 3
  • Acceptable Targets: Swindon, George Lucas, and others.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: In-universe (for lack of a better term) example: Yahtzee said during his "review" for Duke Nukem Forever that the cancellation of the game wasn't the end of the world since it had been overshadowed by other franchises, most notably Half Life. However, in his Extra Punctuation article, while reflecting on the plans of bringing it out in 2011, Yahtzee admitted that too many FPS have taken the cover-based combat route and he'd like a return to the basics with one guy facing armies all at once.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Despite being an example himself, Yahtzee has expressed dismay at how widespread this trope is in real life, lamenting that all a crappy game has to do to become wildly successful is stick a picture of a busty scantily-clad woman on the cover.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In-Universe: For a number of games he reviews, his viewpoint tends to cast the protagonist in an extremely negative light.
  • Analogy Backfire:
    • His reason for suspending judgment on the Kinect. "Pope Urban VIII probably thought he was very clever when he condemned Galileo, but who got the last laugh there? Well, he did when Galileo died alone and in poverty but what I'm saying is I'm basically like the Pope."
    • Then there's this example from his Catherine review:

...men are all directionless tidal waves and women are all dikes built in the path of their raging floods. Blimey, what a badly worded metaphor.

"I could talk about how the combat flows, and how the atmosphere is solid, and how the highlights for me were the Scarecrow sections where Batman's perceptions of reality are skewed in favor of a nightmarish introspective delusional glimpse into the darkest recesses of his soul and how jumping on people is cool."

    • On a signpost in the Witcher review:

SHAME
FAILURE
IGNOMINY
SWINDON

    • The list of things George Lucas will never do: Definitely end popular moneyspinning franchise, refuse a second helping of pancakes, admit failure, survive in vacuum, shave.
    • In his Resistance 3 review, he accuses the game of copying Valve's Half-Life 2. Amongst his accusations are identical mechanics, a straight Expy of the Ravenholm level, and "the scientist has a beard." Because, you know, Gordon Freeman has a beard.
    • From his Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles review: "Umbrella Chronicles is a heavily cut down retread of three of the major Resident Evil games, starring Johnny Bravo, a prostitute, an idiot, a mullet, a 9 year old boy, a brick shit-house, and Carlos."
  • Asexuality: Has self-confessed issues with sex and/or kids, so games that rely on either for appeal get marked down severely.
  • Audio Erotica: His opinion on Stephen Fry in LittleBigPlanet as well as Rucks in Bastion; he's a fan of famous voices in general, and feels that having them as One Scene Wonders is a waste of potential.
  • Author Filibuster: Occasionally, if Yahtzee can't find enough to complain about in the game, he'll engage in one of these.
  • Awesomeness Is Volatile: Yahtzee implied this would happen if No More Heroes were combined with Branston Pickle.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: A surprising amount of people write in with requests and then get offended when he rips into the game.
  • Be Yourself: Unfortunately, while he does frequently state that the reviews are his subjective opinion and that people should ultimately decide what games they think are good, you'd never be able to tell reading the comments on the Escapist.
  • Berserk Button:
    • In the Transformers: War for Cybertron review, the mention of Shia LaBeouf sent him into a barely-restrained seething rage.
    • Nolan North's presence in a game tends to be a sour point for him (especially if he voices the main character). However, he's stated that it's nothing against the man himself, though even cases of Playing Against Type will make him hate the character as long as he knows it's him.
    • Quick Time Events. Enough so that he named a trope for them. (See: Press X to Not Die)
    • He seems to developing one over reboots/sequels that share identical names with their predecessors, such as Wolfenstein, Mortal Kombat, Twisted Metal, and Aliens vs Predator, saying it's needlessly confusing to have two identically titled games in the same series separated by nothing but time, even if that time in some cases is a few decades.
  • Bias Steamroller: Occasionally a topic of jokes.
  • Big No: The Spore review. Twice. But with a twist.

"Short answer: no. Long answer: nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo."

"Bang! Punch! Bang! Punch! Bang! Punch! Woof!"

"Grr! Kick! Grr! Kick! Grr! Kick! Splat!"

"When the bottom falls out of the game criticism market and I have to start prostituting myself to developers, BioWare will be one of my first ports of call, because there are few enough developers in the world who treat writing as an integral part of the game rather than an optional set of colorful tassels to put on the handlebars."

    • In his review for the second game he spends almost the whole review talking about the changes in gameplay, then mentions casually how the writing and characters have gotten better, but because it's BioWare they don't get any points for it.
    • Considering his positive mentions of Serious Sam and his love of Painkiller, along with his positive review of Dead Rising 2, Yahtzee also seems to like games that pit the player against large hordes and give them the freedom to just go wild.
    • He also seems to have a thing for Nazis. And before anyone takes that the wrong way, he likes killing them in awesome and amusing ways.
    • He mentioned a particular fondness for Shaun of the Assassin's Creed series, partly because he reminds him of himself and partly because he often insults Desmond Miles.
    • He has fondness for games that actively embrace Video Game Cruelty Potential and particularly creative ways of The Joys of Torturing Mooks.
    • He has a thing for large open environments with interesting ways to traverse the world, such as Le Parkour or flight.
  • Credits Gag: The text next to his name at the end. Also, the opening and closing credits each had a clip from a song whose name and/or content was a pun on the content of the review. For example, Haze, about drug-fueled mercenary super-soldiers, used Afroman's "Because I Got High". This stopped after he got big enough that he had to worry about the RIAA.
    • Music used interestingly in his No More Heroes review, as mentioned above for Brick Joke.
    • Also, the credits themselves have a little minicomic going on, acted out by the little figures he uses in the reviews. The one for Spore had a flying saucer alien abducting Batman, who then beat it up and stole the flying saucer. Additionally, there is generally a caption referring to something earlier in the video.
  • Cross Player: Yahtzee becomes one for Age of Conan.
  • Crossover: With the Mystery Science Theater 3000-esque series Unskippable. Yahtzee appeared in their Star Ocean: The Last Hope riff and Graham Stark of Unskippable appeared in the first section of the Halo Wars review to review X-Blades before running out of things to say and getting kicked out by Yahtzee.
    • A throwaway gag, mere seconds into the aforementioned Halo Wars review, poked fun at Eternal Sonata, which was Unskippable's premiere episode.
    • Furthermore, in the review of both Left 4 Dead 2 and New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the Credit Sequence features a short mix-type Crossover of the two reviewed games.
  • Crying Indian: The Fallout 3 featured a deer crying over the landscape being littered with rubble.
  • Curse Cut Short: He spends the entirety of his 50 Cent reviews carefully wording his criticisms so that nothing can be misconstrued as racist, then ends with:

"Not that they'd know anything about work, the lazy nig-" [END CREDITS]

"If you are like me: handsome, successful, and secretly longing for death."

"Think of something wholesome."
"OH DEAR GOD"
"Look it up"
"Thanks Deviant ART!"
"NEIN!"
"BELIEVE IN CHRIST"
"THE BABY IS FINE THE BABY IS OKAY" (after someone was juggling several objects including a baby and a chainsaw, then drops them all.)

  • Disposable Vagrant: Yahtzee keeps a spare vagrant chained in his basement—in case he needs to review a co-op game.
  • Dissimile
  • Do Not Call Me Paul: Apparently he hates being called Ben by people on the internet. In one podcast, Yug and Matt of Australian Gamer (his best buds) stated that they don't even call him that in real life. Matt says everyone except his parents calls him Yahtzee.
  • Does Not Like Women: A Non Sequitur toward the end of the The Sims 3 review, brought on by minor Creator Breakdown over his girlfriend.
    • After Rebecca Mayes' love/hate song that called him out on this he claimed he does hate women but only because he hates everyone.
    • From the Credits Gag for the Catherine review: "I'm not a mysoginist, I only hate the bitchy ones".
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Subverted/Lampshaded in the video where Yahtzee takes a tour of Washington D.C. He makes a few mentions that certain buildings or monuments remind him of something, but goes on to mention something mundane and non-sexual. He then double subverts it while looking at the Washington Monument:

Yahtzee: It's really long and tall, has those trees at the bottom from this angle. Kinda like, uh...a big cock and balls.

Er... thanks for your input, Mr. Poster Man, but I wasn't talking it down for not being extreme enough. Or 'ironic' enough. I doubt emptying an entire lorry full of toddlers into the woodchipper would have improved my opinion any.

  • Everything's Better with Plushies: The Escapist is now selling Imp plushies.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Referred to by name in his Lego Indiana Jones review.
  • Fail O'Suckyname: Not Yahtzee himself, but he has a fondness with abusing the naming system whenever one exists. Examples include Twattycake, Fuckme, Fagballs, and Titty.
  • Fake Difficulty: Part of the reason he despises motion controls. As he put it, "Motion controls are a system wherein a game can fail you for something that completely wasn't your fault."
  • "Faux To" Guide: Concerning the creation of Gaming Webcomics.
  • Five-Man Band: Notes the main parts of the cast of recent Final Fantasy games, giving them names similar to the Spice Girls.
  • Flame War: Happens in the comments section on the majority of the games Yahtzee reviews between people who agree with him and people who don't.
  • Flat What: A visual example is used by his Author Avatar in his Condemned 2 review, when he describes the unusual means by which you defeat the final boss: shouting at it.
  • Forgets to Eat: Mentioned in his Call of Duty 4 review.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: His review of 50 Cent: Blood On The Sand flashes a picture of Yahtzee with the words NOT RACIST several times.
  • Freudian Excuse/Start of Darkness: His Red Faction Guerrilla review pins all his negativity on bad experiences playing the original Red Faction when he was younger.
  • Freudian Slip: His Bayonetta review is full of these.
  • Freudian Trio: With Bob Chipman and James Portnow. Yahtzee is the Id, Bob is the Superego and James is the Ego
  • Fridge Brilliance: In-universe examples are sometimes denoted with the expression "HOLY SHIT I JUST GOT THAT".
  • From Clones to Genre: Mentioned in his review of Mercenaries 2.
    • The series itself has started to become one of these. At first it was a simple case of Follow the Leader as imitators sprang up on YouTube, but now that three series on the Escapist itself have followed suit, two of which are not review shows, it's safe to say this is a legit genre now.
  • Funny Background Event: In his Super Paper Mario review, he shows the Dictionary.com definition of "game", with another tab open titled "Super Huge Tits".
  • Gay Option: In his Dragon Age II review he mentioned having hooked up with Anders, more or less because Snarky!Hawke annoyed him and came off as gay to him anyway, though he later detailed that roleplaying played a major part of it and ultimately did develop a genuine fondness for Anders, even forgiving him for blowing up the Chantry and naming his Tepig after him.
  • Genre Savvy: Seeing an enemy with a bull's head in Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, he correctly anticipates it to be a Bullfight Boss. He also claims "powers of clairvoyance" that mean he predict how the opening Cutscene of Singularity will play out.
    • He is also aware of tropes, and knows that Tropes Are Not Bad. He may or may not be aware of this site, but at the very least he understands the principles of this wiki.
    • He referenced it on his Twitter, so he at least knows of its existance.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: His Tabula Rasa character, Gareth Gobulcoque, was so named to test the game's name filter. It passed.
  • Giant Spider: These show up in the visuals occasionally. Usually they represent something being either unexpected, very difficult, or both.
    • Arachnophobic prospective viewers should take warning that they're usually taken from photos of actual tarantulas.
  • GIFT: Yahtzee actually cites the original formula then alters it by subtracting 'Anonymity' and 'Audience'. Or in other words, Normal Person = Total Fuckwad.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck: Whenever he swears in the narration, the animation will replace it with something far more innocuous.
    • Sometimes inverted—he'll say something (relatively) tactful in the narration, and the animation will unleash what he REALLY thinks.
    • For instance, in his Assassin's Creed review, he remarks; "This video review was created by a not particularly multi-cultural person, but who really loves religious extremists a big huggy bunch," where the text displayed reads "...not particularly multi-cultural person who invites religious extremists to suck out his farts and die."
    • On the flip side in his Halo Wars review when the units he runs out of time for the mission he was on (And thus the units he was escorting magically disappear when they were right at his front door) he cries out "Bull! Fucking! Shit!" which is displayed on screen by "What arbitrary silliness."
  • Grammar Nazi: In his "Mailbag Showdown" video, while reading out some of the more obnoxious examples of hate mail he received, he corrected them onscreen in the manner of a primary school teacher, coupled with letter grades, giant question marks and "SEE ME" at the bottom. Also, his "Split Stroke Second Colon Velocity" review.
  • Gratuitous German: Yahtzee apparently studied German and it frequently comes up in series.
  • Half the Man He Used To Be: Shows up in the Demon's Souls review to show that a character loses half its health when dead.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Yahtzee plays with this trope on several occasions, most notably his Guitar Hero III review, where he very specifically lists several homosexual acts (and one heterosexual act) which he is most certainly not doing. And at the end:

"On the whole though it's just not as good as tonguing another man's balls. [Both figures stop playing and stare at the Fourth Wall] I mean... as it used to be. [Beat] I'm not gay."

"The moment you put in your own name it goes "Wrong! Your name is JC Denton.""

  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In-universe example: Very minor, but his quip about how playing as a Big Daddy in BioShock 2 is like a sequel to Half Life where you play as a Gun Turret is much funnier now that one of Portal 2's co-operative play characters is a robot created from a modified Gun Turret.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Yahtzee states in Prototype 2 that despite the fact the game developers tried to focus more on the fact that Heller is more sympathetic than Mercer, they are still both controlled by a player who would still slaughter everyone for fun.
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms: Yahtzee makes a concerted effort to get through his review of Tomb Raider Anniversary without referencing a certain part of the female anatomy. He almost makes it.

"Bosoms, melons, milk factories, busts, funbags, knockers, ballistics, boobies, jugs, nipples, jubblies, stonking great tits!"

"Fans are clingy complaining dipshits who will never ever be grateful for any concession you make. The moment you shut out their shrill, tremulous voices the happier you will be for it. Incidentally, why not buy a Zero Punctuation t-shirt?"

    • For a while before the 100th Episode special, The Escapist used this little stinger at the end of all Zero Punctuation shorts to, guess what, advertise Zero Punctuation-related merchandise.
    • In his Duke Nukem Forever review he rants about how people should be sacked for not doing their jobs, and the picture shows him being dragged out of his office with a sign saying "job: review games that actually exist"
    • In his Minecraft review, he calls out Americans for being uninformed about current events in countries outside the US, only to turn around and say he wasn't aware of the flooding in his own city because he doesn't keep up with current events.
    • End Credits for his Left 4 Dead review: "There is a special circle in Hell 4 people who replace numbers for letters".
    • He accuses the protagonist of Fable 3 of bestiality due to the weird way he interacts with his dog, when in his review of Fable 2 he complains that if the game was truly open-ended he should be able to marry any NPC he wants, including his dog.
    • On Rayman: "Honestly, who can like a character whose hands and feet have no visible connection to their torso?"
    • Mafia II's ending seems to come too soon:

"The game just sort of cuts out halfway through resolving everyth-[END CREDITS]

"Ess-Tee-Ay-Ell-Kay-Ee-Ar: Clear Sky is set in the area surrounding an alternative post-disaster Chernobyl, where presumably the station ran on fairy dust before the meltdown and released a cloud of magic instead of boring old radiation..."

"All you really need to know is that there is a gun that shoots shurikens and lightning. I wish I could make something like that up. It shoots shurikens and lightning! It could only possibly more awesome if it had tits and was on fire!"

"You only get to see like one second of bare arse anyway so it's hardly going to make your mass erect" ... immediately followed in the credits with: "Yeah, this whole review was leading up to that horrible pun at the end."

    • In the Red Faction: Guerilla review, he says in the end that game could have went pretty well if it really was based off sneaky guerilla warfare, as opposed to its focus on smashing stuff "... which is less guerilla and more chimpanzee." Followed by the credits gag "Spent ten years thinking up that last pun."
    • "...Balder's Gait." (Too Human)
    • "Fallout 3, that is!"
    • The Just Cause 2 review starts by lampshading this to allow him to make "Why? Just 'cause!" jokes "ironically".
    • "Bits of it were so boring that I almost had a Nie R-death experience! Boosh!"
    • "I don't see Alice: Madness Returns making mad returns, meheh myeh.
    • In his review of Monster Hunter Tri "You play an adventurer-type showing up at the prerequisite village of immobile retards in a time when dinosaurs ruled the earth to try to be a hunter of monsters. A Monster Hunter Try, if you will."
    • Not to mention his credits pun in Alien vs. Predator: "Alias vs Editor".
    • "You want a review score? How about FOUR, as in FOUR-K YOU!"
    • In the credits of Star Wars: The Old Republic: "I'm so force sensitive I clean my swimming pool with midichlorine."
    • In Sniper Elite V2 he calls it at one point Sniper Elite Wee Poo, then chuckles at it.
  • Innocent Bigot: How he viewed the controversy surrounding Resident Evil 5:

...one really shouldn't worry about this sort of thing unless there's genuine hatred behind it, and I don't get that impression. Capcom aren't bad people, they're just idiots.

One should always support the independents, at least until they start making money, the soulless sellout fucks.

    • Admittedly, averted by his Gears of War 2 review, in which he admits that things are often mainstream because they're good (Or because Will Smith is in it).
  • Its the Same So It Sucks: In-universe, he tends to be particularly critic of sequels that don't add much or differ from what the original was. Examples including BioShock 2, Super Mario Galaxy 2, and Left 4 Dead 2 to a smaller point.
    • Pretty much his opinion on anything Nintendo if it's not a joke about casual gaming.
    • Yahtzee frequently accuses the Mario and Zelda series of churning out near-identical sequels, even though fans are lucky to get two games per console. Particularly noticeable in his The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword review, when he describes the series as 'essentially releasing the same game with graphical changes and gameplay tweaks' while the games shown include Oddball in the Series The Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask.
  • It's Up to You: He notes that early missions in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky have a tendency to solve themselves, which is a good attempt to avert this, but a bit bizarre to play.
  • Jumped the Shark: Lampshaded in the end credits of his LEGO Indy review, the first time the new, original opening and closing song was used, rather than two licensed songs:

"Now this is all looking a lot more professional, isn't it, although I'm certain some of you pricks are already putting this down as my shark jumping moment."

"I started playing Peggle in the afternoon, and emerged some time later to find the authorities had declared me legally dead."

    • [After flooding prevented him from leaving his apartment and thus getting a new game to review:] "My third thought was, 'Oh, goody! That means I can go back inside and keep playing Minecraft!"
    • "A good sandbox is one where you can mess about for hours after making the hollow promise to yourself that you'll stop any minute now, and In Famous 2 certainly has that."
      • He also states that Prototype 2 is the prince of jumping around time wasting. Claiming that even the mere act of getting around the city is surprisingly addicting.
  • Kick the Dog: In his Fable review:

No puppies were harmed in the making of this video, except for one who genuinely deserved it.

"Did no-one else think it was weird for the character in image 110 to wearing a sling when he only has free-floating circular hands?"

  • Land Down Under: Yahtzee was born in Britain but moved to Australia, and often makes jokes about it.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Deus Ex: Human Revolution has breathtaking visuals, the impish appeal of stealth, rewarding exploration, but most importantly, you can pick up every vending machine in the building and pack them in the office of your least favorite co-worker.
    • "...Catherine, a Japanese game centrally about the difficulties of relationships, such as unexpected pregnancy, the impetus of commitment, and being chased up an infinite staircase by a giant, monstrous girlfriend trying to eat you with her butt. Did I mention it's Japanese?"
  • Leave the Plot Threads Hanging: In-universe example in the review of Condemned 2.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: The crossdressing contest between Cole and Alex.
    • Same could be said regarding RTS games. After his experience with Halo Wars, Yathzee has apparently decided to never touch the genre again.
    • Explained further in "On RTS", in which he explains he's not good at RTS and he doesn't like the impersonal disconnect one gets between story characters and units and the player.
  • Limited Social Circle: "I asked everyone I know and neither of them had heard of it either." (Nie R)
  • Marth Debuted in Smash Bros: He never even heard of Marth before playing Brawl, and based on his other reviews, shouting "Fire Emblem" loud enough near him will cause his brain to explode.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Has teamed up with Moviebob and James Portnow to form Extra Consideration, a panel in which all three discuss the state of the gaming scene.
    • Jim Sterling of the Jimquisition has now joined the panel.
  • The Mean Brit: Though currently living in Australia.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Debatable. Some who claim to have met Yahtzee IRL have report that he is capable of being quite unpleasant towards others. The same persons have however also noted that this characteristic is reasonably outweighed by the fact that he is also fairly shy and quiet. He claims he's only a jackass when provoked... which is often.
    • Tycho at Penny Arcade speculates that Yahtzee is quiet in person in order to save up all his hate and rage to bellow it out really quickly in his weekly reviews.
  • Meat Moss: He calls it "jam" in Amnesia the Dark Descent.

"Oh pissing BLIMEY there's JAM coming out of the walls!."

"I'm not to proud to admit that I was welling up at In Famous 2's good ending, a little bit. Well, not much at all really. It most more like stoically nodding my head while doing squat-thrusts and grunting."

"It's like wrestling an excitable dog in a paddling pool full of disembodied breasts. *Beat* Don't think too much about that simile, I certainly didn't."

    • Especially when it's a hot summer day and his AC isn't working. "Really good like...something...good that's...made out of chocolate..."
    • This Extra Punctuation takes the metaphor of "Too Many Cooks spoil the broth" and keeps stretching it until he reckons "I think this is already the best metaphor I've ever written."
  • Milestone Celebration: Spoofed with his 100th episode, where he decides to review... exactly the same game he would've reviewed otherwise (Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood).
  • More Dakka: His review of Spore shows the civilization stage as imps strafing other imps cities from the air, with the caption "Dakka Dakka" under the war planes.
  • Motor Mouth: "Zero Punctuation" comes from how he has a tendency to ramble on and on so quickly that his speech has almost no pauses, and thus there is zero punctuation. More or less.
    • He has said he edits out the pauses, but definitely does not speed up his voice.
  • Mugging the Monster: In his Fallout: New Vegas review, he mentions that it occured to him that it might be a good idea to stop stealing things. After getting attacked by bandits and taking their stuff, he mentions it is not stealing because they attacked him, which makes it his by the international law of "Go Fuck Yourselves."
  • Mundane Made Awesome: When talking about the wet clothing feature in Uncharted, he talks a bit too much about it, considering it means absolutely nothing in terms of plot or gameplay. He realizes this, of course, stating at the end of his praise "Well, I think its interesting!".
  • Mythology Gag: During his Final Fantasy XIII review, Yahtzee separates each hour he played the game with a brief break showing a black screen with the unit of time and then which unit he's on (Hour 1, Hour 2, Hour 3, etc.). He used a similar mechanism with three of the games in the Chzo Mythos.
  • Nerdgasm: Has made a few references to getting erections at really good games.
  • Nerds Are Virgins: Has made quite a few jokes about that.
  • Newly Popular Updating: Expect any game he reviews to have a new quote entry at the top of its page by the end of the day, appropriate or otherwise.
  • Nice Hat: "Yahtzee is a British-born, currently Australian-based writer and gamer with a sweet hat and a chip on his shoulder." The hat originally appeared in his own games, The Chzo Mythos, worn by the character of Trilby. The hat itself is known as a Trilby hat, and it tends to get him more attention than he really wants.
  • Nightmare Fuel: In-Universe example: The Kinectimals' box art is "the most terrifying thing I've seen all year. It looks like what would happen if John Wayne Gacy went to Disneyland."
  • Nightmare Retardant: In-Universe, He states that Alice: Madness Returns made Creepy Dolls not creepy just by the fact that the game uses it constantly to the point where players just get used to it.
  • Nintendo Hard: Yahtzee prides himself on as having been playing video games since early childhood and frequently recalls how hard they were back then. He routinely mocks prospective critics who complain about the difficulty level in games these days. That said, games with ridiculously impossible sequences, he blasts with both barrels.
  • No Fourth Wall: Technically doesn't qualify as there's no suspension of disbelief, but a review still pushed back the boundaries when Yahtzee addressed the viewer as "Adrian", and noted that while that's not particularly likely to be any given viewer's name, "it was worth it to freak out all the Adrians in the world."

"If you've been paying attention, you'll notice that all these games are sequels. And if you haven't... * claps twice* OI!"
"Stop watching my reviews, Dad!"

    • The Super Mario Galaxy 2 review has the distinction of genuinely breaking the fourth wall, as Yahtzee suggest pausing the video, while his avatar points to the pause button on the video player.

"I shouldn't have to talk about the core gameplay, I consider that an insult to you and me. My review of Mario Galaxy 1 hasn't gone anywhere, why not pause this video, pour yourself a glass of wine and go and enjoy that. I'll just wait here slapping myself in the face until you return. * cut to black, slapping sounds and Yahtzee groaning, then cut back, Yahtzee now with a bruised face* Finished? Right, well, Mario Galaxy 2 is more of that."

Otacon: Metal Gear
Snake: Metal Gear?
Otacon: Metal Gear!
Snake: Bugger me!

  • Pet Peeve Trope:
    • Doorstopper: He tends to rag on games that are heavy on dialogue and cutscenes, like Mass Effect and especially Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
    • Karma Meter: He argues that usually "you need to be all the way good or all the way evil to unlock the best toys" which eliminates choice and forces an evil player to do some really ridiculous things to maintain their evilness. He also argues that such meters are "just forcing us to play the game twice to see all the content."
    • Real Is Brown
    • Regenerating Health: He prefers health meters and medkits.
    • Stealth-Based Mission: He likes the stealth genre, but a "forced stealth section" in the middle of a non-stealth game is one of his pet peeves.
    • Take Cover: One of his main beefs with current-generation FPSs.
    • Updated Rerelease
    • Waggle: One of his key issues with Nintendo consoles, because how shoehorned-in it seems.
  • Pet the Dog: In an Extra Punctuation, although he couldn't sympathize with gamers who cried at Aerith's death in FFVII, he said that the emotions they felt were real and no one could call them fake or wrong.
  • Portmanteau

"Essflawcondodgeckindesimudstorliketersockity."

If the developers [of Heavenly Sword] thought I would consider buying the full game just to find out what "twing-twang" is then mission fucking accomplished I suppose, but I'm going to be very disappointed if it doesn't turn out to be a cutesy euphemism for lesbian cunnilingus, yeah I went there.

  • Ret-Gone: The final product of Duke Nukem Forever was apparently such a transcendental work of awesomeness that it collapsed reality and ended up being cancelled before completion in the new timeline. Now the new version will likely fail to live up to the "original".
  • Rhyming List: In the Resident Evil: Revelations review, he mentions that in Metroid Prime, scans would result in "The name of the monster, a hint on how to kill it, and its favorite song from David Bowie's Hunky Dory album":

Fish McTarse
Blast his arse
Life on Mars

    • Also appears in the review of Medal of Honor: Airborne, where every subsequent use of "fucking bastard" is replaced with a visual rhyme, like so:

Fucking bastard
Flocking bustard
Sock in mustard

Yahtzee: "Once your budget hits seven digits you're supposed to make Gun Battle Slap Fight Thirty-Seven for the Playstation Twelve...!

  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Imp.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: Mentioned in his Driver: San Francisco review by name.
  • The Roleplayer: Yahtzee states that he does roleplay when playing RPGs because it's the entire point of the genre.
  • Rule 34: "I checked and yep, there's already erotic fanart of the ff13 characters."
    • Also, his character from his Age of Conan review got hit, which he even acknowledged in a later review.
  • Rule of Three: Subverted in the Just Cause 2 review. Why? Fucked If I Know!
  • Running Gag: Press X to Not Die: Guaranteed to show up in a review of a game with quick time events.
    • Also the caption "Oh no everyone can see my bum," first appearing in his review of Mercenaries 2, where Soul Calibur's Ivy bent over and had the caption above her. Then a box did it in the same review. Then a few reviews later, a male figure did it. Eventually lampshaded when a figure bends over with the caption "Oh no everyone can etc."
      • And in Velvet Assassin a "German" soldier is bent over saying the above caption. In German.
      • And in Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood a cowboy imp says it in a Western accent while bending over on top of a piano.
      • A different Lampshade was hung in his Heavy Rain review when the female lead said "Oh no everyone can see my Call Back".
      • The real Duke Nukem Forever review had Duke saying, "Oh good everyone can see my bum."
      • Makes a comeback in the "Assassin's Creed Revelations" review, where one of the many prostitutes Ezio has recruited in the past makes a statement concerning "bums and the seeing thereof."
    • Nose-picking is mentioned frequently when talking about mundane actions on the part of either the player or NPCs.
    • Yahtzee references making a Super Villain sandbox game called "Mankind Has Yet To Recognize My Genius, The Game" at least twice.
    • Also, the image of that red-haired guy. For those who don't know, he's one of Thomas Ruff's "Expressionless Faces" found in one of Yahtzee's Google Image searches. This guy is apparently what Yahtzee sees the huddled, unwashed masses look like.
      • According to his IAM on Reddit, "He just makes me laugh. I've seen Ruff's other expressionless faces and all of them have some hint of emotion, like surprise or a little smile, but Mr. Expressionless has nothing. He's hollow. Dead in the eyes. And that's why I love him."
    • The, erhem, prostitute with triple the normal number of a certain orifice seems to be one, too.
    • Every time Hitler makes an appearance he's accompanied with a caption saying ACH.
    • "People always say to me: Yahtzee, you (description indicating manliness...)"
    • Ending sentences (and reviews) with: "...not gay!"
      • As an example, regarding multiplayer Modern Warfare 2: "...lying in long grass watching each other's backs, not gay."
      • Subverted with Driver: San Francisco, which he adores. "So I guess I am gay!"
    • In his review of Driver: San Francisco, SERVE AND PROTECT is used sarcastically on the cop protagonist's ability to possess drivers to crash into one another.
    • Rattling off a list of numbered sequels and turning it into a football score, i.e., (Half Life 2, Silent Hill 2, Thief 2, Spider-Man 2, (Arsenal: 3)). (A generic British joke, possibly first coined by Spike Milligan in William McGonagall Meets George Gershwin.)
    • Within the Dead to Rights: Retribution Dead to Rights: review, the Dead To Rights: recurring joke of Yahtzee Dead To Rights: replacing every RE- word with the game's title, but the RE- word in place of Retribution. Likewise a similar gag was done for Red Dead Redemption's Word Salad Title.

[Dead To Rights: Retribution] isn't technically a sequel since the plot starts out the same as the first game, so perhaps a better name would've been Dead To Rights: Remake. Or perhaps Dead To Rights: Revisionism. Let's just hope it doesn't end up Dead To Rights: Retarded. That would be Dead To Rights: Regrettable.

    • In a similar fashion, Yahtzee took Red Dead Redemption and complained that the game is neither red nor dead. He then went to call the game throughout the review by several alternate names, namely Brown Alive Redemption, Blue Poo Atonement, Green Spleen Submarine, and then Purple Monkey Dishwasher.
    • Similar to the Red Dead Redemption example above, Yahtzee kept changing the title of Alice: Madness Returns for things like Return of the Madness, Return of the Jedi, Return of Jafar and Batman Returns.
    • A character bending over and asking to be, er, taken advantage of will always be saying "In mah butt".
    • THRRRP.
    • WURRGH
    • Pulling out his "Like God of War but" stamp.
    • "Hungry Hungry Hippos" seems to becoming one of these as well.
    • His evident dislike of Glasgow.
    • He uses the term "Eating all the pies" to mean taking up space at least twice, which is another British reference (specifically, football).
    • Bland names being attributed to the Crackdown Naming Committee.
    • Floating Hallucinations commanding people to "KILL THE WHORES"
  • Sand in My Eyes: "I'm not too proud to admit that I was welling up a bit at In Famous 2's good ending. ..A lil' bit. ..Well, not much at all really. It was more like just stoically nodding my head while doing some pelvic thrusts and grunting."
  • Sarcasm Mode: The entire Duke Nukem Forever review. Let's start from the fact that he's reviewing a game that (at the time) was canceled and work from there. The part that qualifies this as this trope is the bit at the end where he points out there is no actual game, as the lawyers told him to do.
  • Schrödinger's Cat: In his "Console Rundown", he compares his Xbox360 to a Schrodinger's Console, constantly swinging between a broken and unbroken state.
  • Screamer Trailer: The ending of the LittleBigPlanet review, as an obvious homage to J-horror movies such as The Ring and The Grudge.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: What he believed the plan to DC Universe to be, claiming if there were enough crazies in the world the Aliens would just go away rather than get involved.
  • Self-Deprecation: While his Zero Punctuation persona is obviously an arrogant Caustic Critic, Yahtzee is known for making blunt, humourous digs at himself from time to time, such as acknowledging the nerdiness inherent in reviewing video games for a living and mocking his own abilities in the practice of social and sexual intercourse (or lack thereof).
    • On Modern Warfare 2: "The single-player mode is as short as fuck, and let me tell you, when I'm around fucks are legendarily short." [The animation shows two pairs of eyes in the darkness, with the speech "Sorry."]
    • "As a highly respected and successful game critic--SHUT UP I AM!"
      • "I played Final Fantasy XIII because I am an unbiased critic--SHUT UP I AM!"
    • A Freeze-Frame Bonus example from the Silent Hill Origins review. It shows all the different Invader Zim fanfiction writer pictures, and the one with the lowest bar is his picture.
    • Discussed during one review in which he says that one of the targets that Americans like to hate on the most is ... 'Other Americans'.
    • "A Nerd, after all, is someone who obsesses over something, like the cultural impact of gaming, or people who criticise same in silly internet videos."
  • Sequelphobic: Yahtzee is not inherently against the idea of sequels, but he's extremely critical of most due to their alleged lack of innovation. Franchises that go in new directions are preferred, and several of his liked games (Half Life 2, Silent Hill 2, Thief 2, Spider-Man 2, (Arsenal: 3)) are all sequels.
    • In the Extra Punctuation entry for his 'Splosion Man/Tales of Monkey Island review, he stated his belief that a sequel should be done by people who played the first game and didn't like it, rather than fans of the first game. He reasons that the former would change it and evolve it (at the expense of fans of the original), as opposed to fans who would only advance the parts of the game they liked (which could include unimportant/bad mechanics or strictly throwaway gags).

"I do have a guilty enjoyment for Alone in the Dark and Mirror's Edge. They’re wracked with issues, but I find games that try to do something new and fall apart far more compelling than the merely mediocre games that don’t have an original thought in their heads."

"Contrary to the claims made in the previous video, I have not, in actuality, fucked your mum because, damn, that shit is nasty, yo."

  • Starbucks Skin Scale: A But Not Too Black character is dismissed as "dipped in tea".
  • Stealth Insult: His Modern Warfare review features "Killing in the Name Of" by Rage Against the Machine playing over the end credits, which becomes hilarious when you consider that he has spent most of the review telling people who suggest things to him to get fucked. He doesn't play the song long enough for the joke to become apparent, but anyone who's listened to it knows that towards the end the singer just keeps repeating "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me" over and over again.
  • Story to Gameplay Ratio: Yahtzee's a bit hard to pin down on this one, but the important things are that the amount of story must fit the game and that Story and Gameplay Segregation must not intrude. Silent Hill 2 is his definitive example of getting the balance right.
  • Storybook Opening: Red Faction Guerrilla.
  • Stout Strength: An odd example, he refers to any large muscular character as fat even if they have an impossibly fit and overmuscled build.
  • Sturgeon's Law: Applied frequently, with an even more negative twist: "Everything is shit until proven otherwise", a.k.a. "the Guantanamo Bay approach".

"Experience has taught me that while declaring a game shitty because of the first few hours is perfectly valid and completely professional, you should never assume that a good game will stay good."

    • He handily applies this trope to user-made content as well, during the LittleBigPlanet review.

"I feel there's a fundamental difference of philosophy between me and the developers of LittleBigPlanet: they believe every single person is an extra-special god-child with a bud of creativity aching to burst out into a single perfect flower; and I believe every single person is a tosser, and any flowers that pop up are going to be buried under garbage, fiery penises and countless reproductions of levels from Super Mario Bros."

"SEE, ROGER EBERT, THAT'S WHAT IT FEELS LIKE!"

"If you willingly parted money for the Playstation Move, feel free to go nuts, because you probably already have done."

  • Take That, Audience!: Constant, constant, constant. There is very rarely a video or an Extra Punctuation column where he doesn't insult the viewers and/or himself.
    • Commenting in the Dead Island review, notes that while the average gamer acts as if they would take a zombie apocalypse as an opportunity to shine, they would be more likely to talk suicide pacts if the internet went down for more than a week.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: In-Universe, he ends his Final Fantasy XIII review with him doing horrible things to Vanille.
  • Talks Like a Simile: For humorous effect, given the nature of the similes. As an example, one of them involved the voice acting in a game being comparable to being raped in the ear by a man wearing a sandpaper condom. Though technically it wasn't him who said it, it was his roommate. And "Not in those exact words, of course."
    • Matt maintains he actually described it as like driving a corkscrew into his ears.

"I wonder if the Geneva Convention covers torturing metaphors?"

"There's no reason to build any troops, really. Tanks do not move any slower, they just take longer to build and, well, they're fucking tanks!"

  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: The female imps have red bows on their heads.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: Yahtzee seems quite fond of making jokes about his masculinity, stating that it's one of the reasons why he cares little for the RTS Genre. The subtitle for his Fully Ramblomatic site is "The website for REAL MEN".
    • Regarding the miserably scowling hero of Darksiders:

"If I threw a seven-foot demon into the air and cut it in half with one swing... I'd be like, fucking hell! Did anyone see that? I'm squirting machismo out of my nipples here! I am a monster truck that walks like a man!"

"...Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go play an FPS before my body finishes absorbing my testicles."

    • He does however have a poor opinion of games that use this trope unironically.
  • The Theme Park Version: Most people who claim to share Yahtzee's views exactly have patently never watched a single review and simply parrot over-exaggerated versions of his particularly caustic reviews as though that were his entire opinion on the entire genre.
  • This Loser Is You: Yahtzee's hatred for this trope is made plain in his Transformers: War for Cybertron review, where he derides Shia LeBeouf's various characters in ways like, "Indiana Jones is over thirty? No one can relate to that!"

"Not to dampen your sense of victory, Darius, mate, but why didn't you do that three years ago right after it broke? You DUMB Dope Slap] BALD [dopeslap] TWAT.

  • Too Many Cooks Spoil the Soup: He brings this up frequently about the large-name corporations running the big-budget titles, and even brings up how such lack of discipline ruined Dead Space 2.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Branston Pickle, which is typically used as a metaphor for "so unique you have to try it".
    • Cadbury's Creme Eggs and chip sandwiches show up infrequently.
    • In one episode he considered combining the two to make a Cadbury's Branston Pickle Egg. Then cut to credits. Then he came back with a report on how it went (not very well).
    • He also mentions Cornettos several times in his earlier reviews.
  • Troll: Yahtzee once reflects that he's seen as a "professional troll," which he imagines as a hulking creature lurking under a bridge, handing out business cards.
  • Troperiffic: Many of the entrance quotes of the Trope pages are from him.
  • Twain's Observation on Originality: Numerous reviews allude to this concept. His running metaphor about Branston Pickle (to describe something so original and distinctive that it must be appreciated in spite of its flaws) more or less amounts to this trope.
  • Twenty Bear Asses: One of his reasons for hating MMORPGs is because most quests are variants of this. A sight gag from his Red Dead Redemption video is him running from a cougar holding a pile of otter noses while the caption "7/8 OTTER NOSES" floats over him.
  • The Unintelligible: The Imp, during his extremely short lived Hostile Show Takeover.
  • Unpleasable Fanbase: Lampshaded in-universe. "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?"
  • 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 that the war game Resistance Fall of Man 3.
  • Verbal Backspace: Running Gag in Bayonetta review.
    • Also, 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 but most recently in the 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.'

"It seems when you place most people in the position of a god and give them responsibility over many tiny lesser beings, then their attitude towards them is usually less about beloved children and more about target practice."

Christ, this is like Zelda meets There Will Be Blood!"

Yahtzee: I think you should look up the word "objective", because I don't think it means what you think it means. It's worth remembering that all reviews are subjective personal opinions and if you personally enjoy the game, then they shouldn't really get to you. Unless of course there's a despicable little niggling doubt in the back of your mind, that maybe you're not having as much fun as you've convinced yourself you're having, which doesn't go away no matter how many times you try to slap it down with the wet flannel of weak excuses...

    • 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.
  • Your Mom: She turns up a lot in Zero Punctuation, and Yahtzee usually either hits on her or tries to have sex with her.
  1. "In his underwear" for us non-Brits.
  2. In the same review, he compares pushing the buttons on the fret bar to fingering a female lover. Yes, he had mentioned that he was heterosexual.