Zero Punctuation

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Pacman boardgame 75x75.jpg This is a /v/ related article, which we tolerate because it's relevant and/or popular on /tg/... or we just can't be bothered to delete it.

Zero Punctuation is a series of video game reviews by Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, accompanied by simple Photoshop stills rebus-animated in Windows Movie Maker playing over the author's "punctuation-less" fast narration. His style is notably critical, cynical and rude, which he often self-referentially acknowledges, and he has a noted preference for narrative and story-heavy games, though not exclusively so. A lot of thinner-skinned people get offended when he tears up their favorite games, but the man usually has a point - to fat, greasy Americans who believe that a fast talking man with a British accent is the pinnacle of wit, at any rate.

In other words, he's like every other overly opinionated vidya gaem playing cunt on the internet, though he's arguably wittier than some - at the least, he's certainly among the more quotable.

Some would argue that he is a troll king amongst the rabble, but then if we called him that he would probably revel in the title; even in his earliest days, he described himself pithily as a "foul-mouthed, quick-firing blithering behind a facade of legitimate journalism", and is fully aware of how much RAGE he can generate and takes immense pleasure from it. Of course, anyone dumb enough to get so attached to their franchises and games that they take what he says as personal attacks is leaving themselves open and most likely deserves it (cough, implicating cough). On the other hand, you can find quotes of his scattered around 1d4chan, so either we have a /vg/ spy running around defacing our wiki, or we just don't hate him as much as we like to think we do.

Jokes aside, highly critical as he is of modern gaming in general, Yahtzee discourages players from letting reviews decide everything for them, even his own, and encourages them to come up with their own opinions regarding games. Plus he's a fan of old-school fast-paced shooters like Doom and has recommended games such as Star Control: Origins, so his tastes can't be complete shite, eh?

Yahtzee and Warhammer[edit]

Warhammer and Warhammer 40k are among the many series he's referenced in his videos, which is at least fitting considering its British cultural origins, though it doesn't seem he has any interest in it himself. At one point in 2011, he wrote an article in his more at-length 'Extra Punctuation' editoral, bashing the setting of 40k based on his impression of the Space Marine game; his calling the setting "juvenile" and overly grimdark has earned him quite a bit of "well deserved" flak, with the resulting nerd rage festering all across the 40k community and seeping even into this very wiki, if the page's history is any indication.

Of note is that he didn't actually review the game after playing it, which only fanned the flames further. Even ignoring that it would've been a waste of time anyway, as indicated by many other episodes - particularly where he "debated" between reviewing Space Marine and another game called Hard Reset - this was very likely a conscious decision. ("...given options, I'll go for the one that infuriates tosspots.") It may be that he doesn't particularly care about the series- at the least, he had clearly determined it to not be for him anyway, as he would with Total War II. So yay for consistency! Also worth noting, many Legend of Zelda fans have leveled that same accusation at him for criticizing what he sees as repetitive "standard heroic myth", in spite of him actually enjoying Wind Waker, Majora's Mask and Breath of the Wild.

In retrospect, this sort of thing is tacitly hilarious, considering the amount of fans overall that will and do give 40k shit for being overwrought and pointlessly dark, especially in the hands of its less skilled writers; many oft-criticized plot elements and contrivances can also be summarized as reading like so much by-the-book capeshit, especially given the comics industry's own history with regards to laying on the grimdark too thickly.

That's not to say those fans are wrong, but something something, pots and kettles. Plus it's not like /tg/ doesn't actively run with the idea of being nerd rage personified, lulzy as it can be when it becomes genuine.

Also, one of his more recent references described the setting of a game he panned as "like Warhammer 40K but without the irony" so... y'know, you tell us.

Creative Works[edit]

Yahtzee has tried his hand at developing a few games of his own, mostly point-and-click horror/adventure hybrids. He has also written a few books; the one of most interest to /tg/ is Mogworld, a hilarious send up of World of Warcraft which follows the misadventures of an undead minion who just wants to die and stay dead. Other works include:

  • Jam - "It's about an apocalypse! With jam in it!" Hard to get more straightforward than that. This tale about a tide of man-eating jam is written as a parody of the post-apocalypse genre.
  • Will Save The World For Food
  • Differently Morphous

While likely worth looking into, one wouldn't go wrong just sticking with Mogworld if that's your inclination.

He also used to make some one-hour videos called "Let's Drown Out", in which Yahtzee and his cynical but kinda bro-tier friend Gabe are talking mindlessly about stuff going on in the gaming world, while trying as much as possible to ignore the boring-ass game they're playing (see: drown out). The only relevance it has for /tg/ is that they are extremely good to listen to while painting, simply for how mindbogglingly mindless it is.

Opinions on Other /tg/-relevant Games[edit]

  • Wolfenstein - Yahtzee considered the 2009 entry to be a generic and subpar sandbox-shooter affair, dull enough to the point he did the review in limerick to keep himself awake. The New Order, on the other hand, he recommends for being a much fresher, solid and suitably fast-paced take on the WWII action shooter, with surprisingly good storytelling by that standard. The Old Blood got less favorable reviews for being a more "standard" rehash, while The New Colossus was criticized for trying to recreate the impact public and reception of The New Order without the former's solid story and presentation to balance things.
  • The Witcher - First impressions of the first game cast it as being a long drawn-out affair that was excessively complex and unintuitive in terms of combat and presentation, with the writing coming off as the standard fantasy fare attempting to seem "mature" by the rampant amounts of sex and foul language - not too terrible, mind, but still - and the second game was largely more of the same. However, the third game - in spite of Geralt coming off as a Mary Sue to him and the mechanics still seeming overly elaborate - earned his recommendation and "Third Best Game of 2015" honors by focusing more on tutorials for the controls, and spreading that attention to combat detail to the storyline and presentation as well, providing solid and engaging characterization while still looking and playing crisply.
    • As an interesting side note, The Witcher episode was what spawned the "Glorious PC Master Race" and "Dirty Console Peasants" monikers, both initially done as jokes. The fact that the joke has lived this long probably says something. Just don't ask us what. Yahtz himself has taken a bit of a distaste to this term as of late as well, as PC gaming has begun outpacing consoles to the point that people were unironically using this term and becoming graphics-obsessed twats.
  • Doom - Big fan of the original entries, particularly the first one, but thinks Doom 3 deviated too far from the standard in his younger days, due to the murky and linear, horror-lite presentation and focus on audio logs clashing with the more open-ended run-and-gun style of the originals. That said, he much prefers DOOM 3 to the average modern FPS by a country mile, considering it far more straightforward and engaging and considering it an "actual" shooter. Deum DOOM's 2016 entry was praised as the best game of 2016 for being a highly stellar entry that faithfully updates the core gameplay of the original Doom to modern times while leaving the bulk of the plot to be discovered at the player's own pace. Yahtzee, being Yahtzee, still had his criticisms (e.g. became too easy towards the end), but readily concedes they're nitpicks beforehand. Doom's VR entry was similarly recommended for accurately capturing the feel of the games as well.
  • Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game: Done by Cyanide Studio, the guys who did Space Hulk: Deathwing, and are referred to as "basically competent midrange developers". Considered forgettable and lacking in proper story structure, citing in particular that Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth was at least better-paced, and also seems to have forgotten that even the most rote of Lovecraftian stories run off maintaining a fear of the unknown.

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