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Critic’s Review: Zero Punctuation

December 21, 2011

Benjamin “Yahtzee” Croshaw, creator of Zero Punctuation, is (in video) a fast talking video game critic who pays little heed to social convention, or the wishes of his audience. Zero Punctuation is a humorous video review of video games, based on almost straight criticism. In fact, his constant stream of criticism is so consistent that people have a hard time telling whether a game is actually bad or not. Yahtzee once had to address this directly in one of his videos. He almost never gives any praise to a game, and so it’s hard to tell the okay games from the rest of the dirt. This can be blamed on the fact that when he actually praised a game, nobody thought it was funny, and demanded a humor refund. Now he has to nitpick his way through every game. Thanks for breaking it, audience.

Sometimes he likes games, but you only find out after he’s done tearing it apart, and he announces it like a disclaimer. But the point of his videos are not really to advise people on what to get (or at least I hope not), it’s to be funny. He brings up a joke in almost every sentence, some are obscure, and some are obvious, but almost all of them are quite clever. Because of how fast he talks, you might miss some information, but after a while I got used to it, and now I don’t miss a word. I guess listening to him made my brain process faster… so it’s a fact, Zero Punctuation makes you smarter. You should watch it instead of studying. Like you study anyway.

Yahtzee’s fast talking is his staple. It’s why Zero Punctuation is called zero punctuation. The speed of which he relays information makes sure that it’s never boring, and he can convey about twice as much information in five minutes than anyone else can. He also has a foul tongue. At first, when I was watching it, the stark contrast to the language used in my everyday life was funny. Now the language has less effect on me then it did before, and if it wasn’t for the solid writing that was hidden behind it, I would have lost interest. The joy now comes from hearing well worded insults directed at the games flaws.

Lets get this straight though, Zero Punctuation should not be used as a base opinion of what you’re going to buy. For starters, Yahtzee has a very particular set of tastes. He hardly ever likes anything mainstream, and one time, he named Just Cause 2 as game of the year (although I can say he has quite an excellent taste in music). Another thing that bothers me is that he does not play online. Mostly because he sucks at it. This becomes a problem when a game has multi-player as a predominant feature, and he’ll hate on the weak (tacked on) single player experience. And then he plays games that are not really directed at him. That is to say, he plays games that he should know ahead of time that he won’t enjoy.

Born in England, and currently living in Australia, Yahtzee is quite racist towards Americans, and stereotypes them a lot. It’s an interesting perspective, as I usually (like most Americans) think that we’re the only people on the Internets. And being born in England means that you’ll end up with a voice to rival the gods. Oh, I just love listening to him talk.

As an actual review medium, Zero Punctuation is only useful for [swear word]’s because anyone who’s not a [bad word] is already using IGN.

As a humorous commentary on the faults of video games, it’s as close as you can get to the result of putting Branston Pickle on No More Heroes (which is to say, really [swear word]ing awesome).

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