Video game reviews are notoriously hard to judge, as a genre that one person loves will be hated by another. An individual may value storyline and dialog above all else, while another will be more concerned with gameplay and visuals. Using websites which draw reviews from numerous sources in order to give an average score, such as Metacritic, is one solution.
Alternatively you could forgo all other reviews and just take the word of Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw as gospel. If you’re into video games but have yet to sample Zero Punctuation you’re missing out on a weekly dose of snark. These aren’t your average reviews, they’re massacres of titles that seek out the few positives in amongst the steaming pile of negatives.
All of the following videos should be considered NSFW!
Halo 3 was one of the first games featured on Zero Punctuation. This was a game universally adored by reviewers and fans alike. But not Yahtzee. Oh no, he found the flaws just fine. This review stood out from the crowd for its failure to heap praise on such a beloved game. Microsoft fanboys have hated Yahtzee ever since.
Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is the reason we now get a new CoD game every year, whether we want it or not. It sold so well that Activision realized it was the license to print money it had been waiting for. The majority of people into shooters liked it, and so did Yahtzee. He found some things to nitpick over, but then that’s his job.
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was a huge hit on the PS3, one that has spawned two sequels with doubtless more to come. It isn’t a game for everyone; if you don’t like third-person action-adventuring then avoid this at all costs. But most people who play it are blown away by the visuals, the storyline, and the compelling gameplay… not Yahtzee though.
Grand Theft Auto IV
Grand Theft Auto IV sold in frankly unfathomably large quantities. This is a game millions had been waiting for prior to its release. GTA on the next-gen consoles? Yes please. For my money it’s actually been superseded by Rockstar’s other great sandbox titles, Red Dead Redemption and L.A. Noire, but we didn’t know that would be the case at the time. Yahtzee didn’t like the lurch towards gritty realism, and perhaps he was correct.
Metal Gear Solid 4
Metal Gear Solid 4 isn’t exactly mainstream, but there are enough fans of the series out there that it sold very well indeed. It’s a strange mix of gameplay elements mixed in with overlong cut-scenes and dialog that makes Shakespeare look economical with words. Which is exactly what Yahtzee thought too.
Gears Of War 2
Gears Of War 2 is arguably the high point of the series to date, marginally better-received than the first game and superior to the third installment. I have a few issues with the Gears Of War series, the same issues it turns out, as Yahtzee. The biggest being the surplus of chest-high walls that just happen to be lying around. There is no attempt to even try and make them look natural.
Borderlands is an innovative cel-shaded action RPG that exceeded all expectations when it was released at the end of 2009. I don’t think even 2K Games thought it would do as well as it did. This meant Yahtzee was inundated with calls to review it on Zero Punctuation. He duly did and… well, felt it was just about OK, although repetitive as hell.
Final Fantasy XIII
Final Fantasy XIII isn’t as bad as many people seem to suggest. Or perhaps I’m just a sucker for Japanese RPGs which you’re led through by the hand and need to grind through numerous battles to get anywhere. Suffice to say Yahtzee isn’t a fan, of the game or the series. Even I as a dedicated fan of the Final Fantasy games thinks he makes some good points in this review.
Red Dead Redemption
Red Dead Redemption currently stands as my favorite game of the current generation of consoles. It’s Grand Theft Auto meets every western you have ever seen. The world is truly immersive, and the gameplay addictive. Yes it’s buggy, as Yahtzee so eloquently points out, but that’s to be expected with any Rockstar game. I dare you not to laugh at the constant changing of the title throughout this review.
L.A. Noire is another sandbox game from Rockstar. This one set in 1940 Los Angeles with you playing the part of a cop-turned-detective who has to solve cases using nous and cunning. I clearly have neither of those qualities because I suck at this game. Thankfully Yahtzee also sucks at it, which suggest it’s the fault of the game rather than the gamer. Yes, I’ll take that excuse.
Zero Punctuation has been hosted on The Escapist since 2007 and there are now more 250 reviews just waiting to be watched. For this list I chose the big games that lots of people will have played. Zero Punctuation reviews are much funnier if you have experienced the game being reviewed and can knowingly nod along to all the criticisms Yahtzee dishes out.
If you’re a regular Zero Punctuation viewer (a new video is released every week) then let us know what you think of the series and/or Yahtzee in particular. If you remember a more entertaining Zero Punctuation review than those listed above feel free to post a link in the comments section below. You can never have too much Yahtzee.