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AngleWyrm

Zero Punctuation reviews video games

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Is it just me, or are the majority of his reviews overly negative? I like the fact that they edit the reviews to make it sound like he is talking without taking a breath -- fast talking is cool -- but it's easy to pick apart something as vast as a video game. With millions of lines of code and the difficulties associated with changing elements of such large games, having flaws is inevitable. I complement the review team on finding real problems with games, but often times, the review blows the game's problems out of proportion. The reviewer can make the game sound like trash, when in reality, it's still incredibly fun to play, despite its shortcomings. Honest reviews are important, but going from infinite praise to pure insult is not a step in the right direction, in my opinion.

(And for the record, I have listened to a positive yahtzee review and enjoyed it)

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Original post by anothrguitarist
Honest reviews are important, but going from infinite praise to pure insult is not a step in the right direction, in my opinion.


While he does come across as 'overly negative' it's a refreshing change from the recent rash of 'omg! 10/10! perfect!' reviews which are poping up (see GTA IV). While it's very much tongue in cheek and designed to be funny sometimes it can pick up out important points from the games which are worth considering.

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I think Yahtzee does a pretty good review with Zero Punctuation. While he might accentuate the negative, he does point out positives and will at the end tell you if he ultimately enjoyed the game or not. And he tends to justify the negatives with a reasonable explanation. Even in cases where he's not liked games that I've enjoyed (like Super Smash Bros Brawl), I can see his point of view.

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i think he is a genious.
he is usually spot on but he does have some floors. For example
1) Doesnt always finish the game
2) Doesnt play it on every difficulty setting i.e. crysis, different gameplay for each difficulty.

On the other hand he has made me a total pessimist. I look at my 360 with discontent, the only good thing to come out of it is XNA.

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Original post by RivieraKid
i think he is a genious.
he is usually spot on but he does have some floors. For example
1) Doesnt always finish the game

You don't need to finish a game to be able to have a useful opinion on it.

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I was watching Top Gear the other day, when a friend commented that I enjoy the show because of the amount of trash talking they do. I conceded that I do enjoy their verbal put-downs of each other, auto manufacturers, designers (their frequent lampooning of Porsche Design is spot-on), legislators and the automotive public. However, I also enjoy the show because it's "car porn," and because these guys have an unbridled love of cars - they'll champion an obscure econobox that they think is marvelous, make a case for a flawed vehicle that possesses a certain essence that harks to the pleasure of driving (the Cadillac CTS-V, which Jezza described as having been "designed by someone who only had a ruler," was applauded for its handling and engine) and pan a car that is just pointless opulence. It's great.

It's also what I feel is missing from Zero Punctuation. Now, I haven't watched all of the reviews listed above, but I started out watching ZP regularly, and I got bored. It feels commercially calculated, like the point is not to express an opinion about games in general while evaluating a specific game, but to create "content" that can be syndicated and drive pageviews and tie-in preview deals on G4's X-Play. ZP's relentless cynicism seems to make me cynical toward it.

Hopefully, however, ZP's success will drive more game criticism into the spotlight. I'd like to see something that goes beyond just game reviews and talks about gaming as an activity and passion, as part of a comprehensive lifestyle. At one point I used to enjoy GameSpot's The Hotspot (in the Gerstmann Era), but that was a little too long and the rotating cast has left me unable to make a connection. I tried The 1UP Show, but they felt like assholes. And that other dude, Jace Hall... well, I just can't relate to manic buffoonery.

The proliferation of shows, however, is a positive, and ZP's success in getting onto tv - along with Geoff Keighley's work on Spike TV (GameTrailers TV, née Game Head) - makes me excited for the future of game coverage and criticism in mass media. So for that, I certainly applaud Yahtzee and the Escapist Magazine.

(Side note: I met the Editor-in-Chief of the Escapist, Julianne Greer, at ComicCon NY 2008, and I publicly congratulated them for their work in promoting insightful and responsible game criticism, which the audience also applauded. I'm really looking forward to diverse forms of participation in the gaming community in the future. [smile])

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Even though his reviews are entertaining, he has some really good points in them though. Its not just pessimism and randomly insulting games.

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The ZP reviews are great. I don't think they're too negative as that's the point of being a critic (as opposed to a reviewer) - "reviewers tell you whether to buy a game or not, while critics help you think about a game you might already have bought."
Quote:
What do you think of the standard of most games reviews?

To be honest, I try not to read them. Especially not ones for reviews of games I intend to review myself, because they might colour my opinion. I think most reviewers can do a decent enough job of just explaining what a game is about, and if that's all their readers want from a review, then fair enough. But as we know, reviewing and criticising are very different things.


Apparently the fast-talking style started off as an accident
Quote:
How did you come up with the style of your Zero Punctuation reviews, such as the animation and the fast-talking delivery?

It's hard to say. I've been influenced for years by all sorts of writers and styles of delivery. When I first created ZP, the animation came of wanting to see if I could make a video with no actual video recording equipment, only narration over PhotoShop images. The delivery came from just what I thought was a natural reading of my usual writing style. I didn't realise I was talking so fast until someone pointed it out and I decided to run with it.

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[quote=Yhatzee]
"It could only be more awesome if it had tits and it was on fire"
[/quote]

That guy brings tears to my eye, every Wednesday. My lecturer at Uni plays them occasionally too.

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Quote:
Original post by Yhatzee
"It could only be more awesome if it had tits and it was on fire"


That guy brings tears to my eyes, every Wednesday. My lecturer at Uni plays them occasionally too.

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