Zero Punctuation: The Witcher

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Quistnix:

Dexter111:
Especially stay clear of highly medalled PC-RPG's with complexity and a great interesting story like Baldur's Gate, PS:T, Gothic-Series, Neverwinter Nights 2, Fallout 2, The Witcher

I seem to recall Yathzee saying positive things about Fallout and Torment, so maybe he doesn't hate rpg's in general, just the bad ones.

He just put Planescape as an example in the ME video. He said on his blog that he never got past the first section of that game either. I think he pretty much hates RPGs, he just hates western RPGs a little bit less.

The end bit was not funny at all, I don't know what you guys are on.

DEAR GOD THAT LAST BIT HAD ME IN TEARS. TEARS I SAY.

laikenf:
Well said. But you have to understand that a lot of people (me included) go to review sites to get informed on games we consider to purchase, so while it's nice to read reviewers that inject a sense of humor and some sarcasm to their articles (believe me, Yahtzee is not the only one) the bottom line is that WE WANT INFORMATION, unbaised, legit information; and that's something that Mr. Yahtzee should dedicate a little more time to because when you look past the jokes and the sarcasm you're left with a very uncumfortable sounding human being that seems to be bothered by EVERYTHING ANY game throws at him, and very little information (proper info) about the game at hand; that, as I said in a previous post, could be VERY MISLEADING.

Thanks for considering my point.

I suppose my rebuttal would be that the very idea of a review being objective is a flawed one. We shouldn't treat games like we do new species - to be picked apart and examined, then to describe in a dry, soulless, complete manner.

A full-length commercial title would demand several pages of text for a full, fair picture to be obtained - that is, for the reader to completely understand everything the game has to offer without actually playing it himself.

Am I alone in thinking that this lofty goal is not only unreasonable, but disturbing? The established art forms understood a long time ago that description only goes so far. As does entertainment. A personal impression is not a bad way to go about things, and neither is it the only way, but it is A way, and one that brings something to the table that the opposite side of the spectrum desperately lacks and needs.

Think about it this way: if your reaction to this review is "I loved this game and can't believe that Yahtzee is misrepresenting it so!", then for a minute imagine the reasons that Yahtzee has provided. Obviously you would have a rebuttal to each of them, but I think it's absolutely fair to say that many people would not, and would in fact line up much more with Yahtzee's line of thinking than yours or mine. Now imagine that you're that person. Hasn't this been a helpful experience?

Personally, I have yet to play The Witcher, but I think this review has informed me just as competently as to the content of the game as any of the lengthy previews I previously checked out. With both bits of information in hand, I feel like I know what The Witcher is about. I feel intrigued. Not convinced, but I'd certainly like to play the game. I don't agree with Yahtzee all of the time - just like I don't agree with my favorite film reviewer, Roger Ebert (le gasp!) all of the time) - but I do understand his position, and it informs my choice, and entertains at the same time.

Asking game reviewers to be robotic summarization machines is born from a deep misunderstanding of what games are all about, in my opinion. That's all.

O_O cool shit dude

God that was funny! That was so good that it just oozed with greatness!

I didn't really get the point of the Painkiller bit, but it brought me to a realization, so I am grateful for its inclusion. The revelation? Yahtzee sounds like Rik Mayall when he was Rick in The Young Ones. No wonder I approve of him so thoroughly.

Rubberband:
If you don't like Planescape Torment, Fallout, Knights of the Old Republic or FFVII, don't review RPG's unless the sole reason for doing so is comedic value, rather than a real review couched in wonderful, hilarious metaphors.

Edit: To add to the 'relevance' debate too, I have found all of Yahtzee's non-rpg reviews to be 100% bang on and funny. I found Mass Effect and The Witcher to be funny, but they are critical of the quintessential nature of RPG's, which is counter-productive to a review, but not to comedy.

As far as the evidence that exists is concerned, I wouldn't say that he hates all RPGs at all. The vast majority of the individual games he reviews are ones that he hates. It's a part of his... shtick. I mean, how many FPSs has he reviewed negatively? Are we to assume that he just doesn't like FPS's and therefore shouldn't review them?

I agree that the humor works because its founded in truth. Definitely.

He really needs to do a CoD4, just because I want to hear something bad said about it form someone who matters, lol. Great review of the witcher though.

The guys negative, but thats what makes him funny. After watching his reviews we go onto real sites and look for legit reviews, unless of course you're that thick. He gives his honest opinion at the conclusion, such as Mass Effect and Mario Galaxy. nuff said about that...
*The following might not apply to all*

I played a bit of the Witcher and I thought it was alright (not amazing). It did exadurate on the Action part of it

If you're really skilled, click twice

YES!!! AWESOME!!!

I didn't find it that hard to play but one thing that just pissed me off is how the inventory screen has no organization. It gets hard to find stuff after awhile. I guess I'd play every other game on my list before playing this. The voice-overs made me almost piss myself.

It seems like The Witcher is a game people either love or hate.. I've not seen a whole lot of people take the middle ground. Personally I love it, even if the female models in the game make you question the quality of the developers' sex life if they couldn't complete the production without constantly having a screenful of tits in front of them...

I thought the game was quite intuitive though, but maybe it's because endless chains of mindnumblingly unintuitive RPGs have brainwashed me beyond saving :-P

And yeah, I'm also one of those guys who liked Planescape: Torment due to my masochistic desire to be drowned in dialogue

P.S. the Painkiller thing was hilarious

Epic win, especially the Painkiller part.

Rubberband:
We RPG'ers accept the dodgy interfaces, complexities and insipid dialogue because they are part of the genre.

Since when are these detriments (save for complexities, assuming they aren't of the needless kind) "part of the genre"?

By this logic, I have to accept bishie poofs as "part of the genre" of JRPGs, even though I clearly remember a time when JRPGs were more about better things than adolescent otaku wankfests.

Think about for example Ultima VI, where the Avatar meets the Gargoyle population for the first time.

In that game, your character has terse, blunt encounters with the NPCs whom are obviously upset at your slaughtering of their kin, should you choose to stop to talk to them. You realize on your own that the Gargoyles, however angry and paranoid, are not quite the menace that ponce Lord British made them out to be. It proves exciting from both a story perspective and a gameplay one.

Had that been, say, Mass Effect, every one of the red skinned bastards would've droned on and on and on and on and on and on in psuedo-deep babble in a manner so annoying and condescending, it'd make me want to kill them all over again, ruining the whole point of the sequence. And Lord help me if it were a modern-day JRPG game instead.

In my view, the Yahtzee RPG reviews are just upsetting complacency in a manner the fandom doesn't want to hear.

Another dead on review.

Keep it up.

Even though I'm a fan of The Witcher, I agree with Viciousmaniac ... I look through all the dodgy parts of many RPGs because I enjoy the rest of it, and I guess it's because I've grown too used to it all. I don't really like people who claim they're better for enduring uintuitive interfaces and at times dodgy game mechanics. And the standard has definitely fallen... Game developers are too busy jerking off to their own work and they seem to forget the point.

Even if stupid game mechanics are part of a game, the fact is that they shouldn't be. If you can enjoy the game in spite of it, good for you, but you still have to accept why other people don't share your joy. And when I listen to Yahtzee's review here, I can understand where he's coming from even if I don't see things the exact same way... I like controversial opinions no less for being different than my own.

Speaking of storylines, I think that many modern first-person shooters have much tighter storytelling than their contemporary RPG counterparts..

love that painkiller bit

Yathzee you need to do a voice over in my new movie lol!

Feehl:

Annom:
I rather enjoyed the witcher, but I'm sure you'll hear that enough in the 100+ comments this will get.

It's true! And the story is nice.

if you want a good story go read a book, but I'm glad i didnt waste a good 50 bucks on this supposed porno

I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that Yahtzee's reviews aren't just clever collages of clip art. Nor are they strictly reviews. They are little mirrors into the soul of each gamer that watches them. Everyone who gazes upon an episode of Zero Punctuation will see exactly what they want to see!

PC gamer who thinks console gamers are lame? "PRAISE YAHTZEE! HA HA!"
Console gamer who is tired of getting shat on? "HA HA OH YES YOU DID IT, YAHTZEE!"

...and so forth.

I just thought it was funny! I particularly liked the bits about how games seem to think that they can be mature by swearing a lot and showing lots of boobies. (See? We see our own issues!) And now I'm gonna giggle for the rest of the night.

Who needs to actually play a game to review it? just jerk around a bit, cause some lulz and everything is fine.

Well played sir, you did your job well. I'll be sure to check back again after looking for an actual game review.

funny review, but I disagree with it

I agree there is a ton of stuff you need to learn in this game, and the load times can be frustrating at times. But it is a damn good RPG game.

AsbestosKidney:
Speaking of storylines, I think that many modern first-person shooters have much tighter storytelling than their contemporary RPG counterparts..

Absolutely.

From System Shock on (although SS1 is a pain to play now) it seems like the FPS genre has been taking the lead.

Obviously Bioware and Troika were great big glowing exceptions, but, well, one of those companies is not quite what it used to be in my opinion, and the other is kaput.

The RPG has been my favorite genre since I first began playing video games with Dragon Warrior on the NES, and there are still great ones being made, but the story telling seems crisper and more engaging in the best modern genre-bending FPS hybrids than most of their RPG counterparts.

Since I have way too much time on my hands, I'll post a transcript of this hilarious revi-, uh, first impression:

What would you get if you took the corpse of J.R.R. Tolkien, ground it into a fine powder, and snorted it off the doughy breasts of a prostitute suffering from Tourette's Syndrome? Well, first you'd get a throatful of dead writer, then the police would probably want to talk to you, and you'd no doubt make an enemy of Mrs. Tolkien. What you probably won't get is The Witcher, because it's a video game, and more easily acquired from your local electronics retailer, you idiot.

The Witcher takes place in the same time-locked period of medieval England that all fantasy takes place in, as inevitably as the fucking tides, and follows the adventures of an amnesiac platinum blonde called Gerald. Sorry, Geralt. Gerald is a Witcher, a sort of demon hunter for hire. Not, as you might reasonably assume, a witch hunter, since you run into witches fairly often, and don't seem to care. You could make a convincing case for the word "Witcher" meaning "a bloke who has sex with witches a lot", since even in the short time I was playing, female magic users were queueing up to nibble on my +69 Staff of Penetration.

What quickly becomes obvious is that Witcher is very much a PC-exclusive game, which are typically designed to be as complex and unintuitive as possible, so that those dirty console-playing peasants don't ruin it for the glorious PC-gaming Master Race. The first warning sign is that the manual is thick enough to beat goats to death with, and then once you get into the game, the interface is just a few steps shy of Microsoft Access in terms of friendliness. There's your inventory screen, your character screen, your alchemy screen, your glossary, your quests, your map, you have to switch between Combat mode and Stand-Around-Picking-Your-Nose-While-Enemies-Carve-You-Like-Turducken mode, and once you're in Combat mode, do you fight in Strong, Fast, or Group style? And if you'll be wanting to mix potions, then I hope you've gone through the necessary 8-week correspondence course. If disliking this sort of shit makes me stupid, then call me Retard McSpackyPants, but I'd rather be stupid and having fun than bored out of my huge genius mind.

My first quest seemed straightforward on the outset: bring 10 monster skulls to Talkative Prick Number 17 of 54, but a stipulation was that I couldn't get the skulls until I had researched the monster in question. Apparently Gerald's amnesia extends so far that he needs to swot up before he can figure out where the motherfucking skull is located, but whatever, we'll run with it. When it came to revealing exactly how to research, however, the game was tight-lipped. God forbid that you could research the damn things by, you know, killing them. Admittedly, I might not be entitled to complain about the game's unintuitive nature because I didn't spend a weekend memorizing the documentation, but even that wouldn't have made the game any less dreary.

The box promises 80 hours of gameplay, and I believe it, because the game draws everything out mercilessly. A large percentage of those 80 hours will be spent making dull conversation, running from one side of the map to the other, at the behest of fat NPC jerks, or just wondering what the chuffing hell you're supposed to be doing next. When you do finally get into some combat, it's almost on sufferance. You fight enemies by clicking on them once, and then if you're really advanced, clicking on them again. As I progressed through the starting village, a set of red flags came up that brought me to a sinister realization. One-click combat? Endless trudging from place to place? Quests involving killing X amount of monster Y for lazy stationary cockhead Z? This is a MMORPG! A single-player MMORPG, with no Alliance dipshits teabagging your corpse, but a MMORPG nonetheless.

Anyway, I have a tendency to completely lose interest in a game's story when I lose sight of the ultimate goal, and by the time I reached the second questing zone, I'd literally forgotten who I was supposed to kill, or why I had ever cared, because the three women I had dirty Middle Ages sex with had mellowed me out somewhat. Some people might call The Witcher misogynistic, for the fact that every single woman in the game shows off a cleavage you could lose your dog in, and will jump on you at the slightest provocation, for a PG-13 sex scene, followed by a paradoxically explicit dirty postcard. Personally, I think it's less The Witcher's obvious hatred of women, and more the same misguided pretension to maturity that also causes the characters to cuss with every alternate word. You might say it's sexist to treat women like a baseball-card-collecting mini-game, so you can ogle their luscious rounded boobies, and melt away between their smooth milky thighs, as the sweat runs in rivulets from their writhing, sensuous body, but...sorry, I forgot where I was going with that.

The reason why this is a "first impressions" rather than a full review is that I found the game to be so boring and stodgy that I couldn't play it for more than a couple of hours before deciding I had to do my laundry or wash the Gimp, or anything that would mean I wouldn't have to put myself through more of it, and as a general rule of mine, a game that feels like work generally isn't looking at a good write-up. The Witcher was Not Fun for me, but you might have a better time if you're incredibly boring, and if it's been decades since your last sexual encounter. And if that's the case, stop watching my reviews, Dad.

In his pre-Zero Punctuation days Yatzee famously bitched out Fable for offering generic Good & Evil choices, and more recently Mass Effect as well (Paragon vs renegade). If he's managed to play past the Village, which is only the second chapter (and pretty short) he'd of realized that the actions within the game are far less black & white as either of those two, and the pay offs are often not noticeable until much later on in the game. There are no right or wrong/good or evil answers to many of the situations that come up. I don't think the Witcher is perfect, but it hit's the high notes that Fable aspired to, and if you do enjoy RPGs then you'd be well advised to play this. Normally I agree with Yatzee on a lot of things, but I'd say he's definitely wide of the mark this time.

fugori:

laikenf:
Well said. But you have to understand that a lot of people (me included) go to review sites to get informed on games we consider to purchase, so while it's nice to read reviewers that inject a sense of humor and some sarcasm to their articles (believe me, Yahtzee is not the only one) the bottom line is that WE WANT INFORMATION, unbaised, legit information; and that's something that Mr. Yahtzee should dedicate a little more time to because when you look past the jokes and the sarcasm you're left with a very uncumfortable sounding human being that seems to be bothered by EVERYTHING ANY game throws at him, and very little information (proper info) about the game at hand; that, as I said in a previous post, could be VERY MISLEADING.

Thanks for considering my point.

I suppose my rebuttal would be that the very idea of a review being objective is a flawed one. We shouldn't treat games like we do new species - to be picked apart and examined, then to describe in a dry, soulless, complete manner.

A full-length commercial title would demand several pages of text for a full, fair picture to be obtained - that is, for the reader to completely understand everything the game has to offer without actually playing it himself.

Am I alone in thinking that this lofty goal is not only unreasonable, but disturbing? The established art forms understood a long time ago that description only goes so far. As does entertainment. A personal impression is not a bad way to go about things, and neither is it the only way, but it is A way, and one that brings something to the table that the opposite side of the spectrum desperately lacks and needs.

Think about it this way: if your reaction to this review is "I loved this game and can't believe that Yahtzee is misrepresenting it so!", then for a minute imagine the reasons that Yahtzee has provided. Obviously you would have a rebuttal to each of them, but I think it's absolutely fair to say that many people would not, and would in fact line up much more with Yahtzee's line of thinking than yours or mine. Now imagine that you're that person. Hasn't this been a helpful experience?

Personally, I have yet to play The Witcher, but I think this review has informed me just as competently as to the content of the game as any of the lengthy previews I previously checked out. With both bits of information in hand, I feel like I know what The Witcher is about. I feel intrigued. Not convinced, but I'd certainly like to play the game. I don't agree with Yahtzee all of the time - just like I don't agree with my favorite film reviewer, Roger Ebert (le gasp!) all of the time) - but I do understand his position, and it informs my choice, and entertains at the same time.

Asking game reviewers to be robotic summarization machines is born from a deep misunderstanding of what games are all about, in my opinion. That's all.

Yeah, i guess you're right. Anyway I do plan on playing The Witcher (I just LOVE RPG's).

Excellent review, good to see Yahtzee is back on form. Loving the extra on the end too

These videos are usually entirely truthful, but I just can't agree with this one.

The Witcher is easily the best fantasy RPG since Baldur's Gate 2 - although I will admit that the tutorial and the first few quests (which is all that Yahtzee apparently played) are rather dull (alsolike BG2).

As for the "kill x enemies, collect y body parts" quests, they're definitely in the minority of the game's quests.

*Edit*

Ghandi 2:

He just put Planescape as an example in the ME video. He said on his blog that he never got past the first section of that game either.

Wow. A single post just shattered all of my respect for the guy. :o

this is jist of what i get from these comments "I HAVE NO OPINION ON THIS GAME BUT YOUR VDIEO MAKES ME ROCK HARD BECUASE YOU MAKE FUN OF IT"

Even with my week's worth of solidified conjunctivitis gunk clogging up my eyes, I still managed to squeeze out a tear in laughter.

"20 minutes .. outside .. puffer fish."

Fuck, I had no idea what to expect but that was brilliant.

Lol I would have to say that the Whitcher has become my favourite ZP review.

Not like it matters no one bothers to read the 100 something comments that seem to collect themselves around this review.

Are these randomly funny videos at the end happening every week?

If they do, that would be awesome and a cool way to jazz up zero punctuation.

Fucking schizophrenic genius.

Ok, I don't want a long comment, so here it does.

1. Fucking funny review. Great stuff Yahtzee!!!!
2. Review is on the ball. Played the Witcher and it sucked ARSE!!!!
3. The Painkiller bit gave me this strange chill down my spine.....moving on

Finally, Yahtzee, you do a fantastic job with your reviews, but why must they come out at 3AM, I'm in FUCKING bed by then.

Laughed my ass off. I'm a PC-only gamer but the 'PC gaming master race' thing was spot-on, we do get like that. I've certainly cursed my share of dumbed-down, small environment shooters, but there's nothing like playing a PC-only game that says "Hey, consoles don't have keyboards, so I need to find a function for every single frickin' key" to make you realize games sometimes can be less fun than work. Flying an F-16 in a game should be significantly easier than flying an actual F-16, hunting for the "Flaps" and "Airbrake" keys while getting your ass shot off is NOT a good time, and while actually experiencing the ten-minute flight out to the target zone in real time may be "authentic", it's certainly not fun. And let's be honest, if you're having a simulated dogfight with your overweight ass stuffed into a padded chair on wheels while sucking down Mountain Dew and Ho-Hos, skipping through the boring parts is not exactly crushing the authenticity.

And while I love nekid wimmins as much as the next GoG (Grizzled old Geezer), about 2/3 of the internet is already nekid wimmins; you don't get any credit just for including them in your game. And watching your character get laid is about as erotic as kissing your grandmother (and without that Ben-Gay buzz.)

Yahtzee's humor and sarcasm fill the void left by the demise of PCXcellerator. We members of the PC gaming master race welcome him to the pages of PC Magazine. All is right with the world again.

I normally quite enjoy Yahtzee's output, but that Painkiller skit was just.. awful. Painfully unfunny. Wow.

Hilarious stuff-- I peed a little bit laughing at the Painkiller bit. As if you needed to hear it from me-- you continue to be brilliant, Yahtzee.

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