Sunday, August 03, 2008

Zero Tolerance: The new music in Zero Punctuation

I love Zero Punctuation, the mostly-weekly review video that The Escapist have been running for a while now by British emigré journalist Ben "Yahtzee" Crowshaw. For those three of you out there who may not know what it is, ZP presents 4-minute long animated reviews, mostly of one specific title at a time, and it does so with a calavcade of animated characters and a very distinctive speaking style on the party of Yahtzee. He literally fires through each of the points of his reviews in a mad rant that offers little or no chance for breath or full stops. Hence the name. It's the game reviewer equivalent of The Show with Ze Frank.

Aside from the machine-gun speed delivery, however, what makes ZP work extremely well are three things: Its visual invention, its analysis (which is sharp, witty and often brutally to the point) and its very British off-kilter tone. It has been the making of The Escapist also, which prior to ZP's introduction was a very dusty magazine full of intellectual pieces that seemed more at home in an academic journal trying to make some impact in the world of Gamespot and IGN.

But there's a problem and it is this. Someone in the editorial circle of the Escapist, whether it be Yahtzee himself (doubtful) or somebody at the magazine, has decided to jazz up Zero Punctuation with the introduction of boilerplate animations and music at the front and back of each of the new videos.

So where previously we had relevant and witty music choices.

Now we have cheesy metal and explosions.

This has to be stopped!
Letters need to be written!
Avengers assemble!

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