I dunno. I understand what he is saying, but at the same time, I'm beginning to think that a lot of this is based upon personal expectations. Dead Space is a perfect example: Yahtzee complains that the big 'reveal' moment is "about as emotive as using subtitles", but at the same time, I didn't see any particular level of emotional depth to the main character in the original Half-Life, does that make it a bad game? Or have those people who value that sort of thing just come to expect it everywhere because of games like Half-Life 2? In that light, I think the absence of an emotional investment is entirely based upon the preference of the player. I still think Dead Space was brilliant, and was probably my favorite game of '08, in part because it was among the best implementations of the Hollywood Big Budget Action Flick motif that I've seen yet. Of course, I'm the guy who got irritated with the Newt-as-a-surrogate-daughter-for-Ripley shit in Aliens. I spent that entire time thinking "just shut up and shoot some fucking xenos!"
Again, that's me. Dead Space created just enough of a connection to help further the atmosphere, and didn't waste my time by trying to expound upon it simply to manipulate my emotions. Yahtzee (and Pedro and others, obviously), feel that the connection needs to be deeper, so they don't like the game-- which is fine, but I don't think that you can legitimately completely disparage a game for it... if nothing else, because that is your taste. Can you honestly say that the game is absolutely not worth playing because of that?
Look at it this way:
Poor/unresponsive controls- that affects everyone who plays the game.
Terrible graphics/sound- ditto
Repetitive combat mechanics- same
Crappy camera- as above
Didn't connect with the main character- pretty sure not everyone is going to agree there.
Moral 'choice' system is bogus (basically binary)- a lot of folks probably don't care
Didn't find myself 'invested' in the plot - see above
Yes, there is a lot of gray area there, and of course, something subjective might become objective when it's promoted as a selling point of the game (Fable's 'moral choice' system becomes hugely relevant because that was supposedly the whole fucking point). But I'm sure you get my drift.
Since I first started watching ZP, in the back of my head, I've always had that filter seperating his objective observations from his subjective ones; since I don't know Yahtzee personally, I take all his subjective observations with a grain of salt, unless past experience has demonstrated that we tend to have the same attitude about something. (JRPGs, for example)
I appreciate the opportunity that Extra Punctuation seems like it will provide: the ability for Yahtzee to speak about points he makes in his reviews which deserve elaboration, but the format of ZP prevents it. I still may or may not agree with him, however.