Portal 2 (xbox 360)

Apparently creators of the game spent a great amount of effort into the humor aspect, being sure it was able to be understood and widely received, interestingly enough it is a key part of the game and makes it unique. Perhaps one of the most notable facts about Portal & Portal 2 is Chell never speaks. During the chapter “Courtesy Call” players meet Wheatley for the first time. Under the impression after a substantially long session of suspended animation, Wheatley thinks Chell has severe brain damage. Satirically you are given the option to respond by saying apple, but instead jump leading him to believe it is true, when in fact I feel Chell simply does not speak by choice. As far as the game play I found it incredible, the test chambers actively challenge players to actually use mental reasoning and problem solving to progress. Unlike other puzzlers a certain level of critical thinking and strategy is involved to be successful, which puts a smile on my face. I was very happy valve made merchandise, comics and  videos for Portal. Some of my favorite games have never seen a t-shirt or high gloss poster since being produced and applaud valve for not neglecting their fan base. It is lovely being able to wear clothes paying nod to in-game locations, entities or references and having posters to hang on your wall. As part of an Xbox live arcade exclusive Valve released Portal 2: Still Alive. An add-on with 20 advanced test chambers designed to challenge “even the most skilled of players” and developer commentary. Initially I was confused as to whether or not this additional content was a secondary prequel to Portal 2. Unfortunately not a lot of information on the web mentions it is downloadable content. Thankfully I figured this out and am able to tell everyone else. From an outsiders perspective the graphics are up to date if not stunning and thankfully it is a series that can be picked up unlike Mass Effect, the Halo franchise, Bioshock and Silent hills long standing series which keeps details inclusive to each title. A great deal of thought and effort was put into every aspect down to the last nano bot. Chell’s character design remains true to the goals of developers who wanted to create a realistic female protagonist  focusing on traits consistent with her experience throughout the course of both games and canon comic Lab Rat.

As vivid as her environment Valve corporation implicitly conceptualized a visual representation of Apertures facility falling into disrepair after years of neglect and natural decay. Evident by plant life overgrowth, mild flooding and damaged rooms with missing parts to the floor, ceiling and exterior walls. All textures stand out as individual masterpieces mirroring its real world counterpart. In a way it is an alternate reality in the sense that it is a near perfect mimic of our world.  Most noticeably I am very fond of raw materials within the game such as the glass and metal or energy operated platforms with linear lasers so bright in color and visually solid appeared to generate their own warmth so realistic I could almost reach out and grab it. Scrolling through articles on Half-life’s wikia it was fascinating to see how intial designs evolved through out.

Portal 2 has become one of my most beloved games of all time alongside Okami, Vampire the masquerade: bloodlines, Silent hill 3, Gemini Jetforce, BloodRayne 2, Mass Effect and Tetris. Having received awards ad nauseam and for good reason, believe it will remain an intricate creation timeless and classic for decades to come. Each piece from the soundtrack so well composed it fits the games every curve, outstanding voice acting, a living thriving universe made specifically for Portal, incredible interactivity with puzzles that never under minds the players intelligence and hilarious cult comedy ties in to make an untouchable product of certifiable genius. And while  we know producers and writers slaved many hours at perfection gives an effect of seamless effortlessness. Hopefully Valve perceives this feedback and does not spoil their triumph by making a third installment. Although fans are never tired of seeing personality cores and hearing Cave Johnson rant about combustible lemons in a strange way Portal’s story line seems finished. And any future stories are best left to fan fiction or non-canon comics which sounds delightful.

Being particularly fond of valve’s game engine, to date only a handful of development companies have created smooth well functioning programming. And while glitches are not a major problem it can be bothersome if these errors cause freezing, save file corruption, crashing and in rare cases prevent the start-up process.

Some great novels and films cause viewers to feel they have traveled to foreign lands, been on adventures or entirely remove them from their own reality. To experience this magic for yourself, I highly recommend playing this to understand for yourself. As an added bonus check out Valve’s official website for Portal 2 and download the full soundtrack free of charge.

Hopefully my analysis has helped you make an informed decision, so remember worthwhile games are out there you need only find them.

[i]. gamersdailynews. Web. 15 Jan. 2011

[ii]. Sannse. Half-Life Wiki. 9 Jan. 2012. Web. 15 Jan. 2012

[iii]. IdealOmniscience. Half-Life Wiki. 11 Jan. 2012. Web. 15 Jan. 2012

[iv]. cryhavok.org. Web. 15 Jan. 2012


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