Havoc's Reviews: Portal

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Havoc's Reviews: Portal

Post  Havoc on Fri May 21, 2010 3:55 pm

SO! Time for another, for a game that's been out for a bit now. Portal!

Valve Software, located in Seattle has a small number of games under its belt compared to other companies, but most of them are known among game circles as some of the best in the world. One of these that is a very good example of it is their 2007 release of Portal. It's a simple premise, that has a narrative that is surprisingly deep just because of the way the story is told. There are some very specific blanks left in it where the player must fill them in through exploration and finding out what happened. However the real brilliance comes from the puzzles you must solve.

They start out simple enough, and the objective never changes. You must get through the course laid before you to get to the elevator at the other end of it, in hopes of getting cake at the end of it all. As you go further, the puzzles get more complex, forcing you to use the physics in the world to fling yourself over platforms, sneak past (literally) the cutest turrets I've seen so far in a game and moving a cube around to activate lifts all through the use of, you guessed it, portals!

You have no means to defend yourself save for the portal generator you're given early on in the game, that allows you to create two portals. You can pass through them and use them to get from place to place, or use them to move other objects and so forth. The puzzles themselves aren't impossible, but challenging when you get further along and rewarding to solve. Some require careful thinking and placement of the portals to get you through, while others require quick reflexes. One or two require both.

The game is VERY short (able to be completed in 2-3 hours easy, whereas most games these days average 10-15 hours) which works more in its favor then against it. It's a small slice of something great that doesn't outstay its welcome and is done in such a way that time flies by in joy. If there was a point I don't like, it would be how there's not other puzzles to solve. Since it's so short, and a puzzle-based game is going to be designed around solving them, and once solved, you know what to do. Without that challenge, it's no longer a challenge or exciting as it was. The PC version has this alleviated a little in that the community behind the game can make their own puzzles using tools for the game.

Which... Speaking of... Is FREE! Well... Not entirely. It's free until the 24th of May (then prolly going back to its retail price of 20 USD). Just download the client from the site (the program Steam is required to run and authenticate it, but given how much Steam does nowadays (including allowing you to use your saves regardless of the computer you're on and make it so you never need a disc again)) and you can then start bouncing through portals!

If you're unsure then might I recommend a fan-made flash version, which follows virtually the same story! You can play this on just about any internet browser here: http://armorgames.com/play/107/portal-the-flash-version

So, my recommendation: If you're looking for an interesting puzzle game with a dark yet humorous narrative, this is a game you will enjoy.
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Re: Havoc's Reviews: Portal

Post  Stone on Mon May 24, 2010 11:12 am

I love this game! And for once my incurably bad memory works in my favor! I play it every few months and I forget what to do, and even if I remember it still takes me a second to figure out how it works again. Not to mention the absolute cuteness of the turrets. I'll just sit there and tease them just because they make me laugh. It is a dark humor, but still cute!

I introduced my 10 year old brother to it a while back. I sat and watched him cause I figured he'd need help, but he caught on SO quick! He got pretty far too before his bedtime and had to go home. It's fun!
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Re: Havoc's Reviews: Portal

Post  Mr. Bubbles on Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:35 am

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Re: Havoc's Reviews: Portal

Post  Havoc on Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:26 am

I saw that! Very Happy Can't wait to see where it goes from the end of the last one!

Especially since the computer version has been 'updated' to include a twist ending. Check it out if you have it!
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Re: Havoc's Reviews: Portal

Post  Stone on Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:24 pm

*feels completely left out* I can't watch this while at work... poo.
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Re: Havoc's Reviews: Portal

Post  Havoc on Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:36 pm

Don't worry Amber. Smile Tis worth the wait methinks.
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Re: Havoc's Reviews: Portal

Post  Stone on Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:39 pm

Is it more portals??
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Re: Havoc's Reviews: Portal

Post  Havoc on Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:40 pm

Lots more! Very Happy

We just have to wait until... 2011 I think? Before we get our hands on them.
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Re: Havoc's Reviews: Portal

Post  Mr. Bubbles on Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:06 pm

Yeah, considering how polished it looks even now from the gameplay vids, we're looking at something insanely special when it's finally released. Game of the Year 2011, I'm calling that one right now ¬_¬

(Unless Half Life 3 pops up on the scene, in which case it might have a contender. Either way, we win Very Happy)
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Re: Havoc's Reviews: Portal

Post  Mr. Bubbles on Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:59 am

Amber, did you check out the vid?

Just watched it again, and the music in it is so damn good.
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Re: Havoc's Reviews: Portal

Post  Stone on Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:35 pm

Oh if dreams were fish... or something like that. No, I was a good daughter this Fathers Day Weekend, and did all that a good daughter should. Which is pretty much everything that doesn't involve a computer.

It was fun! So I'll do the opposite and watch that vid tonight. Razz
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Re: Havoc's Reviews: Portal

Post  Stone on Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:52 pm

For science.. you monster. Well I guess he/she did say she/he was still alive.

\o/ It looks awesome! Is it the same place.. technically? Looks all jungle-y cyclops
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Re: Havoc's Reviews: Portal

Post  Mr. Bubbles on Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:16 am

Stone wrote:Oh if dreams were fish... or something like that.

Laughing Awesome, where did you come up with that saying from?!

Glados is definitely a 'she' computer if there ever was one lol. And yeah, apparently it's set hundreds of years into the future from the first game so the facility's all overgrown and stuff.

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