Before I get too carried away, there are probably spoilers below here. So be warned…
Yes, just like half the geeks on the planet, I’ve been infected by the game that some call Portal. I’ve been hearing people rave about this game for a year now. Several times I wandered into the store, picked up the Orange Box, sighed, and put it back on the shelf. I never really got into Half-Life, and while I like video games, I don’t have the twitch reflex to be really good at them, so games like Counterstrike have never really held much interest for me. (Where’s the fun in getting smooshed by folks who are much much better than me, I ask?)
Anyway, because of that, I couldn’t quite justify fifty bucks to myself just for Portal, as much fun as the game sounded. So I ran several cycles of sighing over the Orange Box before Tuesday.
On Tuesday, I walked into the local GameStop.
I poke into both there and GameCrazy looking for interesting and cheap used games for the GameCube on a fairly regular basis. It was a good thing I did, because sitting right there on a display endcap was the three Orange Box games, each for sale individually for twenty bucks. (Yeah, that means it’s still cheaper to buy the Orange Box if you’re interested in all three games.) So I walked out of the GameStop with a copy of Portal, loaded it up last night, played for several hours, and played for a few more hours today.
I love this game. Not only is not overly difficult for somebody who doesn’t have twitch reflexes, it’s more about looking at a problem and solving it. There’s only a couple places in the game where I had some difficulty with the time allotted for me, but it never was overly frustrating. And there’s so many little pieces that make the game hilarious.
One of my favorite bits is the bots. They say hilarious things and when you take them down, they go “I forgive you” in a small sad voice before shutting down. (And yeah, one of my favorite moments was taking a dead bot and dropping it through a portal on top of a live bot.) And the tester’s voice (you meet the tester — GLaDOS — in the endgame) is full of things that made me laugh. And of course, the game is worth playing through for the AWESOME endcredits. %) (I really should check out Jonathon Coulton more, everything of his that I’ve heard I’ve loved.)
And yes, killing Companion Cube was hard.
Anyway, Portal was well worth the money I spent on it. Now, excuse me, but I’m going to go fiddle with the advanced levels…
And remember, the cake is a lie.