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    nanostylex7's Portal (PC)

    [March 5, 2008 08:08:34 PM]
    Gamelog Entry #5 (Log 2)

    Gameplay

    This game got so much better in my second 45 minute round, and it also got pretty hard too. I still had a blast with it though. Finally being in control of both portals, GLaDOS now informs you that the tests are going to get much harder. And they do. You need to get the flinging mechanism down (momentum) for much of the puzzles, and you'll start getting worried as you hear some of the corrupted comments GLaDOS makes. Kinda eerie. You will also encounter a new kind of danger in the form of sentry turrets. Though they aren't really characters in the game, they have funny (but creepy) voices and they don't hesitate to mow you down with gun fire. Another character that isn't really a character in this game is the Weighted Companion Cube. The WCC (weighted companion cube, for short) doesn't speak and, in fact, doesn't do anything a noraml weighted cube doesn't. The only reason players become attached to the companion cube is because GLaDOS seems to emphasize a lot on it, so it is kept in your mind longer. The game produced quite a character and people have become rather attached to it, until they realize that they have to incinerate it in order to continue.

    Something else I encountered while moving exploring some of the test chambers, were small areas that appeared to have had people living in them. The plot thickens as you read some of the things they have written on the walls and the game does a great job of making differences in the design of these areas aside from the test chambers. It is only after GLaDOS tried to kill the main character that you realize, you might want to escape from this facility. After this level you end up moving through the actual building itself instead of the test chambers and in the end, come face to face with GLaDOS herself. Hilarious comments commence.

    (One thing not really mentioned before, is that you never really see who you're avatar looks like, but as soon as you get the upgraded portal gun, you can place them close together so you can actually see that you're a female.)

    Design

    Though this game doesn't provide much difference in level design (most levels were either in the testing areas or the faciilty itself), but it does such a good job with those two that it completely makes up for a lack of variance. The testing areas really do give you a feeling of sterile and clean areas, while falling down into the toxic death-water gives you a feeling of being in a sewer. The games level design in the testing areas really take advantage of portal use, as flinging avoiding death traps becomes essential.

    For most of the game, you are deceived into thinking that there will be cake at the end of the road, until you actually reach that point when you realize GLaDOS intends to have you incinarted and it becomes apparent that she is a bit homicidal. That is when the level design of the clean test facility comes to an abrupt stop and shifts to that of the gritty and dark tone feeling of the actual facility. (You see bits a and pieces of this in small areas where it appears people tried to escape.) The change is very dramatic and the dangers escalate as GLaDOS seems intent on killing you.

    What this game does best is let you have full control of the portals you make (with limited restrictions on where you can place them), but you can have a lot of fun with the portal mechanics themselves. This also brings me to another aspect of level design that I find quite intriguing in this game: gravity and momentum. The flinging process is only achieved with a believeable sense of gravity in the game. In other words, the gravity mecahnics here actually made me feel like I was in the game myself. It pulled me in that deep. And in the end, thats what really matters to me about games.

    This entry has been edited 5 times. It was last edited on Mar 5th, 2008 at 22:00:30.


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    [March 5, 2008 05:51:14 PM]
    Gamelog Entry #5 (Log 1)

    Summary

    Portal is a fun 3-D Platform/Puzzle gmae for the Xbox 360. (It is one of five games offered with "The Orange Box". The goal of the game is to make your way through many tests (levels) filled with all sorts of danger and puzzles, using a gun that fires portals, in order to make your way through safely.

    Gameplay

    The first 45 minutes of Portal were fun and amazing. To start off, you don't start with the portal gun and, in fact, you start off in what is basically a cage. From that first moment, the game does a great job of making you feel like a lab rat of some sort. This feeling is further enhanced when you first hear the main computer, GLaDOS. GLaDOS seems talks in a robotic voice, but you can tell from the tone that she is female, but she is, quite frankly, the funniest character in the game, only because shes a bit of a smartass and has some dark humor behind her. Her comments alone, are very entertaining.

    As I progressed through the first stage, I finally got my hands on the portal gun. Unfortunately, this wasn't the better version of the portal gun and only seemed to fire one portal (blue) instead of two (orange). Still, it was a blast experimenting with it, though. As the game progressed, the test enviroment starts to become a little more life threatening and you'll realize that GLaDOS might have a few bugs in her system.

    The next few chambers all contained relatively simple challenges such as keeping pressure switches held down and redirecting dangerous high energy pellets ("...the Aperture Science High Energy Pellet seen to the left of the chamber can, and has, caused permanent disabilities, such as vaporisation...", hilarious), then I came upon one of the more innovative aspects of the game: momentum. Apparently, the same speed you are traveling when you go through a portal, is the same speed you'll be traveling when you come out of the second portal, basically introducing a new aspect to the game that you should get used to because you're going to be needing it often. The only problem I've had so far is that there are 20 tests (levels) and I just got the upgraded portal gun (now able to fire two different portal) on the 11th test. Kind of a let down.

    This entry has been edited 6 times. It was last edited on Mar 5th, 2008 at 20:08:00.


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    Status

    nanostylex7's Portal (PC)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Tuesday 4 March, 2008

    Opinion
    nanostylex7's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See nanostylex7's page

    See info on Portal

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