dkirschner's Portal 2 (PC)
| [March 6, 2012 07:40:20 AM]
| Finished the single player 3 or 4 weeks ago and never wrote it up. Been spending all my time watching other people play single-player and co-op, yet haven't experienced co-op yet firsthand. I suppose it would be a bust by now since I know all the levels from observations. It was a race enough to beat the single-player without watching someone else do it first.
I really like this game, really everything in it. Wheatley is one of the best characters ever, and Cave Johnson is pretty awesome too (When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade! Make life take the lemons back! Get mad!). Speaking of Cave Johnson, apparently there was a real Cave Johnson, the 12th United States Postmaster General and Congressman from Tennessee, credited with introducing the postage stamp in 1847! For science?
GLaDOS was a definitely less funny than she was in Portal. She hit a low point in the early levels where she was unnecessarily degrading I felt, like the bit about your parents abandoning you and you being a loser or a failure or unloved or whatever she said. Once Wheatley took over though, GLaDOS perked up.
And of course, the cores. SPAAAAACE!
I like how the game is segmented into three distinct areas, what I've been calling New Aperture, Old Aperture, and Wheatley Aperture. New Aperture is a remake and extension of older Portal levels, is probably 1/3 - 1/2 of the game, and feels mostly familiar save for the new mechanics. Old Aperture blew my mind. Space expands tremendously and you really have to start thinking far away from yourself. Wheatley Aperture scales the vastness down a bit, but ramps up the number of segments of each individual level.
I found it interesting how difficulty rose and fell too. Each segmented area began very easy and ramped up the difficulty. Once you beat that tough final area in New Aperture, there's a break in the puzzle-solving and it goes back to being relatively straightforward in Old Aperture. Once you get through the tougher end levels of Old Aperture, the difficulty spirals downward again for the beginning of Wheatley Aperture. Granted, the simplicity of early Wheatley Aperture is a device for humor, but it's the same rise and fall pattern as the other segments.
My favorite new mechanic is probably the orange gel because it's fun to use. My least favorite? Probably the light funnels because things move so slowly in them. They have some neat applications, but they're kind of boring juxtaposed to the movement speed the orange gel provides.
The final battle was a letdown. I feel the game never culminated into a grand challenge. I definitely expected the final battle to be this huge sprawling puzzle-solving event where you have to utilize all your tools to take out Wheatley. Instead, it was pretty much like the end of Portal 1, a claustrophobic room, easy to beat once you memorize a simple pattern. Using blue gel and orange gel...I mean, I did that like 20 levels ago. Here's to hoping for challenging DLC and mods!
I would still like to give co-op a shot even though I've already seen it all. Some of the levels are really neat, and players have done an impressive job of working together to navigate the obstacles. My definite favorite has been this part when players have to create an infinite portal loop with orange gel on the floor. One player runs the infinite speeding loop and the other times a portal to launch that player across a gap, underneath a crusher, and safely to the other side. Then that player has to time a portal for the other player, who now does the infinite portal loop to launch to another platform. It's very cool.
I could go on and on about Portal 2, but I'll save it!
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dkirschner's Portal 2 (PC)
Current Status: Finished playing
GameLog started on: Saturday 14 January, 2012
GameLog closed on: Saturday 10 September, 2016