I Finished Something: Portal 2 (Spoilers)

Posted by Ventilaator (1501 posts) -

I want to talk concretely about some later parts, so I can't do this as a review, because reviews are spoiler sensitive.

Anyways, Portal 2.

Portal 2 would have been a 5 star experience for me, if the entire middle of the game hadn't been there. The game starts off with the familiar test chamber format, and then suddenly realizes that it's a sequel and it needs to be bigger and grander than it's predecessor. The problem is that I felt like that didn't work AT ALL. Every environment I was taken to was way too big. There was a moment where I was at the base of a huge structure, and carefully portalled my way to the top of it. After reaching the top, there was nowhere left to go. I spent a good 15 minutes looking around everywhere and feeling completely stuck. I jumped back down again and tried again, only to notice a small door near the base of the structure.

That sucked.

The "Here's the problem, figure it out" formula of the early game had been replaced by a "Squint your eyes until you see a patch of white wall 3 miles away" The gameplay was completely blocking the story and the humour. After every solved sequence, you are rewarded with a few sentences of complete hilarity. I found myself playing the game just so I could hear a joke after I solve the situation.

In the earlier parts of the game, I liked both the puzzle and the humour. The puzzle where all you had were lasers, laser redirection cubes, and the place you need the lasers to go was the highlight of the game for me, gameplay wise, because it was a seemingly stupid simple puzzle that required some out of the box thinking.

What really irks me about the fact that all of that is lost completely in the midpart of this game is that near the end you go back to the test chamber after test chamber formula, and they succesfully mix it up and make it feel completely different by making seemingly randomly put together test chambers, which was both funny, and interesting to puzzle my way through. The first act and the third act of this game are absolutely brilliant and one of the best experiences one could have in this medium. The second act is the reason why I'm never going to play this game again.

Also, as a minor note...

Before Portal 2 came out, I was really interested in seeing what they do with the ending. I figured that Valve knows they made something special with the ending to the first game, and they need to amp it up. There's no way you can do just a new song. That already happened in the first game, and the reason why it was special was because it was completely out of nowhere. Just a new song wouldn't be completely out of nowhere, it would be expected, so you need some other completely out of nowhere thing.

I though about this a little bit, and only came up with a single solution. You  could have a song about the fact how there is no song this time. (You're expecting a song, you might think that one is going to be here but you'd be wrong) or whatever.

That's just me though, I bet the geniuses at Valve have something completely unexpected and amazing cooked up in their heads.

Nope, just a new song. Not as good as the first one.

#1 Posted by Ventilaator (1501 posts) -

I want to talk concretely about some later parts, so I can't do this as a review, because reviews are spoiler sensitive.

Anyways, Portal 2.

Portal 2 would have been a 5 star experience for me, if the entire middle of the game hadn't been there. The game starts off with the familiar test chamber format, and then suddenly realizes that it's a sequel and it needs to be bigger and grander than it's predecessor. The problem is that I felt like that didn't work AT ALL. Every environment I was taken to was way too big. There was a moment where I was at the base of a huge structure, and carefully portalled my way to the top of it. After reaching the top, there was nowhere left to go. I spent a good 15 minutes looking around everywhere and feeling completely stuck. I jumped back down again and tried again, only to notice a small door near the base of the structure.

That sucked.

The "Here's the problem, figure it out" formula of the early game had been replaced by a "Squint your eyes until you see a patch of white wall 3 miles away" The gameplay was completely blocking the story and the humour. After every solved sequence, you are rewarded with a few sentences of complete hilarity. I found myself playing the game just so I could hear a joke after I solve the situation.

In the earlier parts of the game, I liked both the puzzle and the humour. The puzzle where all you had were lasers, laser redirection cubes, and the place you need the lasers to go was the highlight of the game for me, gameplay wise, because it was a seemingly stupid simple puzzle that required some out of the box thinking.

What really irks me about the fact that all of that is lost completely in the midpart of this game is that near the end you go back to the test chamber after test chamber formula, and they succesfully mix it up and make it feel completely different by making seemingly randomly put together test chambers, which was both funny, and interesting to puzzle my way through. The first act and the third act of this game are absolutely brilliant and one of the best experiences one could have in this medium. The second act is the reason why I'm never going to play this game again.

Also, as a minor note...

Before Portal 2 came out, I was really interested in seeing what they do with the ending. I figured that Valve knows they made something special with the ending to the first game, and they need to amp it up. There's no way you can do just a new song. That already happened in the first game, and the reason why it was special was because it was completely out of nowhere. Just a new song wouldn't be completely out of nowhere, it would be expected, so you need some other completely out of nowhere thing.

I though about this a little bit, and only came up with a single solution. You  could have a song about the fact how there is no song this time. (You're expecting a song, you might think that one is going to be here but you'd be wrong) or whatever.

That's just me though, I bet the geniuses at Valve have something completely unexpected and amazing cooked up in their heads.

Nope, just a new song. Not as good as the first one.

#2 Posted by Cabbage_TheMan (240 posts) -

The second act was the most fun for me.  I can understand that you fear change or whatever, but I thought it was just incredible to explore the history of Aperture Science and use the portal gun in more realistic ways.  And trust me, I got stuck just as much as you.

#3 Posted by Ventilaator (1501 posts) -
@Cabbage_TheMan said:
The second act was the most fun for me.  I can understand that you fear change or whatever, but I thought it was just incredible to explore the history of Aperture Science and use the portal gun in more realistic ways.  And trust me, I got stuck just as much as you.
Who said anything about fearing change? The third act is full of it, and it was completely amazing.

I don't like change when it's a change for the worse.
#4 Posted by Cabbage_TheMan (240 posts) -
@Ventilaator said:
@Cabbage_TheMan said:
The second act was the most fun for me.  I can understand that you fear change or whatever, but I thought it was just incredible to explore the history of Aperture Science and use the portal gun in more realistic ways.  And trust me, I got stuck just as much as you.
Who said anything about fearing change? The third act is full of it, and it was completely amazing. I don't like change when it's a change for the worse.
Either way, that section exists for the story.  I think it did a great job of bringing you in to the mystery of Aperture.  I can't imagine Valve successfully doing that any other way.
#5 Posted by Ventilaator (1501 posts) -
@Cabbage_TheMan said:
@Ventilaator said:
@Cabbage_TheMan said:
The second act was the most fun for me.  I can understand that you fear change or whatever, but I thought it was just incredible to explore the history of Aperture Science and use the portal gun in more realistic ways.  And trust me, I got stuck just as much as you.
Who said anything about fearing change? The third act is full of it, and it was completely amazing. I don't like change when it's a change for the worse.
Either way, that section exists for the story.  I think it did a great job of bringing you in to the mystery of Aperture.  I can't imagine Valve successfully doing that any other way.
And I have no problems with it, story wise, I hated playing Portal: Photo Hunt.
#6 Posted by sleepykyle (26 posts) -

You are allowed your opinion, and so are we.  I, for one, think you are wrong.  The middle part of portal 2 was crazy fun.

Unfortunately, I bought this game during finals week when I should have been studying like a mad man, but something about this game kept me sucked in and I could not put it down.  This is a sure sign of a fantastic game. 

I loved exploring the decrepit ruins of Aperture Science, and I had a ton of fun with the huge open spaces.  If the origins of Aperture were normal test chambers that we had already seen the general formula for, It would have been boring and I would have put down the game and kept studying. 

Portal left a bunch of questions with very few answers, and Portal 2 answered quite alot of them.  I like answers....

#7 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -
@Ventilaator said:
The "Here's the problem, figure it out" formula of the early game had been replaced by a "Squint your eyes until you see a patch of white wall 3 miles away" The gameplay was completely blocking the story and the humour.
The game has a zoom function for a reason.  You're missing the whole point of the story context if you can't be bothered to take the time and look around.

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