Portal, TF2, HL2, Episode 2, Episode 1. Those are my favorites. TF2 probably has the most replay value, so that is definitely an understandable pick for some. Half Life 2 is also one of my favorite games ever, so no disrespect to that either.
marcusfriendly: If you are going to bump a post of yours, you could do a lot more then restate what you said in the OP. A restatement is no better then "bump," and does not promote discussion. If you feel your topic has not sufficiently been discussed, add something, don't bump the thread and hope someone else will.
Vinchenzo: It is not necessary to point out when someone bumps their own topics.
That is a difficult question, and I'm surprised it had never crossed my mind before. It is a challenge simply deciding whether or not to group Half-Life 2 and each episode as one game, or to include Half-Life 2 at all. If Half-Life 2 is considered in the running, then no doubt in my mind that it is the premiere title in The Orange Box. However, as the game was truly released before the other titles, I'll limit my considerations to the three games initially released only as a part of The Orange Box: Team Fortress 2, Half-Life 2: Episode 3, and Portal.
Unfortunately, it is no less arduous for me to name one of those three as best, as each is a magnificent game. It is a very close contest, but I'm going to say Team Fortress 2. The game breaks the mold with its fun, creative visual style, an aspect which I love. The only other "cartoony" first-person title I can recall is XIII, which was a disappointment to me as the environments and characters were so bland despite the visual style. The art design is fantastic, each of the characters designs fun and memorable, yet effective. You can count on Valve to analyze something as trivial as the shape of each character when considering the player's though process and game experience. Team Fortress 2 is packed full of memorable one-liners (similar to Portal), plenty of fun easter eggs, and other personality quirks.
It really comes down to gameplay, however, and TF2 gets it right. You won't find a more balanced FPS anywhere, as each class is constantly changing, and Valve is listening to the community, fixing every problem along the way. Not to mention, they consistently add new content to expand the experience. The source engine is as tight as always, as are controls and weapon functions. You also must love the variety the class system brings, each class providing a different gameplay experience, yet never sacrificing fun factor.
I love each member of the Orange Box, but Team Fortress 2 will likely eat up hundreds of hours of my life over the next decade, and is my favorite of the three.
"Not counting HL2 or Episode one...Without spoiling anything, the ending simply blew my mind. Episode 1 was light on the story, and ended in a cliffhanger that got me anticipating Episode 2. Episode 2 ended in a way that did create anticipation, rather, I need Episode 3 as soon as I can get it. One of the best cliffhangers in the history of storytelling, no doubt.
Episode two is just AMAZING and by far the best game of The Orange Box."
"PapaLazarou said:Ladies and gents, BoG is back from the dead (I mean banned)!"Not counting HL2 or Episode one...Without spoiling anything, the ending simply blew my mind. Episode 1 was light on the story, and ended in a cliffhanger that got me anticipating Episode 2. Episode 2 ended in a way that did create anticipation, rather, I need Episode 3 as soon as I can get it. One of the best cliffhangers in the history of storytelling, no doubt."
Episode two is just AMAZING and by far the best game of The Orange Box."
"Without spoiling anything, the ending simply blew my mind. Episode 1 was light on the story, and ended in a cliffhanger that got me anticipating Episode 2. Episode 2 ended in a way that did create anticipation, rather, I need Episode 3 as soon as I can get it. One of the best cliffhangers in the history of storytelling, no doubt."I can't agree more...the ending to Episode 2 is honestly one of the best endings I've ever seen in a game. It immediately left me wanting more and wanting EP3 right away. That sort of sucks though since EP3 still isn't out and won't be out for some time...If you want to rewatch the ending...I posted it a while ago HERE.
What made Episode Two for me was how it had everything that made Half-Life great packed into tight 6 hour package and then improved previous games with the storytelling and trying new things out like the achievements of trying to carry a gnome throughout the game and launching him in the rocket. I also thought the open ended nature of th Strider level was kool and the physics used in the in game cutscenes were great.
Episode Two was just the best Half-Life game to date and it's a shame that it got ignored.
From the sounds of that caption, it seems you are debating whether or not to even purchase the Orange Box--there is no question about it, you should buy this immediately.
I feel Half-Life 2 is probably the most complete (read: well-rounded) game of the lot. It plays tightly, is wholly satisfying, and gives the player a little bit of everything during it's ten-hour run. Portal is gorgeous, both in style and substance; it really elevates the idea of a puzzle game. Valve's strength, as seen in Portal, is the ability to seamlessly blend genres, concocting a new breed of game from the archetypes of the disparate genres they mold together.
Team Fortress 2 is a highly-balanced, highly-addictive multiplayer shooter. The class structure creates a lot of depth and the humor never gets old. The 360 version of TF2, however, has a tendency to bear latency problems and received none of the downloadable support that it PC counterpart did.
Half-Life 2: Episode One is arguably the weakest game in the package. Much of the game feels a little forced, and it relies too heavily on familiar scenery to stand on its own legs proudly. The player has to trudge through some of the same environments of the first game, and there is little feeling that the plot is moving along at anything above a snail's crawl. That said, it is still Half-Life 2's gameplay, and so the experience is worth having.
Half-Life 2: Episode Two is, minute-for-minute, the most compelling piece of the Half-Life 2 framework. The environments open up, the battles grow in size, there is a greater emphasis on adrenaline-focused, narrative fueled sequences, and the flow of the game is pitch perfect. The player feels as though the stakes have really heightened, and the tension is palpable throughout the entire experience. Also, the ending is crazy. If you were unconscious of Valve's ability to develop characters, you will be reminded of it here. Brilliance. One of my favorite games (despite its six-hour length) of last year.
Portal. I've never been so consistently entertained with a game. It's short, but that makes it easy to play through whenever I feel like it. The dark humor works perfectly, and the lines are hysterical. This is all on top of one of the most mine-blowing concepts to be introduced to gaming. Needless to say, I'm a fan...and many of my friends who aren't gamers really enjoyed it as well. :)
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