Poll: Portal Vs Portal 2

Drathnoxis

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I've finally gotten around to playing Portal 2 and having now finished both games I'd like to get peoples time tempered opinions on the game.

Personally I feel like the original portal was much stronger. It was exactly as long as it needed to be, where as Portal 2 had long boring sections between test chambers. The humour was also much stronger in the original. I didn't actually find Portal 2 to be all that funny (with an exception for Cave Johnson), unlike the original where every single line of dialogue was pure gold.

Closely related to the humour was the character of GLaDOS, who I felt didn't hold up well under prolonged exposure. Her whole character arc came across as awkward, and she lost most of her charm when she was no longer in an authority position. Honestly I'm not even really sure why she was in the game, considering she kind of blew up in the last one and was strewn across the surface world. Sure, she could have been rebuilt, but if that was the case why was she shut down?

Finally, but Portal 2 just didn't really do a lot with the whole portal concept. This is shown by the fact that there are barely any portalable surfaces in the entire game, allowing for no chance to even just screw around with the portal mechanics. Oh, also the ending song of Portal 2 can't hold a candle to Still Alive.

Basically the first game was a masterpiece, every single piece fit perfectly together leaving nothing that didn't work or was unnecessary. Portal 2 was okay, but can't even begin to compare with the original.

So what do you think? Which was the better game and why?
 

Tanis

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I liked the original, but I LOVED Portal 2.

The only why the first one could become better than the second for me is to have it remade with the improved controls and graphics of P2.
 

Flammablezeus

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Dec 19, 2013
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I love both of them, and I find it hard to say one is better than the other. The second one seems like a more refined experience, and I'm more likely to go back to that than the first one. However, I played through the first one many times before the second came out, so I know it like the back of my hand which takes away from the experience of a puzzle game.

If I do have to pick one, then I pick 2, but I think of them both as necessary experiences. I would never let somebody play the second one without playing the first beforehand.
 

Recusant

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The first. Definitely. The second was still good, don't get me wrong, but the 'explain bits and pieces of the intervening time between games' trick totally fell flat, and was borrowed rather heavily from Half-Life 2 (where it only mostly fell flat); and much of the humor seemed cribbed directly from Team Fortress 2, that whoo-hoo Saxton Hale 'we're not even going to let you try take this seriously' style that (in my very subjective opinion) basically annihilates any chance of it actually being funny.

In gameplay terms, the second felt much more directed, with the paucity of portalable surfaces, which were kind of an inevitability, given the more wide-open maps, but said map sizes kind of ended up backfiring on that front; it felt less like exploring to see what's there and more like exploring looking for puzzle solutions. I LOVED the expanded possibilites the second set of portals in the multiplayer added, though. Upon playing the first game, I thought it cried out for some kind of multiplayer mode, and I'm glad to see that I was right.
 

Smooth Operator

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Portal 1, it was a nice small package, plenty of novelty, moving along at a nice pace, a very atmospheric story never really offering narrative apart from your surrounding so you filled in the gaps as you went along with this overly friendly AI directing you.
All the puzzles were also brought up to the challenge that fitted, and if you got clever you could solve things in completely different ways then were expected.

P2 on the other hand got a bit chubby, pacing got slow, narrative delivered spoon for spoon and the areas gigantic... but nothing to do in them. The puzzles also got very easy, with almost all the rooms blacked out except where you were suppose to do their puzzle... kills all the creativity you could previously do. These rooms also huge without a real reason which takes even your own pacing down 3 notches, and I thought this was just me being petty because it felt different, but then I re-watched beta footage and realized two thirds of the cool shit that was suppose to be going on in every room was taken out.
I do like the new features however, but again the most interesting one that is wall walking was taken away for the sake of casual play... motherfucking difficulty settings Valve.
 

Mezahmay

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Hmm...I'd have to give it to Portal 2. Overall the characterization was a bit weaker compared to the perfect amount per character in Portal but I feel the puzzles were more interesting and challenging. That more than made up for it to me.
 

SoranMBane

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May 24, 2009
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I absolutely love them both, but I like Portal 2 just a bit more. Portal 2 may arguably have more flaws than the first one (in that it actually has some flaws), but that's to be expected when you increase the size and scope of something so dramatically; it added way more crazy-awesome wonderful things than annoying things, and that's good enough for me. Also, that co-op campaign was one of the most hilarious gaming experiences I've ever had.
 

Bara_no_Hime

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Sep 15, 2010
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I liked Portal 2 a LOT more than Portal 1.

Portal 1 was a really funny and well written game, don't get me wrong, but it relied far too little on puzzle solving and far too much on split-second reflexes and perfect portal aim (particularly late in the game). I'm sorry I can't hang on the side of a portal, push a button, and create a new portal all in the same half-second - it basically broke the game for me, and I could never finish Portal 1 (to my great sadness).

Portal 2, meanwhile, rewarded planning over speed. You could take your time, experiment with the area, and figure out the optimal solution - none of which required hanging out of a half-formed portal while trying to press a button while also trying to shoot a new portal elsewhere.
 

Silvanus

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Loved Portal 2 to bits. It had more diverse environments, a somewhat deeper story (with a little hint of sadness amongst the humour in it, which always earns about 50 points automatically from me), and even the co-op was badass.

Gameplay-wise, they were much the same, of course, but Portal 2 was just gloriously perfect.
 

bringmeahorse

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Oct 23, 2014
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They're both really good, but in the end I'm gonna have to go with 2, the characters were great, the conversion gel is a damn fun new edition, and aside from that freaking elevator shaft climb towards the end, it's hard to think of a part I didn't enjoy. Also Wheatley is brilliant
 

happyninja42

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I liked them both equally really, though I found the humor in 2 to be more personally enjoyable. I remember a few times I had to pause the game because I was laughing so hard I couldn't keep my hand steady to use the mouse.
 

Dizchu

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Sep 23, 2014
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Portal 1 was a more solid gameplay experience, everything was tighter than a drum.

Portal 2 on the other hand went into a lot more depth, was personally more emotionally gripping and due to its length and broad diversity of environments felt more like a "journey" to me. Also it had the co-op mode.

I like Stephen Merchant and while I found Wheatley to be mostly a copy of his character in Extras I found him enjoyable. IF there were to be a Portal 3 (hahaha like hell), I uhh... really wanna see Karl Pilkington in it. My life would be complete.
 

MHR

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I'm in love with the pitch-black oppressive atmosphere of Portal 1. The scripted and computerized voice of GLaDOS is your only friend and enemy, and the only other characters, the cube and turrets, are placed there by her to help and hinder you respectively. Aperture is a very lonely and surreal place, and the only other contact with true humanity is the tortured writing on the walls of past subjects trapped in the testing maze like you.

Portal 2 on the other hand is a lot less like that. You start off right away with Wheatley and it's a rip-roaring adventure with comedy at the end of every puzzle from then on. It's a bigger higher-quality in-depth game to be sure, but for personal novelty value, the first is better.
 

scorptatious

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May 14, 2009
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Hard to choose. There really wasn't much wrong with either of them to be honest.

I'd probably have to give the edge to Portal 2 for more content between both the single player and co op campaigns. Also Wheatley.
 

Lovely Mixture

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Jul 12, 2011
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Gonna side with you OP. Portal 1 is better.
Portal 2 is more of a movie than a game and it's boring as hell. The "humor" of Portal 2 is so fucking forced that it felt like pandering "ha ha MANTIS MEN"

This comic summarizes the gameplay aspect: http://www.nerfnow.com/comic/502

In Portal 1 I felt like I was solving puzzles.
In Portal 2 I felt I was doing a children's jigsaw.

I got more enjoyment out of the "Portal: The Flash Version MapPack"

To give credit where it is due, I felt Portal 2's BGM was better.

The Co-Op in Portal 2 has some creative puzzles, but I don't believe a game like Portal 2 should stand on multiplayer.
 

CaitSeith

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You forgot the co-operative mode in Portal 2. Also the PC version has the "Perpetual Testing Initiative" (aka. test chamber creation kit) with access to hundreds of chambers created by other players. That's where Portal 2 outshines the first one.
 

Casual Shinji

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It's disheartening to see Portal 2 take such a lead, when it was such shallow fan wankery.

Where in the original the humor came from GlaDOS' cold, logical understanding of human nature -- like by trying to appear friendly with promises of cake and a party, and stamping a heart on a cube so that we'll care for it -- in the sequel we get a passive aggressive A.I. who makes fat jokes. Portal 2 felt like it was written by fanboys of the original, and so all we get is just jokes for the sake of jokes. Cave Johnson talks about mantis men. Why? Doesn't matter, it's a joke and you laughed.

Then we got that bullshit with GlaDOS' origin for the sake of forcing some stupid sentimentality on her character. Again, why? Because GlaDOS was popular in the original, so now we have to make her a more important and meaningful character. The whole thing reminds me of Darth Vader; He was so popular in the original trilogy, that now he has to be the Chosen One. The fans'll love it!

Then there's the gameplay which got stretched thin for the sake of filling up a 7 to 8 hour game. Instead of puzzles with energy pellets which even if you knew the solution still required timing and fast reflexes, we just get energy beam puzzles which are about as difficult as a block shape puzzle for two-year olds. The puzzles in Portal 2 seemed more interested in just making things fly around.

And ofcourse the sequel needs a song at the end too, right? I mean, the original had that sudden catchy song at the end and it was great. So what if it doesn't have an ounce of that same spontaneity, just put in in there anyway. The fans'll love it!
 

RedDeadFred

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May 13, 2009
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The first one. It had a length that was just right and was quite honestly, one of the most perfectly constructed games I can think of (although it doesn't even make my list of 10 favourite games).

Portal 2, while definitely a great game, felt padded in some areas. I've played through the original multiple times, but haven't felt the urge to go through number 2 since first completing it. I did like the story of the second game more though, it was downright hilarious.