So I finally played portal...

nikomas1

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Jul 3, 2008
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And I'm a bit confused, I can understand why people like it but as far as a, and I assume it is a puzzle game goes, it was a bit to easy. Only room 18 ever gave me a challenge, other than that it simply felt like walk here, drop a box there, and fling that turret there.

The ending sort of made up for it, but it feels like the game I played was not the game people have been telling me to play for ages...

So why, if anyone can explain it, did people love it so much... and why is being twice as long a selling point that excites people for portal 2 given how easy the first one was?
 

Lust

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Mar 23, 2010
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I think it was the characters and the humor that hooked people.

Everybody loved those cake jokes. Though, now, they play it off like it's not funny anymore. Also, you gotta take into consideration that this game came out a while back. Similar to Bioshock, it was different from what was coming out at the time.

Portal 2, I say, is the better game. I thought it was funnier, story was a bit more interesting, and it was kept fresh with the different gameplay mechanics.
 

Furioso

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Perhaps your brain is just built for puzzle solving? I thought some puzzles in P1 were fairly challenging, hell I thought a bunch in P2 were hard, and apparently that game is easy as cake (see what I did there? Oh god someone please punch me) Either way I still loved it, I hadn't played anything like it, and I love both of them to death
 

Timbydude

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Just FYI, Portal 2 is even easier than Portal 1. You might be disappointed in the second one. I do recommend playing the Advanced Maps in Portal 1, though; they're a nice challenge.

But it was mainly the writing and comedy that people loved. Plus, the portal gun was a unique puzzle-solving mechanic that never overstayed its welcome.
 

MrGalactus

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I just liked it because it was impressive. I don't get how they made that portal thing work.
 

shrekfan246

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May 26, 2011
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Furioso said:
Perhaps your brain is just built for puzzle solving? I thought some puzzles in P1 were fairly challenging, hell I thought a bunch in P2 were hard, and apparently that game is easy as cake (see what I did there? Oh god someone please punch me) Either way I still loved it, I hadn't played anything like it, and I love both of them to death
Quick, take these combustible lemons.

Anyway. I first played Portal only a few weeks before Portal 2 came out because, get this, I had actually managed to completely avoid all of the hype for Portal and I actually didn't see why it would be so praised; After all, it was a puzzle game about navigating rooms with portals. Doesn't really sound like something that would light the world on fire, right?

So, a few months ago I finally decided to actually install the Steam pre-loaded with Portal that came with my laptop and played the game, and you know what I found? A puzzle game in a first-person shooter format with a remarkably well-aged engine and absolutely hilariously dark writing complete with excellent voice acting (Honestly, I could sit and listen to those turrets all day long). Sure, it wasn't too hard, but it had a habit of making things seem deceptively difficult and as someone who rarely plays puzzle games, it took me about an hour or two longer to finish than probably most people took.

Simply taking it as a puzzle game, I think it's a great way to introduce people to the genre, as a sort of gateway to more difficult puzzle games, but veteran puzzle gamers would likely find the actual gameplay to be lacking. That's why reviewers/critics tend to take the gameplay, story, art design, sound production, etc. all into consideration at once in a final wrap-up of how they consider a game's quality; When you start taking individual elements out of context, it severely impacts the overall reception of the content.
 

ZiggyE

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I don't see how people think Portal 2 is easier than Portal 1. Portal 2 actually made me think, unlike the first game.

The first game is reflex based, Portal 2 is logic based. I much prefer the latter as reflex based puzzles can hardly be called puzzles at all.
 

Limecake

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nikomas1 said:
it feels like the game I played was not the game people have been telling me to play for ages...
that's the problem, It's really hard to hear so much hype about a game (especially one as big as portal) and then have it to live up to your expectations.

when I'm really really excited about a game I try and subtley get my friends to play it without hyping it up. I'd much rather see someone discover the great game for themself then for me to tell them it's a great game and watch them be disapointed.
 

shrekfan246

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Limecake said:
The Snipper of the Texts: The Fellowship of the Snip

when I'm really really excited about a game I try and subtley get my friends to play it without hyping it up. I'd much rather see someone discover the great game for themself then for me to tell them it's a great game and watch them be disapointed.
That's exactly what I do, actually. Although I'm not entirely "subtle", I managed to get my best friend to play both Portal and Amnesia: The Dark Descent (two games he had never heard of, being both a PS3-only gamer and an FPS-hater) and while I admittedly did hype up Amnesia considerably, after he played them both he had decided that he loved them. He even enjoyed Portal enough to get Portal 2, and found it even more entertaining than the first, and enjoyed Amnesia enough to try out the Penumbra games that Frictional had made before it.
 

nikomas1

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As far as the hype goes, the thing here is that I didn't expect to much out of it to begin with, I simply found it to be a mediocre game, with the portal gun being nothing more than a gimmick.

As an example, someone told me that the turret sections near the final "Escape" were a bit annoying, I wonder how, as all you had to do was gate behind each of them in turn and throw them away, there was no planning or puzzle solving involved, no real order either, it was just simple grinding.

The only chamber that had me pausing for thought was No.18...

First you had this huge room were you had to first get the plasma in the lock by using 4 portals and timing a button press - then get across the chasm - then press the button - gate back across - put a portal on the angled thing that appeared - get momentum by jumping down - slingshot across the room - pick up the cube - get the cube back across - again get to the button - again press the button and get trough quickly - then finally head for the exit.

Most of the challenge was figuring out how to get it done under the time limit on some of the stages. Having finished this game just a few hours ago this was the one and only one that didn't just boil down to "Were do I put the portal"

That was the only real challenge, for me anyway, in the entire game. I'm not really an experienced puzzle gamer either, I play mostly strategy games.
 

Nightspirit

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Im in the same boat as you. I only just bought the orange box a few weeks ago and played through Portal and my thought was just 'Eh'. It was alright but yeah. Didnt really do much for me. I mean it was surprising at how well it did and all that so congradulations there
 

Crankafoo

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It was kind of that weird little gift inside of the Orange Box. A surprise, even. Portal 2 was infinitely better, though. Which, btw, is a sweet bonus for a sequel.
 

Sir Boss

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I first played portal not two months ago an I staunchly believe that it did live to the hype fully, unlike other games I was late to the party with *coughcoughHalocough*
 

Adrian Neyland

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It was the was that the story, clever humor and game play blended together so seamlessly. Also is was short and simple, I reckon it lasted just long enough for you to have enough fun with the games mechanics but not so long that they got redundant.
 

Kimarous

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shrekfan246 said:
Limecake said:
The Snipper of the Texts: The Fellowship of the Snip
I am very disappointed at the squandered opportunity for a "Fellowsnip". :mad:

OT: Because the physics of portal use are fun and part of the enjoyment is seeing how efficient/creative one can get with their puzzle solving? Granted, I've seen a lot more for the sequel, but some people have solved rooms VERY creatively.
 

ImprovizoR

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nikomas1 said:
So why, if anyone can explain it, did people love it so much... and why is being twice as long a selling point that excites people for portal 2 given how easy the first one was?
Because Yahtzee loved it.

And it had cakes...well not really.

I thought it was fun because it was innovative. But I've only played it once and I have no desire to play it ever again. It's not exactly a game with a replay value. And yes, it was a very easy game. From a puzzle game I expected more challenge.
 

Cheesus333

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THEJORRRG said:
I just liked it because it was impressive. I don't get how they made that portal thing work.
There's a lot of interesting stuff about how they managed it all if you play with the Developer's Commentary on. They also talk about why the levels are laid out as they are, too - for example, the room you start in is specifically designed to show clearly how Portals work: they made it so you can see yourself through both portals in that room because early playtesters were getting the impression that portals lead to entirely different areas, which is not the case.

Stuff like that, it's all worth a listen anyway.
 

RA92

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nikomas1 said:
... with the portal gun being nothing more than a gimmick.
Gimmick has to be one of the most misused words in the English vocabulary. I'm curious - where exactly do you draw the line between 'gimmick' and 'innovation'?