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  1. #1
    Nemo
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    Portal 2 (Xbox 360, PS3 and PC)


    What the hell is Portal?

    Games today are just far too serious if you ask me. Most of them are either serious FPS titles such as Call of Duty or if we look on the other spectrum of gaming we find mind boggling RPG titles that only specific gamers would find appealing. In recent years there hasnít been a good happy medium between a simple game that is fun and yet of good quality. This is where the Portal series of Valve comes into. If youíve played the very first Portal on the Orange Box (PC, 360 and PS3) you will be familiar with what Iím talking about.

    Like many gamers I was concerned with a potential sequel. How could Valve top the already incredibly entertaining physics based puzzle FPS? What could possibly be added to a game that quite clearly was well designed thought out and developed by brilliant minds? Well the answer is quite simple. Adding depth to characters (GlaDos and Wheatley) and creating a story that is bizarre yet oddly appealing to all ages. Oh did I mention the co-op? Enough of this and letís get on with this review.

    Before I go into the review itself I wish to say that I will not be speaking about GlaDos or the additional characters in this game as I feel this would spoil the fun and give away far too much of the game.

    Gameplay


    For those that havenít played the original Portal I thought I quickly summarise what the game is all about. You play as Chell, a woman that as far as Iím aware randomly wakes up to Glados wakeup call in Portal 1 only for you to be used as test subject. Been given the Portal gun during the rather simple introductory levels, it is now required for you to solve various test chambers with the use of the Portal Gun. The Portal Gun itself has only one main function, to allow you to shoot entry and exit portals for you to jump through.

    However, because this is a Valve game and we all know Valve love their physics, you will have to quickly understand what ďmomentumĒ and ďgravityĒ can do to you
    This picture accurately sums up what can be done or more accurately put HAS to be done.

    All this elements carry over from the first Portal game into Portal 2 so there hasnít been much of a change here and rightly so, why fix something that isnít broken right? Again you will have to deal with laser firing turrets that at the rare occasion sing to you or simple ask how your day has been, yes the companion cube is still with us and damn it I love that damn cube.

    At this point I bet youíll ask yourself. What is Nemo on about here nothing has changed what have they actually added. Ok letís stick to what has been added on the single player as the new elements found here pretty much carry over to the co-op game.

    To make the game more interesting Valve added 3 types of gels to Portal 2. All three have different attributes to them and all three look different. The one youíll come across earliest in the game is the blue gel. This gel allows you to bounce higher. Depending on how far youíve fallen the ďre-bounceĒ tends to be higher of shallower. To add distance to the height of your bounce you will later come across the orange gel (some say its red but in my eye its orange so feel free to speculate). You will have guessed by now that the orange gel simply makes your move faster if you walk on it. By far the most useful gel is the white gel which if the surface is covered by it will allow you to place a portal on it.

    Those are by far the only true expansions to the game that you will notice. Physics have remained largely the same as well as the basic idea behind the puzzle solving. So letís move onto the biggest if not best addition to the game itself the co-op mode!

    CO-OP

    While the mechanics are largely the same as the single player the puzzle chambers are by far more complex in design and structure. Keep in mind that now two of you have to solve the chambers together and by together I really do mean together. Never in my gaming life have I felt the need to be working as a team, communicate my every step. This is where Portal 2 has filled that void. You have no choice but to be in tune with the other player or else you might as well try baking a cake with wood and acid..it just doesnít blend well does it?

    To give you an idea of what Iím talking about please watch this video.


    Co-op can be done either online over xbox live or system link and of course the multiplayer function of the ages that is oh so lacking these days in some peoples opinion Splitscreen. I would argue that playing online provides for a better experience but that really is just my preference

    Controls (xbox 360)

    The controls again have not changed at all. Left Thumb stick is to move back/for/sidewards while the right is to look around. B is to crouch, A is to jump, X is to use objects, left trigger and right trigger allow you to shoot either or portal onto surfaces while RB allows you to zoom on for greater accuracy.
    Be glad there is a zoom function I mean it. Some chambers are long and high. You will be glad you can zoom in on walls and surfaces that are afar!

    LB is multiplayer specific. If you wish to point something out to your partner in science simply aim at a wall, button, cube whatever and hit LB. This will highlight the object to your partner and thus he/she will do whatever it is you need them to do. Again a great tool and addition to this game, I mean how many times have you shouted at your friend ďit's over there damn itĒ while clearly you have no means to point? I for one did that a fair number of times.

    Sticking to Co-op specific controls the Y button has I think a far greater role online. By pressing it a little PIP (picture in picture) window opens and you can see what your co op partner sees. Neat aye?

    Controller Scheme


    Visuals

    There is nothing to be faulted here. The visuals are brilliant I think. While they graphics isnít something to boast about the visuals are smooth, pleasing on the eye and most of all they contribute to the overall experience of the game. Nothing looks out of place.


    Some blue gel anybody?

    The Soundtrack

    Mesmerizing, elegant, brilliant, futuristic, electronic, vibrant, chilling, entertaining and fresh. Thatís exactly how I would describe the portal 2 soundtrack and being honest here I canít find anything wrong with the soundtrack or the ambient background noise that is ever so present in this game. See here for more:

    please click the link if you wish to hear an example of the Portal 2 soundtrack:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85sqSbqv0Fs
    Pumping beats with that puzzle?

    Conclusion


    I was overwhelmed when I first played portal and I can only say the same for its sequel Portal 2. Without a doubt Portal 2 should be placed in the I am a unique game cabinet because it is. Rarely has a game been fun and challenging and yet remain fresh through your play-through. Valve did do a great job on Portal 2 and taking it one step further but thatís just it ďone stepĒ.

    You have to understand that there is only so much one can do with a given idea but that didnít stop Portal 2 being a great successor of the original master piece that was Portal. The only issue I had with this game was its length but I can understand why Valve cut portal short. The length does make sense so if you feel you being ripped off Iím sorry that shouldnít overshadow to quality of gameplay!

    I wish for you to enjoy this game as much as I did and if you are looking for a different kind of game defiantly check out this FPS puzzle hybrid.


    SCORE: 9/10

    +Brilliant Puzzles that are difficult yet manageable for most ages
    +Well Designed Controls
    +Interesting Characters
    +Superb Visuals/Soundtrack
    +Co-op
    -Game length is a little short

  2. #2
    :3 Viixen's Avatar
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    Awesome review Fusion.

  3. #3
    New Member 'Super Mario''s Avatar
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    Is the robot shooting paint in one of the pictures?

  4. #4
    Shadow Hide You Vault Hunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 'Super Mario' View Post
    Is the robot shooting paint in one of the pictures?
    No, the gun shoots nothing but portals. The paint or 'gel' is coming out of the tube which you can see at the upper left hand corner of the picture and hitting the floor infront of you (can see what you mean though).

    Nice review Fusion.

  5. #5
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    Well done fusion. XD (don't even say it) One thing I'd suggest though, if you are going to do the button layout, I'd suggest having the layout for the ps3 version too.

  6. #6
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    What about PC?! Everybody knows Valve games are best played on PC!

    But seriously, nice review, I know I've already read it and said it was good, but seriously, it looks better when I don't have to hold "Ctrl" and click to view the images xD

  7. #7
    Nemo
    Guest
    Then i should also do one for the PC? I consider it for the up coming review

  8. #8
    Good review. You hack the knack for this kind of thing.

    I did love the game, myself. See here and this.
    Last edited by SpockDoc; 15-04-2012 at 01:37 PM.

  9. #9
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    Portal 2, I love this game!!!

  10. #10
    very good/detailed review you made here.

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