Posts tagged ‘Portal’


I really should stop doing these tab clearing posts

by wfgodbold

But they’re great for when I don’t really want to devote a whole post to any one thing (and for when I can’t come up with a substantial post on a real topic!).

Thinkgeek is selling an Aperture Science 1970s era coffee mug. Right down to the retro form factor!

Bill Amend has put together a few Foxtrot collections formatted for the iPad.

The Japanese have gone and made an anime series about a moe anthropomorphization of Nyarlathotep. Because nothing says eldritch horror like taking the Crawling Chaos and turning it into this.

Nihon Falcom has added more details to the Nayuta no Kiseki official site. They’re marketing it as an action story RPG (whatever that is), and have posted character profiles and some battle screenshots.

Sega, Capcom, and Namco are collaborating on a Super Robot Wars style crossover mashup SRPG, Project X Zone. It’ll have Ryu and Ken (Street Fighter), Shinguji Sakura and Ohgami Ichiro (Sakura Wars), Kurt and Riela (Valkyria Chronicles 3), Jin and Xiaoyu (Tekken), KOS-MOS and T-elos (Xenosaga), and Yuri and Estelle (Tales of Vesperia). And that’s not even an exhaustive list!

And finally, Looper comes out this fall, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis in an action-packed SF time travel flick. The trailer looks pretty good:


Sorry, Bethesda, it needed to be said…

by wfgodbold

And Paul Tassi says it pretty well:

Is Skyrim a monumental achievement in gaming? Absolutely. The world Bethesda has created is perhaps the most technically impressive in video game history. It’s teeming with life and adventure, and it’s easy to see why you can spend countless hours getting lost in it.

But from a narrative and gameplay perspective, which I would argue are the two most important facets of a game, it’s surpassed by a few titles this year, Portal 2 and Deus Ex among them. A thousand square miles of map means nothing if there’s not a compelling story to be found anywhere. A mountain of different weapons means nothing is all they do is bash heads in over and over again.

I get that some people like huge, sprawling worlds with the freedom to do whatever they want. I tried Morrowind, and didn’t care for it. Oblivion looked much the same, and Skyrim, from the reviews, is no different.

Bioware games are similarly lauded, but for plot and character depth. While they do better on plot, the gameplay is generally not good enough to make up for it. Bioware tends to have a cookie-cutter approach to game design, too; you play through a long introductory area, then you are given a few places you can go to in any order to advance the plot. Once you’ve been to those places, you go back on rails to the final one or two locations leading up to the ending. They did this in Knights of the Old Republic, and Mass Effect (and it was even more obvious, since Mass Effect was almost KOTOR w/o lightsabers). And don’t even get me started on the load times…

You can’t just have an open world with a ton of gameplay without the plot to tie everything together; you also can’t have a bunch of plot without the gameplay to keep people from feeling like they’re watching terrible Star Trek fanfiction.

Games need both, and Portal 2 delivers (Deus Ex apparently does as well, but I haven’t played it yet).



Want You Gone

by wfgodbold

To celebrate the news that Valve’s Portal 2 will be (finally) getting free downloadable content next month, I’ve chosen the ending theme to that game for today’s track. If you’ve not played it, consider yourself warned; spoilers follow!

Like Still Alive, Portal’s hit ending theme, Want You Gone is sung by GLaDOS (and written by Jonathan Coulton).

I think it’s a better song all around; Still Alive was good, but since they knew they had to top that for the sequel, they pulled out all the stops.

Portal 2 was great, and hopefully the DLC will be just as awesome.


Science fiction? Or Science fact?

by wfgodbold

Looks like we may be headed towards a Fallen Angels (free at the Baen library) future; the lack of sunspots may indicate that we’re entering another Maunder Minimum and may herald the start of a mini ice age.

Minus the crashed astronauts, of course; we don’t do spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace any more.

I know the idea that the sun is the major force behind the earth’s climate is a wild one, but I think it’s got merit.


Cara Mia

by wfgodbold

Better known as the “Turret Opera” from the end of Portal 2 (no spoilers in the video, unless you happen to speak Italian), Cara Mia plays at the very end of the game, during the final cutscene.

It’s followed (almost immediately) by “Want You Gone,” the Jonathan Coulton track that GLaDOS sings over the credits. That song does contain spoilers (in English, no less!), so I’m not going to feature it here quite yet.

The actual rendition of “Cara Mia” in the game is sung by turrets (hence the Turret Opera moniker), but the following video is an a cappella cover by A Cappella Records.

I think I might prefer this to the original version; while I do love the turrets, their autotuned singing doesn’t seem to work as well for opera.

Valve has also made the first volume of the Portal 2 Soundtrack available for download, absolutely free! No spoilers here, either; it’s all instrumental (as instrumental as electronic music gets, anyway). I imagine the next disc will have “Want You Gone” and “Cara Mia” and they’ll charge for it.


Science Can Be Fun

by wfgodbold

You knew it was coming; given all the raving I’ve done about Portal 2, it was bound to make an appearance as the Daily OST Selection sooner or later.

The ending credits song is good, but given the spoileriffic nature of the lyrics, I’ll not post it until more time has passed since the game’s release.

In the meantime, enjoy this track, instead! Parts of it play towards the end of the commercial, but I don’t remember where else in the game it plays.

Most of the music in Portal 2 is electronic; normally I’m not a fan of Daft Punk style music, but it works for this game.


Everyone should think with Portals

by wfgodbold

Well, it took a couple of late nights, but I’ve played through the single-player portion of Portal 2. Spoilers follow the jump, so beware!

read more »


After a cursory few levels of Portal 2

by wfgodbold

The PS3 version is pretty impressive. 

Once you connect your Steam account with your PlayStation Network account, you can then put the key code included with the game into Steam and add Portal 2 to your library of games (this lets you download it for play on PC and Mac).

While connected to the PSN, you can bring up the Steam menu with the select button, and look at your achievement list and friends list; presumably if your friends are online, you can then invite them to a co-op game.

I look forward to sitting down later tonight and pitting my wits against the puzzles Valve has thought up.


Portal 2 for PS3 will have connectivity via Steam with PC/Mac versions? The future has come, at last!

by wfgodbold

And not just token connectivity, either; friends, matchmaking, achievments, everything!

Xbox 360 edition order cancelled, PS3 version ordered instead!

Amazon’s $20 credit for preordering the PS3/Xbox 360 version over the PC version is just icing on the cake. Especially if (as Destructoid claims) buying the PS3 version gets you the PC/Mac version as well!

Three games for the price of one!

Release-date delivery was only 99¢, so by this time next week, I’ll be puzzling my way through what looks to be an awesome sequel. Repulsion gel, here I come!


Still Alive

by wfgodbold


Forget Half-Life 2, this was the real gem in Valve’s Orange Box bundle. You performed tasks for an insane megalomaniacal computer using only your portal gun; while it looked like a first-person shooter, the game was really more of a first-person puzzler.


Opening pairs of portals to defeat enemies, move obstacles, and manipulate the environment was deceptively simple; as you progressed, though, the difficulty ramped up, until you had to get pretty creative with your portal placement in order to survive (let alone win).

And when you finally finish the game, GLaDOS serenades you as the credits roll:

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