Zero Punctuation: Portal 2

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Brilliant.

Although, I was hoping he'd mention that theres fewer execution based challenges, and that the game is weaker for it.

hopefully this will be made up with the free dlc

I agree that the difficulty of most puzzles wasn't based on the complexity on the puzzles themselves, but the difficulty of finding that little tiny square of white wall in the gigantic room.

My favourite part has to be the gel sections, those required you to be a little more creative (as far as the puzzle layout let you) specially the white gel one.

Also, I found myself with no friends to play portal 2 co-op with, so I just decided to go random. I found this german guy and we had a blast. I regret nothing.

(and definitely, the BEST puzzle in the game has to the last chamber in the 3rd course, the one where *spoiler spoiler* you had to collide with your friend mid-air in order to land properly */spoiler* , the moment I figured out how to do it I felt pretty smart 8) )

I started playing the Co-op game with my wife (not an avid gamer) and we'd finally gotten to that point where she had something click, and she cleared a puzzle while I was getting something for our daughter in the kitchen.

That afternoon, I played a bit with my dad to pass the time (he was totally taken in by the background chatter from GLaDOS, humor written almost specifically for him) and was faced with an insurmountable barrier that was his complete inability to ambulate and orient himself within a virtual space. (LOTS of staring at floors and ceilings, with a few "nose pressed to wall" situations added for flavor)

I tried the "Left Stick = Feet / Right Stick = Head" concept that worked for me, but he was hopeless. The room with the four timed switches ended with him standing guard at one button, while I used creative portal jumping to get to the other three on my own. But, then I got to spend the next 15 minutes entertaining the kids with ball physics antics, so it was all good. (The activity of 1. Stand below dispenser... 2. roll ball through exit into the Dispersion Field... 3. get hit on head by replacement ball was a huge hit, and the cause of much childish laughter.)

Then, dad takes a break and my four-year-old takes his controller. Same prompts, though a bit more precise ("Left Button" instead of "Red Portal", etc.) and she was doing great. The odd reminder to switch sticks (she can't use both analog sticks at the same time, and still hold the controller in her hands) to look, instead of walk and she new what she was about and had a pretty solid grasp on what needed to happen to keep moving along. A moment of parental pride (and likely a cause for worry, a few years down the road, I'm sure), to say the least.

Palademon:

HankMan:
When it comes to decent sequels, Portal 2...

How the hell do you manage to make 90% of your posts lately puns?

someone after my own heart

When my friend and I were playing the co-op, we sorta noticed something. There were loading screens in our friggin' loading screens. It would nearly look like the length of the game was increased by a loading screen ridden co-op and a rather easy, increased-length campaign (the awkward substance you sprayed all over the wall in different colours did make things a bit harder at first though). However, P2 is probably the best sequel they could make out of it, and the one true downside was : No challenge maps. Portal at least had 3 different challenges in it (be it the same maps as the campaign) which more or less was Hard Difficulty for Portal campaign and increased its replay value. So instead of hats and flags, I'd rather have those challenges.

tl;dr Too much loading, no challenge maps, good sequel though.

Steve the Pocket:

That, and

...something he's raged against very loudly in the past.

I assume you're referring to the Killzone 3 review? In that he was only referring to the troops having Cockney accents.

elpresidente:
I agree that the game is very good but not the same as the first one. Still I played it in one sitting, never even for a moment wanting to stop until I see the end, which shows that it is a rarely good game. The thing that disappointed me mostly is that they made GlaDOS into a likable character and gave her emotions. The best thing about GlaDOS in the first "Portal" was that she was this crazy AI, whose only purpose was to test puzzle solving and treated humans like predictable objects, clearly showing no real understanding of human emotions. It created a feeling of isolation and loneliness while the player made his way through the vast empty complex listening to recorded lines that only resembled human speech, but there was no emotional logic behind it. And in this game GlaDOS was bitter, showed fear, anger, enthusiasm. At times she talked as if she sensed what Chell was thinking and basically behaved like an average human being. The cold zany robot from the first "Portal" was gone. Wheatley was even a worse representation of a murderous AI, because he acted and talked like a nice fellow the entire time. It added to the comedy, but took away from the atmosphere. He was more like a character from a Disney movie.
The level design as always was beautiful, and I liked the way they showed the early versions of the complex. Some explanation of why Chell ended in a stasis chamber along with thousands of other people would've been nice and also what year was when these events happened, but maybe they keep this for "Portal 3".

You got that wrong. GLaDOS already showed emotions in Portal 1. And very strong ones. She was not crazy, she is an AI, she can't be crazy, lol. Maybe the emotions were too subtle for you to really catch them, but the Portal GLaDOS was the vivid image of a mother that HAS to kill her daughter AND at the same time wants to kill herself. There are plenty of articles regarding the complex Portal 1 psycology, you should read some of them

Jack Bz:
I wish more was said about the comedy of the game. I think that Stephen Merchant as Wheatley is the funniest videogame character I've ever come across, and far outshined Glados in this one.

glados had some really nice lines too, i must say. i liked "how are you holding up, because i'm a potato" and "the most brilliant scientists worked for a generation to create the dumbest moron who ever lived, and you put him in charge of the entire facility"

my favroite dialogue lines came from the cores personally

trollpwner:

Russian_Assassin:
To be honest, I liked the second Portal better. Maybe because it let me explore the personality of my arch enemy some more, or maybe it was figuring out the story behind Aperture. All and all, I regard both Portals (the games, not the actual portals) as two of the best games I've played in my life.

Also, how could someone not like the turret opera?

I agree. This is the first time I have been really dissapointed with a ZP video. There really wasn't anything WRONG with portal 2, it was just DIFFERENT. So why did he complain because it wasn't small-scale? It was better in EVERY way!

It could be because he thinks that in the first portal the story and gameplay didn't really get in the way of each other and some puzzles actually had some complexity. Portal 2 had a story that really does get in the way gameplay at times, showing aperture's history and exploring characters while sacrificing some more complex, head-scratching puzzles. Exploration sections took hold instead of true fully-formed puzzles. That said I still like portal 2 better because of the story.

omniscientostrich:
Am I the only one who thinks that Yahtzee might be over idolizing Portal 1 a bit. Don't get me wrong, I loved the game but I think the important thing to keep in mind is that the reason it was so short is because it was a protoype, something to test the waters of a new and innovative concept. The length issue meant that nobody would have bought this thing on its own, it was just a nice little extra thrown into The Orange Box, I'd damn well expect a single player campaing to deliver at least 5-6 hours if its going to have the balls to call itself a full game. Still, will reserve my opinion of the sequel for when I actually get it but I just don't hold up its predecessor as the zenith of gaming potential.

It doesn't matter why it was shorter, it only matters what effect that has on the game. If a game is longer only because people expect it to be since it's a stand-alone product, that easily opens the door to padding and "good enough" content.

You could solve this by just selling the better considered, shorter game for less money and this is just what they did with Portal.

mrdude2010:

Jack Bz:
I wish more was said about the comedy of the game. I think that Stephen Merchant as Wheatley is the funniest videogame character I've ever come across, and far outshined Glados in this one.

glados had some really nice lines too, i must say. i liked "how are you holding up, because i'm a potato" and "the most brilliant scientists worked for a generation to create the dumbest moron who ever lived, and you put him in charge of the entire facility"

my favroite dialogue lines came from the cores personally

Cave Johnson had some really brilliant moments too, specially those regarding Lemons. To be honest the whole game is funny as hell, I had a blast playing it.

omniscientostrich:
Am I the only one who thinks that Yahtzee might be over idolizing Portal 1 a bit. Don't get me wrong, I loved the game but I think the important thing to keep in mind is that the reason it was so short is because it was a protoype, something to test the waters of a new and innovative concept. The length issue meant that nobody would have bought this thing on its own, it was just a nice little extra thrown into The Orange Box, I'd damn well expect a single player campaing to deliver at least 5-6 hours if its going to have the balls to call itself a full game. Still, will reserve my opinion of the sequel for when I actually get it but I just don't hold up its predecessor as the zenith of gaming potential.

I suppose, but the problem is it was a pretty damn perfect prototype at the time. It was new, it was unexpected, and as Yahtzee pointed out, it was perfectly fuckin' formed. Portal may have technically been a prototype, but its release was equivalent to accidentally pooping the Koh-i-Noor. It had a unique, crisp feeling of guilty pleasure to it that was simply impossible to recapture in any sort of sequel.

ColdBlooded:

trollpwner:

Russian_Assassin:
To be honest, I liked the second Portal better. Maybe because it let me explore the personality of my arch enemy some more, or maybe it was figuring out the story behind Aperture. All and all, I regard both Portals (the games, not the actual portals) as two of the best games I've played in my life.

Also, how could someone not like the turret opera?

I agree. This is the first time I have been really dissapointed with a ZP video. There really wasn't anything WRONG with portal 2, it was just DIFFERENT. So why did he complain because it wasn't small-scale? It was better in EVERY way!

It could be because he thinks that in the first portal the story and gameplay didn't really get in the way of each other and some puzzles actually had some complexity. Portal 2 had a story that really does get in the way gameplay at times, showing aperture's history and exploring characters while sacrificing some more complex, head-scratching puzzles. Exploration sections took hold instead of true fully-formed puzzles. That said I still like portal 2 better because of the story.

I agree. The only puzzles that got me scratching my head were some of the ones regarding gels. The rest of the game is pretty easy if you have played Portal 1, and if find that tiny bit of white wall in the distance.

sergnb:

mrdude2010:

Jack Bz:
I wish more was said about the comedy of the game. I think that Stephen Merchant as Wheatley is the funniest videogame character I've ever come across, and far outshined Glados in this one.

glados had some really nice lines too, i must say. i liked "how are you holding up, because i'm a potato" and "the most brilliant scientists worked for a generation to create the dumbest moron who ever lived, and you put him in charge of the entire facility"

my favroite dialogue lines came from the cores personally

Cave Johnson had some really brilliant moments too, specially those regarding Lemons. To be honest the whole game is funny as hell, I had a blast playing it.

agreed. i loved the stuff about the control group

NinjaDeathSlap:
Did he just say that there's no potential for new meme's in Portal 2? Have you been paying attention the last few weeks Yahtzee? Does space ring a bell, or lemons?

Lemon cake in space. Oh noez.

I'm pretty sure I would have rather had H-L2:Ep3 instead of this. Portal 2 was fun though, so no complaints on the game itself.

why didnt you mention about how the loading screens are all retarded now, before it was just being in the elivator, now there are proper loading screens, which break the flow somewhat. and yes there is potential for memes there, for example:
im in space
thats definately one of my favourite ones.

i just realised that there is going to be free dlc, my day lights right up!
also where the fuck is half life episode 3?

yesjam:
well...uh...apparently the mods didnt like that I simply said "great review"

They did not like that you posted it within the minute the post was up, I'd guess.

You hit the nail on the head Yahtzee.

Good show :)

sergnb:
I agree that the difficulty of most puzzles wasn't based on the complexity on the puzzles themselves, but the difficulty of finding that little tiny square of white wall in the gigantic room.

My favourite part has to be the gel sections, those required you to be a little more creative (as far as the puzzle layout let you) specially the white gel one.

Also, I found myself with no friends to play portal 2 co-op with, so I just decided to go random. I found this german guy and we had a blast. I regret nothing.

(and definitely, the BEST puzzle in the game has to the last chamber in the 3rd course, the one where *spoiler spoiler* you had to collide with your friend mid-air in order to land properly */spoiler* , the moment I figured out how to do it I felt pretty smart 8)

dude learn the spoiler command

ImBigBob:
I'm surprised you didn't mention the frequent and annoying loading screens.

You know if you play this game on a PC like you should that cuts loading times a lot, never had an issue with them.

Great review, I was surprised to see that he like it this much, I would even say it seemed like he loved it, just not as much as the first one.

1nfinite_Cros5:
Wait! I think I have a complaint about Portal!

Regenerating health.

Regenerating health in a game about puzzle solving isn't nearly as bad as an action game with no real stakes.

oOOOOO

:(
i agree with him. BUT he never mentioned the superb storytelling and voice-acting which greatly raise the quality of the game.

bahumat42:

sergnb:
I agree that the difficulty of most puzzles wasn't based on the complexity on the puzzles themselves, but the difficulty of finding that little tiny square of white wall in the gigantic room.

My favourite part has to be the gel sections, those required you to be a little more creative (as far as the puzzle layout let you) specially the white gel one.

Also, I found myself with no friends to play portal 2 co-op with, so I just decided to go random. I found this german guy and we had a blast. I regret nothing.

(and definitely, the BEST puzzle in the game has to the last chamber in the 3rd course, the one where *spoiler spoiler* you had to collide with your friend mid-air in order to land properly */spoiler* , the moment I figured out how to do it I felt pretty smart 8)

dude learn the spoiler command

I'm new in the forumz herpderp

I think Yahtzee's being a little unfair in his comparison of portal 2 to the original (big surprise there).
Portal 1 aimed for 50 and delivered 60. Portal 2 aims for 100 and delivers 99.
If that analogy makes sense :S
(120% > 99%, but 60 < 99 )

I just don't think something having more flaws necessarily makes it worse, because theres also so much more good stuff as well.

I agree that one mouthful of Portal 1 is better than a mouthful of Portal 2, but the Portal 2 cake is 5x bigger, and its still very very very tasty (like 95% as tasty as the original).

15 minutes in bed with [insert your number 1 sexual fantasy here] or an hour in bed with [insert your number 2 sexual fantasy here]

Am I making any sense?
:S

I suppose I was too engrossed in the setting and characters to notice the puzzles were lacking.
At any rate, if I were to go back and play Portal 1 now, I probably wouldn't be able to enjoy it as much since I'd keep thinking about what the sequel did better. I have the same problem with the No More Heroes games, except it goes both ways with them.

Other than the fact that we're used to the Portal concept because of the first game, Portal 2 is superior in just about every way. I would have liked a couple more flingy, physics-y puzzles, but the overall experience is superior.

Sometimes I think Yahtzee should just steer clear of games where he has to spread his criticisms so thin. It's like he felt he had to say something humorously critical, so he just used his vague feelings of it being not as indy or surprising. They could have really messed this game up, but they came out with something longer, more entertaining and more creative than even the impeccable debut.

1nfinite_Cros5:
Wait! I think I have a complaint about Portal!

Regenerating health.

Its a puzzle game. having to walk around looking for health kits would just be pointless.

(I'm sorry for putting this here, but I didn't know where else to put it. Hopefully you'll enjoy the tech demo videos below.)

To Ben Croshaw:

You don't care what I have to say about graphics, but, damn it, I'm going to try.

There is so many problems with you, Mr. Croshaw, but I'm just going to start with this one:

"Visual effects technology in both videogames and films have advanced to the point that what is put on screen is limited only by the director's imagination"

"Oh, for the days of the last console generation, when technology sat on the very agreeable fence between high-techitude and accessibility, when developers weren't so slow to ask themselves questions like "Strictly speaking do we really need a physics engine in a Championship Manager game? Is it so important that the league tables slide realistically down the screen?""

"Now, Last Crusade achieved this effect because it was a real stunt occurring in reality between real, physical objects, which is virtually impossible to fully simulate in pixel space because of the millions of factors you can't possibly predict, like the movements of the thousands of dust and grit particles that cloud up and get in Harrison Ford's face."

It seems you are trying to tell everyone that graphics in games will never get any better, and movie CGI can almost never be as good as the real thing, so it's pointless to even try. What an awful thing to tell people! We didn't get here by throwing up our hands and saying "too hard! we give up!" Technology *NEVER* works like that! You just want to go back to the "good OLD days".

And what the Hell is it with you calling it "pixels"? You sound like an old man who reviews movies then a gamer. Why didn't you call it CGI, or graphics, or polygons , like most of us do?

Let me get to the point: You say games are now "limited only by the director's imagination". That is complete nonsense! If that was true in anyway, then please show me this game, with no canned-animation or scripted sequence:

--In this photorealistic game, the Player is on top of a mountain looking down on a huge city. In the city, the Player sees 100,000 Cyborg Demon Ninjas, rampaging through the city, killing everyone in sight. On top of that, there is Giant Robots and motherships destroying all the buildings. The city itself can be dynamically destroyed; better then anything seen in both Red Faction or Minecraft (See the movie 2012). This photorealistic game is also a Open World game with real rooms in all the buildings, meaning, if I wanted to, I can hide in a fridge from all those CDNs in a apartment....--

Do you know any 360 or PS3 games like that? No, you don't. The only thing near to that, is Red Faction: Guerrilla, and even then, you can only destroy something that has 2 floors and 5 rooms. It's not like you can destroy something the size of Black Mesa or anything. In fact, some games can't even have more then 5 bad guys on the ground, because of bad programming, and or the way the game engine works. They get around it by using tricks, but I can always tell when they are using those tricks. And here's a big secret: programing gets much easier when computers are a lot more powerful. I'm a programmer, so I know what I'm talking about.

So please stop talking as if we hit the holy motherland, because we can barely have a photorealistic human in a room, much less an army of photorealistic humans destroying a city in a non scripted way.

For anyone thinks this can't happen in the next 5 to 10 years, think again:

Physic tech demo:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuWuTc5agVA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bKphYfUk-M
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlcc9wJAzFQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grIVUDH4FIM:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87qdmuOesRs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsMjRmaJOqo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xrb8PSpkhkQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwoJ-upjeKo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JrM4ujLY_A

real-time ray tracing and path tracing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbokPe4_-mY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyoHvNpuaK4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnXW0CitlIA

real-time in-game graphics:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_YNR38H-kM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YjXCae4Gu0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GckOkpeJ3BY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvI1l0nAd1c
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GmrdHxpYxk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBJIpQsecB0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THaam5mwIR8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5i_mgF7Vas
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWZjzSQgBrg

I'll end this by saying, I know my words will fall on deaf ears, and if Mr. Croshaw ever sees this, he is just going to make fun of my bad grammer, and all my stupid links. Well, sorry for wanting to go to the future, but I can't live forever, and I can think of a million fun things in games, that you just can't do in this seventh generation of consoles. Sure, we have Portal and Mindcraft, but do you really want to wait 20 years on the seventh generation, hoping someone is going to make a super game to come-out, while playing Gears Of War 12, or Modern Warfare 7? Because even Ubisoft said they don't want to make anything new until the next-gen comes a calling:
http://scrawlfx.com/2011/04/ubisoft-ceo-industry-needs-new-consoles

And Mr. Croshaw? If you really want to try new and weird games, why don't you try all the Wii games you never played? Or all the games that came out in the 90s? Or all the indie games? Or the great iphone games? Or all the mods? Why do you *always* have to talk about the most popular games? Why not review Star Control 2? Why not? It's sad you openly lie to try to move the gaming industry your way. You say you want weirder games, but you only seem to enjoy shooters, and sometimes RPGs.

( P.S. You, Mr. Croshaw, give gamers everywhere a bad name.)

They do seem to lay the humour on a bit thick in Portal 2. Yes, we get it, Aperture Science is run by mad men with no regard for safety! Now tell me how the hell they keep hiring people!

gotta give Valve that, creating really challenging puzzles is much harder than actually solving them. And to be honest, 70% of the game was a tutorial, so you can't really make the players feel like dumbfucks when you start and then have them steamroll through the rest of the game. I think Valve accomplished a really thin balance between frustrating puzzles and easy ones. Just when you are about to say "oh fuck this I'll solve it tomorrow", you find the missing piece that was lacking.

It really makes for a really rewarding experience, every puzzle I solved I felt smart even though I knew every single player that has bought this game has solved it and probably within much less time.

And we still have the DLC's, that promised more challenging puzzles, leaderboards and whatnot. HOORAY!

completely disagree with yatzee's opinion. I found no faults in portal 2, the only valid complaint yahtzee gave was that some of the sequences can drag on. It's a puzzle game, would you have rather they put less puzzles into the game. The narrative in portal 2 was in my opinion much better than that of the original. The reason why valve put this out was because the original portal left gamers wanting more. The original left it's players wanting to know more about the facility of aperture and the computer running the place, and it left of starving for more puzzles that revolve around the usage of the portal gun, and we got just that!

Best way to describe Portal 2, in my opinion is that Portal 2 is Valve's best game to date, but it's not as good as Portal. I know that makes no sense, but in a way it does. Portal 2 is, on paper, the best game they've done. It just isn't Portal, though.

I've been down on Yahtzee lately, but I have to give him props for not joining the collective circle-jerk over this game.

Isan:
I think Yahtzee's being a little unfair in his comparison of portal 2 to the original (big surprise there).
Portal 1 aimed for 50 and delivered 60. Portal 2 aims for 100 and delivers 99.
If that analogy makes sense :S
(120% > 99%, but 60 < 99 )

I just don't think something having more flaws necessarily makes it worse, because theres also so much more good stuff as well.

I agree that one mouthful of Portal 1 is better than a mouthful of Portal 2, but the Portal 2 cake is 5x bigger, and its still very very very tasty (like 95% as tasty as the original).

15 minutes in bed with [insert your number 1 sexual fantasy here] or an hour in bed with [insert your number 2 sexual fantasy here]

Am I making any sense?
:S

I think you may be onto a point here. I don't think, however that the portal 2 quality is any lower. It's just that he doesn't get the same blast. If you have two great games, both arguably equally good, but you expect one to be good and not the other, which one will you enjoy more? Simple really....

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