Zero Punctuation: Portal 2

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Awww And I was hoping you'd be jamming forks into your eyes again. I anticipated you'd probably say that it was Portal 1 but with a lot of extra useless padding. There is just something divinely wondrous in a perfect simplicity.

This review was full of metaphors that I thought very well encompassed my opinion on the game.

I found the cinematic sequences to be great, especially because they weren't cutscenes.

I agree that the co-op was much more compact and got more difficult than the single player ever did in the last few chambers. I also think that this was by far my favorite coop experience of this generation.

It's just impossible for me to say which one I'd recommend to somebody who has never played either one and can only play one.

And for Portal 3, I was thinking they'd set it back in the days of Cave Johnson and dozens of live human test subjects and make it semi-massively multiplayer, but space would work amazingly for the game. My prediction is based off Valve's recent statement....something about Portal 2 possibly being the last primarily single player game they make.

Sorry for the 2 posts.

Good review but Portal 1 has no replay value either, except maybe after you've been away for weeks or days, just like Portal 2! Also Portal 2 is WAY better by FAR! Also they're gonna constantly add stuff to Portal 2 so there will always be more puzzles

trollpwner:

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....

We all agree that first one was a surprise, hence we did not expect it and it was more fun experiencing what it had to offer. And the second is a sequel and blablabla you already know what's going on blablabla.

The point is: Portal 2 is much better executed, IMO, in every single aspect. Yes, maybe some puzzles were pretty easy, yes, maybe the travelling through sections was tedious... wait, what? no it wasn't, because the narrative took place IN THOSE MOMENTS. You really see what is really going on. What was supposed in the first game, it is told in this one, no more room for doubt.

You can say that may be worse, as the first one left more room for imagination and crazy theories, and the second one blatantly explains to you how the whole place is wrecking up, but well, The fans wanted to know more about the story, and Valve delivered. I can't say I'm not happy I got to go through the ye'olde aperture science facilities (someone explain to me why are they sealed tho)

Also the length of the game is much more pleasant, you get MORE game, but it doesn't stretch it to a point that you feel like you are just doing the same thing over and over.

Portal has the worst fans...really? Really? No, Im sorry, but I can't let that slide. Portal 2 became so unbelievably popular, that people had to latch onto it, and it was short enough that distilling the most memorable moments left you with Cake and COmpanion Cube. With only 2 hours of experience to draw on, it got beaten to death by fans who were slightly overzealous about what Yahtzee himself described as the coming messiah. This is annoying, yes. But you cannot even begin to compare an ironic abundance of cake jokes with a racist kid on Live, and OCD weirdo playing Counterstrike every night for the last decade, a tea bagging douchbag on Halo...I mean seriously, at least Portal fans constantly parrot something that is worthy of a little parroting. I think maybe Yahtzee should remember that he, by his own admission, doesn't socialize very often, and of Portal references are that annoying, then I suppose its for the best, but take my word for it what I say that Portal fanboys are downright academic compared to a number of communities you may find.

Also, personally, the number 2 in a title doesn't change my opinion of the game if the game is good. Portal did everything that a sequel should do, and did it over a much longer period of time without ever dipping in the quality. And they introduced plenty of new mechanics that expanded the game space to amazing and innovative depths. Portal 2 was most assuredly better then the original. Yes, that is my opinion. But I think that the design choices back my opinion.

Yahtzee is right. Portal2 is a blast on its own merits but is unfortunate for having to follow Portal. Valve could not recreate Portal so they created a completely different game with new mechanics and it actually works better than I expected. It gave the fans the back story they wanted. Portal was brilliant and Portal2 was fun, but upon reflection you really can't compare the two games. It's unfair too.

Portal 2 was certainly a bit different with the comedy, Portal 1 just had a faceless announcer insulting you and Portal 2 has the faceless announcer followed by the corrupt corporate executive/mad scientist followed by the essentially good person who let power get to his head. All funny in their own right but very different from the constant flow of sarcasm from Portal 1.

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

Congratulations on making the first post on any forum I've seen that made me groan out loud. Nicely done :p

I agree the Co-op in Portal 2 is unfortunate. It's insanely fun and awesome but it's easy to taint the experience. It suffers from the curse of being a puzzle game, once you know the answers you know them, nothing short of time and memory loss will fix that. Then you add in another person...

Xanadu84:
Portal has the worst fans...really? Really? No, Im sorry, but I can't let that slide. Portal 2 became so unbelievably popular, that people had to latch onto it, and it was short enough that distilling the most memorable moments left you with Cake and COmpanion Cube. With only 2 hours of experience to draw on, it got beaten to death by fans who were slightly overzealous about what Yahtzee himself described as the coming messiah. This is annoying, yes. But you cannot even begin to compare an ironic abundance of cake jokes with a racist kid on Live, and OCD weirdo playing Counterstrike every night for the last decade, a tea bagging douchbag on Halo...I mean seriously, at least Portal fans constantly parrot something that is worthy of a little parroting. I think maybe Yahtzee should remember that he, by his own admission, doesn't socialize very often, and of Portal references are that annoying, then I suppose its for the best, but take my word for it what I say that Portal fanboys are downright academic compared to a number of communities you may find.

Also, personally, the number 2 in a title doesn't change my opinion of the game if the game is good. Portal did everything that a sequel should do, and did it over a much longer period of time without ever dipping in the quality. And they introduced plenty of new mechanics that expanded the game space to amazing and innovative depths. Portal 2 was most assuredly better then the original. Yes, that is my opinion. But I think that the design choices back my opinion.

I agree 100% with this post. Portal fans are not annoying. Kids trying to imitate these fans and repeating the same shit over and over until they definitely kill it are. You can't blame an entire community of fans because there are some retards making their retardation in your proximity. The internet is the internet, memes will be repeated to death until they are not funny anymore, DEAL WITH IT.

As I said in a preview of portal 2 that was complaining about "portal 2 being a massive meme attractor" like it was a bad thing, seriously, who the fuck cares about memes, do you guys seriously get that bothered by a bunch of teenagers loling at their own retarded shit in 4chan? Because I don't.

Now I just need to convince my girlfriend to play the co-op with me before my best friend.

mcnally86:
No "cake is a lie eh"? I work at a highschool and already kids are shouting at me they are going to "BURN MY HOUSE DOWN WITH THE LEMONS" or just "SPAAaaaAAAACCCccccEEEEee!"

Man, I haven't even played it but for some reason I'm finding these things very, childishly amusing.
I guess the juxtaposition of the manly-businessman that Cave Johnson seems to be (despite his already comedic name) with... Incendiary lemons.
IN SPAAAAACE.
Which is, man, so nineties.

Casual Shinji:

Good call on comparing Monty Python and the Holy Grail to Portal. If I never hear the phrase, "It's only a model" ever again, it'll be too soon.

Shh!

Nenad:

AssassinJoe:
If Portal 3 takes place in space, how would momentum work?

It would work with the help of science!

Erm, I'm also thinking "with the laws of thermodynamics", though they are themselves covered by "SCIENCE!". Momentum is not affected by being in space. In fact, it's even more important, particularly if you're also in vacuum as well as microgravity. (Challenge for programmers: simulate micrograv properly, don't just turn gravity off altogether)

There's also the "rotating space station idea", which isn't the simple "turn wheel, stuff now has weight" concept that everyone thinks it is. For a start, it could lead to an interesting challenge based on something like this:
http://freefall.purrsia.com/zu/ffskates.gif (from http://freefall.purrsia.com/zu.htm)
... or even a more subtle http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff900/fv00900.htm... get slurped towards the vent, and at the last moment... FIRE THE PORTAL!

brazuca:
You forgot the most important thing to talk about. Graphics comparsion! Everyone loves it, like a guilt pleasure! Anyone notice how AA on a GTX 570 is sooooo much better than the PS3 version? Me neither.

I like the part where they render the pixels, that's my favourite.
Also, have Sony STILL not figured out this anti-aliasing jig? It's 2011 already! I had a cheap PC videocard like 7 years ago which had no trouble with it. Hell, even a slightly creaky embedded chipset can handle it nowadays.

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?

Didn't you see the bit about having Portal 3 set in Space, as that makes everything better? (Right at the end, btw)

bdcjacko:
am I the only person to not beat portal and then not care about portal 2?

And yet, here you are, on page 2 of the thread. Eh?

Finally I couldn't find the original post (maybe deleted?), but someone was asking why the game being longer/bigger was a bad thing in Yahtzee's eyes. I think you weren't paying attention/missed the point. It's not that being larger is a bad thing per se, in fact it did seem his only minor beef with Portal 1 was that you could easily exhaust it in a single day, but that the length has been achieved by padding it out with rambling cutscenes and inconsequential bits of the overall plot, shoved in the middle of puzzles. Whereas they may have been better saved for "between levels" parts, or as unlockable extras playable at the main menu, depending on how far through you got. Like, it's got big... but it's not grown taller or more muscular, just blobby with fat that could be trimmed with no affect on the actual gameplay or even the important story points.

Man, the fourth page had just started when I began collecting the quotes for this, then I got heavily derailed by trying to find the Freefall links. I wonder how many there'll be now?

edit: only five? tch.
further edit: these preceding comics could be good inspiration for such a game ... IN SPACE. Add those jump-boots and away you go: http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff900/fv00897.htm ... http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff900/fv00898.htm

Why did he complain? Because he doesn't want to jam forks into his eyes. :)

Well, looks like he really liked the game but couldn't really praise it much because of his Portal 1 review.
Of course the game could never give the players the same feelings they had when they played Portal 1 for the first time. To expect something like that would be a bit silly.
I disagree on his quantity over quality point. Just because there is more doesn't that is has to be worse. I think that Portal 2 managed to be longer and better than Portal 1, actually, I've got the feeling that I'll never be able to play Portal 1 again.

I pretty much agree to the word on this review. It's still great but it doesn't quite capture the beautifully dark atmosphere of the original and it's puzzles are more simplistic, so overall the original portal is superior in my view. also i really hate the ending of portal 2, it makes no sense atall, but it is funny in an awkward sense.

AssassinJoe:
If Portal 3 takes place in space, how would momentum work?

If physics don't apply in the future, god help you.

The only thing I didn't care for about Portal 2 was how it ended and that it was too easy, the whole thing just felt like an intro to the mechanics, but no real tests of them.

Geo Da Sponge:
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!

They didn't really. In the game you can see the fall from grace of Aperture. When they had money they tested athletes and olympians, had marble floors and wood panels.
A decade later they took hobos from the streets and working conditions were not as luxurious. And in the 80's they made testing mandatory for employees because they couldn't find test subjects. Cheap plastics were everywhere. GLaDOS was the last real project they had before bankruptcy.

Hyakunin Isshu:

--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....--

I don't know if processing power is currently capable of handling that, but our current graphics abilities are more than capable of making it look nice. The hypothetical game you're describing is not limited by graphics, but by the ability of computers to render it all simultaneously in real time, the ability of developers to actually create something that bloated and gargantuan, and the willingness of consumers to pay the cost of playing such a monstrosity. We can already hide in fridges in games, you're asking developers to design millions of rooms and millions of fridges in the middle of a dynamically destructible city (which would require a density of simulation and calculation that would make your brain explode), just to satisfy a gluttonous desire for what basically amounts to the Matrix.

There are many experiences that we can create with the graphics and computing power we have right now. Yahtzee's point is that we should pursue a greater depth in gaming experiences, not continually making shallow games as we nudge the graphical ceiling ever higher. The besieged city in your example is cool in theory, but if it's wrapped around a Crysis or Call of Duty clone, what's the point? What have we gained?

I don't know whether Yahtzee loves portal 2 or just feels mild about it, but I would say he's wrong. I don't care if you think other wise, Portal 2 is much more funny, and the tests are a lot more engaging, even if they do go on. I agree with some of what Yahtzee says, but the overall game itself was so fun and engaging that those cons are like nothing. Portal 2 is so good overall that it outwieghs Portal, and I don't want people hating me for my opinion.

Now they said if I ever click the "post" button, I would DIE! But, I'll give it a go...

A surprisingly negative review of a game which is, though perhaps not as innovative as it's first installment, arguably the best game of the year (this far)

MowDownJoe:
Nothing memetic? If reddit is a barometer, Cave Johnson's lemon rant would disagree with you.

Meanwhile, I'll happily laugh at the defective turret dialog by myself, as everyone seems to be ignoring those poor broken turrets.

I LOVED those guys! I think I stayed about 10 minutes in the turret control room just listening to them.

I.... I disagree with Yahtzee? My world... it's falling apart!

Portal 2 was better than Portal 1 in every way. Except the loading screens. Too many loading screens!

I kind of agree with this review, but I still think Portal 2 is better than Portal 1. Mainly because it's longer, but I also think the story and the humor is better than Portal 1.

CarlMinez:
A surprisingly negative review of a game which is, though perhaps not as innovative as it's first installment, arguably the best game of the year (this far)

Actually, I felt that was pretty mild for Yahtzee.

I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with Yahtzee claiming Portal 1 is better than Portal 2 because less is more. I understand where he's coming from, but in my opinion a game isn't better just because it had less content and therefore less faults. It's like saying getting one really nice present for your birthday is better than getting a huge surprise party with all your friends but the cake was a bit stale.

That said, I totally agree with him that Team Fortress 2 hats are really annoying.

EDIT: Also, my mention of cake was completely coincidental.

I found Portal 2 to be very enjoyable, but as you said, the replay value isn't exactly that high. I mean, Portal was amazing, you could lock me up in a room with only Portal to play with and I'd be okay. The good thing is this review was honest and you didn't ride the Portal fanbase....ride

On another note co-op was fun but I found myself doing the entire second half by myself, with 2 controllers, cause I was going to blow my freaking brains from having to spam the hell out of the ping button because my partners were peripherally handicapped idiots! That said playing 2 player (with 1 player) provided twice the challenge, twice the satisfaction of beating a level, and twice the embarrassment when I told my friends that I was playing with myself and it was fun!

Gabriela D.:

Geo Da Sponge:
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!

They didn't really. In the game you can see the fall from grace of Aperture. When they had money they tested athletes and olympians, had marble floors and wood panels.
A decade later they took hobos from the streets and working conditions were not as luxurious. And in the 80's they made testing mandatory for employees because they couldn't find test subjects. Cheap plastics were everywhere. GLaDOS was the last real project they had before bankruptcy.

And if you were a scientist working at a facility were they hire olympians, astronauts and war heroes and tested them to death, would you keep working there? Would you keep working there after it becomes quite clear that your boss could cause the destruction of the entire facility? Would you keep working there after the previously mentioned boss died and then go on to build an AI that tries (and suceeds) to kill everyone?

Well I suppose the logical conclusion is that the scientists are just as mad as Cave Johnson. But thanks for repeating the plot of a game I've already played to me in the most plainly simple way possible, herp-a-derp.

sergnb:

trollpwner:

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....

We all agree that first one was a surprise, hence we did not expect it and it was more fun experiencing what it had to offer. And the second is a sequel and blablabla you already know what's going on blablabla.

The point is: Portal 2 is much better executed, IMO, in every single aspect. Yes, maybe some puzzles were pretty easy, yes, maybe the travelling through sections was tedious... wait, what? no it wasn't, because the narrative took place IN THOSE MOMENTS. You really see what is really going on. What was supposed in the first game, it is told in this one, no more room for doubt.

You can say that may be worse, as the first one left more room for imagination and crazy theories, and the second one blatantly explains to you how the whole place is wrecking up, but well, The fans wanted to know more about the story, and Valve delivered. I can't say I'm not happy I got to go through the ye'olde aperture science facilities (someone explain to me why are they sealed tho)

Also the length of the game is much more pleasant, you get MORE game, but it doesn't stretch it to a point that you feel like you are just doing the same thing over and over.

I completely agree, but I want to make one point very clear:
Anything ever made should be quality not quantity. Let's take the two extremes: 1 beautiful cherry or a billion tonnes of stems? One fun T.V. programme or a lifetime of twilight? One, beautiful, incomparable moment of bliss followed by death or an eternity of torture? Quality is paramount.

Not that there's anything at all wrong with portal 2's quality and the arguments presented here are about right, but we should never forget this.

drummodino:

TimeLord:
No memes?

Well my response to that is Lemons and Spaaaaaaaaaaaace!

I personally believe people only found those memes in this game because they were looking for them. They are nowhere near as memorable as the cake.

By the way, I love the doctor who reference in your title thingy :)

Space is a memorable one but I wouldn't call it a meme, just an inside joke.

For instance today at college I noticed a friend of mine had a space background for his gmail so I sent him a message over gmail saying "Im in space!" then a minute later "SPAAAAAAACE" and later still "spacespacespacespace"; he didn't get it at all since he hasn't completed the game yet but my other friend sat next to me who I played through the co-op with caught on right away and many laughs were had.

sergnb:

trollpwner:

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....

We all agree that first one was a surprise, hence we did not expect it and it was more fun experiencing what it had to offer. And the second is a sequel and blablabla you already know what's going on blablabla.

The point is: Portal 2 is much better executed, IMO, in every single aspect. Yes, maybe some puzzles were pretty easy, yes, maybe the travelling through sections was tedious... wait, what? no it wasn't, because the narrative took place IN THOSE MOMENTS. You really see what is really going on. What was supposed in the first game, it is told in this one, no more room for doubt.

You can say that may be worse, as the first one left more room for imagination and crazy theories, and the second one blatantly explains to you how the whole place is wrecking up, but well, The fans wanted to know more about the story, and Valve delivered. I can't say I'm not happy I got to go through the ye'olde aperture science facilities (someone explain to me why are they sealed tho)

Also the length of the game is much more pleasant, you get MORE game, but it doesn't stretch it to a point that you feel like you are just doing the same thing over and over.

I completely agree, but I want to make one point very clear:
Anything ever made should be quality not quantity. Let's take the two extremes: 1 beautiful cherry or a billion tonnes of stems? One fun T.V. programme or a lifetime of twilight? One, beautiful, incomparable moment of bliss followed by death or an eternity of torture? Quality is paramount.

Not that there's anything at all wrong with portal 2's quality and the arguments presented here are about right, but we should never forget this.

crap the story's been somewhat spoiled for me already, though sadly it only proved I'm pretty good at figuring stuff out beforehand I just block it from myself most of the time ;p

but great review here, though it's about as much as I expected from Yahtzee. still, he's right that I really, really need to play the single player (90% done with the co-op with a friend, altho we're both busy with exams atm to finish just now)

AssassinJoe:
If Portal 3 takes place in space, how would momentum work?

Jetpacks...The Aperture Science Jump Booster will allow you to move in any direction you choose while the Aperture Science Magnetic Footwear will allow you to cling to walls you cannot portal through...and yes GladOS known how the shoes work, but won't tell anyone.

Gabriela D.:

CarlMinez:
A surprisingly negative review of a game which is, though perhaps not as innovative as it's first installment, arguably the best game of the year (this far)

Actually, I felt that was pretty mild for Yahtzee.

I beg to differ^^
Yahtzee loved the first Portal, and given that portal 2 was met so well by the critics I naturally assume he was going to love it too. It's almost as if he is so afraid of being mainstream in his reviews that he doesn't enjoy praising Portal anymore now when everyone else is doing it

Regarding lemons and space: I find it telling that the only references I've seen to these events outside the game itself have been through posts by people trying to convince me that they're popular.

This is the definition of a forced meme.

TimeLord:
No memes?

Well my response to that is Lemons and Spaaaaaaaaaaaace!

I agree, 'Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace' is becoming a meme of its own :)

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