Zero Punctuation: Portal 2

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Portal 2 may or may not be better then the first, but it is what every sequel should be, different.
Maybe it's because I didn't play it until the global fan base plateaued and I've herd everyone ramble about every meme it generated at least 50 times, but the first Portal came out to me as just a very good game.
Portal 2 on the other hand I got fresh out of the release date (or I should say would if it weren't for some problems with Amazon and my debt card) so playing it and expecting absolutely nothing about it greatly improved the experience for me.
Also, can't argue that the boss fight was better in the second one, I thought the first one got a little repetitive.

Xanadu84:
Portal has the worst fans...really? Really? ... 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...

Actually, yes, the Portal fans are worse than your three proceeding examples. Why?

Because Portal fans are everywhere and constantly in your face with the cake and the obnoxious. I only know what you're talking about with those other three because I recall having once watched Youtube clips about them. Aside from that I've had zero contact with any of them - I don't play those games, I don't hang out in their communities, they don't bother me.

Portal references are everywhere. You can't avoid them. That's far more annoying than extreme/hostile-but-easily-avoidable behavior.

God I have got to play this fucking game >.<

Hyakunin Isshu:
.

Deary me, somebody is "HULK SMASH!" angry in this thread, ho ho!

Today I feel charitable and and emphatic, as such allow me to relate invaluable intelligence:
Yahtzee does not read the entirety of forum comments for his videos, hoverer he does get a remarkably low amount of hate-mail (said so in the reddit interview), thus chances of engendering any kind of response from your opposition will be higher on the email frontier.

I could not bring myself ingest your hateful tired in it's entirety, my nerves and leisure have grown much to scarce of late, yet that post scriptum deserves at least a passing remark:

Hyakunin Isshu, I wish that at the end of your life's journey you may grow to carry at least a fifth of the respect and admiration that Benjamin Croshaw carries with gamers, developers, entertainment industry employees and casual consumers all over the world. May your works also be translated into several foreign languages (включая русский) and bring mirth to many a generation.

Pah, I do hope the British git won't lay eyes on that paragraph, his ego is almost ready to burst as it is.

Geo Da Sponge:

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.

You're welcome, trollop. I pride myself on my mad explaining skillz. As for the employees..I dunno. Maybe they had excellent health care. I heard they took out tumors AND improved you with science.

im kind of surprised, i either thought youd praise the hell out of it like portal one, or rip the thing to shreds. but then you sort of slide in the middle to punch me in the face while my dukes were still up.

this was probably the fairest review ive seen on a game while praising it for being an awesome game, you also pointed out flaws for the creators to take notice in future games that no one else really saw.

bravo Ben, bravo.

Portal 1 is easily the most overrated game of this generation

Sorry people, a 3 hour, piece-of...dare I say it...cake..game isn't the highpoint of anything.

I disagree. I thought Portal 2 was better than Portal 1. I've re-played it several times on "Single Player", because I can't stand playing with other people. But that's the thing about opinions isn't it? Everybody has one and everybody thinks everyone else's opinions stinks.

So this is why the site is so slow this afternoon: the ZP Portal 2 review. Good reason.
I would have to agree that the replay value of this game is pretty low.
It would've been nice to have a test chamber building tool on the consoles like with Little Big Planet or Echocrome but I also wont be surprised if they update the game with something like that.
The only reason I can see them NOT doing something like that is maybe because (even with the additions) there are limited options and they don't want the fans to exhaust the options before they have a chance to sell us another sequel.
If they keep sending us free gameplay dlc, I wont care either way.

I agree i hate the parts where you need to find a tiny spot on a wall to get to the next puzzle, less game play more view/story

Heresy, Yahtzee, Heresy!!!!!!! Just kidding... =)

The truth is I loved Portal 2 more for the story than for it's gameplay. The gels freshed up the puzzles, but they are soooooooo easy and quick-to-solve on this games that it is laughable...

But I wonder the hole time what connections with HL 3 was going to appear around the conner, and how tragic was the history of Cave Johnson (who change the concept of 'art for the sake art' to 'science for the sake of science') and Carolyn and Glados... The mysterious origin of Chell and so much more.

I can say I am satisfy with the overall product. No mind blowned... Just satisfy.

I would give a score 9.999 out of 10.000 because I hate loading screens.

i have to say that portal 1 was better, the "wow-factor" was so imense, and the puzzles was new and creative, it was something that had never been done before, so you really had to wrap your head around to get it. portal 2 on the other hand, even though it had sevral new and creative additions, didnt have the same inpact. and was infact made easier so that more people could join the Hype of this AAA title.

if you've listened to some of the devolelpers commantaries, you'd know that they had to chance some chambers, because they were "too hard" but thats just stupid, a puzzle game can't be too hard, if there is a clear sulution, thats the puzzle part of the game.

also i miss "advanced chambers" it was fun to play the chambers you knew again, exept they were much harder the second time.

Xariat:

also i miss "advanced chambers" it was fun to play the chambers you knew again, exept they were much harder the second time.

Valve actually knew that would be the first thing to be missed, so they are releasing an update sometime this summer to give more Co-op puzzles and put back in challenge mode, which includes the time trials, advanced chambers, etc. (Possibly more but Valve wasn't very specific.)

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

ba dum tish,

Do I win if I am the hundrefth person to quote this ;)

Sudenak:
Yeah...Portal 2 had the problem of having to overdo everything in hopes of pleasing a fanbase that is possible crazier than any other fanbase out there.

I don't know about that one. The Sonic fanbase seems a lot worst considering we complain about green eyes and trying to support some one shot character who's too cliche. Not to mention we getting Sonic Generations as Sega's excuse to pander to the crowd. >.<

Anywho this review was pretty good as expected of Yahtzee. It makes want to pick up Portal 2 now but I still can't because I really don't have money. D: I've heard its a good sequel and if Yahtzee himself said so then that's something. :P

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

Awesomely. With Lazers.

Oh wait, Portal 2 had lazers already. Hmm... well, they'd find a way, I'm sure.

Also good review, Yahtzee.

I respect Yahtzee all the more for this review; he knew by saying it wasn't as good as the first would send some people batshit as it's the sequel to one of the most critically acclaimed titles of all time, but he's upright and honest about it. I personally disagree and think the second one is much better in nearly every way, but then each to their own.

This was probably one of the more anticipated ZP's, though now we can all look forward to the Duke Nukem Forever review!

I question the statement that just because a game is more impacting, that it makes the game inherently better. I mean yes portal 1 had a very large impact however I would argue portal 2 was a better game overall.

I really don't buy the cherries-and-sawdust analogy. It's more like Portal 1 was three nice, plump cherries, and Portal 2 is five nice, plump cherries and four juicy strawberries, even though Yahtzee (and lots of other people, apparently) didn't want any damn strawberries, thank you very much.

No, it wasn't eight hours of the first game's Spartan minimalism, but who said that it had to be? The fans whom Yahtzee hates? It's something different and, I think, something consistently surprising and delightful.

I'll agree that a few too many rough edges seem to have been sanded off in the name of playtesting and accessibility, and everyone agrees that robot hats are silly, but as for the rest... eh. This isn't Assassin's Creed 2; the idea wasn't to make the first game again, but better. The idea was to make something bigger, weirder, and more ambitious.

When the Portal 2 DLC comes out this summer, "Are these new levels as good as the core ones?" will be a valid and useful question. But I just don't think that "Is Portal 2 as good as Portal 1?" is all that interesting a thing to ask. You're not comparing two different cuts of the same meat here. If you boot up Portal 2 in expecting Portal 1 again, then you will be disappointed, and more to the point, you would have been disappointed with whatever Valve had released.

Portal sort of reminds me of Ico actually. I thought Portal 1 was a bit overrated exactly because it was more or less just a puzzle game, and I also feel similarly about Ico. And both Portal and Ico both are extremely good games, but the thing is, the thing that I think makes both the games good is the way the world and characters take the focus. The actual gameplay is mostly just filler even if a lot of it is very interesting, the "story" is very minimal outside of the character interaction, and so on. So if Portal 2 wants to have less focus on puzzle solving and more on said character interaction, I don't see the problem with this.

I mean yeah, puzzles are fun and all, but a linear sequence of puzzles no matter how well designed is still a linear sequence of puzzles. Personally I would rather it start as a linear sequence of puzzles, and suddenly about a quarter of the way in shift to more of a open exploration based game with a bit more action, and maybe some more weapons, while still keeping puzzle elements that pop up from time to time. But that's just me and many others would think that would "ruin" the game. Still from what I have seen Portal 2, does a good job of mixing things up without ever going so far as to suddenly shift it's core gameplay in that way. But I think it's getting a bit silly at this point. If there is a Portal 3 I think it will probably have to expand beyond simple puzzle solving eventually.

Really though I would like to see the technology used in the Portal games used for different things, like possibly cross-dimension portals which introduce an Eversion-like mechanic. Or use of world portals to construct really strange levels. I think there are a lot more uses for the basic technology then puzzle solving.

This review convinced me of Yahtzee's ability as a game critic and more than just jokes. Spot on.

100% agree with the Co-op. Me and My friend did it in about 3 1/2 hours (just after he completed singleplayer with me watching).
Disappointed they didn't put Split screen in the PC version (I managed to hack it in, there's tutorials around).

The Singleplayer game was exactly what I expected to be honest, more story, more humour. A good meme (Spaace!), good characterization but too much of it. Half of Portal 1 was mystery and non-vocal narrative. Needed more of that in the sequel.

Definitely a worthy sequal IMO, not much is going to live up to the originals rise from nowhere (Minecraft??)

I would be okay if they had freaking challenge maps like Portal 1 for specific puzzles.
And a test chamber selection so i don't have to use console commands if i want a certain test chamber, or play through parts of the chapter for console gamers.

Well, that was a shocking surprise (no, really it was to me). Usually Yahtzee has a primary flaw to express about every game, but Portal 1 gets the flaw about it's fans. So in other words, Portal 1 is amazing in every aspect and everything there was given a task that worked out just right. I should look into talking to those guys who made Portal 1.

Portal II looks fantastic, amazing, and overall addicting with fun all around (literally by using the portal gun) but it just seems so.. complicated. I mean, with everything going on plus using teamwork to get through levels, it may be a bit overly challenging but that's nothing really to complain about. My main issue is that the game may be to much scenery and not enough free roaming to use portals where ever you'd like to go through. But, that's just me. Great review overall Yahtzee.

So the only problem with portal 2 is... portal 1?

I was a bit confused by this review,although it was a thorough one.

Portal 1 was quick and fun and Portal 2 seemed a bit too stretched out with the gaps between tests which were too long.

I mean, we all kind of knew that Portal 2 would never have the same impact as Portal, it's beyond impossible. As for Portal being great because it was short, i never understood that argument. To me, Portal was just a really good game, its length didn't figure in my fondness of it. Portal 2 was really just more puzzles in the vein of the first game with some new mechanics. There is no quantity/quality here: It always had quality, so when you just make more of it you get a 8-hour game with fun gameplay as opposed to a 3-hour game with fun gameplay. The sequel wins by simple math, really, unless you adopt some sort of arcane Minimalist approach.
.
P.S. How are Wheatley and Cave Johnson 'pie-to-the-face' funny?

By thick humor he means Wheatley, dammit: a stand up comedian schtick with no resemblance to what they had in P1. Cave Johnson is what kept the game afloat with like 8 speeches during the entire middle half. Even Glados is reduced to a shadow of its former self: remember all the scientific research satire ("you have beaten the odds in the face of extreme pessimism!")? All gone, now it's just her bitching around.

I only have one major problem with the sequel: There is nowhere to stop and fool around. Most of the time the ceilings are broken, and the walls can't sustain portals. I miss being able to stop the puzzle and put myself into an infinite loop. Portal 2 seems to restrict the usage of its core gameplay element.

Srdjan Tanaskovic:
Here is a good complain about the first Portal

To damn easy

Here's another one.

Worst aesthetic design in almost any game I've ever seen in my life. Grey panels don't take effort to make.

You didn't mention the story, which is told in between puzzles. The characters really become memorable, such as Cave Johnson with his attitude and the villain(s) having remorse.

I dissagree...

Portal 2 has quite a few things that are meme worthy

The best of which:

Space core.

Dad, are you space?

I have to disagree the co-op maps was to damn easy, I was expecting it to start out on the same levels that the last puzzles had and then work itself up from there, not simple puzzles up to the last 3 or 4. Hope the DLC brings something much much harder ._.

Still haven't played Portal 2 and I still really want to. Everything I've learned about it though does point to the expected conclusion of "yes, its different from portal 1. Shame."

And it is a shame, really, because Portal 1 was such a runaway hit, and when something is that awesome we always wish there was more of it. The solution to the problem, of course, isn't to make a sequel: its to go back in time and make the original bigger and longer so that there is more space for the quintessence of awesome to permeate its entire being and thus further enrich our lives with the god juice that was the original Portal 1.

Thats not to say Portal 2 was always destined to be a bad game, just that it was, is, and always will be DIFFERENT from Portal 1. It is its own, separate game that, while rooted in conventions and mechanics of its predecessor, is still a separate animal entirely. Its like growing up with (in your opinion) the best damn dog on the face of the planet, and enjoying that dog so immensely that you jack its sperm/eggs and grow a new best dog on earth to replace the old one. The problem is that this new best dog on earth is going to grow up differently and will probably have a slightly deeper bark and maybe wag his tail a little more vertically than horizontally and instead of standing on his back legs with ease he is better at jumping and catching things. Its just a different animal from Portal 1, and because Portal 1 was such a fantastic animal its tough having to compare something that is at once derivative of its awesome but still separate from it.

I don't know how clear that all was. I still intend to play Portal 2 as soon as I can. I still plan to enjoy it, and I still expect to grow very, VERY tired of Wheatley before I finish.

Scrumpmonkey:
So the only problem with portal 2 is... portal 1?

Yeah, I've seen that crop up in a couple of different reviews. I liked the video, don't get me wrong, but I mean if you compare Portal 2 to most anything that came out in the last year it would stand up really well. But no, we are comparing it to Portal 1 which has the distinct advantage of having come first and taken everyone by surprise.

But the Zero Punctuation was what it had to be. The Yahtz couldn't spend 5 minutes drooling all over the game and the best way to tear it down is to compare it to everyones warm and fuzzy memories of the original.

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