Portal 2 Catch-All

Woo...
Single player done. Sleep now.

I love how they nailed the challenge in the game just like the first one. I guess that's that what their stringent playtesting results in. The puzzles are complicated enough that it throws you for a loop at first, but they are easy enough that you're never standing around for so long that you get frustrated or bored, so then you have the momentum to finish it and then see what's in the next elevator and start losing track of time.

I feel like ever since halfway into Chapter 2, my internal monologue for every section has played out the exact same way:

"Are you kidding me? I have no clue where to even begin. This room is insane"
"Wait a second..."
"Nope, I can't possibly pull that off either. How in the hell am I going to solve this thing?"
"Wait a second..."
"Okay, never mind, I got this. This is actually easy and I'm a freaking genius."

I dont think I ever seen anything like this before:
IMAGE(http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg293/tempestblayze/2011-04-19_00003.jpg)

If someone can give me an invite to the Steam group, I'd appreciate it.

http://goo.gl/b2h4e

TempestBlayze wrote:

I dont think I ever seen anything like this before:
IMAGE(http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg293/tempestblayze/2011-04-19_00003.jpg)

Obviously faked. Fedora never plays minecraft anymore. He just hangs out in the chat room.

i38warhawk wrote:

However, I can't shake the feeling that it was easier. It's not that the puzzles were too easy, but I never felt like I was moving quickly or required to switch rapidly between portals. It's something that I remember having to do frequently in Portal.

Another anecdote in this regard. I have a coworker that I showed Portal when it came out, who doesn't normally game. He got it, and loved it all the way up to one of those twitch levels that he couldn't get past, and gave up on it. "I really loved the puzzles, but I hate it when I know what I need to do to finish a level, but it relies on me doing it over and over again to get the timing just right to finish it."

As someone who loves games but doesn't necessarily have a lot of spare time to play them, I know the feeling; my twitch reactions are not as well-honed as folks who play TF2 for 4 hours a day.

DanB wrote:

Also when you are flying towards a surface (or floor) and place a portal ahead of you the game locks your path through the portal you just placed. I don't recall that being the case in the first game and it makes the precision required for some things much easier to achieve. I assume it's there to make it easier to play on the consoles.

Nope, definitely isn't the case in the first game, I've missed portals that I've placed plenty of times - very frustrating if you've just done a sequence of long dives and you clip the edge of a portal.

Ranger Rick wrote:
i38warhawk wrote:

However, I can't shake the feeling that it was easier. It's not that the puzzles were too easy, but I never felt like I was moving quickly or required to switch rapidly between portals. It's something that I remember having to do frequently in Portal.

Another anecdote in this regard. I have a coworker that I showed Portal when it came out, who doesn't normally game. He got it, and loved it all the way up to one of those twitch levels that he couldn't get past, and gave up on it. "I really loved the puzzles, but I hate it when I know what I need to do to finish a level, but it relies on me doing it over and over again to get the timing just right to finish it."

Yeah I thought it was largely easier to execute things in 2, less precision portal placement while flying through the air at high speed. I did think while playing last night that they would be just the sort of games my Mum would love (the humour, the puzzles) and my next thought was that she would definitely be able to cope with the Portal 2 yet some of the later test chambers in the first one would have utterly defeated her.

Also when you are flying towards a surface (or floor) and place a portal ahead of you the game locks your path/trajectory through the portal you just placed. I don't recall that being the case in the first game and it makes the precision required for some things much easier to achieve. I assume it's there to make it easier to play on the consoles.

Holy cr*p this is an amazing game, and Source looks totally amazing. Finished the single player. By the end I was pretty bored of Stephen Merchant though, the dialogue is great but it just sounds like 'Stephan Merchant in a sound booth is in my game' and not that he's playing a character other than himself. Doesn't help that there is no roboty-post-production applied to his voice as per GladOS and that is voice his very, very characteristic. I did find in general that the dialogue is trying a bit too hard to be all Portal-y but perhaps that's just because there is so much more dialogue in this one rather than any actual change in the writing style, bit of a non-issue anyway.

Needs more test chambers, or rather some of the later huge spaces feel a little directionless whereas the test chambers as a rule feel more focussed and puzzley and less like you're simply traversing some space. And what's with all the connecting corridors between things? I get that we're in a huge space and that the rooms are created/moved about in an adhoc way, you don't have to keep showing me that over and over and over. And it's not like that time is being used to load in the upcoming bits.

One ridiculously minor niggle is that those portal overlays that show you where the portals are when you don't have line of sight are off putting, although I found you can switch them off by opening the dev console and setting portal_draw_ghosting to 0.

Spoiler:

I saw that swapped AI twist coming a mile away

I think it comes down to deciding where the challenge is in Portal. Is it in getting the right positioning while falling through your second chain-fling, or deciphering the environment and solving the puzzles? I guess this is still part of the problem of giving it a first person perspective, does that bring shooter ideas into the mind of those that play it, that fast aiming should be part of the challenge.

TempestBlayze wrote:

I dont think I ever seen anything like this before:

I was saying the same thing last night. I was playing co-op with a friend and kept seeing "X is playing Portal 2", "Y invites you to play Portal 2" pop up all over the shop.

Scratched wrote:

I think it comes down to deciding where the challenge is in Portal. Is it in getting the right positioning while falling through your second chain-fling, or deciphering the environment and solving the puzzles? I guess this is still part of the problem of giving it a first person perspective, does that bring shooter ideas into the mind of those that play it, that fast aiming should be part of the challenge.

Yeah totally, the focus here has been pushed a little more towards puzzle game and away from action. Not to it's detriment just interesting to note.

360 people - anyone want to help me get my Professor Portal achievement?

I actually prefer the heavier lean on puzzles than on twitch. It certainly makes the game more accessible overall, and more fun for me to tell the truth. I don't mind twitchiness in games mind you, but in Portal it felt out of place at times. I think that feeling of knowing how to do it but not having the reflexes to do it can really turn people off, especially when it comes to a puzzle game.

I thought it wasn't "puzzlely" enough. I would've liked more intricate puzzles because I felt like most of them were too straight forward, I didn't get the satisfaction of figuring something out very often. I think they could've done a lot more with the new mechanics, it felt like they just taught you one or two specific uses for each one. In the first game they were more into forcing you to combine concepts, but here it felt like they just ditched the old ones and introduced new concepts each time. As a puzzle game it was a bit lacking for me =/

Haven't done the co-op yet though.

Spoiler:

Was the stuff they showed at E3 co-op levels? Because I didn't see those in the game, but they didn't demo them as co-op levels so I'm confused

DanB wrote:

By the end I was pretty bored of Stephen Merchant though, the dialogue is great but it just sounds like 'Stephan Merchant in a sound booth is in my game' and not that he's playing a character other than himself. Doesn't help that there is no roboty-post-production applied to his voice as per GladOS and that is voice his very, very characteristic. I did find in general that the dialogue is trying a bit too hard to be all Portal-y but perhaps that's just because there is so much more dialogue in this one rather than any actual change in the writing style, bit of a non-issue anyway.

Yeah, I wish they'd filtered his voice in some way. When someone talks just like a human it's hard to think of them as a robot or computer, at least for me. Another problem is that he just won't shut up, so if you don't like him he gets very annoying hehe.

Also, just looked at metacritic and it's at 95. I knew that before even typing in the URL, but I mean, it's good but I don't think it's that good. Everyone here seems to love the game, but I always get a bit annoyed at reviews when you know they're all going to praise the game because it's hyped to damn much. Part of it is of course Valve making great games, but I think part of it is the hype as well. I mean, it's kind of like Portal 1 but longer, I just don't see it being the game you remember ten years from now, but maybe everyone will disagree with me.

Just finished and agree, pretty awesome overall. What I think is great about a game is when it is directing you without even trying to.

Spoiler:

Last battle, the stalemate button blows up and you start to get up. The roof caves and you see the moon. Why would we even think that the portal would shoot all the way up there yet we shoot anyway for the heck of it and the story progresses. Is there anyone who DIDN'T attempt to shoot at the moon?

kyrieee wrote:

I thought it wasn't "puzzlely" enough. I would've liked more intricate puzzles because I felt like most of them were too straight forward, I didn't get the satisfaction of figuring something out very often. I think they could've done a lot more with the new mechanics, it felt like they just taught you one or two specific uses for each one. In the first game they were more into forcing you to combine concepts, but here it felt like they just ditched the old ones and introduced new concepts each time. As a puzzle game it was a bit lacking for me =/

Haven't done the co-op yet though.

I pretty much felt that. It's just not a very hard puzzle game. I can only think of a couple of occasion where I couldn't instantly see the solution. Plus with so much extra dialogue in this one it kind of holds your hand a bit about what to do next. The difficulty just sort of levels out at not very hard pretty early on and, as you say, you get new mechanics rather than more complex puzzles instead.

karmajay wrote:

Just finished and agree, pretty awesome overall. What I think is great about a game is when it is directing you without even trying to.

Spoiler:

Last battle, the stalemate button blows up and you start to get up. The roof caves and you see the moon. Why would we even think that the portal would shoot all the way up there yet we shoot anyway for the heck of it and the story progresses. Is there anyone who DIDN'T attempt to shoot at the moon?

Spoiler:

Except for the long chunk of Cave Johnson's dialogue about the white gel being made from moon rock

karmajay wrote:

Just finished and agree, pretty awesome overall. What I think is great about a game is when it is directing you without even trying to.

Spoiler:

Last battle, the stalemate button blows up and you start to get up. The roof caves and you see the moon. Why would we even think that the portal would shoot all the way up there yet we shoot anyway for the heck of it and the story progresses. Is there anyone who DIDN'T attempt to shoot at the moon?

Spoiler:

Well, the Cave Johnson recording earlier in the game did mention that the White Gel was made of Moon materials (I don't remember the exact quote, but it's there).

One thing I like is that even with the expanded cast and all the talking, P2 still has the feeling of solitude. Once they set you up for a puzzle, they leave you alone to think about it.

Did not see chapter 6 coming at all.

DanB wrote:
karmajay wrote:

Just finished and agree, pretty awesome overall. What I think is great about a game is when it is directing you without even trying to.

Spoiler:

Last battle, the stalemate button blows up and you start to get up. The roof caves and you see the moon. Why would we even think that the portal would shoot all the way up there yet we shoot anyway for the heck of it and the story progresses. Is there anyone who DIDN'T attempt to shoot at the moon?

Spoiler:

Except for the long chunk of Cave Johnson's dialogue about the white gel being made from moon rock

Spoiler:

so, you guys actually remembered that in the brief second you saw the moon??

kyrieee wrote:

Also, just looked at metacritic and it's at 95. I knew that before even typing in the URL, but I mean, it's good but I don't think it's that good. Everyone here seems to love the game, but I always get a bit annoyed at reviews when you know they're all going to praise the game because it's hyped to damn much. Part of it is of course Valve making great games, but I think part of it is the hype as well. I mean, it's kind of like Portal 1 but longer, I just don't see it being the game you remember ten years from now, but maybe everyone will disagree with me.

I think 90-95% is a pretty fair score. If people look back in 10 years I suspect that they would most likely be taken into consideration together, sure the first one came out of nowhere and made a huge impact but together they tell a really nice complete tale.

karmajay wrote:
DanB wrote:
karmajay wrote:

Just finished and agree, pretty awesome overall. What I think is great about a game is when it is directing you without even trying to.

Spoiler:

Last battle, the stalemate button blows up and you start to get up. The roof caves and you see the moon. Why would we even think that the portal would shoot all the way up there yet we shoot anyway for the heck of it and the story progresses. Is there anyone who DIDN'T attempt to shoot at the moon?

Spoiler:

Except for the long chunk of Cave Johnson's dialogue about the white gel being made from moon rock

Spoiler:

so, you guys actually remembered that in the brief second you saw the moon??

Spoiler:

I'll admit my train of thought did go "portal on moon... oh yeah I remember" rather than the other way around, but it was at least foreshadowed

TempestBlayze wrote:

I dont think I ever seen anything like this before: [friends list]

But, but....I thought we were friends.

karmajay wrote:
Spoiler:

so, you guys actually remembered that in the brief second you saw the moon??

I did afterwards, but I did feel that the game specifically compelled me to do so without me having to flip back through long-term memory to find the quote. I agree with you, it forced your hand in an ever-so-subtle way.

I do think that Stephen Marchant was a little too much. Every other voice in the game was modulated. Not that it means his has to be too, but they need to find a way to integrate it into the experience a bit more; it felt a little jarring to me.

And yeah, obvious plot twist was obvious. Still funny, though.

What did everyone think of Act II? I'm of two minds on it.

Spoiler:

Although I thought it was very cool to see an "Aperture through the years" sort of thing (even with altered logos on the loading screen) and get some canon, I felt that it was a bit too open-ended. Not in the sense that the puzzles were too obtuse, just that the rooms themselves were so huge and industrial-bland that it wore on me after a while. Propulsion gel covers a multitude of sins, though. And I loved all the tiny little touches in the lore of that section; I felt that it was far more heavily weighted than the more sterile "current" environment. Every touch, from how their test subjects changed through the years (from olympians and scientists, to "normals", to dunces, to the employees themselves), to all the one-way doors and ways that subjects were kept out of areas, were just brilliant. It really gave you a sense of the twistedness of the place. Did anyone notice that the main elevator you use, right when you've first come through the old testing lobby and are going up above the lake to start with the gels — the elevator only has an Up switch on it; the only Down switch was located on the ground floor with the employees. That's nasty, but added a ton to the place.

And "Know Your Paradoxes": hilarious. :lol:

Oh, Malor, I thought that

Spoiler:

they did sterilize the white gel rooms somewhat, but you were still able to do cool things. In the first room you're really able to play with it (with the small central depression with the pump you have to get out of), I was able to paint the entire room white, just for kicks. And in that same room, where you have to "chase" the paint up the columns, like a series of wall jumps in Mario — that was nifty. I also thought the final puzzle for that area, where you had to get the white gel into the vent and it splatters all over the entire shaft so you can get to the top was a nice touch. Personally, I'm kind of relieved they didn't allow for too much experimentation; if those puzzles were too open-ended they could take way too long to solve.

Speaking of puzzles,

Spoiler:

I didn't seem to have problems where most did (like the three turret room). I did like the sort of "Tennessee Two-Step" solution with the blue gel on that one. The place that irked me more than any other was the huge, huge room (series of rooms?) at the end of Old Aperture, where you have to use the same spot on the ground to jump up twice, solve the puzzle with all three gels dripping straight down, then use the white gel to get all the way up the shaft and to the vault door room. Since this immediately followed the Elevator Shaft room, which was a bit finicky itself, I was totally burned out on the finicky verticality segment in an undefined space part of the game by then. Had those two areas been broken up more I probably wouldn't feel the same way.

Had a lot of fun playing with MrWynd last night. I was on PS3 (waiting for the PC version to download) and I think he was on PC. We really got our co-op on, even though I was clearly the better robot (Atlas).

One thing I will say - definitely unrelated - is that if you aren't sure what to do, don't shoot your portals at your teammate's. They might have an idea, or at least be playing with the right idea, and if you keep evaporating their portals you're effectively stopping them from experimenting. That could in turn might stop them from solving the puzzle.

The co-op mode is really well done. Some of the puzzles you can do solo, sure, and some of them are kind of heavy-handed (like passing a block through a hole in the wall). Others really require you to change how you think. You can do a LOT more with four portals than two, and a lot more with two people than one. Something as simple as passing a block up to your partner on a ledge can change how the game plays.

sheared wrote:

If someone can give me an invite to the Steam group, I'd appreciate it.

http://goo.gl/b2h4e

done

evilseed and I finished co-op last night was fun times. There were a few times we made it harder than it actually was. Now to finish single player and go back through co-op and get the remaining cheevos.

I'd like an invite too, if you wouldn't mind.

LobsterMobster wrote:

I'd like an invite too, if you wouldn't mind.

done

Minarchist wrote:

What did everyone think of Act II? I'm of two minds on it.

Spoiler:

Although I thought it was very cool to see an "Aperture through the years" sort of thing (even with altered logos on the loading screen) and get some canon, I felt that it was a bit too open-ended. Not in the sense that the puzzles were too obtuse, just that the rooms themselves were so huge and industrial-bland that it wore on me after a while. Propulsion gel covers a multitude of sins, though. And I loved all the tiny little touches in the lore of that section; I felt that it was far more heavily weighted than the more sterile "current" environment. Every touch, from how their test subjects changed through the years (from olympians and scientists, to "normals", to dunces, to the employees themselves), to all the one-way doors and ways that subjects were kept out of areas, were just brilliant. It really gave you a sense of the twistedness of the place. Did anyone notice that the main elevator you use, right when you've first come through the old testing lobby and are going up above the lake to start with the gels — the elevator only has an Up switch on it; the only Down switch was located on the ground floor with the employees. That's nasty, but added a ton to the place.

And "Know Your Paradoxes": hilarious. :lol:

Yeah I found that the test chambers often didn't feel like test chambers and were often just big undirected spaces.

Minarchist wrote:
Spoiler:

you had to get the white gel into the vent and it splatters all over the entire shaft so you can get to the top was a nice touch.

Spoiler:

How Freudian