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Portal!

The original game that originally released with the Orange Box has come to the party alone this time, but will it hold its value without its buddies around?

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What Tie-In? The story of Portal...well there's really not a story to think of. It takes place in the Half-Life universe, and you are a test subject with a gun that can shoot portals (hence the name) in walls. As you can probably see, Portal's "story" is nothing but a very weak intro to what you are supposed to be doing.

After completing a few starter levels that introduce you to the physics of Portal, you will be given the all-powerful gun that allows you to shoot portals almost anywhere.

That Needs Touch-Up Paint: I will be the first to say that yes Portal is totally original and very innovative, but sadly the execution of the game is not perfect. The ways that Portal is innovative and original in are the challenges that you have to face, and the unique concept of the game.

In the various missions that you will complete, you will be dropped off at one side of the room, and then given a destination to "port" to on the other side. Early missions are as simple as these, but later missions will involve energy balls, weighted cubes, floor switches, and moving platforms among others.

These obstacles could've been more enjoyable had the game not been so crushingly difficult. In the later chambers (levels) you will be punished ruthlessly for any mistake that you make.

Another very interesting thing about Portal is the amazing amount of time you will spend simply screwing around. If you shoot a portal on the roof above you, and one below your feet, will you endlessly fall? What if you shot two portals side by side, would you pop in and out of each one like a sick game of whack-a-mole?

You will find yourself endlessly playing around with the incredibly realistic physics all day, sometimes forgetting about the actual games missions.

The biggest fault with Portal is the fact that the game can get boring, and fast. You will complete the levels necessary to acquire the portal gun, but after that (this all depends on your favorite genre) you might get a little bored.

Rent vs. Buy: I kind of liked Portal and its weird originality, but it just doesn't do enough to get my full blessing. I liked the portal gun and the endless experiments that are conducted with it, but the fact that the game can be finished in about five hours is a letdown. To add to the disappointment, the ruthless difficulty is way to hard for anyone that's new to puzzle games, and will destroy many.

If the game was cheaper, I would probably get it, but at the price it's at now, its just too short and has too many flaws to be considered. If you can find this at a garage sale in the "$15 MUST GO" bin, go to town, but otherwise back off until the price drops.

Don't get me wrong though, Portal has alot of things going for it, plus the sunning graphics and textures don't hurt either.

Report Card

I kind of liked Portal and its weird originality, but it just doesn't do enough to get my full blessing. I liked the portal gun and the endless experiments that are conducted with it, but the fact that the game can be finished in about five hours is a letdown. To add to the disappointment, the ruthless difficulty is way to hard for anyone that's new to puzzle games, and will destroy many (Krakrabbit.com)

C+


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