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Monday, June 30, 2014

Game Review:Portal

Premise:A human test subject solves puzzles for "science."

Cast:Ellen McLain as GLaDOS and the turrets

Availabe On:Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC

ESRB Rating:T

Genres:First-person shooter, puzzle

Notes:Boxart taken from Portal Wiki and belong to Valve.

Pros:Funny dialogue. Entertaining gameplay. Good replay value. The advanced maps. Autosave.

Cons:Very short. Occasional glitches. Lack of a zoom button.

You groggily get out of a sleeping chamber to hear a computer talking to you. You're in Aperture Science doing tests for science (or so they tell you).

Listening to the computer is one of the better parts of the game. Some of it's funny, some of it's creepy, all of it is kind of weird. Another fun bit is playing around with the portals and figuring out how they work. And since I'm not that creative about puzzle solutions, I often end up looking them up on the internet. Ironically, I figured out the "broken" test chamber pretty fast.

One issue is the short length. How short is it? If you work fast and know the solutions, you can finish it in about 2 hours or so. How much of a problem this is will vary from player to player, but you probably won't want to pay $60 bucks for it. You can buy a bundle called The Orange Box that comes with this game as well as Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress 2.

After you've beaten the main game, you can play challenge maps. These are the same test chambers as before, except you have a limit on time/portals/steps. The other thing which I like better is the advanced maps. They are the game on hard. They take some time and persistence, but they're kind of fun.

It has glitched on me a few times. There's nothing that will destroy the game, but you may lose progress on occasion because you needed to reload from where you last saved. Thankfully, the game has autosave.

Overall, I would recommend this game.

Sex:In one hidden area, you'll find a calendar called The Girls of Aperture Science. The woman you see is wearing shorts and a bikini top with a picture of a companion cube covering her face.

Violence:Perils include moving platforms, high energy pellets, toxic liquids, and robotic turrets. If the last one gets you, a spray of blood appears on the wall. If you catch on a moving platform wrong, you can get snapped in half (at least that's what it sounds like). You're threatened with fire and neurotoxin. During some sections, you have to throw things into a fire pit. Most of them scream. The computer tells you a taste of blood is not a part of the test and the emancipation grills may destroy your dental work, if not your teeth themselves.

Drugs & Alcohol:You're told if you pass out, they'll send someone to wake you with adrenaline and peptic salve.

Toilet Humor:The first part of the game includes a toilet. When you flush it, it says "Your business is appreciated." You also pick up an object and get sarcastically told it's probably a raw sewage container, so you should rub your face all over it.

Language:One "h*ll".

Spiritual:Someone is warned android hell is a real place they'll be sent if they show defiance.

So what were your thoughts? Does it live up to its reputation? Or is the hype a lie?

© 2014 by M.R.R.

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