Electron Dance
10May/11Off

402 on Portal 2

Imagine yourself lost in a dense forest, each tree unique yet the same. Now imagine every tree is a Portal 2 review. That forest is the internet and I have a chainsaw.

Is there any point writing about Portal 2 for Electron Dance? Practically everything that could be written about it already has. There's an infinite number of monkeys out there, you know who you are. Both Brainy Gamer (shhhpoilers) and RPS revealed tinges of disappointment. Kirk Hamilton felt Valve loved him, loved him personally. Most sites rave about the brilliance of Portal 2.

My Alliance of Awesome neighbours have shared some opinions already. Armand at BnB thought it was excellent. Steerpike of Tap-Repeatedly got angry with the game, but then got angry with himself. Then we all got angry with Steerpike, simply because we love the hating.

Should I ask more social questions of the experience? What does Portal 2 mean in popular culture? Are people singing the new Portal 2 song as much as "Still Alive"? Do we have a replacement meme for "the cake is a lie"? Lemons?

Is it okay to abuse the Steam connection to retcon the ending of the original Portal? Do we think the version of Portal 2 with no Chell, no portals, no GLaDOS is a game we still want to see? Have I had it up to here with graffiti in games? If so, do I have any friends who agree? Is the ending too long? Are Valve getting too safe with their game-making? What the Hell is all this stuff about Prometheus?

Is Portal 2 less endearing, being a big-shot commercial endeavour rather than the small garage experiment that was Portal? Do people want a Portal 3? Can we have Ellen McLain playing a different video game character other than GLaDOS? If you're not being positive about Portal 2, are you being pessimistic just to stand out? With so much hype, is it possible not to be disappointed?

I rattled my brain trying to come up with a different angle but gave up. Electron Dance needed fresh blood, someone else to offer cutting edge Portal 2 insight.

I recruited that fresh blood and now I can offer the definitive review of Portal 2. You'll find this to be an extremely frank, no-holds-barred discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of Valve's latest. No spoilers but be warned - you may decide not to purchase the game after listening to this video.

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Comments (12) Trackbacks (2)
  1. By far the best review I’ve come across.

    Tell Kai he won the internet.

  2. Well done, Joel. I’m about as cynical as they come, but this bit has made me smile. = )

    Seriously, this needs to be an on going series.

  3. Thanks Gregg, Jordan. I think this was the best statement I could make on the game.

  4. Hah hah, loved the review HM! We need more of these.

    I also hope we don’t have any “the cake is a lie” kind of memes or anything. That stuff got old real quick.

    The only thing from the original that they will never top is the Still Alive song. I’m sorry, but the new song was forgotten within minutes. Still Alive will remain alive… forever!

  5. I actually quite like the new song. Whether it’s as good as the first one is debatable but… CURSE YOU I WILL NOT BE DRAWN ON MY PORTAL 2 THOUGHTS.

  6. Haha, most excellent.

    It is difficult to think of anything to say about Portal 2, or indeed any of the latest blockbuster games. Not that that invariably prevents me from trying…

  7. That video was excellent. And the cycle of anger at Steerpike pretty much matched what happened exactly.
    Hey, how come there’s no “register” button on this site? I want to have my avatar here like you guys. Same with BnB. I WANT AN IDENTITY!

  8. @ShaunCG: Well, you did put out that experiments in co-op science article which, I must say, was a resounding success at proving that Portal 2 co-op is best played with friends. At the very least, people who speak.

    @Steerpike: For an avatar, you can go to Gravatar and set up an image for your e-mail address. Every WordPress blog will look up the icon against your address. You can go a stage further, filling in details on your main global WordPress.com profile (if you run WordPress Stats/Akismet I’m pretty sure you have one), which will then show up in the floaty “hovercards”.

  9. Dude the gravatar thing is probably one of the worst features ever conceived. I can’t stand it and I think most people don’t know how to change it.

  10. Jordan – why is it the worst feature ever? I mean, in an age of chargeable customisation DLC – what’s the evil here? (Apart from the possible plans of Automattic plans to exert chargeable control over the blogspace, but that’s a whole different story.)

  11. Well, I was thinking about buying Portal 2 but after that escoriating assessment I have decided against it. Fortunately I have Mindjack, Bladestorm: The Hundred Years War and Army of Two: The 40th Day to keep me entertained until something good comes out.

  12. Thank God for that, BC. It seems I’ve changed other people’s lives today.