Friday, November 23, 2007

On the cake, and what a lie it is

Portal has been out for a while now, so if you haven't played it yet, you must not be a gamer.

And that's fine. But this post isn't for you, then.

If you don't have Portal (and why don't you?), you can always play Narbacular Drop for free.

Narbacular Drop was a Digipen project, and is the game Portal is based on. You can download it, as well as a number of add-on maps, for free at the Nuclear Monkey Software site. Made by the same developers, the gameplay is very very similar (but not identical) to Portal.

Of course, there is no Weighted Companion Cube, so you won't understand the poignancy of what Jesus would do for cake.

And although you may not realize it, that brings us to Portal's strongest selling point: it's pitch-black humor. People that haven't played it can't understand it, and people who have can't explain it, so I won't even try.

Portal is short. I played it all the way through twice, the first time took about three hours, and the second, about one and a half. The brevity is a good thing, because you really should play it through in a single sitting. It's like a movie. Also like a movie, there's a commentary option you can listen to. There will probably be a lot of details you miss the first time around, so while you're running around the second time catching up, you might as well get the inside scoop.

In fact, after the first play-through, I considered Portal a good, but not great, game. After the second.... well, now I have Weighted Companion Cube wallpaper on my desktop. Part of the reason I missed so much the first time was because I played in low res, and didn't realize how much graffiti on the walls I was missing until nearly the end. Thankfully the PUB computers (which have Portal on them, gratis) aren't as lame as my three year old laptop.

Also, as a bonus, the song played at the end during the credits is written (but not performed by) the excellent Jonathan Coulton. It's almost worth it just for that. The song can be found online, but I recommend not looking for it if you haven't played Portal yet, because it's spoilerific.

Finally, and because he can say it so much better than I, I'll leave you with the previously mentioned Yahtzee's review of The Orange Box (Portal review at the end).


No comments:

Post a Comment