WARNING CONTAINS SPOILERS AND OCCASIONAL BAD LANGUAGE
Ever since it's release in 2007, Portal has been held in high regard by much of the gaming community. Portal does have its haters. Those damn douche bags who think the gaming industry should have no originality and that we should just play the same clichéd bullshit over and over again, but I digress. I personally think Portal is a cult classic and I'm going to examine (in a half-arsed manner) what made it great and why it's better than 90% of the other crap we see these day.
That faithful day someone realised that guns can be used for other things than just firing bullets and killing the poor bastard stood at the other end of them was on to something big! The magnitude of 'witch' (cheap pun lol) is comparative to the day Hideki Kamiya jumped out of bed screaming about his new video game idea. The transcript of said screaming can be seen below:
Hideki Kamiya: 'GUYS! GUYS! GUUUUUUUYYYS!'
The Guys: 'What?'
Hideki Kamiya: 'I JUST GOT THIS AMAZING IDEA!'
The Guys: 'So what is it?'
Hideki Kamiya: 'Hold on to your socks, or cocks in this case....'
The Guys: 'Spit it out!'
Hideki Kamiya: 'Devil May Cry.....with a woman, but not just any woman. A sexy female lead with a dominatrix attitude A..An.And..'
The Guys: 'Dude have you got a boner?'
Hideki Kamiya:' Errmm...No that's just....I'm going to my room to write this down it may seem premature, but..I mean...err..It's not often I cum up with......No I mean....Fuck it I'm gonna go crack one off!'
I seem to have inadvertently write the basics of an amateur doujin starring not Bayonetta, but Hideki Kamiya, sorry about that monumental mind fuck!
After creating a ludicrous example showing the very opposite of originality/creativity I think I've strayed from the point. Portal's originality stems much deeper than just the basic concept of a gun which fires portals. The combination of genres at work in the game and how well they work is astounding. Shooters and puzzle games operate at completely opposite ends of the spectrum, be it from their target market to the very fundamentals which make up their game-play. The two genres are nothing alike, but work like peanut butter and jelly in perfect harmony.
I'll never forget companion cube that brave little guy. I know it was just a geometric 3D shape with six faces, but it had a big heart. Companion cube never complained, never threatened to stab me and in fact never spoke it just got the job done. I wish women were like that, but hell I guess you can't have everything.
Companion cube wasn't the only amazing character in portal of course Glados the ever-witty antagonist was good too! Here are a few examples of Glados-isms:
'Momentum, a function of mass and velocity, is conserved between portals. In layman's terms, speedy thing goes in, speedy thing comes out'
'Remember, the Aperture Science bring your daughter to work day is the perfect time to have her tested.'
'While it has been a faithful companion, your Companion Cube cannot accompany you through the rest of the test. If it could talk - and the Enrichment Center takes this opportunity to remind you that it cannot - it would tell you to go on without it, because it would rather die in a fire than become a burden to you'
Glados isn't just funny she can sing too!
If Portal doesn't satisfy you from a character perspective I honestly don't know what will?
A lot of gamers say portal was too short and left them feeling unfulfilled and craving more, but isn't that the point? How many times have you set out on an epic '50-90 hour' journey just to discover after 20 hours it's an overly long, monotonous piece shit that in recent years has come to be known as Final Fantasy. Portal came and went with such grace leaving you with only bonus maps and challenges to fill the passage of time until the sequel is finally released.
Real rewards (lies!)
As gamers we've grown tired of over dramatic shitty rewards like those damn princesses, or an acknowledgement that we saved the whole fucking universe, but what do you want a parade? In portal we are offered the incentive of a delicious and moist cake to get our fat arse through the levels only to have our dreams dashed as the cake was in fact a lie! Thousands of fat kids the world over burst in to tears on this discovery, not only for the cake (mainly), but because that witty loveable robot was a fraud. It still brings tears to my eyes now.
No hand holding
Portal cuts out the basic tutorial you see in the beginning of practically every modern game. In an ever increasing casual market this complementary kick to the balls for people who think the wii is the best console and that any game with Mario in the title is automatically good delights my senses. Now though I'm going to make like portal and stop lecturing you. Bye!
PS: I'm new this is my first blog post, so hi!
PPS: I like cake.
PPPS: Especially chocolate cake
Portal is currently free
Final Thought PS:
I'll try harder next time I promise! read