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Nitpicking on Portal: some frustrations in an otherwise brilliant game


Again, this relates to the utterly inconceivable "Aperture Science" Achievement, that involves earning gold medals on every challenge.

It's just not feasible with a console controller.

Now, again, don't misunderstand me. I've always been a proponent of the dual analog setup. I am much more proficient with two joysticks than a mouse and keyboard, so long as I'm facing opponents who are also playing with two joysticks. The problem with this Achievement is that it was play tested by people using a PC control scheme, and the scores to beat were merely transferred over to the 360 and PS3.

And it works for some of them. For instance, all of the "least portal" challenges can still be done with a dual analog controller, as they are more about thinking and conserving your resources. Indeed, one of my favorite experiences in Portal was playing through the sentry gun level without using any portals (until the very end). But when it comes to the "least steps" and "least time" challenges, I would posit that some of them literally cannot be accomplished without a mouse.

Take a look at this video, for example. It's the level with the Weighted Companion Cube (<3), and the guy jumps from the second platform to the end without raising the third platform up. I have attempted this maneuver on my 360, and I have fallen FAR short of the goal.

It's a bit ironic, I suppose. I love Portal, and I love Achievements, but I don't love the Achievements in Portal. For the most part, they don't add any enjoyment to the game, and in some cases they actually take away from it. And it makes me sad, because I will eventually have every Achievement in the Orange Box, EXCEPT for that damn "Aperture Science" one.
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About Darren Nakamuraone of us since 2:29 AM on 11.06.2006

Darren is a scientist during the day. He has been a Destructoid community member since 2006, joining the front page as a contributor in 2011.

While he enjoys shooters, RPGs, platformers, strategy, and rhythm games, he takes particular interest in independent games. He produced the Zero Cool Podcast for about four years, and he plays board games quite a bit when he can find willing companions.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Darren Nakamura knows several people in the video game industry, most of whom are Destructoid alumni. These include:

Anthony Burch, former writer for Gearbox Software
Ashly Burch, notable voice actor
Nick Chester, publicist for Harmonix Music Systems
Chad Concelmo, writer for Golin Harris
Aaron Linde, writer for Gearbox Software
Jayson Napolitano, publicist for Scarlet Moon Productions
Brad Nicholson, former publicist for Uber Entertainment
Alex Ryan, publicist for Kalypso Media
Jim Sterling, notable voice actor

Darren backs a lot of Kickstarter campaigns! If you want to see what he has backed, you can go here. If he ever reviews a game that he backed, that will be explicitly disclosed in the review.

Darren invested in Psychonauts 2 on Fig.
Xbox LIVE:Dexter345
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