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Portal 2 discussion here. You monster.

Posted: Fri, 15th Apr 2011, 5:22pm

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alienux

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Rating: +1

MOD EDIT: Have updated the topic subject so we can put all Portal 2-related chat here.

I played the first Portal game on the PC and loved every minute. Since I'm a mouse/kybd player and I don't care for console controllers with first person games, I was planning on purchasing and playing Portal 2 on PC as well, but after seeing this article, I'm planning on buying the PS3 version. Mainly because the PS3 version will integrate with Steam and will come with a free copy of the PC or Mac version of Portal 2. I'll still play it on PC, but for $10 more, I can have both versions for the times I might feel like playing on the PS3, too.

Here's the article, which also has developer answers to a list of user generated questions for anyone who's interested:

Portal 2: Pretty Much Every PS3 Question Answered

Portal was an excellent game and I'm really looking forward to Portal 2.

-insert obligatory cake comment here-
Posted: Fri, 15th Apr 2011, 7:19pm

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Aculag

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That's pretty cool. Is this the first time that there has been cross-platform co-op like that? I've never heard of being able to play on a console with people playing on PC. Intriguing.
Posted: Sat, 16th Apr 2011, 2:54pm

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alienux

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Back when Quake 3 was released, there was talk of doing Playstation/PC cross-platform gaming, but it never happened. And I've heard other talk before of trying to do cross-platform co-op between consoles and PC/Mac, but this is the first one that I'm aware of actually happening.
Posted: Sun, 17th Apr 2011, 9:15am

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NickF

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Thanks for posting that, it was an interesting read, and you singlehandedly convinced me to get the PS3 version.
Posted: Mon, 18th Apr 2011, 4:49pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Games have had shared multiplayer between PC and X360 before - Shadowrun being one example.

Personally, I don't see the point. unsure
Posted: Tue, 19th Apr 2011, 8:35am

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Simon K Jones

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Portal 2 is now out, so what do people think? I've only played an hour so far, but it's hugely impressive stuff. Same style and feel and nifty puzzles, but with noticeably higher production values.

Plus Stephen Merchant is remarkably funny.

As for cross-platform coop...how can you not see the point? If I want to play a game cooperatively with friends, I don't want their choice of machine to dictate whether I can do so or not. It should be an irrelevant factor.

It's slightly different in competitive games, of course, whereby the different control mechanisms can introduce bias. But in coop it makes a lot of sense.
Posted: Tue, 19th Apr 2011, 10:22am

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Pooky

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Stephen Merchant's bits are so ridiculously good he's basically funnier than GLaDOS so far! Only about 1h30 in, though, and now heading to an exam after waking up at 4AM to play this smile
Posted: Tue, 19th Apr 2011, 10:24am

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah, I'm surprised how good the Stephen Merchant bits are. Great animation on the machine, and the writing is sublime.

I've been dabbling with various games lately and haven't found any that really interested me. No matter how much I tried to finally get past the first level of Crysis, for example, I just can't be bothered because it's all so dreadfully generic and dull.

Playing Portal 2 just for an hour has reminded me why I love computer games.
Posted: Tue, 19th Apr 2011, 11:26am

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Hybrid-Halo

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Tarn wrote:

As for cross-platform coop...how can you not see the point? If I want to play a game cooperatively with friends, I don't want their choice of machine to dictate whether I can do so or not. It should be an irrelevant factor.

It's slightly different in competitive games, of course, whereby the different control mechanisms can introduce bias. But in coop it makes a lot of sense.
Until both players are using the control methods that the game itself is designed around - it's either going to be a nuisance in the sense that one player is drastically more proficient than the other purely because of the control mechanism. (I'd say you have to be way above casual level to move towards being equal). Or it's actually going to restrict the scope or challenge of the game itself.

That's why. This applies to adversarial games as well as co-operative. Though - cross platform is something I'd like to see succeed.

Anyway, I'm yet to play any Portal 2 so I'm not going to read this thread again until I've finished it. razz
Posted: Tue, 19th Apr 2011, 3:31pm

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Aculag

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Well, I was going to spring for the PS3 version, but when I saw that "Add To Cart" sticker on Steam, I just couldn't refuse. Looking forward to playing it this afternoon.
Posted: Tue, 19th Apr 2011, 5:16pm

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alienux

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I haven't had a chance to pick it up yet, but I'll be stopping somewhere to pick up my copy either tonight or tomorrow afternoon.

Glad to hear the good feedback for this so far as I've been looking forward to it immensely.

Oh, and if you've been dreaming of the day that you can own a Portal shot glass or Track Jacket, that day has arrived...

http://store.valvesoftware.com/index.php?t=2&g=9
Posted: Wed, 20th Apr 2011, 8:16am

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Simon K Jones

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I'm a couple of hours in now and playing around with light bridges. It's fun. smile The subconscious learning curve is every bit as good as in the first game, so far.
Posted: Wed, 20th Apr 2011, 9:51pm

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Terminal Velocity

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I'm probably not going to buy either of the games--I'm not into video games--but all the videos, and all the times I've played Portal, I've been amazed. It's such an intriguing, unique and offbeat game. I've always thought that because of these qualities it's kind of like the Fight Club of video games, just because of how weird and sometimes random it is. I might buy/rent one of them for the fun of it.
Posted: Wed, 20th Apr 2011, 11:09pm

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Aculag

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Just finished it. As expected, it's completely brilliant, start to finish. Some of the later puzzles had me stumped for a while, but the solutions are always so elegant.

I suspect I shouldn't talk too much about the second half of the game, since not everyone has finished it, but let me just say that it's a LOT of fun. It's also surprisingly revealing, but in the usual Valve flavor of doing just enough that the player gets the gist of it.

Also, one of the most satisfying endings of any game. smile

Ps. I am Aculag on Steam. Let's play some co-op!
Posted: Wed, 20th Apr 2011, 11:30pm

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alienux

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I picked up the PS3 version of Portal 2 last night, but didn't get to play it until today. I'm really liking it a lot so far, and it's really fun being back in the Portal atmosphere.

Getting the PC version installed was pretty straightforward. In order to get it installed to my computer, I had to install on the PS3 first, hit SHIFT on the DS3 from within the game, and then log in with my existing Steam account (plus there is an option to create one if you don't already have one). That links the Steam account with the PSN account.

After that, I just had to log into Steam on my computer and enter an unlock code that was inside the PS3 disc case. After that it was just a matter of downloading 10+ GB. Nice and easy.

I was really happy to find that Portal 2 runs pretty well on my laptop (I knew it wouldn't run on my desktop machine). On my laptop, I have at least double or more on all of the system requirements except for video card, in which case I have the Intel HD Graphics card, but not the 2000 version which is recommended. Still, it runs pretty well, in fact much better than I expected.

The one thing I didn't realize is that save progress on PS3 and on PC is not sync'd. While your achievements are sync'd (although trophies have to be unlocked on the PS3), and while co-op between the two is possible, saving a game on the PS3 does not allow you to pick up from that spot on the PC or Mac or vice-versa. I just found an interview and apparently that was a planned feature, but they did not have time to implement it.

Overall, great game so far, and it has met all of my expectations so far.
Posted: Thu, 21st Apr 2011, 12:50pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Finished Portal 2 last night and managed to play a bit of the brilliant co-op with Xcession. I'll add you up, Aculag.

Portal 2 was brilliant throughout. Consistently laugh out loud funny. My one complaint, if I was forced to make one - is that the Source engine is beginning to show its age. Visually, the game looks great though frequent (albeit fast) load screens sometimes punctuate the gameplay at peculiar times.

It's a small complaint given the scope of incredible polish the game has overall.
Posted: Thu, 21st Apr 2011, 12:54pm

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Simon K Jones

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At times in this game, though, the Source engine is showing me stuff far more impressive than I've seen in other, more technically advanced engines. I suppose that's the difference between good technology and good design.

Take the lighting, for example - other games have had similar or better lighting systems, but I've not seen it actually used in such interesting ways. The section where you're escorted through darkened corridors lit only from a single spotlight were stunningly beautiful.

A good contrast is the recent Battlefield 3 video. The technology looks fairly mind-blowing, but the game and visuals were dull and uninspired.

I'd love to see Valve play with a fully modern engine, but if that would mean them sacrificing level design or the actual visual content and imagination, I can happily leave it be for now.
Posted: Thu, 21st Apr 2011, 1:02pm

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Pooky

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I'm guessing since it's been 4 years since Episode 2, the next Half-Life game will be a new engine, so that should be fun!
Posted: Thu, 21st Apr 2011, 1:05pm

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Simon K Jones

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Possibly, although so far Valve have opted for upgrading the current engine, rather than having a whole new one. Portal 2's engine is considerably more sophisticated than episode 2's, for example.

Then again, perhaps the odd delay on HL2:ep3/HL3 has been due to a separate team developing Source2, while the rest of Valve have worked on the Left 4 Dead, TF2 and Portal games in Source1?

I'm expect whatever they have planned will be extremely spiffy. smile
Posted: Thu, 21st Apr 2011, 1:09pm

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Pooky

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Yeah that's what I'm betting on - they haven't even given a peep about it at all in over four years, and surely they must also know that their pimped-out 6 year-old engine is quickly becoming dated (which started becoming apparent precisely when Episode 2 came out, the same year as Crysis).

I mean, Half-Life 2 took 6 years to develop, and that was with the old, massively smaller Valve! Half-Life is their flagship, so if there's any game to debut a new engine, it's Half-Life 3. smile


Anyway I added Aculag too - it's too bad the coop is limited to 2 players razz
Posted: Thu, 21st Apr 2011, 1:11pm

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Simon K Jones

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The main technology limitation I've noticed in Portal 2 are the irritatingly frequent loading screens, which actually seem more frequent than in Portal 1. It's a shame they couldn't have used the elevators and airlocks to hide the level loads without needing to actually cut to a loading screen.
Posted: Thu, 21st Apr 2011, 4:41pm

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Aculag

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I definitely agree that the engine is starting to show its age, but there were times that I found it hard to believe that it was the same engine that HL2 ran on, albeit heavily modified. The bit Tarn mentioned with the spotlight had some of the most amazing lighting I've seen in a game.

Since Portal, I think Source is the only engine that does truly convincing motion blur. Many games, it looks like they're just superimposing a blurred image when you turn. Even Crysis 2, which has amazing graphics, has a really lame motion blur effect. Better animations, though. And similar to what Tarn mentioned about Battlefield 3, Crysis 2 has amazing technology, but the game itself is boring and stale. It reminds me why I stopped playing FPSs. Mind you, I still very much want to play Battlefield 3, just to experience it, but like both Modern Warfare games, I doubt I'll ever even think about it once the campaign is over. Valve consistently makes shooters that are both beautiful, and highly engaging. Portal 2 wouldn't be the same without the wit and warmth, and of course, without Stephen Merchant's hilarious delivery.

I'm hoping that Valve will announce Half Life 3 this year. Now that the door seems to be closed on Portal, and L4D has had its moment, it's time for a good dose of Gordon. smile
Posted: Thu, 21st Apr 2011, 5:40pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Tarn wrote:

The main technology limitation I've noticed in Portal 2 are the irritatingly frequent loading screens, which actually seem more frequent than in Portal 1. It's a shame they couldn't have used the elevators and airlocks to hide the level loads without needing to actually cut to a loading screen.
So exactly what I said, then. razz
Posted: Fri, 22nd Apr 2011, 9:05am

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Staff Only

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Haven't read this thread as I don't want any spoilers.

I got Portal for PS3 on launch day. That way I could play Portal on all my platforms. But Playstation Network has been down since launch! I'm not angry, but I'm completley incredulous that a giant company like Sony needs two or three days to fix The Playstation Network when it's down all over the world. Massive Dynamic would have this sh*t fixed in 30 minutes.

Anyway, the only reason I got Portal 2 at launch price was so that I could play co-op with my brother on his first play-through. But because I need to link my steam account via PSN first, I don't think I can access Portal for PC either. My intention was always to try to play it on PC first, as mouse+keyboard is a giant advantage. Now I guess I'll just do single player offline on PS3, then install on PC as soon as the system is back up to play co-op with my brother. I'll miss out on familiarizing myself with the controls on PC during single player, but they're not that different from on Portal 1, right?

Overall a complete disappointment that Sony can't fix their system right after the launch of the most hyped co-op game on their platform, which happens to be during Easter/spring-break for most people.
Posted: Fri, 22nd Apr 2011, 3:46pm

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Pooky

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Staff Only wrote:

Haven't read this thread as I don't want any spoilers.

I got Portal for PS3 on launch day. That way I could play Portal on all my platforms. But Playstation Network has been down since launch! I'm not angry, but I'm completley incredulous that a giant company like Sony needs two or three days to fix The Playstation Network when it's down all over the world. Massive Dynamic would have this sh*t fixed in 30 minutes.

Anyway, the only reason I got Portal 2 at launch price was so that I could play co-op with my brother on his first play-through. But because I need to link my steam account via PSN first, I don't think I can access Portal for PC either. My intention was always to try to play it on PC first, as mouse+keyboard is a giant advantage. Now I guess I'll just do single player offline on PS3, then install on PC as soon as the system is back up to play co-op with my brother. I'll miss out on familiarizing myself with the controls on PC during single player, but they're not that different from on Portal 1, right?

Overall a complete disappointment that Sony can't fix their system right after the launch of the most hyped co-op game on their platform, which happens to be during Easter/spring-break for most people.
Do not play Coop before finishing Single Player. It is full of spoilers, and fits in the narrative after the events of the game.
Posted: Fri, 22nd Apr 2011, 7:32pm

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Aculag

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Also, use a headset when playing co-op, or Pooky will think you SUCK.
Posted: Sat, 23rd Apr 2011, 1:46am

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alienux

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Staff Only wrote:

I'll miss out on familiarizing myself with the controls on PC during single player, but they're not that different from on Portal 1, right?
I'm only a little over an hour into it, but the controls are just like Portal 1 so far.

Staff Only wrote:

Overall a complete disappointment that Sony can't fix their system right after the launch of the most hyped co-op game on their platform, which happens to be during Easter/spring-break for most people.
I was lucky enough to get my Steam account linked on my PS3 before the PSN outage, so I got my PC copy of Portal 2 downloaded and installed. My biggest frustration with not being able to play online has been not being able to play Killzone 3 Operations.
Posted: Sat, 23rd Apr 2011, 1:41pm

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Finished it.

One of my favorite games ever, right up there with KotOR, Uncharted 2 and Dragon Age: Origins. Mindblowing. The writing was so great, and they followed the usual Valve rule of not resorting to cut-scenes. I would have thought it would be a limitation, but the story they tell is pretty complex.

SPOILERS for single player.

GLaDOS's backstory, Cave Johnson's backstory (and planting the fact that moon-rocks can conduct portals) and the fact that they took us all over the facility: from the ruined part that's been lying around for centuries, to the fixed GLaDOS part ("..looking pretty good."), to the ancient Johnson part, to the catwalks (showing us how it all works with the test-chambers), and all the God of War-style moments where you play on massive moving set pieces was all beyond impressive.


SPOILERS end.


The music and atmosphere were also excellent. I now completely understand why Valve is held in such high regard. Why couldn't they have bought Bioware instead? EA is doing all kinds of damage to my favorite developer. Anyone else caught the last disappointment from Bioware? It's not that I don't think it's cool that one of the main writers for KotOR gets to finish the story, but are you telling me that they have given up on KotOR 3? I know it makes sense considering that The Old Republic has taken over the brand-name, but Revan was possibly Bioware's greatest accomplishment. A Star Wars character people love who wasn't in the Original Trilogy. The Old Republic was a mistake from day one. Bioware could have used all their experience on Mass Effect (same director as KotOR) and made a classic for the ages out of Revan and the Jedi Exile's conclusion in KotOR 3, but instead they teamed up with EA and LucasArts and made what reports are saying is a WoW-clone. And if they ever do make KotOR 3, one of four things will happen:
1. They'll follow the book and we'll know the ending, 2. They'll not follow the book and nerds will complain, 3. They'll not follow the book and nerds will complain because the book version was actually better, 4. The game won't be about Revan at all.
That's sad. Summed up perfectly by this comment: I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of fan boys suddenly cried out for KOTOR 3 and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened. But I digress.

Valve has shown that taking the time and care needed to make something good pays off. I don't have numbers, but I'm pretty sure that EA would have made more money in the end if they gave Dragon Age 2 the development it deserved. I hope Valve aren't too disappointed that their peace offering to Sony with the superior PS3 offering, was marred by this PSN outage. Valve are the main victims in this.
Posted: Sat, 23rd Apr 2011, 8:04pm

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Aculag

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I love that your posts invariably dissolve into discussion about Bioware, no matter what game we're talking about. wink

I've been playing through for a second time with commentary, and was reminded of how incredibly awesome and epic it was the first time you open the huge vault door, and the resulting laugh when it isn't really what it seems. There are some really incredible and unforgettable moments in this game, and listening to the commentary is quite insightful about the developers' process, just like all of their commentaries.

Ps. Apparently the 'Aculag' on Steam that some of you have friended is an impostor. My real name is Jordan, so that should help to find the REAL Aculag.
Posted: Sat, 23rd Apr 2011, 9:44pm

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Aculag wrote:

I love that your posts invariably dissolve into discussion about Bioware, no matter what game we're talking about. wink
Sorry about that. It was on my mind, and I didn't want to resurrect an old thread (it also wasn't worth a new one).

Aculag wrote:

Ps. Apparently the 'Aculag' on Steam that some of you have friended is an impostor. My real name is Jordan, so that should help to find the REAL Aculag.
I'll friend you. smile My name is Bartimaeus I think, and my real name is Robin.
Posted: Fri, 29th Apr 2011, 12:46pm

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Had to bump this for the Valve fans. If there are any TF2 (not Transformers 2 mind you) fans here they will know that the Team Fortress 2 team say; it's all about the hats. That's the whole point of the game supposedly. Hats.

So this blog post is pretty funny:

http://www.teamfortress.com/post.php?id=5325&p=1

smile

Still no word on when PSN will be back. Still no co-op for me. unsure
Posted: Fri, 29th Apr 2011, 8:14pm

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Sorry for triple-posting, but Portal 2 is fast becoming the most critically acclaimed game of all time.

We feel like we've talked enough about Portal 2 the last few months. Luckily, now that it's been released, other people have started talking about it, including the people who pick Time Magazine's Person of the Year, Time Magazine, which gave Portal 2 "our first perfect 10."

It's also being called "one of the best games of this generation" by 1up.com, "one of the best games ever made" by Destructoid, and "as good as entertainment gets" by the Boston Herald. Still not convinced? What if we said all that stuff again, but with a pumping soundtrack?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iFDPEO6vYA


All deserved.
Posted: Sun, 1st May 2011, 2:59am

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alienux

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I took my time to get through it, but I finished the game tonight. Really, really enjoyed this game. They took everything great about the first one and made it even better. And the dialogue is some of the best I've heard in a game since the first Secret of Monkey Island game. Stephen Merchant was absolutely great, but J.K. Simmons had some of my most favorite lines. His delivery, as always, was impeccable.

For those who have finished, there's an interview with Chet Faliszek and Jay Pinkerton that is a pretty good read. It does contain spoilers, so don't read it if you haven't completed the game. It here:

http://www.joystiq.com/2011/04/29/spoilerific-portal-2-interview-on-glados-cave-johnson-valve-cu
Posted: Thu, 26th May 2011, 3:56pm

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http://www.thinkwithportals.com/music.php

Entire first part of the soundtrack free! Valve are feeling generous. biggrin
Posted: Thu, 26th May 2011, 4:34pm

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Aculag

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Staff Only wrote:

Entire first part of the soundtrack free! Valve are feeling generous. biggrin
Technically if you own the game, you've already got the soundtrack, but there are like hundreds of clips and it's a pain to sort through. I'm glad they've done this.
Posted: Thu, 26th May 2011, 4:41pm

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Yes, that's true.

Also if you listen to for example "The Courtesy Call" it is a longer version than the one used in the game.
Posted: Thu, 26th May 2011, 5:01pm

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alienux

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Staff Only wrote:

http://www.thinkwithportals.com/music.php

Entire first part of the soundtrack free! Valve are feeling generous. biggrin
Downloaded this yesterday and have had it in the car on repeat ever since. Aside from the fact that it brings back the feeling of the game, there's some great electronic music.
Posted: Thu, 26th May 2011, 5:04pm

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Simon K Jones

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Portal 2's use of music has been unfairly overlooked. It's the most innovative use of music in a game I've ever encountered.
Posted: Thu, 26th May 2011, 5:57pm

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Aculag

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Tarn wrote:

Portal 2's use of music has been unfairly overlooked. It's the most innovative use of music in a game I've ever encountered.
I love how the music builds naturally as you complete puzzles. Great stuff.
Posted: Sun, 29th May 2011, 3:02pm

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Finally came around to finishing co-op. Played cross-platform with my brother. I on a PS3 and him in the next room on a PC (iMac running Windows).

Worked awesomely. Co-op was really fun and I still can't really wrap my head around how hard it must be to make the puzzles foolproof. Sometimes I'm impressed with the complexity and imagination of mathematical problems in my mathbook, but that is nothing compared to this. Especially with four portals. Insane.

I still found it pretty short and ended abruptly. You certainly shouldn't play it right after single-player. I was also disappointed that this wasn't anywhere in the game. Looking forward to the upcoming map-pack.
Posted: Tue, 31st May 2011, 7:05am

Post 41 of 42

Simon K Jones

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Oh, those aren't in co-op either? I was surprised not to see them in single player, so it's particularly odd if they're no in the game at all...
Posted: Tue, 31st May 2011, 9:01am

Post 42 of 42

Staff Only

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Yes, apparently they were cut.

I was also disappointed that the "Now it's time for your real purpose." GLadOS line from the trailer has nothing to with the game. Neither is that impressive looking room you see in the trailer when she says that line.

There really is no escalation in the plot, or point-of-no-return or anything in co-op. Just a bunch of puzzles. So I blame a little bit of false advertising for my disappointment, because normally I would be really impressed only by the fact that it worked so flawlessly. On the whole the puzzles were easier and less complicated in co-op as well.