I'm really feeling it!
I'm really feeling it!
Illustration for article titled Beating The Backlog: iPortal/i

Ah, Steam sales. The bane of wallets and bank accounts the world over, guilty of racking up backlogs to the point that some gamers give up on ever finishing them.

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I picked up both Portal games for, like, a dollar. Having played Portal 2 a few years ago on Xbox 360 and having enjoyed it immensely, I mostly did so in order to give the OG Portal a try but it was quickly and indefinitely relegated to backlog status. Until I decided I wanted to put a dent in said backlog.

I have to say out the gate, that the graphics hold up really well for a game that’s going on 13 years old. Of course, the lab environments are naturally uncluttered and sterile looking which isn’t a bad thing at all - within the context of Portal, it just fits.

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For those who haven’t played Portal, a brief synopsis is as follows: You are essentially a human lab rat, tasked with completing various puzzles using the titular portal gun under the supervision of a deranged AI called GLaDOS.

It took me roughly 2 hours to beat the main story, but there are advanced maps for those who want more. I’m not sure how long those would take to complete. For a dollar, I am satisfied with my purchase.

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There were a few of the puzzles that took me a little while to figure out, and at one point I did feel the beginnings of frustration setting in. Perhaps due to the fact that I am familiar with the gameplay, I pretty much breezed through the rest, having a fun time doing so.

The mechanics are solid, and I would love a third Portal. I do imagine that with Valve’s focus on VR, we may see a Portal VR game one day - this may be quite disorienting to play, but could also be really fun if they can get it right.

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Portal has it’s own demented sense of humor, with GLaDOS taunting and goading you throughout the game like some sort of psychotic robot parent. Her false promises of cake even ascended to meme status. It is funny, although I do think I preferred Wheatley from the second installment. Perhaps because the meme has worn somewhat.

I would highly recommend Portal to fans of Portal 2 that haven’t played it, and anyone who enjoys puzzles as part of the gameplay.

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What do you like most about Portal? Why did it feel so short? What kind of cake would you have wanted rather than the black forest in the post credits scene? Hit me up in the comments!

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