Monday, March 31, 2008

A Portal to a migraine

A couple of weeks ago I tried playing Portal by myself and got hopeless stuck in the 4th or 5th area. So I put the game away. It was just one of many games that I found myself currently stuck in. But since my brother dain helped me get unstuck in some of those other games I asked for his help getting unstuck in Portal this weekend. Apparently I didn't know what I was getting into.

We were both over to my parent's house and had a set up where we were both connected to our own TV but sitting side by side. We both put the game in and started a new game. The first couple of areas were easy but then I got to the stuck part. Since dain has been through this area before he helped me out. So we decided to tackle the next area . . . and the next area . . . and the next area. You can see where this is going.

We got hooked on the game. But I wasn't expecting to have to think so hard for some of those levels. I think at one point during the game my brain was screaming to be let out of my skull; it certainly was pounding hard enough. And with that amount of brain overload I tend to find the smallest things hysterically funny. Like the time dain got a chair stuck in a door way. He couldn't move the chair and he couldn't open the door. When I started giggling uncontrollably we knew it was time to stop.

If you have a sense of vertigo this isn't the game for you. I can't tell you how many times during a "floor fall/leap" that I wanted to turn and hurl whatever junk food I had just consumed to fuel my game play over the side of the chair. Who ever thought that falling through the floor would build up enough momentum so that you could actually reach a higher platform has got to be one twisted and demented individual. And if you haven't played the game you're probably thinking there's something wrong with my physic explanation. Trust me there isn't.

I will admit that it took me a while to bend the way my brain thinks in order to solve a problem. That fact that my brother was sitting right next to me and I could watch his attempt on his screen without any anxiety from me helped. In fact I don't think I could play this game any other way. A couple of weeks ago when I got stuck, I went out looking for the guide book so I'd have some help (along with pictures) of what I needed to do. But after playing the game I don't think there's any guide book out there that would have helped explain to me what I needed to do in some of those levels. I told dain that we can't play this game any other way. We either play it together (on separate screens, side by side) or we don't play it at all. I think he was in total agreement.

I can see why this game is so popular . . . and hard. The migraine it gave me while playing was proof enough. And what's with the 5 point achievements? With the amount of work that you have to put into some of them you would think they would be worth more. Yes, I know there's more than one game bundled into The Orange Box and that the developer was restricted to 1,000 points total between the games but throw us a bone here. Not being baked and served as the cake at your own "going away" party should at least be 20 points considering all that you have to do just to survive. But I'm sure there's a lot more game play involved before dain and I get to the end. If we don't die from a migraine or a stroke instead.

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