I finished Portal 2 earlier this week, and as such, I’ve been pushing people to get into Portal 2 like it’s my final mission in life, even to my friends who have never played the first Portal. After ordering a co-worker to purchase P2 from Twitter today, I realized with surprise that I’ve never really encouraged anyone to play a game with this kind of vigor before. What doubly surprised me was the fact that it was for P2, especially since I didn’t really like Portal to begin with. Then I mentioned this on Twitter. Enter the angry replies.
So here is why I really didn’t like Portal.
Portal stressed the hell out of me for the same reasons why platformers stress the hell out of me. I have zero patience for pretty much everything in life. If I can’t do something perfectly the first time, I usually get frustrated and quit. It drove my mother insane when I was a child. This is why I don’t enjoy platformers; failing at performing certain jumps over and over is not fun for me. It frustrates me. It stresses me. It makes me flip over coffee tables in rage. This is part of the reason why I got into strategy guides in the first place: they helped me skip the frustration.
Portal had a similar effect on me. I was fine with most of the puzzles, but the puzzles that had timers or the ones that were 100% suspended over goo that melts your flesh and required the use of moving platforms nearly did me in. As disgusting as it sounds, I sweated through my shirts more often than I should have. It also didn’t help that the constant quiet other than the hum of moving platforms (that I swore I heard in my sleep) and bullet fire really messed with my mind. The first Portal did set out to mess with you, and it was a great success–pun intended–with me.
And on a final note, the controls drove me batty as well. One thing I greatly appreciated in P2 was that my aim when I would jump down stayed consistent while falling instead of constantly sliding upward. Double-flinging was cake–another pun intended–with this control fix.
Now this does not mean at all that I don’t appreciate the first Portal game. It was and is the most unique and creative puzzle game I have ever had the privilege to play. I am very pleased that I played it and completed it, but I know I won’t play it again. Chapter closed, and Portal 2 warmly embraced.