The random number generator has decided that the next game I should talk about is Portal for the PC.
When I was living at college, I was in the process of rapidly expanding my horizons. I didn’t play a lot of video games during that time, but I did watch a lot of TV shows and movies.
One notable exception to my not playing video games is when a friend of mine introduced me to Portal, which is a game available on Steam.
Now, I am not a PC gamer. I consider my first video game experience to be Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64. That said, I have retroactively added some of the more substantial computer games from before that time to my list of completed games.
So I installed Steam and my friend gifted to me an extra copy of Portal he had. I started playing it and solved a series of puzzle rooms. At first, the puzzles were only about how portals work. Then I received a device that could create portals of one color, while portals of the other color were placed in set locations of each room. Eventually, that device was upgraded to be able to shoot two different colors of portals that connected to one another. This resulted in more interesting puzzles becoming available.
When I ate dinner that night at the dining hall, my friend wanted to know how far I was through the game.“I’m still in the tutorial level” I said. He was surprised because I’m sure he noticed how long I had been playing the game. He explained to me that I was actually pretty far into the game, Portal being a rather short experience. I was confused, and asked him “When do I get to start using it [the portal device] in the field?” My friend explained to me that Aperture Science (the fictional company that developed the portal gun) was in the business of performing science for science’s sake. As far as they were concerned, there was no fieldwork to be done. This was a bit disappointing to me, but I kept playing the game. In the sequel, you eventually get to shoot a portal outside of the facility, but for the entirety of the first game, you are confined to the strange labyrinths of the Aperture Science test chambers.
Accompanying the entire experience is the voice of the Artificial Intelligence named GLaDOS. She’s responsible for most of the jokes in the game. At the end, I burned her in a fire.
When I reached the credits, a song began playing. Then it hit me. I had heard this song before.
I don’t really know how it got into my brain, but the song “Still Alive” from Portal was already there. I didn’t know where it came from, but I had previously went as far as make a Parody song of it using its melody. This was a very risky move, because the song could have come from anywhere and might have been from something embarrassing. The song I made was about how I misunderstood the release date for the WiiWare title Pokémon Ranch.
After I played Portal, I played its sequel when it went on sale for $5. I haven’t played much on Steam since. I have been playing Chex Quest HD on it, so there’s that.
I’m aware that a fully optimized PC is technically the most powerful machine on which you can play games. That said, I don’t have a fully optimized PC. I have a relatively crappy PC. Say what you will about consoles, but in my experience, it’s a rare thing when a game on them crashes.
Thanks for reading! =)