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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 53: Portal 2, Dead Space 2 and Potpourri

We're back! Again! Join us for captivating spoiler-free discussions of Portal 2 and Dead Space 2. Plus: the merits of silent protagonists, PSN madness, Chi buys a 3DS, Mike subscribes to Final Fantasy XIV, Tim loses it over Dante's Inferno, and so much more. We were just so happy to hear each other's voices, we couldn't stop gabbing. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, and Tim "Chance" Spaeth.

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Kirby's Epic Yarn and de Blob 2: Two (too?) easy games

Kirby's Epic Yarn Screenshot

The most difficult part of reviewing a game is reviewing the difficulty. A few games—Super Meat Boy, I Wanna be the Guy—can uncontroversially be called hard, but the essential question is actually whether they are too hard. Since that level of difficulty depends not only on the individual player's skills and experience, but also on his values, it can be difficult to state what goes over the line. It is even harder to accurately say whether a game is too easy, primarily because most reviewers are skilled and experienced gamers, many of them drawn to the hobby during its early days when challenge was practically all a game could offer in terms of fun.

Video game fundraiser, Portal 2 thoughts and a few random bits

Portal 2 Screenshot

I polished off Portal 2's single-player mode earlier. The campaign started losing its luster for me somewhere in the neighborhood of Chapter 6 or 7, and after that point I found that I needed to break up my play sessions into no more than three or four puzzles at a time to avoid burnout/boredom. Consequently, it took me a lot longer than I had originally anticipated, but it's done now.

de Blob 2 Review

The Party Shouldn't Stop

de Blob 2 Screenshot

HIGH Rolling through a completed level with the music blaring and a colorful party going on all around.

LOW The bosses feel totally out of place.

WTF Why have a timer?

Portal 2, MHFU, The Kingdom and Doctor Who

Portal 2 Screenshot

So I've been playing Portal 2 for the past couple of days. I won't spoil anything since I know that most people are only getting their copy just now, but I will say that so far (I would estimate I'm about 3/4ths of the way through) it's pretty much what I expected.

Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom Second Opinion

The Sixty Dollar Indie Game

Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom Screenshot

HIGH The eureka moment, not in discovering the solution to a puzzle, but in discovering the solution to approaching the game itself.

LOW The early hours with the game, where each uneventful hour felt like an eternity.

WTF I still can't figure out how to say "this game feels like a 10 dollar downloadable" without it coming off like an insult.

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective Review

A Hard Night's Work

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective Screenshot

HIGH WELCOME!

LOW Repeatedly failing part of chapter 16 because an object I needed was just slightly out of view.

WTF Why does everyone in this game like chicken so much?

999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, but I digress...

999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors Screenshot

It seems like most of the people who wrote reviews of 999 thought very highly of it. I'm not sure why that was; I found the game to be a fairly tedious exercise in the repetition of insufficiently interesting puzzles. 999 creates this problem for itself because of its structure. The enforced replays that are central to 999's design and fiction ask for more from the puzzles and dialogue than they are able to contribute as art or entertainment.

ilomilo Review

Love as a Puzzle

ilomilo Screenshot

HIGH My first few "Aha!" moments were fantastic.

LOW A cute music track is cute until you hear it looped 37 times.

WTF The narrator calls out the silliness of Gears of War at one point; priceless.

Raskulls Review

Digging for Skulls

Raskulls Screenshot

HIGH Having a whole mountain stop just short of crushing me because of a well-timed shot.

LOW The computer swooping in and stealing a win at the last moment, over and over again.

WTF The repeated cameos made by the developer—figuratively, anyhow.

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