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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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