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Portal 2

I’m hearing left and right about how gamers are not happy with Portal 2, and I’m simultaneously amused and irritated by their arguments. “They” claim the following (among many) faults:

The game’s too short! – The original Portal was shorter. Long games aren’t always the best games, and concise prose can be better prose. If you’re blowing through Portal 2 in four hours, go on to the co-op multiplayer mode or just replay the story again and take your time. You may be surprised at what you missed.

The story is boring/unimaginative/stupid! – What did you expect? We’ve known for months that the game involved escaping GLaDOS, and  now you’re surprised? Valve hasn’t been exactly secretive about that. If you’re rushing through the game (see above) you’re missing allot of the game’s charm.

The game is ugly! – This one drives me up the wall. The game isn’t up to the high-end, Crysis 2 standards, but it’s no where near ugly. This one makes me even more frustrated when tied into the following complaint.

It’s a console port! – PC gamers, I’ve got a secret for you. In the future, there’s going to be allot more console ports and that’s not always a bad thing. Do I think that Portal 2 is a console port? No, but if it was, we all know that that’s a death sentence and will kill the game and it’s developer immediately (if you believe that, please refer to Bethesda and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for a counter argument).

It’s frustrating to me to see gamers up in arms like this over a game like Portal 2, and who’s riled up the most? PC gamers. I consider myself primarily a PC gamer and I think that allot of this stems from the constant media nagging about PC gaming dying out. We don’t want to see deep and hardcore games vanish from our platform (not likely, by the way) and we want to feel like the PC is getting it’s proper respect. High-end PCs can be more powerful gaming systems then current-gen consoles and when a game fails to take advantage of that, the computer elite have a fit and blame consoles. This ‘blame the other guy’ defense is an age-old reaction, going back centuries before computers and consoles existed and likely is going to persist as long as there are two or more people alive, so there’s no point in trying to change that.

My best guess for why all this hate is spewing forth so soon after release is simple. The people who hate the game are online ranting about it, and the rest of us are too busy playing Portal 2 to counter-argue. The debate will swing towards neutral or beyond eventually but it will always be the loud minority (and those who join them just to be part of a group) that people will hear. If you like your game, play it. This is counter-productive for me to say, but online opinions should only sway you so far. Make your own decision if you will like a game or not based on information available to you. My suggestion? Avoid the advice in all caps with no grammar and too many exclamation points – they’re usually just gunning for attention.

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