Are you new to the whole Portal phenomenon? Then stop reading this and go buy Portal: Still Alive right now. Itâ€™s safe to say itâ€™s the definitive version, and will only set you back 1200 Microsoft Points.
If youâ€™re still not convinced, or have already played through Portal, then by all means read on.
A quick sum up: Portal is a first person puzzle game. Youâ€™re trapped in a sterile laboratory, and must navigate through a series of mind-screwing puzzles using the titular portal gun. This device lets you attach portals to walls, through which you can then walk through. At a basic level, imagine coming across a chasm, then creating two doors on either side of it. You can then walk through, and youâ€™re safely over the other side.
Portal is obviously so much more than that. It combines a number of simple, yet effective, gameplay elements to create puzzles that will have you scratching your head for ages, before you have one of those â€śaha!â€ť moments and wonder how the hell anyone ever came up with puzzle designs so devious.
But what really made Portal stick in your head was the ever-present voice of GLaDOS, the computer that guides you through the levels. Sheâ€™s extremely well written, by turns creepy, funny, supportive, and right back to creepy again. This addition elevates Portal to greatness, and makes it a really, really good title for those who want to exercise their brain, yet have little time for a huge, epic adventure.
Naturally, the game was a hit â€“ and now here we are with Portal: Still Alive, exclusively for the Xbox 360. It basically gives you the original Portal, and whacks on another 18 or so levels for you to get frustrated over. Youâ€™re encouraged to replay the levels to get better times and so forth, but thatâ€™s really about it â€“ so while itâ€™s a no brainer for those new to the scene, those who already own Portal may want to hold off.
The levels themselves are as good as youâ€™d hope â€“ theyâ€™re suitably cunning, and the later ones in particular will have you stumped for a good while. Unfortunately, GLaDOS doesnâ€™t make a return here â€“ youâ€™ll have to play through the original adventure to hear her dulcet tones.
So are you a diehard nut who canâ€™t get enough Portal action? Then youâ€™ll probably already own this one. And if youâ€™re new to the whole thing, Still Alive is easy to recommend. But everyone else in between, you may be better off saving your pennies for the inevitable Portal 2.