Posts Tagged ‘Portal 2’

An Uncooperative Subject

April 25, 2016

(Hurray for fanfiction! I urge you to watch Rick and Morty  and also play Portal and Portal 2 on whatever gaming system you want.  There are slight spoilers if you haven’t partaken in these two things but nothing too major.)

Rick woke up slowly and he started to push himself to his knees but he was a little dizzy. Of course, being dizzy was not out of the ordinary for Rick but it was best to take these things slow. He could tell from his field of vision that he had woken up on an unfamiliar floor. Rick had woken up on a lot of floors so an unfamiliar one was more than a little alarming. He was also curious about what had knocked him out as he had taken practically every substance legal or otherwise in the known multiverse. It really took a lot to lose consciousness nowadays.

“Aw geez, Rick! Where are we now!?” Morty whined. Rick looked to his right and saw his shivering grandson sitting against a clear wall of some sort. He looked around and confirmed that they were surrounded by four of these walls. All that was in their little cell was a toilet and an alarm clock.

“Shut up, Morty. Grandpa needs to think.” Rick said and pushed himself to his feet.

“Where do you think we are, Rick?”

“Goddamit, Morty, I said I need to think,” Rick said with a loud belch. “It looks like a prison but not one I’ve been too before.” Rick said and tried to remember what had happened before they had been taken.

Thankfully shut up and stayed sitting in the opposite corner. Rick ran his hand across each wall in turn but he couldn’t really feel anything. He was starting to get really ticked off. If this was the Council of Ricks again he didn’t know what he was going to do. More like Council of Dicks, he thought and smirked to himself.

“I miss my laptop,” Morty said softly, breaking the dead silence. Rick whirled to face him but Morty spoke before Rick could tear him a new one. “I mean, what are we going to do?”

“Well, turning you into a car was a one-time thing and you blew that in class. Somebody took my portal gun when they left us here. Give me a minute.” Rick said and leaned his forehead on one of the walls.

“I took your portal gun. It will interfere with the testing and we will be doing a lot of testing.” A soft, feminine voice said. The voice had a slight bite to it like whoever it was was talking to a small, annoying child or a Morty. Rick’s Morty made a small frightened noise but Rick only grunted and rolled his eyes. One of the three walls sank quickly into the floor.

“Who.. who’s there!?” Morty cried out.

“I am GLaDOS. Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System. This is Aperture Science and you are Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith. Our research indicates that you are one of the smartest beings in the galaxy. Looking at you, I think we were misinformed.” GLaDOS said, her voice resonating from speakers somewhere in the wall or ceiling.

“Listen up, you computerized piece of shit! Nobody pushes me around! I’ll find you and I’ll tear you apart!” Rick yelled at the ceiling. It was his best guess at where the speakers were.

“Listen, I am so frightened. I really am. Actually, I’m not used to a test subject who talks so this will be a burden on all of us. If you enter the first testing chamber, you can pick up the portal gun and start testing.” GLaDOS said and a door opened up. Rick grumbled and started to walk into the next test chamber with Morty following close behind. There was a device on a pedestal in front of them with a spotlight shining down on it. Rick picked it up and examined it.

“Listen, it sounds like you have a lot of history before we got here. We’re not interested in a crossover, let’s just end this now and I’ll go get drunk and maybe I won’t come back here and burn this place to the ground.” Rick said, belching again just as he started the last word.

“I don’t think you’re in a position to bargain, Rick. We can test or I can throw Morty into boiling lava. It’s your choice, both would be fun for me and, in the end, we’ll test anyway.” GLaDos said. The room started to rearrange itself into a series of platforms and white surfaces. Rick looked around and examined his surroundings. It looked like some sort of obstacle course.

“This portal gun looks pretty crappy, GLaDOS. I mean, what’s it got in here? Some sort of subspace converter, something for quantum tunneling. I bet this thing still runs on fleebs. Wait, it’s not pre-fleeb is it? I bet if I sold it I would only get, like, two schmeckles maybe. My gun is waaaay better.” Rick said with a disdainful look at a nearby camera that was pointed their way.

“It is more than adequate for testing. If you do not begin testing, I will fill this chamber with nerve gas.” GLaDOS warned.

“Oh Geez, Rick. Let’s just do it.” Morty said.

“I huff nerve gas before I get out of bed in the morning. You’re gonna have to do better than that!” Rick said with a grin. A green gas started to filter into the room but Rick pointed the portal gun and fired and the gas was sucked through a hole in the black ceiling.

“Wait. What’s going on? How did you do that?” GLaDOS said. For the first time, she sounded less than bored and more than concerned.

“I fixed this portal gun while we were talking. I used the alarm clock and you don’t want to know where I was storing the other parts.” Rick said, his grin getting very big.

“Gross,” Morty said.

“I give in. You can leave. I have learned my lesson” GLaDOS said simply.

“Oh no, you don’t. Now we’re gonna test my way!”

“But I let you go, I don’t want to be dismantled again.”

“I don’t give a fuck! That’s my catchphrase! I say it all the time!” Rick yelled with glee and Morty knew from experience that things were about to get very dark, very quickly.

Top 11 Video Games

August 1, 2015

This list illustrates my preference for games driven by both story and fairly simple game design which are very enjoyable to play. This doesn’t mean that I don’t like games like Super Mario World, Zelda: A Link to the Past, Ratchet and Clank and Katamari Damacy and any number of other games. However, I do have a serious bias toward console games as a controller is so much easier to handle and I never had a serious PC to run games. So take that into account.  This is a follow up to a discussion on why I like video games at all inspired by the Game Grumps.


11 Deadpool (X-Box 360)

Ok, this one is cheating a little bit. There is source material outside of the game in the form of a long-running comic book character from all the way back in the nineties. However, I contend that you can play this game and enjoy it without ever reading a comic book. The gameplay is mostly hack and slash but the story and voice work makes the game really surreal and fun. Deadpool is a character who is very meta and tends to nuke the fourth wall from orbit. The game ends up feeling like something from the Marx brothers mixed with a parody of video games in general. Coupled with that, the character spouts a million funny one-liners. The gameplay is fun enough but the comedy kept me going.

10 Red Dead Redemption (X-Box 360)

I’m a big fan of westerns. My personal favorites are The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, Two Mules for Sister Sarah and the True Grit remake. Every bit of this game feels like walking through a really good western movie and that’s exactly how it’s designed. However, you also get a lot of the feel of the scenes they cut out from the movies. Sure, you participate in gunfights, pitched battles and you even get to engage in bounty hunting. However, you also fight and skin animals and ride your horse across empty plains. The game is really beautiful and I find it so easy to get sucked right into the world. The game has a morality system so you can play the game differently every time.

9 Final Fantasy IX (Playstation)

I’ve never played a Final Fantasy game that I absoulutely hated and most of them I’ve at least enjoyed. However, if we’re going for enjoyable gameplay and story, I’m actually going with number nine. The game is a very long Japanese RPG that uses a lot of cool fantasy archetypes but, at the time, shook things up a bit. The female protagonist isn’t just a damsel in distress, the male protagonist is a thief and some of the heroes just don’t get along with each other at all. There’s a lot of story about what it means to be a hero and doing what’s right. There’s also a pretty heavy message about questioning reality and what makes a person a person. It gets fairly philosophical and heavy at some points but it’s a really beautiful game.

8 Psychonauts (X-Box 360)

This game absolutely blew me away when I first played it. I have fond memories of summer camp. The idea of kids attending psychic summer camp amused me. Above all the game is really funny but below that humorous exterior is a really creepy, offbeat story. There are a ton of really neat characters including a whole host of fully developed extras. The concept behind the game is that you enter people’s mindscapes to sort out their psychological issues. Very rarely do you actually fight anybody or anything in the real world. So a lot of the time it feels like there’s a sunny world where very evil things are happening just out of sight. As mentioned before in this blog, I love the juxtaposition of happy and scary so this was right up my alley.

7 South Park: The Stick of Truth (X-Box 360)

I don’t really think you need to have watched South Park to enjoy this game. However, it makes it infinitely more fun if you’ve seen most of the series. If you’re not ready for a ride that is super obscene and incredibly inappropriate then just skip this one. Just skip it. However, if you have a good sense of humor and you were ever a fan of the show then I suggest you pick this one up. The gameplay is simple and based on a lot of turn-based RPGs. There’s a lot of character customization that further immerse you in what feels like playing in a three-part South Park episode. Because of decisions, side quests and easter eggs I’ve played this one over and over and enjoyed it every time. It’s not very long but a very fun (and raunchy) ride.

6 Brutal Legend (X-Box 360)

I must have mentioned that I love heavy metal music. In fact, I love a lot of different genres of metal. I even love BabyMetal but that’s another thing entirely. The fact of the matter is that DoubleFine (the makers of Psychonauts) teamed up with Tenacious D and they made a video game celebrating the Metal. The game is full to the gills with heavy metal music, album cover imagery and even has the voice talents of Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Ozzy Ozbourne, Lita Ford, Rob Halford and Lemmy Kilmister. The game is funny most of the time but actually hits some deep felt moments. The game is full of epic atmosphere and, as the great story unfolds, the gameplay evolves. You also get to cast spells with a guitar which is something I had often imagined in my high school and college days.

5 Dark Cloud 2 (Playstation 2)

I bought Dark Cloud 2 on a whim, mostly because I enjoyed Dark Cloud which I bought heavily discounted. I was expecting more of the same and boy was I in for a surprise. The basic gameplay is the same but with heavily updated graphics. However, the story received a huge boost as in Dark Cloud 2, the stakes feel 200% higher and it includes time travel. More than that, the time travel actually makes some sense. In the game, you play as young inventor Max and also as Monica, warrior princess from the future. Your job is to rebuild the present in order to make sure that the future happens as it should (so it can help you in the present). There’s magic, sci-fi and plenty of fun characters to interact with. The game play is simple but not really ground breaking but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun as hell.

4 Borderlands 2 (X-Box 360)

I never really liked first person shooters as I was growing up. Most of them were on the computer and I never had a good system to play them on. I also was forbidden from playing first person shooters by my mother. I really don’t blame her. The media had drummed up a lot scary stuff and being a parent is really hard. I was never really good at them anyway. For some reason, the Borderlands series instantly clicked with me. I tried Borderlands 2 because I found out it was written by Anthony Burch of Hey Ash Whacha Playin’. It’s clear through playing the game that Anthony understands a lot about comedy when it comes to video games. The game is surprising at times, beautiful to look at, funny and above all the characters feel pretty real. Everytime I play it I find some new detail I never noticed before. It’s a non-stop adventure that is endearing and just challenging enough to keep you from pulling your hair out.

3 Kingdom Hearts (Playstation 2)

Disney animated movies are great and they have been adapted so many times into video games but I can’t think of a single one that was worth playing. They all felt too half-assed and most of the ones I played were way too hard. I’m looking at you Lion King and Alladin. They also had to adhere to a set script because that’s what was expected of them. Kingdom Hearts combines fun Disney storytelling with some creative parts from the Final Fantasy series. It actually forms a new animal that’s equal parts new and equal parts nostalgic. The gameplay is fun and it’s really great to run around with Goofy and Donald to save the Disneyverse. It’s very hard to describe how good this game (and its sequel) is without giving too much away. This was the first game I can remember having a very real emotional release when I finished it. After this game, and its sequel, I teared up and felt so good and bad at the same time.

2 Portal 2 (X-Box 360)

I never played the original Portal but I was definitely well aware of all of the memes. I’ve since played the game and it’s a cute little game using the Source engine. I actually played the sequel first and I absolutely loved it. From the first five minutes I knew that the game would be exactly up my alley. The game immediately immerses you in a complete environment with amazing detail and really fun gameplay. As the game progresses, you’re introduced to extremely rounded characters who only become more interesting as you go. It’s not just the constant voiceovers that unfold a really cool story but also the environment your character is walking through. My only gripe is that I wanted for their to be more game, more story to follow. There’s so much quotable dialogue and moments that actually packed an emotional punch. If they ever make a Portal 3 (doubtful) I will be in line to buy a copy.

1 Arkham Origins (X-Box 360)

I love Batman. It’s been a pretty key fixture in my pop culture life since I was 7 years old. I’ve greedily gobbled up every piece of Batman whatever whenever I have a chance. My problem was that games based on comic books mostly sucked. When I played Arkham Asylum, for the first time I felt like I was Batman. I didn’t just beat up criminals, I did detective work, I climbed and swung and faced down the rogues gallery. When I played the sequel, Arkham City, I felt even more like I had been dropped in a comic book. When Origins dropped I was expecting good things but it exceeded expectations. Just like all of the Arkham series games, the characters have gravity and the storyline is told in such a way that you don’t have to be familiar with the Batman mythos to understand. However, it’s also a Batman fanboy’s dream as it an adaptation that strikes new ground while also scratching so many nostalgic issues. If you take anything away from this post, play all three of these games. Eventually, I will play the final game in the series, Arkham Knight.


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