Portal 2 Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Portal 2 RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Twitter Troll Alert: Gaben Newell Edition https://www.gameskinny.com/5uop0/twitter-troll-alert-gaben-newell-edition https://www.gameskinny.com/5uop0/twitter-troll-alert-gaben-newell-edition Tue, 31 May 2016 10:53:23 -0400 Joey Marrazzo

Earlier today, a parody Twitter account was created with the name of the founder of Valve and the Lord of PC Gaming, Gaben Newell. Although the Twitter account is not actually Newell himself, fans are taking the tweets as the newest rumor for the dream that is Half-Life 3.

At time of this writing, the Twitter account has 14.4 thousand followers. The account says that it was only created to tell people that "It's confirmed," and it's starting a "#VerifyGaben" campaign. No one is really sure what he is referring to, but with all the teases and hopes of a third Half-Life game over the past few years, and the image of 3,333 people liking a tweet, people are believing this is what the Twitter account may be referring to.

The first Half-Life was released in 1998 with the sequel being released in 2004. Half-Life 2: Episode 1 was released in 2006 and then Episode 2 was released a year after in 2007.

Along with all the other rumors of a new addition to the famous franchise, this may be just that. Other games that could be referenced by these tweets include Left 4 Dead 3, or my ultimate dream, Portal 3. Only time will tell if if Half-Life 3 will finally be released, but with no confirmed rumors about it, the release of this highly wanted game is probably not happening yet. And with E3 around the corner, it seems like an expected time to build up hype for a new Half-Life. 

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Game-Based Learning: How Teachers Use Video Games in Education https://www.gameskinny.com/vp3qn/game-based-learning-how-teachers-use-video-games-in-education https://www.gameskinny.com/vp3qn/game-based-learning-how-teachers-use-video-games-in-education Tue, 03 May 2016 07:30:02 -0400 ESpalding

The way in which we educate our children is constantly changing, as is the technologies and resources available to teachers. Game-based learning is not a new concept but in a time when children have more access to video games through mobile technology and home computers, it is something schools have started incorporating into their curriculum.

Speaking at the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) in 2013, Katie Salen (a professor at DePaul University College of Computing and Digital Media in Chicago) stated that there are six main reasons for incorporating game-based learning in the classroom. 

Everyone can participate

Whether it be through multiplayer or participating in forums and collaboration, everyone gets to be a part of the outcome. There are many educational games in the marketplace that have multiplayer settings. Games such as Sid Meyer's Civilization series allow students to play against each other in a turn-based strategy scenario where it is the aim to build a civilization and explore other cultures, learn about trade and become the greatest leader the World has ever seen. Alternatively, students can work together, debate about which technological discoveries to pursue next, who would be a good trade partner, etc. Working together and winning makes students feel like they have been part of a successful team and builds confidence and essential teamwork skills which they will need in later life.

The challenge is constant

Students can be continually tested as games get progressively harder and more complex. In this way, they can develop new ways of thinking. Take the cute puzzle game Cut the Rope by ZeptoLab as an example. Most people just see it as trying to feed Om Nom his candy, but as each level gets progressively harder, students are required to work through and solve each problem. One level may be as simple as cutting a few ropes, but then higher levels bring in obstacles such as bubbles or bees which require you to figure out a new strategy. Students must be flexible in their thinking and have to continually adapt to new challenges.

Feedback is immediate and ongoing

Children thrive on feedback. Whether it is good or bad, both greatly help in their development. In video games, the feedback in many games is instant – you pass a level, or you don't. When students complete a level or task, they are proud of their achievements, and it spurs them to continue and do more. When they don't do so great, getting that feedback makes them more determined to do better. In some games aimed at infants, a lot of the feedback is in the form of audio. For instance, the BBC has a website and app aimed at children of which there are many educational games for them to play. The games are based on the characters in the TV shows the channel plays. In some of the games, the child can hear their favourite characters say "Well done!" or "You are doing great!" and even "Uh-oh! That's not right. Try again". They get feedback while playing the game, not to mention the fact that they get excited because their favourite character is giving them praise and reassurance.

Learning happens by doing

"For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them." - Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics

Many studies have seen that when people learn by doing, they are more likely to succeed and get a better understanding of the task they need to perform/learn. None more so than children. If for example, you wanted to teach your class how to wire a plug, instead of just telling them how to do it, you'd break out plugs and cable cutoffs and get them doing it. The same can be applied to certain video games. If you wanted to teach children about construction and structure, one game that could help would be World of Goo. The physics-based puzzle game developed by 2D Boy requires players to make stable structures such as bridges, ladders, and towers by moving black goo balls from one place to another. Players also have to deal with wind speed, gravity and buoyancy issues. World of Goo enables students to learn about basic construction as well as solving problems some structures may face due to wind effects.

 

There are many opportunities to experience failure

Failure isn't always a bad thing. It is one of the main ways in which we learn. "By trial and error" some would say. One aspect of game-based learning is that it helps children understand that failing something is ok and is just another excuse to learn from it, try again and succeed. Any of the popular puzzle games on the market cater to this. Games such as Amanita's Machinarium are full of puzzles which must be completed to progress in the game. If an attempt fails, students must then learn from what they've done and change their solution. Sometimes it may take a few attempts, but with each attempt students learning and evolve in their way of thinking.

 

Solving problems build expertise

This is very similar to the point above. The more problems a student solves, the more they are learning and are then able to pass knowledge on to their classmates. Students will retain the information which makes them more confident when dealing with similar problems.

 

 

There are some major games on the market that have grown so much in popularity, in the teaching field, that education specific versions of the games have been developed. The most popular at the moment is Mojang's Minecraft. An educational version, MinecraftEDU, was released in January 2016 by Microsoft, and it has already gained a huge following. The version was originally developed by Finland-based independent developer TeacherGaming and was already 4-years-old when Microsoft brought it. At the moment, teachers in 40 different countries use MinecraftEDU for lessons in an estimated 7,000 classrooms. Anthony Salcito, Microsoft's Vice President of Worldwide Education, says that with the right tools this could increase. In an interview with the BBC he said:

"Teachers are using Minecraft to do so many things, including teaching maths, science, religion and poetry. Once we make the tools easier for schools to get access to and employ, I think you'll see that number of classrooms grow quite quickly."

MinecraftEDU has been used in every subject area from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) to Language, to History and Art. Some of the concepts and lesson plans have even been tested in line with the US Common Core Standards to make teachers aware of where the game sits regarding the curriculum.

 

As well as Minecraft, another popular game in game-based learning is Portal 2. The website Teach with Portals has a whole host of resources and lesson plans dedicated to "playing with Portals". It is supported and developed by Valve and is accessible through STEAM for SCHOOLS. All the lessons meet Common Core Standards and can be used for Math, Game Design, and Language Arts but its primary use in education is in Physics. Using the DLC program Portal 2 Puzzle Maker, teachers can create their own puzzles. As the game is built around physical principles such as mass and weight, acceleration, momentum, gravity, and energy, there is a lot of scope for creating fun and informative lessons.

Some people are still skeptical about game-based learning, or the gamification of education, but studies have shown that there is a benefit to incorporating games into lessons plans. One such study by Richard Blunt. Ph.D. titled Does Game-Based Learning Work? concluded that when three educational games were included in the University curriculum for some Business and Technology, Economics and Management students, they scored higher than the students who did not use any games in their classes. Identical testing situations were employed in all courses while data collected included game use, test scores, gender, ethnicity, and age. There was no significant difference between genders or ethnicity groups, however, students aged 40 years and under, scored significantly higher than those aged 41 and above.

Game-based learning is an area which is constantly being researched and discussed in the teaching and game development communities. While schools and other educational facilities aim for new ways of engaging their students, game-based learning is something that is becoming more prevalent.

Do you think that game-based learning is a way forward in education? Do children really learn better when video games are used as part of their learning? We'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

References

Does Game-Based Learning Work? Results from Three Recent Studies - Richard Blunt Ph.D. (2013)

Katie Salen information from Game Design: The End of Education - https://thejournal.com/articles/2013/02/07/game-design-the-key-to-education

Resources

TeacherGaming - https://www.teachergaming.com/

Learning works for Kids - http://learningworksforkids.com/

Teach with Portals - http://www.teachwithportals.com/

MinecraftEDU - http://education.minecraft.net/minecraftedu/

CBeebies - http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/games

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Portal 2: My Favorite Moments https://www.gameskinny.com/gcjv9/portal-2-my-favorite-moments https://www.gameskinny.com/gcjv9/portal-2-my-favorite-moments Sun, 24 Apr 2016 07:40:41 -0400 Mark Elgie

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So that's my list of my favorite moments in Portal 2. Stephen Merchant did excellent work as Wheatley. I was pleased hearing The National in the game with their original song "Exile Vilify." I really enjoyed the journey you take into Aperture's past, learning of its bright start and its dark and disturbing fall from grace. The last Rat Man den and the Oracle Turret also raises a lot of questions, and has sparked a lot of debate among fans. Some have even tried spotting Rattmann in the game. What are your favorite moments in the game? Let me know down in the comments! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go add Exile Vilify to my iTunes library.

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5. Wheatley's pleas for you to kill yourself
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At the beginning of Chapter 9, also known as "The Part Where He Kills You," Wheatley's what he thinks is the perfect death trap for you: a platform surrounded by several spiked plates, with no means of escape. Except, there's totally a means of escape. Conversion gel is dripping from a pipe nearby, and through the use of portal technology, you find that means of escape. Then you scurry away and Wheatley begs you to come back. If you respect his request and come back, he'll admit he didn't plan for this outcome, and then basically just asks you to kill yourself by jumping into the abyss, enticing you by saying that you'll find your parents down there, a boy band, a triple portal device, etc. If you do jump down, he'll express his surprise and say he didn't think that would work. 

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The scene is pretty amusing; just hearing the things Wheatley comes up with to entice Chell into jumping into the pit, like the pony farm, it's clear that he's desperate, and at the same time, he kind of knows that it won't work. 

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There's a similar scene towards the end of Chapter 9, only this time with a "masher" at the end of a conveyor. Here, he doesn't sugarcoat things any and instead says that taking the ride into the masher would be the more dignified way to die. 

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Stephen Merchant shines as Wheatley in these two scenes. It makes me wonder how many of his lines were written as opposed to being improvised (Merchant was given room to improvise as Wheatley). 

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4. The Final Rat Man Den & The Oracle Turret
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If you keep close to the wall in this small area, you'll hear a voice that speaks in utter gibberish. It's the belief of most players that the voice is that of Doug Rattmann who, by the time the events of Portal 2 take place, is long dead.  

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This last Rat Man den is, in my opinion, the creepiest. The den is unique in the way that it is the only one of the seven dens in which you hear the disembodied voice of someone who's been dead for years, decades, perhaps even centuries. The voice has sparked spirited debate, and several people have worked to decode the message the Ghost of Rattmann leaves behind for whoever finds this hidden alcove. 

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The graffiti present in the den also foreshadows events to come later on in the game. At the end of the hallway, near the fan, there's a piece of graffiti that contains an odd poem: 

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The bell invites

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Hear the turret for

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It is knell

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That summons to

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Heaven or to Hell. 

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This poem refers to something known as the Oracle Turret.

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Early in the game, while making your escape with Wheatley, you come across a turret that doesn't attack you when you come across its field of vision. In fact, it sits in a pile of junk. "I'm different," it says as you walk past. Doug Rattmann touches on this same turret in the poem found in the last Rat Man den. Later on in the game, while moving around the inner workings of the modern Aperture facility, you see the same turret about to be disposed of. Pick it up, and you'll be privy to a few snippets of information, some foreshadowing future events.

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As heard in the video, the turret mentions how Prometheus was cast down into the Earth's depths and pecked by birds for giving the gift of knowledge to mankind (Like GLaDOS was), and that "the answer is beneath us." Before Wheatley even mentions the fact that only the top layer of the facility has been explored so far, we're given vague hints to that fact from an oracle turret. 

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The information that the Rat Man den and the Oracle Turret provide, even when taken together, doesn't make sense until later in the game. It's one of my favourite moments because of the questions that it raises. How does the Oracle Turret know about the significance of lemonade here? How does it know all this? Could it be that this Oracle Turret is Cave Johnson, and that he was uploaded into a computer after all? It would certainly explain why they knew about the significance of Lemonade and the true identity of GLaDOS. And what about Rattmann? How did he know about the turret in the first place? So many questions.

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3. A history lesson
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 Roughly halfway through the game, you and Wheatley overthrow GLaDOS and put him in charge in place of her. Almost immediately, Wheatley lets his newfound power get to his head, uploads GLaDOS into a potato battery, then throws her into the elevator with you and pounds it down into the ground, causing its support to give out and send both you and her falling miles down into a section of Aperture Science that time forgot. And were the company still in business at the time this game takes place, they'd probably rather you forgot about it as well.

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Exploring the old, condemned Aperture facility, from the way it was in 1952 until the 1980s, allows the player to experience the journey Aperture, and its founder and CEO, Cave Johnson (played by the spectacular J.K. Simmons), took in getting the company started up as a shower curtain manufacturer, experiencing success in science innovation, and their fall from grace when the true nature of their experiments came to light. Experiments like turning someone's blood into gasoline, and having a superconductor pointed at someone (resulting in getting a tumor or best case scenario, superpowers). Oh and apparently making lemonade was planned as well at some point. But the plan was scrapped. 

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It's also revealed in Johnson's rant how exactly GLaDOS was brought into being. It's because of the rich lore the old facility contains about Aperture as a whole that it's one of my favorite moments in the game. It is, for all intents and purposes, a history lesson, and one that I actually enjoy. Kind of sad, really. 

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2. Exile Vilify
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In Chapter 2 of the game, you find a radio in the Rat Man den found in an alcove in Test Chamber 03. This radio plays an original song written exclusively for Portal 2 by The National, called "Exile Vilify."

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The lyrics of the song were composed by The National, and were reviewed by Valve to ensure that they fit with the tone of the Rat Man dens. While that may be true, since Rattmann put his life on the line in order to ensure Chell's survival, I feel it would also be true for Chell as well. In the midst of vilifications and possibilities of death at the hands of GLaDOS, and later Wheatley, Chell always found a way to stay alive. Does it feel like a trial? I'm sure it would have felt a lot like a trial. That and the song's pretty catchy as well.

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Here's the video that won 1.00000000001th place in Portal 2's music video contest, a visual retelling of Valve's Portal 2: Lab Rat comic made by MikeMov89Portal2:

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1. Meeting Wheatley
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Right off the bat, after completing a brief controls tutorial, you meet your partner for the first half of the game, the eccentric personality core, and all-around moron, Wheatley. He comes by, seemingly with good intentions, with a plan to help Chell, the protagonist, escape Aperture.

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Wheatley immediately makes an impression, mentioning Chell may have brain damage and brushing it off like its not a big deal. He then rips her suspension chamber from its support and runs off toward the testing track with it like a driver under the influence, knocking over other suspension chambers and talking about how the Aperture management staff has it in for him. And to actually access the testing track, Wheatley uses your suspension chamber as a makeshift battering ram. It's pretty surreal. It feels like one of those VR attractions at a major amusement park somewhere, Disney World for instance. It makes for a memorable way to start off the game. 

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The writing of the scene is humorous, but of course, writing is but one part of the process. The actor needs to bring life to the writing, and Stephen Merchant does a fantastic job of getting across Wheatley's talkative, stammering dialogue.

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This month marks the fifth anniversary of the release of Portal 2. Exponentially longer than the first game in the series, Portal 2 expanded on the mechanic of navigating and transporting objects via portals by introducing a mechanic from another game, Tag Team's Tag: The Power of Paint, which was developed by some students from the DigiPen Institute of Technology. The game included various colored paint gels, each with different properties. Red paint would cause the player to move faster. Blue paint would allow the player to walk on any surface. The game's designers were hired by Valve to work on Portal 2, resulting in puzzles that not only employed the use of portals, but also the use of these coloured gels. The result was what PC Gamer called "The best game of the year." Doug Lombardi, director of marketing at Valve, said that "Portal was a test bed. Portal 2 is a game." Gabe Newell has called Portal 2 the "best game we've ever done," and make no mistake -- Portal 2 is an excellent title. To celebrate its fifth year anniversary, I'll be listing my favorite moments in the game. Enjoy!

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Disclaimer: This article assumes the reader has played and beaten Portal 2 and there are spoilers ahead. You have been warned. 

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Rocket League coming to Mac & SteamOS; receive free copy with Steam hardware pre-order https://www.gameskinny.com/oy495/rocket-league-coming-to-mac-steamos-receive-free-copy-with-steam-hardware-pre-order https://www.gameskinny.com/oy495/rocket-league-coming-to-mac-steamos-receive-free-copy-with-steam-hardware-pre-order Fri, 28 Aug 2015 04:40:31 -0400 Andrea Koenig

There have been son big announcements for Steam users and Rocket League fans. Valve and Psyonix announced that there is upcoming version of Rocket League compatible with SteamOS and Mac that will release later this year.

More than that, Valve tagged on the announcement that anyone, not just Mac users, who pre-order any Steam hardware will receive a free copy of Rocket League and Portal 2. All Steam hardware will be officially released November 10th.

These announcements come not long after the one millionth copy of everyone's favorite vehicle-driven soccer game was sold via Steam. There have been over 5 million sales across PC and PlayStation 4. It was only a matter of time before the minds behind it opened the availability to SteamOS and Mac gamers.

Here's the available hardware you can pre-order to get in on this deal:

 
The Steam Controller

A wireless device you will be able to use on both controller games and keyboard games, and with Steam Link. Comes with any Steam console you buy. Pre-order here or bundle it with Steam Link here

 
The Steam Link

A device that allows you to play your Steam games on any TV in your house. Just by connecting it, it will link your TV and home network. Pre-order here or bundle it with Steam Controller here.

 
The Alienware Steam Machine
Allows you to experience your Steam library in a console. It comes with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2GB GDDR5 and Intel Core Processors. Available in i3 500GB, i3 1TB, i5 1TB, and i7 1TB. Available for pre-order here.
The Syber Steam Machine

A console that allows you access your Steam library and purchase games through the Steam client. It comes with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2GB GDDR5 and Intel Core Processors. Available in i3 500GB (Machine I), i5 1TB (Machine P), and i7 1TB (Machine X). Available for pre-order here.

 

Steam mentions that new Steam Machines will be available, but it's not confirmed if they will be available for pre-order before the November 10th release date.

Rocket League is currently 10% off on Steam for a limited time. To stay updated with Rocket League and Steam, you can follow their respective accounts on Twitter: @RocketLeague and @steam_games

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10 Memorable Cave Johnson Quotes https://www.gameskinny.com/x2dja/10-memorable-cave-johnson-quotes https://www.gameskinny.com/x2dja/10-memorable-cave-johnson-quotes Fri, 28 Aug 2015 02:30:01 -0400 Andrea Koenig

Cave Johnson: Founder of Aperture Science was an influential "absent" character that didn't really get to hit the mark as anything more than a character of the game's lore. That is, until he was made a prominent character in Portal 2, which had his archived automated recordings from over the span of decades broadcasted throughout the facility.

He might have been a man overwhelmed by his love for science and is assumed dead by toxic exposure to whatever made up those "moon rocks," but the man who technically never made a physical appearance definitely has some defining "words of wisdom."

It's like he's staring into my soul. With science.

1. "Just a heads-up: That coffee we gave you earlier had fluorescent calcium in it so we can track the neuronal activity in your brain. There's a slight chance the calcium could harden and vitrify your frontal lobe. Anyway, don't stress yourself thinking about it. I'm serious. Visualizing the scenario while under stress actually triggers the reaction."

2. "Those of you who volunteered to be injected with praying mantis DNA, I've got some good news and some bad news. Bad news is we're postponing those tests indefinitely. Good news his we've got a much better test for you: Fighting an army of Mantis Men. Pick up a rifle and follow the yellow line. You'll know when the test starts."

3. "Now, maybe you don't have any tumors. Well, don't worry. If you sat on a folding chair in the lobby and weren't wearing lead underpants, we took care of that too.

4. "I've just been notified that one of our test subjects may have angered the Sentient Cloud by beginning testing early. Now, as you all know, the cloud has banned all camera technology- hates getting its picture taken. So, this'll have to be on the honor system: Will whoever started testing early please go outside so they can be consumed by the cloud."

 

5. "Greetings, Friend. I'm Cave Johnson, CEO of Aperture Science - you might know us as a vital participant in the 1968 Senate Hearings on missing astronauts. And you've most likely used one of the products we invited, but that other people have somehow managed to steal from us. Black Mesa can eat my bankrupt-"

 

6. "Cave Johnson here. I need you to- [Dark Cave] Do not listen to this man. He's the other Cave Johnson. He's an imposter! [Cave Prime] You're the impostor, impostor! Chariots chariots! [Dark Cave] Oh yeah? Chariots chariots chariots! Just keep testing. I'll settle this. [Cave Prime] No, I'll settle this. [Dark Cave] Shut it, you. And you- keep testing!"

7. "All right, I've been thinking. When live gives you lemons? Don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! 'I don't want your damn lemons! What am I supposed to do with these?' Demand to see life's manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's going to burn your house down! With the lemons! I'm going to get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down! "

8. "[tap dancing noises] Attitude...and done. Hey! It's Cave. Someone's not daaaanciiiing. Come on. You know the law- testing IS NOT a dance exemption. Don't make me call the dance police."

9. "I'm Michigan Slim Cave Johnson. [Harmonica] I'm the hobo king."

10. "Cave Johnson here. I seeeee you. I see your little feeeeet. I'm gonna cut off your hair and put it on your feet and eat your little hair and feet! Um yum yum yum yum!"

 

These are just a small handful of so many quotes to choose from, but Caroline recommended shortening the list I had. Did your favorite Cave Johnson quote not make it to the list? Add it in the comments below.

Sound clip source: theportalwiki.com

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10 Memorable GLaDOS Quotes https://www.gameskinny.com/sa4t7/10-memorable-glados-quotes https://www.gameskinny.com/sa4t7/10-memorable-glados-quotes Thu, 27 Aug 2015 06:31:40 -0400 Andrea Koenig

Even if some have never played, those who know anything about the Portal games know GLaDOS. She is one of the top snarky video game villains that can still make you laugh and cringe at the same time as she describes your inevitable demise and countless failures as a test subject.

Now, put your differences behind you. For science. Here are some of GLaDOS's best moments in no particular order.

 

She may or may not be judging you.

1. "Killing you and giving you advice aren't mutually exclusive. The rocket really is the way to go."

2. "Remember when the platform was sliding into the fire pit and I said, 'Goodbye,' and you were like, 'No way,' and then I was all, 'We pretended we were trying to murder you'? That was great."

3. "Because despite your violent behavior, the only thing you've managed to break so far is my heart."

4. "I could take a bath in the stuff, put it on cereal, rub it right into my eyes. Honestly, it's not deadly at all. To me."

5. "I was able - Well, forced really - to relive you killing me. Again and again. Forever. You know, if you'd done that to somebody else, they might devote their existence to exacting revenge."

6. "Uh oh. You're stranded. Let's see if the cube will try to help you escape. Actually, so that we're not here all day, I'll just cut to the chase: It won't. Any feelings you think it has for you are simply byproducts of your sad, empty life."

 

7. "That jumpsuit you're wearing looks stupid. That's not me talking, it's right here on your file. On other people it looks fine, but right here a scientist has noted that on you it looks 'stupid.' Well, what does a neck-bearded old engineer know about fashion? He probably- Oh, wait. It's a she. Still, what does she know? Oh wait, it says she has a medical degree. In fashion! From France!"

8. "How are you holding up? BECAUSE I'M A POTATO. [clap clap clap] Oh good. My slow clap processor made it into this thing. So we have that."

9. "No tricks. This potato only generates 1.1 volts of electricity. I literally do not have the energy to lie to you."

10. "DANCING IS NOT SCIENCE!"

These are just a few highlights of the fantastic dialogue behind GLaDOS. Did your favorite not make the list? Comment below with your favorite GLaDOS quotes.

Sound clip source: theportalwiki.com

]]>
Top 15 most frustrating doors in video games https://www.gameskinny.com/dxo4d/top-15-most-frustrating-doors-in-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/dxo4d/top-15-most-frustrating-doors-in-video-games Mon, 24 Aug 2015 03:35:24 -0400 Clint Pereira

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1. Security room doors in Five Nights at Freddy's

\n

Why would these doors use an entire generator's power to stay closed? Why would any door use power to stay closed? This doesn't make any sense! Who rigged these doors? Was it you, Bonnie?

\n

...why are you looking at me like that?

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/2/8/5286e1c23b04bc015bc509c7762bd4e9.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/2/8/tiny_5286e1c23b04bc015bc509c7762bd4e9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"80661","description":"

2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's claw puzzle doors

\n

The golden claw door is part of the main quest and these dragon claws are the only time you'll ever have to rotate items to solve a puzzle. The only time.

\n

And there are no tutorials, no hints from NPCs. None of the loading screen tips tell you that you can rotate items, either, and there are literally hundreds of different loading screens!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/2/a/82aa3272059dee0c296ee3f0f5fadce8.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/2/a/tiny_82aa3272059dee0c296ee3f0f5fadce8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"80658","description":"

3. The doors to the next level in Little Nemo

\n

Missed a key? Time to go back and scour the whole level for it.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/2/a/d2a43fc086e7ad17fd1a1533f5b5f359.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/2/a/tiny_d2a43fc086e7ad17fd1a1533f5b5f359.jpg","type":"slide","id":"80656","description":"

4. Locked Doors in Super Mario Bros. 2

\n
    \n
  1. Steal a key from a very angry spirit called Phanto.
  2. \n
  3. Escape from the tomblike vase in which he lives.
  4. \n
  5. Run as fast as you can to the locked door.
  6. \n
  7. Try not to get murdered by Phanto.
  8. \n
"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/9/d/79d67e663c2116b188ff525068e4304a.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/9/d/tiny_79d67e663c2116b188ff525068e4304a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"80655","description":"

5. Demon Doors from the Fable series

\n

These guys were all jerks. I'm not getting married just because you say so! If the bouncer at a club gave me cryptic clues to go on a fetch quest, I don't think I'd want to dance there.

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6. Resident Evil load screen doors

\n

My eyes glaze over just thinking about it.

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7. Exits in Zombies Ate My Neighbors

\n

I know these might look like wide targets, but you have to approach them from a certain angle. And then there's the times you're being chased by a maniac with a chainsaw when your player 2 decides to take the same exit you were going for.

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8. Trapdoors in Luigi's Mansion

\n

If you're ever in a rush, these doors will be sure to punish you. There is a way to spot them by opening up the Game Boy Horror screen. The things I wouldn't do for a fire vacuum right now.

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9. Shop doors in Shenmue

\n

Lots of doors and tank-like controls. With ten minutes for every in-game hour, waiting for the bar to open can be a nightmare.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/f/4/af4264743d23e777d460376f80e4fe9b.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/f/4/tiny_af4264743d23e777d460376f80e4fe9b.png","type":"slide","id":"80639","description":"

10. The Binding of Isaac's curse room doors

\n

In any roguelike as brutal as this, health is a luxury you can't afford to spend. When the doors start taking it away, it's time to start praying for good item drops.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/8/9/28978c0c52bf9e6ae976edc64ee2004a.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/8/9/tiny_28978c0c52bf9e6ae976edc64ee2004a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"80638","description":"

11. Room 302's chained front door in Silent Hill 4

\n

Buddy, you ain't going nowhere.

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12. Grand Theft Auto 3's fake doors

\n

I don't know about you, but playing a sandbox game like GTA 3 always makes me want to explore the city inside and out. Alas, it wasn't meant to be.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/9/d/89d96d191df807da52191ef61d8440b5.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/9/d/tiny_89d96d191df807da52191ef61d8440b5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"80634","description":"

13. Portal 2's "cake dispensary" door

\n

Let's get this straight—cake is not a joke. I used to get excited about the prospect of cake, but now I just feel empty inside (from lack of cake).

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/8/b/d8bb223ebe2a07c1fff31061bcb0a2de.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/8/b/tiny_d8bb223ebe2a07c1fff31061bcb0a2de.jpg","type":"slide","id":"80633","description":"

14. Every locked door in Oblivion and Skyrim

\n

While I personally find lockpicking therapeutic, I know a lot of people pull their hair out with these minigames. They take forever and disrupt the flow of an already slow-paced game.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/2/3/e234f3c305008aa8e8a44401f7bc0b99.JPG","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/2/3/tiny_e234f3c305008aa8e8a44401f7bc0b99.JPG","type":"slide","id":"80632","description":"

15. Plants Vs. Zombies screen door zombie

\n

At the top of the list is a door that's not where it's supposed to be. Who uses a door as a shield? Zombies, that's who.

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Doors. Why do they have to get in our way all the time?

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Some require solving puzzles to open. Some, death-defying stunts. Others just need a heaping amount of patience.

\n

Here's my list of the most frustrating doors in video games.

"}]]]>
PC games for the classroom https://www.gameskinny.com/ijj7k/pc-games-for-the-classroom https://www.gameskinny.com/ijj7k/pc-games-for-the-classroom Sun, 23 Aug 2015 18:03:52 -0400 Clint Pereira

Educational games are a huge market, but they have always been a bit on the boring side. Not to say that there aren’t a lot of fun educational games out there. A lot of the best educational games fly under the radar.

Here are a few games available for purchase and download that are both fun and educational. Feel free to browse or click on your preferred subject below.

  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Languages
  • Math
  • Science: Biology
  • Science: Chemistry
  • Science: Physics
  • Social Studies
  • Tech Ed.

 

English

Elegy for a Dead World

Write the story of a world as you explore it. Great for students who are strong in visual/spatial learning.

To Be or Not To Be

A choose-your-own-adventure parody of Hamlet. Yorick skulls mark the way Shakespeare intended in his original play, and the Haml-o-meter shows you how close you were to the original story... or not. The game encourages you to choose your own path and congratulates you for writing a better story than Shakespeare if you stray from the canon tale. It's a little like Hamlet fanfiction.

Scribblenauts Unlimited

Players are given a task and have to write whatever they think will solve the problem. Anything you write will come to life inside the game. Encourages a large vocabulary and creative problem solving.

 

Geography

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?


The classic sleuthing adventure has been adapted into a Facebook game. Aside from actually travelling to the different countries, there's no better way to learn geography than to track down the criminal mastermind herself. Carmen Sandiego Returns is also available for Windows 8. 

 

History

Crusader Kings II

Though there are many historical strategy games out there (a good percentage developed by Paradox), Crusader Kings II is one of the rare few that goes deep into cultural history, discussing not only historical figures and events but also inheritance laws, religious influence, and a hierarchy of titles that varies by country.

Valiant Hearts: The Great War

In-game collectibles unlock encyclopedia entries and act as a sort of virtual museum for World War I. The contextual information adds to the immersiveness and heartbreak of this story based on a tragic conflict.

 

Languages

Influent

Influent is a simple game where you walk around a house and find the items being asked for in the language of choice. There are 16 language packs and counting. Recommended for beginning learners.

 

Math

The Counting Kingdom

Be a mathemagician! This puzzle defense game requires players to solve problems quickly if they want to defend their castle from harm. Filament Games also offers student accounts and a curriculum for teachers. 

Number Munchers

I'm including this game out of nostalgia, though I can only find it available on the iPhone and iPad. A classic educational game with simple mechanics. Eat all the numbers that fit the given formula while avoiding other monsters that are out to eat you!

 

Science: Biology

Plague Inc: Evolved
 

Your goal? Kill everyone in the world. But it's not as violent as it sounds.

In Plague Inc: Evolved, you view a map of the world and try to evolve a virus so that it can travel across species or in frigid environments, causing an ever-growing number of symptoms. An interesting study in environmental adaptation and how epidemics grow and spread.

Crazy Plant Shop

Use punnett squares to blend plant genetics together and make new kinds of plants to sell to customers. A fun way to learn genetics, a subject that is widely considered one of the most difficult parts of biology 101. Filament Games also offers student accounts and a curriculum for teachers. 

Agar.io

While Agar.io may seem like a dumb distraction, this game contains the building blocks of natural selection. Tactics include hiding in brambles to avoid large predators, riding underneath a larger blob’s belly for protection, traveling in a herd to avoid complete decimation, and then just simply being the biggest blob at the top of the food chain. You might want to turn on the "no names" setting to avoid any bad language.

 

Science: Chemistry

Sokobond

According to the Sokobond trailer, “it's the best chemistry-themed 2D indie puzzle game where you're trying to make molecules… since SpaceChem.” At the completion of each puzzle, the game provides information about each molecule formed.

 

Science: Physics

Universe Sandbox
 

Mess around with the universe and see how physics works on a truly astronomical scale. Universe Sandbox 2 is currently available in alpha.

Kerbal Space Program


A space flight simulator with adorable green men who talk like Minions. Gameplay includes floating through space, achieving orbit, and safely landing your spacecraft.

Portal 2

Use portals to mess with both gravity and reality. There's also a level editor. Visit teachwithportals.com for lesson plan information.

Osmos

Feel all the inertia with none of the drag. Learn about Newton’s laws of motion as you try to stabilize yourself. Learn about the laws of conservation as you spit out all your energy trying to move faster.

 

Social Studies

SimCity 4

Learn about government, taxes, and the importance of infrastructure.

Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna)

Created by indigenous-owned developer Upper One Games, Never Alone is a quiet and beautiful platformer exploring the culture and mythology of the Iñupiaq, an Alaskan Inuit people.

During the game, the player collects “Cultural Insights”, which are educational videos prompted by contextual events. For example, after encountering the arctic fox in the game, a video is unlocked teaching the player about arctic foxes. When a cold gust of wind blows, a video is unlocked about Iñupiaq clothing.

 

Tech Ed.

Poly Bridge

A physics simulator about building bridges. Includes a steady learning curve that teaches the basics of construction.

The Incredible Machine

Another classic. Essentially, a Rube Goldberg machine simulator. Players complete challenges or use the level editor to discover cause-and-effect relationships.

Minecraft

Minecraft is, at its core, all about exploration and procedural learning. Given its popularity, though, the community has created working calculators and replicas of entire cities with the game. Teachers, too, have come up with such services as MinecraftEdu and Club Minecraft.

What other educational games can you think of? Share with us in the comments!

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Modular Portal board game revealed at GenCon; this is The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition game https://www.gameskinny.com/szvil/modular-portal-board-game-revealed-at-gencon-this-is-the-uncooperative-cake-acquisition-game https://www.gameskinny.com/szvil/modular-portal-board-game-revealed-at-gencon-this-is-the-uncooperative-cake-acquisition-game Tue, 04 Aug 2015 11:26:24 -0400 Courtney Gamache

During this year's Gen Con, the playable Portal board game called Portal: The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition, developed by Valve Software and Cryptozoic Entertainment was viewed by many and proved to be an essential addition to any Aperture Science fan. Not only does the game have the Portal figures and themed board, but it comes with a Portal 2 code that can be redeemed on Steam

The goal of the game is to kill test subjects and get cake

"You want to be the winner and you’ll do anything to get the cake." - Sara Miguel

While this pre-production copy of Portal: The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition was played at Gen Con, it became evident that the entire goal of the game is to eliminate the other test subjects. Players have a group of test subjects and you're entire existence is a quest to obtain the fabled cake from the previous games. Sara Miguel of Cryptozoic brought it along with her to the convention to show how epic this game will be. 

The test chamber board pieces are entirely moveable, where they can "fall off" the side of the table with test subjects inside, and even flip over to reveal rewards to players. A few items that are obtainable in the game include player action cards and slices of cake which players are to collect. 

Action cards are very important, as they give extra advantages to the players and their test subjects; adding Portal Turrets and Companion Cubes to the board. 

Like with the previous games Portal and Portal 2, you'll find that Portal: The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition is designed to look as though it has sat in the Aperture Laboratories for many years. When Cryptozoic and Valve teamed up together to expand the Portal franchise onto a board game they pulled out all the stops and made it as realistic as they could.

Even small details on the boxing of the game have an appropriately affected look.

An entirely new experience

While Valve and Cryptozoic wanted this board game to be part of the Portal franchise, they also wanted it to be completely different from the video games.

Using the main themes from the Portal world, they developed a board game that expands on the games in the most pleasant way - which is taking down your friends.

GLaDOS would be extremely proud. 

"The game has been in production for a long time, because we’ve really been working hard to make sure that it is something that Portal fans will enjoy. But it’s not Portal. You’re not playing the video game in a board game, because why would you want to do that? It’s a separate experience, but it’s still very much Portal." - Sara Miguel, Cryptozoic

What do you think of this board game extension? I think it's awesome and can't wait to add it to my collection.



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Valve's Aperture virtual reality demo becomes public on YouTube https://www.gameskinny.com/awjm9/valves-aperture-virtual-reality-demo-becomes-public-on-youtube https://www.gameskinny.com/awjm9/valves-aperture-virtual-reality-demo-becomes-public-on-youtube Tue, 21 Jul 2015 06:29:27 -0400 Courtney Gamache

After months of secret demoing a virtual reality Portal game hidden from the world, ValveTime has done a spotlight on the Aperture demo that we hope will be as breathtakingly awesome as Portal and Portal 2. You might recognize a few friends.

Not a great quality but still awesome

Unfortunately, the VR demo was filmed by a third party and the quality isn't as good as we'd like, but at least the gaming community can see what a virtual reality Portal world would look like. From the spotlight demo, it seems as though you play a character with mechanical hands and tinker around the world. Within a few drawers include blueprints for our friend Atlas from Portal 2, a piece of rotten cake, and what looks like a little world.

Further along in the gameplay you start taking Atlas apart seeking to repair him, and can view the electronic bits that incorporate him. After that fiasco in the demo, GLaDOS comes by for a quick show and an insult; she's certainly "still alive." Finally, the chamber dismantled and reassembled by cranes, with a short nod to everyone's favorite Companion Cube.

It's hard to say how good the gameplay for this VR Portal demo would be. When it comes to virtual reality games, you really have to be there experiencing it first-hand to really become engulfed in the world. I truly hope that it becomes a popular entry, otherwise we most likely won't see any other Portal additions. 

Would you play a virtual reality Aperture game? 

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Top 5 Pieces of Newly Released Merch https://www.gameskinny.com/pgxvv/top-5-pieces-of-newly-released-merch https://www.gameskinny.com/pgxvv/top-5-pieces-of-newly-released-merch Wed, 27 May 2015 02:30:01 -0400 Pip Simon

For all the loot fans out there, today I am rounding up my top 5 favorite pieces of merchandise that has been recently released.1. Quantum - T -Shirt by GAMETEE

This retro tee is a beautiful shoutout to the fan favorite, Portal series by Valve. It features an imagined ad  for the Quantum Tunneling Device as it would have been martketed in the 1950s. This is a lovely design by Jacob Briggs; it's soft colors and lightweight fabric adds to the worn and dated feel of the design. This shirt is available in unisex sizes and retails for £17.99 (approx. $27.00).

2. Kafei Dress by Much Needed Merch

Much Needed Merch has a wide variety of styles for both men and women, and offer much more than t-shirts. The company has been releasing Zelda inspired dresses for some time. Most recently they have released the Kafei dress based on the character featured in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. This dress is perfect for a closet cosplay or could easily be worn fashionably day-to-day. It's lightweight, stretchy fabric makes it very comfortable. This dress retails for $39.99 and is available in XS-3XL.

3. Dragon Age Merchandise by Sanshee

Sanshee has released its new line of Dragon Age inspired merchandise. The line includes the Inquisition Heraldry Shirt, which features artwork by Chad Gowey. It comes in Unisex and Women's sizes and retails for $19.99. The line also features the adorable Big Mabari Plush and 2 new Character Button Packs.

4. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past by Shotaro Ishinomori

If you were kid in the 90's, then you might remember a little gem called Nintendo Power which featured tips and teasers for upcoming games. It also featured a serialized comic of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Recently Viz Media released a reprinted collection of this classic comic. The paperback can be found for $13.99 on Amazon, and is sure to please.

5. Mako Tee by BioWare

BioWare has just released a new line of Mass Effect T-shirts, including the Mako Tee, Stacked Tee, and Collision Tee. These beautifully designed t-shirts give a vintage 80's feel to the franchise. They come in men's sizes S-XXL. Currently on sale for $15.00, this is definitely worth snagging. 

So let me know what your favorite item on the list is. If you have any recommendations for other merch let us all know in the comments. Be sure to check out Geek on Your Sleeve on Youtube for further updates and reviews.

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The Talos Principle Review - Far From Portal 2 https://www.gameskinny.com/r5pd1/the-talos-principle-review-far-from-portal-2 https://www.gameskinny.com/r5pd1/the-talos-principle-review-far-from-portal-2 Thu, 12 Feb 2015 09:26:13 -0500 Autumn Fish

It has been a long time since I picked up a puzzle game, and the itch to solve something huge has crawled up my spine lately. The Talos Principle has a lot of attention lately, so I picked it up and decided I'd give it a go.

The initial reviews left me skeptical—a lot of them bashed on the poor blending of story and gameplay elements—but contrary to those criticisms, I found the game to be incredibly enjoyable and full of curiosities.

It didn't take me long before realizing what the critics were talking about—the story and puzzle elements do not blend that well. However, so many reviewers use Portal 2—a nearly flawless game—as a point of comparison when reviewing puzzle games. Frankly, it's unfair. A game doesn't need constant, humorous narration to have gameplay and story elements that blend together beautifully, and The Talos Principle is a prime example of that.

The Talos Principle Review

The Talos Principle

The Talos Principle focuses on an identical theme for story and gameplay. When you find yourself stuck, you have to change how you perceive the situation in order to progress. Chances are, some of the puzzles are going to trick you into a mind trap, where you have difficulties seeing the solution unless you drastically change your perspective on the level.

Perception is key in The Talos Principle, and it perfectly draws from both story and gameplay elements. So while they appear to have little connection, they both carry a common theme—a theme that is very difficult for someone to work past.

Gameplay

The Talos Principle ReviewThe Talos Principle, at its core, is an excellently crafted 3D puzzle game that fully utilizes its puzzle elements better than many of its predecessors. If you are simply looking for a great puzzle game, look no further. The Talos Principle will challenge your mind beyond the limits of your conscious and relentlessly throw puzzle after horrifying puzzle at you until your brain fries.

The Talos Principle does single-player puzzles better than any other game I know. If you love puzzle games, you owe it to yourself to try out The Talos Principle at some point.

This game progresses in a completely non-linear fashion. Right off the bat, the voice from the sky leads you to a room that branches out to five different puzzles and a locked door that requires you to complete at least three of them. Past that door is a portal that leads to a giant structure packed with gatewaysThe Talos Principle Review that lead off to more mini-HUBs.

I thought that was it, but as it turns out, there are even more. The Talos Principle branches out like a spider web, with the Great Tower in the center of it all, tempting you at every corner.

Story

The story of The Talos Principle is told both through narration and environmental interaction. Essentially, you've just woken up in a world of machines and human history—even you are a machine. The only signs of the human race are the ruins you traverse throughout the game and the information you glean from terminals (computers) scattered across the world.

As soon as you wake, you are greeted by a disembodied voice that accompanies you throughout the game and goes by the name: Elohim—which means "gods" in ancient Hebrew. He speaks with what one might call 'divine' serenity and grace.

The mystery of The Talos Principle is incredibly intoxicating to anyone curious enough to pick up the controller.

Along the way, you will begin to spot QR codes on the walls, signed off by other humanoid machines like you—no, not real people, it is part of the mystery. It's not long before you start seeing others question Elohim, their purpose, or even their very faith.

The terminals let you access extremely corrupted library data records that allow glimpses into the past. Some of these glimpses are purely fictional and ahead-of-our-time for stories sake, but when it comes to human history, the accounts are surprisingly accurate. And it isn't rehashing your 9th-grade history class, it's teaching the things your history teachers might have failed to teach you—like the burning of the Library of Alexandria and why it is important.

The story of The Talos Principle sent shivers up my spine, and not always in a good way. Which is okay, I suppose—horror games give off the same feeling.

Is The Talos Principle like Portal 2?

The Talos Principle ReviewNo—The Talos Principle has very little in common with Portal 2. If you've played Portal 2, you'll know that a lot of their puzzle mechanics are very physics based. Just because two games are 3D puzzle games, they are not necessarily similar. If you tried to approach The Talos Principle the same way you approach Portal 2, you are setting yourself up for failure.

The Talos Principle cleverly uses 3D puzzling mechanics without entrusting the character to pull any crazy stunts like Chell would. You don't fly across the map to nab your prize. Instead, you're using your wit to beat the odds against the limited tools you're supplied.

The Talos Principle Review

Verdict

The Talos Principle pushes you to constantly question yourself, whether you're completing a puzzle or reading through the terminals. What is actually going on in this world? Our nature as problem-solvers is to discover the great mysteries laid in front of is.

The mystery of The Talos Principle is incredibly intoxicating to anyone curious enough to pick up the controller. Go ahead. Play it once. Play it twice. Don't say I didn't warn you.

At the time of writing, The Talos Principle is only out for the PC, but will be available on the PS4 sometime early this year.

]]>
5 Cocktails for the Drinking Gamer https://www.gameskinny.com/3cpal/5-cocktails-for-the-drinking-gamer https://www.gameskinny.com/3cpal/5-cocktails-for-the-drinking-gamer Sun, 01 Feb 2015 17:40:19 -0500 Akeem Favor

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Inspiration: Destiny 

\n

Cristina Viseu creates some great gaming and geek-inspired creations and this cocktail is one of them. 

A simple combination of tonic water, blackberry syrup, curacao, and gin, this beauty glows under black lights. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/622455a47da4712d4520a407b6b7c868.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_622455a47da4712d4520a407b6b7c868.jpg","type":"slide","id":"58681","description":"

Inspiration: Killzone 2

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The drink, entitled Tears of the Helghast, was created by Games Radar as part of a special article and tested by Veronica Belmont. Yes, the same Belmont that was the former host of Qore.

So what's in this blood-red drink? Coffee liqueur, Creme de Noyaux, cream, and a lot of cherries. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/287cf3b0b30c6b0afa4ba112a3affad6.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_287cf3b0b30c6b0afa4ba112a3affad6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"58668","description":"

Inspiration: Mega Man X Series

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The Z-Saber is the iconic energy sword of Zero, one of the main characters of the Mega Man X series. 

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The drink, created by Mitch Hutts of The Drunken Moogle, combines vodka, gin, white tequila, triple sec, melon liqueur, and lemon-lime soda into a creation as dangerous as its namesake. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6c131ed2fa4067d9f54c9a69c78a8e48.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_6c131ed2fa4067d9f54c9a69c78a8e48.png","type":"slide","id":"58702","description":"

Inspiration: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 

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Chateau Romani, created by EXP Bar Online, is made from amaretto, Frangelico, Wild Turkey American Honey, and milk. 

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Guaranteed to give you three days of magic or double your rupees back.  

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a7b00ce40d4a969725c5b9927c307dd1.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_a7b00ce40d4a969725c5b9927c307dd1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"58665","description":"

Inspiration: Portal 2 

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This unique pairing of drinks, called Portal Two, was created by Loading, a video game bar based in the UK. The first cocktail consists of rum, Orangina, and Cointreau. The second is a mix of blue curacao, lemonade, and vodka.

"}]]]>
10 Ways to Gamify Your Room https://www.gameskinny.com/r2obc/10-ways-to-gamify-your-room https://www.gameskinny.com/r2obc/10-ways-to-gamify-your-room Sun, 23 Nov 2014 19:57:11 -0500 Sara Ventura

[{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b1c55338d4e026b4c0cada156a78778b.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_b1c55338d4e026b4c0cada156a78778b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55551","description":"

Fighting Stickmen Bookends

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Price: $19.99

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Buy it: Think Geek

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These bookends are great for the fighting game lover, from Divekick to Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat to Soulcaliber. With books sandwiched in between, it looks like they're kicking the books upright.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/dbbe81ef55caf32328f3e5723bf7468b.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_dbbe81ef55caf32328f3e5723bf7468b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55550","description":"

Minecraft Light-Up Torch

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Price: $24.99

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Buy it: Think Geek

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Don't want to take the trip to the bathroom in the dark? Grab your handy Minecraft torch and light the way to your porcelain throne, all while keeping the monsters away. It's made out of ABS plastic and can be carried, hung on a wall, or placed on a table.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/3c6ad86006fdcd52fa5047aabf6c6a08.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_3c6ad86006fdcd52fa5047aabf6c6a08.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55548","description":"

Portal 2 Plush Turret with Sound

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Price: $24.99

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Buy it: Think Geek

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This cuddly death machine spouts 11 phrases like: "target acquired," "critical error," or "I don't hate you." It stands 14.5" high and its eye glows. Consider pairing it with a Companion Cube lunch box.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/1047d3b9937f26b3f872ffec1108f9d0.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_1047d3b9937f26b3f872ffec1108f9d0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55545","description":"

Retro Video Game Pillow Set

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Price: $24.99

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Buy it: Think Geek

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Though these aren't based on real games, the throwback style of the NES cartridge is a perfect addition to your couch or bed. It's much better than cuddling up with the small, plastic versions, even if the Legend of Zelda is alluringly shiny.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f43f673e70a9fe27ef62f32524c93515.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_f43f673e70a9fe27ef62f32524c93515.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55549","description":"

Rubik's Cube Refrigerator

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Price: $149.99

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Buy it: Think Geek

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Sure, a Rubik's Cube isn't your typical "game" but you can't deny it might be just as hard as Mike Tyson in Punch Out if you don't know how to solve it. Instead of worrying about it, go play with your Tetris lights and instead keep your soda in this one.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/64b1e3c71e32513092e2a19c9540b3ce.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_64b1e3c71e32513092e2a19c9540b3ce.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55544","description":"

Tetris Stackable LED Desk Lamp

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Price: $39.99

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Buy it: Think Geek

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This stackable Tetris lamp is perfect for your desk or night stand. When you add one of the seven pieces to the bigger part, it lights up automatically. Imagine buying several of these and conjoining them... the possibilities!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/26829acead2b87aa31e14f156bf951e7.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_26829acead2b87aa31e14f156bf951e7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55542","description":"

Sci-Fi Decals

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Price: $64.99

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Buy it: Think Geek

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Want to make it look like the door into your room in a zombie or alien decontamination center? What about making the inside door of your closet a weapons arsenal? These 80"x32" vinyl decals are perfect for sci-fi enthusiasts or FPS players.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8243033f5c392d54a178b7f7747d6032.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_8243033f5c392d54a178b7f7747d6032.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55541","description":"

Nintendo Wall Decals

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Price: $10.99

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Buy it: Amazon

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Don't want a poster? Instead, do you want to stick Yoshi's tongue out at Bowser or hop over a Bullet Bill? This vinyl sticker set comes with 35 decals featuring popular characters from the Marioverse. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/170fb0b59f84700e35be11f693a750de.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_170fb0b59f84700e35be11f693a750de.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55543","description":"

Pac-Man Fleece Blanket

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Price: $24.99

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Buy it: Think Geek

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Get ready for the winter with this wocka wocka fleece blanket complete with all of the ghosties. Unfortunately, the screen capture printed says "Game Over." Looks like you need to show them who's boss and beat it yourself.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/4cefb0f7dcacd142b616c67fe3c13e25.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_4cefb0f7dcacd142b616c67fe3c13e25.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55539","description":"

Nintendo Wall Art

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Price: $39.99

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Buy it: Think Geek

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Nothing screams throwback like a retro Nintendo poster featuring Mario. These 2x5 posters are made of firm stretched canvas so can withstand you throwing your Mountain Dew in a fit of rage at the wall when you miss that jump.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/33954954eb366c7e22c9655d83c88a51.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_33954954eb366c7e22c9655d83c88a51.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55552","description":"

Is your apartment or dorm room feeling a little bare? There's a ton of ways you can spice up your room, whether it be wall decals, stuffed plushies, or even a Minecraft light torch. Here are 10 ways to show everyone your favorite games without them checking the 50+ hours you've tracked on Steam.

"}]]]>
Portal Without Portals! Aperture Tag Releases on Steam https://www.gameskinny.com/adr7p/portal-without-portals-aperture-tag-releases-on-steam https://www.gameskinny.com/adr7p/portal-without-portals-aperture-tag-releases-on-steam Wed, 16 Jul 2014 03:16:10 -0400 Yasmin Curren

I was once scrolling through YouTube when I stumbled across a video with the title 'Portal 2 without Portals?!' Intrigued, I began watching it and sure enough there were no Portal guns, well, not in the way that I knew them. Portal super-fans had remodelled Portal 2 so that instead of shooting orange and blue Portals it shot Repulsion and Propulsion Gel. I watched as the YouTuber zoomed and bounced around the map before finding the exit. 

At this time the Mod was part of Steam Greenlight, being voted for by the Steam community. My initial thought while watching this was... "How? How can I play Portal without any Portals?" It didn't feel right! But I have to admit, all of that high-speed bouncing did look a whole lot of fun!

As of July 15th this odd 'portal without portals' concept, now known as Aperture Tag: The Paintgun Testing Initiative, has gotten a stamp of approval by Valve themselves by licensing it as a Portal 2 Mod to be sold for profit! It can already be purchased from Steam for PC and Mac.

Since watching the video above this mod has had a lot of work done for it. It now includes 27 original maps as well as an original story campaign with a new character! This mod also gives you the opportunity to get creative and model your own puzzles with an in-game level editor. As well as this there is: single-player and co-op workshop integration, original soundtrack by AbaraxHarry101UK, and Christopher McEvoy, Steam trading cards and full developer commentary.

“If you're like me, when you played Portal 2, you covered every room in as much bouncy gel as possible. Well now it's a whole lot easier, and you can color coordinate the walls with orange gel.” 

-Kotaku

Aperture Tag can be purchased on Steam for 30% off until July 22nd selling at £3.49 instead of £4.99.


]]>
14 Games To Play With Your Valentine https://www.gameskinny.com/1jz17/14-games-to-play-with-your-valentine https://www.gameskinny.com/1jz17/14-games-to-play-with-your-valentine Wed, 12 Feb 2014 13:22:08 -0500 Venisia Gonzalez

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Don't forget a second controller, chocolate, flowers and a super cool Valentine's Day card!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/228d34c46d5651fa3a0b606b9a014349.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_228d34c46d5651fa3a0b606b9a014349.jpg","type":"slide","id":"33650","description":"

What more says "I love you" than battling the seven evil exes of the woman you love? In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, this super cute beat 'em up game takes you on an adventure as you battle through seven levels to defeat Ramona's evil exes. Having a partner in this game really pays off.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/5699515e20f12db7df5d77eef1ec3f42.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_5699515e20f12db7df5d77eef1ec3f42.png","type":"slide","id":"33644","description":"

If Japanese role-playing is more your style, then how about Tales of Xillia from Namco Bandai Games? The game takes place in the world of Rieze Maxia and follows Jude Mathis and Milla Maxwell. The two discover a military research that involves spirits and will endanger the world.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/48c1d7c1123982efe04a23d016ad5f6f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_48c1d7c1123982efe04a23d016ad5f6f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"33643","description":"

Ever thought about starting your own band? Well now you can in Rock Band 3. Team up with your partner on vocals, guitar, bass, keyboard, and/or drums to the latest hits in the music business.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/3aa8a739bc5fe9fe177be63669400b61.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_3aa8a739bc5fe9fe177be63669400b61.jpg","type":"slide","id":"33640","description":"

With 256 combinations for characters, Activision is at it again with Skylanders Swap Force. Join the people of Skyland against the evil maniac Kaos in this wonderful fun game where now your Skylanders can jump!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0929e44073f065e3a84e1fe6b7e96847.jpeg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_0929e44073f065e3a84e1fe6b7e96847.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"33639","description":"

Want to challenge one another in a fun puzzle platform? Then join Atlas and P-body in the Aperture Science Test Chambers in the amazing Portal 2.

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Disclaimer on Portal 2: This game can cause people (i.e. my fiancé) to argue on who solves the most puzzles and GLaDOS doesn't help the situation with her commentary. Players beware!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/5152eb646e1a0953e07372f093fadd5f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_5152eb646e1a0953e07372f093fadd5f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"33638","description":"

In another fun game, The Behemoth gives us Alien Hominid. Fight off waves of secret agents in this cartoon-style side-scrolling shooter.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0192ae5d920af603a4d63373991f46fa.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_0192ae5d920af603a4d63373991f46fa.jpg","type":"slide","id":"33634","description":"

Create your own world or survive from monsters in Minecraft. Enjoy this open world where you decide how you play the game and your only limit is your imagination.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/74005e84fbcfd29e7c70f9ea4b717948.jpeg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_74005e84fbcfd29e7c70f9ea4b717948.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"33633","description":"

In Borderlands 2, play as Axton, Maya, Salvador, Zer0, Gaige or Krieg on the planet of Pandora to stop Handsome Jack's plan of opening the Vault and unleashing The Warrior. Former characters from the original Borderlands game join in with some new faces on this high adrenalin ride.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f2f6fcea428e220814018c18f036db7a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_f2f6fcea428e220814018c18f036db7a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"33631","description":"

Venture on with Sackboy and friends creating custom levels for racing, puzzle and role-playing games in Little Big Planet 2. Challenge one another's creative abilities while having fun.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b833c6b1fc3c9e361fd9fd6c29148bbf.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_b833c6b1fc3c9e361fd9fd6c29148bbf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"33630","description":"

Diablo III is an action role-playing game where you can be any of 5 characters -- a Witch Doctor, Barbarian, Wizard, Monk or Demon Hunter. Team up with your partner to defeat evil and hoard tons of loot.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8b17714410d3a0df18dface53f06adc7.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_8b17714410d3a0df18dface53f06adc7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"33629","description":"

Do women really drive that badly? Find out how you both measure up in Mario Kart for fun laughs.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/4ef0f1d57277bef0f371eb52b1a0a139.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_4ef0f1d57277bef0f371eb52b1a0a139.jpg","type":"slide","id":"33627","description":"

What could be more fun than being a super hero? Being a Lego Super Hero that's what! Lego Marvel Super Heroes is fun and with so many characters to choose from, you'll be in comic book heaven.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/133bba49a447929e4bdeebde64bae42f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_133bba49a447929e4bdeebde64bae42f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"33626","description":"

Feel like shaking your booty? Well then Dance Central 3 is certainly the game to get your body moving with some dance moves to set the mood right.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/537c035eb45d6da0e4e6276753648e9d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_537c035eb45d6da0e4e6276753648e9d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"33625","description":"

Castle Crashers by The Behemoth is a super cute and fun game to play. It's a cartoon style beat 'em up role-playing game where you play as a knight fighting the bad guys to save and kiss the princess. Oh how romantic!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a5be600e41de370e468097abeba7c73d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_a5be600e41de370e468097abeba7c73d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"33623","description":"

Valentine's Day is just about here and what do most gamers do? Play games with their Valentine. Here are some suggested video games to play together all in the name of fun.

"}]]]>
Portal 2 - Bring a Friend https://www.gameskinny.com/c0n4p/portal-2-bring-a-friend https://www.gameskinny.com/c0n4p/portal-2-bring-a-friend Tue, 11 Feb 2014 09:16:00 -0500 Venisia Gonzalez

Portal 2 is a first-person puzzle-platform developed by Valve Corporation. It's the sequel to the incredible Portal (2007) and was released in April 18th, 2011 for PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and PS3.

The game keeps Portal's original gameplay elements but adds some new features, including:

  • Tractor beams
  • Laser redirection
  • Bridges made of light
  • Paint-like 'gels' that accelerate the player's speed, allowing to jump higher and put portals on any surface
  • Adds a cooperative campaign

Players take on the role of Chell once again in the single-player campaign, as one of two robots--Atlas or P-body--in the cooperative campaign, or as a simple humanoid icon in community-developed puzzles. The game includes a two-player cooperative mode. Both player-characters are robots that can control separate portal guns and can use each other's portal. The color scheme is different for each character, one is blue and purple, the other orange and red.

 A calibration chamber separates the characters to teach the players how to use the communication tools and portals. The game provides voice communication between players. Players can "ping" to draw the other player's attention to walls or objects, start countdown timers for synchronized actions and perform gestures (I'll get into that in a few). The game also tracks which chambers each player has completed and allows for replay of chambers with new players.

Chell and Wheately

In the single-player campaign you are Chell once again who awakes in a stasis chamber that looks similar to a motel room. An announcer's voice guides her through a cognitive test before she's put right back to sleep. When she awakens again, many years have passed by and the Aperture Science facility has become neglected and overgrown. 

Wheatley, a personality core, moves the room which is located in one of hundreds of shipping containers in the warehouse. The pair attempt to escape via the test chambers and in the process, accidentally reactivate the dormant GLaDOS who then separates Chell from Wheately and rebuilds the laboratory.

Wheately from Portal 2

I won't continue on about the single-player campaign as it would spoil what happens. I will tell you that you must find ways to advance on by using your brain and the portal gun. I will also tell you that it's amazing, funny and that I loved it. Be careful on how you maneuver through the portals though, hazards are bound to be around and occur, not to mention getting yourself dizzy .

The cooperative campaign... I want to say this first, I LOVED the cooperative campaign! I had such a blast. 

It takes place after the single-player campaign, so the story has some ties to it but you're not required to play it if you don't want to. I recommend that you do.

Player characters, Atlas and P-body, are robots who navigate through sets of test chambers together with their own fully functional portal gun. After completing a test chamber, the robots are disassembled and then reassembled at the next chamber. After completing a set, they return to a central hub. The puzzles in each set focus on a particular testing element or puzzle-solving technique. GLaDOS is excited about her non-human test subjects but she eventually stops being enthusiastic when the two robots cannot truly die. Again I won't tell you what happens towards the end so it's not spoiled for you.

Playing the cooperative campaign is tons of fun thanks to Atlas and P-body. As I had stated earlier, the robots can perform gestures, meaning they can interact with each other and this is where it's hilarious. Both robots can hi-five, dance, wave, hug and even play the game rock-paper-scissors! There are achievements for performing these gestures too. You can have a lot of fun with these two and what's even funnier is the dialogue you get from GLaDOS while messing around.


Atlas and P-body here are playing rock-paper-scissors

Playing in the test chamber together in cooperative mode can be tricky as you have to get through as a team and use one another for tasks, so you really have to think about what you're doing. If you're not on a split-screen on the same console, this becomes even harder online.

I absolutely loved the writing done for Portal 2. Writers Jay Pinkerton, Eric Wolpaw and Chet Faliszek won the Best Narrative award for Portal 2 at the 2012 Game Developers Conference. The writers saw Aperture Science as a character in of itself and that "it's a science company that's gone mad with science."

The voice cast is wonderful. Ellen McLain returns as the voice of GLaDOS. Actor J.K. Simmons voices Aperture Science Creator Cave Johnson and actor Stephen Merchant voices Wheately the personality core.

If you haven't played this amazing game, I strongly recommend that you do and don't forget to bring a friend.

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Top 3 Games to Work Your Mind https://www.gameskinny.com/6wu85/top-3-games-to-work-your-mind https://www.gameskinny.com/6wu85/top-3-games-to-work-your-mind Fri, 20 Dec 2013 10:19:23 -0500 user_name1234

You probably hear a lot of complains and negative reactions about video games on the news or in the newspaper. For example, "Did this child steal from the store because of Grand Theft Auto? OF COURSE!"

I'm not saying children aren't affected when playing violent video games. It really depends on how mature the kids are. But, there are of course many video games that can develop minds to become creative and strategic. Those skills as a human being can be very useful when that person is a child.

Yes, when children are at school they need to think a lot--when doing math, for example. That's when you need to be creative and strategic. I am not a parent (I'm a kid), but why not see this from my perspective then? This list is based of from the games I've played and that I found interesting and creative and such. And I also want to make an honorable mention to Minecraft that unfortunately didn't make it on this list.

"How to develop the mind of a child through video games?"
#1. Portal/Portal 2

Portal is a game about creating gateways with a portalgun through mind-boggling environments, and solving puzzles to come to the next stage. I can't explain how many hours of gameplay I've spent on this game and it was worth every second of it. After playing this game, it was much easier for me to solve puzzles and it was much more fun, too! I was even better than my dad!

#2. Thomas Was Alone

I'm not gonna lie here, I don't really know much about it except that it's a really well made 2 dimensional puzzle game that contains multitasking and such. There are characters that have different shapes and sizes and you need to "think before you act" a lot. It's great fun too.

#3. Thief

I think this game is brilliant. There is more to this game than the naked eye can see. You have to sneak, you have to hide, you have to concentrate, you need to listen, and you have to be observant of how the AI moves and how well it reacts.

I'm not saying your kid should become the best thief in the whole world or anything, but the whole concept is brilliant. Thief is about a man named Garrett who is the most skilled thief in all of "The City." In the beginning, when he was a child, he just stole to survive. Then it escalated to a way of life. I bet that not one single person finished this game the same way as someone else did. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what I call a stealth game.

Thank you for reading and comment below for any questions.

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Top 4 Games with Perfect Endings. Spoilers Ahead! https://www.gameskinny.com/d2q3s/top-4-games-with-perfect-endings-spoilers-ahead https://www.gameskinny.com/d2q3s/top-4-games-with-perfect-endings-spoilers-ahead Mon, 29 Jul 2013 22:39:30 -0400 The_Dorkknight

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Honorable mention: The perseverance of the human condition to survive. That is, in the end of this amazing game, the moral. As you journey through the testing facility in Portal 2, you encounter 2 villains fighting each other for control of the test site. Caught in the cross-fire, your journey pits you against these two robots in an attempt to escape and once again feel the warmth of the outside world. For a puzzle game, Portal 2 has an intriguing story line not normally seen in this genre.

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My list ends with the most controversial. Bioshock: Infinite leaves the player's mind boggled. With strong ties to string and multiverse theory, and the possibility of INFINITE worlds, the game has had players arguing about the ending, and has left us with multiple trains of thought. The reason this tops my chart is that reason alone. A game that can keep people so involved that it leads to arguments with friends and co-workers is a game that will stand the test of time. 

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Broken down into 5 episodes, Telltale Game's The Walking Dead is a roller coaster ride of emotions from start to finish. The finale is no different. One of the only games in recent history to truly make me shed a tear, we are left with Clementine having to either kill her father figure and your playable character, Lee Everett, or leave him to become a monster. After connecting with Clementine and redeeming yourself from the person you were before the zombie outbreak, you push yourself to save her life. As with most great video game endings, The Walking Dead is left open for a sequel. 

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One of two games on this list to be a top contender for game of the year 2013, The Last of Us not only gives us a game, but a gripping story. As Joel you are given a mission to escort Ellie from Boston to Salt Lake City. Although the reason is not known right away, Ellie carries a possible cure to a disease that has left the world with zombie like creatures known as clickers. Not only are you left to defend yourself against them, but also a world that has broken down and left humanity in a feral state. You encounter dangers along the way bringing you and your "package" closer. The end truly shows that the best family you can have is the one you choose.

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Red Dead Redemption sees its protagonist making the ultimate sacrifice for his family. As he sees them ride into the sunset, John Marsten is gunned down, but not before taking a few of his captors with him. Unfortunately, his sacrifice was in vain. In the epilogue, we see the son he tried to keep from going down a road of villainy begin his downward spiral as he seeks revenge on his father's killers.

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Weekly Game Time #2 https://www.gameskinny.com/4le2y/weekly-game-time-2 https://www.gameskinny.com/4le2y/weekly-game-time-2 Mon, 08 Jul 2013 16:59:47 -0400 Germ_the_Nobody

Indigo Prophecy

Once I started getting into the game I couldn't help but think it could have been named "Heavy Snow", being the predecessor of Heavy Rain and it's always snowing. I expected a decent game from what I had read about it and had seen, but I definitely wasn't expecting it to be as good as it is. It's an older game and it shows. While the graphics are noticeably dated, it's also just easy to ignore because of the cinematic camera work, the story, and the music. I really think it still holds up very well with its beautiful aesthetics. I'm enjoying it just as much as I enjoyed Heavy Rain. It's really impressive and I've been totally immersed.

You play as three different characters, two cops and a citizen. So far I really care about two of the characters, not so much for the black guy. Sadly he is totally a stereo-type and kind of boring because of it. I say kind of, because he is a cool dude, it's just sad what they did to him. Even when you play as him the music goes from a dark, moody yet beautiful sound, to 80's hip-hop/porn music. It doesn't necessarily ruin the character, but it did ruin the mood for me. Fortunately it doesn't happen every time you play as him. It was just very noticeable the first time it happened. The more I play, the more I enjoy each of them. But my favorite right now is the female cop.

The game sucked me in right from the start. The opening credits were beautiful aesthetically. The music is wonderful. The story pretty much thrusts you right into a dramatic event. I always like that. I used to love stories that dragged out, but not anymore. This one's pacing is really nice. Of course there are also slow parts. I was just glad it started fast. It's deeply story-driven.

Getting started was a bit of a pain. The game won't recognize the right analog stick of my controller so I broke down and modified a few keybinds for the keyboard and I was good to go. It's working out pretty well. There have been a couple of quick-time-events that got me a bit stuck but once I learned how exactly they worked, it became easy. The mechanics of the QTEs are pretty neat and very similar to Heavy Rain. Since I'm playing on the keyboard they are a bit tricky but easy to get used to. Taking the place of the left analog stick on a controller, I have W, A, S, D as my movements. The camera moves while holding the right mouse button in most scenes, but some scenes don't allow you free reign on the camera. You can also go into first-person mode for a look around.

During the QTEs I have the arrow keys taking the place of the right analog stick of a controller. It probably sounds awkward, and it is a little, but it works out okay because during the QTEs you don't need the mouse or regular buttons. You have these Simon Says style colored button prompts to follow. Two different circles appear on the screen with four colors. Each circle represents each analog stick. Sounds weird doesn't it? See the screenshot above to get a better idea. It's actually pretty fun. And the QTE's aren't the typical ones you're used to in most games. These are a mix of sequences and timed cinematic events, very cool.

For the dialogue scenes you hold the left mouse button and drag the mouse left, right, up, and down for your different choices. For some of the action sequences you drag left, then up, or right, then up, and so on. It's frustrating at first, but it's really not that bad once you get used to it.

If you've played and enjoyed Heavy Rain but, like me, you never experienced Indigo Prophecy, pick it up. You won't regret it. If you have not experienced Heavy Rain, go out of your way to do so. Play it at a friend's. And understand that these are interactive movies. They aren't shooters, they aren't hack-and-slash. They allow you to experience the story by interacting with the characters. Similar to The Walking Dead game but a hundred times more interactive. This isn't the kind of game you will jump into and just play. It's for when you're in the mood to experience a great story. So you'll want to be patient and ready to sit back and enjoy.

Since it's old, you may not want to pay $20 for it. I think it's definitely worth it. But I'm also a super cheap gamer. The game goes on sale maybe twice a year for $5. So when you see it on sale, just pick it up for the next time you're in a mood to enjoy a kickass interactive story.

Lost Planet

It took me awhile to finally pick this up. I read plenty of reviews that practically sold me on the game, but then I'd look at it and I would think it does look cool, but it also looks like just another shooter. It is just another shooter, but it's just another good one! I'm only a couple of hours into it but the story seems pretty decent. It has me interested. The aliens are crazy freaking awesome looking. And they're huge! Of course, the aliens come in assorted sizes. Some are bigger that a skyscraper, others are bigger than a house, and then some are human size or smaller. Most of the ones I've encountered so far are pretty big. I'm loving it!

The game mechanic for health is interesting. I'm still not sure how it fully works. It's been explained in the game already but I have a terrible memory and I just don't care about the abilities names and such. I'm sure I'll start to remember it as I continue playing. You have a shield that's a part of some energy power you have. It slowly drains itself no matter what you do in the game. It's also depleted quicker by the damage you take from enemies. You replenish it by picking up energy from the enemies you kill. You can actually collect a whole crap-ton of this stuff and get a really large shield built up as long as you keep killing enemies.

Being able to get inside of a mech is also really cool. Besides the cool mech aspect, you have a Bionic Commando style grapple-hook. I haven't had to use it too much in my first few steps in the game, but I think it's pretty neat so far.

I just realized something I think is funny. This is another game with a lot of snow. While you can tell the graphics are dated, some of the in-game scenes I've seen early on are pretty dang amazing.

Moto GP 13

I haven't played a motorcycle racing sim since I was in my early teens. I can't even remember the names of the ones I had played back then. This was an unexpected nice return to the genre. Of course, I wouldn't have played it if it wasn't added to OnLive cloud-gaming platforms PlayPack. This is their optional monthly subscription plan. If you want to know more about OnLive, feel free to read my article on it.

This isn't a game I would normally buy nowadays. Not because I don't have interest in it, but because I don't have as much interest in this type of game as I used to. I have enough racing games to play already and if I'm gonna buy a new one, I'd prefer one with more impressive graphics. Not that this game doesn't have nice graphics. I just wouldn't call them impressive.

With all of OnLive's new releases, I just throw myself into it and see what the newest game on the platform is like. I was surprised at how much fun I had in this one. It's a very serious technical racer. The fact that you need to use two different brakes threw me off quite a bit. But it also intrigued me. That was new to me, and I liked it. I still don't really understand how the brakes are supposed to work, but I have come to experience that using the front broke over the rear brake gives better control. That might depend on your riding style though, I'm not sure. I've only tried one riding style so far. There are several to choose from. I cannot explain them. I have no idea what they even mean. I just read the descriptions of each and picked the one I thought sounded neat.

It's definitely not a racing game I've been used to, since I haven't played a real sim in so long. Going from full speed to almost a full halt is weird. But I definitely like it. I still prefer my arcade racers and crazy play-style in games like Pure and MX vs ATV but I'm really liking this one so far. I'd appreciate any tips. I use the front brake as my hard brake and it usually works out well, but if I use it too late I tend to have the rear of my bike come off the ground and end up in a crash. It's pretty funny but I'd like to play better. I do alternate between the two and use both at the same time, but I still don't really understand how it works. When I use both brakes I, slide out of control often.

Call of Juarez: Gunslinger

I made a brief return to the game. I'd completed it not long after the game was released. It's a wonderful game. If you haven't read my review on it, have a look.  I was just in the mood to do some shooting, and I wanted to do it in style. I love cartoon/comic-book style graphics in my games. I'm an artist so that style is special to me. I also hadn't started a New Game Plus yet since I completed it the first time.

I played about half an hour of New Game Plus on the True West difficulty. It's pretty neat, and definitely hard. I had a laugh at myself when I ran out of ammo and had no idea. Then I couldn't even get a new weapon so I had to start the mission all over again. I hadn't played in so long that I couldn't figure out why I couldn't pick up two guns. Apparently I was trying to hold two different guns of the same type, and the game doesn't let you do that. For example you can only hold one type of pistol, shotgun, or rifle. But for some reason the dual-wield hand-held shotguns count as pistols and I didn't realize that. It had been awhile since I played though so I forgot some things. Or, maybe it was just bugged? I dunno.

One of my first steps back into the game had me killing three dudes at once with one shot from each of my duel-wielded shotguns. That was awesome. This game is a real blast!

Portal 2

Seven and a half hours slipped by without my knowing. I hadn't played the game in a month or two and I wasn't in any particular mood, I just wanted to play a game. So I figured why not play some Portal 2? I still haven't completed the first game. I got very far but then I just stopped. The reason I decided to move on to Portal 2 was just because the Steam Trading Card system offers cards for it. I will eventually return to 1 and finish it.

I always forget how awesome these games are. I'm not a big puzzle game fan. I don't mind puzzles or anything, but they're definitely not my favorite type of games. I really liked Portal, but 2 is ridiculously better. I cared about the robots in the first game, but now in the second game the creators have made me care even more. I even care for the super evil master robot. She makes me laugh every time she talks. They all do though. It's some great entertaining stuff. I don't think I've ever laughed as much as I have during this game as I have playing any other game. It's a pretty clever game. There's a nice mesh of puzzles that actually make sense, and puzzles that make absolutely zero sense at all, forcing you to think "outside of the box".

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