Portal 2 Makes Designing Test Chambers Satisfying and Easy

Portal 2 Makes Designing Test Chambers Satisfying and Easy

When Valve first announced an in-game level editor would be coming to Portal 2, I was excited. Not because I am the type to ever mess around with such a feature — outside of TimeSplitters 2 I can’t think of an example of a map editor I have ever spent any extended period of time with — but because I’m intrigued to see what sort of test chambers others create. That functionality was already in place for those who are more technologically inclined. Still, the new in-game editor promised it would be “easy-to-use” and allow for levels to be shared with other players. Based on the few hours I’ve spent with the new Perpetual Testing Initiative DLC, both of those promises have been met and, much to my surprise, I now find myself more excited to see what others think of my level than I am to try out others’ creations. Valve hasn’t included any new test chambers of its own in this release. It has provided more than a simple level editor, though: New Cave Johnson story content is wrapped around the levels players create. Following up on what’s laid out in the trailer above, the beginning of each test chamber features a new clip of the J.K. Simmons-voiced Aperture Science founder talking about alternate dimensions and passing along knowledge his new assistant has shared with him. Just as within Portal 2 proper, nearly everything he says is hilarious, and in GLaDOS’ absence, his comments provide a welcome feeling…

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One man’s reentry into Pokemania proves worthwhile

One man’s reentry into Pokemania proves worthwhile

As a teenager, I played the living hell out of every RPG that crossed my path (regardless of quality), so seeing Pokemon take off during the late ’90s gave my heart hope that the world would soon be converted to my particular cult. Unfortunately, as a teenager, I also happened to be a teenager, which meant that playing something designated as kids’ stuff could cause slight shunning or a toilet-based execution. That didn’t stop me from covertly playing through the original Red, which I found curiously addicting despite the simple mechanics. Poke-fatigue set in pretty early for me, though; about halfway into Gold, I realized I’d been playing the game more out of duty than fun, so I set it free in the wilds of eBay. The last time I seriously decided to check in on the series came upon the release of 2002′s Ruby, which I assumed would take the newfound power of the GBA to make an altogether new experience. It did not. Okay, I also finished (and still own) LeafGreen, but that was more for the sake of nostalgia than anything else. I have an affinity for the original 150 — and please, don’t ask about my knowledge of either The Pokemon Rap or Weird Al’s Pokemon. Most of my motivation for blogging about the newest Pokemon (I chose White) stemmed from simple curiosity; I genuinely wanted to see how much the game had truly changed in the decade I had left it behind. Of course, I…

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