We Are The Lambda Generation. LambdaGeneration is a website dedicated to the video game Half-Life. ( We're basically really passionate about crowbars, headcrabs and anyone who has goatee with a PhD in theoretical physics… )

Articles related to Portal 2

Cat in the Hat Simulator: Valve and the Decline of Humor

Valve

This is an editorial by Lilgreenman which discusses the involvement of humour and comedic elements in Valve’s more recent games. All views expressed in this article are his own.

With all the noise Valve makes about Team Fortress 2 being “The world’s number 1 hat simulator”, their creative staff seem to have neglected a grounding in hat-based literature. Specifically, it seems they’ve never picked up a copy of the best selling hat-based book of all time (eat it, Oliver Sacks!), Dr. Seuss’ 1957 classic The Cat in the Hat.

Spoilers ahead for those who haven’t read C-I-T-H: The moral of the book is related to the two young protagonists by the titular feline, after he helps them clean up after a rowdy playtime session; “It’s fun to have fun, but you have to know how.” Which brings me, in my roundabout way, to my point. Valve’s top writers – internet comedy alumni Erik Wolpaw, Chet Faliszek and Jay Pinkerton – don’t seem to know how to have fun.

Fanart Friday #003

Other

It’s Friday! It’s… something doesn’t feel right. Yes, it’s Saturday. It is with my sincerest apologies that I deliver the Fanart Friday article late. But then again maybe you’re reading this through the archive and want to just get to the Fanart…   then with no further delay I present to you Fanart Friday #003:Saturday Special Edition!

Under the Radar 01: Maps and Mods You Might Have Missed

Source

It can be hard to keep track of things in the modding community. Unlike the multi-million dollar marketing campaigns of triple-A releases, us mappers have to rely on word-of-mouth or places like ModDB to have our creations discovered.

A result of this is that a lot of brilliant releases slip “under the radar” and fade into obscurity. To help rectify this, here is the first of what (we hope) will be a series of articles highlighting smaller maps and mods released recently which we think you should download and try out for yourself. They’re free!

Fanart Friday #001

Other

Hello and welcome to the first edition of Fanart Fridays! This is where we hope to showcase the awesome Fanart submitted by our dear readers and followers. And what do you know, we got some submissions to show off today, let’s jump to it!

Vic’s Thoughts On: The Portal 2’s Perpetual Testing Initiative DLC; Or Why Portal 2’s Future Is Looking Very Bright

Portal

As you may or may not know, I wasn’t exactly pleased with Portal 2’s first DLC outing – “Peer Review“. While the Challenge Mode added much-needed replay value to the game, it really should have been in the game from launch. The only other bit of content in there, the new “Art Therapy” co-op course, was rather disappointing, with poor writing and plot, as well as some meager and poorly balanced gameplay offerings.

I don’t subscribe to the school of thought that all free DLC is automatically good – you have to draw the line somewhere. And solid feedback will help make future releases better. For instance, the poor reactions to L4D1’s underwhelming “Crash Course” almost certainly helped Valve build better L4D DLC in the form of L4D2’s “The Passing” (although later on they did let us down again with “The Sacrifice“). So we needn’t be afraid to voice our opinions.

But enough about all that. Here we are, with Portal 2’s second, and perhaps final DLC release almost upon us. The Perpetual Testing Initiative promises to turn Portal 2 into a never-ending house of pure science, providing it with enough replayability and content to feed 5 full-priced Call of Duty games. But does it fulfill that promise?

Vic’s Thoughts On: Portal 2, the Unfaithful Sequel; Or Why I Think Portal 1 Will Always Be Better Than Portal 2

Portal

So, it’s been almost 5 months since Portal 2 was released. I know what you’re thinking – “what’s the point of making a review now?”. Well, first of all, it isn’t really a review. It’s more of a critique, or an analysis. And second, while I could have made a review a week or so after release, then, I would not have been able to go in depth with this review, and I would have to settle for avoiding the plot points and gameplay details, so as not to spoil the game, within what would be a shallow article. So, I decided to wait and use the time I had to perfect this thing. Besides, I think the main purpose of a review is to provide feedback to the developer. A month or two ago, P2 even had its first price cut – it’s now $30, so I think most of you guys have already bought and played it. However, just in case you haven’t – don’t read on. Spoilers everywhere. Also keep in mind that this critique is very, very long – almost 4000 words long.

I’ve tried to be a bit critical with the game. Make no mistake, I love the game, and I love Valve. But no game is perfect, and every game has its faults. Mostly, I’ve focused on the singleplayer component, because I consider that to be the actual “Portal 2”. That, and I don’t actually have that much against the co-op mode. In some ways, it’s better than the singleplayer mode.

I know it might seem like I hate the game, but I don’t. I love it, but in my opinion, it just doesn’t live up to Portal 1 as a sequel, and it doesn’t live up to Half-Life as a spin-off of the franchise. And that’s what this review is all about. I’m not trying to convince the gaming world that Portal 2 is some sort of disaster. Not at all. I am trying to illustrate why I believe Portal 2 is not as good as the original, and that Valve was wrong to hype Portal 2 up the way they did, by calling it their “best game ever”. So, read on if you’re interested… 

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