Now you'll get a chance to set up and run psuedo-sciency traps in your very home as the twice tortured test subject comes to life with a cool, posable figure from NECA.
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GDC speakers received a special deck of cards with last year's "top rated" speakers on them. See who's in it. Read More...

Presto Gore Verbinski might be able to make a fantastic "BioShock" movie. Mike Newell may have a killer "Prince of Persia" in him. But after going to see "Wall-E" last weekend the movie I'd like to see made is a Pixar-animated version of "Portal."

Or maybe that's what I just saw. If you go see "Wall-E" you're seeing -- sort of -- "Portal: The Movie." If you're a "Portal" fan, you'll see a twist that could radically transform the gameplay of a "Portal 2."

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We recently heard about a new homebrew DS game based on a 2D flash game based on what of the most loved games of last year.

The game is "StillAliveDS." And it's loosely based on... "Portal."

You might think that a DS game based on a 2D flash platformer based on a 3D console/PC FPS game based on a thesis project might be a little diluted, but it isn't. "StillAliveDS" improves upon the "Portal: The Flash Version" formula by applying a unique art style, and adding features that take into consideration the unique capabilities of the DS.

Valve should go ahead and hire the developers and give "StillAliveDS" the proper release that it deserves.

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Just got a press release from Harmonix and MTV Games announcing that "Portal" theme song "Still Alive" will be released for "Rock Band" this week. We've known it was coming since GDC.

But did we know how cheap it would be?

From the official press release:

And, as icing on the cake, the track will be available as a FREE download on April 1 for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, and April 17 for the PLAYSTATION 3 computer entertainment system.

Why the delay for PS3? The release states:

** Dates for Rock Band game tracks are tentative and subject to change, Differences in availability are due to scheduled maintenance to PLAYSTATION Store

portal.jpgOne of last year's greatest games was, arguably, the MTV published "Rock Band." The greatest song of last year was, undeniably, "Portal"'s "Still Alive." What happens when two of the biggest things to happen in video games collide? People get happy.

"Rock Band" forum member/developer hmxsean (he's one of the guys that announces the weekly DLC) is reporting that earlier this week, at Valve's GDC party, it was announced that "Still Alive" as performed by GLaDOS, will soon be appearing as "Rock Band" DLC.

As you may remember the song was penned by the genius Jonathan Coulton, who we interviewed about the song last October, and can be heard over the closing credits of "Portal" (as well as on the iPods of most of the Multiplayer staff). Date and pricing have yet to be announced, but rest assured it will show up soon, and then you too can feel like you just survived the Aperture Science Enrichment Center, while hitting the high notes, and not eating cake, because, of course, the cake is a lie. (Has that gotten old yet?)

portalandfriendsIt was back in late October when I last raised the question to a game developer friend who answered 'no.' I am finally asking it again:

Does "Portal" need a sequel?

I'm not asking whether you think one is coming. Every major gaming studio makes sequels. Every major publisher backs them. They are marketable. And there's no reason to think that the people at Valve, who made "Portal" and bundled it for console owners with a "Half-Life" sequel, two "Half-Life 2" episodic sequels and a "Team Fortress" sequel, don't like making sequels. I've already proposed the name for any sequel's multiplayer mode: "Portal Combat." With that kind of help they must be well on their way.

I'm asking if any of you who have played "Portal" feel that the game needs a "Portal 2." And do you need it? Would your gaming lives be richer for it?

"Portal" was a game-changer for many of us. It's the only done-in-three-hours original, linear game from a major developer I've ever played. It felt like a smart, sharp video game short story. It also felt more thoroughly accomplished than most games, excelling not just in the "easy" categories of gameplay and art direction, but in the more rarely achieved standards of engaging writing and memorable soundtrack singing. The game is polished, has much sparkle and bears few flaws.

I've written that when I finished the game I felt an unusual thing: satisfaction. I didn't immediately want more, in part because I was so comfortable with what I had just got. But games are iterative and sequels in this field generally improve upon their predecessors. Lately I've been thinking that, in game terms, a "Portal 2," would probably be better, just as the inevitable sequels to a "Rock Band," "Gears of War" or "Asssassin's Creed." But am I really right to think that in the case of a "Portal" sequel? Just because that's how it used to work?

In other creative fields it is common for creators to get it right the first time. Is it possible that "Portal" -- a game that is just so small, so refined, so right -- is in that league?

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