Portal and Peggle

As you might be able to tell with my various posts, I go in spurts as to what medium I’m devouring at any given time. Sometimes it’s horror movies, other times it’s trades. Recently I’ve been spreading my intake pretty thin, but I have taken the time to watch some flicks, read some trade and play a couple of video games. This post is about a few of the games I’ve been playing on the Xbox 360 (you can do more than watch movies in this thing, did you know that?)

First up, I just finished Portal last week. I know, thanks for the welcome into 2007. I grabbed the Orange Box used after getting my Xbox in December and have been playing Portal on and off for a while. It took me a while to really get into the game, but once I did, I was in like gangbusters. That is until I got to the very last stage of the game. I got kind of frustrated after getting stuck on a previous level (I actually figured out how to beat that level on my way into work one morning and had to wait until I got home that night to actually test and prove my theory), so once the very last battle started giving me trouble, I took a break. Well, last week I finally beat that bad boy and am pretty proud of myself. I’m not usually one for puzzle games, but the crazy amounts of ingenuity that the creators put into the basic gameplay and overall physics of Portal is ridiculously impressive. If I had an award show, I’d give them the grand prize for awesomest video game. Seriously, it’s amazing. Plus, at the very end, you get rewarded with a song. If you haven’t beat the game yet, you don’t really deserve to see this, but it’s already on the internet and this game is a couple years old so what the hell? Enjoy the jam:

The game that I’ve been currently addicted to is called Peggle. It’s available on Xbox Live as a downloadable game as well as PC and the DS. It might be on more platforms, but these are the ones I’ve already heard about. My boss Justin Aclin of Hero House fame turned me onto the demo last week. I got hooked and bought the full game last night with the intention of watching a movie on Netflix Instant Watch, but ended up play this puzzle game for two hours.

Before trying to explain the game you should probably just check this out:

The game is kind of like a mix between Snood, Plinko and pachinko. The point is to shoot a ball and hit all the orange balls and bricks. The blue ones also give you points, but they’re just there to bounce off of. The green ones do cool things on different stages to assist you and the purple/pink ones give you a point bonus. Aside from the thrill of figuring out the best way to work the puzzle, the real upside to playing the game is the extreme closeup as you either hit or miss the last ball, followed by bombastic music, bonus points and a rainbow telling you how many points you’ve gotten. I can’t remember how many gamer points it cost, but I’m far more glad I bought this thatn Braid, which I’m afraid I’m too dumb to figure out without a walkthrough.

Oh, you might have asked yourself what pachinko is. To be honest, I only know that it’s kind of an upright pinball played in Japan (I think) with ball bearings instead of larger balls. Oh and also what I gleaned from this amazing collection of Nic Cage commercials.

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