Some of us, myself included, prefer to play games away from the computer. If I’m going to play a video game, I want to do it in a nice, comfortable, reclined position and not slouched over a desk. Besides, I don’t need to game on the PC because I do everything else there. I prefer the consoles. So when The Orange Box, with Portal and Half-Life 2 was released I purchased the 360 version. There’s nothing wrong with that. The content and the game design is identical here. Portal, on the 360, is just as brilliant as its PC counterpart.
Yesterday afternoon I managed to get the “Basic Science” achievement for Portal, which means that I scored at least a bronze medal in all the challenges. A couple of “do this in the fewest steps” challenges held me back because, unlike most of the “least portal” stages, they required a high level of precision. I was forced to redo the challenge over and over again until, before crossing that thrown controller level of frustration, I finally managed to get it. It felt satisfying. It was a triumph!
Then I got thinking: what the hell do I have to do to get golds? I looked online and found my answer and, to my surprise, the cut-off points on the challenges on the PC were the same as on the console. This did not compute. Everyone knows that a mouse (and keyboard) is many times more accurate than any little thumb stick controller, which means that the equivalent challenges are that much harder on the console. It’s a small thing but it’s the kind of balance issue that bugs me. Especially since I want to get all golds.
ALSO: on a console the game isn’t quite as exploitable.