Let's get this out of the way first of all. I absolutely loved Portal, it was an incredible game. I would never really consider it to be a hard game, and it really only had one gimmick, and only a handful of gameplay concepts (jump from a high point to gain momentum, fly out the other portal), but what it lacked in challenge and it made up in atmosphere, creativity, and humor. The characteristic that's apparently had the most lasting effect is "GLaDOS"'s humorous and self-referential narrative throughout the game.
Before Portal, the standard seemed to be, okay, you're a character and you need to solve these puzzles / collect these items and get to the goal. Lode Runner, N, heck, I even have an engine somewhere that uses a similar formula. Post Portal, however, the standard seems to be, you're a character and you need to do the above stuff, but now they're a narrator in the background, pointing out that you're a character and you're doing that stuff. Yeah, the tactic definitely improves the loner experience, and really, I think that Shift 1 and 2use the technique incredibly effectively. What made me actually consider the application of 'Portal Humor' to games is when I played Compulse. I really did enjoy the game, but the self-referential humor just seemed sort of out of place in it (almost like how Garfield comics are better without Garfield's 2 cents thrown in at the end).
I'm just bringing this up because I'm getting the feeling that 'Portal Humor' is going to be the next 'GTA openness,' when every single game that came after Grand Theft Auto 3 was 'open!!! Like Grand Theft Auto 3!!!' Ruined SSX, if you ask me.
So what do you guys think? Do I even have anything to worry about? Will self referential humor be confined to silly puzzle games and Flash games? Or will it be the next 'thing' for all of the industry? Maybe 'real' video games could benefit from it, though, they seem to be be taking themselves far too seriously nowadays...
Or am I just jealous because I like to make fun of myself in the FPA series?
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