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XBLA in Brief: Portal: Still Alive

This week on XBLA in Brief, we take a look at Portal: Still Alive. Sure, it seems like an easy choice for those wanting to try Portal without paying for The Orange Box. 15 bucks for the original Portal and 14 new challenge maps? Sounds pretty good to us. The only real question is whether or not the 14 additional maps are worth it to Portal fanatics. At a buck a map, we're inclined to say yes. Check out the latest installment of XBLA in Brief to see what's new in Still Alive.

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Portal: Still Alive to bend space on the XBLA this Wednesday [update]


Update: Major Nelson confirmed with us that Portal: Still Alive will be priced at 1200 Microsoft points.

Attention -- the Aperture Science Enrichment Center cordially invites you back to experience its award-winning testing facility very soon on the Xbox Live Arcade. Play it again and for the first time with the complete original, 6 advanced maps and 14 new challenge maps. GamerScore Blog officially announced today that Portal: Still Alive will land on the marketplace on October 22. Unfortunately no price was revealed, which makes us think we're going to have to open the wallet wider than the average 800MS points. We can still dream, together.

[Thanks, HazyCloud]

Portal XBLA achievements offer more original content than actual game


When it was announced at E3 2008 the potential of Portal: Still Alive for the Xbox Live Arcade excited fans of the popular holiday '07 first-person-puzzler. While the title is still anticipated for its bonus content, which is available for free now at BigDownload, many were disappointed that the title simply offers the same experience in downloadable form. As a testament to the popularity of the game and not the shortcomings of the Arcade release, players simply wanted more. Luckily original ideas have found a way into the XBLA release of Portal. Unfortunately they come in the form of new achievements for the game.

Of the twelve achievements uncovered by MyGamerCard nine are original challenges for console gamers to play with when the game hits the service later this year. Well, at least we get something new! Hey, we don't mean to be hard on the game but its like when our parents scold us. They aren't mad, they're just disappointed. Yet, we still can't wait for the game ... sort that one out!

[Thanks, Morgon]

Continue reading Portal XBLA achievements offer more original content than actual game

Valve: Portal: Still Alive is an Xbox 360 exclusive


When Portal: Still Alive was first announced at E3 2008 it was touted as an Xbox 360 exclusive in 2008. In PR practitioner speak that means the game could see life on other platforms after 2008 but, according to Valve, that isn't the case. "I'd call that today's rumor," a Valve rep told CVG regarding a possible PSN version of Portal: Still Alive. "You're smart to ask. But no."

Portal: Still Alive is the upcoming Xbox Live Arcade, standalone map expansion, game based on the Portal: The Flash Version map pack which is currently available on PC for free -- which you can download now at Big Download. For free. Did we mention it's free?

Hey ... wait a minute! Oh, we guess Valve meant console exclusive. By the way, totally free on PC right now. Get it.

Valve would 'love' to see its older titles on XBLA


In an interview with Official Xbox Magazine UK, Valve's Doug Lombardi revealed that the company will "certainly consider" bringing some of its older titles to Xbox Live Arcade. With Valve already bringing Portal: Still Alive to XBLA, it would certainly make sense for Valve to look at placing its older titles on XBLA. Lombardi seems to agree, noting, "We'll certainly consider it. If you look at what we've done on Steam, we try to make all our games available and we're always reviewing the prices to keep them current." He added that Valve would "love" to bring it's older titles to XBLA but that "Portal: Still Alive is our first step at doing that beyond the PC." Lombardi also reiterates Valve's current strategy of working with the PC and 360 saying, "Right now, Valve's doing PC and 360 stuff, so anything we would iterate on would be on Xbox. We don't have any immediate plans to do this on PS3 or Nintendo."

Can anyone say Counter-Strike?

[Via Joystiq]

New Portal: Still Alive content mined from Flash version and no GLaDOS

During Microsoft's E3 press conference, the announcement of Portal: Still Alive caused OMG MEGATON waves of excitement throughout the fanboy nation. That was until we discovered it wasn't a full fledged sequel and would instead be a re-release of the Portal game as experienced through the Orange Box with additional content. Soon, OXM confirmed the new content wouldn't be story driven which was a bit of a bummer, but now we're hearing from Valve's Doug Lombardi that the addition content won't even be original.

Lombardi informed GameSetWatch that Portal: Still Alive's additional content will actually come from the fan created, fan tribute Portal: The Flash Version. Levels that can be experienced for free, online but now re-certified for inclusion on the 360 as part of Portal: Still Alive. It's kinda sucky if you think about it, because the flash inspired levels will not feature any story elements or the iconic GLaDOS herself. Major bummer.

So, for those who have yet to experience Portal in all its portal creation glory, Portal: Still Alive looks to be a perfect purchase. It'll be a stand alone XBLA download featuring all the original Portal content plus a few levels from Portal: The Flash Version all for a reasonable price. But for those who already own the Orange Box, Still Alive may not be worth the MS points. Unless, of course, achievements are the main draw or you don't own a computer to play Portal: The Flash Version. If that's the case, then how are you reading this? Public library computers?

[Via Joystiq]

Valve's Lombardi talks Portal XBLA, achievements and other platforms


Valve's Doug Lombardi (seen muzzled by an X3F sticker at E3 2008) recently cleared up some confusion regarding the content of Portal: Still Alive for the Xbox Live Arcade in an interview with OXM. "It's just a series of new challenges," Lombardi told the magazine. "[Portal: Still Alive is] another way for people to experience Portal, without having to buy the full Orange Box."

We can't say we're surprised. With such a focus on story we didn't expect Valve to do anything exclusively for the Xbox that would factor into actual canon of the series.

Lombardi later detailed that Valve has new projects in the works for the Xbox 360 but remain firm on its disinterest for PS3 and Wii development. It was also confirmed that Team Fortess 2 that the achievements and content added to the PC version of the game will come to the Xbox 360 at some point, when
Valve has worked out how it wants to package and release that content.

E308: Geometry Wars 2, Banjo Kazooie and more to XBLA


Today during the Microsoft Press Conferenc, Microsoft announced a handful of new XBLA titles. Along with Portal: Still Alive, gamers can expect to play Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 as well as Galaga Legions exclusively coming to the Xbox 360 next month. Microsoft also teased an exclusive South Park based XBLA title, but no other details are known at this time. While discussing the upcoming Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts also announced the original N64 classic will be made available on XBLA this fall.

Images of the reveal after the jump.

Continue reading E308: Geometry Wars 2, Banjo Kazooie and more to XBLA

E308: Portal continues on XBLA with 'Still Alive' [Update]


Update: Portal: Still Alive is exclusive to Xbox 360 this fall.

It looks like Portal will live on. Microsoft will announce Portal: Still Alive will continue the single player story found in the original Orange Box collection, and will add new challenges. With the popularity raging from the original, this looks to be a big win for Microsoft when it hits the service. The announcement comes from the leaked Gamerscore Blog video, which has now been removed. No word on exclusivity.

E308: Microsoft Press Conference Preview

With the Microsoft press conference starting in less than half an hour, it seems that Gamerscore blog has updated via a Microsoft Media Alert in their Video Podcast that showcases the announcements that are going to be made during the conference.

  • Two player local and Xbox LIVE co-op for Fable 2. (Coming Oct. 2008)
  • Gears of War 2 campaign level unveiled and Horde mode (5 player co-op multiplayer)
  • Guitar Hero: World Tour – eight player Battle of the Bands, redesigned guitar, drums, microphone, and studio music creator
  • Rock Band 2 will play all your old music and exclusive on Xbox 360 – new online and instrument options
  • Lips karaoke game with motion-sensitive microphones
  • New avatar system
  • Uno Rush – includes brand new avatar system
  • New Xbox experience (dashboard?)
  • Portal: Still Alive coming in 2008!
  • And more (not announced in the video)
We should have more details on all that and more as the press conference begins and continues on.

No joke, it's Portal's 'Still Alive' in Japanese


Nearly every fanboy knows about Portal's hit song "Still Alive". A Jonathan Coulton original song performed by Aperture Science's artificial intelligence GLaDOS that has been so popular, it made its way onto Rock Band. Well, now Japanese and not so Japanese Portal fans can experience "Still Alive" a new way, translated into Japanese and sung by Hatsune Miku, a character voice that's included as part of the Vocaloid software package. What more can we say? It's "Still Alive", it's Japanese, it's odd and it's hella' entertaining.

Potential Portal 2 details revealed in casting call


Kotaku reports that a voice over casting call has revealed some potentially major Portal 2 details. The casting call was discovered by a tipster on breakdownexpress.com, a website devoted to listing casting calls for various projects. The casting call, which requires a subscription to view), is for a major role in the sequel, described as someone who "Goes from sidekick to principal antagonist." We won't spoil more than that here. Those who aren't worried about spoilers can find more info after the break.

Continue reading Potential Portal 2 details revealed in casting call

Behold, the unweighted Companion Quilt!


It's been a while since we lavished some love on our favorite inanimate game character. We are, of course, talking about the Weighted Companion Cube from the best game evar, Portal. So, check out this completely awesome Weighted Companion Cube quilt. Don't go looking to snap up one for yourself just yet though, as it appears to be one of a kind. It was purchased by blogger That Girl, who bought it from a very gifted crafter known as Punzie. It's worth noting that Punzie does have quite a few other products featuring video game themes and characters (we're particularly fond of the Triforce pillow). Who knows, maybe if you ask nicely enough, you might get a Companion Quilt of your very own.

[Thanks, Simca]

Microsoft rejected Portal from XBLA lineup

GamesIndustry.biz is reporting that Valve's Orange Box hit Portal was rejected by Microsoft after Valve made an effort to get the title on the Xbox Live Arcade.

Valve's Doug Lombardi recently told GamesIndustry.biz that he'd "love to sell Portal on Xbox live" but that "the platform holders aren't doing that right now" because of "size limit and all kinds of other things." Because, if you recall, Microsoft has strict rules on XBLA games maxing out at 150MB in size. Though, Lombardi is optimistic about Portal hitting the XBLA, saying that "it always happens once it's been proven and I think it's been proven now on Steam, so I'm sure it'll migrate back to the consoles just like everything else does." Meh ...

So, there you have it, Microsoft crushed our Portal XBLA dreams. Those evil monkeys. Maybe the N+ guys were right about MS and their iron-fisted rule over the XBLA. Maybe?

Valve: No Portal sequel in 2008

Sad news fellow Companion Cube lovers, Valve just confirmed that gamers won't be able to experience a second round of Portal fun anytime this year. The reason? They simply don't want to make it a rush job.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Valve's Doug Lombardi broke down their decision by saying that they don't want to "quickly replicate it [a Portal sequel] and stick it out there - do the opportunistic thing and cash in on it", and will instead be sticking to a formula where a Portal "successor has to be equally as revolutionary as the first." Lombardi went on to say that "you won't see a new Portal at retail this Christmas because of that. That's the trade off. People want more, but we don't want to give them more of the same right away because that would just be boring."

There you have it, no new Portal funnery this year. But we have a feeling a fully beefed out and revolutionary Aperture Science experience will be headed our way come 2009.

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