XBLA Review: Portal – Still Alive

Portal lands on XBLA, is it worth the 1200 point price tag?

Back in 2007, Portal was a huge hit alongside the other 4 games in The Orange Box. A year or so later and it arrives on XBLA with new bonus puzzles, but it has the same main game as it did. The same story with GLaDOS and all that which inspired the Same Alive song at the end, its included in Rock Band as a free download, plus the infamous “The Cake is a lie” saying.

1200 Microsoft Points seems a bit steep when the main game could be found much cheaper with Orange Box now. It would have been nice to see something more than the new puzzles, instead maybe a new storyline, even if it wasn’t a direct sequel to Portal. It also breaks the download limit for any XBLA title with a hefty 629MB (approx.) download. So it’ll take a while to download.

The new puzzles are superb and while I don’t agree with the price tag that Still Alive has, I can say it is worth every penny. Portal fans will have a good time with Still Alive, although I can’t help but wonder why these puzzles weren’t included with Orange Box as DLC instead of a standalone XBLA game. It seems an odd choice, although it’s a great coup for Microsoft as the PS3 has not had confirmation if Still Alive will hit PSN.

The game looks as great as it did last year, there’s nothing new there. Achievements are fairly easy, although some like completing the campaign entering only Orange portals is pretty tricky, but not impossible. The full list of achievements are here:

Go for the Gold
Win a gold medal on a challenge map.

Out of the Blue
Once you have control of both portals, only enter the orange portal.

Rat’s Tale
Find all the Rat Man dens.

Is Anyone There?
Complete the game without ever taking a bullet.

Saw That One Coming
Cause a rocket sentry to destroy its own rocket when the rocket has been redirected back towards it.

The Camera Adds 10 Pounds
Knock a turret over with a security camera.

Like a Rat
Trap yourself in a test chamber so that GLaDOS has to help you continue.

A Feeling Like Floating
Dissolve a turret.

Tests Like Chicken
Find the chicken’s test results.

Beat 5 advanced chambers

Beat 10 advanced chambers

Vanilla Crazy Cake
Beat all advanced chambers

The Verdict

Portal: Still Alive is a great game that fans will enjoy, despite the hefty cost and short replay value. It would have been better to include the new content as downloadable content for Orange Box, but it doesn’t change the fact that P:SA is a classic game that any fan must have.