The Orange Box
The Orange Box, better known as the Red-Yellow Parellelepiped to many, is a collection of video games far superior to Halo.
Valve Software decided to put together a collection of games related to radioactive decay, construction labor unions, and instantaneous teleportation. This way, perhaps they could outdo Microsoft in sales. They decided to utilise the colour orange, because "Halo doesn't have a scrap of orange in it."
However, the conference could not decide on a name for the collection. Thus the twelve angry men were stuck in a cramped room, arguing whether to call it the Semi-Red Semi-Yellow Rectangular Prism (SRSYRP), the Mind-Boggling Vermillion Container (MBVC), the Orange Box or The Orange Box. They decided on The Orange Box after much deliberation, because "it sounds better with the article in it."
Valve originally also decided on a Light-Lacking Leverage package ("The Black Box"); however, this was canceled when the government threatened to make the Black Box mandatory on all vehicles. (Of course, the "black box" in most vehicles now are actually orange.)
Half-Life 2 (and episodic content)
Half-Life 2 (also known as Full-Life, due to the fact that two of one half is a full 1) is perhaps one of the most dazzling games ever to be the sequel to a game where the player wields a crowbar and is in a very uncomfortable suit. It mostly involves Gordon Freeman fighting hostile alien invaders that are killing off the human race, just like in the first game.
The subsequent episodes are part of a trilogy, and are mostly for comic relief.
Team Fortress 2
Team Fortress 2 is perhaps one of the most ridiculously violent games that involved labor unions. There is no basic plot: just two labor unions fighting each other in utter madness (or Sparta -- but madness is basically the same thing, without the bottomless pit) with heavy weapons, engineers, spys, and other "classes."
It highlights dialectical materialism -- the struggle between classes -- and the violence that often results from conflicts between demolishing companies.
Portal is perhaps one of the most non-violent games to involve a homicidal computer and friendly fire (by turrets). As the silent protagonist, you navigate through a sterile environment by breaking the laws of physics, in order to obtain the legendary chocolate cake waiting in the recovery annex.
It highlights the ever-so-evident truth that history repeats itself.
Peggle Extreme has been a surprise favorite of the Red-Yellow Parallelepiped; it involves a unicorn, the G-man, a plot that is not too complex, and all four games in The Orange Box.
It highlights the importance of endangered unicorns to our society, and the importance of playing games on Windows.
Critical reception has generally been terribly approving. Although some have panned Portal for its shortness, others have praised it for the brevity and for being so short and sweet. While some have criticised the violence in Team Fortress 2, others have been generally approving of the message it sends for a classless world. Meanwhile, Half-Life 2 remains the second-to-forerunner of video games that involve theoretical physicists as protagonists.
Half-Life 2 name dispute
Half-Life 2 has occasionally come under scrutiny for its completely creativity-lacking name. Originally Valve intended to have a naming contest, but was afraid that this would push development back by several more decades, and abandoned the idea.
Since then, some have begun calling the game by other names:
- Full-Life (mathematical justification being that two halves make one)
- Quarter-Life (due to the fact that after passage of two half-lives, only a quarter of the original radioactive material ... bah, never mind.)
- Half-Life: Redundancy
- Half-Life: The One That Comes with Portal