Most of you still haven't played Portal, but I forgive you. After all, I dragged my feet on it for weeks and weeks. I'd painted the game all wrong as yet another gritty shooter after misinterpreting its Half-Life connection. I'd even assumed that the charming "Still Alive" end theme was more of a "Fuck You!" generic guitar rock thrash metal piece from the player character to the homicidal main computer at Aperture Science instead of a tender love ballad from the perspective of... well, telling you that would be spoiling it. Play Portal on the PC if you can make it happen. Valve even sells it over Steam apart from The Orange Box for $20 if Half-Life 2 and its episodes aren't really your thing.
Moving on, let's talk about the raw components that make games so special. Gameplay is typically the focus above all else, but let's not forget the other pieces and parts that stand out. Which piece is typically your favorite? Do you buy game soundtrack CDs? Is there a game-based art book on your coffee table? Do you keep all your game boxes, cases, and manuals for reasons beyond storage and instruction? What about plots and characters? Let's hear your thoughts on the parts that make up the whole.