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Innovation+Quality=Bastion

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This is an interesting situation. My past two reviews have inspired Stranger to buy the games reviewed, but this time, it was Stranger who told me to play this game. I owned it already, but never completed it. Well now I have, and am going to attempt to talk about it in great detail.

Bastion

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive

Developer: Supergiant Games

Systems: Xbox Live Arcade

Gaminformer Score: 9.25- Review by Matt Miller

 

Bastion is a special type of game. It doesn't try to do to much, it doesn't try to be a blockbuster game, it just innovates. That is something very interesting in this day and age. Innovation? This is a very rare occurrence in video games. Most games follow the Call of Duty model. Make little to no innovation and just do what has worked for years. By going downloadable, Bastion is able to take a big risk and innovate. This results in a huge success and one of the best downloadable titles of the year.

Power of The Voice

I don't mean like Fus Ro Dah! I am talking about how Supergiant games managed to weave a touching, but simple tale, just using an omnipotent narrator. The narrator's name is Rucks, and you meet him on the Bastion. He is basically the guy who sits back and tells the story. You almost feel as if your playing a campfire tale. That is part of the charm, the wonderful tone the narrator's voice has. His voice is deep and clear, almost as if he were writing the story as you played it.

One reason that the narrator is really cool, is that he has a personal relationship with the main character, The Kid. He and The Kid are on a quest to restore the Bastion, therefore restoring the world to its prior state. A state before the Calamity. They never really tell you what happened, other than it has something to do with the Ura.

The story in and of itself is simple and to the point, but the Narrator makes it much more epic. He literally talks out every action you make. If you start destroying things for no reason, he will say you went raging for a while. He may talk about his past, or the weapons your using or whatever the case.

The story gets to its climax on the last world, and it is incredible. The way the narrator talks and the emotion in his voice is just awesome. The words he uses and the things he says, the desperation and hope all at the same time. It is just enchanting. As Stranger said, the end makes it perfect.

Changing up the Presentation

Whoever did the art for Bastion had lots of time. And all of it paid off. All the art was hand drawn, and it looks beautiful. The world looks very blocky, but in the best way. It has a tremendous amount of detail in all the environments. The colors used accent the world perfectly. Enemies, characters, destructables, and weapons all have a very cartoony feel, but still look magnificent. 

The music for this game is also spectacular. The menu song is enchanting to the point that you know your going into a beautiful, fantasy world before even starting. All of the music is different based on the area. Some will be a bit faster paced, but a lot of it is slow music.

A particularly awesome track is Zia's Theme, Build that Wall. There is a reason that the song won best song in a game. It has a particular soothing feeling, and is vocally impressive. The song at the end with Zulf is really emotional as well, but mostly because of the scenario.

One Kid Army

Of course the most important part of a game is the game play, and Bastion delivers on that front as well. You start off thrown into a bit of a combat situation. After traveling a small ways, you encounter a group of enemies in a building, and you really learn the basics of combat. It is pretty simple honestly. X for one weapon to attack, B for another attack, RT for a special, LT to block, Y to heal, and A to roll. That is really all you will be doing. It's the way you chain certain attacks and use your weapons that will matter.

You are given a nice variety, ranging from the starting hammer, to dual pistols, to a sword, to a mortar and a cannon, to a Battering Ram. There are others, but those are some of the best you get. You can ave two equipped at a time. Combat can get quite hectic towards the end of the game.

The game has several enemy varieties, and will take a variety of means to deal with them. Direct combat is only part of it though. The RPG elements are a big factor in the combat system. Several buildings can be built on the Bastion, all which contribute to the RPG feel of the overall game.

The forgery and distillery will increase your own abilities as well as weapons. You can upgrade your weapons with materials that you buy. The lost and found can give you some of these upgradables as well as other various items. Lots of things can be down on the Bastion. You can level up, which increases your stats. (I think, I never really got the level up system, but oh well.

You can also use the shrine to make things harder, but get more experience. It is a really good system, but not one that I used very often.

New Game + adds a good bit of replayability. You get to keep a lot of the stuff you ended with in the last game and play through it a gain, just like most New Game + modes.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Bastion is like literally playing out a fireside, fantasy tale. With the combination of the unique visuals, great music, and constant narration, you can't help but feel as if you are living out a story that is being told to you. The great gameplay just makes it a really enjoyable tale that is fun to play. While the gameplay is awesome, it can get repetitive towards the end, but only a little. Bastion truly is a unique experience that is a must play title.

Pros:

+ Surprisingly great story with an awesome narration

+ Fun, Fast paced Gameplay

+ Beautiful Visuals and Soundtrack

+ Only $15

Cons:

- Long for a Downloadable Title, but still a short title that can be completed rather quickly

- Somewhat Repetitive Gameplay

Final Score: 9.00

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