The lights are on
What is the word, Bastion?
Well, according to
dictionary.com, the word bastion means "Fortification",
"a fortified place", or "anything seen as
preserving or protecting some quality, condition, etc: a bastion of
solitude; a bastion of democracy.
A Bastion seems like a pretty
nice place to stay, in my opinion. It's a place of safety, warmth, and virtue;
a haven, if you will. However, what does the game, Bastion, mean to me?
Bastion is art, amazement, and
awe. It is sound, simplicity, and spectacular. It is exemplary, and executed to
an immaculate level. While Bastion is indeed a game, it's more so an experience
- An experience that both immerses and separates you, so that you feel, yet
listen at the same time, to the Kid's plight.
As the Kid, you wake up in a
strange, unknown land, bewildered and calm.
When you stand, you are greeted by a soothing, gritty voice that
narrates your every move. This is just one example of the truly original
performance that you find yourself in while playing this game. There isn't much
text, but you are still conveyed every little detail by the old country-side
man who wants you to help him create his fallout plan of the Bastion.
The gameplay is action based,
with an angled top-down view of your character. As you move, the world falls
into place around you, slowly recreating and revealing itself. Every once in a
while, you'll stumble across an abandoned weapon, ranging from your trusty
hammer, to a full-blown mortar gun. The gameplay is satisfying, with three
different families of enemy-types, and a realized control scheme that allows
for every action to be pulled off naturally.
What stunned me the most
however, and I'm sure I've already repeated many times before, is the game's
ability to convey such a simple and somewhat re-used idea, but completely turn
it around on its heels and touch you down on a deeper level.
There are several scenes especially,
where I will admit, I was moved emotionally. The game offers a split of choices
near the end.
And of course, given how much
of a music freak I am, I was especially touched by Supergiant's notion of
intertwining several brooding vocal tracks, and many fantastic instrumental
pieces. I won't even elaborate beyond the fact that I absolutely love it all,
and there's a personal touch laid in them that seems to reach in to your inner
soul. Yes, its effect is that dramatic.
At first I wasn't going to
purchase this game. I had played the demo, didn't really feel interested, and
was practically on the edge of getting Fez and some other XBLA game. Gosh, am I
glad that I caved and bought Bastion instead. The content is there - Story, New
Game Plus, Score Attack, Gameplay Modifiers, Achievements. You won't be
scrounging for extra time. No, rather, you'll be telling yourself, "Just a
couple more crystals", before the night has completely passed by.
The first thing that came to my mind when I listened to the music was the ambiance of the Firefly series and that's a good thing. :)