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The Best Game I Thought I'd Never Play

 

Bastion.


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.

 

Zia's theme

 

Zulf's theme

 

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.

 

Comments
  • 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. :)