Published on July 29th, 2011 | by Gabriel0
Summary: Gabriel takes a look at Bastion, is it any good? read the review to find out!
Bastion is SuperGiantGames’ debut title and the frontrunner of this years Microsoft Summer of Arcade. It is also one of the best arcade games I’ve ever played. True, on the surface it might seem like a traditional action RPG to you, but the more you play Bastion, the more it will reveal itself to you, and before you know it, you’ll be hooked on it.
In Bastion, an event called the Great Calamity took place and wiped almost all of civilization. You take control of the Kid as he awakens from this mess and take off for the Bastion, a sort of safe haven where everybody was supposed to meet if anything went wrong, in hopes of restoring your world. As soon as you get there, your adventure goes into full throttle. With the help of some special shards, you’ll bring the Bastion to its full power and be able to restore Caelondia. You do this by setting out into the world and exploring different areas, coming up against different foes and obstacles, and finding said shards, which you bring back to the Bastion to restore it, allowing you to build different structures such as an armory, a distillery, a shrine etc.
Now, the first thing you’ll notice about Bastion is that while doing all these things, there’s a man narrating your every move and filling you in on the story. This immediately sets the game apart from other action RPGs. He will keep you company throughout the entire adventure, while making the action taking place on screen and the story way more interesting. His sultry tones are accompanied by an amazing soundtrack that will have you deeply immersed into the game and some of the most gorgeous hand drawn graphics you’ll ever see. It almost looks like a watercolor painting come to life. However, this is just the icing on the cake of what makes Bastion so incredible, and that’s its gameplay.
What could’ve been a simple hack and slash is made into so much more with the addition of customization options. Throughout the story, you gain an assortment of different weapons, all with various strengths and weaknesses. You can upgrade these weapons to your liking in the Forge, constantly raising their power throughout your adventure. You also have the distillery, allowing you to equip different elixirs the more you level up, elixirs such as more HP, being able to carry more potions, saving you from one-hit kills and many more. There’s also the idols, a system in the same vein as Halo’s skulls. By equipping these idols, you intentionally make the game harder for yourself, but you also gain a bonus in XP and upgrade points, making it worthwhile.
There’s also a store to buy items, and in-game achievement center that rewards you for fulfilling certain tasks, and three different challenge rooms. And to top it all off, the game features a New Game +, allowing you to keep all your items, idols and level while starting the story all over again. This just helps to raise the replay value on a game that is already immensely repayable because of its great story and sense of style and its addicting gameplay. The game is constantly throwing new things your way, making sure you always have something cool to do. If there’s anything slightly annoying about Bastion, it’s the auto aiming, which sometimes feels slow and imprecise. And if you’re surrounded by various enemies, it might not target the one you want. But this is just a small complaint on an otherwise perfect package.
While playing Bastion, I was glued to my seat. I was addicted with getting all my weapons upgraded, reaching the highest level so the I was able to equip as many elixirs as I could and beating the challenge rooms with as much idols on as I could. What could’ve been a standard experience is made so much more because of its personality, style and its goal to always throw something new and exciting at the player. Believe me when I say, you definitely want to give Bastion a chance.