Developer: Supergiant Games
Xbox Live’s Summer of Arcade kicked off with the colorful world of Bastion. This action-rpg is nothing new to any seasoned gamer. To this reviewer, it felt like a rebirth of a lost era in gaming – the 2D era. If you were a fan of the original legends of Zelda then you will instantly fall in love with the world of Bastion
As wonderful as Bastion is it lacks some depth. It’s like feeling full after eating a lot of Chinese food, and then forty-five minutes later you want more. This reviewer wants more of the world of Bastion. I would like to see this game’s design experience a revival at the triple-A level. The possibility in the world of Bastion is endless and as open ended as the story is – the player is only limited by their imagination.
The best feature in Bastion is the narration of the player’s action. Even though Bastion may feel like every other hack-n-slash style of game it’s the way it makes you feel that’s different. The narrator doesn’t tell the story he describes the player’s actions in a dynamic way. As you smash things and blow off steam or wander around and take your time, the narrator will give the player the feeling of dictating the story.
In the opening moments of Bastion you find yourself as a boy waking up on a floating slab of colorful tiles. As the kid approaches the exit the path raises from the abyss beneath him. “He don’t stop to wonder why,” the narrator says as the kid charges through; having faith the path will appear before him.
Soon the kid finds his hammer where he can begin to smash enemies and obstacles in his path. As the kid travels around the world of Bastion he will discover weapons, potions, artifacts, idols, and fragments of the old world. The depth and substance of Bastion as a whole is made up for by its armory of weapons and the ability to customize load outs and special abilities. The combat system of Bastion is simple and easy to learn quickly. The kid has the ability of “invoking the gods” through idols, and now the player can make Bastion as challenging as they desire. With the depth of the combat system and the many tiers of weapon upgrades the idea of invoking a few gods becomes more inviting, and offers up rewards for the player.
The kid’s main goal is to travel throughout different parts of the world, and find fragments of the old world to restore the Bastion. An event called the calamity happened and has destroyed Bastion leaving the kid as the only known survivor. Giving the kid plenty of opportunities to explore and level up. As the kid moves on weapon training ground areas will appear for the kid to test his abilities. Succeeding will award the kid with special rewards.
After the narrator the best feature in Bastion is the art and the design of the game as a whole. The colorful tiles that raise themselves from the nothingness below are colorful and mosaic like. The colors of structures, enemies, and other characters are vibrant and have a water paint look. There are very few games that still take on this art style and design. As a result, the art style of Bastion makes it truly a unique game experience.
Overall Bastion is truly a breathtaking experience if you allow yourself to become lost in its world. I would really like to see more from Supergiant Games in support of Bastion. It’s just absolutely amazing. Not many know, but a team of just seven people created Bastion. If you love games you should support these seven people because I want to see more from these guys and this game.
It’s a shame that Xbox Live Arcade only limits their arcade games to 12 achievements and 200 gamerscore. I feel like Bastion is one of those types of games that could have so many rewards for doing certain things in the game. Considering XBLA games have seen a steady increase in price, the 1200 MSP, $14.99, titles should allow for at least 18 achievements and 500 gamerscore.
Bastion released on Xbox Live Arcade on July 20, if you haven’t already I highly recommend picking up this title. For $15 this game offers hours of rewarding gameplay. Your support could give Supergiant Games reason enough to serve us a second helping of Bastion content in the future.
Rating: 9 out of 10