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Bastion – Review

So here we are the first game review of the blog. I am going to review Bastion an indie game created by Supergiant Games. Now one of the reasons I decided to do this game over several others I could have done, such as the ones I have beaten outside of the podcast is because it’s has become my favorite indie game. Indie games seem to have a bad rap and this may be because PSN has been offering nothing but for the free plus games. There have been really amazing indie games that make use of alternate art styles instead of just going for realism that a lot of triple A titles tend to do. There isn’t anything wrong with going for realism but sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a hand painted game, a pixelated world, or highly stylized visuals. Anyway let’s get on with my written review.

Supergiant Games has created Bastion, Transistor, and is currently working on a game called Pyre set for 2017.

STORY: Contains SPOILERS

Bastion follows the story of “the Kid” and is told by a “smooth as fuck” narrator named Rucks. The game takes place after a cataclysmic event called the “Calamity”.  The Kid wakes up in the destroyed town of Caelondia, everything has been destroyed and all of the people have been turned into statues made of ash. He then sets off for the Bastion one of the few places left after the Calamity. After making it to the Bastion the Kid meets Rucks the narrator who tells him to collect cores that the Bastion can use to create more land and buildings. During his search for the cores the Kid encounters two other survivors Zulf and Zia. Zulf and Zia are part of the Ura people, an underground dwelling people who were once at war with the people of Caelondia. The Kid finds a journal on his quest, and upon reading it Zulf damages the main core of the Bastion and returns to the Ura people. The Kid learns that the journal belonged to Zia’s father who had worked for the Caelondians. He helped Caelondian scientists build a weapon to destroy the Ura completely to prevent another war. He programmed it to backfire if it was used, resulting in the Calamity. After getting the last shard of a core to repair the damage Zulf had done the Ura invade and take Zia with them. The Kid fights his way through a Ura outpost and meets up with Zia, she informs the Kid that Rucks told her about the Bastions ability to somehow reverse the Calamity. The Kid travels to the Ura’s homeland. There he discovers Zulf being attacked by his own people, they blame him for bringing the Kid to their home. The Kid then has a choice to kill the Ura or to drop his weapon and escape with an unconscious Zulf. After the Kid returns Rucks gives him another choice, he can have the Bastion rewind time to before the Calamity in the hopes of preventing it, or use it to evacuate the survivors and move on to somewhere safe. Rucks doesn’t know if the Calamity will be prevented if time is rewound. There is no way to test the process so the Kid must make the choice. The ending depends on your choices.

GAMEPLAY:

Bastion is an action RPG, viewed on a single plain isometrically (like Diablo, and Final Fantasy Tactics). The Kid has up to two weapons he can carry at once, there are certain spots in which they can be switched during the levels. As the kid progresses through the game he will eventually find new weapons to use. The Kid can use special attacks and can store uses via “black tonics”. Between levels, the Kid visits the Bastion, you can then buy materials and upgrade weapons. With each core the Kid collects, he can add a building to the Bastion, like a shrine, an armory, or a distillery. Each building has a different ability, the distillery lets the Kid choose upgrades, and the shrine allows you to choose idols of the gods to invoke, causing the enemies to become stronger and giving the player increased XP and money. 

DEVELOPMENT: 

Bastion was created by a team of seven people, who composed the studio Supergiant Games. It was the company’s first game. The game was directed by Amir Rao and Greg Kasavin wrote the game’s narration, which was spoken by Logan Cunningham. Jen Zee was the artist, Gavin Simon developed the gameplay, Andrew Wang helped develop the game, and Darren Korb handled the sound effects and music. ( Just a brief development grabbed from good ol’ Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastion_(video_game) right here if you want more info.)

SOUND:

The soundtrack was written and produced by Darren Korb, a Songwriter/ composer. Bastion was the first game that he worked on. This song wasn’t in the game but was released on the full soundtrack putting it here to give you a sweet, sweet taste. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4s3b5OR2YhE )

MY THOUGHTS:

Bastion is quite possibly my favorite indie game that I’ve played so far. The hand painted characters, enemies, and backgrounds are really beautiful. The story is really one of a kind, dealing with the aftermath of war and racism. Several parts of the story are enhanced by the powerful soundtrack. I don’t normally like soundtracks that have lyrics in games but this is definitely one of the times where it appeals to the story. The game play is fun, with several enhancements such as finding idols to make the game more difficult for greater rewards, or a special bong that allows you to experience the backgrounds of characters through narrated combat trials. The game has only taken me about six hours to beat, which is pretty decent for an indie game seeing as how most action games have become 6-10 hour games. Bastion doesn’t really offer much for exploration but I think it makes up for it with all the little extras it give you to do. There is a new game + mode which is a great plus for replay value, being able to keep weapons and upgrades is nice for collecting additional trophies as well. With Bastion’s price being 15 dollars I’d say pick it up. Overall it’s a wonderful little action RPG and I think everyone should give it a shot.

Story: 9

Gameplay: 9

Design: 10

Sound/Music: 9

Replayability: 8

Overall:  90/100

2 thoughts on “Bastion – Review

  1. Cory says:

    Nice review. I just found this. Will you do more game reviews on your blog?

    1. Kaleb says:

      Yeah I totally plan on doing more reviews. I just need to stop slacking and do more posts.

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