The Review: A Bastion of Gaming
OK, Skyrim will have to try extremely hard to take the “personal game of the year” title from this game. There, no surprises left in this review. I loved every little thing about this game and it’s really hard for me to find a real flaw. Let’s try, though.
The graphics in Bastion look beautiful. Everything is hand drawn, colorful, sharp and shiny. The levels are detailed, the characters even more so, and the enemies look unique and interesting. Everything is also very well animated, with plenty of frames for each movement. Nothing looks choppy or half-made. There’s also plenty of variation in the art for each level, so it doesn’t get boring, even for a second.
The music is where the game really shines, though. The soundtrack has that Firefly/Western/Country atmosphere, with a bit of an eastern touch in some of the songs. Honestly, this is the first game where I’m actually considering getting the soundtrack. The sound effects are not that notable, but with the amazing soundtrack, they don’t need to be.
The story is the unique thing that Bastion brings to the table. Every minute of gameplay is narrated by an old man with a great voice. I’m not talking just about cut scenes here. Every notable thing you do is described by the narrator. This improves on the atmosphere even more than the music. It makes you connect to the protagonist and really think hard about his your actions, while also keeping you interested in how it will all fold out. There’s also an ending changing choice you make right before the end of the game which adds to the replay value a bit, unless you are like me and go to YouTube to see the alternative ending.
The gameplay is not perfect, but I find it pretty close. The only real critique I could find is that maybe the controls could be a bit better. You see, the camera perspective is isometric and most of the movement is diagonal. This would be fine if the game assigned diagonal directions to the keyboard, but up remains up, causing you to awkwardly hold up and left to move north, for instance. It’s not that bad, and it personally didn’t cause me any trouble, but I see people complaining and this is a valid reason. Still, If I’m not mistaken, a patch was released which addresses this, but I haven’t tried it because I completed the game well before that.
The game is basically an RPG, but a pretty simple one. More levels simply equate to more health and more spirit slots. Spirits are various alcoholic beverages which give you special bonuses if you equip them. Other than that, you have two weapon slots and a special attack slot. There are several weapons in the game and each plays differently. Each can also be upgraded five times, choosing between two different upgrades every time. Once you buy an upgrade level, though, you get to choose between the two options as many times as you want. The special attacks are very varied, but they don’t get upgraded or anything of the sort.
Well, that’s it. Once again, this is a great game that I recommend anyone to buy. If your computer isn’t top notch, you have one more reason to do it, since it’s not that demanding, being 2D. Highly, highly recommended!
Meaningless Score: 9.5/10