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Bastion Review (Xbox 360)

Bastion Review (Xbox 360)

By: Lee Guille

Availability: Xbox Live Arcade
Price: 1200 Microsoft Points

Bastion was first shown to the public at the 2010 Penny Arcade Expo as part of the PAX 10. Even at this early stage of development, Bastion was an eye catching offering that I made note to try when released. I wasn’t disappointed. From the vividly painted colours of each level to the challenging, yet fun, combat, Bastion is everything a Xbox Live Arcade offering should be.

Gameplay: A
The world of Bastion seems simple, but is surprisingly complex. Supergiant Games has put together a lush setting where each level has a feel of its own. Simply moving around is a joy. Scenery forms around The Kid, creating bridges and platforms to move about, enemies leap from hiding places, and valuable fall from the sky. Bastion is a whirlwind of colour and it is glorious.

Combat is as well put together as the game world. At first glance, weapons found don’t seem to be anything special, but each is surprisingly useful and equally fun to play with. Soon, you’ll be destroying everything in your path with an arsenal of strange, yet familiar weapons – all of which are upgradeable. The use of the narrator also helps gameplay flow by telling the story without interrupting combat. It’s hard to beat a good story, while smashing everything in sight.

Not everything is all happiness and sunshine though. With so many gaps, it’s easy to fall off platforms while dodging around. Blocking and countering also occasionally feels just a bit off, especially when fighting multiple enemies.

Credit: SuperGiantGames

Story: A+
Bastion starts with the “Kid” lying in bed on a floating hunk of rock. You get up and an old man begins telling the story of a ruined world. As you progress through the game the narrator rations out the tale of the Calamity, alternately spinning whimsical anecdotes and laying out the bones of tragedy.

That’s as much as you’ll get from me. Give Bastion an hour of your time – you’ll come to know this world, this city, these survivors, and what has come of it at the hands of an expert storyteller.

Characters: B+
Simplicity is the name of the game (actually it’s Bastion, but whatever). You’ll only come across a few survivors in this story, but each has a story to unfold that is worth pursuing. Although the narrator is the predominant voice throughout the story, I guarantee you’ll walk away knowing each character’s drives and passions intimately.

Credit: SuperGiantGames

Music, sound, and voice acting: A
The audio quality of Bastion is definitely something to write home about. Sit back and enjoy a mix of what the Audio and Music designer has self-styled acoustic frontier trip-hop and excellent voice acting from an up-and-coming voiceover artist. I know I’d like to hear more from this team.

The Verdict: A (89% for you per cent lovin’ folk)
Buy this game. Buy it now. This is easily my favourite XBLA game to be released so far this year and I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a good story, great game play, and just a touch of melancholy.

Pros:

  • Worth a second play through
  • Great voice acting
  • A story worth sitting through
  • Colourful world design

Cons:

  • High XBLA pricetag
  • Only 6-8 hours long

Lee Guille enjoys raids, long walks on virtual beaches, and boring conversations about world-building.
Sorry girls, he’s taken.

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About janhutchings

Canadian Game Industry Blogger / Contributor for @Sonyrumors & @ShogunGamer / Communications and PR Professional. Voice of Canadian and Indie Gaming. http://jtmgames.com/

Posted on July 28, 2011, in Game Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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