Bastion Review

-Uriah Marriott

If you’re looking for a mind-blowing mystical adventure with beautiful artistic value and beautiful narration, then you have come to the right place, my friends. Yes, I am talking about Bastion. Bastion is an Xbox Arcade download, which you can get for 1200 Microsoft Points and is definitely worth every point you spend.

I can’t even begin to recall the last time I had so much fun playing a game like Bastion. Bastion is an Action RPG full of amazing artistic creation and fun, entertaining gameplay, not to mention the narrator’s humorous dialog.  In Bastion, you will find yourself in awe throughout the beginning of the game. Reason being, the amount of individuality this game spews out at you like an octopus shooting ink at a predator. The main point that makes this game so amazing is the narrator; this guy honestly makes the game worth playing and hooks you in for countless hours. There honestly isn’t much text to read in the game besides the upgrades for your weapons, potion bottles, idols, action commands…. Okay, so maybe the game has a little bit of reading in it, but it sure doesn’t feel like it.

When you first start your adventure, you find yourself awaking from your bed in a broken world which appears to be at the end of time in space with only a few tiles to walk on. At this point the narrator begins to tell your story and give you the initial tutorial of how to interact through the game, which is very entertaining and grabs your attention rather than having to read about what is going on and how to move throughout the world. While the narration is really the main focal point of what makes this game standout, and it’s unarguably amazing, there are a few other points which also add to the awesomeness such as; the art style, music, game play, variety, and side missions.

The art style is simple and colorful, but fits in the game so well, it works. While the game art is simple, it is still beautiful and creative and makes you want to push through the game even more so you can enjoy every little piece of it. Some really nice places appear when you reach the jungle in the game and also the different variations of Who Knows Where, because of the plethora of colors and images all around you.

Another nice piece of the game is the game play, which is full of fun weapons and techniques along with the upgrade system. In Bastion you have around 8+ weapons to choose from, some as simple as a bow and hammer, all the way up to a flame thrower and calamity cannon (The calamity cannon is so much fun, just destruction everywhere!). Not only do you have a variety of long and short range weapons to choose from, they can be upgraded as well. Each weapon upgrade level has two choices which you can choose from when you have the proper forging material. For instance, when upgrading the Fanged Repeater, you could choose for the weapon to have more bolts, which is always a plus, or to have faster reload speed, which also comes in handy. Along with the possible upgrades for each weapon, you also have at least one special skill to top it off, such as the Cael Hammer. The Cael Hammer has a Whirlwind technique that consists of your character spinning in a circle and hitting all surrounding enemies in his way.

After a while, I did find myself getting a little bored here and there, because the world wasn’t as expansive as I would have wished for it to be. You pretty much travel down a set path with a few off-branches in the road, but nothing really to extensive to where one may get lost and wonder where you took a wrong turn. If you do happen to get bored like I did, the creators were kind enough to give you some training grounds which help you master your weapons a little better and create a challenge which is fun, yet difficult at times. While the training grounds provide a little bit of fun, you can also venture off to Who Knows Where in certain points in the game. Who Knows Where is a little area where you learn a little bit more back-story, via the narrator, while fighting through 20-30 waves of enemies.

As it seems, there are not really that many bad things to say about this game. If I could pin-point the only few problems it had they would have to be the lack of gameplay hours. You can honestly beat the game (on average) in about five hours or so. On top of the short amount of gameplay, one thing I constantly found myself doing every once in a while, whether it was because I couldn’t tell where the map ended or out of careless mistakes (which I find myself making from time to time), is falling off the edge of the map, which causes damage to your character. I advise anyone from falling off the edge of the maps because it really sucks when you have no health potions left and your health is already as low as it is.

One thing the creators did to resolve some of the issues I previously mentioned was; make the game playable multiple times and even gave it a new game plus feature. The “New Game Plus Mode” lets you keep your previous weapons, idols, potions and a few other things. On top of new game plus, you can get the DLC. The downloadable content gives you different modes to play like a mode that has a scoring system and you can get on leader boards to see how you compare with the rest of the world.

Rather than me continuing to ramble on about all of the great features in this game, I will leave some things out so you can march right over to your Xbox 360 and download the game for yourself and make your own opinion on this amazing game. Go get Bastion and experience some of the greatness for yourself. Oh, by the way, if you use the idols in the shrine it will make it worth your while plus a little more challenging, just saying.

Verdict: 90%

Bastion - Official Trailer

A few members of Empty Wallet Gamer love this gem. Have you, or will you play it?