Jamie is a freelance video game writer, you can follow all his video game related content on analogaddiction.org.
Published May 19th 2012
Bastion is an Xbox Live Arcade game created by Super Giant Games (2011). This is an action/adventure/RPG title that follows the events of an event known only as "The Calamity" where the world has been shaken to its core. You play as an unnamed protagonist, seeking out to salvage what is left after this event has occurred by building up the mystical location known as The Bastion.
The game is beautiful in motion. Picture those children's books you used to read and then picture that coming to life. This game is like a living art book, the watermark-like effects have made this game very easy on the eyes. This style also adds a variety of unique characters and enemies, every step around the corner brings in a new element, weapon or variation of character to interact with and it is done with brilliance.
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Narrative is told via a narrator (Edward Cunningham), who is also your friend Rucks in the game. He explains the goings on in the world via his deep and sultry voice. He steals the show with his performance and adds some distinctive moments during your play through. The soundtrack within the game is beautiful and this alone justifies your purchase. The music has a unique folk/vibrant vibe along with gorgeous lyrics and some very heart warming vocals to accompany the songs.
Playing through the game you will be able to upgrade various buildings such as an armoury, distillery etc, as well as your weapons, bonus stats upgrades and various extra skills to allow your character to be as you want him to be. Sadly no character appearance customization is in place.
The game falters in a few areas. Menu navigation is almost chore-like and trying to visit various worlds becomes frustrating when getting back into the game rather than having a guided well thought out experience. The brilliant art style comes at a price as level load times take longer the further you venture into the game. Some can last up to almost 40 seconds when loading a level, aggravation may occur when you encounter a predetermined short play section, then that follows another long load time. Slow down within the games was a rather robust campaign (6-7 hours, excluding side missions). This occurred during the final level of my game, taking place 4 times while transforming the gorgeous game to a snail's pace stroll.
The entire game was a blast from start to finale; the game rewards you for playing frequently and keeps the content fresh and varied. This in-turn makes you want to keep playing and the game never feels like a chore to complete. Super Giant Games has out-done themselves on this Arcade title that could easily be seen in stores as a retail release, with this much content. Do yourself a favour and take an adventure to the Bastion.
I loved Bastion and I feel like you did an excellent job of surmising the pros and cons of the game. The art truly is breathtaking, even if it's costly. Keep up the great job, looking forward to your next blog.