So last night I finally finished up playing Bastion, which I purchased off of XBLA a few weeks ago after reading some stellar reviews in Game Informer. I’ve gotten quite a few games now off of the arcade and I can honestly say this provided a rich yet succinct playing experience well worth the 1200 Microsoft points. The soundtrack alone is full of range and definitely different from your typical fantasy RPG fare. It has traces of blues, world music, and haunting melodies and lyrics that stay with you long after you turn off the game. The art is lush and colorful, not too cartoonish, and just busy enough to keep the eye engaged. Controls are simple and easy to use, and there isn’t much in the way of menus or inventory to really worry about.
The neat aspect of this game that really sets it apart is the presence of a narrator, who is an omnipotent viewer through the whole game. His stories and comments help to build the story and history in a way that keeps the pace form getting bogged down while you’re moving forward in the game. Even the comments when you fall off the edge of the world lend to the building of the game’s mood (and believe me, I fell a lot. A whole lot. But I also tend to get stuck on fences and fall all the time anyway. In other games. Not in real life. Really.).
I got all 12 achievements, which wasn’t too difficult to manage. It requires a second playthrough, but you’ll probably want to do that anyway. Once you beat the game you can start a New Game Plus, which allows you all your weapons and techniques, and allows you to really experiment with combos of weapons. Plus, there is a huge choice at the end of the game. Once you choose, you’ll want to go back and see what would happen if you chose differently.
Supergiant Games has done a spectacular job creating a different kind of fantasy RPG experience that satisfies the need to break out of the mold, while giving a solid dose of story. Go download this game now, you will not regret it. Unless you hate this kind of stuff.