Bastion Review

As promised, I purchased Bastion shortly after Christmas and have been slowly playing through the game for the past month. Earlier this week, I finally completed the game, and I was left very impressed.

In a word, Bastion is fun. It’s not a groundbreaking video game, but it is extremely well made and memorable. Bastion is no stranger to praise, and there isn’t much to be said that hasn’t already been said by someone else. Nevertheless, I have a few high points I’d like to share about this magnificent game.

The narrator is brilliant.

Bastion doesn’t introduce many new ideas, and the narrator may not even qualify as a new idea, but the narrator is the definitive feature of the game. In fact, the narrator was the reason I chose to try the game.

From the very beginning of the game, everything you do is narrated by one of the game’s major characters. While most of the lines are predetermined based on game events, there are tons of lines that you will only hear if you perform a certain action. You’ll hear comments about the weapons you choose, death, and characters having nothing to say. You’ll never hear every line by completed the game once (and probably not by completed it twice either). It’s a very interesting touch that makes the game stand out among all the high profile video game released in 2011.

The soundtrack is among the best.

Ask a gamer about great video game music and you’re likely to hear a list of high profile video game series: Super Mario Bros, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, The Legend of Zelda, Halo. I love all of that music as much as the next gamer, but Bastion’s soundtrack quickly cemented itself as one of my all-time favorites. It’s no wonder that the Bastion took home awards for Best Original Score and Best Song in a Game.

Not convinced? You can listen to the soundtrack for yourself. You can listen to the entire soundtrack online for free.

There is never a dull moment.

Almost every stage introduces something new. You’ll find a new weapon (and be forced to used it for at least a portion of that stage), meet a new type of enemy, meet a new character, or learn something important about the past (or future). I was given a brand new weapon in the stage before the final stage, and then received a new weapon again for the final stage.

There are few games paced as perfectly as Bastion. It would have been easy for the developers to simply add a handful of weapons and enemy types and have you use them for most of the game. The outcome would have been a decent game that was still fun and worth playing. Instead, Supergiant Games went the extra mile and released a masterpiece.

Play Bastion.

I have nothing but praise for Bastion and Supergiant Games. Bastion is available on the XBOX Live Marketplace and Steam (there are also other PC distributions). Bastion has also been released as a Google Chrome app (a rather impressive feat).

Bastion is a fairly cheap game and is often on sale. It’s worth every penny.

Do not miss this game.

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