Saturday, January 14, 2012

"Bastion" Game Review.

First game I've beat this year is a good one, thankfully. I finally beat Bastion. I bought it last year during a Steam sale and played for the first 2-3 hours of it then quit. I did this type of thing A LOT in '11. Too often, honestly. I beat a small handful of games in 2011 and that's going to change, so here's my thoughts on the first game I've beaten this year: Bastion. 
Bastion was one of the games I looked at all the time whenever there was someone talking about it. They always said how awesome the game was, how amazing the narrator was and the phenomenal soundtrack tied into the game. I thought they were exaggerating. I was wrong. From the get go, you already feel like something big has happened. The simple fact that you start the game lying in bed and there's little to no ground around you. There's a piece of a wall, some floor, your bed, you and nothing else. From the get go you know something has happened and it's something big. 
So the first thing you do, of course, is get out of bed. This is immediately recognized by the narrator, who in my humble opinion has a fantastic voice, with the best part being that the gameplay continues. The simple fact that the game is narrated as you progress without it interrupting the game makes it feel fantastic. The whole game is told through the perspective of the narrator as he recounts your tales of dread, angst and woe as you venture through the completely decimated world and it makes the game feel fantastic. It makes it feel as though you're playing a story that's being told to you as it happens while also making you feel as though you are the story teller. It's a quite awesome experience and the story becomes so engrossing and in-depth the further you go, which keeps you playing.
As the kid wakes up and you move, the world rebuilds itself around you. This game is an extremely gorgeous game to watch as you're playing it. The walkway, ledges, barricades and whatnot rebuild as you move with possible holes in them that allow you to fall into nothingness. You don't die, though, which is great. You fall back onto the walkway, take a bit of damage, and the narrator makes a small quip about it and the game continues. The artistic touch on this game really shows with how the world reacts to your movements and actions as well. 
Then there's the score. The score for this game is one of the best I've heard in a very long time. I loved listening to the music in this game. Enough that I bought the soundtrack for it. I haven't bought a soundtrack for a video game in who knows how long, but I did for this one. It's a fantastic score with memorable songs. A masterpiece you could say. It's very well integrated into the gameplay also as you move from world to world to world as well as event to event. Then there's the "Grammaphone" as it's called in game which lets you listen to the majority of the soundtrack. 
Then, of course, there's the gameplay. The most important part of the game. The gameplay and flow are very smooth with a leveling system and a variety of awesome weapons. The leveling system is easy to understand with the ability to customize what your levels do. You gain a flat amount of health with each level followed by choosing a "Spirit" at the Bastion. You choose the spirit at the distillery which gives you some kind of perk with an example being the "Squirt Cider" which gives you a flat +10 health or the "Mender Mead" which gives you the ability to gain some health back with each successful counter-block. 
They did an amazing job with the weapons also. My personal favorite combo was the Breaker Bow and the Brusher's Pike while swapping the Bow for the Dueling Pistols depending on the situation. There's a huge variety of weapons with 55 different combinations total while also giving you the ability to upgrade and customize your weapons allowing for very personalized load-outs. For instance, the first tier of upgrades for the Pike you can choose from either +15% crit chance or +50% reload speed for throws. 
Overall for this game, it's a wonderful experience with a deep, rich story and a very polished experience. I would recommend this game to nearly anyone and everyone to play. Games like this really don't come around too often. When they do, though, they're games that shouldn't be missed and this is easily one of those great sought after games that doesn't come around too often. With the addition of a very low price point ($15) it's a must have. 

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