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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What took me so long? - Bastion

There are plenty of games out there, so many in fact you just can't play them all right after release. Here is one of these games I finally got around to playing.

Bastion is an action RPG developed by Supergiant Games, released July 20, 2011, on Xbox Live and soon after on Steam. You take the role of The Kid after a catastrophic event called the Calamity brought the world of Caelondia to ruins. Your goal is to bring Cores that powered Caelondia back to Bastion. The game's narrator, an old man named Rucks, instructs you to do this.

The colorful, hand-painted art style of this game is sharp. Each level is packed with detail. There's no choppiness in the framerate as you travel throughout these floating islands. I love how the terrain pops up in front of you as you keep moving, so there's no break in the action.

The Kid is a silent fellow, but the narrator makes up for it by doing all the talking. Normally I'm not a fan of constant voiceovers, as some games don't do it right. For example, if you're stuck in an area, you might hear someone's thoughts constantly, so much you'd want to shut off the volume. I experienced this in Batman: Arkham City a few times, and I just wanted the Dark Knight to shut up.

Supergiant Games did an excellent job utilizing the narrator. Right from the get-go when The Kid wakes up, the narrator mentions it. It was just neat to play the game while the narrator was explaining everything you were doing dead-on, from the story to just messing around in an area. It wasn't boring either but very emotional. More importantly, it wasn't repetitive.

To take on the variety of enemies, from small ghoul-like monstrosities to evil plants, you're going to need weapons, and Bastion has plenty of them. Maybe too many, in fact. There's a machete, hammer, pistols, a bow and arrow, flame shooter and more. However, you can only hold two at a time, so choose wisely. Each weapon can be leveled up with various perks, and there are so many possibilities. I did find myself going back to the Fang Repeater and flame shooter as time went on.

There's so much to mess around with, it can get pretty overwhelming. As you level up, you can add a perk to The Kid, ranging from bonus health to taking less fall damage. You'll eventually be able to hold up to 10 perks, and there's plenty to choose from.

The music in this game is great, too, and really sets the mood in each level. There's no death metal here like in Final Fantasy XIII-2 to ruin things.

Besides the story, there is a survival-type mode where you can take on waves of enemies. If you want the game harder, you can activate relics that ramp up the difficulty. A New Game+ mode allows you to replay the game with all your experience points and weapons.

Bastion is a unique and fun game that mixes story and gameplay perfectly. With so much to do, you can't go wrong downloading it.

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