“All stories are supposed to start from the beginning … ain’t so simple with this one”
As a head up right from the start don’t expect a fair review of this game. I hold bastion up as one of my all time favorite games so, as fair as I will try to be, an element of bias has to be accepted.
I first came across Bastion on Xbox live during the ‘Summer of Arcade’. Bastion was one of the main titles being released as part of the deal and immediately became favored by both critics and players. With its amazing sound and innovative gameplay, it provides the player with a unique experience that can rarely be found in other games.
The first thing that the player will notice upon starting the game is the voice over, as soon as the game begins the narrator opens with a deep voice that, straight away, sets the tone for the whole game.
In the game you play as ‘the Kid’, a voiceless teen who is one of the only survivors left after an event called ‘the calamity’ blew up half of the world. As the Kid your mission is to navigate what is left of the world to help repair a sanctuary called the Bastion, which is said to be able to reverse the calamities effects.
I’ve played Bastion on the Xbox and most recently I have been trying out the game on the iPad. The simplicity of the controls means that the game can be controlled effectively on a controller as well as the iPad, without taking anything away from the playing experience. There’s nothing more that you would want the controls to do and nothing is taken away from the game by not having a controller. That being said, the size and weight of the iPad does mean that you cannot play for long without your hands starting to sit uncomfortably. But this is a hardware issue rather than the fault of the game. I have not yet tried it on a smaller device, such as the iPad mini, but I imagine that it would be perfect for Bastion.
Throughout the game you can use a variety of weapons, both long and short range, that bring their own style to the game. Whether you are the type of person that likes to deal huge damage in one big bust, or would rather be quick on your feet chipping away at the enemies with lighting speed, then any combination of weapons can cater for that. As well as trusty weapons by your side you can also utilize a power up or extra weapon ability to further add to your talent stock and allow for the player to truly customize their gaming style.
The enemies themselves are nice and varied with the player having to adopt different strategies to defeat particular enemies. For example, the bullfrogs have heavy armor on the front but have a weak spot on their backs, by rolling behind them as they charge the player can get a big hit in that area. An area that they probably wish they were covering! Enemies that have different weak points are a good way for the player to utilize all of the games features and skills effectively. It creates various methods to navigate through the levels, there’s no one way to complete Bastion.