Bastion was a curious title that was on the GamerSushi radar for a quite a while. A downloadable isometric brawler/RPG with charming graphics, great music and the unique aspect of having your entire adventure narrated by a silky smooth voice? Color us intrigued.
Even though we were hyped for the game when it dropped, how does it fare when stacked up against the GamerSushi grade chart?
Bastion starts with your character, The Kid, asleep on a platform floating out in the middle of nowhere. While he was dozing, The Clamity struck Caelondia, splitting up the land masses and hurling them into the sky. It gets even weirder when you start walking forward and the disparate pieces of landscape coalesce themselves into bridges to connect to the larger islands.
The first thing you need to do is get to the titular Bastion, a safe haven for Caelondias’ residents in case of an emergency. There’s only one other person who made it to the Bastion, and that’s Rucks, the man who is narrating your tale. He implores you to venture out into the world to collect the Cores that once served as Calondia’s power source in order to restore the Bastion to full strength.
This is just the beginning of a story full of discovery, rebuilding and betrayal, all expertly narrated by Logan Cunningham, the voice of Rucks. The game takes you to a large variety of places all with their own unique backstory, filled in while you play so there’s no break in the action. The narrative happens as you go along so the plot progresses smoothly and at a great pace. There’s one level in Bastion that uses music to such great effect that’s it’s stuck with me even after all this time. I wish I could go back and play that level again for the first time, that’s how impactful it was.
Bastion is, at its heart, a brawler, but the game mixes it up with a huge variety of weapons, both ranged and melee, upgrades and stat-altering Spirits so it caters to multiple styles of play even within its limited scope.
Generally it’s advisable to take either a low and heavy melee weapon like The Kid’s trusty Hammer and mix it up with a quicker range weapon or pack a heavier long-range armament and pair it up with a quick close-in weapon like the machete. The game also has multiple enemy types that it throws at you and you’re always outnumbered by a great deal so coming out ahead in combat requires you to be quick on your feet.
To help you out, each of your weapons can do their own special attacks, and healing potions are plentiful and can be restocked from any fountain in the game. Defeating enemies earns you experience points and levels which boosts your health and the Bastion has a variety of buildings which can utilize to upgrade your weapons or complete challenges which give you stat boosts.
When you feel like undertaking some extra tasks, there’s weapon challenges which can be accessed from the world map and the Shrine will give you a set of goals to complete. For added difficulty, you can taunt one of the Gods in order to have certain sets of limitations placed on you or buffs on your enemies.
Bastion is a fun little game that grabs you and doesn’t let go until the very end. It’s filled with memorable moments, great combat and there’s every incentive to try out new game + and take on the side quests offered if you missed them the first time.
As far as downloadable titles go, you can’t go wrong with Bastion.
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