Bastion

It has blue things.

I first saw Bastion as a new release on Steam; it was on the front page of the store for quite some time. However, I didn’t buy it for some time (with my budget). If course, the great thing about Steam is the insane sales, so I picked it up much later for about 3 quid after the initial craze had died down.

Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, browser(via Chrome Web Store). It’s also on OnLive, which I don’t use due to my Internet, but I think that means it will run on Android and iOS with lightning-speed Internet connections. UPDATE: I think it’s also on the App Store.

Overview: Bastion is a top-down fighting game developed by Supergiant Games with beautiful aesthetics and a good story, told from the unique perspective of an interactive narrator. This narrator, named Rucks and voiced by Logan Cunningham, is also an in-game character. Bastion is SuperGiant Games’ first major release.

You play as an unnamed boy (Rucks refers to him as “the kid”) with distinctive white spiky hair and a gear-shaped crest on his back. He wields a variety of weapons, two at once with an extra special ability. The weapons are finely balanced and include a large hammer(the first weapon you find, and featured as the stereotypical weapon held by the Kid in artwork), a bow and arrow, an army carbine and a machete (with many others weapons as well). The special abilities are usually specific to one weapon (such as a whirlwind spin for the hammer or a single super-shot for the Duelling Pistols), but sometimes have completely separate abilities, such as hand grenades.

Story: Bastion’s story revolves around an incident called the Calamity, which shattered the world into numerous floating islands. This means that all the levels start as a single island, with paths forming under your feet a you walk. The titular Bastion is a place designed by Rucks to escape to in event of danger, however nobody apart from Rucks, the Kid and several others who I will not name. You have to go out and find “cores” to power up the Bastion, allowing for more buildings.

The game is structured around the Bastion, with you going out from there to complete missions in various locations, via a “Skyway” or portal. You return there at the end of each mission and construct buildings which you can use to change equipped weapon, equip alchoholic spirits (perks such as extra life and so on), add difficulty via “idols”, claim lost items and view achievement-like things. It is the game’s Hub.

The game has a reasonable variety of enemies, all well-designed and beautifully drawn. Rucks also nicknames the enemies, calling minor, floating blobs Squits, pickaxe-wielding ghosts Ghast-Fellers and poison-spitting blue blobs Scumbags. He also calls enemies in general “Windbags” as he narrates through the action in his excellent, gravelly drawl.

Scattered around the map are various so-called Proving Grounds: one for each weapon. They provide a challenge revolving around their particular weapon – the hammer’s challenge is a speed-based debris-smashing game, for example. Completing each challenge in under a certain time, or with a certain number of kills, will give you various valuable items.

Summary: One of my favourite games, with gorgeous graphics, excellent gameplay and a great story. In many ways it’s like Legend of Zelda minus the puzzles, but with better combat and a level hub.

10/10 (I really can’t find any problems with his game!)

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