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Thread: An Asono Game Review; 'Bastion'

  1. #1
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    Default An Asono Game Review; 'Bastion'

    Greetings, Rifters.

    Since I've posted a couple of game reviews before and some people seem to at least mildly enjoy the work I put into assessing titles, I come before you again from my bored little cubicle at work to delve into SuperGiant Game's debut title, 'Bastion'.

    Bastion is a top-down platformer/RPG hybrid about 'The Kid', 'The Stranger', and a whole lot of beautiful apocalypse. It has elements reminiscent of the Ys series, if you've played that.

    The first thing to know about Bastion is that it's allure is the art, sound, and music of the game. The gameplay, while passable and a good deal of arcade-esque fun, is not anything we haven't seen before in other titles.

    ~ The Story 7/10

    The story in Bastion isn't anything really amazing or complex, but what it tries to do, it does well. It immediately throws you into a well constructed, albeit small, world/lore. The immersion is good, due in large part to the narrator and the constant, witty narration paired with an incredibly well timed sountrack. The story itself is very straightforward and simple. Again, objectives weren't grand here, but they were well executed.

    ~ The Gameplay/Combat/Difficulty 7/10

    The entire game is a hack and slash topdown RPG platformer hybrid, it packs around ~10 weapons of which two can be equipped at any one time, with a variety of upgrades/skills/etc to be applied throughout the game. That said, we've seen this kind of platforming Hack&Slash combat before. It's fun, it's twitch, but it's nothing unique. If you're a fan of the "Ys", series, you'll be right at home. That said, if you're a Ys player, be ready for an easy, easy game. Bastion is not challenging. There are a series of "Idols" you can invoke to make levels more challenging by giving all enemies superfast speed, strength, regeneration, blow up on death, etc. Enabling absolutely all of these renders the game 'slightly' challenging, but nothing hard at all.


    ~ The Sound Track / Voice Acting 9.5/10

    Incredible. I absolutely loved the sound track of this game, and "The Stranger" narrates more or less everything you ("The Kid") do. Example; if you just stand around for a minute breaking boxes, the gritty, gravelly narrator says "The Kid just rages for awhile". Every level and every moment is packed with a talented narrator making reflections, comments, and narrations about our character's actions. This goes a long way in immersion and quality of product. This is where Bastion shines.

    ~ The Graphics 7/10

    SuperGiant didn't go for anything amazing in the graphics department. It's cartoony, bright palettes and floating platforms all the way. That said, much like the storyline, it's very clear what they were aiming at, and they hit it perfectly. You won't be blown away by any graphical excellence here, but they clearly had a goal, overall image and art-style to go for, and they put the bullet in the black when it comes to keeping it all cohesive. The art matches the soundtrack/narration incredibly well, and the characters are quirky and fit in with the overall absurdity of the Cataclysm/environment.

    ~ The Length/Replayability 5/10

    The only place where I'd really hit this title. Bastion is short. It took me around 5 hours to polish off, and I was using all of the "Idols" (Challenge mode things, make all enemies superfast/strong/regenerative) for as long as I could from as early as possible. That said, for 15$, it's a pretty worthwhile trip. The game does feature a New Game+, where you get to keep all your goodies from your completed save, and enables a couple bonus Idols for extended challenge, but I have yet to go through it a second time.

    ~ Overall / TLDR 7.5/10

    While an immersive and impressive world rendered in bright pallettes and narrated by a talented voice with quality music, Bastion is another TopDown Hack&Slash platformer with little twists here and there. SuperGiant didn't do anything particuarly grand here, but they knew what they were aiming for, and hit that mark with superb quality and absolute shine. The high points are the soundtrack & narration, the low points are the repetitive hack&slashery, and complete lack of any challenge.

    It should be noted that after playing the game, I bought the Sound Track. It's pretty high quality stuff.


    Bored from Work,
    Asono
    Asono, Guild Leader / Main Tank of <Chaos Legion>
    4/4 River of Souls / 5/5 Greenscale's Blight / 10/11 Hammerknell

  2. #2
    Sword of Telara
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    I loved this game, and while I don't agree with some of your points, they are well justified. The reason I give the game more credit for it's re-playability and smaller plot line is because it is designed and created around that it was originally released for Xbox Arcade.

    In other words, since it is a smaller scale game, I wouldn't expect it to go into full detail of the history of it's world. For the goal and purpose of it's creation, it does it near flawlessly and I can appreciate the artwork. (Which you already stated, but meh)
    Last edited by Anthony01; 10-24-2011 at 04:24 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony01 View Post
    I loved this game, and while I don't agree with some of your points, they are well justified. The reason I give the game more credit for it's re-playability and smaller plot line is because it is designed and created around that it was originally released for Xbox Arcade.

    In other words, since it is a smaller scale game, I wouldn't expect it to go into full detail of the history of it's world. For the goal and purpose of it's creation, it does it near flawlessly and I can appreciate the artwork. (Which you already stated, but meh)
    I think most of what you said I directly stated, but I will counterpoint your entire "Created for Xbox Arcade" way of thinking with the fact that SuperGiant games partnered with Valve to release Bastion as a full game release on Steam. This in fact puts it in the arena of "Whole games", and therefore, I feel it should be judged accordingly. While I state multiple times that it aims low and hits dead on for what it is, I don't feel it has a cop-out priveledge as an "Xbox minigame"; they released it on Steam, and it's in some retail stores. That means they opted to put themselves out there as a title.

    Thanks for the feedback!
    -Asono
    Asono, Guild Leader / Main Tank of <Chaos Legion>
    4/4 River of Souls / 5/5 Greenscale's Blight / 10/11 Hammerknell

  4. #4
    Plane Touched
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    Solid review. Although I'd say that while the sound and art was fantastic, everything else in the game was just boring to me. I ended up going through the entire game using one combination of weapons almost exclusively, and found very, very few situations where equipping different gear was all that beneficial. In summation: I hit two buttons the entire game, and fell asleep after I beat it.

    I'd give it a 6/10 at best. If it didn't have the unique art style and narration (which was incredible) it'd get a 4/10. Seriously. I was that bored.

    Thanks for the review.

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