Thanks to Supergiant Games for the review code
System: Playstation Vita/TV
Release date: 12/05/2015
The main game/story
After barely surviving a world-tearing disaster known as The Calamity, you take control of a young boy known only as The Kid, in his quest to help rebuild the land and find the few remaining survivors, along with discovering more and more info about his mysterious past. An action RPG that combines some beat-em-up elements, Bastion tries to set the stage with a story shrouded in mystery and the motivation to discover the secrets behind it.
The first thing I took note of upon booting the game up is how stunning the artstyle is, especially when playing the game on an HD TV! The colorful artstyle really does shine, and even during the times when the game takes a darker turn the artstyle reflects it well. Each of the levels look very nice, and the isometric viewpoint doesn’t tend to get in the way of things as much as it would in other games. The occasional cutscenes show off the stunning character artwork even more, and honestly made me surprisingly immersed in the game’s world.
Music and Sound
By default, you’ll be lucky to hear any music at all, mainly due to the fact that there’s a narrator who narrates a lot of things during the gameplay, almost to the point of becoming irritating. Yet despite the fact that you can mute his voice, it’s crucial to listen to him as he gives you important advice and more pieces of the backstory. Another thing that’s bound to drown out the music is the sound effects that the enemies make, and since the majority of your time will be spent fighting these enemies, that means if you ever want to get a good listen of the music then you’ll need to turn down the voice and sound effect volume quite a bit. Unfortunately when it comes down to music, it’s not really anything memorable or special, the only major themes playing towards the end of the game, making it being clear that more charm and quality was put towards the narrator’s lines than anything else.
Bastion starts off with you getting used to the controls in an escape level of sorts, having to flee a crumbling world in order to reach safety. Once you beat the initial levels and get a feel for how the game functions, it becomes a fairly standard action RPG, with the main objective of each level being to retrieve the giant crystal at the end of each stage, guarded by a boss or challenging mission. The more levels you beat, the more upgraded the Bastion becomes, which allows you to choose from more weapons to use, more weapon abilities to upgrade, more spirit partners to assist you, among other minor things that aid you towards the goal of reaching 100%.
In terms of control, Bastion plays quite well, allowing you to move around with ease and use your chosen weapons to take out enemies with ease. Using the right analog stick you can even put up your shield in a pinch, allowing you to ward off pesky projectiles. All in all, it’s a fairly standard action game, with more attention going to its story than anything else. Charming yet mysterious, the game’s main story will last you a good 4-7 hours or so, but if you want to aim for 100% and unlock every trophy in the game, then it’ll take longer and require a bit of mastery. Being a game released on both the Playstation 4 and Playstation Vita, it comes with Cross-buy and Cross-save, allowing you to start on console and continue on the handheld, allowing you to play the game at pretty much any pace or setting you want! With a New Game Plus mode and online leaderboards to sweeten the deal, Bastion can easily become an addicting game to go through in no time.
In conclusion, Bastion is a fairly basic Action RPG, yet that’s OK as it more than makes up for it with its addicting gameplay, interesting story and high replay value. Trophy hunters will no doubt fall in love with the game due to the challenges that you need to conquer in order to gain them, while fans of the genre will likely enjoy trying different methods of beating the game to get on the leaderboard. With Cross-buy and Cross-Save included, its pretty much a great deal, even if $15 seems intimidating at first. Even if you only have one Sony system, I still strongly encourage checking Bastion out for a good time and an interesting story. I give Bastion an 8 out of 10, and strongly recommend it to any Action RPG fan or trophy hunter.