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Bastion review
by Basilio Guzmán Gómez

Bastion PC Review (Finished on 08/26/2020)

Pros

+The combat mechanism is responsive. It is a third-person action RPG game where the protagonist moves to four directions on a 2D plane, collecting weapons that can be upgraded by obtaining unique collectibles designed for each weapon which can be obtained on special levels serving as challenges for the weapon in question or via the restoration of the Lost and Found building, a shop selling those materials. While no jump present (at least not until the final moments of the game), the way the game was designed only allow the protagonist to dash throughout the levels to suit the way players can traverse with speed. Upon defeating enemies, little fragment shards can be collected, considered as the game currency, needed for the upgrade of the weapons, alongside obtain tonics called Distillery Spirits serving both as passives to enhanced the defensive and offensive capabilities, but also to improve the passive stats such as health, defense, etc. Finally, there are two slots of usable items, one of is for the health potions and the other is for the usage of the special ability equipped and also a shield that when timed correctly, can not only block incoming damage but also counter it.

+The game does a very good job alternating between controller and keyboard/mouse combo activating from the start as default and did not present any critical issues with one or the other.

+The graphics, the UI and the overall visual presentation are very well made. The game sports a very colorful presentation with a combination of hand-painted drawings and computer-generated effects. The idea of the populating levels due to the effect of The Calamity is a welcome addition, as it adds a different flavor to the traditional and repeated way of showing the creativeness of the level designs, as each level did the best to avoid feeling bland, by being tiled generated representations of dungeons, forests, bazaars, etc, but with the help of an isometric camera, players see the entire aspects of the limited world where Bastion take place.

+The overall story, the backstory of both the world & characters and the way the endings give some thoughts to think to the players. The story of the game revolves around a protagonist named The Kid, waking up in a now devastated world caused by a disaster called The Calamity and is tasked to collect two types of relics, one is The Monuments and the second is The Shards to restore what is called The Bastion, the core of the city of Caelondia. At first glance, the story does not appear to have much appealing, until the game starts to narrate the events of the backstory explaining everything that leads to the creation of the Calamity due to the war between the population of Caelondia, the Caels and the civilization of the Ura, a tribal race of humans that started the war mainly because of the construction The Caels made on a place called Port Lemaign, that not only was Ura territory, but many of those constructions were above tunnels and homes from the Ura, triggering a war between the two civilizations that lasted for 50 years. After the war, a group called The Mancers created a solution called The Calamity to avoid another Cael-Ura war in the future in the event the Ura did not withhold their part of the peace treaty between the two but at the heart of the creation, was the Ura Mancer by the name Venn, which is the father of one of the main characters Zia, that horrified by the genocidal intentions of The Mancers with The Calamity sabotaged the project and wrote everything to a journal found by Rucks, the game narrator. Finally, the backstory of each main character is explained when visiting some places called "Who Knows Where" that after many waves of enemies, it reveals the origins of The Kid, Zulf, Zia, and Rucks. Two highlights from the overall story are the unfortunate outcomes the humans must suffer for the lack of empathy and mercy, and the other is the reflection the endings gave by giving players two choices of restoring the Bastion to a time prior to The Calamity or to remain in the a world where the Calamity has destroyed nearly everything in wakes of finding another suitable place to live which one wonders, could it be prevented?, will restoring The Bastion will truly avoid The Calamity? are we still clinging in our past mistakes or are we afraid of a different future?

+The port is greatly optimized to the point of being able to achieve the fixed 60 FPS even on mid-end machines. It did not present any crashes, the size of the entire game is really small compared to today standards, the nature being a port capable of supporting mods and no problems found with any of the OS where it was developed.

+The overall sound effects and the OST are superb. The high quality of the sound effects let players appreciate even the smallest of the sounds with enough fidelity depending on what is happening on the environment and its position (Ex: when it is raining, players can discern the direction of the wind, when an enemy or the protagonist are hit or make an action that involves a sound and correctly position the sound on the location where is happening on the map, etc) and while there are no many voices within the game, at least the smooth voice of the narrator improves the storytelling part of the protagonist and his journey and also Zia's voice at the end of the game. Another highlight is the OST, containing a mix of genres suited for both a calm atmosphere and to the urgency of resolving the situation at hand in regards to an impending end.

+While the game does not have many main characters, at least the four available were developed correctly through the memories of the "Who Know Where levels". The Kid, the game protagonist, is a silent protagonist that never knew his father and struggled with the school who in turn decided to become a worker of The Rippling Walls to support his mother through the money obtained working there. Zia, an Ura singer, and daughter of the creator of The Calamity, Venn, who never saw her mother due to birth complications and her father never told much to her to avoid the truth of the creation he was making with The Mancers, a student with an interest for music, Zia never got the approval of other girls due to her being the daughter of what was considered an Ura traitor until one man stood for her. Rucks, The Bastion's architect and narrator of the game, which now tasked The Kid into collecting The Monuments and The Shards to undo the mistake The Mancers did by restoring The Bastion with the hope of preventing The Calamity and finally Zulf, a hopeless Ura which was raised by a missionary, teaching him about theology, history, and mercy until the missionary passed away, which after this Zulf promised himself to fight for a peaceful solution to the Cael-Ura war, only to fell into desperation and nearly destroy The Bastion as he understood there's no solution between the Caels and the Ura.

Cons

-Experience to level up is very poorly distributed, giving tiny amounts of it per enemy defeat. They should have added or enemies that provide more experience per defeat or a mode where at least the farming is way more decent because the downside is, when activating the Shrine Idols, you can get to obtain as much as the double experience, but with almost three times of difficulty.

-For some reason, when you increase or decrease the volume in-game from the keyboard, the game understands such input as controller input, something that could have been fixed upon launching this port.

-No side quests available in the game. They should have included some form of secondary missions connected to the main story or at least to a more explanation to the origins of the characters.

-Not sure why new Shrine Idols and Distillery Spirits are unlocked on the New Game Plus. They should have been unlocked on the first playthrough without needing completion of the game.

-The aiming with some weapons is not very well implemented. The bow needs a button to hold down while moving the right stick, the auto-aiming of the Machete sometimes makes aim an enemy you don't want, and also, the auto-aim of the shield sometimes can make the target to aim the incorrect enemy.

-They restricted the way of changing weapons to be a feature exclusive to a place called "The Arsenal". Switching weapons should be a mechanic that players use at any time without the need of visiting a place.

-While the level design is good, the size of all of them feels limited in capacity. They at least should have implemented longer episodes per map to accommodate for the lack of sizing.

-While the port is well optimized, it missed an opportunity to include more graphics options so it can be tweaked further, as it only limited to resolution and activation of anti-aliasing.

Other reviews12

8.5/10
«Can’t stop playing»
«Underrated»
Outstanding music and stellar storytelling, everything in the game makes a part of a coherent whole.
«OST on repeat»
Beautiful art, great music and a cool, gruff narrator following you along the way. The story is pretty simple, and the game play too, almost becoming a bot repetitive before it comes to a nice conclusion. Not a bad time if you can get it for a good price.
Absolutely gorgeous little hack-n-slash with brilliant music, wonderful aesthetic, and a brilliant narrator.
Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
The World has been torn to Pieces and now it is your Job to rebuild the Bastion and turn back Time. http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=726830872 Gameplay: Bastion is a relatively classic Hack n Slay, but it doesn't rely on silly button mashing but prompts the Player to dodge enemy Attacks by rolling or blocking. The whole thing, however, goes very smoothly off the Hand and ensures a quick Game. The Gameplay has an incredibly good flow and is constantly reinvigorated by new Types of opponents (which actually behave completely differently). An individualised Style Of play was Also provided. Because you have the Opportunity to improve the 10 different Weapons that you can find at Bastion during The Course of the game in Different ways. Even if the Possibilities are not very superior, you can still customize the Weapons for different Styles of play. What makes Bastion So special? But what sticks in Your Mind at Bastion and what makes this Game so special for me is not the Gameplay but the Interplay of Narrative structure, Level design and Soundtrack: Speak the complete Atmosphere. The Story is told with an interactive Narrator who comments completely on everything that happens in the Game. I really liked this Narrative Structure Because this Narrative Is unused and adapts excellently to level Design. Because by the Fact that the world has been torn to pieces, the Level itself is always created in front of the Player'S Feet, this Level design is simply perfect for this Narrative style. The Game is Accompanied by a Soundtrack that I still listen to after playing. It's actually worth buying the Soundtrack (Or the "Supergiant Collection") Here's an Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eqMszMGUww Difficulty/Long-term Motivation The Level of Difficulty in Bastion is quite low by default Kept. You can't even die in the Game by selecting the "no sweat mode." However, you can make the Game more difficult if it is too easy. Because with so-called "Idol" that you can find in the Game, you can make the Opponents stronger. In Some cases, it even goes so far that Enemies can reflect attacks or become invisible. However, I would still have liked to see a Higher Degree Of Difficulty by default. The NewGame + also offers no new Challenges. If you don't use the "Idols" on The NewGame +, it's even twice as easy to get through the Game. Pretty Bad. But There are still challenges after the end of the Game, on the one hand by the "Score Attack mode," where you can set a High Score for completing the Level or through the "Dream Level" where you have to fight Enemy Waves. http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=726884776 Lifetime Bastion is unfortunately a very short Game, playing through the first one will see the Credits after a rough 5 Hours and with the NewGame + you can even use all the Upgrades in under 3 Hours through the Game bounce. Nevertheless, the Overall Package is so good that I have to say: The €15 is still worth it. Especially because there are some Optional Modes that you can aim for after finishing the Game. Verdict: Clearly, Bastion is a Video Game Pearl and, in my Opinion, a must play. While It does not set new Standards in Gameplay technical Space, the Overall Package is unique and memorable 9/10
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Translated by
Microsoft from Italian
Beautiful game. Very fluid, has a nice graphic and the axonometric view makes it very much. It has a good amount of weapons and upgrades adapted to different styles of play. The fantastic storyline, really a beautiful story, with the narrator in the background following you step by step. Highly recommended for what it costs. Also because once finished you can start again with increasing difficulties and the possibility of equipping new upgrades.
Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
I have to say, what you get offered here for the few euros is the madness. A really good game. Graphics, sound, gameplay - all from the top shelf. Difficulty you can adjust yourself in the game. Attractive and interesting story. If you actually have the game through for the first time, more game modes are unlocked - so you can continue playing. So far, the best game I've downloaded from the store here. For the few Krten! Excellent!
Translated by
Microsoft from French
A very nice game. The design and the way in which the small world is built in front of your steps are very successful. If history is above all a pretext to break the wicked, we are nevertheless immersed in this world, well helped by the music and voice of the narrator (surprising at first but a very good idea!). All in all, a good game type hack & amp; slash, nice universe, a very light RPG touch with different weapons, unlockable improvements etc. A good moment in the end!
Translated by
Microsoft from French
Wow, it's a marvel, the sound, the image, the gameplay, MAGNIFICENT. Turns very well on the latest low-end iMac, under Lion, perfect. The camapagne is quite long and then we can redo the game with everything to unlock, the difficulty to the max, if you souahite course. 1199 for something like this, well worth it .. I just noticed two small problems: 1) The character sometimes continues to advance while I do not press any key, it's very annoying because we lose control and suddenly, we fall and we lose points of life stupidly. 2) The notch is jumping lightly, I do not know if it is a wanted ffet in the "earthquake" kind because it has made me even at the "Bastion", which is supposed to be a quiet place and shelter ... (I will remit the 5 paintings when these problems will be settled, otherwise I am addicted to this game). Ps: A day of multiplayer?
Nothing less than the Supergiants' debut and the must-play peak of the indie games boom era. 
«Blew my mind»
«Time-tested»
Awesome game, a Must-Have.