REVIEW : Bastion (PC)

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Bastion is an action role-playing video game produced by independent developer Supergiant Games and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. In the game, the player controls “the Kid” as he moves through floating, fantasy-themed environments and fights enemies of various types. It features a dynamic voiceover from a narrator, and is presented as a two-dimensional game with an isometric camera and a hand-painted, colorful art style. Bastion’s story follows the Kid as he collects special shards of rock to power a structure, the Bastion, in the wake of an apocalyptic Calamity.

The game was built over the course of two years by a team of seven people split between San Jose and New York City. They debuted the game at the September 2010 Penny Arcade Expo, and it went on to be nominated for awards at the 2011 Independent Games Festival and win awards at the Electronic Entertainment Expo prior to release. Bastion was published in July 2011 for Xbox Live Arcade and in August 2011 via digital download for Windows through Steam. Supergiant Games made it available as a browser game for Google Chrome in December 2011. It was released for Mac OS X via the Mac App Store in April 2012 and directly followed by a SteamPlay update in early May 2012 which allows the version purchased via Steam to be playable on both Mac OS X and Windows.Bastion’s soundtrack was produced and composed by Darren Korb, and a soundtrack album was made available for sale in August 2011.

GAMEPLAY

Bastion is an action role-playing game with a level structure.Levels consist of a single plane, and are viewed isometrically. They are filled with enemies of various types, which attempt to harm the Kid.The Kid carries two weapons, which may be selected from the choices available to the player at specific locations called arsenals.The Kid also has the ability to perform a special attack. Weapons and special attacks must be acquired before they can be used.There are a limited number of special attacks that the player can perform at any time, represented by “black tonics” that can be found in the levels or dropped from enemies. The Kid’s health is represented by a health bar, which can be replenished with “health tonics”. Like black tonics, the Kid can only carry a certain number of health potions at a time, and can replenish them by finding more in the levels.Levels contain many different environment types, including cities, forests, and bogs.At the end of most levels, the player collects an item called a core or a shard occasionally,the level begins to disintegrate once the Kid takes the item, forcing him to hastily retreat.Between levels, the Kid visits the Bastion, where the player can use fragments—the game’s form of currency—that they have accrued to buy materials and upgrade weapons. With each core the player collects, they can add one of six structures to the Bastion, such as a shrine, an armory, or a distillery, and each shard allows the player to expand a structure. Each structure serves a different purpose; for example, the distillery lets the player select upgrades, and the shrine allows the player to choose idols of the gods to invoke, causing the enemies to become stronger(YES!!! STRONGER) and giving the player increased experience points and currency.Experience points are used to determine the Kid’s ability level; higher values give the player more health and increase the number of upgrades they can select.

Whenever the player leaves the Bastion, they can choose between one or two regular levels to play. In addition to these levels, however, the Kid can engage in challenge courses designed to test the player’s skills with the weapons the player has found.The challenges differ depending on the weapon, such as destroying a certain number of objects within a given time or breaking targets in the fewest shots possible. Additionally, the Kid can fight waves of enemies while the narrator tells a character’s backstory by journeying to “Who Knows Where” from the Bastion. The player earns fragments and experience for each completed wave.After the game is completed, the player can choose to begin a “new game+” mode, where the player replays through the game while keeping the experience points, fragments, and weapons that they have gained. This mode also offers more options in the buildings, as well as two more journeys to “Who Knows Where”.

MUSIC

Bastion’s soundtrack was produced and composed by Darren Korb, a songwriter and composer. He was selected to pen the soundtrack by Rao, who was a childhood friend of Korb.Bastion was the first video game that Korb had scored; prior to it he had worked on a few smaller television shows and movies.He was brought onto the team in the beginning stages of the project, and several of the pieces he developed were created prior to the final design of the levels with which they were associated. The musical style of the soundtrack has been described by Korb as “acoustic frontier trip hop”. It was intended to evoke both the American frontier and an exotic fantasy world.The songs combine “heavily sampled beats in layers, along with acoustic elements”, and he determined that he wanted to create the soundtrack in that style as it was different than video game soundtracks that he had heard before.

 

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Conclusion
9.5
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