Monday, September 7, 2015


Bastion has received an overwhelmingly positive reception and sold over three million copies after its release in 2011 which is quite well for an indie game. But there are also more mixed reviews – the game's Wikipedia page summarizes some of them. I largely agree with them and, in my opinion, the reasons for the mixed opinions make Bastion maybe not quite as good a game as it is considered to be.

Enjoyable gameplay

There is nothing really wrong with it. But to be considered a game of the year, Bastion is lacking something. Maybe the combat could have more depth to it. But for the limited scope and length the game has, the different weapons are probably enough and a more usual, action RPG skill/talent system is not needed. I am not so sure about the challenges to fully unlock the weapons, however. I dreaded doing them beforehand, though then felt rather satisfied after completing one.

I played with a controller, as the keyboard movement is apparently quite odd, and got used to the controls quite a bit faster than in Remember Me. Though I still fell off the world every now and then when I accidentally pressed the dodge button. It is a shame the jump is granted so late into the game. It would have been neat to have from the start.

Strong presentation

Visually Bastion is charming. The sky islands are delightfully colorful and detailed. The game is very nice to look at. I did not like the character design, though – they simply were not to my taste. And I think there could have also been more enemy variation.

The music of Bastion is amazing. Apart from one track, it was all very much to my liking. Darren Korb managed to create something wonderful for the game. Bynn the Breaker is probably my favorite piece on the soundtrack.

Weak story

Many have praised the narrator but I did not like him nor did I find him particularly funny. I would rather have characters speak themselves than have a single voice tell the whole story. Sometimes his lines are paced so that there are long pauses within sentences if you do not keep walking. That got really on my nerves and I wished he would just shut up.

Bastion's story was not engaging, rather typically for an action RPG. The characters were not interesting and I did not care about them. The final showdown and the odd slow walk were also weird. Maybe I should not have decided to spare the guy.

To be really good, I think a game should me feel like wanting to play through it again once I have finished it oncee. That definitely was not the case with Bastion. I have found that to happen with most indie games I have touched and have thus been trying to avoid them. They just do not have what it takes, in my opinion.

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