Posted on Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 at 6:46 PM by Guest
Over the past few years, the quality of downloadable games have soared dramatically, thanks in no small part, to Xbox Live Arcade. And yet, many gamers seem to pay little attention to the online games marketplace, when it comes to fully downloadable titles.
That dear readers, is why I’ll be going on a little bit of a crusade over the next few weeks, reviewing and promoting the Hidden Gems of the Xbox Live Marketplace. With most games £10 or less, it’s a form of gaming well-suited to our current financial crisis, and not only that, these little bundles of awesomeness give you access to magical experiences you just can’t find on your average £50 game!
So now that the introductions are out of the way, let’s get to our first jewel in the crown of the XBLA, shall we?
On paper, Bastion is a simple RPG/Adventure that should supply you with a few hours of enjoyable enough gaming, but thanks to developers SuperGiant Games wonderful attention to detail, and unique style, Bastion has plenty to offer.
Bastion in set in what can only be described as the most beautiful apocalypse imaginable. After an event known as “The Calamity” the world falls apart, leaving our hero, known only as “The Kid” to fight his way to The Bastion, a sanctuary for life that his people agreed to flee to if something terrible ever happened. Over the 6-hour single-player rollercoaster, The Kid meets other survivors, and we start to get an idea of what his world was like before the Calamity.
The main feature Bastion has to offer Joe Gamer has to be the low, sexy voice of Logan Cunningham. Every attack you to make, every decision you take, every enemy you demise, his Morgan Freeman- like vocals talk you though your adventure, as if he was reading it from a book. It’s one of those things that makes Bastion an utter joy to play.
The worlds you play though are beautifully crafted, using a simply breath-taking watercolor art-style. The platforms you run on form under your feet as you walk along, brick by brick, like a massive LEGO model being built in front of you.
Almost every level has its own personality too, and during your time playing as The Kid, you’ll experience jungles, torn-up towns, swamps, and Artic snowstorms. So visually, Bastion hits every right note imaginable!
Moving on to Bastions gameplay, its basic, but satisfying and enjoyable.
The Kid can hold two weapons at a time, as well as a special super power.
New weapons are discovered on every level, going from swords, to pistols, to over-powered bazookas! The special powers are awesome, plus you can change your equipment after every level, as well as upgrading them, meaning you can customize your weapons to what ever style of combat that suits you best!
Enemies are fun to fight, and over the top crazy in their design. You’ll be coming across new foes right up to the credits roll, keeping combat fresh and entertaining the whole way through!
What will stick with you most, long after you’ve finished Bastion, is the soundtrack. It’s a master class in music making. Some songs have techno and classical elements, others indie folk music, and some feature middle-eastern inspired beats. There are several moments in the game that are made by the soundtrack. 3 songs feature lyrics, which are worked into the story. They are incredibly catchy, and give up as great insight into the world that was before the Calamity.
With its almost cartoony visuals, few would expect Bastion’s plot to be as deep and adult as it is. Throughout your adventure, themes of war, religion and racism. Even if it takes a while getting into, its worth investing yourself into the story- trust me, come the final few levels, you’ll be rewarded. At the climax of the game, you’ll face some decisions, which will ultimately decide how Bastion ends. Bastion closes with a flawless animation, telling of what happened to The Kid, and the rest of the survivors completely based on those final few decisions you made.
Bastion features loads of great side-quests, that you don’t need to do to finish the story; but they are challenging, plus they give you info about the world you are seeing in ruins. The main quests also have replay value galore, meaning, for your 1200 Microsoft points, your getting hours of value.
I haven’t said much about Bastion’s thick plot, simply because its something you have to experience yourself. And even if story isn’t your thing, the thrilling combat should see you through!
All things considered, Bastion is a highly enjoyable adventure that will tingle your imagination, and leave catchy jingles and songs stuck in your head for months to come! The narrator’s silky smooth vocals make for great listening, and the well-designed combat system provides simple, yet awesome, gameplay- and never seems to get frustrating or boring.
There’s no co-op, but it’s not something to worry about. Bastion still gives you plenty to do and see. Like the rest of the titles on XBLA, a free trail is available – It doesn’t give you a full taste of what the game offers, but you get a glimpse of what can only be called one of the most creative worlds in gaming!
So, I’ve done my best to tell you why you should be spending a few pounds on Bastion, it truly deserves a score of, Drum-roll please…
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