Bastion was originally released for the Xbox Live Arcade in 2011, and made its way to varying platforms in the following years. The most recent is the PS Vita, which got Bastion this year. It’s an isometric ARPG that has you control “the Kid” as you help him fight to restore the Bastion to what it once was.
My World Is Falling Apart
The main premise behind Bastion is that the Kid wakes up to find himself stranded on a chunk of land, just big enough to contain his bookshelf and bed, after a cataclysmic event that tore his world apart. After a quick tutorial section, he sets out into what’s left of the world in an effort to rebuild it.
Honestly, this is about as much as I know for the story. It didn’t really interest or hook me in any way, which is surprising, considering that this game’s story is something everyone and their mother seems to praise like the second coming of Christ. I’m all for a good story, but like I said, it didn’t hook me. Maybe I didn’t give it enough time, but that could’ve been due to the fact that the gameplay was incredibly boring. I don’t understand how they managed that, because I love ARPGs. I mean, really, go look at Realms of Ancient War.
Anyway, that’s enough about the story. It just fell flat for me right off the bat.
Are You Ok?
So, I touched on the gameplay a little already, but now we really get to break it down.
When the game starts, it seems to be in some kind of weird gamepad-set-to-keyboard layout. That’s probably the worst design choice anyone has ever made in the history of ARPGs. Isometric games don’t really do well if you don’t have precise control over your character. This led me to falling off the edges once or twice before I checked the settings and found a more conventional mouse mode.
This second mode, though, took away one of my action buttons, so, yea.
It’s a bit of a pain in the ass when you can’t use your big special attack because you have to stop and try to remember where the game hid it. That said, once you do get the hang of it, it isn’t so bad.
Awkward controls aside, the game itself is pretty boring. A friend of mine said there were mutators and whatnot later on in the game to make it more interesting, but I just couldn’t force myself to keep playing. It just felt very bland over all.
There are some neat things, like being able to customize weapons and equip potions that give you bonuses, but I didn’t really notice any change.
Lookin’ Good, Kid
Despite my absolute boredom with the game in general, I will say that I like the art design. Not so much the characters in-game, but the stills you see on the title screen, menus, and portraits. I mean, they look alright in game, but I was thrown off by the weird, Play-Doh looking model of the Kid.
So, above, we have a picture from one of the shops. Like I said, I like the design in places like this, but in-game? Eh…
Sure, it’s bright and colorful, and I like that, but I really don’t like the 3D models that were used for the characters. They just seem awkward when everything else is put into such a nice looking 2D world.
Hit The Bench, Kid
I did say this would probably be a short review, and I wasn’t joking. I know that it seems like everyone just loves the hell out of this game, but it just couldn’t get a hold of me. My buddy AMGfail from What’s Your Tag said to maybe give it some time, but the more time I’ve given to waiting to see if it’d interest me has only gone on to show me that I’ve got little-to-no interest in touching the game again.
If you’re looking for a new ARPG and love the genre, definitely give it a shot. It might be better for you than it was for me.
That’s all for now.
You folks have fun, take care, and I’ll see you next time.