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BASTION



 
General Description

Bastion is a 3D action RPG developed by Supergiant Games and released on Xbox Live Arcade in July 2011 and for PC in August. It puts players in control of the Kid as he is left alone in a magical world after a calamity wipes out nearly all of its inhabitants. After finding an old man that serves as the game's narrator, the Kid sets out to collect shards that will power up the Bastion - the game's central hub - and eventually restore the world to its former state.

The game takes an isometric view, and players control the Kid through short stages that are filled with traps and enemies. The game's combat is fast-paced, with an emphasis on dodging and blocking the attacks of multiple enemies while using various weapons to retaliate. Players collect a number of different weapons over the course of the game, each suited to different play styles, that can be powered up and customized to the player's liking over the course of the game.

The levels are quick, challenging and usually straightforward, but there are plenty of sidequests for players to pursue, from lengthy arena challenges to tests of skill with specific weapons in the optional “proving grounds.” These and other sidequests will allow players to customize the Kid and the difficulty of the game in different ways. The wide range of different collectibles and upgrades puts some emphasis on both player creativity and problem solving.

 
Grade by Game Type Overall Grade
C C
Ratings at a Glance
 
Facts: 1 Title: BASTION
Creativity: 8 Publisher: Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment
Business: 3 Developer: Supergiant Games
People: 0 Year: 2011
Problem: 6 Genre: Role Playing
Simulation: 0 Strengths: creativity, popularity, problem
Popularity: 9 Platforms: Xbox Live
Extra: 0  
Rating Details

Classroom Facts

Bastion features some light mathematics in a few elements, including collecting and spending money and the game's battle mechanics, which rely on the various statistics of weapons and enemies.

Creativity & Imagination

By the Player:

Bastion offers levels full of secrets, optional quests that reward players with new items and upgrades, and several different ways to customize the player's character. Players can choose to upgrade each of their weapons in different ways if they've collected the requisite materials. One bow upgrade, for example, may allow players to choose to either shorten the bow's charge time or increase the amount of damage each arrow does. Instead of simply increasing a weapon's strength this allows players to customize their tools to suit their own preferred play styles, and any time the player visits an armory these upgrades can be rearranged freely.

Players also choose from a collection of tonics that grows throughout the game and gives the Kid various upgrades, like the ability to draw in nearby items or increase the power of his attacks as long as he stays at full health. The Bastion's shrine allows players to choose whether or not to pay homage to the game's various deities, which causes enemies to either grow or weaken in power and may grant the Kid experience bonuses. All of these options allow players a level of control over the game, despite the fact that its main stages proceed linearly from the beginning to the end.

By the Developer:

The focus of Bastion is on a few of its more superficial elements. Its graphic style makes a great first impression and is the biggest selling point. Shown in an isometric view, the world of Bastion is made up of thousands of environmental details that constantly fly through the air to meet the Kid as he explores each area. The gorgeous pixilated environments are populated by the Kid and the game's imaginative enemies, which fit in nicely despite being modeled in 3D.

The game's most innovative element is its progressive voice-over. The Kid meets an old man early in the game that acts as the game's narrator. Rather than having dialogue between characters, he explains what is happening as if it's being read from a book. He periodically offers commentary on the Kid's actions during a level, reacting in real time to the player's choices.

Business Skills

Bastion rewards players with currency for defeating enemies, completing optional stages and exploring the game's world. This money is used both to upgrade weapons and to purchase items at the store in the Bastion. While players will need to save up in order to collect every item in the game, Bastion is usually generous enough that players will be able to upgrade their favorite weapons comfortably and still pick up plenty of extras.

People Skills

Bastion does not include any multiplayer modes, and players aren't allowed any control over the game's conversations or plot.

Problem Solving

Players have a number of decisions to make regarding customizing their character that will affect their capabilities in battle, which are important as the game's combat is its central focus.

Each different enemy type attacks in a distinct manner. Some charge up and then unleash a powerful blow; others try to swarm the Kid; others still launch projectile attacks from afar. Each of these asks the player to use different styles of weapons and techniques. Players can choose any two of the weapons in their arsenal to carry at once, and picking a set of tools and figuring out how to use it for any given challenge is the game's central challenge.

Each weapon is distinct. The shotgun weapon fires a wide blast but has considerable recoil, the hammer attacks slowly and powerfully, and the bow offers special charge attacks for players that can master the timing. Players also always have access to a quick dodge roll and a counter-attacking shield, and it's up to players to choose how to use these different options in every new battle.

Special lengthy arena battles can be accessed from the Bastion that test players even further, and the short bursts of challenge offered by the optional “proving ground” levels help players to master certain aspects of each weapon. The game's combat mechanics are spread out across so many different types of stages that it's hard not to appreciate the thought that went into them.

Simulation

Bastion is not a simulation game.

Popularity

Bastion has been praised universally since its release. It has been praised for its story and the level of customization it offers players, and in particular for its soundtrack and colorful, detailed art style.

Controls & Options

Players can alter the difficulty level of the game by visiting a shrine that is unlocked early on. Here a series of options can be toggled separately that make changes to the game's battle mechanics. One makes enemies attack more quickly, while another might allow them to sustain more damage. These make the game more challenging but reward the player with bonuses to their experience points. Other audio and visual options are also available.

Tips

Bastion was rated E 10+ by the ESRB with descriptors for Animated Blood, Fantasy Violence and Use of Alcohol and Tobacco.