Bastion First Impressions
Release Date: 20/7/2012
Platforms: XBLA(Played), PC, Mac
After receiving glowing reviews and numerous awards, I was expecting to love Bastion, and I really, really don’t. My first problem revolves around the art style, while I do like the world that constantly builds itself and is made mostly of squares, the actual style seems like it was ripped from a well done browser based RPG. Not to say that it’s bad, just bland. My eyes gloss over it and just look for things to break, but I can never tell if I’m annoying the game designers by doing that, because it feels like I only have partial control over my character, I feel like I only physically control him while his mind operates from the narrative. Now I am fine with this done in most games, but when you are trying to be artsy and merge story and gameplay together, I must complain.
Speaking of which, the story is actually given to you while you are bashing monsters from an overhead perspective and observing a destroyed world. The problem with the environments and how they are once destroyed stems from the fact that I have no idea what they are suppose to look like. A ruined city means something because you know what it should look like, I haven’t the slightest idea what the artist pictured for the normal villages. The art, while gorgeous to some degree, tends to repeat itself all the time, there are only about 6 enemies in the majority of the game, and the area designer didn’t place as much emotion into the environments as the story tries to.
Speaking of the story, I have to say that is is really good, it sends a small child who had a hard life through a world that is destroying itself in this thing called the Calamity. You need to take the remnants of the world and build a Bastion for some sort of new world. But what is interesting it that it is all delivered by a single, wonderfully voiced character and holds a lot of depth onto itself.
Perhaps I just dislike how serious the game takes itself, when I’m not used to taking the gameplay it uses very seriously at all. I tend to expect catchy music, while this game favors a more atmospheric soundtrack. And there is nothing wrong with that, but it tends to clash with gameplay, where you fight 40 enemies at once.
Bastion seems like is a mix of good ideas, but as I said with Final Fantasy XIII-2, they don’t always blend well. I do realize that the fact that this is a game is a big deal to some people, but I think it would make a better art heavy motion comic than a game. I just don’t get the big deal with this game, I will eventually beat it, but for now, that is it.//Now, I may end up playing this game again and reinterpret it, but I was just kinda bored after playing it. I can understand a games with a deeper meaning, but games still need to be entertaining. If your book is dry and uninviting, then the writer did not do their job well enough. You can have something work very well, but be hampered by the fact that you are not being engaged or entertained. I felt the same way about Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning, which I will get to in a few days.