Something Special

User Rating: 10 | Bastion X360
Bastion is something very special. The gameplay, highly reminiscent of SNES classics like Secret of Mana or A Link to the Past, is superb. Combat is like a dance, perfectly balanced, and with seemingly endless options presenting themselves in every battle. The art direction is evocative, colorful, and all around beautiful, and the sound is even better. The music that plays over the action is worldly and unique; it's like a Western movie soundtrack being played on Eastern instruments. Narrating the action is a gravelly-voiced old man, who tells every action as it happens. The abundance of recorded dialogue for the narrator makes him seem almost magical as he seamlessly integrates player actions into his running narrative.

Every aspect of Bastion that typically makes a game great is nearly perfect, and yet that perfection is not what has stuck with me the most in the months succeeding the game's release. Rather, what really sticks in my mind is the emotional impact that the game had on me. The confusion of a boy awakening to a world in shambles; the sorrow and emptiness of being alone in an uncertain land; the joy of meeting a kindred spirit in the chaos. All of these emotions and more are tugged subtly out of you as you play, using the art direction, gameplay, and music as tools to make you feel something real, something palpable. It's beautiful in a way that I can't quite put into words.

I could go on and on about the nuances of Bation's gameplay, or the deceptive depth of its story, or the graphics and sound, but that would be to your detriment. Going in fresh, seeing the sights and hearing the sounds for the first time, is the best way to truly experience Bastion. This is as much an emotional piece as a video game, and while both parts work seamlessly in harmony, it would be to the detriment of one that I described the other. If you haven't already, purchase Bastion and experience it for yourself. It's fiercely unique, and an experience that you won't regret.