Bastion is not only beautiful to look at, it will draw you in immediately.

User Rating: 8.5 | Bastion X360
Quite honestly Bastion took me for surprise. I never knew it had been in the works for quite some time. One of the games offered at last year's Summer of Arcade on XBL. Purchased on a whim, Bastion is an Action-RPG that takes you for a ride into it's beautiful hand drawn world. The game's simplistic nature and variety always make you want to play more to see what else you can discover.

The game has you playing as a the silent protagonist known only as "The Kid." As you were sleeping the world you know came into ruin and you are now what seems like the only survivor after the whole ordeal known only as: The Calamity. Your only hope for survival is a small island in the sky called the Bastion, and as you walk across the desolate landscape, pieces of the world around you begin to form due to the piece of the bastion that The Kid carries on his back. And now it is up to you to decide the fate of the new world and restore the Bastion to its former glory. I do not want to give too much away, but it definitely worthy of your time to experience this unique game.

Bastion itself is very pretty to look at. Nice water-colored environments with over-saturated color palettes make for some very unique locales. To top it off Supergiant Games added a one of the best soundtracks to a game I've heard. It combines some eastern mixes with some classic video game structure and other elements for something that is rarely done in other games, especially an arcade title, making the audio and visual experience truly appealing. Enemies will vastly change to suit the setting you are in, and become more menacing as you progress the story

At its core, Bastion revolves on its combat mechanics, and it does not disappoint.Throughout your adventure you will find some unique melee and ranged weapons to dispose of your enemies. Weapons range from a quick-slashing sword and Fast shooting revolvers, to a Pike with long reach and a portable mortar. Along with this you can learn different secret techniques that can turn the tide of battle such as Tossing Grenades, planting Decoys or Weapon specific techniques that let shoot really fast with your revolvers or make an earthquake with your hammer. You are allowed to equip Two weapons and one secret technique. This is great cause it allows you to play to your own play-style. Like the Cael Hammer dishes out lots of damage, but is very slow, but you can use the fast shooting revolvers to go with it and vice versa. This makes for some cool and unique combinations that you can continue to tweak to however you like. Each weapon you obtain can also be upgraded to add values such as more damage, speed, or crit chance as well as adding some elements such as Fire or poison.

But this isn't the only way to give your character some personality in Bastion. Your character also levels up and gains the ability to equip a different number of Spirits at a distillery, dependent on what level you are. Spirits range from being able to recover from killing blows to carrying more Health vials. There are quite a number of tonics to be found and purchased in the game, so you can truly make a unique play experience. Also with these ways to customize your character you can also invoke different Deities that make your enemies tougher as well. The payoff is more experience and money, and all the deities can be invoked at the same time, but be prepared to fight some real tough foes.

Aside from playing straight through the game, there are a couple of diversions to be had in the game. When a new weapon is found it opens up a challenge stage which will test your mettle on how to use that particular weapon to the best of your ability. These range to destroying enemies by simple button mashing or be forcing you hit multiple targets at once to get under par time. These rewards you with upgrade materials for different weapons and First place nets you a new secret technique. As you rebuild the Bastion you will gain a couple of different buildings such as the Shrine, were you invoke different Gods, and the Forge, were you pay for your weapon upgrades. But one Building, called the Memorial, Lets the Kid complete different challenges that reward fragments(currency) upon completion. Also as the bastion get more and more filled, there are a few items that once activated put The Kid into a dream world were you have to fight waves of enemies, but during the sequences there are narrations that divulge more back story relating to The Kid's back story and other characters

The main hook of the game comes from the game's narrator, who has something to say for just about everything. Every new area you encounter, any new enemy you face, the narrator has something to say about it, which in turn brings light to many different aspects of the world you are traversing. Aside from delving into the plot at hand, he will not hesitate to comment when you roll off a ledge or mindlessly destroy junk around you. He will also comment on you equipment setups and memorial challenges you complete. Also some items are scattered around that while not equippable, will shed some more light on different topics about what life was like before the Calamity.

The game however has probably only one fault, and it's short length. The game can be completed in about 6-8 hours. Thankfully a New game+ feature is implemented as well as a different ending, but I will not spoil too much. At only 1200 MS points, this is pretty excusable, since many full priced games nowadays fall into this short single-player length. If you want to try something unique with some amazing visuals, awesome soundtrack, and great action, Bastion is more than a worthy title that should be anybody's Xbox game library.