November 20, 2017
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Gameplay

Sound
  Graphics

Value
Genre: Adventure & RPG
Min OS X: 10.5.8


Bastion
March 20, 2014 | Ted Bade
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Nice Place For A Bird Bath
The weapons of Bastion are interesting varieties of the typical weapons one finds in most FPS based games. There are essentially two types of weapons short (close in) range, like a hammer, a spear, or a bellows that spews fire. There there are the longer range weapons, like the arrow, musket or dueling pistols, and finally a Calamity cannon. Early on you get a hammer and a bow. As you search the areas of this world, you will often find unusually named items that can be used to upgrade one type of weapon. This is done after you find the Bastion and gain access to the Forge. Each weapon has itís good and bad points. Mostly the good points are in how much damage they can do, how far they reach, and how fast they are. The bad point involve slower cool downs to the next use, slow weapon speed, and slower ramp ups to use. The Bow, the Musket, and the cannon donít require a supply of ammo, but there is a time delay associated in reloading the weapon.

In addition to the two weapons the Kid can carry, he also gets to select one special ability to take on his missions. There are a number of these abilities to choose from and the Kid learns more as his level increases. These abilities can be either offensive or defensive. For instance there is a shield that reflects attacks back at the monsters, a decoy that grabs the monsterís attention so it attacks the decoy rather then the Kid, and the ability to charm certain monsters so they fight for you. Using this special ability requires the use of black tonics, which are found as you search the world. The Kid can initially carry three, but this can be enhanced.

A final level of enhancements involves elixirs that you can carry that provide additional skills or enhancement of your skills.You gain new elixirs as you gain new levels. You use the Bastionís distillery to select which of those you have access to that you use. There are a variety of items that you can choose to take advantage of. New slots for additional power-ups open as the Kid progresses through the levels. You can use the Distillery to choose which elixir is associated with each slot. These enhancements include things like reducing damage caused by falling, increasing critical hits, adding both health potion and special ability tonic slots, increasing maximum health and so forth.

In addition to the Arsenal, Forge, and Distillery, Bastion has some other areas of interest. There is the Memorial, where you get awards for completing certain tasks. Lost and Found is a great place to visit to buy items needed for enhancements of both the Kid and his equipment. The Shrine is a place where you can select an idol that enhances the monsters that Bastion brings against the Kid.

The soundtrack of Bastion is truly remarkable. I have already mentioned the very entertaining commentary provided by the Narrator Rucks as you move through the game. I would give this game a excellent score based on just this alone, but the game also has a great music track. The music starts with acoustic guitar type music, and incorporates a variety of heavier electronic type sounds. I have no idea what this type of music would be classified as, but I enjoyed it. (I did read the Wiki section on the music and the composer. The composer classified it as: "acoustic frontier trip hop")

In any case, the music track seasons the game very well adding another entertaining dimension to this very well done game. Even though the music can get intense at times, it never hides the environmental sound and important audio clues that the game also provides. Overall, I would say the audio portion of Bastion is excellent!

I didnít run into any technical issues running the game at all. There was one thing about the game I didnít like. The game has an auto-save "feature". I personally donít like this because I often find I need to quit before I finish a section of the game. If the auto-save hadnít occurred, then I had to return to do everything over again. In a game where you can save at a variety of points or even at will, the player controls how much they want to redo. The auto save feature also means you really donít have an opportunity to try a section over again.

I forgot to mention death and losing. It just so happens Bastion offers two playing modes, normal and "No Sweat". In the No Sweat mode, when the Kid dies for whatever reason, he just returns and you continue game play. This makes the game less challenging, but it provides a way to experience the game with a lot less frustration. I played in this mode just to get through as fast as possible for this review. I do plan to go back and experience Bastion in the Normal mode, taking my licks and trying again and again to get past the more difficult enemies!

Bastion is an excellent game. The game play is fun and full of action. The environment is bright and colorful, pleasing to the eye and extremely imaginative. The sounds and music track are excellent and add much to the overall value. One could ask little more of a fantasy game. Bastion will provide hours of entertainment and fun. I truly enjoyed my time playing Bastion.

Pros:

Excellent sound track and music, great game play, energetic and fun.

Cons:

No game save, if you have to quit before ending a mission, you have to repeat from the beginning.



Bastion
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