Bastion: A Picturebook Calamity

Posted by Mento (2257 posts) -

Those of you with exceptionally good memories for trivial matters might remember a comic-based review of a certain game with animes in them that I created as a way of thanking the generous soul who gifted it to me. Since Steam's big Xmas sale and achievement-based giveaway, I've received a couple more games and I feel a similar treatment is due.

The first of these is Supergiant Games' Bastion, from not-Giant Bomb user Seven. Now, I'm sort of at a disadvantage with this one: Because Chantelise was a mostly unknown quantity I was able to elucidate and inform as much as entertain. Bastion, on the other hand, has not only been played by mostly everyone on Giant Bomb at this point but has had a rather in-depth "making of" on this site which I'm sure you're all intimately familiar with. So I'm going to be brief with my explanations and cover only what I found remarkable.

Long-time readers of the Mento blog are probably equally familiar with how I "do art": MS Paint is my medium; Stupidity, my canvas.

Introductions all 'round. There's some other NPCs I didn't include because that would mean drawing more stickpeople they're not particularly important. Those were supposed to be Kirby eyes, but it just makes me think I need to change my eyedrop prescription.

Caelondia (SAY-lon-dee-ah) is the home of the two main characters and a whole bunch of ashen corpses. It's a lot floatier than it used to be.

The alcohol stuff is interesting, beyond figuring out the logistics of how you become a more competent gunslinger and precarious ledge negotiator by chugging entire bottles of hooch. You receive a new passive skill slot each time you level up, as depicted by a spot on the shelf for a new liqueur. You are free to fill this slot with a selection of bonuses (contingent on how many types of booze you've found or bought) and apply them as befits the immediate situation. There are some basic "always useful" ones, others can greatly benefit a particular play style (such as added counter damage with the shield, or a critical hit boost that only works at low health) and others still that have slightly odd conditions and can pay dividends with a little experimentation. It allows players to mix and match in case they feel their choices are in error, and they follow an entirely different system from your active skills which means less consternation about choosing a direction to develop your protagonist. I know I'm usually the type to prioritize passive skills over active in most action RPGs, for better or worse.

Bastion's most lauded feature is the Shrine, where you can apply penalties (or penances, if you'd like) from the various colorful deities that make up the Bastion pantheon, which in turn grants larger XP and cash bonuses for players seeking a challenge. Kasavin one-ups his favorite franchise by having ten of these holier-than-thou types, each with their own alluded-to personalities and spheres of influence. Applying all of these bonuses simultaneously will kill you pretty quickly if you aren't prepared, but there's achievements in store for those who want to masochist their way to glory. Plus they can hedge their bets merchandise-wise with a tiny bull god doll, in case the Squirt dolls weren't cute enough. They're thinkers, those Supergiant fellows.

The dream stages are as the stickfella above describes them: A non-canonical way to power up and get some much needed resources in case the next story-essential stage is giving you some trouble. To be fair, you probably don't need to beat them more than once, since the new game plus option will provide all the additional funds and XP you could ever need. But boy howdy if I can't recite the Kid's backstory word-for-word at this juncture.

Yeah. There are enemies called peckers. They had a field day with that one, I can tell.

The Trials are some fun extracurricular activities that open up shortly after you find the weapon they pertain to. The basic gist is to get acquainted with what your new shiny weapon can do. Ostensibly, you already have some practice since the game forces the weapon on you as soon as you collect it. The trials therefore are a master class on how to use that weapon effectively, should it involve crowd control, timed shots or some sort of alt-fire function the game might have not yet explained. The tasks they give you also provide a way to show your mastery of the weapon, awarding you prizes by way of upgrade materials and the priceless special skills. If you can't seem to fathom how any human being could succeed the challenge, try coming back when you've upgraded a bit. The game drops quite a few intelligence-bruising hints along those same lines for you, which is always fun. I like getting talked down to. Especially when I'm stupid enough to actually need it.

Also, I don't like tower defence. Dunno if you knew that about me.

Aaaand this was where I quit.

Overall, Bastion is a fantastic game for its smaller downloadable game status and price. But you all knew that already. But the few of you who didn't know that, or were waiting for some rando from the internet to illustrate it to you with grade school level artwork, you now have no excuse to not go outside and then immediately come back inside and buy it online from the many fine online establishments that it can be purchased from for a meagre price in whatever your territory's chosen currency might be. Zenny, perhaps. It'll be worth it. Good luck, have peckers.

.

..

...

I'm so sorry.

Moderator
#1 Posted by Mento (2257 posts) -

Those of you with exceptionally good memories for trivial matters might remember a comic-based review of a certain game with animes in them that I created as a way of thanking the generous soul who gifted it to me. Since Steam's big Xmas sale and achievement-based giveaway, I've received a couple more games and I feel a similar treatment is due.

The first of these is Supergiant Games' Bastion, from not-Giant Bomb user Seven. Now, I'm sort of at a disadvantage with this one: Because Chantelise was a mostly unknown quantity I was able to elucidate and inform as much as entertain. Bastion, on the other hand, has not only been played by mostly everyone on Giant Bomb at this point but has had a rather in-depth "making of" on this site which I'm sure you're all intimately familiar with. So I'm going to be brief with my explanations and cover only what I found remarkable.

Long-time readers of the Mento blog are probably equally familiar with how I "do art": MS Paint is my medium; Stupidity, my canvas.

Introductions all 'round. There's some other NPCs I didn't include because that would mean drawing more stickpeople they're not particularly important. Those were supposed to be Kirby eyes, but it just makes me think I need to change my eyedrop prescription.

Caelondia (SAY-lon-dee-ah) is the home of the two main characters and a whole bunch of ashen corpses. It's a lot floatier than it used to be.

The alcohol stuff is interesting, beyond figuring out the logistics of how you become a more competent gunslinger and precarious ledge negotiator by chugging entire bottles of hooch. You receive a new passive skill slot each time you level up, as depicted by a spot on the shelf for a new liqueur. You are free to fill this slot with a selection of bonuses (contingent on how many types of booze you've found or bought) and apply them as befits the immediate situation. There are some basic "always useful" ones, others can greatly benefit a particular play style (such as added counter damage with the shield, or a critical hit boost that only works at low health) and others still that have slightly odd conditions and can pay dividends with a little experimentation. It allows players to mix and match in case they feel their choices are in error, and they follow an entirely different system from your active skills which means less consternation about choosing a direction to develop your protagonist. I know I'm usually the type to prioritize passive skills over active in most action RPGs, for better or worse.

Bastion's most lauded feature is the Shrine, where you can apply penalties (or penances, if you'd like) from the various colorful deities that make up the Bastion pantheon, which in turn grants larger XP and cash bonuses for players seeking a challenge. Kasavin one-ups his favorite franchise by having ten of these holier-than-thou types, each with their own alluded-to personalities and spheres of influence. Applying all of these bonuses simultaneously will kill you pretty quickly if you aren't prepared, but there's achievements in store for those who want to masochist their way to glory. Plus they can hedge their bets merchandise-wise with a tiny bull god doll, in case the Squirt dolls weren't cute enough. They're thinkers, those Supergiant fellows.

The dream stages are as the stickfella above describes them: A non-canonical way to power up and get some much needed resources in case the next story-essential stage is giving you some trouble. To be fair, you probably don't need to beat them more than once, since the new game plus option will provide all the additional funds and XP you could ever need. But boy howdy if I can't recite the Kid's backstory word-for-word at this juncture.

Yeah. There are enemies called peckers. They had a field day with that one, I can tell.

The Trials are some fun extracurricular activities that open up shortly after you find the weapon they pertain to. The basic gist is to get acquainted with what your new shiny weapon can do. Ostensibly, you already have some practice since the game forces the weapon on you as soon as you collect it. The trials therefore are a master class on how to use that weapon effectively, should it involve crowd control, timed shots or some sort of alt-fire function the game might have not yet explained. The tasks they give you also provide a way to show your mastery of the weapon, awarding you prizes by way of upgrade materials and the priceless special skills. If you can't seem to fathom how any human being could succeed the challenge, try coming back when you've upgraded a bit. The game drops quite a few intelligence-bruising hints along those same lines for you, which is always fun. I like getting talked down to. Especially when I'm stupid enough to actually need it.

Also, I don't like tower defence. Dunno if you knew that about me.

Aaaand this was where I quit.

Overall, Bastion is a fantastic game for its smaller downloadable game status and price. But you all knew that already. But the few of you who didn't know that, or were waiting for some rando from the internet to illustrate it to you with grade school level artwork, you now have no excuse to not go outside and then immediately come back inside and buy it online from the many fine online establishments that it can be purchased from for a meagre price in whatever your territory's chosen currency might be. Zenny, perhaps. It'll be worth it. Good luck, have peckers.

.

..

...

I'm so sorry.

Moderator
#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (34600 posts) -

Damn it. I can't read any of this until I've beaten Bastion twice (I have it on the PC, too, for some reason). Expect an actual comment once that day comes.

#3 Posted by Sweep (8541 posts) -

Those comics are great but are they art?

Moderator
#4 Edited by I_smell (3926 posts) -

Nope, this was pretty dumb! It's like a regular review, but peppered with you being unfunny every couple lines, and especially unfunny in an image every paragraph.  It's actually difficult to get through because of that.
The only people who GET the refferences you're making are people who have played the game- and if you've played the game then the text is all stuff you already know. So by design there is no person who can get the most out of this.
I thought the art was an indication that you were about 13, which would be fine, but then I looked at some other stuff you've done and now I don't think you are. If you just can't draw, then focus on something else. EDIT-- OR; even better idea: team up with someone who can.

#5 Posted by WarlockEngineerMoreDakka (432 posts) -

@Sweep said:

Those comics are great but

are they art?

That depends upon how you define art-

Does it really matter? :P

#6 Posted by Harkat (1090 posts) -

You're a real human being and a real hero.

I look forward to more reviews in comic-form.

#7 Posted by jakob187 (21503 posts) -

@Sweep said:

Those comics are great but are they art?

Better question: is Sweep art?

#8 Posted by ZombiePie (5369 posts) -

Couldn't really get into Bastion. Didn't like the narrator, I felt zero investment in seeing the story progress, and wasn't a fan of the plot twist of what the Bastion was. The game just felt flat and I didn't want to see whatever surprises were in-store for New Game+.

Moderator
#9 Posted by Sweep (8541 posts) -

@ZombiePie said:

Couldn't really get into Bastion. Didn't like the narrator, I felt zero investment in seeing the story progress, and wasn't a fan of the plot twist of what the Bastion was. The game just felt flat and I didn't want to see whatever surprises were in-store for New Game+.

Yeah but, to put this scathing review in context, ZombiePie hates all videogames.

Moderator
#10 Posted by laserbolts (5309 posts) -

I liked the Garfield comic because I forgot all about Garfield.

#11 Posted by ZombiePie (5369 posts) -

@Sweep said:

@ZombiePie said:

Couldn't really get into Bastion. Didn't like the narrator, I felt zero investment in seeing the story progress, and wasn't a fan of the plot twist of what the Bastion was. The game just felt flat and I didn't want to see whatever surprises were in-store for New Game+.

Yeah but, to put this scathing review in context, ZombiePie hates all videogames.

I have "contrarian" tastes...oh I'm sorry was that word too big for you?

Moderator
#12 Posted by Sparklykiss (1909 posts) -

@Sweep said:

@ZombiePie said:

Couldn't really get into Bastion. Didn't like the narrator, I felt zero investment in seeing the story progress, and wasn't a fan of the plot twist of what the Bastion was. The game just felt flat and I didn't want to see whatever surprises were in-store for New Game+.

Yeah but, to put this scathing review in context, ZombiePie hates all videogames.

How can he hate what he doesn't play?

Moderator
#13 Posted by Sweep (8541 posts) -

@ZombiePie said:

@Sweep said:

@ZombiePie said:

Couldn't really get into Bastion. Didn't like the narrator, I felt zero investment in seeing the story progress, and wasn't a fan of the plot twist of what the Bastion was. The game just felt flat and I didn't want to see whatever surprises were in-store for New Game+.

Yeah but, to put this scathing review in context, ZombiePie hates all videogames.

I have "contrarian" tastes...oh I'm sorry was that word too big for you?

Don't mock my hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia!

Moderator
#14 Posted by Mento (2257 posts) -

Guys, please, this is a place to hate on my crappy art, not each other.

Moderator
#15 Posted by ZombiePie (5369 posts) -

@Mento said:

Guys, please, this is a place to hate on my crappy art, not each other.

I thought insulting each other was a sport in British-land. That and raping goats.

Moderator
#16 Posted by TehFlan (1944 posts) -
@jakob187 said:

@Sweep said:

Those comics are great but are they art?

Better question: is Sweep art?

Sweep is the second highest form of art.
#17 Posted by Yummylee (20570 posts) -

I love how I read all of the Rucks dialogue in his voice. Oh and that Calamity Cannon trial sucks like a pecker, and I usually enjoy Tower Defense.

#18 Posted by Brackynews (3966 posts) -

Disquietin'!

I tried to get my Canadian bank to accept Zenny. They said it didn't come in enough colours.

#19 Posted by Zurgfrog (153 posts) -

I really rather enjoyed this, Keep doing em.

#20 Posted by Hailinel (22708 posts) -

@I_smell said:

Nope, this was pretty dumb! It's like a regular review, but peppered with you being unfunny every couple lines, and especially unfunny in an image every paragraph. It's actually difficult to get through because of that.The only people who GET the refferences you're making are people who have played the game- and if you've played the game then the text is all stuff you already know. So by design there is no person who can get the most out of this. I thought the art was an indication that you were about 13, which would be fine, but then I looked at some other stuff you've done and now I don't think you are. If you just can't draw, then focus on something else. EDIT-- OR; even better idea: team up with someone who can.

You're in a pissy mood lately. I thought the comics and write-up were amusing, and I've never played the game.

#21 Posted by Yummylee (20570 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@I_smell said:

Nope, this was pretty dumb! It's like a regular review, but peppered with you being unfunny every couple lines, and especially unfunny in an image every paragraph. It's actually difficult to get through because of that.The only people who GET the refferences you're making are people who have played the game- and if you've played the game then the text is all stuff you already know. So by design there is no person who can get the most out of this. I thought the art was an indication that you were about 13, which would be fine, but then I looked at some other stuff you've done and now I don't think you are. If you just can't draw, then focus on something else. EDIT-- OR; even better idea: team up with someone who can.

You're in a pissy mood lately.

I know, right? I always thought I_smell was supposed to be some relatively chill dude.

#22 Edited by I_smell (3926 posts) -

@Abyssfull said:

@Hailinel said:

@I_smell said:

Nope, this was pretty dumb! It's like a regular review, but peppered with you being unfunny every couple lines, and especially unfunny in an image every paragraph. It's actually difficult to get through because of that.The only people who GET the refferences you're making are people who have played the game- and if you've played the game then the text is all stuff you already know. So by design there is no person who can get the most out of this. I thought the art was an indication that you were about 13, which would be fine, but then I looked at some other stuff you've done and now I don't think you are. If you just can't draw, then focus on something else. EDIT-- OR; even better idea: team up with someone who can.

You're in a pissy mood lately.

I know, right? I always thought I_smell was supposed to be some relatively chill dude.

I am! I just like giving feedback on people's projects. I'm not being pissy, the fact that it's a review that only people who already bought the game will GET is like a huge over-sight.

And he SHOULD team up with someone! Then one person would get better at writing, the other person'd get better at art, and the whole thing'd come out better.

#23 Posted by Hailinel (22708 posts) -

@I_smell said:

@Abyssfull said:

@Hailinel said:

@I_smell said:

Nope, this was pretty dumb! It's like a regular review, but peppered with you being unfunny every couple lines, and especially unfunny in an image every paragraph. It's actually difficult to get through because of that.The only people who GET the refferences you're making are people who have played the game- and if you've played the game then the text is all stuff you already know. So by design there is no person who can get the most out of this. I thought the art was an indication that you were about 13, which would be fine, but then I looked at some other stuff you've done and now I don't think you are. If you just can't draw, then focus on something else. EDIT-- OR; even better idea: team up with someone who can.

You're in a pissy mood lately.

I know, right? I always thought I_smell was supposed to be some relatively chill dude.

I am! I just like giving feedback on people's projects. I'm not being pissy, the fact that it's a review that only people who already bought the game will GET is like a huge over-sight.

And he SHOULD team up with someone! Then one person would get better at writing, the other person'd get better at art, and the whole thing'd come out better.

The fact that you're taking this blog post seriously as a review is pretty insane.

#24 Posted by Commisar123 (1786 posts) -

Love the review, but the art really stole the show.

#25 Posted by Vexxan (4598 posts) -

@Sweep said:

Those comics are great but are they art?

They are THE art.

#26 Posted by mandude (2667 posts) -
@I_smell: Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man...
 
I never played the game, and I enjoyed the review. Seriously, you're like...bringing everyone down, man.
#27 Posted by LadyShayne (130 posts) -

@Harkat said:

You're a real human being and a real hero.

That comment is perfection.

#28 Posted by Buscemi (1106 posts) -

@I_smell said:

Nope, this was pretty dumb! It's like a regular review, but peppered with you being unfunny every couple lines, and especially unfunny in an image every paragraph. It's actually difficult to get through because of that.The only people who GET the refferences you're making are people who have played the game- and if you've played the game then the text is all stuff you already know. So by design there is no person who can get the most out of this. I thought the art was an indication that you were about 13, which would be fine, but then I looked at some other stuff you've done and now I don't think you are. If you just can't draw, then focus on something else. EDIT-- OR; even better idea: team up with someone who can.

This is why honesty is horrible. Let's all just lie to each other.

#29 Posted by ShaggE (5982 posts) -

What i_smell said, except the opposite. But then, any gaming comic that isn't "two gamers on a couch and also a zany third character" is automatically in my good graces.

#30 Posted by Harkat (1090 posts) -

@ZombiePie said:

@Mento said:

Guys, please, this is a place to hate on my crappy art, not each other.

I thought insulting each other was a sport in British-land. That and raping goats.

It's called Shagging Sheep, you culturally insensitive knobjockey.

#31 Edited by Yummylee (20570 posts) -

@Harkat said:

@ZombiePie said:

@Mento said:

Guys, please, this is a place to hate on my crappy art, not each other.

I thought insulting each other was a sport in British-land. That and raping goats.

It's called Shagging Sheep, you culturally insensitive knobjockey.

And it's the Welsh, not the British, who are purported to delve in the dark arts of Sheep Sexing. For shame, Zombiepie. You appear to know so much of our politics yet you've never gotten to know the real us! ='(

#32 Posted by jakob187 (21503 posts) -

This thread just further proves how much I love watching the Brits insult each other. Far more creative than Americans.

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