When people keep talking about having to see something for yourself, having to play a game/see a movie/hear a performance, when people don't try too hard to explain what they saw but just tell you to see it for yourself, you know there's a good chance there's something special beyond that curtain.
I don't know what it is exactly, but I think it's the subtlety of Bastion, its generosity, AND its confident willingness to hold back, that hits me. I think I see what people are talking about, although I'm not really done with the game just yet. All the way through, though, I've enjoyed both its mystery and its charming use of the narrator.
The gameplay is clean enough, and the options fun and versatile, that it never feels monotonous, like many games that use a similar gameplay style. I feel like this game won't go as long as other games in this genre, but the fact that it still feels generous in spite of that means they're blending things correctly. I've seen games with much more "content", a word I'm not too fond of for reasons I'll go into some other day, that felt stretched out, pre-programmed, and half-hearted. Bastion has just the right amount of spice for me.
This game is damned beautiful, in many, many ways, and I think the strongest impression it made on me was its pacing. Even though I controlled the pacing, as we do in most games, it still set it up so well that arriving in a new place still struck a beat. That's so rare in games.
I'm going to savor this one, I think.