The First Bastion Reviews Are In

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#1 Edited by MattyFTM (14442 posts) -

With Giant Bomb not reviewing Bastion, I thought it would be useful to everyone to have a detailed thread on the forums dedicated to Bastion reviews. Here it is:

Destructoid: 6.5/10

Bastion instantly endears itself to those who grew up with such titles as Secret of Mana, taking the form of a traditional action role-playing game with plenty of hack n' slash combat and cool weapons to discover.
At its heart, Bastion is a collection of wonderful ideas with heaps of promise. Sadly, it also has some glaring problems and often fails to live up to the lofty goals it has set itself. For all its style and attempts at depth, Bastion plays no better than an average browser-based free-to-play MMORPG. Even the art style, as pretty as it is, makes one think of the types of casual RPGs you see advertised on Web site banner ads, a feeling enhanced by the rudimentary animation. Close-quarter combat consists of bare-bones button mashing, and the auto-targeting system barely works. Ranged attacks are just as likely to miss as to hit, while melee is often a total crapshoot.
It's worth noting that the narrator, despite all the hype surrounding his ability to dynamically commentate your progress, is mostly a case of smoke-and-mirrors. He's not really that dynamic, only making a few token comments on fairly standard activities. Sometimes he'll say things that don't really gel with your actions (for instance, saying The Kid "doesn't stop" even if you've not moved the character) and it's made far, far too obvious just how blatantly scripted it is. I'd go as far as to say that Bastion's narrator does nothing that hasn't been seen already in inXile's A Bard's Tale, which earns more credit due to the fact that it was more entertaining.

Joystiq 4/5

The measures taken to preserve the quality of the art have a real benefit in combat (or perhaps it's the other way around?). The framerate is high and the top-down scrolling rate is subdued, meaning no smearing across an LCD screen and, more importantly, responsive controls. The Kid is a nimble little guy, capable of a quick roll and counter-attack against the cute fauna- and flora-turned-foes. The melee combat is simple, occasionally insipid and amicable to mashing, but it can reward you with a few on-the-spot reflex tests. Blocking at the right moment can reverse the course of incoming projectiles (or even heal you, depending on your augmentations), and releasing a drawn arrow just in time will increase its damage.
[...] the hammer, bow and shield -- the first in a steady stream of new weapons that include pistols, a spear, a shotgun, a machete and the quaintest flamethrower you've ever seen. The variety is impressive, even if it doesn't necessarily shake your tactics out of a rut. It can feel like there are too many options at times, and it's hard to prevent habits from forming when you can only change your two weapons at the bastion's armory (or one of the rare ones that appear in a level). Since you can't really improvise with weapons in the middle of a fight, there's a player-inflicted attrition in the total roster by the end of the game. Of course, all that unused weaponry makes the "New Game Plus" option much more compelling.

G4TV: 4/5

Bastion is the beautiful action role playing game from SuperGiant Games. Equipped with an assortment of weapon choices, a variety of upgrades, and difficult challenges, this indie game is sure to become a cult classic.
From the moment your character wakes up, the elderly Rucks narrate your every move. Rucks is so talkative that whether you go left or right, pick one weapon over another, or fall off the world, he'll have something clever to say about it. It's an interesting way to tell the story, but I found the constant narrative distracting and it was hard to concentrate on what he was saying while I was navigating through the gorgeous levels.
The levels in Bastion vary from whimsical springtime levels to dark, depressing areas with quite a variety of enemies in between. What's so neat about Bastion is that as you walk through areas, the floor and your surroundings materialize under your feet as you go. It's a very cool effect and I would have loved to been able to explore the areas even more, but as it turned out all of the levels were unfortunately very linear. As you complete one area more open up, and you can't go back to the ones you've completed.

Wired: 9/10

The rest of the game is just as well-crafted. Developer Supergiant Games is a small team based out of a living room in a house in San Jose, California, and you can feel the intimacy; the entire game drips with passionate artistry from the gorgeous watercolor aesthetics to the stirring soundtrack.
Sometimes Bastion feels like a Western; other times it feels like a ghost story. Cunningham’s narrator ties the whole thing together, and you’ll want to keep playing and playing just to listen to his vivid, powerful descriptions.

Gamer Limit: 8.5/10

Bastion’s story is an interesting one. By the end of the game you’ll understand what the Calamity is and how it happened, but you’ll still feel like there are some gaps in your knowledge of Bastion’s world. It saddened me that I had to learn things, really interesting tidbits about Caelondia’s history, from loading screens rather than through the gameplay. Still there were some surprises I didn’t see coming, and I stepped away from Bastion satisfied. It took me around eight hours to complete the story, and there is optional content and a New Game+ mode to keep you coming back for more.
While there are some missteps when it comes to pacing and how weapons are doled out, they’re minor enough to not damper the overall experience. The reactive narrator and art style really help set this game head and shoulders above its competitors.

Eurogamer: 8/10

Where Bastion lets itself down slightly, though, is in the combat that makes up so much of the game. Your arsenal is as tough, diverse and engaging as the places you visit, and the modifiers and special abilities offer a great range of strategic options. But the enemies you encounter don't rise to the challenge, frequently just spamming you with increasing numbers, extra spawn points, area-of-effect attacks and storms of projectiles rather than fighting you in ways that invite experimentation and get you excited about going into combat.
Bastion may have you tugging at its threads to decipher your role and meaning, even as you return for a second go-round - but you're unlikely to question the choice you made to buy it.

Ars Technica: Verdict - Buy

The game's story and narration are the drawing points, but the fighting, healing, and upgrading systems are all satisfying and well designed. By choosing to equip different spirits—the booze kind, not ghosts—you can buff your character with different powers. By worshiping different gods at the temple, you'll be able to bump up the game's difficulty while increasing your rewards for survival. Each weapon can be upgraded in multiple ways, and your character himself can level up to become more powerful.
This is the kind of game that thrives on the Xbox Live Arcade. It's novel, the graphical style is striking, and it can be finished in an afternoon or two if you don't feel the need to finish every challenge and collect every upgrade. There are great moments of beauty here, including some musical cues that make me long for an official soundtrack release. This isn't a perfect game, especially when the pace begins to move so quickly later on the in the game, but it's a very good one.

Shacknews: 9/10

The dynamic and well-paced nature of how the game's narrative is delivered to the player impresses throughout the game, and each bit of dialog exudes a poetic coolness that does wonders to set the game's mood and the personality of its characters. The game's backstory and ongoing narrative are also peppered with mystery and intrigue, often raising more questions about the world than they answer. While the specifics of the story are best experienced firsthand, I will say that they did a great job of compelling me to play just one more level, and then another.
The overall experience Bastion provides is incredibly polished in both its presentation and the fluid, fast-paced combat. After playing through the game once, I'm already well on my way through a New Game+, and still enjoying every minute. If you're looking for a very fun, fantastically-presented action-RPG with a great story, a trip to the Bastion is well worth taking.

IncGamers: 9.6/10

Stories are like rivers. They need plenty of depth and just enough twists to keep a traveller nice and wary. Every time someone looks into those watery blues, they should see something different. Most'll see a game with a better tale than most. Others might catch a sight of wider themes; war, expansion, frontiers, property. Home.
That narrator pal o' yours will even change his tune, depending on how you conduct yourself out there. It won't be big stuff. Maybe just a line or two. Something extra you didn't catch before. But it makes a different. Makes you feel like this is your story. Your world.
Something I wasn't expectin' though, was choice. There's two of 'em towards the close. Heartwrenchers, both. I don't envy you making them. I don't envy myself, having chosen what I did. Each one'll lead you to a different end. Each way you'll be satisfied, but each way sure is tough.

Videogamer.com: 9/10

The sound design needs some words dedicated to it before we go any further, as it's fantastic from start to finish. While the instrumental themes have an almost Wild Western twang to them – similar to the score of Firefly, I found – later on in the game this is swapped out for actualsongs, with lyrics contributing to the story as a whole. As with Braid, the soundtrack goes a long way in defining the tone and atmosphere of the game.
Comparisons to Jonathan Blow's indie sensation don't end there. As with Tim's time-travelling jaunts and all that nonsense about the atomic bomb, there's a deeper meaning to everything in Bastion. Once the credits roll, you'll flock to the internet, desperate to discover what others made of it. It's not quite as open to interpretation as Braid, but you'll enjoy the conversations it inspires nonetheless.

TheSixthAxis.com 10/10

Unfortunately, despite a claim of an 8-10 hour initial play length, I got through Bastion much faster than that. I didn’t time it exactly, but it can’t have been more than 5-6 hours. I did miss a couple of optional missions, but certainly not enough to explain the difference. There is plenty of incentive to play through again, though, with a New Game+ mode opening up and a second ending to see.
Bastion is an absolutely fantastic game. The narration, the visuals, and the audio are all done to a standard one might expect from a studio ten times the size. Whilst the combat is simplistic, it matches the fast paced nature of the game perfectly. Ironically the things that make the game stand out might be what puts off a lot of people (some YouTube comments on the narration have been less than polite), but all I can say is try out the demo and decide for yourself. As for me…well, I’m heading back to the Bastion. Can’t expect the kid to do it all by himself…

Worthplaying: 9.0/10

Bastion is a charming-looking game, but I found the art style to be rather at odds with the rest of the game. The characters are adorable, small and super-deformed. It's odd when you juxtapose them against the immensely sad world. It gives the game an oddly fairy-tale style, but it can draw you out of the immersion when it uses full-screen still art of the characters. Aside from that, I like the visual style of the game, and there are a lot of interesting backgrounds and environment designs. There is a lot of palette-swapping going on, and the Kid's sprites and movements are simple and basic. In some ways, it reminds me of a handheld title — or it would, if not for the masterful use of audio.
Bastion is a solid action-RPG that is put over the edge by its unique and entrancing concept. It's a fun game, but it would've had trouble standing apart from the crowd, even with its unique features. When you add in the awesome use of narration, the game becomes much more than the sum of its parts. Bastion manages to be engrossing from beginning to end. It's well paced, well executed and fun to play, and it's hard not to get more curious about what comes next. The lack of replay value, even with a NewGame+ and multiple endings, may hurt it a little, but if you're a fan of atmospheric and unique action-RPGs, then Bastion is well worth the 1,200 Microsoft points ($15)

IGN - 9.0/10

Bastion is one of the best downloadable games this year, but I didn't believe it right away. From the first time I saw it, I knew that the game was witty -- as evident from the narrator who literally narrates just about everything you do as you do it -- but Bastion was still just an action role-playing game. I moved through an area with my two weapons, shield, and special attack. No big deal. However, then Bastion started revealing itself to me, and I couldn't stop playing.
In Bastion, something called the "Great Calamity" has rolled in and taken out your entire civilization. You awaken as "the Kid," and set off to restore the Bastion -- a spot where everyone was supposed to meet if bad stuff went down. To do this, you'll need to dive into levels, best foes, and collect shards. Like I said, not that different from your average RPG, and it never hooked me. By the time it reached the branching ending, I didn't have strong enough feelings to really care one way or another about the outcome. Still -- and this is the rare occasion I say this about a story -- it didn't matter. Bastion is just too damn good. The graphics are amazing; I can only describe the scenes as a watercolor painting with stained glass influences. The sound immersed me in the game. The narrator is entertaining as he announced what I was doing and why it mattered, but his sultry tones also kept me company. Bastion's a single-player game, but the narrator was my companion through thick and thin. Toss in some fantastic music and sound effects, and Bastion is a blast to experience.

MTV Multiplayer

"Bastion" does not have difficulty settings. What it does have are gods. Almost like skulls in "Halo," gods make the game harder in a variety of ways. One might increase the speed of enemies while another might cause enemies to randomly parry attacks. If you find the game too easy, just equip more gods. There are 10 to find and every one you equip increases the amount of experience and money you earn, so there's a reason to really challenge yourself. This sort of hand-tuned, variable difficulty is something I'd love to see done in more games.
If there's a drawback, it's that I didn't really feel like the combat ever evolves much throughout the game. Although certain weapons add variety in the way you target and aim, I couldn't help but feel like I was doing the same thing (bashing enemies or killing them at range) over and over again. The mechanics are sound, but relatively unchanging, so you see most of what the game has to offer early on.
The action RPG genre has received very little attention on XBLA, so the arrival of "Bastion" is great news indeed. Visually and aurally, it's one of the strongest games on the platform, with an intriguing story and world I wouldn't mind moving to. It's not to be missed.

Gamespot: 8.5/10

All of this preparation pays off when you venture down to the world below. Each stage wastes little time getting you into the action, and they all play a little differently. One might have you racing through a collapsing resort while scores of flying enemies are nipping at your heels. Another puts you on a decrepit ferry boat that's under siege from all sides. No matter the setting, they are all quick, tightly focused outings that leave you excited to see what the game will throw at you next.
The world of Bastion is brought to life with some truly exceptional hand-painted environments. Every stylish bit of scenery is filled with tiny touches that add to the game's fairytale vibe. While the world may be filled with color, its muted tones help underscore a somber tale that grows darker and darker as you progress. It's a wonderfully crafted adventure that presents a fun and focused challenge you can customize in all sorts of ways. Once you finish, a new game-plus feature opens up that lets you carry over all your weapons and experience from the previous game. Even though it may be the end of the world in Bastion, it's still an amazingly good time.

GamerNode: 5/5

Both ends of the game's forked tongue are as potent and downright paralyzing as a viper's venom (I sat down with it and couldn't move for anything). The organic flow of levels, never staying too long on one idea or purpose, throwing wrenches every which way. The balanced, responsive feel of the weapons, and the variety, not to mention a whole nest-full of give-and-take augments and abilities. The Bastion even customizes difficulty piece by piece, and gives incentive to push the limit with challenges.
The game hiccups every so often, coughing up some stale, forced bits right alongside the fluid ones. The tale takes a wry turn once or twice, leaning back on old stand-by paths to get on. It doesn't last so long, and causes less suspicion than the hackin' repetition action role-playing game's rely on.

Gametrailers: 8.7/10

Pretty positive reviews on the whole. I've tried to provide a good amount of variety in the quotes, talking about different aspects of the game, but you'll probably want to click through to some of them to get a better feel for their opinion on the game.

Let me know if anywhere else has reviewed it, I'll add them to this post.

Moderator
#2 Posted by cap123 (2477 posts) -

Gametrailers gave it an 8.7/10

#3 Posted by STUVNING (138 posts) -
#4 Posted by Trebz (487 posts) -
#5 Posted by Thoseposers (796 posts) -
#6 Posted by Jazzycola (658 posts) -
#7 Posted by Hockeymask27 (3683 posts) -

Not that i'm disagreeing with Destuctiod and there ability to have an opinion. The part about the narrator and it being smoke and mirrors just makes the reviewer sound like an asshole.

#8 Edited by mnzy (2928 posts) -

Phew...I only read the Destructoid one and was pretty disappointed.

#9 Posted by Thoseposers (796 posts) -

yeah that Destructoid one is a bit shocking

#10 Posted by Vitor (2834 posts) -

@thoseposers said:

yeah that Destructoid one is a bit shocking

No offense to him but, it's Jim Sterling, what did you expect? Dude's entitled to his own opinion but that opinion is usually as far left of the mainstream as possible.

#11 Posted by DonChipotle (2882 posts) -

Jason Schreier did the review for Wired, eh? Good, I like that dude. Picking this game up because it could be pretty cool.

#12 Posted by VilhelmNielsen (1749 posts) -

@Vitor said:

@thoseposers said:

yeah that Destructoid one is a bit shocking

No offense to him but, it's Jim Sterling, what did you expect? Dude's entitled to his own opinion but that opinion is usually as far left of the mainstream as possible.

Sometimes you wonder if he says things just to seem different/unique.

#13 Edited by Thoseposers (796 posts) -

@Vitor said:

@thoseposers said:

yeah that Destructoid one is a bit shocking

No offense to him but, it's Jim Sterling, what did you expect? Dude's entitled to his own opinion but that opinion is usually as far left of the mainstream as possible.

I've never been on Destructoid and i've only heard a bit about Jim Sterling and how crazy he can be, i only noticed it was him that had written it after i read a bit of the review so then i understood why it was so sharp

#14 Posted by STUVNING (138 posts) -
#15 Posted by Peacemaker (1107 posts) -

Scores look good. Not too sure if I want to read the reviews since I don't know too much about the game. Chances are I'll be buying it tomorrow. I need something new to play.

#16 Posted by benjaebe (2784 posts) -

Great news for the folks over at Supergiant Games. If only it would come out on a platform I owned! My 360 is out of commission so I guess I'll have to wait patiently.

#17 Posted by Vendetta (434 posts) -
@VelvetLore04 said:

Jason Schreier did the review for Wired, eh? Good, I like that dude. Picking this game up because it could be pretty cool.

He's probably the best writer out there right now. Dude is always on point.
#18 Posted by endaround (2148 posts) -

Jim Sterling giving a low score to a popular game?  Mon Dieu, say it ain't so!

#19 Edited by Vitor (2834 posts) -

@VilhelmNielsen: After his 1/10 Kane and Lynch 2 review (and, to a lesser extent, the 4/10 Assassin's Creed 2 one), I've learnt to just accept that I'll likely rarely, if ever agree with his appraisals of most games.

But let's not side track this thread - Bastion looks awesome! Can't wait for it to make it onto PC.

#20 Posted by bybeach (5059 posts) -

Jim Sterling. Okay, I really know next to nothing about this guy except him previously reputed as a source of well honed and crafted negativity. I don't want to do it cheaply, but I think I will mentally toss Distructoids review out of hand, simply because I'm not playing. That is something I am not usually comfortable with, but here I do believe it applies. Having done that...good numerical reviews!

Online
#21 Posted by buft (3320 posts) -

I dont care about reviews for this game, i'm invested already and wont even be trialing it

#22 Posted by JacDG (2132 posts) -

Was I the only person who felt... "happy", when reading through some of the reviews? It sounds silly, but I feel somewhat connected to the guys because of the series, that I actually felt happy for each individual when credit were given to their part of the game? For example when IGN said the art was amazing, I thought of Jen etc.

#23 Edited by mutha3 (4986 posts) -

  For all its style and attempts at depth, Bastion plays no better than an average browser-based free-to-play MMORPG. Even the art style, as pretty as it is, makes one think of the types of casual RPGs you see advertised on Web site banner ads, a feeling enhanced by the rudimentary animation. Close-quarter combat consists of bare-bones button mashing, and the auto-targeting system barely works. Ranged attacks are just as likely to miss as to hit, while melee is often a total crapshoot.
 

Have to admit, this is the same kind of impression the game has been giving me.
 

@Vendetta

said:

@VelvetLore04 said:

Jason Schreier did the review for Wired, eh? Good, I like that dude. Picking this game up because it could be pretty cool.

He's probably the best writer out there right now. Dude is always on point.
If by "on point" you mean "films himself nailng sonic the hedgehog dolls in the ass."
 
I appreciate his ability to go against the grain and give his opinion, though......too bad he's an idiot.
#24 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18954 posts) -
@endaround said:
Jim Sterling giving a low score to a popular game?  Mon Dieu, say it ain't so!
what popular game?
#25 Posted by NTM (7621 posts) -

Oh, not that it really matter, but I was expecting the U.S. IGN review, not UK. But it's all the same I guess.

#26 Edited by sixpin (1316 posts) -

Jim Sterling... He is the reason I don't go to Destructiod. I knew he had written the review just by the score. He seems to pride himself on seeming different and inciting Internet rage by bucking the popular opinion. He's notorious for these oddball reviews. I'm not one to freak out over review scores and frankly his opinions are so comical I can't even take him serious, however I will respect reviewers opinions when they are respectable. I followed Jeff here to Giant Bomb for that very reason.

Enough about Sterling, I feel like I've talked about him too much already. I haven't played Bastion yet (obviously) and I may eat crow for having dismissed Destructiod's review, but judging from Brad, Alex, and Vinny's impressions and the Giant Bomb coverage, I think I'll like the game quite a lot. Vinny even has the achievement for beating the game twice and I usually have similar tastes in games as him. I for one can't wait to play it tomorrow.

#27 Posted by Swoxx (3011 posts) -

@Ahmad_Metallic said:

@endaround said:
Jim Sterling giving a low score to a popular game? Mon Dieu, say it ain't so!
what popular game?

Ooh, indie snap!

#28 Posted by Jolt92 (1603 posts) -

Jim Sterling giving it a mediocre review? Instant buy.

#29 Posted by Bumpton (469 posts) -

Haha, I know people talk a lot of crap about Mr. Sterling, but I couldn't even get through his ridiculous intro. The first and last time I attempt to read one of his reviews.

#30 Posted by Rolyatkcinmai (2699 posts) -

@bybeach said:

Jim Sterling. Okay, I really know next to nothing about this guy except him previously reputed as a source of well honed and crafted negativity. I don't want to do it cheaply, but I think I will mentally toss Distructoids review out of hand, simply because I'm not playing. That is something I am not usually comfortable with, but here I do believe it applies. Having done that...good numerical reviews!

In science it's commonplace to toss the lowest and the highest score anyway.

#31 Edited by 1p (760 posts) -

Would have bought the game either way, yet i'm utterly relieved to know that most reviewers are loving it. I'm so happy for the team! If sales turn out to be good on top of this critical success, all this will make for a fantastic indie dev feel-good story.

@JacDG: I'm totally with you!

#32 Posted by Liber (648 posts) -

Jim Sterling ladies and gentlemen.

/applause

#33 Posted by Bocam (3856 posts) -

Yay let's talk shit about a review of a game we haven't even played. Also at the end of Jim Sterling's review he says the game is worth the money you pay for it.

#34 Posted by Mars_Cleric (1595 posts) -

@Rolyatkcinmai said:

@bybeach said:

Jim Sterling. Okay, I really know next to nothing about this guy except him previously reputed as a source of well honed and crafted negativity. I don't want to do it cheaply, but I think I will mentally toss Distructoids review out of hand, simply because I'm not playing. That is something I am not usually comfortable with, but here I do believe it applies. Having done that...good numerical reviews!

In science it's commonplace to toss the lowest and the highest score anyway.

I don't think your doing science right

#35 Posted by Slaker117 (4843 posts) -

How did this thread become about Sterling? This is the reason his words have power.
 
Cool that Bastion is getting pretty positive reviews. I'll have to check it out, though I'm probably going to hold on buying it for now. Just bought three games for PS3 that I need to play through while also keeping up my Reach habit. Just won't have the time for it, and when I miss buying a game at release, I usually wait till a sale to pick it up since I've already missed the shininess.

#36 Posted by mnzy (2928 posts) -
@Ahmad_Metallic said:
@endaround said:
Jim Sterling giving a low score to a popular game?  Mon Dieu, say it ain't so!
what popular game?

 You've probably never heard of it.
#37 Posted by uniform (1838 posts) -

Fantastic news. I'm happy Greg and Supergiant is getting good scores for their work.

#38 Posted by Liquidus (943 posts) -

Hmmm, never understand all this fuss about Jim Sterling at first and then I looked at some of his reviews...5/10 for Vanquish. Yep, that guy's opinion is no longer valid to me.

#39 Posted by coakroach (2493 posts) -

Wow I wonder why destructoi- oh its Jim.

#40 Posted by Rolyatkcinmai (2699 posts) -

@Mars_Cleric said:

@Rolyatkcinmai said:

@bybeach said:

Jim Sterling. Okay, I really know next to nothing about this guy except him previously reputed as a source of well honed and crafted negativity. I don't want to do it cheaply, but I think I will mentally toss Distructoids review out of hand, simply because I'm not playing. That is something I am not usually comfortable with, but here I do believe it applies. Having done that...good numerical reviews!

In science it's commonplace to toss the lowest and the highest score anyway.

I don't think your doing science right

I think "my" doing science right, actually. It's commonly done in any kind of statistic or average gathering. Tossing the lowest and highest results gets rid of some random variables.

#41 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6789 posts) -

Glad to see it's reviewing well.

#42 Posted by Kraznor (1588 posts) -

@Bocam said:

Yay let's talk shit about a review of a game we haven't even played. Also at the end of Jim Sterling's review he says the game is worth the money you pay for it.

Yeah, kind of odd how everyone is determined to love this game. I will buy it, I will play it. Will I like it? Remains to be seen.

#43 Posted by Mesoian (1574 posts) -

@bybeach said:

Jim Sterling. Okay, I really know next to nothing about this guy except him previously reputed as a source of well honed and crafted negativity. I don't want to do it cheaply, but I think I will mentally toss Distructoids review out of hand, simply because I'm not playing. That is something I am not usually comfortable with, but here I do believe it applies. Having done that...good numerical reviews!

Law of averages. Always throw out the highest and lowest reviews and see where the rest fall.

Looks like Bastion is a safe buy. I'll pick it up when I get home.

#44 Posted by AlexW00d (6500 posts) -

@Rolyatkcinmai said:

@Mars_Cleric said:

@Rolyatkcinmai said:

@bybeach said:

Jim Sterling. Okay, I really know next to nothing about this guy except him previously reputed as a source of well honed and crafted negativity. I don't want to do it cheaply, but I think I will mentally toss Distructoids review out of hand, simply because I'm not playing. That is something I am not usually comfortable with, but here I do believe it applies. Having done that...good numerical reviews!

In science it's commonplace to toss the lowest and the highest score anyway.

I don't think your doing science right

I think "my" doing science right, actually. It's commonly done in any kind of statistic or average gathering. Tossing the lowest and highest results gets rid of some random variables.

I'm pretty sure that only applies when you have a figure much larger or much smaller than the rest...

#45 Posted by Stonyman65 (2915 posts) -

@MattyFTM said:

With Giant Bomb not reviewing Bastion, I thought it would be useful to everyone to have a detailed thread on the forums dedicated to Bastion reviews. Here it is:

Destructoid: 6.5/10

Bastion instantly endears itself to those who grew up with such titles as Secret of Mana, taking the form of a traditional action role-playing game with plenty of hack n' slash combat and cool weapons to discover.
At its heart, Bastion is a collection of wonderful ideas with heaps of promise. Sadly, it also has some glaring problems and often fails to live up to the lofty goals it has set itself. For all its style and attempts at depth, Bastion plays no better than an average browser-based free-to-play MMORPG. Even the art style, as pretty as it is, makes one think of the types of casual RPGs you see advertised on Web site banner ads, a feeling enhanced by the rudimentary animation. Close-quarter combat consists of bare-bones button mashing, and the auto-targeting system barely works. Ranged attacks are just as likely to miss as to hit, while melee is often a total crapshoot.
It's worth noting that the narrator, despite all the hype surrounding his ability to dynamically commentate your progress, is mostly a case of smoke-and-mirrors. He's not really that dynamic, only making a few token comments on fairly standard activities. Sometimes he'll say things that don't really gel with your actions (for instance, saying The Kid "doesn't stop" even if you've not moved the character) and it's made far, far too obvious just how blatantly scripted it is. I'd go as far as to say that Bastion's narrator does nothing that hasn't been seen already in inXile's A Bard's Tale, which earns more credit due to the fact that it was more entertaining.

Joystiq 4/5

The measures taken to preserve the quality of the art have a real benefit in combat (or perhaps it's the other way around?). The framerate is high and the top-down scrolling rate is subdued, meaning no smearing across an LCD screen and, more importantly, responsive controls. The Kid is a nimble little guy, capable of a quick roll and counter-attack against the cute fauna- and flora-turned-foes. The melee combat is simple, occasionally insipid and amicable to mashing, but it can reward you with a few on-the-spot reflex tests. Blocking at the right moment can reverse the course of incoming projectiles (or even heal you, depending on your augmentations), and releasing a drawn arrow just in time will increase its damage.
[...] the hammer, bow and shield -- the first in a steady stream of new weapons that include pistols, a spear, a shotgun, a machete and the quaintest flamethrower you've ever seen. The variety is impressive, even if it doesn't necessarily shake your tactics out of a rut. It can feel like there are too many options at times, and it's hard to prevent habits from forming when you can only change your two weapons at the bastion's armory (or one of the rare ones that appear in a level). Since you can't really improvise with weapons in the middle of a fight, there's a player-inflicted attrition in the total roster by the end of the game. Of course, all that unused weaponry makes the "New Game Plus" option much more compelling.

G4TV: 4/5

Bastion is the beautiful action role playing game from SuperGiant Games. Equipped with an assortment of weapon choices, a variety of upgrades, and difficult challenges, this indie game is sure to become a cult classic.
From the moment your character wakes up, the elderly Rucks narrate your every move. Rucks is so talkative that whether you go left or right, pick one weapon over another, or fall off the world, he'll have something clever to say about it. It's an interesting way to tell the story, but I found the constant narrative distracting and it was hard to concentrate on what he was saying while I was navigating through the gorgeous levels.
The levels in Bastion vary from whimsical springtime levels to dark, depressing areas with quite a variety of enemies in between. What's so neat about Bastion is that as you walk through areas, the floor and your surroundings materialize under your feet as you go. It's a very cool effect and I would have loved to been able to explore the areas even more, but as it turned out all of the levels were unfortunately very linear. As you complete one area more open up, and you can't go back to the ones you've completed.

Wired: 9/10

The rest of the game is just as well-crafted. Developer Supergiant Games is a small team based out of a living room in a house in San Jose, California, and you can feel the intimacy; the entire game drips with passionate artistry from the gorgeous watercolor aesthetics to the stirring soundtrack.
Sometimes Bastion feels like a Western; other times it feels like a ghost story. Cunningham’s narrator ties the whole thing together, and you’ll want to keep playing and playing just to listen to his vivid, powerful descriptions.

Gamer Limit: 8.5/10

Bastion’s story is an interesting one. By the end of the game you’ll understand what the Calamity is and how it happened, but you’ll still feel like there are some gaps in your knowledge of Bastion’s world. It saddened me that I had to learn things, really interesting tidbits about Caelondia’s history, from loading screens rather than through the gameplay. Still there were some surprises I didn’t see coming, and I stepped away from Bastion satisfied. It took me around eight hours to complete the story, and there is optional content and a New Game+ mode to keep you coming back for more.
While there are some missteps when it comes to pacing and how weapons are doled out, they’re minor enough to not damper the overall experience. The reactive narrator and art style really help set this game head and shoulders above its competitors.

Eurogamer: 8/10

Where Bastion lets itself down slightly, though, is in the combat that makes up so much of the game. Your arsenal is as tough, diverse and engaging as the places you visit, and the modifiers and special abilities offer a great range of strategic options. But the enemies you encounter don't rise to the challenge, frequently just spamming you with increasing numbers, extra spawn points, area-of-effect attacks and storms of projectiles rather than fighting you in ways that invite experimentation and get you excited about going into combat.
Bastion may have you tugging at its threads to decipher your role and meaning, even as you return for a second go-round - but you're unlikely to question the choice you made to buy it.

Ars Technica: Verdict - Buy

The game's story and narration are the drawing points, but the fighting, healing, and upgrading systems are all satisfying and well designed. By choosing to equip different spirits—the booze kind, not ghosts—you can buff your character with different powers. By worshiping different gods at the temple, you'll be able to bump up the game's difficulty while increasing your rewards for survival. Each weapon can be upgraded in multiple ways, and your character himself can level up to become more powerful.
This is the kind of game that thrives on the Xbox Live Arcade. It's novel, the graphical style is striking, and it can be finished in an afternoon or two if you don't feel the need to finish every challenge and collect every upgrade. There are great moments of beauty here, including some musical cues that make me long for an official soundtrack release. This isn't a perfect game, especially when the pace begins to move so quickly later on the in the game, but it's a very good one.

Shacknews: 9/10

The dynamic and well-paced nature of how the game's narrative is delivered to the player impresses throughout the game, and each bit of dialog exudes a poetic coolness that does wonders to set the game's mood and the personality of its characters. The game's backstory and ongoing narrative are also peppered with mystery and intrigue, often raising more questions about the world than they answer. While the specifics of the story are best experienced firsthand, I will say that they did a great job of compelling me to play just one more level, and then another.
The overall experience Bastion provides is incredibly polished in both its presentation and the fluid, fast-paced combat. After playing through the game once, I'm already well on my way through a New Game+, and still enjoying every minute. If you're looking for a very fun, fantastically-presented action-RPG with a great story, a trip to the Bastion is well worth taking.

IncGamers: 9.6/10

Stories are like rivers. They need plenty of depth and just enough twists to keep a traveller nice and wary. Every time someone looks into those watery blues, they should see something different. Most'll see a game with a better tale than most. Others might catch a sight of wider themes; war, expansion, frontiers, property. Home.
That narrator pal o' yours will even change his tune, depending on how you conduct yourself out there. It won't be big stuff. Maybe just a line or two. Something extra you didn't catch before. But it makes a different. Makes you feel like this is your story. Your world.
Something I wasn't expectin' though, was choice. There's two of 'em towards the close. Heartwrenchers, both. I don't envy you making them. I don't envy myself, having chosen what I did. Each one'll lead you to a different end. Each way you'll be satisfied, but each way sure is tough.

Videogamer.com: 9/10

The sound design needs some words dedicated to it before we go any further, as it's fantastic from start to finish. While the instrumental themes have an almost Wild Western twang to them – similar to the score of Firefly, I found – later on in the game this is swapped out for actualsongs, with lyrics contributing to the story as a whole. As with Braid, the soundtrack goes a long way in defining the tone and atmosphere of the game.
Comparisons to Jonathan Blow's indie sensation don't end there. As with Tim's time-travelling jaunts and all that nonsense about the atomic bomb, there's a deeper meaning to everything in Bastion. Once the credits roll, you'll flock to the internet, desperate to discover what others made of it. It's not quite as open to interpretation as Braid, but you'll enjoy the conversations it inspires nonetheless.

TheSixthAxis.com 10/10

Unfortunately, despite a claim of an 8-10 hour initial play length, I got through Bastion much faster than that. I didn’t time it exactly, but it can’t have been more than 5-6 hours. I did miss a couple of optional missions, but certainly not enough to explain the difference. There is plenty of incentive to play through again, though, with a New Game+ mode opening up and a second ending to see.
Bastion is an absolutely fantastic game. The narration, the visuals, and the audio are all done to a standard one might expect from a studio ten times the size. Whilst the combat is simplistic, it matches the fast paced nature of the game perfectly. Ironically the things that make the game stand out might be what puts off a lot of people (some YouTube comments on the narration have been less than polite), but all I can say is try out the demo and decide for yourself. As for me…well, I’m heading back to the Bastion. Can’t expect the kid to do it all by himself…

Worthplaying: 9.0/10

Bastion is a charming-looking game, but I found the art style to be rather at odds with the rest of the game. The characters are adorable, small and super-deformed. It's odd when you juxtapose them against the immensely sad world. It gives the game an oddly fairy-tale style, but it can draw you out of the immersion when it uses full-screen still art of the characters. Aside from that, I like the visual style of the game, and there are a lot of interesting backgrounds and environment designs. There is a lot of palette-swapping going on, and the Kid's sprites and movements are simple and basic. In some ways, it reminds me of a handheld title — or it would, if not for the masterful use of audio.
Bastion is a solid action-RPG that is put over the edge by its unique and entrancing concept. It's a fun game, but it would've had trouble standing apart from the crowd, even with its unique features. When you add in the awesome use of narration, the game becomes much more than the sum of its parts. Bastion manages to be engrossing from beginning to end. It's well paced, well executed and fun to play, and it's hard not to get more curious about what comes next. The lack of replay value, even with a NewGame+ and multiple endings, may hurt it a little, but if you're a fan of atmospheric and unique action-RPGs, then Bastion is well worth the 1,200 Microsoft points ($15)

IGN - 9.0/10

Bastion is one of the best downloadable games this year, but I didn't believe it right away. From the first time I saw it, I knew that the game was witty -- as evident from the narrator who literally narrates just about everything you do as you do it -- but Bastion was still just an action role-playing game. I moved through an area with my two weapons, shield, and special attack. No big deal. However, then Bastion started revealing itself to me, and I couldn't stop playing.
In Bastion, something called the "Great Calamity" has rolled in and taken out your entire civilization. You awaken as "the Kid," and set off to restore the Bastion -- a spot where everyone was supposed to meet if bad stuff went down. To do this, you'll need to dive into levels, best foes, and collect shards. Like I said, not that different from your average RPG, and it never hooked me. By the time it reached the branching ending, I didn't have strong enough feelings to really care one way or another about the outcome. Still -- and this is the rare occasion I say this about a story -- it didn't matter. Bastion is just too damn good. The graphics are amazing; I can only describe the scenes as a watercolor painting with stained glass influences. The sound immersed me in the game. The narrator is entertaining as he announced what I was doing and why it mattered, but his sultry tones also kept me company. Bastion's a single-player game, but the narrator was my companion through thick and thin. Toss in some fantastic music and sound effects, and Bastion is a blast to experience.

Gametrailers: 8.7/10

Pretty positive reviews on the whole. I've tried to provide a good amount of variety in the quotes, talking about different aspects of the game, but you'll probably want to click through to some of them to get a better feel for their opinion on the game.

Let me know if anywhere else has reviewed it, I'll add them to this post.

Dude, you should work for Metacritic. Good job.

#46 Posted by STUVNING (138 posts) -
#47 Edited by Coleslaw893 (412 posts) -
#48 Posted by emem (1975 posts) -

Brad being first on the leaderboard in the Gamespot review made me smile. :)

#49 Posted by Sdoots (205 posts) -

Good for the Supergiant team. Hope this is as big of a success as it clearly deserves.

#50 Edited by Bass (692 posts) -

@AlexW00d: 6.5/10 is pretty well different from the normal 8-9 we have been seeing

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