I got nothing to show for it. Going into that last mission I feared something like this would happen. "Proper story's supposed to start at the beginning."
I bought Bastion just three days ago. I actually wanted to buy it on release but I'm a little short on cash since our wedding. Reading all the good stuff about it I decided to fuck that and just do it. It didn't grip me at first but it grew on me more and more and I even cried a little at the end there. Well, yeah ok, actually I cried a lot. Whatever! My first playthrough ended with 3 Idols turned on. I looked at the leaderboards and there wasn't really anything worth mentioning happening there. Rank 4000something on all the Who Knows Wheres and maybe 10.000 on the Story Leaderboard. Didn't bother me. I don't play games for competition. Mostly, because I'm not good at them. Does it even mean anything for a game like Bastion?
But I'm a completionist. I have this horrible gaming OCD. I had to do a New Game+ to get the last two Achievements. And get to level 10. And upgrade all the weapons. And at least try to do the Who Knows Wheres with all Idols on.
My second playthrough started simple. I just played the game with whatever was there. For my first upgrade I built a forge followed by an arsenal and a distillery. Then I hit Pyth Orchard where you first encounter a shrine. Actually, on a New Game+ you could decide to build it as one of your first buildings but pssshhh why would I want to do that? So, the shrine...
I read through all of the Idols' descriptions carefully just to see what I would be up against during the challenges. The sloth and the invincibility ones really turned me off. So I turned them on for no reason. "Think the gods are gonna help?" That's a weird thing to say when praying to them makes the game harder. I managed to finish the level on the new difficulty I had set and left it that way. Half-way through the game I forgot they were even there. This was the game now. I enjoyed it. I took the other option on both choices at the end and looked at the leaderboards after the credits. July 27th, 4:00 am CET, rank 42 with a score of 868. I can do better.
My third playthrough started simple. It was too easy now. I built a shrine as my first upgrade, turned all idols on, cleared the bow challenge to make sure that it saved and turned the game off. I didn't want to rush it. Later that day I saw that I got bumped to 47th place. I needed to get it done to secure a better ranking. There was nothing I hadn't done before. Just a few of those earlier levels with all dem idols and then whatever I did on that second time. And there I was doing the exact same thing I had done 24 hours before albeit with more pauses to not kill my enjoyment.
On my second run I noticed that the game updates your score while you play, not at the end. So before going into the last mission on my 10 Idol run I checked the leaderboard to bask in the glory of my beautiful, shiny new rank 50, score 868. Hm, maybe you get a whole bunch of them at the end. I even did the Who Knows Wheres again just to be sure. I picked the story choices from my first playthrough because I like that ending better. Maybe that had something to do with it...
And here I am. Struggling for an hour now to write just one page in the English language about nothing. Hopefully, I'm still rank 50 as I'm typing this. It's about to change soon enough. I don't know what counts toward the score but I wasn't doing it. I still love the game. Wouldn't have done this otherwise. I enjoyed every second of it and actually think it's funny. I just wish I had more to show for my third run. In the words of the narrator: "Third time's a charm, right? Wrong!"
As you can probably guess I'm not a native speaker of the English language. I figured the site I spend the most time on would be the best place to get a little practice in. So please critique away. I start a lot of sentences with "I" and I hate that. I need a lot of help with tenses and punctuation. I always wanted to write a series about old adventure games, especially those running on ScummVM. But there are already so many retro reviews out there. Anyway, I'd appreciate if someone wrote something producitve. Or not. I shouldn't even post this to the forums.