By Mento 30 Comments
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.