Bear with me, as this will be my first review! The first thing that you notice about Bastion is is gorgeous visual and, when played with headphones, the way that the narrator’s voice curls around you like a gruff, worldly blanket, sealing you off into a little world all on your own. After this impressive intro, you’re thrown into the world of The Kid, the protagonist of this little adventure.
Like The Kid, you know nothing about what has happened to cause the Calamity which seems to have ended the world and, as you walk with the world zipping up under your feet in a colourful waterfall of pastel beauty, get totally sucked in. I lost nearly three hours the first time I played, and looked up to realise that it had gotten dark without be noticing or caring.
The controls are intuitive and easy to master: tap once to move, twice to dodge and once on enemies or obstacles to attack. It’s that simple, and I found myself often eagerly tapping on groups of enemies to hammer my way to victory. Dodging and blocking, which you later acquire, is a skill that you need to master in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed by later enemies, but it is introduced in an easy and graceful manner that allws you to adjust. In addition, weapons each have their own ‘proving ground’ to train and win prizes, so there’s no excuse for claiming weakness with particular abilities!
Customization of your weapons and abilities is easy and swift, once you procure the correct materials. These are found often enough not to frustrate and can also be purchased or won during the game from the in-game shop. No real money is needed either, other than the purchase cost of the game! For me, this was a welcome change to other games, which ask you to pay real money to get the best items.
The plot is both believable and engrossing, making it hard to resist going back to the game over and over to get just that little bit farther, get more achievements, find those hidden nuggets and challenges. My willpower must be quite, low, as I found myself playing again and again, quite happily. In terms of time to complete, I managed to do this in around eight hours of continuous playing, but to get all the challenges and achievements, a much greater length of time is probably required. So far, I have completed 50% of the achievements after around 12 hours of gameplay.
The music is a delight and an absolute masterpiece, supporting and emphasising the story beautifully. Once you reach a certain point, you are able to play any of the music that you have heard so far, and certainly there are some that are incredibly catchy to hum along to.
Overall, I found this game absolutely amazing to play, listen to and look at and would recommend it to anyone that has an iPad, Xbox 360 or PC (via Steam)! I say 9/10!
But don’t take just my word for it, IGN have rated it a 9/10 as well! See their review at http://uk.ign.com/articles/2012/08/30/bastion-ipad-review
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