So, this is Bastion, developed by Super Giant Games, one of those Indie games that only gaming hipsters seem to play, as they harken to a simpler time where a game was judged by difficulty, artistry, and craft, and not how many Cinematics, DLCs, and Kill Cams you can cram into it. I actually have not played many indie games, save for Minecraft, if that Engineer’s Fetish of a game still counts now that it has gone mainstream. I never thought to until a friend highly recommended me buying the Humble Indie Bundle. Still reeling from the last time someone suggested a game (see last post) I hesitantly pressed the Buy Button. Now, while I have a lot of games to choose from in the Humble Bundle, but I decided to play the one that had the cost requirement attached first, as it prevented me from buying the entire pack for $0.01so I wanted to see what I paid for.
Bastion is set in the world of Caelondia (which may be the result of the game industry practice of picking an ancient word or place and add bits to make it seem magical) after an ambiguously named Calamity has occurred in the world. The Kid, as your player character is called, awakes to find that his entire reality has been destroyed and is now narrated by a voice so sexy, I’m sure it had impregnated me with its sexy voice babies.
You follow the path of the sexy voice and eventually come to it’s origin, the Old Man Rucks, in the main save point of the game the Bastion. The Bastion is what its name suggests, a fortification for all the people of Caelondia to retreat to. Several things become apparent, there aren’t going to be many survivors, and the Bastion is kinda unimpressively broken. But that’s where you come in! You have to run around and collect magic rocks to repair the Bastion because *spoilers* and in the process you meet the survivors of the Calamity, learn some Caelondia-Ura history, and your place in the world.
Now while collecting magical items de jour seems like the cop out way to progress a game, though everyone seems to forgive the Mario franchise for it, it works for Bastion because there is so much story around that one contrived plot device. No matter where I go in the game, even the side quests, my sexy voice god gives me more details about the world of Caelondia. By the end of the game, I gave two shits about the world, which is impressive because in most games I just try to find creative ways to destroy it. Each character’s back story was fleshed out and the world came alive, which is more than I could hope for. I wasn’t left with a single question … except maybe whether Rucks is The Kid from another timeline or if the artist who design the levels dropped acid why in a room filled with Legos.
Speaking of the artists, both the visual and musical masterminds behind this game should be given medals of the Highest Order of Artistry because they must have imaginations of drug addict proportions to come up with this world. I found myself having a difficult time killing some of the creatures in the game, because they are so damn cute. Squirts have played in my organs because I mistook their attacks as adorable hugs of death. Every creature has an origin story, every plant a purpose, and the world feels like it evolved the way it did for a reason, and not a glued together happenstance. The flora and fauna of Bastion, and coupled with the music, truly moves me in an emotional and sexually aural-otic way. I literally listen to the entire soundtrack on my way to work, which, coincidentally, made my life 100 times more interesting. The Ending Song is one of my favorites, so much so I broke a mouse pressing the repeat button.
All of these facts give reason to why this game has done well for itself. It sold 500,000 copies, which to a game like Call of Duty (6.5 million) doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s a massive windfall for an Indie game. I like to think that the reason why it hasn’t sold more is that it’s just not as well known, or has the hype that main stream gaming has. I was so pleased with this game that I’m hoping that Super Giant does another project like this in the future. With the success that they had from this game, and the fact that they only had a team of 7 to pull it off, it makes me wonder why bigger studios still seem to fail to impress. Maybe they just lost sight of the fact that games are an interactive art form under the mounds of money they are making … maybe.
But anyways, here’s a list of complaints.
Things that sucked about this game:
- Controls are more suited for the controller format, but with some tweaking to the control scheme I found it easy to use the keyboard on my laptop.
- Making me feel bad about every dust statue I destroy and making me think long and hard about life and my final decision (Not actually a complaint, as it really was eye opening on both accounts)
- There isn’t a Sequel Yet!
Well that’s it for this week’s review. I have more Indie games to get through, and a couple of free online games. Till then, have fun gaming!