Bastion (Xbox 360) Reviews

  • ProtoPulseProtoPulse147,148
    22 Jul 2011 22 Jul 2011
    54 8 8
    Waking up in a hand drawn environment, you begin your journey as the "kid" immersed in a rich and colorful landscape. Every movement, every action, and every step is guided by a grizzly voice thats gives a fairytale feel to your adventure. As if you were actually playing a the story. The world has been destroyed by the calamity, and you have barely survived. The kid holds a piece of the bastion(the safe haven of which you are to restore) that creates pathways infront of him. Your goal is to restore the bastion in order to survive.

    Fights can be brutal and easy. Strategically killing certain enemies first will make battles easy and controlled. Make a mistake and die. The controls are simple you have two weapons on a button each, a special skill, and guard. Each area is about 15 mins long, keeping them short, sweet, fresh, and varied. Leveling up allow you to add bonuses to the kid that add health, potion slots, etc. Weapons also have five tiers of upgrades that are accessible by pieces of "somethings" that you find and shards that are collected. Each weapon has a challeng that gives you rewards based on performence in the challenge itself. Difficulty can be added by the use of idols which are game inhancers that add effects to the enemies. The fighting is smooth and exciting, while keeping you on your toes. Oh, be prepared to fall off a lot because there is nothing to hold you on the level, but it is only a minor health cost each time.

    The voice that guides your journey talks about almost everything you do and leaves a sense of mystery to the kid and other characters. In general, the music suits the game and battles flow well with the sounds.

    A unique and colorful hand-drawn art style give a fresh feel to the game. There have been a few split-second frame-rate issues, but other than that the game handles everything well.

    It starts off kind of weak. But, as the game gets going, the interest level picks up. You find surviviors that give their own stories to you. There are also three wave areas that are called reflections. Each gives a back story of their own about the kid, zia, and zulf. They consist of twenty waves each with a line of story inbetween waves.
    There are two major story choices in the game that allow you to be emotionally dragged into the story. moments will make you feel for the charactors, while others will not

    With the new game + option, there is a very high replay value. You can also add idols to make it harder, and there are leaderboards for each reflection and the story as a whole. The upgrades and leveling will keep you coming bad.

    This is one to pick up. The story averages about 12 hours if you do the challenges for the weapons and play the reflections a few times. 1200 points is definitely a steal for this game. Surpassing all expectations, the kid keeps giving you a story to play.
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    ProtoPulseAfter a while, he doesnt seem like an annoyance, but there may be a few things repeated here and there
    Posted by ProtoPulse on 20 Dec 11 at 21:21
    CrimsonGaidinI think you undersold the music as it is amazing IMO but very good review overall! Thumbs up! smile
    Posted by CrimsonGaidin on 29 Dec 11 at 20:07
    The Elven Jedihelpful review, my only issue is, for a site called "TrueAchievements", it would seem some mention of one's opinion of the achievements would be in order...
    Posted by The Elven Jedi on 02 Feb 12 at 08:52
  • TenloTenlo945,548
    07 Aug 2011
    29 0 2
    Bastion is one of those games which comes along every now and then and reminds you of a time when games were simpler and just fun to play. Graphics were colourful and bright and you could lose yourself for hours in the gameplay.

    At heart Bastion is one of those games and it lives up to its past well. At its core is a simple hack n slash dungeon crawler, wrapped in a hand drawn isometric world. You play the Kid, who wakes one morning and finds his world has been destroyed and everyone is gone. So he head off to the Bastion where everyone was to meet if tragedy occurs. The story then follows the Kid to the Bastion and beyond as he explores what remains of his world and piece together what has happened.

    The story itself is all played out real-time with a few hand drawn images for key points with the Stranger narrating the tale as it occurs. Cleverly the narration adjusts to your gaming as well so if you fall off the voice mentions it, if you repeat a challenge the narration changes again. This gives the story a much more organic feeling and really helps immerse you in the story and its characters.

    Gameplay is standard for a hack n slash, two buttons for weapons, one for dodge and then a special skill button. With a choice of 11 different weapons, a mix of melee and ranged, there is a lot of choice for customised loads out. The weapons can also be upgraded five times, each time opening up two choices of improvements of which you can choose one. These can be swapped about once unlocked so you can tweak your weapons till they're perfect for your playstyle. For each weapon there are also a variety of special skills as well as a handful of generic skills to help you out. Each use of a skill requires one bottle of black tonic but they are plentiful so you never feel punished for using these.

    On top of the weapons you also have a variety of alcohol to load your character with. For every level you open another space for a drink in your Distillery. Each drink gives a bonus of some sort form increased health to extra damage. Most come with no side effects but the more powerful ones have a downside so sometimes you have to balance out your setup to give you the best advantages.

    Another important point to note in the gameplay are the Gods. Bastion has a set difficulty level but by praying to different gods you can make the game more difficult by adding effects to the gameplay. These range from regenerating enemies and increased aggression to less drops by enemies. For a real hardcore game you can switch on the full range but be warned your better off doing this on your new game + playthrough.

    Speaking of which New Game + becomes unlocked after your initial completion. As per usual this allows you to carry over your weapons, skills, drinks and level but it also unlocks a lot of extra items that are not available in your first playthrough. To see a game genuinely reward repeat playings is a nice touch which is often missing from a lot of games as well.

    Graphically the game is beautiful. Everything is hand-drawn form the scenery to the characters and it adds a lot of charm to an already charming game. It also gives the game a slight ethereal feel which lends itself to the story. With each area being noticeably different from each other in both scenery and colour one thign that can not be said about Bastion is that it is an ugly game.

    The music is very ambient is most places, with a slight wild west tinge to it which ties in with the steampunk-esque feel of the game. Its worth noting there are a few songs in the game which were so good I actually stopped playing for a little while to hear the full song before moving on. As previously mentioned the narration is superb and while the voice (which sounds like a Southern Morgan Freeman) doesn't quite fit the character who it comes from, it adds to the gameplay superbly.

    So are there any real bad points? Well not really, my only niggle was the story seemed a little vague when I first played through the game. The end section was a little confusing, but on my second playthrough I completed all of the Reflection stages, a form of survival mode, which fill in the back story of the characters and therefore the story made a lot more sense. However these Reflection stages are not clearly marked out, I actually missed one the first time through without realising, but this is more a niggle than an issue. I suppose if I was going to be really picky, it's not the longest game either, with a bit of hard work it can be finished in a day and so at 1200MS its a bit expensive but it is also one of the most beautiful and well-produced game so the price is justified.

    Achievement wise, although not a simple 200GS, its definitely obtainable by the majority of gamers. With an achievement for both endings, it does flag up a few alarm bells, but with an achievement for New Game+ it's not too bad and you will fly through your second playthrough. The only real tricky one will be the vigils, but with a little skills and some upgraded weapons you should have no real problems.

    So would I recommend this game to you. I think its a solid yes, this is one of the most graphically beautiful games on XBLA and with fun gameplay and some re playability, plus with the adaptive difficulty even the most casual gamer has a chance to finish it. Although the 1200MS price may be steep for some, it is worth it and if it ever hits DOTW this is most definitely an essential purchase

    Score: 9/10
  • SaigoStyleSaigoStyle232,900
    16 Aug 2011
    16 1 4
    Bastion is a unique and artistically crafted action role-playing game produced independently by Supergiant games and published by Warner Brothers for the Xbox LIVE Arcade. Originally released on July 20th as part of Microsoft’s Summer of Arcade promotion for 2011, Bastion weaves a poetic tale of a silent protagonist referred to as, “The Kid,” who awakens amidst the post-apocalyptic aftermath of an earth rendering event known as the “Calamity”.

    Equipped with an array of customizable weapons, skills, and his knack for survival—the Kid sets out to find and rebuild the safe haven of “The Bastion”, as the voice of a mysterious narrator accents each step through the tragically beautiful landscape. Brimming with personality, creativity, and a sheer quality of individuality seldom found in today’s clone saturated marketplace—Bastion is a heartfelt and brilliantly crafted adventure that’ll steal your time faster than the Calamity stole the lives of everything it touched.

    The Good:

    Excellent Sound / Narration – With a grizzled voice one third Mark Twain, a third Daniel Boone, and a third pure testosterone—the narrator enhances the combat, highlights the story, and gives an exciting live action accounting of the character’s escapades throughout the game that literally pops the story from the screen and transforms it into something living, breathing, and real.

    Artistically Astounding – With over 40 unique environments springing up around you—Bastion is a visual tour de force from start to finish. Each anime inspired environment is lush with color tones, an artistically astute hand painted style, and an attention to detail seldom found in mainstream gaming setting Bastion apart with a style both proper and profound.

    Excellent Story – The story of Bastion is a simple one, but the way it’s told is intriguing, gripping, and memorable. Like a good novel, almost every stage or chapter of Bastion ends in the type of suspense that begs the player to keep unraveling its mysterious until the hours of the night pass away like sand through the hourglass. Though Bastion won’t win any awards based off the merits of its story alone—it does have the memorable flare and flow to make it a cult classic for years to come.

    Unique, Stylish, and Intriguing – Bastion marches to the beat of its own song—and oh what a pretty song it is. Bursting at the seams with ingenuity and utterly unashamed of its uniqueness, Bastion is a game that demands attention, respect, and at least one playthrough.

    Great Customization and Gameplay – With crisp controls, a solid weapons system, and a ton of smack down variability and tactical options, Bastion excels in areas often forsaken in more traditional RPG’s. With each weapon offering a 5 tier customizable interface that varies its attack properties and attributes, as well as the ability to assign any two weapons and a special attack—Bastion offers versatility and accessibility to a multitude of play styles.

    Custom Difficulty – Once a shrine is found or built in Bastion, players can adjust the difficulty of the game by invoking the powers of certain Gods to make their enemies faster, more resilient, or more powerful through an assortment of abilities and traits. Similar to Halo’s skull system, invoking the God’s can offer greater difficulty for seasoned players looking for a challenge or a way to increase their leaderboard rankings.

    The Bad:

    Replay Value – Though Bastion offers multiple endings, and achievements for obtaining each ending, the return for investing in another playthrough just isn’t there.

    Confusing Leaderboards – While Bastion does offer leaderboards, the secret of what increases your score, and by how much, remains a mystery.

    Linear Levels – While the levels themselves do offer the occasional outstretch of secrecy and surprise, by and large they remain strictly linear, offering little to nothing in terms of exploration or discovery.

    The Ugly:

    Falling to your Death: A world destroyed by the Calamity is due to have a few pieces missing—even after it’s restored. Though most of the levels are well designed, falling can become an issue due to the tight confines, limited surface area to maneuver, and the constant onslaught of dangerous foes. Good thing the Kid only loses a little health for his troubles—but too much of a good thing can kill you.

    Final Thoughts: Get it. You owe it to yourself. Besides, passing on a game like this, unless you completely dislike both the RPG and action genres, is a disservice. Something this unique, well developed, and downright creative just doesn’t come along that often.
  • SebastianSBSebastianSB205,068
    05 Sep 2011 05 Sep 2011
    16 3 3
    Link to my review on SebSpot.
    The same review, but with formatting, pictures, etc. in a blog format.

    Most of us have played an isometric dungeon-crawler by now, be it Diablo, Torchlight, or Sacred. You trudge through a series of large regions that recycle the same environments ad nauseam, defeat hordes of enemies with largely one-button combat, and pick up dozens of useless items along the way. Each time you visit town you can expect to spend a good five or ten minutes repairing your equipment, selling the masses of garbage that you've collected, turning in quests, and distributing your new stat and skill points. Bastion does away with a lot of this tedium.

    You play as "The Kid," a white-haired boy who wakes up one day to find that his world is simply gone. An event referred to as The Calamity has wiped out the landscape and turned your people into ash. The entire story is narrated by an old man named Rucks, who you meet when you reach the Bastion. Aside from orating your trials Rucks also fills in a lot of details about what the world was like before the Calamity and why it happened. Everything is cleverly paced with plenty foreshadowing and well-time revelations. The true strength of this approach to storytelling is that it never interrupts the gameplay. A friend of mine that goes by the tag dudecrazy108 has a tendency to skip through conversations and cut scenes as quickly as possible so that he can get back to the action. When he completed Bastion he didn't just understand the story, he actually cared about it! The developers got him to care about the world and its characters by teaching him about them in a way that didn't bring the gameplay to a screeching halt, and I applaud them for it.

    The gameplay feels like a breath of fresh air for a genre that has been largely stagnant for the last decade. For the first time in a long while I found myself not referring to a dungeon-crawler as a Diablo clone. Rather than having hundreds of nearly identical clubs and swords that differ only in their stats, Bastion gives you a dozen weapons that each encourage their own style of play. There's a slow, powerful hammer for those that just want to smash stuff, an even slower mortar for players who want to plan their approach and rain destruction down from afar, and a war machete that unleashes a flurry of weak, very close range attacks and doubles as a throwing weapon. When you're under attack you can either block or roll to protect yourself. Blocking is effective against most of the smaller enemies, but relying too heavily on it can quickly get you surrounded by enemies. More capable players will instead use it only at the instant of the attack in order to unleash a powerful counterattack. Rolling away is very effective for avoiding damage, but finding a safe direction to roll in becomes more and more difficult as you traverse the narrow paths made of floating debris. The result of all this is that you end up with a dungeon-crawler whose combat relies more on timing and strategy over monotonous grinding. Rather than functioning as simply a means to an end the fighting feels rewarding in itself.

    The visuals are stunning, and clearly got more love than what you see in most AAA titles these days. The environments have been hand-painted and look beautiful. Characters and enemies are rendered in a cartoonish style that allows for quick identification while still leaving room for a lot of detail. Early screenshots made me worried that Bastion would be plagued by visual chaos, but once everything is moving it becomes very easy to tell what's going on. Did I make a cut scene's painting my desktop background for several weeks? Of course I did.

    I have a bad habit of listening to podcasts and custom soundtracks while I play games because the audio of a title often becomes either boring or grating for me after a few hours. With Basion I never even considered turning on the Drunk Tank or TED Talks because whenever I wasn't hooked to Rucks' story I was enamored by the incredible music in this game. Darren Korb's score seamlessly blends a wide variety of instruments and digital sounds together into a very modern take on folk music, and the beat just keeps pushing you to play forward. I purchased the official soundtrack as soon as I beat the game and now know a few people who don't even play games that are listening to the soundtrack in their cars on a daily basis.

    I would estimate Bastion to be about five hours long. That's plenty content for $15 when compared to the many popular retail titles that often clock in at the same length for four times the price, but RPG fans used to longer games may be disappointed. If you think that paying $10-20 for a memorable-but-short game is worth the money (see: Portal, Braid, Limbo) then Bastion should be right up your alley. Players looking to squeeze more time out of the game will be pleased by the New Game+ feature, the series of gods you can invoke for additional challenge, and trial that can be run for each weapon in the game in order to put your reflexes and creativity to the test. The only other complaint I can predict is that some hardcore RPG enthusiasts might look at the changes that I loved so much and refer to the game as shallow in much the same way they would talk about the changes between Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2.

    Overall, I'm glad to give Bastion a glowing review and recommend that everyone reading this at least try the demo. It is one of the best titles that I have ever played on XBLA (of which I have quite a few) and a serious contender for Game of the Year.

    Quick tip for anyone who buys this game on Steam: I recommend playing this game with a windows controller or any other compatible gamepad that has two joysticks. Navigating various diagonal catwalks with the WASD keys while trying to aim at distant opponents with your mouse can become incredibly awkward, and feels like you're being told to maneuver two small objects on the screen while only being able to look directly at one at a time. Being able to move with one stick and aim with the other on a radial plane lets you focus all of your attention on your character and his immediate dangers, making the game a lot less frustrating to play.

    P.S. Did I mention the damn soundtrack?!

    Clarification on my Game Scoring
  • Removed Gamer
    Gamer has been removed
    20 10 5
    Here is the link to my video review of this game

    Since there is a word limit on what has to be written here for a review let me tell you about Our Xbox World. OXW is a project I started with good friends of mine. It is an xbox only gaming project. We have a podcast available on Itunes or, we have a youtube page user oxwcast, you can check us out on Facebook "Our Xbox World" and in the coming weeks we will be launching our website None of us work for the industry, we all spend our own money and give complete honest opinions about the games we play. We don't just focus on news and reviews, we also speak upon gamerscore and other facets of Xbox 360 that other companies neglect. We didn't want to try and be an IGN or Trueachievements, we wanted to be a hybrid that covers all of those areas. So check us out, give us a listen and I'm sure a lot of you will enjoy what we have to offer. Thanks for your time.

  • BonkekookBonkekook2,753,827
    09 Jul 2013 11 Jul 2013
    8 0 2
    Bastion is a "hack'n'slash with ranged weapons" Arcade title(formally described as an Action RPG) developed by Supergiant games. It can always be an interesting gamble to support a new developer as you can't be sure what you're getting into, but Supergiant put out a quality first effort with Bastion.

    The game begins with "The Kid", your MC, asleep on a floating bed. You wake up to discover that the entire world has disappeared, and your bed is floating in midair. You then set out for the Bastion, a safehouse for during disasters, to discover what has happened and try to repair it, accompanied by a velvet-voiced narrator who will be the primary source of the story.

    As mentioned, the narrator drives most of the story in the game, explaining The Kid's actions, the other NPCs you run into, weapon backgrounds, even throwing a colorful comment every now and again when you die; you'll be hearing his voice a lot through the game, and I can say that I didn't tire of it. It's a good way to get the story across without pausing the action, although occasionally his narration can get drowned out by a battle. It works to deliver a story of The Kid on his journey to repair the Bastion from the damage done by the Calamity. The Calamity exploded the entire world into fragments, and it's up to The Kid to find survivors and repair the world.

    The first thing you'll notice about Bastion is the art style. The art has been hand-painted, and makes a colorful, vibrant world. It's very good-looking, the enemies are well-designed, and the environments get varied enough that it doesn't get repetitive. The issue with the art style, however, is that in some areas it can be difficult to tell exactly where the end of the world is and what is safe land. I cannot count how many times a block appeared safe but was not and I plunged to my death, or I was trapped on an "invisible" barrier because there was a step up nearby that the art style didn't convey well. Occasionally, the floor has holes in it, and sometimes these holes are safe, and other times you'll fall right through, and it can becomes difficult to tell the difference. And the indestructible object in the foreground of a level can hide floor holes and the like behind it.

    The world design is a bit chaotic as well. The world "repairs" itself as you walk along it in many spots, and being impatient can lead to an untimely fall simply because you outran the map. For a game that rewards exploration, it doesn't really tell you which way to go. As a completionist, I don't like that. For example, there's a cross path ahead. You come in from one direction and have 3 potential options as to where to go next, 2 of which contain power-ups or exploration, and the third which continues the story. If you're unlucky and choose the story path, you may miss out on those other paths(yes, you can find them in the Lost and Found, I'll mention that later. I like to find things myself though). I can think of two different spots where I was forced to continue on by the world falling apart behind me and unable to backtrack. It's a minor complaint, but with a game as good as Bastion is, that's something I picked up on.

    The world is set from the Bastion. It is initially a barren area with a single survivor who helps guide you. Here, you use the monument to build the Bastion back up with the various shards and cores you'll collect during the story. You build a bar(for leveling), an armory(for switching weapons), a forge(for upgrading weapons), a Lost and Found(items you missed in previous levels can be bought here for a price), a Memorial(contains Vigils, essentially challenges, to complete) and a Shrine(allows you to invoke certain Idols which make the game harder). You use a trampoline to vault out of the Bastion and to a World Map, which is a collection of floating areas in the world. These are either Story areas or Training grounds for the various weapons you come across during your travel.

    Along the journey you collect a variety of different weapons. There are 11 different ones and a lot of special moves, some of which are tied to the weapons. While the variety is nice, you automatically switch to whatever weapon or powerup you picked up. Do you like using your Hammer and Bow combination? Too bad, you have to use this new spear to get through this part of the level until you find an Armory to switch it out! The intention is to introduce you to the weapon briefly, but it breaks the flow of playing the game. I found the weapons I wanted to use, and now I'm forced to use another one. The final level drops a battering ram on you for no apparent reason. It's not an upgradable weapon. You can't use anything else. All you can do is slog along at a snail's pace smashing the obstacles that were placed there to introduce the battering ram. It made no sense to me. It also undermines the weapon upgrades. Switching from an upgraded weapon to a basic one can cause combat issues. There were a handful of times that there was an Armory close-by after, but it wasn't there every time. A better option would have been to implement the ability to switch between the two weapons you brought and the one you picked up, at least until the end of the level or the next weapon you find. That way, those who want to test the new weapon can, and those who enjoy their current weapons can switch back once they do.

    Switching weapons is more of an inconvenience than a problem, though, as Bastion is not an overly difficult game. This complements the weapon upgrades well because it allows you to choose the weapons you enjoy playing with rather than finding the one that kills the most people and ignoring all of the others. Personally, I barely switched from the Cael Hammer and Dueling Pistols through both of my playthroughs. But for those wishing for a challenge, then the Shrine holds your answer. While the base game itself is fairly easy, along the journey you'll come across Idols. These Idols are moved to the Shrine where they can be activated. All of them give your enemies an advantage, and reward you with higher EXP and currency bonuses(all of which stack). One idol causes enemies to drop bombs when you kill them, another causes them to damage you instantly just from physical contact; and if you stack them, the game becomes more than a challenge for any gamer.

    The music and sounds effects are done quite well. I'm writing this with the game open right now, and I'm unconsciously tapping my toe to the beat. The music sets the haunting atmosphere of the post-Calamity world and the fight against the hopelessness that first ensues. And the sound effects accurately represent the damage and actions being done on-screen. I have nothing bad to say here. I really enjoyed the audio cues.

    All in all, Bastion is a very enjoyable Arcade title, and one that everyone should give a shot. It's a different, if short, journey through a vibrant world which catalogues The Kid's fight against adversity. TA requires a score, though I hate giving those out, and so, I give Bastion an 8/10. But don't let the number bias you. Play the game. It deserves the attention.
  • mcnoltymcnolty1,491,898
    22 Jul 2011
    17 9 10
    This is my first review so be gentle =D. Bastion is a beautiful hand-drawn action RPG by Supergiant Games. It is the first title for the 2011 Summer of Arcade and is available now for 1200 microsoft points. You play as a young action hero named "Kid" who awakens on the Rippling Walls in the wake of the Calamity (an event that destroyed the world). You move along the gorgeous world and are tasked with collecting shards in order to rebuild the Bastion. Throughout the course of the game you will collect a variety of weapons and special attacks; and face an interesting assortment of enemies. The game clocks in at around 6 hours if you take your time and enjoy the experience. Bastion also supports an adaptive difficulty system that lets you increase the difficulty through the use of Relics. These relics have different effects that give enemies special abilities (regenerative health, extra damage, etc.) but also reward you with experience bonuses. With that in mind the game can either be a cake walk or a true test of your patience. The achievements are all relatively simple with only one taking any real effort. Another shining feature in Bastion is the cleverly narrarated story and soundtrack. Bastion has one of my favorite original soundtracks I've heard in ages and the voice acting is not too shabby either. The action in Bastion in fast-paced and frenzied with many enemies on screen at the same time. This leads to Bastion's key flaw, the framerate. During these times of intense action the game tends to stutter, sometimes even when your not in battle (to much of the world loads, friend signs on, etc.). All in all I am extremely impressed with Bastion it is an action game that fans of the genre should not miss.
    Beatifully rendered environment
    Amazing soundtrack and voice work
    Fun and interesting story
    Framerate lag can cause cheap deaths and can be very frustrating
    A bit on the short side
    Lack of true replay value (once all the achievements have been attained)
    1200 point price tag may be a turn off in todays economy
    Overall 8.75 out of 10