At the recommendation of fellow PerezStart writer AduceClean I picked up Bastion, Microsoft’s first game of this years “Summer of Arcade”. Bastion is a fast paced, customizable action-RPG with a solid story. The graphics are bright and colorful, almost like a painting come to life; pure eye-candy. While the main protagonist is silent, the game is narrated by a deep, soulful, rustic voice that reminds me of actor Sam Elliott or Morgan Freeman. Sounds odd but trust me it works, actually everything in this game works.
You play as a character simply called “Kid” who wakes up to find the world has been engulfed and nearly destroyed by “The Calamity”. Kid eventually finds the Bastion which serves as the main town where you can change and upgrade your weapons and character layout. By finding energy cores and shards scattered around the decimated world you can restore power to the Bastion thus increasing the land and adding more shops. There are 6 shops in total but each offer something different and you personally choose which you want to add first. For example, you may want to add “The Shrine” which adds experience point bonuses before you add “Lost and Found” which has rare items for sale; entirely up to you but you will obtain all the shops.
Bastion offers lots of replayability as well. There are a few side quests and bonus areas you can hone your skills to obtain more currency and experience points. As mentioned earlier, there is a shop called “The Shrine” where you can add experience point bonuses but they do come at a price. Faster and stronger or immunity to physical harm are some risks you’ll be facing for an additional percentage of experience bonus. The entire group of options or “idols” stack up so essentially it’s a clever way to control the difficulty of the game. There is even a new game plus mode that opens up once you complete the game. You get to keep all levels earned, weapons and their upgrades, character customizations and upgrades, and currency.
I really enjoyed Bastion and glad I purchased it. It is highly fun and trying to complete the game with tons of idols activated increases that factor. The side quests and bonus areas along with the new game plus feature offer a lot of replayability options. Every “Summer of Arcade” seems to at least one stand out game and I believe this will be it.