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Bastion (Switch)

Posted by GG Goblin On October - 1 - 2018

Rucks has a tale to tell on the Switch.

After what seems like an age, which is in fact seven years, Supergiant Games’ Bastion has made another console outing, this time on the Nintendo Switch. While the Switch catalogue seems to be overflowing with older titles making their Switch debut, it’s difficult to not be excited for such an endearing action RPG to be arriving on what is surely the perfect platform.

bast1 (Copy)

Part of the magic of Bastion comes from the narrator, Rucks. From the very beginning, players will hear the sorrowful tones of Rucks as he describes the actions of the hero, alongside providing backstory to this magical world. It is through Rucks’ rambling that the player will discover that their hero is known only as The Kid and has no idea what he is doing here. They also discover that “here” is the civilization of Caelondia, and it has seen better days. A great cataclysm came and broke the land into pieces. Many of the inhabitants were turned to ash. It’s all pretty grim, but a safe haven known as the Bastion, somewhere that managed to avoid the great catastrophe, is the first place that The Kid will need to head. Bastion will become the central hub for the adventure, and will also be where the player can meet Rucks. Don’t panic though, Rucks will continue his narration through the rest of the story, continuing to fill the player in on what happened while also describing how the world used to be. This gives the game world an incredible amount of depth, and counters The Kid’s silent acceptance of the job he has to do.

Because it turns out that the player will have to guide The Kid through different parts of the world, which each have their own flavour and personality, in order to collect crystal cores that can be used to expand the Bastion. And so, from the central hub, the player is able to choose where they would like to go, with multiple destinations available from the offset, giving the player a certain amount of freedom in how they approach the game.

bast3 (Copy)

Then it comes down to the gameplay, which takes the form of an action RPG with an isometric view. Through the course of the game, The Kid will come across all manner of weapons to use against the monsters they encounter. However, the limitation is that The Kid can only equip two weapons at a time, and so the player will be able to experiment with different combinations of weapon to find a combo that works for them. Both melee and ranged weapons are available, allowing for a certain amount of button mashing to defeat the hordes, and there is also a dodge move that will prove highly important. The game will continually introduce new enemies, and while some will have fairly simple attack patterns that the player will have no trouble dealing with, many of them will require more thought and could prove tricky to the less experienced players. Bastion is not a difficult game, but it will require more than simple button mashing. Of course, once the player has completed the game, they can head back in with New Game +.

The cores that the player collects through their journey are used to expand the central hub of Bastion. This is another place where the player has the freedom to choose how the game unfolds, as the various expansions can be chosen in any order. Here, the player can do things like build a forge or a distillery, giving access to weapon upgrades or what are essentially potions. There is even the chance to approach idols that will change the game in some way, such as making it more difficult for more rewards, offering further replayability.

Each new location unfolds majestically before the player, with an amazing level of detail and what appear to be beautifully hand-painted environments. The game really is very pretty to look at, with colours that pop from the screen and a sense of wonder as the player anticipates what they will see next. The soundtrack is also nice, but plays second fiddle to the ongoing narration from Rucks. Given the game has been around for seven years, it is no real wonder that Bastion is so well polished. But even at seven years old, Bastion feels just as fresh now as it did back then.

bast4 (Copy)

Bastion is an action RPG that is difficult not to enjoy. It is easy to overlook little gems like this when considering which older games would work well on Switch, but that doesn’t make them any less perfect for the handheld/home console hybrid. There is an old-school feel to Bastion that may put off some players, but anyone who enjoys action RPGs would be well served by picking up Bastion on Switch.




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