The Best Video Game Ever: “Bastion”

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James K

James is a government policy analyst, and lives in Wellington, New Zealand. His interests including wargaming, computer gaming (especially RPGs and strategy games), Dungeons & Dragons and scepticism. No part of any of his posts or comments should be construed as the position of any part of the New Zealand government, or indeed any agency he may be associated with.

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20 Responses

  1. Avatar dhex
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    says:

    i liked bastion, but there’s only two or three real choices in it. it’s pretty far down the ladder of choices and consequences in games.Report

    • Avatar Plinko in reply to dhex
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      says:

      I would argue that’s the brilliance of the game. Games present choices to you all the time – in most games those choices are have little to no bearing on the story.

      In Bastion you spend the entire game making only those typical choices that have minimal consequence (bow or pistols for this map? Area ‘C’ then ‘D’ or the other way around) – but at when you are presented with those two big choices – you get to decide what kind of person the Kid is and what world he will live in.

      I am very much in James K’s camp – I had to force myself to pick different ones on subsequent playthroughs just so I can see those endings. (Actually, I’ve only picked two because I can’t bring myself to choose the ‘wrong’ first choice).

      Maybe that’s not so widespread – it would be interesting to know if that’s the case. If it is, I’d be really interested to know if people generally gravitate to the same opinion of what the ‘right’ choices are.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Plinko
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        says:

        You need to play School Days. Seriously, you need to play that game. The character starts out as a tabula rasa, but every choice you make (even the option not to make a choice) changes who he is, and what he will become.Report

    • Avatar James K in reply to dhex
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      says:

      It’s not the big choices that define it, it’s the fact that leading up to the big choices is a game whose story and theme is choice. After all the story is about ubj bhe pubvprf pna unir qrinfgngvat pbafrdhraprf, naq jurgure vg vf cbffvoyr gb gehyl haqbar gur guvatf jr qb.Report

  2. Avatar Plinko
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    says:

    Also, as long as I’m in the business of recommending Youtube links to video game music for these threads – the video of Darren Korb and Ashley Barret performing Setting Sail, Coming Home in the office is pretty darn good.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGxgFxF47XYReport

  3. Avatar Kimmi
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    says:

    I haven’t had a “best game ever”… I don’t think I ever will.
    But I’m seriously tempted to review Brian Reynold’s game for this series.
    Because nobody’s done a strategy game yet, and one should be on the list.

    Then again, so should an adventure game.
    And someone has to have their “best casual game” (*votes for The Yawhg*)Report

  4. Avatar Brandon Berg
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    says:

    It’s weird, isn’t it? That curiously powerful aversion we have to picking the “wrong” choice when there are no real consequences whatsoever. It would be interesting to put these sorts of choices into online games and analyze the results as a psychological experiment.Report

  5. Avatar Eric Mesa
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    says:

    Bastion is an AWESOME game with an amazing soundtrack. You should buy the soundtrack whether or not you play the game. The vocal songs are so haunting and beautiful, especially the one that plays during the credits that they are worth the price of the soundtrack alone.

    If I may, allow me to include a link to my lengthy review of Bastion: http://server.ericsbinaryworld.com/blog/2012/01/06/review-bastion/

    If that review and the one on this page don’t convince you to play it – nothing will!Report

  6. Avatar Drew
    Ignored
    says:

    This is the most legitimate claim ever.

    Bastion is an incredible game. I’ve still been unable to make the first “wrong” choice. The rewards (emotionally) for making the right choice are just too high.Report

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