As the last console generation slowly winds down, I have been thinking about what were my favourite games that I had the pleasure of playing on my X-Box 360, which is also affectionately known as the 360 or My Baby. There have been many highs and some pitiful lows (hello Vampire Rain, fancy seeing you here), the game that always comes back to me is Bastion. Bastion is also the only game I played more than once after I beat it (in fact, I beat it 4 times). So I thought I would do a quick summary on some of my favourite moments and thoughts on them (spoilers ahead).
– The dream sequence where the Narrator turns on you and the world and you fight your only friend, yourself. It recaps the game so far but with a dark twist. I always thought of it as looking at The Kid’s actions through another point of view.
– The monsters that you have to fight to recover the shard while they are just trying to build their own Bastion. The Kid needs the crystal, however, and so must slaughter the monsters. Perhaps you and the monsters are not so different after all. Without any means to communicate, they both resort to violence to try and achieve their goals.
– Going through a Pompeii-like ghost town while the Narrator tells you the people’s names and also small snippets of their lives. The Calamity stole away any hope they had of life and most of them had no idea of The How and The Why of it. They were just ordinary people trying to go about their lives.
– The Kid’s “Who Knows Where” story. It captures the essence of The Kid being loner and outcast from the world even before the Calamity. The moments of violence between snippets of his sad story serve as exclamation marks. Zia and Zulf’s “Who Knows Where” stories are also good but The Kid’s is the one I liked best.
– The ending as you try to get the man who betrayed you home safely while an entire army is barraging you. With no hope to fight back or survive, they stop firing when they realise that you are helping an enemy you have every reason to hate.
Bastion is a game about betrayal, cruelty, lack of understanding, loneliness, friendship and hope. This is a game that drips atmosphere with a near seamless blend of game mechanics, story and player agency. Bastion is one of my favourite games for 360 and possibly of all time.