Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad
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There are two kinds of people in this world: those who have played - and loved - Bastion, and those who have yet to play - and love - Bastion. Both groups should be excited to see Bastion arrive in the Apple App Store, and both need to purchase it now.
Bastion's appearance on consoles last year earned it numerous accolades - all of them deserved. The story, graphics, sound (especially the music and narration) and gameplay set it leagues above similar titles. What am I saying? There's nothing 'similar' to Bastion. It stands alone, just like its protagonist, The Kid.
Bastion is the story of The Kid, a gunslinger in a world gone wrong. Waking up in the remnants of his once beautiful world, The Kid sets off to make things right, aided by a variety of weapons like six shooters and giant hammers. If all of this sounds like other games out there, let me assure you that the experience is quite unique, in part thanks to the narrator. This omniscient voice tells the story of The Kid and the world of Bastion, but he also narrates the various actions the character makes in the game. Stand around too long and the narrator will add that to the story. Go on a destructive frenzy with the Cael Hammer, and that becomes a part of the narrative as well. The narrator never feels intrusive, and actually makes the atmosphere of the game unique.
For those who have played Bastion before, here are crucial answers to critical questions: yes, the FULL content of the original game is included in this download, including all of the music and narration, and (thankfully) there's nothing that must be unlocked through the purchase of in-game credits. Second, and perhaps most importantly, the controls work, and work very well. I was doubtful at first. After all, this is a game designed originally for a dual-stick console like the PS3 or Xbox360. However, developer Supergiant Games crafted an original control scheme for touch screens that works elegantly. There's no virtual control stick (you CAN change the default controls to this more traditional approach); instead, players click the screen to guide The Kid. If there's something destructible in the environment, whether enemy or inanimate object, The Kid will fire at it when it's within range of his weapon. Want to change weapons? Just click the virtual button on the side of the screen. The only control that may take some time to get used to is the shield, which is available via a virtual button at the bottom of the screen. Still, the controls are MILES above most action adventure games on the iPad.
For those who have never played Bastion, you have no excuse now. It's a steal - $4.99 for the full game - and it's a beautiful, clever, absolutely one-of-a-kind experience. Buy it. Then tell someone else to buy it.