By: Derek Yu

On: July 20th, 2011

The isometric action-RPG Bastion has gone up on XBLA, as part of Microsoft’s Summer of Arcade promotion. The first things you’ll notice about Bastion are Jen Zee‘s lush artwork and the narration, which is dynamic and used not only to develop the game’s story but to explain your actions in real-time as you play. According to the FAQ, the interaction focuses on “finesse” in combat and “rich” customization of stats, skills, and weaponry. The way the game handles difficulty is interesting, too – players can invoke idols to raise the challenge of certain aspects of the game (like enemy damage), in exchange for more experience points gained.

A PC port of the game is planned that is slated for later this year.

Price: $15
TIGdb: Entry for Bastion

  • Bobusdoleus

    Want PC version!
    Now that I have vocalized my desire on the INTERNET, it is sure to come true.

  • ConcernedDragon

    How cute, indies are still releasing on XBLA? Release on Steam and they’ll actually promote it some!

  • Ryan Huggins

    I mean, 

  • Anonymous

    I tried the demo,  but can’t tell if I want to play anymore. I enjoyed the graphics, the action seemed decent. But, it seemed really easy and I think they use save-state style saving? I didn’t die, but I fell off the edge and it just put me straight back to where I was.  Also it seems like its optimal to bash open everything in sight to get collectables (that seems like a boring chore)?

  • gamecreator

    Art and voice style are perfect.  I hope Jack’s off about the gameplay.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Mr. Huggins. Despite the evidence showing that success for indies seems to be on Steam, it’s not unwise to cast one’s net wide and far.

    Don’t hate.

  • Anon

    Your second sentence is more amusing than you imagined.

  • Gnome

    Looks lovely. Guess it wont be long before it hits the PC then…

  • Anonymous

    I lol’d

  • Theon

    Whoring out for Microsoft as usual, are we?

    Oh well, I can’t say I really like the VA, anyway.

  • Ezuku

    Voice acting so cheesy. My brain is on fire. 

  • Daid

     Releasing on steam is not something you can choose for yourself. Valve picks games to be released on steam.

  • guest

    Am I the only one to see the wrong videos for some articles ? For Bastion I see Pron, for Fotonica I see Running with riffles.

  • Cranky

    Played the demo, kinda nice, but it’s really annoying when the narrator narrates everything you do, just as you do it. Like you summersault to be faster, the narrater says “kid summersaults like crazy”. Duh! I am the one doing the summersaults, I know!

  • Nerdbot

    You see pron instead of bastion? You  must have an improved version of TIGS.

  • RyanFukkins

    All I hear is “XBLA XBLA XBLA XBLA XBLA”

  • Theon

    The only reason it’s not being released anywhere but on xbla is that Microsoft PAY the developers not to release anywhere else.

  • Guest

    Zelda has been putting you back at the edges you fall off of for over a decade.  And bashing everything is a staple of RPGs.. well, bashing or “checking” for loot.  Have you not been gaming long?

  • Guest

    “Boo hoo hoo, why can’t I hate M$ -AND- get to play good games?!?!”

  • Anonymous

    Just because something may be common in gaming doesn’t mean its a good thing. I was wondering if falling off the edge was the same as dying, and if it used save-state style saving (Zelda removes a heart instead of death).  Bashing everything open is boring to me, since there is no interesting choice to make it’s always “destroying this will give me items” there’s basically no risk at all involved. If your a fan of those Lego games by  Traveller’s Tale’s I can see how you’d think it is a good mechanic.

  • notcranky

    The constant narration is one of the games highlights, genius.

  • gamecreator

    That’s awesome.  Didn’t even consider that version.

  • Anonymous

    demos are often intentionally easier than the real version (for whatever reason); i wouldn’t judge the difficulty of a game by its demo, as it’s often a marketing thing that if a player dies in the demo he will not finish the demo and not buy the game

  • Kitten

    The artstyle for the animation and gameplay reminds me a lot of Dofus 2.0 by Ankama.  Anyone know the specs for this?  Like what it was made in and if the games have any creators or developers in common?  Thanks ahead of time for any help anyone can provide.

  • Robert-Glen Karl Duffill


  • Theon

    I don’t quite see what you’re getting at.
    And I wonder who liked your comment.

  • Theon

    I don’t quite see what you’re getting at.
    And I wonder who liked your comment.

  • Jonathan Reardon

    as a huge fan of indie games I finally broke down and got an xbox 360. Pc gaming is dead. I mean I fought it for as long as I could but consoles are whats hot right now. It’s sad but true.

  • LoLOL

    the narration becomes very annoying very fast.
    I don’t like this game, there is no background, just a static pattern where there should be a parallax scrolling. No serious backstory, it’s just “follow the scripted route to the placeholder enemies”. And like all indie western games it seems to just consist in just one visual gimmick (the appearing tiles) with an archaic gameplay and very generic enemies all made in a cartoony style . YAWN.

  • LoLOL

    as long as people will use PC to create these games, PC gaming will not be dead. Enjoy your hand

  • Jan Milewski

    That is such a “last year” comment… Especially when it comes to indies more and more studios are realizing that they are making more money on the PC with less effort. Take Cthulhu Saves the World making more money in a week than in a year on XBLA.

    Even major publishers are kinda starting to admit that they have been unjustly neglecting the PC – including major Japanese studios that never dabbed into PC before. With digital distribution becoming bigger and bigger by the month plus the freedom and the lack of certification hurdles the PC offers it is making a strong comeback.

  • Zecks

     welcome to indie games

  • Zecks

    pc gaming isn’t dead, GAMING is dead.

  • Michael Boxleiter

    lol, so true

  • Jumps

    great game. needs to lose the narration. it’s like an annoying shoulder reading cowboy.

  • Guest

    Actually Cthulhu Save the World was in the Xbox Live Indie Games section, there are some pretty BIG differences between XBLIG and XBLA.

    If you/anyone else is unfamiliar with the system I’ll try to illustrate briefly why XBLA gets a lot more money.

    XBLA = ~400 titles published by companies
    XBLIG = ~2000 titles put out by whoever

    XBLA size limit = 2 GB
    XBLIG size limit = 150 MB

    XBLA = Marketed and easily accessible since 360 launch
    XBLIG = Shuffled around through system updates and typically tucked away behind a couple menus

    Just take a glance at the listings.

  • lostboy

    This game was far better than most things that I’ve played for $15 and I can’t seem to understand how so many of you are bashing this thing to hell. Last time I checked there haven’t been too many isometric-hand drawn-action-adventure-rpgs with full voice narration and interesting weapon choices. Oh, and to the person that said there was no story, you obviously didn’t play to the point where they literally tell you the entire story of the Kid and then eventually every character in the game.

  • Tim Peters


  • Raigan Burns

    I’m with LoLOL.. it’s just very very boring. Maybe it’s just a bad demo, but I’ve tried to like this game several times — everyone else raves about it — but I can’t escape the overwhelming feeling of “meh”.

    The combat especially feels empty/hollow/plastic/cheap, really unsatisfying; this is a deal breaker since ALL you do in an ARPG is fight. It feels like you’re never really connecting with anything. Compare this with even e.g Shining Souls II on GBA — maybe not a paragon of ARPG gaming but it at least felt like you were smashing enemies rather than limply swatting in the air until eventually the enemies vanish. I don’t know if it’s the perspective or paltry reactions (enemy animation/particles) but it doesn’t feel right at all, it feels very fake and un-physical/un-meaty. And both the bow and gun are annoying to use.

    The levels are ultra-linear, very narrow hallways. It’s just dull and undistinguished: run forward, mash while periodically healing. If it’s a larger enemy, observe the usual “boss attack pattern” behaviour — avoid the attack and then mash while they recover for the next attack. It’s an unrewarding chore.

    Definitely gorgeous, with some really cool ideas, but that’s not enough to make up for the actual game part being bland at best and tedious at worst.

    Also, the enemy sprites/animation really seem cheap in comparison to the world art. I don’t know if it’s not enough frames of animation or what, but they stick out as horribly ugly and stiff compared to the lush environment.

  • Ryan Huggins

    I don’t even play Xbox. D: I’m just stating the obvious. More platforms == more coverage == more views == more money. It’s a science.

  • Morgan W

    How is this an indie game though? The first thing I see when I start up the vid is “WB Games” right across the front of it. Why is it posted here?

  • AmigaVeteran

    Because it was an indie game, developed by independent developers, pretty-much on their own dime.  But nowadays, if you want to get on PSN / XBLA and not the XBLIG ghetto, you’ve got to have a publisher.

    If it makes you any happier, it was made by a handful of people who more than likely sleep on the floor many nights and ate Top Ramen and they left “the man” and good paying jobs, to do the game they wanted to do, they way they wanted to do it.Indie enough for you?! :p

  • StephenM3

     The people who made the game are definitely indie.  Small budget, small team, company created for the sole purpose of creating this game, owned by the people making the game.

    They just had to partner with a non-indie company, WB, to get the game published.  WB didn’t provide any money until waay late in development, and had no “editorial control” or what-have you.  WB basically just worked as a go-between for Supergiant Games and Microsoft, and gets to put their name on the front of everything. 

    In fact, WB Games is probably hoping to absorb some of the hella indie cred Supergiant has.

  • boomlinde

    Partnering with WB Games to be able to release a game from a Microsoft-controlled distribution platform isn’t very independent by any sense of the word.

    It’s not “indie” because they left their jobs to pursue other jobs or even because they ate noodles. That has nothing to do with independence.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve enjoyed what I’ve played of it so far. The narration is charming, and the art is gorgeous. Gameplay is fairly standard, nothing amazingly original, but I don’t think that’s the point – It seems to be a vehicle for their world to ride on, as if the developers are saying ‘Hey, check out this vibrantly detailed world and story we’ve created! Oh and, to keep you entertained while you’re here, you can hit stuff too!’

  • Jonathan Reardon

    Regardless. I’m playing Bastion at the moment. It’s fucking awesome. Guess who’s not playing it right now? Everyone who is pc loyal.

  • Nerdbot

    Also me, who is not PC loyal but doesn’t like the game’s style at all.
    It’s not always THAT easy. Unfortunately.