There is no such thing as a perfect game. Bastion, however, comes damn close. Bastion is a marriage of pure old school game play with modern storytelling innovations. Most of the hype for the game revolves around the latter. There has been much said about it's gorgeous visuals, beautiful soundtrack and adaptive narrator who narrates your every action with a raspy, soulful voice. What hasn't been properly addressed, however, is the gameplay.
Bastion is a hardcore action RPG with hack and slash gameplay (that is surprisingly heavy on ranged combat mind you) dressed up with RPG customization. You may choose from eleven different weapons and over thirty unique special skills, as well as a variety of passive boons acquired while leveling up. The game also has a light hint of Actraiser (always a good thing) as you return to your hub and rebuild it, deciding in what order and what locations to put the various buildings necessary for customizing your experience.
The game features a surprising amount of optional content, with 12 "proving ground" challenges where you can test your proficiency with the various weapons and earn new items and skills. Then there are the three optional "who knows where" stages that test you against a gauntlet of enemies, in return revealing more of the plot and giving some extra experience. This is all not to mention the vigils, which act as in game achievements with monetary rewards; and the idols, which allow you to tweak the games difficulty in a number of ways in return for bigger rewards.
Now I must address the plot, as I've seen some reviewers complain about it, while others have worshiped it. In truth the plot is a bit forgettable for most of the game, though it gets good at the end game, with the last sequence actually making my eyes well up a little. Plus, there are two endings available! At the end of the day, the story could be complete sh*t, but it would still be very enjoyable due to the amazing way it is presented with the narrator.
All in all Bastion is an amazing game with five star gameplay and six star presentation. It will deliver ten to fifteen hours of solid gameplay, and a surprising amount of incentive to play through twice due to new game plus, two endings and several challenges you probably won't complete the first run, and with the customizable difficulty and new perks opened up the second time through you won't get bored. Oh, and did I mention it is only fifteen dollars? So go get it, now. Bastion is the fulfillment of the long standing promise that indie gaming will deliver us high quality, unadulterated games with the purity of old school gaming and the kinds of innovation that big league publishers are scared to try out. My highest recommendation.