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The kid just raved for a while.

The 21st was a Saturday! That meant I didn’t have to pretend to be awake or get up! Hurrah!

I couldn’t stay in bed all day, though. I’d meant to do the washing up the previous night, and heated the water and everything, but somehow forgot or was distracted. So that was my first job for the day, after breakfast, or the hot water would’ve been wasted.

And after that, I had to go to Morrisons; I needed bread for lunch, so couldn’t put it off, and coffee, which is vitally important. They had pork reduced, so a shoulder joint to make pulled pork with for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday’s dinners was also bought (and, at 1.6kg for the joint, they were good dinners).

Productive and worthwhile part of the day over (or, at least, the part of the day where I performed some basic tasks necessary for my continued survival), I went back to playing Bastion.

I’m glad I did. As I mentioned in the previous post, its game mechanics hadn’t really grabbed me. They’re fine, a few irritations, but nothing really special, and as I tend to be a “mechanics über alles”, “story should be output not input” kind of person I wasn’t terribly enthused. And that’s the thing about Bastion; if you pulled out its mechanics and plonked them into a straight Diablo or Titan Quest clone, it’d be… fine. I found the later weapons much more fun than the first few, and with practice got a hang of the combat quite nicely; using controls more like a twin-stick shooter means it’s more dynamic and actiony (that’s totally a word) than your standard everything-on-the-mouse Diablo clone. So that would be OK, especially if you removed the ability to fall off edges.

But where the game really shines is as a whole. It’s a really good counter-argument to people (*cough*) who think games are all and only about their mechanics. I don’t want to say too much, because it’ll take away the surprise, but I shall praise the writing and voice acting; not the strong points for many games. Will wonders never cease? It’s even available DRM free, from GamersGate and Impulse, where it’s currently only £4.78, so buy it.

Anyhow, I played it for another five or six hours, all the way to the end. I didn’t do all of the dreams, which was probably a mistake; now you know and can not make it, when you buy and play the game. Which you should. If you don’t run Windows or have a 360 (I think it’s due to be half-price on XBLA around the end of January/start of February), it – and its demo – is also available for Chrome in Google’s web store thing.

And after finishing the game, I couldn’t help but go to listen to the soundtrack. Which I then bought. Probably for more money than I paid for the game in the first place. You shouldn’t listen until you’ve played the game – it would spoil your enjoyment – but afterwards (or if you’re some kind of weirdo heathen who’s not going to play it at all) you can listen to, and buy it from, Bandcamp.

What kind of nerd buys computer game music, eh? Often I’d agree. I’m enough of a nerd to listen to some game music, often for nostalgia purposes, and I like plenty of the music in games (we’ve been having a good time of it lately, with Deus Ex and Frozen Synapse) and you get the occasional great tune, but I think it’s one of the first game soundtracks that holds up as a brilliant album all by itself. Odd, considering it was only ever intended to be a part of the game; they only released the soundtrack because loads of people asked for it. I’m glad; it’s all great, but I can’t remember the last time I heard a piece of music as beautiful as Setting Sail, Coming Home.

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