Transistor, by the creators of Bastion

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Aspiring Commoner
Mar 2, 2014
Bastion is a game that was extremely well received, notably named game of the year by Totalbiscuit, won a numerous of awards, and sold surprisingly well accross a large numbers of platforms. With it's predecessor being praised for it's excellent soundtrack, endearing storytelling and superb art, Transistor had large shoes to fill. But honestly, just by looking at the Trailers, you can see how successfully takes its spot among one of the best games out there (that I've personally played).

Here's the first trailer:

MECHANICS:The actual game mechanics are extremely well executed. They're polished and reward you for messing around with them, allowing you to find different styles that are interesting and all unique in their own way. It makes the combat system feel very engaging: you're given abilities over the period of the game which can then be used in combinations with other ones, either as an ability, an upgrade, or a passive, making it interesting to see which you're willing to sacrifice for what. It gets you hitting that NewGame+ button as soon as you finished it, just so you can perfect your style. The difficulty system is exactly what you want in a game: not a "the ennemies hit harder and have more life" type of difficulty, which in turn is really only changing the length of the battle or simply makes the game feel frustrating. Instead it approaches it with optional difficulty settings, one that adds different abilities to enemies or give you different troublesome handicaps. Instead of simply dodging an extra few bullets or buying more health potions like you would do in a lot of games that offer a "harder" purely numerical difficulty you're stuck having to strategize how to use your abilities more effectively, giving you a proper challenge.
The enemies each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and, like the abilities, often work together in different combinations. This gives an interesting aspect to each combat sequence, although is somewhat lacking in terms of usage of the background/environment. While you're in a beautifully crafted world, you can only truly interact with a few set items, leaving you somewhat feeling like part of a painting more than an actual city.
My only critic would be the "boss" fights, which truly only felt like slightly stronger versions of the regular enemies. The only true boss fight would be the last one (without spoiling anything) it's the sole fight in which I actually struggled, for the addition of a great mechanic given to the boss.

NARRATIVE/SETTING: This one speaks for itself. It's as good as Bastion, gets you more curious about the world without ever revealing everything outright. The entire world is very organic and aesthetically pleasing, engaging you in the game even more than the mechanics already do. The city of Cloudbank and its story is probably my favorite part of the game. The background is entirely hand painted, which give it a colorful, crisp feeling mixed with a stunning art style that puts a large piece AAA games of the past few years who seem obessed with absurd realism to shame.

Even better than Bastion's. The tie-in with Red's story makes it just that much better, too. would highly recommend even if you don't play the game (which you should!)
Here's a couple of good songs.

You can buy it on steam for 20$, and it's really worth the money. If you can't afford it, I'd recommend waiting for the steam sale, or even the possibility that it'll be in the humble bundle (Bastion was, although it's possible this was to get them more media attention).
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