After a one-week hiatus, in which I wasted time by worthlessly playing games that weren’t dictated to me by alphabetical position, Steam A to Z is back! Just to dispel the myth that there’s any meaningful progress being made, this is the first edition with exclusively ‘B’ games.

This will never end. I’ll be on my deathbed before I even think about reviewing Zeno Clash.

And with that sobering thought, let’s talk about fun video games!

Bastion

bastion

Certainly a solid contender for one of my favourite games of all time, Bastion pretty much has it all. With most games you’d say that something in particular is exceptional and the key draw – with Bastion, that thing is everything.

For those unacquainted with the wonders of Supergiant Games’ masterpiece, Bastion is an action RPG in which you play as ‘The Kid’ waking up in a confusing world that mixes vibrancy and desolation, and builds itself around you as you move. The story, and to some extent your actions, are narrated wonderfully by Logan Cunningham who, for my money, has the best voice on Earth. Seriously, if we ever want to send a reassuring message of peace out to a distant civilisation in a far-flung galaxy, get Logan to do it. We’d have those aliens eating out of the palm of our hand.

The story itself is compelling, unfolding throughout the game as you learn more about the apocalyptic ‘calamity’ from those around you, and there are a variety of weapon combinations and a new game plus mode for replay value.

Oh, and the fact that I still listen to the soundtrack regularly should tell you all you need to know about how Bastion performs in that area, too. If you for whatever reason haven’t given it a go yet, do yourself a favour and pick it up as soon as is humanly possible.

Rating: Gon’ build that wall up to the sky / 10

 

Batman: Arkham Asylum

batmanarkasy

From one great to another, there’s really very little to dislike about the first entry in the triple A Batman franchise. While Arkham City would take everything in Asylum and refine it, alongside creating a much more expansive area (namely, Arkham City) to play in, I feel there’s a pervasive sense of claustrophobic dread to Asylum that the latter iteration lacks.

The combat is fluid and enjoyable and the gliding is fun as all heck. Hiding in the rafters, picking off increasingly panicked goons one by one, is the quintessential Batman simulation experience. Asylum‘s at it’s best, however, when it takes a foray into horror – which happens far more regularly than you’d imagine. The Scarecrow segments in particular are highlights. Terrifyingly surreal highlights.

Oh and, by the way, that review was intended to be read entirely in Batman’s voice. I’ll be intensely disappointed if you read it any other way.

Rating: NOW YOU SHOULD BE READING THIS BIT IN BAIN’S VOICE, MMMM / 10

 

BattleBlock Theater

battleblock

From the people at The Behemoth who brought you Alien Hominid and Castle Crashers, comes prison/theater-based platforming collect-a-thon BattleBlock Theater.

I’ve not got a tremendous amount to say about it honestly, certainly not compared to the great galumphing entries previous. The art style is every bit as great as it was in Castle Crashers, the platforming is serviceable but little more and the level design is nicely varied throughout the story mode.

There’s an online multiplayer mode but it appears to be quite dead. Not a massive problem if you have some of those ‘friends’ they talk about nowadays, otherwise you’re stuck on the singleplayer campaign.

Overall it’s a passingly fun game that just never really grabbed me.

Rating: I wouldn’t gossip about this game. I don’t want to TattleBlock over BattleBlock. Look, these puns bring me as little joy as they bring you. / 10

 

Battlepaths

battlepaths

This is the epitome of your bog standard 99p-when-on-sale little diversion of a game.

It’s a sparse roguelike dungeon crawler. Sparse in terms of animation, sparse in terms of loot variety and sparse in terms of enemy types. There really is very little here that goes above and beyond. Having said that, it’s simple enough mechanically to warrant diving in for an hour or two occasionally and I must concede that it’s probably worth the price of admission.

Rating: Uh… I dunno, like, 4? / 10

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