It’s the year 2013 and a small child is still browsing Youtube before the first adpocalypse. Gaming makes people money, Minecraft is the king of the platform, and the kid still wants to be an animator. I took to watching more “adult” content creators. Most notably the now famed Juan Oritz, some call him Johnny, about to begin his indie game marathon. Something his fanbase had widely requested of him. Especially in the wake of the Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter.

I had never played most of the games he looked at. I did enjoy me some Minecraft, but it’s Minecraft in 2013. Of course, I played Minecraft. He looked at some of the most popular indies at the time, and some more hidden gems. Among these games was Bastion. I enjoyed his review and wanted to play the game. I didn’t have a PC that could run the Steam client, so I was screwed.

The thumbnail to the review in specific. Explicit credit to Johnny for the image.

Cut to 2019 a drastic shift in landscape. Among this, all is my change in hobby. As I became a writer for IndieGamerTeam. I wanted to build a block of reviews that I’d post one after another. I was inspired by the “Steven Bomb” format, but I digress. I was going to review Castle Crashers, but I ran into some issues with it. By that I mean I don’t have friends I can regularly hang out with… even to this day. So I needed to find something to replace it quickly.

I had long since started on my little block of reviews. I was in the middle of writing a review on Crypt of the Necrodancer. When I was inspired to go back and look at Johnny’s indie marathon. His videos still give me nostalgia, and I was suffering some writers block. He especially inspired the way that I write my reviews now. When I feel stuck, I go visit some of his content. Even with more recent stuff.

I got to the Bastion review of his. It was a fine piece of content from so long ago. It’s been long enough since I’ve watched any of the marathon that it all felt semi-fresh to me. I remembered some jokes, but not much explicitly popped out at me. Bastion felt completely new, I know I had watched it. I even found my old comments from an abandoned account down below the video. Bastion happened to be on sale for just over a dollar.

Used this image in my Bastion review for IGT. Still like these screenshots.

It wasn’t what I’d consider an “indie all-star”, the types of games I was looking for, but something tugged at me. So I bought it with gold points and gave it a shot. Not too familiar with American made RPGs, but I was open to it. I was absolutely floored by the title. Everything about it entranced me, made me wonder why I had never played it. How I completely forgot about it.

The ambient soundtrack, the visuals, the story and everything else you could think of. I loved it all. The game has it’s downer moments, every title does, but they were so few and far between. It’s not often I play games multiple times. Let alone the three I’ve revisited Bastion. I don’t think I can top my original review, but I also think I can say a lot more about it.

Bastion is a weird game to choose for a favorite. Not just Game of the Year either. If I could’ve chosen Bastion for it, I would’ve. I have a bad habit of ignoring my favorite games of the year until a few years later. I cheated with Spyro, and Mario Odyssey last year. Blaster Master Zero 2 is definitely fitting for my GOTY prize, but it doesn’t hold me as tightly as Bastion.

My friends were floored when I told them my thoughts. This game beats Smash, Mario Kart DS, Sonic 3, Mega Man 5, and many other titles I love as, not just my Game of the Decade but, my favorite game of all time. That’s a hefty title for an indie, any indie, especially as someone so into AAA games.

I think those who have started following me through my journey writing expect to find a die-hard indie supporter. I’ll advocate them from here evermore, but I wasn’t someone who looked to play indies. No indie had previously grabbed my attention. Only Minecraft, before being bought by Microsoft, which is still near and dear to my heart. But never something I would be content with only ever playing it again.

If you’ve not read my extensive catalog at IGT you may do so here.

Bastion isn’t close to what I would consider a “perfect” game. What is the “perfect game” in my opinion? Well, in my opinion, it doesn’t exist, but for what I’ve played, Super Mario World and Minecraft come incredibly close. Game of the decade is hard because everyone expects these big blockbusters. Someone to answer Skyrim! or Mario Galaxy 2!

There is a lot of hype to the title. Yet the title is entirely held within opinion. Your game of the decade, or favorite game of all time, is simply your choice. I think we should reevaluate things like GOTY. Because they’ve too often become about review scores and public opinion. Not about the personal aspect. Review scores have their place. Yet I’m not sure so many should be putting that emphasis on it.

I’ve spent an incredibly long time telling you all a story that doesn’t really matter. Oh wow, the kid was inspired by some grand content creator to look at game, what’s it matter? I think you should make more decisions like GOTY based on what you enjoyed most. If you have to break the norm? Break it. Nobody will care that much in the long haul. If they do, they probably still fight as Stormtroopers in the console war.

These decisions and awards should be more personal. Of course for things like The Video Game Awards they can’t be. Big shows make sense to have public and private voting. I absolutely don’t wish to imply otherwise. Especially TGA with its boisterous industry announcements.

Don’t let people tell you what is qualified for GOTY. Don’t let public opinion tell you that “the game doesn’t deserve GOTY”. If you have found a Bastion of your own, savor it. Special gems like that don’t come around very often. Maybe if you can think of a game that fits you like Bastion did my story, go try it. Who knows what you’ll think?

You can watch Johnny’s video at this link. Definitely still worth it.
My review of Bastion is up for all of you to read right here.