So it turns out that thanks to the Humble Bundles, I have not played over 80% of my Steam library. I figure that now's a good time as any to start chipping away at it. Games ain't going to play themselves, right?
Bastion was released about 2 years ago, and was a darling of the indie gaming movement at the time. It's been sitting in my Steam library for a few months. This is one of the most unique games I've played of late. Its art direction is bright, colorful, hand-painted, and... isometric. It has been ages since a game has come out with proper isometric view, and not just a floating camera overhead. I also like how when you are going into new areas, things pop and fly into place (as shown).
In Bastion, you play as "The Kid": someone rather nameless and ultimately, unimportant. The game starts out with him waking up and finding his whole world falling apart. He eventually finds "The Stranger", who has been narrating this whole time. Over time, you build the Bastion, a flying fortress home, and explore the world. You come across two other characters, who don't really say too much. The narration was almost universally praised as being "cool". The bits that are spoken are short, and just the right length to not feel like your time has been wasted. It also is done intelligently, as if he's commenting on what the kid is doing. I think the whole idea was OK, but I don't mind reading volumes of text if and when I am interested in story exposition.
The gameplay and combat seems solid enough for a 5 hour game. I suppose that belongs in the dungeon crawler genre. There's challenges and a few arena areas, along with the normal storyline, which are quite involved if you bother with those. The soundtrack is also amazing. Thanks to the Humble Bundle, I already had it. I dug it up and was immediately included in my collection.
I liked it all. It's sort of like Portal: short and to the point, but you can dig into it if you want to hang around.