It’s time to buy Bastion and Transistor Again
These games are worth another journey
A few weeks ago, Nintendo and Supergiant games announced that Bastion and Transistor would both release on Switch this fall. These games are two of the most beloved indie titles to ever come out, largely because of their beautiful art styles and moving soundtracks. I’ve played both games before, but their release on Switch is more than reason enough to revisit each world.
In some senses, these two games are vastly different. Bastion takes place in a ruined world that’s full of mystery and the unknown, the backdrop to a character trying to discover what happened and help his friends. Transistor focuses on a mix of strategy and real-time action within a deeply-moving story of two characters set in a science-fiction city. However, the games are also undeniably similar as well. They both have mesmerizing soundtracks, incredible voice acting, and both smartly use characters to narrate the events in ways that never feel cheap or gimmicky.
The most important attribute of these games is the care that the Supergiant puts into each one. This is evident throughout the writing, the acting, the music, and the art design, and the end result is a beautiful combination that ties all of these elements together and elevates them to something special. Playing through these titles reminds me of reading a good book, a compliment that I don’t give lightly and that (to me, at least) speaks volumes on the studio’s skill. After nearly 10 years as a studio, Supergiant’s developers and writers are among the best in the field.
I always hoped Bastion and Transistor would come to Switch, but this announcement still caught me as a surprise. Supergiant has ported these two games a to a variety of platforms before, but never seemed ready to jump on the Switch bandwagon. Given the small size of the studio, this reluctance makes sense. Porting games takes time and energy, and dedicating part of the studio to port old games means fewer people to focus on whatever comes next (which will surely be incredible).
It seems that the groundswell of popular demand finally caught Supergiant’s attention, though, since both Transistor and Bastion graced the last Nintendo Indies Showcase. Bastion releases on September 13 (that’s in two days!), while Transistor will come out on November 1. Supergiant released a blog post detailing both games’ journey, and it’s worth a read to see their own descriptions here.
Supergiant’s third game, Pyre, was absent from the announcements. Released in 2017, this game’s mix of science-fiction/fantasy storytelling, coupled with some of the most unique gameplay from any title in years, is the best of Supergiant’s trilogy in my opinion. Recognizing that announcements for its first two titles would only fuel speculation for the third, Supergiant preemptively responded to questions in its blog post anouncment:
P.S.: With Bastion and Transistor coming to the Switch, you might be wondering, what about our third and latest game, Pyre? The thing is, our games are built on our own custom tech so it’s not a small undertaking for us to bring them to new platforms. So, while we haven’t ruled anything out for the future, currently we don’t have plans to bring Pyre to other platforms. We appreciate the interest, and are looking forward to seeing the response to Bastion and Transistor on the Switch!
The words above are the final reason I’m buying Bastion and Transistor again (though I would already be doing so anyways). If these two titles do well enough on the eShop — which seems likely given the success of indie titles on the Switch and these games’ excellent reputation — a port of Pyre may be down the road as well. Nothing is guaranteed of course, but I’d love to see Supergiant’s third game on my Switch even more than its first two.
Ultimately though, I’m thrilled that Supergiant is finally putting its games on the Switch. Video games can fade away without the effort to preserve them, and a presence on Nintendo’s newest hardware means a new audience and a longer lifespan for these two incredible experiences. I don’t know what’s next for Supergiant, but I can’t wait to see these games again soon.