Transistor Review - Red Red Fine

Jimothy Sterling

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Apr 18, 2011
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Transistor Review - Red Red Fine

A game that hides behind its style, but certainly succeeds in its own weird way.

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Uriel_Hayabusa

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I was ambivalent towards "Bastion" even though I could appreciate some of the things it did or tried to do. I'll be waiting for a discount for this as well.
 

AdagioBoognish

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Nov 5, 2013
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Cool! Thanks for the review, I think I'm going to check this one out today. The song in the trailer was what got me interested in Transistor, so I'm glad to hear the tunes are pretty solid throughout the game. I just finished reading Neuromancer a few weeks back and have been wanting to play something that has a little scifi, dystopian future kind of mood going on.
 

crackfool

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Mar 13, 2010
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Ugh, I know Jim Sterling brings in a lot of Mountain Dew ad revenue, but can we get a more competent writer? Preferably someone who doesn't come out with such a shallow reading, and bashed Bastion for not being a AAA zombie QTE game?
 

Steve2911

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May 3, 2010
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"As far as I'm concerned, Bastion was an okay game, a decent little title that consisted mostly of recycled ideas and possessed of a quality found in most browser-based free-to-play games."

Alright. I'll get the shotgun, someone else can take him out back. *Wipes away tears*
 

-Dragmire-

King over my mind
Mar 29, 2011
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Aww, it kinda hurts to hear you that about Bastion as if my feelings toward it were misguided by the pretty sounds and pictures. It was a simple hack n' slash with a story that was a small glimpse of the world through the viewpoint of a select few characters, but the ending was so powerful for me.

Wait a minute, what art of any medium isn't a manipulation of the audiences emotions? Is it just the mechanics that weren't developed enough that made you feel that the devs hid that weakness behind the visual and sound design?

I suppose I just like the game too much that trying to understand your viewpoint is harder than it should be. That being said, I appreciate the inclusion of your view of Bastion in relation to the Transistor review. From what I'm reading, I'll likely love it as I did Bastion. I'm sure people who found Bastion less enjoyable will really find your review far more useful to gauge their purchasing decision.
 

mjharper

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Apr 28, 2013
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crackfool said:
Ugh, I know Jim Sterling brings in a lot of Mountain Dew ad revenue, but can we get a more competent writer? Preferably someone who doesn't come out with such a shallow reading, and bashed Bastion for not being a AAA zombie QTE game?
Um, are you sure you read the review? Because that is emphatically NOT what Jim said. I don't recall him ever praising AAA zombie QTE games, even if he does like Call of Duty.
 

Barciad

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Apr 23, 2008
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Kid wakes up; finds his whole world has gone to hell. Thought he knew a thing or two; now he's not so sure. It all seemed so simple; everybody liked Bastion. That was one thing he could rely on. Now he knows that ain't the case. So what does the kid do know? He takes his trusted hammer and buries in the mean ol' critic's skull. That should teach him a thing or two.
 

Kyogissun

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Jan 12, 2010
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crackfool said:
Ugh, I know Jim Sterling brings in a lot of Mountain Dew ad revenue, but can we get a more competent writer? Preferably someone who doesn't come out with such a shallow reading, and bashed Bastion for not being a AAA zombie QTE game?
Ladies and gents, this is what happens when you don't read the entirety of a review and just make a knee jerk reaction. You miss things in the very piece of work you're criticizing and then come off looking rather foolish...

That aside, I'm fucking loving this game so far. Only an hour in so far though, but it's pretty fantastic. The description of 'depressing' could not be more spot on, but I'd actually go one step forward and say this game has an air of horror and tragedy. Challenging first boss fight that pushed me to my limits and had me putting up with the overload mechanic, but I managed to work around it.

For what it's worth, here's some advice I'm gonna throw out to people planning to play the game later. Do not hesitate to use abilities in REAL TIME. You don't ALWAYS need to Load(). Attack as much as you can and when the moment comes where the enemy is close by and about to fuck your shit up, then use Load() to get in a backstab or piercing attack and run away either with Jaunt, Mask or both. Don't rely JUST on Load() or there's a good chance you'll Overload faster than you would have if you'd attacked from a distance or rushed enemies that can't handle CQC.

It's definitely going to feel familiar to fans of Bastion, but those little slices of 'ambience' that were more scattered throughout Bastion are easily more plentiful so far. And if you loved the way Bastion kicks off, Transistor's gonna throw you for even more of a loop.
 

Baresark

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Dec 19, 2010
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I don't know... I knew that they would be purposely vague about the overall story and what's going on based on the trailers. Jim just confirmed that and that is something I don't like. But I may still want to check it out at some future point. I love Darren Korb's soundtracks though.
 

Anaphyis

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Jun 17, 2008
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crackfool said:
Ugh, I know Jim Sterling brings in a lot of Mountain Dew ad revenue, but can we get a more competent writer? Preferably someone who doesn't come out with such a shallow reading, and bashed Bastion for not being a AAA zombie QTE game?
And what would you do with a competent writer when entry level writing already goes over your head? Or is that the new smart-sounding-but-ultimately-meaningless insult to throw at anyone who doesn't share your revery about teh best game evar? What, was "troll" getting old?
 

RedDeadFred

Illusions, Michael!
May 13, 2009
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Barciad said:
Kid wakes up; finds his whole world has gone to hell. Thought he knew a thing or two; now he's not so sure. It all seemed so simple; everybody liked Bastion. That was one thing he could rely on. Now he knows that ain't the case. So what does the kid do know? He takes his trusted hammer and buries in the mean ol' critic's skull. That should teach him a thing or two.
This had me laughing.

OT: So basically, since I thought Bastion was a masterpiece (don't understand how it could be accused of style over substance but whatever) and was one of my favourite games of last gen, this should be even better to me? This is excites me greatly.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Apr 18, 2011
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I hate to sound like a pretentious douchebag but Bastion worked on the level of being "an experience", i think for many it transcended it's mechanics and became something more than the sum of it's parts; a game that really contented with people on an emotional[footnote] Emotions emotions emotions emotions- Emotions emotions emotions emotions![/footnote] level. If Transistor can pull that off just as well then i don't see me not loving this one too. Sometimes you just want a game that will take you on a journey. If it can manage that then the flaws don't matter, it communicated with you on a deeper level and that can be a very rare thing.

Sometimes we just don't see eye to eye with Jim's scores. I thought Bastion did so much right, especially with it's use of music, that it overcame the limitations it had. But you know, maybe he's right about Transistor i don't know I've not payed it yet. He gave a 6.5/10 to bastion (and a 6/10 to The Witcher 2 but everyone has talked enough about that) so i guess this is going to be another case of "Everyone in the World except Jim sterling"

aaaaaand that's actually why i like Jim. He's not afraid to say "Well actually i respect it but i didn't love it personally". I can certainly see his point of view in these cases. If a game doesn't do it for you it doesn't do it for you. It might be easier to cop out and give darling games a good score to pretend you 'got it' like everyone else but i always feel like i get the honest subjective truth from Jim. And you have to realize that is what ALL reviews ultimately are, subjective. There is no other truth except how you felt about a game. Not being afraid to score low even if that does not line up with the popular opinion, that takes a lot of editorial guts.
 

Alfador_VII

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Nov 2, 2009
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Jim's ratings don't seem to match the reviews a lot of the time, he was very positive about this throughout and gave it 3.5 stars. and he was pretty ambivalent about Wolfenstein and also gave it 3.5
 

Absolutionis

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Sep 18, 2008
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If Sterling thought Bastion was mediocre and yet had positive and comparable things to say about Transistor, I'm pretty sure I'm going to love Transistor.
 

Serious Business

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Feb 11, 2013
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Scrumpmonkey said:
I hate to sound like a pretentious douchebag but Bastion worked on the level of being "an experience", i think for many it transcended it's mechanics and became something more than the sum of it's parts; a game that really contented with people on an emotional[footnote] Emotions emotions emotions emotions- Emotions emotions emotions emotions![/footnote] level. If Transistor can pull that off just as well then i don't see me not loving this one too. Sometimes you just want a game that will take you on a journey. If it can manage that then the flaws don't matter, it communicated with you on a deeper level and that can be a very rare thing. .
thank you very much! This also was , what I completely missed in this review.

I feel very strong toward Bastion, as it "manipulated" me just in the right way to make me experience an incredible journey. To this day it stands as one of the best games of all time to me.
And from what I've been able to play from transistor by now, it does exactly the same thing, even a bit better. Supergiant games delivers an experience, not a game. Now, of course this experience is not for everyone, and some people might not enjoy it as much as I do, but for people like me this game might be just a pure punch of emotions to the face.
 

weirdee

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Apr 11, 2011
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While "Bastion" may not be the best thing ever, nor a life changing experience, I did enjoy it for what it was: a game where I get to hit and shoot things while a guy with a gravelly voice followed me around. It executed the things it was clearly trying to do with a degree of precision that I wish more games had, and I'm not entirely sure if all this stuff about people finding it overrated or the best thing ever is just them projecting on the game itself, or people reacting to those projections and then subsequently allowing it to mar their perspective of the game.

Game didn't make a huge fucking deal about itself, really. That's all I gotta say.
 

Vault101

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Sep 26, 2010
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I have already bought the game (left over steam credit) but I was kind of"eh" about it...I mean bastion is one of those games where "I can see why people like this but I have little desire to play it myself"

this feel sot me like...a game thats automatically going to get very high praise yet I might not like it...it might be a bit too "artsy" for me, particually being vauge in its presentation of the story

but my download is almost finished so I'll see....
 

Winthrop

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Apr 7, 2010
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weirdee said:
Game didn't make a huge fucking deal about itself, really. That's all I gotta say.
Really? I thought it made a Supergiant deal. (Sorry i had to).

Bastion is my favorite game due to its art, music, and the writings way to come together and tell such a memorable story coupled with fun but simple gameplay. Hoping transistor will do the same.