Developer: Platinum Games
Player(s): Single Player
Release Date: (NA) January 5, 2010 (JP) October 29, 2010 (EU) January 8, 2010
Platform(s): Xbox 360 (also on PS3)
One of 2010′s most anticipated games is finally upon us. It is one of the few games to receive a perfect 10 from notorious reviewer Famitsu and a promise to revolutionize the action genre of gaming. So when it all comes down to it, is Bayonetta a burning hot example of gaming excellence or just a Devil May Cry clone?
Bayonetta’s story takes place in a city known as Vigrid, a fictional city within Europe. You play the role of a shape-shifting witch known as Bayonetta who wakes up from a 500 year slumber in an unknown place with no memory of who she is. Over the 500 years however, she has managed to remember small details of what put her in this situation. 500 years before the incident that caused Bayonetta’s memory loss, there were two factions of warriors known as the Umbra Witches, who are followers of darkness and their counterparts, the Lumen Sages, who are followers of light. Both groups mysteriously disappeared from Vigrid under unknown circumstances.
I’ll start the review off by discussing the graphics and overall presentation of Bayonetta. The game’s graphics are incredibly well detailed and very gorgeous in basically every aspect. The story is told through a mix of entertaining and high quality cutscenes and an odd film strip style where the characters don’t actually move but they still talk.
Bayonetta herself as you probably already realize is very easy on the eyes, so much so that it can actually be distracting when she starts pulling off some of her crazy moves. Thanks to the easy to learn control system you can pull off said crazy moves with just one hand if you set the control scheme up that way. Just pressing the B and Y buttons in different combination will allow Bayonetta to move in ways that put Dante and Kratos to shame. Dodging an enemy’s attack at the last minute will also activate a feature known as “Witch Time.” In Witch Time, the gameplay slows down and the enemies become easier to hit, evade and destroy but it only lasts for a few moments.
The voice acting is also very well done with the exception of a really annoying Joe Pesci wannabe who I just wanted to throw a vehicle at to shut him up. Thankfully he isn’t really in the game all that much so you can rest assured that your ear drums will remain intact. Bayonetta’s voice actress does a great job at making her character seem strong yet sensual and seductive all at the same time. The script is unbelievably cheesy in every aspect but the over the top action moments and cutscenes all blend together to make it work in a fun and exciting way and did you really expect a game with a concept like Bayonetta’s to be anything different?
Going back to the gameplay, Bayonetta has the ability to transform into multiple animals such as a panther, bird and a flock of bats which all have special abilities which are useful for different tasks and obstacles. She also have the ability to pull off some pretty brutal “Torture Moves” that can be used to finish off or brutally damage an enemy. Nothing screams pain like being slammed into an iron maiden.
There are a ton of gameplay features but instead of spoiling it all for you I will just say that it is a mix of sexy and utterly brutal which I never thought I’d be able to say about a game. Bayonetta isn’t flawless however. The game did suffer from a moment of slowdown in my playthrough but it only lasted for a small section. Also, game length might be an issue for people. I am near the end of the game at the time of this review and I have only been playing for a total of around 5 hours. The game does feature plenty of items to collect and a ranking system to act as replay value though. Plus the game is fun enough that you will want to play it again anyway.
In closing I’ll say that Bayonetta is an over the top, cheesy, sexy and brutal action fest that will please any fans of games like God of War or Devil May Cry. It has very few flaws and the few flaws that it does have are not noticeable. Definitely worth a rental but I don’t know about a purchase due to the relatively short story.
- Gorgeous graphics, set pieces and cutscenes
- Over the top and exciting action
- Ridiculous yet well done voice acting
- Genuinely funny when it wants to be
- Easy to play
- Intriguing story if you don’t mind the comedy and cheesy moments in between