Flash Review

“Are You A Good Witch, Or A Bad Witch?”

Bayonetta

Length: 05:58

Gameplay from Sega’s Bayonetta on the Xbox 360.


+ The Good - The Bad
+ Fast Combat
+ “Demonic” Weapons 
+ Space Harrier Stage
- Useless Upgrades
- Bad Dialogue
-Nothing But Combat
Jason “…Bayonetta is a stripped down Devil May Cry. … “

If games were to be judged on appearances and presentation, Bayonetta, would be a 10, hands down. Graphically, this game is impressive. All the locations are highly detailed and all the enemies, no matter what the size, share this same quality. These detailed visuals are almost a necessity with the super fast combat. Bayonetta ditches the block button and utilizes only a dodge technique. At first I was taken back at this, but constantly dodging enemy attacks and then countering makes for a fluid and seemingly endless string of attacks. To spice up the combat even more, an uptempo, techno style soundtrack was introduced, really getting the player into the action. Even the rendition of Sinatra’s Fly Me To The Moon is awesome as the game’s title track.

Decimating Angels is what Bayonetta does and that is all you will do in this game. As I mentioned earlier the combat is awesome, but there is nothing to do in between. Bayonetta is a series of mini-game like sequences, called verses. You will fight a group of enemies, then either solve a basic puzzle, perform some minor platforming, or just walk a little ways for the next fight (verse) or boss battle to finish the chapter. Seriously, there is nothing else to do. A short key fetch or go get this and bring it back would have been nice.

Between all the fighting is a terrible attempt to tell a bad story. I liked the stills, but the voice acting and convoluted story was so bad I only watched them for the sake of this review. I know the game has a ton of replay value and most players are going to skip them, but the cut scenes are awful. Anyway, if you kill yourself as a child, shouldn’t you be dead?

Bayonetta is a good game to start off the New Year, but not a blockbuster. Other than the amazing “eye candy” and unique “torture attacks” and “hair demons”, Bayonetta is a stripped down Devil May Cry. Having only two attack styles and useless upgrades, (other than transformations), this game is like training wheels preparing you for the big boys of the genre. Definitely worth a playthrough for its visuals alone, but not at the head of its class. The guys below me didn’t enjoy SEGA’s homage to Hang On and Space Harrier, but I loved them.


+ The Good - The Bad

+ Controls
+ Graphics
+ Presentation

- Story
- Overall Length
- Novelty Sequences

 

Todd “…Bayonetta is a very fun and addicting guilty pleasure …”

The new S+M Fetish-infused action game Bayonetta is a very fun and addicting guilty pleasure. Take all that is good about Devil May Cry, make combat better, give it beautiful visuals, solid controls, drape it all in sex, and you have the first fun game of 2010.

The story in Bayonetta leaves something to be desired. It seems very nonsensical and seems to try a little too hard to give what is already a good action game a deep story. In my eyes, the cut scenes were too long and drawn out, and the gameplay spoke for itself and didn’t need the confusing story.

On the other hand, graphically, Bayonetta was on top of its game with some very beautiful environments and gigantic bosses. Bayonetta also had a very poppy and interesting soundtrack that deviates from what we are used to in an action game, but seems to fit in perfectly and is accompanied by good all-round sound in the game. Controls for Bayonetta are spot on and easy to pick up for someone that may not be used to this type of game, but at the same time, it gives enough challenge and leaves veteran gamers with plenty of combos to master. The only problem I had with the controls were during the novelty sequences like riding a motorcycle or a missile.  They were too long and seemed like they were added just to split up the rest of the game. While not enough to ruin the mood or fun of the game, they just didn’t control as well or add anything to the experience.

Bayonetta is a solid addition to the action genre and a very fun game to play with all the different weapons to use and foes you will encounter. The very over-the-top, silly tone of the game makes it that much more fun to play. Along with its very stylistic combos and execution moves, this tongue-in-cheek game carves out its own spot in the genre. Bayonetta has some shortcomings, but is a very fun and different experience that should not be missed.


+ The Good - The Bad
+ All around  style
+ Combat  system
+ Groovy soundtrack

- Long & lame cut-scenes
- Short battles
- A little easy

Aaron “…an awesome way to start off the New Year…”

When creating Bayonetta, director Hideki Kamiya pretty much took from every great action game to date - God of War, Ninja Gaiden, and even his own Devil May Cry. Not that this is a bad thing, really. All the aforementioned games are easily the pinnacle of the action genre. And for the most part, Kamiya and team do a nice job injecting Bayonetta with its own completely bizarre originality.

The game’s fresh technodance soundtrack and the “hooker” style aura Bayonetta gives off are the first things “witch” come to mind. It’s not often a character gets half-naked and performs an S&M finishing attack on an enemy – all while a crazy technodance soundtrack plays in the background. These things alone should make Bayonetta a worthy purchase, but it’s the game’s awesome combat scheme (which doesn’t feature a block button) that gives Bayonetta its true value.

Not blocking means you’re forced to dodge enemy attacks all of the time. Time your dodge perfect, and you’ll activate “Witch Time” slowing down enemies to a standstill and allowing you to perform some pretty flashy combos. With this new scheme, combat always feels fresh.

As far as the negatives, the game’s 16 chapters are fairly short and feel more like “challenges” than actual chapters or levels. Although there are a ton of unlockables, never once does exploring actually feel like you’re doing so. It’s more like fight a big battle – walk 50 feet ahead – fight another battle – and so on.

One thing Bayonetta didn’t take from other games (especially God of War) was a decent story. I was lost, and could care less about the “Angels vs. Demons” story Bayonetta was telling by the second chapter. I just wanted to skip and get back to the action. Despite these flaws, Bayonetta still offers enough with its replay, combat, and overall style to keep action fans “in the mood”. Not to mention an awesome way to start off the New Year.

     
   
     
 

Bayonetta

Publisher: Sega
Developer: Platinum Games
Genre: 3rd Person Action
Release Date:  01/05/2010
ESRB: Mature