Video Game Review: Bayonetta

Bayonetta-box-artDeveloper(s): Platinum Games, Nex Entertainment, Bee Tribe

Publisher(s): Sega, Nintendo

Platform(s): PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U

Genre(s): 3rd Person Action, hack and slash

Game Mode(s): Single-player

Release Date: October 29, 2009

Rating: M – Mature

JD Shep’s Game Fly Rental Review Summer Extravaganza #9 was originally posted as a Facebook note on 08/16/2010. Minor changes were made to the content and format.

Ninth on the list from Game Fly was “Bayonetta” for the Xbox 360.

Bayonetta” is single-player 3rd person action game. This comes from the makers of the “Devil May Cry” series so there is a lot of similarities in game play, but improvements at the same time. There are 5 levels of difficulty, and I played on the easiest difficulty: Very Easy. This difficulty and the one above it, Easy, allows for auto lock-on and the ultimate button mashing experience.

Personal Stats:
I unlocked 17 of 50 achievements for 235 points out of 1000 points.

Quick Synopsis (ok, maybe not quick):
bayonetta-3
You play as an Umbran Witch, named [insert drum roll here…] Bayonetta. This character was modeled after a professional exotic dancer with sensors on her body (in every spot imaginable it seems) for the Motion Capture animation. This game’s enemies and allies are based loosely around religion, but I am going to be honest I am not sure which one. As a witch you get your powers from the darkness. You have several different special attacks that come from Bayonetta’s hair which also doubles as clothing. When she summons her darkness magic her hair/clothing turns into different demonic creatures and they do some over-the-top, gruesome attacks. This brings me to the fact you are fighting ‘Angels’. I will be honest, I was skeptic of even playing this game, but I was convinced to play it by several gamers. That’s right I am behind on playing games apparently. These angels are nothing that I have read about, and are honestly quite weird looking. That being said, I got over it and played the game.

bayonetta2You are armed with witch time (slow down time), upgradable melee attacks, upgradable guns on your hands and feet, over the top torture attacks (throw an enemy into a device that came out of nowhere and kill them with a lot of brutality), when the moon is full you can walk on walls & ceilings, and you have the ability to change into different animals. You are also ‘armed’ with a teasing / taunting button. *WARNING* you can get carried away with the ‘LB’ button. I unfortunately was not warned, and I had to buy a new controller. You have an ally named Rodin who owns a bar, Gates of Hell, in Vigrid. Rodin sells you attack upgrades, abilities, weapons, etc. utilizing Halos or LPs that you found throughout the game. Vigrid is a fictional city within Europe and is where the story takes place and also where you are from originally.

OK, so the basic story, huh? Well let me tell you…this game kept me so confused throughout the whole thing it gave me a headache, but of course this game is about the action and not the story. Let me take a stab at this story line.

Bayonetta was born of an Umbran Witch mother and a Lumen Sage father, but was brought up learning the arts of witchcraft. Umbran Witches followed the path of darkness and the Lumen Sages followed the path of the light. Unfortunately during a fallen out the Witches and Sages started a war and all but a few are gone.

You have been locked away for 500 years and your memory is a little stale. There is another witch that you encounter from time to time that jogs certain memories and flashbacks and come to find out…..SPOILER ALERT…..ok I won’t say. You are searching for ‘Eyes of the World’ and fighting angelic forces in Purgatorio (Purgatory), the place in between Paradiso (Heaven) and Inferno (Hell). While in Purgatorio you are not seen by humans, although any environmental destruction that occurs or bullets fired, the humans notice it. This can be entertaining. Through this hunt you encounter different levels of angels and bosses.

Jubileus_Lightning_ElementBayonetta is protecting a little girl which later on she finds out is…SPOILER ALERT…still not going to tell. Then there is this journalist, Luka, which is stalking her and trying to her expose her as a witch because he believes she killed his father. Boy are there some twists and turns in this story. Then you get to the ultimate twist at the end…OMG. Fight that boss, and then you think the game is done, but noooooo you have to fight that boss again that has doubled in power in hopes to awaken Jubileus, the Creator. Then you think it is done, but nooooooooooo. You have to fight Jubileus in outer space. Then you think it is done, but noooooo then you have to go back to Earth and fight along the way. This game is left open for a sequel.

Pros:
Graphics:
1) Graphics were phenomenal in game play and cinematics although apparently I cannot say the same for the PS3 version according to others.

Audio:
2) The soundtrack was a little repetitive at times, but I would have to say quite enjoyable.

3) The dialogue had some humor thrown in. I giggled from time to time.

Game Play: 
4) So as I mentioned earlier this game is all about the game play experience and boy is it there. I enjoyed the heck out of this game. The sequences that you could stream together along with the torture attacks and finishing moves were amazing. I cannot say enough about that.

5) Repeat playability. You can keep the upgrades you previously did the next round through. So the harder it gets the more powerful you have already become. Awesome.

Cons:
Story:
1) As mentioned earlier I was confused by the story line. There was so much going on, I couldn’t keep up.

Game Play: 
2) The one down fall, and it may just be me because I am an amateur gamer, is that when I try to do a certain move or combo I couldn’t get the one I wanted. There is a lot that goes on in game play, and I may have just resorted to button mashing.

Graphics:
3) The cut scenes were static film strips, which I can understand why they did this, but I still don’t have to like it.

Conclusion:
I did not feel that Bayonetta was necessarily evil; the game did not portray her that way. The game portrayed her as a woman that kicks some major @$$, and she did. I see a lot of play through potential with the different difficulty levels, and the fact that you can keep your upgrades after you beat the game. Which you cannot in a lot of games (If I could have done that in “Star Wars The Force Unleashed” and “Batman Arkham Asylum” I would have played those more already.) I will rate this as a 4) On Sale.

Thanks for Playin’!

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