Bayonetta is a witch, one who uses her powers in the service of infernal beings. Her use of dark powers has sealed her fate, and by making her “living” as a bounty hunter of the celestial she can persist her existance on this plane. Much of her past is lost to her, so she lives in the moment a job at a time.
The controls are solid, tight, and responsive. My only issue is that I have played quite a number of games that could be seen as similar. Devil May Cry, God of War, Dante’s Inferno, and a few others fit the bill I’m certain. In all the examples above the controls are very similar. I am ashamed to admit it, but I found myself fighting the controls (primarily Evade) so much I had to turn down the difficulty. The fact there is a type of precision dodge called “Witch Time” incorporated into the gameplay made this a BIG deal.
Witch Time works akin to “Bullet Time” in other games and movies. In times of stress the action will slow down to give you a better grasp of it. Witch Time pulls the enemies into a general standstill, while allowing you your normal movement speed, allowing you to gain the upper hand. Working through the game for the first time I lacked much. Knowledge of the enemies, and a variety of weapon options. While you can shoot from afar, it takes a long while to kill things in this fashion. The place this posed a problem is where some enemies were on fire. As said, shooting from afar takes awhile, but melee was impossble since touching a burning foe damages you. Sliding into Witch Time “froze time” and for that “moment” the flames on your foes stilled allowing effective melee attacks. However, NEEDING to do this and not knowing the PRECISE moment to dodge to activate Witch Time was a challenge, which I sadly did not rise to. Coupled with the fact that the environment itself could harm you (lava boiling through the ground) it made executing a precision dodge tricky. I chose to “come back later” (see Replay Value) and try on the original difficulty later.
The inability to switch the controls, even a little, ate at me and did effect my enjoyment of the game to a degree. I wonder if the game would have handled as well was the scheme more to my liking.
I enjoyed the story. Akin to the games I mentioned, there isn’t a whole mess-o-depth. You play it through once, you’ve got what’s going on. It strikes me as a stand alone, but most games that are original are designed that way. Everything was wrapped up fairly well. I didn’t have any questions going through the game, but it didn’t stop with me asking “…but what about this?”
This game made me smile a lot. Not since Devil May Cry 3 do I recall a protagonist making me smile this much… perhaps on Brutal Legend. Devil May Cry 3 (no longer using DMC as that game will negate my use of the former abbreviation) and Brutal Legend were both unapologetic. Dante was brash and cocky, Eddie in Brutal Legend was truly a part of the metal world you ran him through. Our title heroine Bayonetta, likewise, is just herself. The world is a perfect fit for her, and you are given the power to prove how badassed they are. I enjoy that.
The word I use is “unapologetic”. In real life people don’t marginalize their actions. But they also don’t come up and go “I’m one cocky SoB” either. Eddie is all about the metal. Dante is the Son of Sparda. Bayonetta is a seductive tease. You just go with it.
The supporting cast feels a bit.. thrown together. The focus of these games is not story, so there isn’t much placed in the development of the characters.
-Rodin: The shopkeeper. His hard nosed attitude is… oddly paired by the odd phrases/homages from the one liners from when you enter his story.
-Luka: I know that it is unlikely that everyone in a world will be competent and confident. As such we have the “unrequited love interest”/comic relief in Luka. He’s actually a bit entertaining. A bit.
Cereza: Cute as a button. That is all.
As Devil May Cry had rankings, so does this game. If getting perfect scores matters, you’ll enjoy this aspect. I myself know that all your skills carry over playthrough to playthrough, stage to stage. Starting out learning the controls, when to dodge each specific attack (which I STILL don’t have down yet) will set you up to take on the touchier difficulties.
I mentioned before “coming back later”. Eventually, through successive playthroughs you should be able to find/buy everything, while retaining your status. This game lets you take any progress forward. Essentially, if you’ve done it/bought it you’re done with it for good. I like that.
Devil May Cry resounded in male vocals (at least 3 and 4 did). Bayonetta has female, and it works rather well. Not to say that it is like the character themselves is singing, but it does give a type of resonance.
Oh… this game gets excessive amounts of bonus points for integrating a song that I credit to Frank Sinatra making famous, “Fly Me To The Moon”. There are two or three remixes in the game, sung by Brenda Lee at least on one occasion, and one included in battles.
Upon beating the game there is a place to listen to all the songs in the game.
You are allowed to save as many files as your memory device will allow I do believe.
Overall, I enjoyed Bayonetta. It was a game I was looking forward to playing and the difficulty I found in it gives me something to perfect. This small trait is rare in some games I play, so it is a welcome change. Others that I mentioned (Devil May Cry, Dante’s Inferno, God of War) have similar styles. If you enjoyed them, Bayonetta may be to your liking.