BAYONETTA REVIEW (XBOX360)

Allow me to start by saying that this game is very hard to explain to someone who hasn’t played it before. While it follows the tried-and-true formula of a 3rd person button-mashing beat ’em up, that’s where the similarities between Bayonetta and conventional games cease. It’s both frustrating and bewildering; utterly insane and POSSIBLY satirical, because I can’t imagine anyone actually creating these characters and taking them seriously. To experience Bayonetta is to jump headfirst into the rabbit hole, and to come out unscathed requires talent and the ability to suspend your disbelief.

Pros

Bayonetta is simultaneously the best game to get for someone new to 3rd-person action games and the worst. It’s the best because of its simple control scheme, less-is-more tutorial, and the fact that you can even practice combat in the loading screens. Combos are generally made up of nothing but Y, B, and slight pauses in button-pressing, and even if you don’t learn each and every combo you can probably do alright just by alternating between those two buttons in a random fashion when you want to kill something.

I want to say a little more about this game’s combat, because it’s certainly the best thing this game has to offer. The combat system is extremely fluid, allowing the player to interrupt a combo at any point to dodge or fire a weapon… And then pick up the combo again right where they left off. Bayonetta rewards memory and reflexes. If you have a good head for remembering button combos you’ll be dishing out intense damage and racking up points. If you’ve got reflexes, you can always dodge just in the nick of time and activate Witch Time, which temporarily slows your enemies to a crawl.

Finally, the in-game graphics are really amazing. The enemy designs are extremely imaginative and Bayonetta’s attacks are even more so, featuring massive stiletto heel-clad feet that drop from the sky and crush your enemies as an example of what takes place during a garden-variety combo. The scenery is also very pretty, but usually it will take a backseat to the intensity of combat.

Cons

Remember how I said that this game is also the WORST for 3rd-person action newbies? Well, as soon as you’re finished the prologue you’ll start to realize why. This game is hard. Like, Ninja Gaiden hard. If you play on Normal you WILL die, probably several times. As if the battles weren’t hard enough, there’s also those pesky cutscenes with timed button-pushing sequences that kill you instantly if you miss a single button. Once you’ve managed to drag yourself through the level after dying multiple times, the game spits in your face by giving you a ranking, usually the equivalent of the “You Suck” award. (Known as the “Stone Award” in Bayonetta)

Now, maybe it’s just that I’m not big on Japanese culture… But I think this game’s plotline, music, and characters all leave much to be desired. If you’re a fan of anime you’ll probably worship this game, but if you’re not then all of the elements I mentioned above will just leave a bad taste in your mouth. The story and characters are extremely zany and over-the-top, and I get the overall feeling that they’re all style and no substance. As for the music… Well, just listen to Bayonetta’s cover of “Fly Me to The Moon” and you’ll find that your desire for self-injury increases exponentially for every second it plays.

Here’s the deal

If you like 3rd-person action games, Bayonetta is for you. If you like 3rd-person action games and anime this game is ESPECIALLY for you. Whether you’re an anime-lover or not, however, you’re going to have to deal with a steep learning curve and a great deal of frustration as you struggle to survive through an entire level. One thing that everyone can appreciate is the highly-polished combat and the truly mind-blowing special attacks in Bayonetta, and for those of you with no interest in its crazy plot a rent is advisable, if only to experience the combat. Mike D. 8/10

Here’s another deal

To me Bayonetta is the best action game around. Period.  The developers took what people loved about Devil May Cry and doubled it in terms of both style and substance.  Two areas in which Bayonetta truly shines are the fighting system and level design. This game leaves other action games in the dust by its sheer versatility.  Tons of different ground and air combos, a variety of melee and projectile weapons, animal transformations, special attacks, finishing moves the list goes on and on.  The game also really surprised me with it’s level design.  From environment changing portals, to fighting enemies on the wall and ceiling, to heavenly levels with energy paths that feel like a roller-coaster of twists and turns, Bayonetta just really pushes the evolope of what gamers should expect from future action titles. The music may turn some off for it’s cheesy jazz and gothic inspirations, but it fits the “campy witch” design of the character and old Sega players may recognize the “Bayonettaized” re-dux of classic Sega game music. My only true complaint is a complaint attached to many good action games. The camera.  Many times you’ll be blocked by large enemies in front of you and basically have to trust in your combo input and hope your hitting something. That can be frustrating to gamers new to the genre. I agree with the Mike D. in that those not into anime or Japanese culture may not appreciate the games plotline and characters, but if you survived the plot of DMC 4 then this is definitely a step up comparatively. I also like the fact that this game and the developers weren’t afraid to poke fun and not take itself too seriously. It’s exciting to see games like this dropping so early in the year.  It raises the bar for other developers but tells the gaming community that the year 2010 is the year of Bayonnetta.

Nigel 9/10

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~ by consolecreatures on January 21, 2010.

2 Responses to “BAYONETTA REVIEW (XBOX360)”

  1. […] Bayonetta w/second opinion Link: https://consolecreatures.wordpress.com/2010/01/21/bayonetta-review-xbox360/ […]

  2. you have convinced me to first try a rent of Bayonetta but sounds good anyway thanks

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