Just realized that I hadn’t reviewed Bayonetta since I got it.
Preface: I downloaded the demo and was wowed, I hadn’t bought a video game in a while, let alone an action game in many years. So I got it, now here’s the review.
Action games. They are a mainstay of video games since the beginning, with River City Ransom, Double Dragon, etc., but always hard to get right. There are so many things to take into account from gameplay, graphics, the look, feel, control, story and so on.
Bayonetta gets the important ones right, but does lack in other departments.
The world of Bayonetta is described as one where light and dark are forces keeping each other and the world in balance. The angels are light, and witches are dark. Bayonetta is a witch. At some point, there was a war and it was thought that all witches had been killed, but Bayonetta lives.
Now she is killing a ton of angels to find out about her past because she can’t remember any details.
Kidna of a cool otherworldly story. In truth, it is kinda of disjointed and doesn’t always make sense. No points awarded here.
Graphics wise, the game does pretty well. Not mindblowing, not game changing, but definately next gen and still very good. There are a few times where the game has small glitches and the screen twitches, but it doesn’t happen during the action and doesn’t get in the way or prevent you from playing the game, it just gets annoying at some points of the game. There are pretty good cut scenes throughout the game, but then there are these storyboard things that they used to move the story forward that aren’t cut scenes. It’s like a comic book where the person’s hair moves, and that’s it. There’s a picture of the person talking, the hair moving, and dialogue. It’s kinda creepy and kinda crappy that they didn’t just make them all real cut scenes.
They would lose points for that, except I don’t really care. The cut scenes and storyboard scenes do move the story along and work well enough without feeling totally out of place. Then there’s the plus side of the action.
The important part of the game’s graphics happen during the fight/action scenes. The scenery look and design is very nice without going crazy or mindblowing, but the graphics more than keep up during fight scenes and work flawlessly. From fighting 5 angels at the same time, to fighting monsters the size of a blimp, the graphics never stutter or chop and all the characters have great looking moves and animations. Check this fight out, it’s what you see on a regular basis, this was just a pretty normal enemy for the game. Bayonetta absolutely get the graphics right when it matters, which is the second most important thing to get right for an action game.
It’s over the top with the removing of clothes and such, but it is entertaining and doesn’t feel too out of place.
The control is the most important thing to me for an action game, and Bayonetta get this right also. There is a combo systems built into the game that compromises of punch, kick, and gun/action, then combined with a dodge button. It seems simple, but is difficult to master, and gets even more in depth when you find out different techniques. The coolest one to me is the ability to start a combo, dodge an attack from another enemy mid-combo, go into “witch-time” (more on that shortly), then continue your combo and inflict tons of damage, looking awesome the whole time. These are really hard manuvers but it never feels impossible, just challlenging. The only let down is the camera, as it can be a liability at times being in the right place at the wrong time when the action gets real hairy. Controlling it with the right stick while completing the combo/dodge can be a pain and will result in a few deaths, but it doesn’t happen too often to really affect the overall game.
Then there’s witch-time. It’s nothing more than bullet time in other games, and it is activated by timing your dodge right as an enemy attacks, as you avoid it, the enemies go into slow motion and you can dish out as much damamge as you can in the few seconds given to you. It becomes a real challenge when there are 4-5 enemies at varying ranges attacking head on and at range to avoid these attacks.
So, I love this game. It is a definate buy for me. If you aren’t a fan of the weird story, over the top costume and moves, then you’re looking for an RPG to play, not an action game. It’s all about the feel and look during the action, and Bayonetta nail this in every aspect.
-FYI I have the Xbox 360 version, I read that the PS3 version isn’t as good and has a few slowdowns but not during the action, I would still buy it for the PS3 if that was the case.