Platforms: Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Developers: Platinum Games
Bayonetta is sexy, over-the-top, unadulterated fun. It wraps up the old DMC design in a curvaceous new package, and enhances the flash factor by about 200%.
You play the game as Bayonetta, who is an Umbran Witch… a society of magic users who draw power from the moon, make pacts with demons, and watch over the dark half of the yin/yang balance that is ascribed to such games. On the other side of the pond are the Lumen Sages, their Light-watching counterparts that make pacts with Angels… who look just as demonic as the demons do.
For over a dozen hours, you trek your way through a convoluted mess of a story that has something to do with looking for a set of “eyes” that has something to do with watching over humanity and/or resurrecting the “creator.” Though you fight for the darkness, you always get the feeling that you’re still the good guy, because you’re constantly being attacked by angels at every turn, though none of them really tell you why, except for the occasional mentioning of Bayonetta not yet being strong enough. Strong enough for what, exactly? Well, you don’t really find that out until the last two chapters of the game, and even when you do, it still leaves you scratching your head, wondering what the hell actually happened, and why.
A witch’s work is never done
Fortunately, this game is not about the story. It’s about the pure baddassery you get to unleash on the heavenly host with extreme prejudice. Bayonetta has a plethora of combos, and a myriad of weapons you get to unlock as you progress through the story. But don’t worry about getting lost in the wake of it all, because while skillful use of the combat system is rewarded, button mashing and judicious use of the dodge button will still typically get you through most of the battles. And if you feel the desire to go back and improve your battle rankings, you can choose any chapter you previously played, and go through it again with everything you’ve already unlocked. To top off this sexy hack-and-slash sundae with a luscious cherry, not only is there a solid trophy lineup, but a plethora of unlockables, including harder difficulty modes, and special characters.
Yes, this is a bazooka. And yes, you get to strap it on your feet.
The PS3 version has, rightfully, gotten some bad press, concerning being subpar to the xbox360 version. Supposedly it has some extra screen tearing and frame rate drops that aren’t present in the 360 (a certain area on chapter 15 has its frame rate about cut in half). However, the differences overall are pretty minor, and with the recent addition of a patch allowing you to install Bayonetta to your PS3 hard drive, there are no longer any issues concerning excessive load times, which were originally the biggest concern for this port.
Overall, the game has its flaws, but it’s pure fun, on crack. It’s fast-paced, rewarding, and has a ton of replayability. And now with the recent install patch, the differences between the two versions are minor enough that there’s no excuse to skip over Bayonetta on the PS3, whether or not you’re a fan of this genre.