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Jahanzeb Khan
07 Jan, 2010

Bayonetta Review

360 Review | Everyone rejoice! BabeOnetta is here!
Bayonetta is the latest from master mind developer Hideki Kamiya , known for popular Capcom games such as Devil May Cry, Resident Evil, Okami and Viewtiful Joe among others. Bayonetta however, comes under the Sega banner and aims to be the second coming of the stylish action genre. It feels like the true successor to the original Devil May Cry (arguably the first game that coined the term ‘stylish’ action) and is a game that really raises the bar for the action genre as a whole.

In Bayonetta, a witch named… 'Bayonetta' has awoken from a 500 year slumber. She has no memory of her past but the game’s prologue opens up with a story about two powerful clans and how they fought evil and maintained the order of the universe. That is, until a war breaks out between them and that order is disrupted. Bayonetta is the last of the witches and is continuously attacked by monsters ironically called ‘Angels’. She sets out on a journey to learn about her past, fight the angels and yes, save the universe from destruction.

We won’t go into too much detail but Bayonetta has a surprisingly interesting story with plenty of twists and substance, especially as you learn more about Bayonetta and meet interesting people from her past. These include an old rival, a journalist whose father she apparently murdered and even her daughter. The story is well told with plenty of action, humor and dramatic moments in between. The cinematography is stellar, the pacing is break-neck and the dialogue delivery, while very cheesy, can also be very witty and amusing. The plot is entertaining and is filled with moments that will make you smile, just because it can be so over the top and explosive.

We love you Bayonetta!

We love you Bayonetta!
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Bayonetta is a fun, smart mouth and arrogant type, much like Dante from Devil May Cry, but later on you do get to see a more serious side. She is as explosive as the game itself. This is all good and well, but the gameplay is where Bayonetta really shines, as it is in fact one of the most visceral action games you will ever play with a deep and varied combat system that is easy to grasp. You have two attack buttons, another one for fire arms and some buttons for evasive and jumping maneuvers. The control scheme is very simple and we’ve seen it done before but it works beautifully as it is very precise and responsive. A good action game needs a flawless and responsive control scheme to allow players to let their imaginations run wild when creating combo attacks, and Bayonetta succeeds at providing just that.

The range and variety of attacks available for use is staggering and immense. The amount of combos you can perform and create is remarkably diverse, and is among the most robust of the genre. As simple as a punch and kick button may sound, you can really mix these up to create some truly breathtaking combinations. This requires pressing them in a certain sequence and changing the timing of the presses, holding down buttons and even changing the direction of Bayonetta during a combo can create a new variation of it.

Bayonetta can pull off all sorts of insane finishers using her hair. Yes, her hair. In case you missed the memo, Bayonetta can use her hair as a weapon, and these are usually the final strike at the end of a combo. When she uses more of her hair, the less remains on her body (and yes, she wears nothing but her hair) so there is a plenty of fan service to distract us (Ed: well some of us). Other than that, she can punish and torture enemies in very unique ways depending on the enemy type. For example, she can repeatedly stomp an enemy while it is on the ground and she can summon a tombstone to smash it. These attacks are very over the top, unorthodox and they get more unusual as you progress through the game. In addition, there are climax attacks and these are mainly performed during boss battles. Basically, Bayonetta uses her hair to create behemoth creatures that then proceed to tear the boss apart. Thankfully, these attacks are all show and are simple to pull off.

Talk about a bad hair day...

Talk about a bad hair day...
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Bayonetta can pick up and equip melee weapons and they add a whole range of new attacks and combo possibilities. Certain weapons are permanent and remain a part of her inventory, such as the Katana (which was our favourite and most used weapon) and then there are temporary weapons you pick up from fallen foes, such as axes and spears. Bayonetta can use fire arms and she has guns for not only for her hands but for her heels as well. Also, by using the analog stick gamers can shoot multiple targets with ease, courtesy of a handy targeting system that makes switching easy. Like the melee weapons, Bayonetta can use different types of fire arms such as a shot gun.

She can dodge attacks with the shoulder triggers both on ground and in midair, and these are the most important maneuvers in the game. If you can dodge an enemy attack right before it connects, the game world will temporarily slow down and Bayonetta can then perform extra strikes and even do things like walk on water and avoid fast projectiles/traps with ease. The opportunities for slowing things down are very frequent and the more you do it, the easier the game will become. Oh and did we mention that she can transform into animals such as panther, crow and even bats? And that she can run up walls and ceilings? We didn’t? Well she can! The sheer variety and range of her skills and abilities keeps the game consistently fresh.

Bayonetta is fresh and engaging from start to finish and feels like an insane roller coaster ride that gets better as you go along. The cut scenes are fun to watch, the platforming bits, while simple are quite exciting, the boss battles are phenomenally huge and even more entertaining. There are some unique action sequences and the minor puzzles that come along the way, but they do not hurt the pace of the game at all (unlike Devil May Cry 4). Bayonetta is an action game that just keeps on giving and will keep you hooked and entertained at every moment, even the credits sequence is loaded with plenty of action and memorable moments. The game takes around 10-15 hours to complete but the length is never a problem since the quality of the game is outstanding and it is vastly re-playable.

An action game that just keeps on giving.

An action game that just keeps on giving.
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If you remember how annoying it was to die and start a level from the very beginning in Devil May Cry 3, then you will be pleased to know that Bayonetta is far more forgiving. The game has frequent check points and saves, these occur even during a boss fight. It makes the game more fun instead of frustrating. That said, it doesn’t pay to die ten times in a stage because like any proper action game Bayonetta has a ranking/award system. The game also has some subtle references to games made by Sega and Hideki Kamiya. Sonic the Hedgehog, House of the Dead, Super Fantasy Zone and other classic Sega games have been referenced. Not surprisingly there are references to Hideki Kamiya’s Devil May Cry and even Okami, but our favourite one was the Viewtiful Joe reference.

Graphically the game looks really nice, it won’t be the best looking game you will see this year but the art direction, animations, character models and character designs are impressive. For a game that features so much action and chaos, the graphics are just right as they allow for a more fast paced experience. The game runs really smoothly with only a few minor hiccups (note: the Xbox 360 version is being reviewed here and reports are that the PlayStation 3 version has significant technical issues). The soundtrack of Bayonetta has an infectious blend of jazz and pop and features some unforgettable vocal tracks. The soundtrack is groovy to say the least but that said, there are some darker and haunting tracks to compliment the more serious moments of the game.

Bayonetta is easily among the best action adventure games and features one of the best fighting system we have experienced. Bayonetta not only has immense depth and variety for hardcore gamers, but casual gamers will also be able to get into this game very easily and have a fantastic time. Bayonetta is pure unadulterated entertainment at its finest. It is a game that will provide a stylish action experience that makes most other games in the genre feel redundant.
The Score
Bayonetta is the new Queen of action games, making other games in the genre feel redundant by comparison. Kratos, Dante and Ryu… eat your heart out because Bayonetta is here.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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43 Comments
4 years ago
When I saw that 9.5 score I got a huge smile on my face. Cannot wait!
4 years ago
IGN review says if you have both 360 and PS3, to avoid the PS3 version as x360 is far superior. Surprising for a Japanese game.
4 years ago
Shame that the PS3 version didnt get a proper comparison. It seems like a good game but I have to get the PS3 version since I don't have a 360. This 9.5 will likely become a 7 or so when I get it... in my eyes.
4 years ago
I have to admit I've had little interest in this game since its announcement, but after reading some reviews today I just might have to pick it up; this site doesn't dish out 9.5s very often.
4 years ago
Benc82 wrote
IGN review says if you have both 360 and PS3, to avoid the PS3 version as x360 is far superior. Surprising for a Japanese game.
Platinum Games is a pretty small developer. For some reason the built Bayonetta using the X360 as the lead SKU, possibly as they felt it would be very attractive to the Western market, or maybe development costs were cheaper and easier.

Either way, they lacked the resources and man power to do the PS3 port so SEGA are handelling it. From what I've seen the PS3 version looks muddier, has more texture pop-in, less texture detail, and a few filter/shader issues here and there. That and the framerate is better/more stable in the X360 version.

Shame, but that's how she rolls. It's more SEGAs fault than Platinums.
4 years ago
Climax Edition Pre-Ordered... Can't wait.
4 years ago
I'm sure it looks better in motion, but those screen shots look a bit bland and fuzzy to me. Can't argue with the revierws though.
4 years ago
The PS3 demo ran okay, it probably doesn't run as smooth as the 360 version but it's not broken by any means and is still perfectly playable. I'm still on the fence with this one though but knowing me I'll probably cave in anyway...
4 years ago
fatpizza wrote
The PS3 demo ran okay, it probably doesn't run as smooth as the 360 version but it's not broken by any means and is still perfectly playable. I'm still on the fence with this one though but knowing me I'll probably cave in anyway...
I had no problems with it either but any problems with ps3 version will be fixed with a patch update anyway.
4 years ago
Death Angel wrote
fatpizza wrote
The PS3 demo ran okay, it probably doesn't run as smooth as the 360 version but it's not broken by any means and is still perfectly playable. I'm still on the fence with this one though but knowing me I'll probably cave in anyway...
I had no problems with it either but any problems with ps3 version will be fixed with a patch update anyway.
Visual upgrades and refinements rarely happen in patches.

I've played both the 360 and PS3 versions, the difference was night and day to me. Incredibly choppy on the PS3 which is disappointing as I've always felt action games like this flowed better with the Dualshock.

I'm still on the fence about Bayonetta as the demo didn't leave a great impression, though according to people that played the full thing, it's not the best of demo's.
4 years ago
Having played almost all the way through the PS3 version (graphical differences aside), I wouldn't put it anywhere near God of War. Much better than DMC yes, as good or comparable to Ninja Gaiden sure but not close to Kratos and his games.

Also, apparantly Sony are touching up the PS3 version before it hits the rest of the world but I'm not sure if that's true or not.
4 years ago
wow 9.5?
I've been looking at stuff for this game but didn't think it would be a 9.5! Maybe this might be my second game I buy after FFXIII for my soon-to-have PS3 icon_biggrin.gif
Cool review, lots of details, thanks icon_biggrin.gif
4 years ago
Having played the PS3 version to completion, I can attest to the fact that it is marred by some significant technical issues. However, it is still immensely fun to play and is well worth a look for those without an Xbox 360.
4 years ago
Must get BAYONETTA
Demo's were great, and it will be just what I need to get back into the swing of gaming on consoles.
4 years ago
I have a huge dilemma with this game.
I like lots of different game styles and enjoyed DMC and GOW.
This game is also reviewing very well.

But....... I'm 42 years old.

I can't get over the fact that this game appears to have been designed to appeal to immature teenage boys.

I mean, seriously, the glasses - you can't really believe that makes your character sexy, can you?

And the hair that becomes a weapon leaving the character naked. Oh please - grow up.
Gotta say that I'd feel more than a bit embarrassed playing this in front of my wife and children. I'd even cringe in front of my male friends - they are grown ups too (and most share this opinion of the games visual style).

I find this sort of cheapness in games really de-values them. It's hard to argue about them being a valid adult media with games around containing this kind of childish sexist imagery.
4 years ago
Part of viewing sexuality in a mature way is being comfortable with it, including when viewing it with other people. If seeing naughty bits in front of your friends makes you feel uncomfortable, then I'd say that's more of a personal hangup with sexuality than the game being pornographically crass.

I mean, really, wouldn't the 'mature' viewpoint be to play what you enjoy without being influenced by how the people around you will view it? If my friends thought the new Mario game was an immature kiddie game, I'd still play it, because I enjoy it.
4 years ago
Sinthesys: All good points, but a bit off target with what I was saying - perhaps I wasn't clear.

It isn't the actual sexuality itself that I am uncomfortable with. It's the crass, immature use of sexuality that I find embarrassing.
I actually find that aspect more immature than "kiddie" games like mario.

Mario is obviously pitched at a family audience and as such i have no problems playing it.

Bayonetta seems to pitch itself as cool and sexy, but actually comes off looking like a virgin teenagers wet dream. Not cool and seems a bit desperate.

(As for hang-ups, I have very few. I'm a nurse, and have worked in EDs and Genito-Urinary medicine, so have pretty much got a very high threshold when it comes to sex and "naughty bits").
4 years ago
Have to agree with you krazy - it's very obviously pitched at the young male demographic. Very blatant. Wow she wears glasses like me! Cool! Although, at the end of the day it's all about the gameplay, and if that rocks, who cares?
4 years ago
I've already got it and being playing it today.

For those of you worried about the 'fan service' - fear not. Simply put the action is so frantic, crazy (and the special effects accompanying that action) and there is so much happening on the screen that by the time you notice her hair has been removed off her body, her move is done and it's back on. It's literally .5 of a second and then you're back to start another combo.

So I wouldn't be bothered by playing this in front of anyone. I was playing it in front of my girlfriend and she failed to notice icon_razz.gif

I don't mean this offensively but if you honestly care that much about what people think why do you play games when you're well past 40? Seems a tad contradicting to me.
4 years ago
Krazy-Koala wrote
Sinthesys: All good points, but a bit off target with what I was saying - perhaps I wasn't clear.

It isn't the actual sexuality itself that I am uncomfortable with. It's the crass, immature use of sexuality that I find embarrassing.
I actually find that aspect more immature than "kiddie" games like mario.

Mario is obviously pitched at a family audience and as such i have no problems playing it.

Bayonetta seems to pitch itself as cool and sexy, but actually comes off looking like a virgin teenagers wet dream. Not cool and seems a bit desperate.

(As for hang-ups, I have very few. I'm a nurse, and have worked in EDs and Genito-Urinary medicine, so have pretty much got a very high threshold when it comes to sex and "naughty bits").
Fair enough, bad assumption on my part. I used to work in a hospital, so I appreciate how tough as nails the nursing staff are - The stories they had would make a prostitute blush.

Personally, the immature 'boobies lol' factor isn't really an issue for me, its a pretty small part of the game, and from what I've heard (and from the little I've played) it is rather easy to look past. I think you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you gave up on it just for that.
4 years ago
The game can be a bit cheap and tawdry (not to mention tiring in its longwinded and corney storytelling) but, yeah, the gameplay is so utterly terrific that you should be able to look past it. You can feel the genius behind the original Devil May Cry at work, and there's an irreverence and imagination on display which has been sorely missing from the genre since that game.
4 years ago
I'm sorry but i don't get the Bayonetta love. I've played PS3 and 360 demo's and its just seems a whole bunch of "hairography".
4 years ago
Seriously, this is the new DMC. Cannot wait.
4 years ago
Bought it on release over here a couple months ago.

Actually, I lie... my local retailer nicely broke the street date for me on October 27th. :3

It is, without a doubt, the best action game I've played. I just didn't want it to end. When the credits rolled on my Normal playthrough, I dived straight back in and began it again on Hard. Same thing happened when I finished that playthrough. Only once I passed Infinite Climax difficulty and unlocked the final achievement did I give it a break.

Three consecutive playthroughs, 37 hours clocked up, and every achievement unlocked, and I'm still planning to play through it again when I move back to Australia. Got my friend to pre-order me the Climax Edition.

What can I say? Buy it. The 360 version, that is. icon_wink.gif
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  7/01/2010 (Confirmed)
Standard Retail Price:
  $99.95 AU
Publisher:
  SEGA Australia
Genre:
  Action Adventure
Year Made:
  2008
Players:
  1

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