Bayonetta – impressions

Well picked this up recently after seeing the mostly unanimous reviews online and in mags, boasting it to be one of the best games released in a while.  Now at first, I was never too sure I’d like Bayonetta – coming from the design team behind Devil May Cry, a game I got tired of due to repetitive, overly difficult gameplay.  Yet I also admired that games take no prisoners approach, and if I considered myself a gamer of any skill, I really should have stuck with it.  So you could say Bayonetta is my second chance, and with a quirky, very Japanese art style and a sexy lead character, this was begging to be played. 

So what do I think of it?  Well… at first I wasn’t really sure what to make of it.  aesthetically, despite a pleasingly imaginative look, it didn’t feel very ‘next gen’ whatever that means, and having come fresh off Darksiders, it appeared underwhelming.  It also came across very old-fashioned, lacking anything I hadn’t seen many times before – and it was button mashing hell.  Then after a while, it began to click – learning the combos, timing your evade move to trigger ‘witch time’ so to make battles more in your favour, and then discovering the highly imaginative environments and weird heaven / hell themed enemies.  The story is something to do with this Bayonetta who has lost her memory and is battling the army of heaven whilst trying to figure out flashes of her past locked away in her head.  It’s typically bonkers plotting, and the characters are totally bizarre – and in many ways that’s the charm.  I’ll also add that it’s tough going, not necessarily because the enemies are too hard (which they near-as-dammit can be sometimes) but that the save system is punishingly unfair, making you run through an entire level again if you happen to quit out before the end – and the levels are long!  There’s infinite continues to be used when killed, but these diminish your score / rating, and if you just want a break, you lose a lot of your progress as a result.  Also the option to buy upgrades and items seems very stingy as you get next to no money (or rings) to buy anything particularly useful beyond lollipops to boost energy or make you invulnerable.  Maybe I haven’t figured it all out yet though, as I have only just discovered you can create your own items by mixing potions, something which was never actually explained to me – I discovered it by accident. 

Yet if you liked Devil May Cry and similar Japanese action games, and have a high tolerance for tough gameplay and huge boss battles – then by all means give this a go – but I’ll warn you, it’s not for everyone!


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