Iggy’s World: Bayonetta
I’ve been waiting a long time to review Bayonetta, and lucky Nintendo decided to re release the original along with Bayonetta 2. Ever since I saw Jontron show some off some of the bosses that are in this game I knew I had to try it. Was this game worth the wait, or is just another generic hack and slash? Well chances are you know it’s not, but that’s the mentality I had going in. What exactly did the world of Bayonetta have in store for me? Well journey with and let’s join one of the premiere badasses in video games today!
If I had to sum up Bayonetta in one word, it would easily be extreme. The story, the gameplay, the music, and levels are the epitome of extreme. Instead of trying to ground their world in a realistic setting which most can understand, Platinum games went completely crazy starting with the story. Normally I love to dive into a game’s lore, but from my perspective the story was the least important aspect to this game. Without giving to much away due to spoilers, when you take away all the gravitas the story is a simple one. What makes it standout is how the game presents the story as the player journeys through the city of Vigrid.
The use of sepia toned film strips to convey exposition gives the game an olden feeling to it, making unique from any other game. While some may not dislike the lack of motion cut scenes for once I can exclude myself from that particular group. In other words, you won’t be playing Bayonetta for it’s story.
The real reason you’ll even want to play this game at all is it’s high octane combat. On the surface Bayonetta’s combat might seem simple with a heavy attack and light attack that can be chained together, just like every other hack and slash. The true beauty of Bayonetta’s combat system is how deceptively simple it is, but once the player begins to experiment you’ll see how deep it goes. Plus your rewarded for experiment with different weapons and chaining up different’ combos, with a better overall score at the end of a given level. There are combos in this game that I haven’t discovered yet, but I see other players pull of moves I could only dream about. Not only that but you purchase upgrades to add effects to various weapons and create some amazing results. Lucky the upgrades are not necessary as I did a complete second run of the game without enhancements and I had no problem. So keep that in mind when playing.
Thankfully this game runs at a consistent sixty frames per second, allowing for some of the visuals to truly shine. I tried going back to other hack and slashes and I just couldn’t because of how good Bayonetta 1 looked. I will say that from a design standpoint the games bleak color pallet is not terrible but it’s rather homogenous, with the exception of a few areas. As I traversed through the city I had to do a double take to make sure I wasn’t in place I was in before, despite the game being linear in how the player progresses.
If you think God of War is a difficult game then you haven’t played Bayonetta because this game will kick your ass if your not ready. It’s not impossibly difficult but your skills will be pushed to the limits for not only bosses but creatures along the way. I did discover some moments of cheapness in some enemies encounters that can be grating. Speaking of cheapness, and lucky these are few in numbers but the quick time events in this game were strict in their timing. Luckily those quick time events are not flooded in the game.
The boss battles are some of the most visually stunning boss battles I’ve ever had the privilege of playing. The complexity of each boss allows for a new experience each time you encounter a behemoth, even when you fight Jeanne multiple times it doesn’t feel repetitive. However there are moments where it’s not clear on how you harm particular bosses and it becomes an annoying guessing game. I’m not asking for a guide but some indication of what I’m supposed to hit in certain boss fights would have been helpful. Also the music swings towards being dance club music instead of trying to be atmospheric, and oddly enough it works within the game.
Bayonetta 1 is a game I believe everyone should checkout but only on the Wii U with it’s enhanced frame rate and just overall better presentation than the X-Box 360 or PS3 versions. Be warned though that you’ll there isn’t a lot of replay value unless your into sharpening your skills to earn a higher ranking. This game is an insane adventure that every person should try it at least once, despite it’s sometimes harsh difficult and oblique level design. The simple but deep combat system is what makes this game a gem.
Bayonetta earns a 8/10