A bit over-rated, but still quite a entertaining game.

User Rating: 8 | Bayonetta X360
I never really had any huge interest in Bayonetta. From screenshots and gameplay videos, it looked to similar to Devil May Cry (in fact, the game's made by the same director), which was a huge no-no for me. Even after its release and the seemingly really good reviews, I weren't interested in the game, but I bought it only to see what the hell everyone was talking about (same reason I saw Twilight), and it was on sale. That was last year though, and after reaching half way through it, I stopped playing it for some unknown reason. Now over a year after, I finally finished it. Did it deserve the critical acclaim it received last year?

Story
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The game follows Bayonetta, a witch who has guns on almost every limb on her body and can use her hair for special attacks. She has woken up from a 500 year old slumber, causing her the loss of her memories. She is told by her informant Enzo, that someone has the "Right Eye", which is half of a set known as "Eyes of the World", so she sets out to find this person.

I apologize for the vague story explanation, but it's confusing as hell. Things just happen, with some things not even explained. It gets right over your heard, and you'll just end up ignoring it all together. The cut-scenes won't help a lot either. Half the time, their told in standard cut-scenes, while the other half is stills shown on a film roll. It's a new attempt to come off with a new story telling style, but honestly it fails and just looks stupid.

The characters can be entertaining though with the way the story treats Bayonetta, taking advantage of her sexual moves with seemingly every single minute, it either becomes awesome for some, or annoying for some, me included. The ending also drags out and it ends long after it's supposed too. It's not a totally bad story, as it does take you to some awesome places, and at least the characters grows a bit on you to be entertaining, though not emotionally.

5.0

Gameplay
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It turned out my first impression was almost totally correct. The game is almost exactly like playing Devil May Cry, though it does do things a bit differently.

For one thing, the game is faster paced than DMC ever was which makes the combat more frantic. Another thing is a comprehensible moves list. DMC had different moves, but Bayonetta has a whole fighting game worth's of moves. SO much so, I can almost recommend it for the fighting game crowd. It gives combat some nicely variations. Like a fighting game though, it can be a bit difficult to learn most of them, but the game does let you practices the moves during the loading screens which is a clever touch for those wanting to master the game completely. Throw in a katana and some other weapons, and your moves arsenal will expand even further. I'd say it's essential to learn all these moves, primarily for The Gates of Hell (the game's store), because the prices for several of the items can be incredibly high.

Being a witch, you can also enter witch time. Essentially, it's like bullet time, where everything around you slows down, giving you more time to attack enemies. The catch is, that the only way to enable this is to dodge right before an enemy attacks, which keeps it from making the game too easy. The only thing that can be a complaint is that witch time won't get activated at all with some enemies, even if you dodge them at the very last second. Doesn't help that later on, it gets quite spotty with when the game thinks you dodge at the last second.

By mentioning that, it's probably no surprise to say that the game can be quite difficult. As the game proceeds, the pace grows faster and the enemies more relentless. Even bosses get thrown at you as normal enemies earlier on. The bad thing is that it does show a lack of enemy variation, but at least the game tries to make them different, often including small mini games (hell, there's even a tribute to Afterburner in there), so the lack of enemy variation is a bit forgiven. It can become quite infuriating though, especially with the hidden missions, which has you defeating enemies with a precise amount of attacks. So yea, it's quite a difficult game, though if you're used to DMC, then the difficulty here should be right up your ally. And I for one don't complain about it. I'd rather face a good challenge than face a game with no challenge at all (insert multiple games over the past years).


As mentioned, the game is a lot like Devil May Cry, just with a faster pace. And to be honest, it did take away some of the experience, mainly because I think DMC is a better game, with better story and characters. Like in the cut-scenes, the gameplay continues to exploit Bayonetta's sexual imposed moves... hell she even gets naked every time she does a special attack with her hair. It came off to me a bit desperate to add some sexual value to the game, and it annoyed me a lot. Some of the events that happened in the game weren't really anything special to talk about either. Though, as I got further into the game, it did become more... awesome. The set pieces got better, if a bit ridiculous, but it was actually massively entertaining. Plus, it finally stopped trying to exploit her sexually, so that made me less annoyed.

It's a campaign that in short, gets better the further you get into it. It should take around 10-15 hours, depending on your skill level. After that, there are hidden missions, costumes and difficulty levels, so the game does have a lot of replay value.

Before I move on tough, is it better than Devil May Cry? No. The sexual exploitation is really annoying, and though fast paced, it can become a bit overbearing with the many moves and combinations, which isn't helped by the relentlessly fast pace. Lastly, it does feel like playing Devil May Cry, just with a woman instead of Dante. There are games out there that are amazing, even though their just copying other games. Like Uncharted 2, which took all of the things from other games, fine-tuned them, combined them, and made one hell of a sweet adventure out of it. Bayonetta just feels too much like Devil May Cry for me. It doesn't improve on that game, nor does it make anything worse. That said though, it's still a really entertaining game.

8.0

Console differences
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The game is out on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, and while their controls are similar, the PS3 version does suffer from long loading times, both between levels and even pausing the freakin' game. There is a patch that fixes the issue partially, though it still ended up happening for me a few times.

Graphics
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Last year, the game looked amazing, but as it looks right now, it stands a testament to how fast graphics in video gaming are changing today. That's not to say it's a ugly game. The characters look nice and Bayonetta's animation is fluid... and they do look good, even if they are annoying. Though monsters lack variation in design, they are designed quite well. With a mixture of religious and devilish monsters design

Both versions suffer from frame rate issues, though the PS3 version has entire sections where the game slows down considerably. It's downright disappointing to look at, though it never really affects the gameplay.

8.5 (7.5 on PS3)

Sound
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The sound is anything but. The voice acting is for the most part good, though the dialogue can be a bit cheesy; it is one of the better translations out there. The music however, is bizarre. Often a mix of JPop and Japanese house music, it sounds bizarre and not the least bit good. At least, both versions have custom soundtrack options, so feel free to put on some Underworld or even Metallica.

Both versions have a weird sound bug, where the sound briefly disappears for a few seconds, but that's about it.

7.0

Overall
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Bayonetta isn't any better than DMC, and the fact that it just copies that game, failing to improve it, does make it a bit overrated in my opinion. That said however, it is still quite a fun game, though with minor annoyances. If you liked DMC, you'll probably like this, or if your just a pervert who likes looking at women. It has fast paced and varied combat, which ultimately saves the day.

I'd reconmend getting it on Xbox 360. For the PS3 version, detract 5 points.