Late 2 The Game – Bayonetta

posted by Andrew Cross

Bayonetta is the long-in-development third-person action game from Hideki Kamiya, creator of the Devil May Cry series. It basically works the same way as that franchise, in that you string together combos using a mix of guns, hand-to-hand combat, magic, and dodge maneuvers. The scenario, enemies, environments, and lead character (named Bayonetta) are all over the top. It’s a pure video game in the sense that it’s non-stop action with a story thrown in as an afterthought.

I’m not going to bother explaining the journey of Bayonetta as it’s insane for insane sake. The basic idea is that Bayonetta is a bootylicious witch with guns strapped to all of her appendages, and she is on a quest to discover her past. I initially enjoyed the goofiness and absurdity of the plot, but its charm began to wear off as my frustration with the game’s difficulty peaked in the last few chapters. It sucks you out of the experience when you watch a cinema of the lead character busting caps in angels’ asses with grace and fluidity, and then watch as you get worked by a couple attackers ten seconds after you take over playing. Bayonetta herself isn’t exceptionally interesting either. Sure, she can suplex a rhino and she has an ass that won’t quit, but that’s pretty much all she’s got.

I found myself enjoying the game upon starting it. Bayonetta can use magic for quick attacks and perform “Torture” sequences against enemies. The gameplay is fast, brutal, and flashy as hell. Stringing together combos and using “Witch Time” (you can slow down enemies and pour on damage) is fun to do. The problem though is that this is all you do for the overlong length of the game. You fight the same attackers multiple times, you fight the same bosses again and again, and the level design offers very little variety. Also, you are graded at the end of each chapter on your performance and I found myself consistently getting the lowest grade. To improve your grade, you would have to play levels multiple times and practice, but because Bayonetta is so repetitive as it is, it’s more like a chore than a fun experience.

Bayonetta is all flash, no substance, and seems backwards in its gameplay design when compared to other action titles like God of War and inFamous. Tits and action only get you so far.

Developed by: Platinum Games
For: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 at 8:00 am