Gaming Week 21: Bayonetta (360)

ALL THE CURVESSS

Her dress is made from her hair, how cool is that?

Oh Bayonetta, I’ve been meaning to play you for years but never found the time to fit your into my schedule. I’ve owned you since you first was released onto the world, and my oh my how I was a fool to disregard you for so long.

As you can probably tell from my little burst above, I enjoyed every minute of Bayonetta, and not just because of the main character. Everything from game play, to the style, to the music entranced me to my very core, making sure I constantly progressed until I had taken in all Bayonetta had to offer.

So firstly: the game play. Bayonetta is a action game, if you’ve ever laid your hands on a Devil May Cry title in the past then you already know how this game will go, the difference you’ll find is the execution. In Devil May Cry games, or even God of War for that matter, you find a very serious plot and the action enhances the seriousness, deepening the urgency of what Dante or Kratos is doing at the moment in time; for Kratos it expands the goriness, Dante the emotion. In Bayonetta on the other hand, the action is an extension of the fun and mischief Bayonetta takes in her stride. Every action, every move, every attack all seeks to enhance the richness of this world in which angels and witches constantly fight, and Bayonetta just wants to have fun, even when things get serious. She twists and turns around the battlefield like a pole dancer, being majestic, but with a slight sense of sexiness. To put this in perspective, it speaks volumes to the fact Bayonettas dress is made out of her own hair, so when she does powerful witch spells to defeat opponents she has to go naked in order to summon her demons. It’s tongue in cheek action, but it’s stylishly done.

The story leaves some to be desired, but overall does the job to integrate all the characters into one solid narrative, even if it is slightly confusing and doesn’t really explain/introduce key characters until the last 2 chapters. it’s still a story though, and that counts for something right?

The combat system is spot on, making it fantastic to land massive combos, and the game really makes sure you can dodge attacks at any moment, drilling it into your head from the get go, and actually pushing it further by making puzzle sequences use the dodge mechanic too. Each fight sequence is given a ranking, to let you know how well you took on a group of enemies, this is mostly determined by how much health/items you used, but also takes into consideration your combo count. It is certainly addictive, and will get the hardcore players coming back time and time again to try and get a platinum on every level.

One thing I will say about Bayonetta that I need to say with all the talk about sexism in the games industry at the moment: Bayonetta in my opinion is not sexist. The marketing/promotion of the game may be sexist, but the character and the game that centres around Bayonetta are not sexist at all. Bayonetta is a strong, independent woman who in fact belittles the few men she does encounter in the game, making me jealous and even respect how strong she is as a character. It speaks volumes to how Sega have made sure to walk a very fine line between marketing her to the biggest demographic, whilst also maintaining the characters main strengths, ensuring she doesn’t become a mere sex icon to be added to the games industry. I hope those people who also play Bayonetta feel the same way, and I’d be happy to discuss others opinions on the matter.

Pros:

  • Fantastic level design
  • Combat is fast, reactive and addictive
  • Very high replay-ability

Cons:

  • Story isn’t very clear, could do with a lot more explanation

Although Bayonetta may be old, if you haven’t given it a go this generation, I’d recommend you do. It is the pinnacle of what a action game can amount to when the developer has one specific goal in mind, and it has definitely left a lasting impression on myself.

4/5

 

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