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(4.5/5) Intense Action on a Whole Other Scale

  • Jan 8, 2010
Upon first looking at Bayonetta, there's one thing that comes to mind.  The first is that it seems like a Devil May Cry ripoff with some effects of God of War thrown in there for good measure.  And that's probably true (the main man behind the game was also the main man behind Devil May Cry).  In terms of style and gameplay Bayonetta borrows heavily from those two games in particular.  On the other hand, it's good enough that it can stand apart from those games as well.  If Devil May Cry and God of War are for you, then Bayonetta is at least worth checking out. 

From the outset what probably sticks out most is that the game is just all around gorgeous looking.  The cinematics are incredible to behold.  There's a lot of style and flair to the game.  From the outset Bayonetta prepares you for an action, gothic adventure.  This becomes more apparent as the game goes on.  The art direction is incredible.  Many of the environments might have your jaw dropping from just how amazing looking some of it is.  The enemies also look amazing, especially the bosses.  There's a lot of epic nature to the game, giving you a lot to look at.  Some of the art direction might not be so grand to some.  In particular, Bayonetta's costume looks rather silly compared the rest of the art direction of the game.  At least she stands out, but that won't keep you from losing track of yourself when you're swarmed by enemies or when one of its big epic moments happen.  At least combat is fun.

Bayonetta's combat system is rather simple and stylish.  You can kick, punch, and use her guns.  You can combine kicks and punches to perform some devastating combos on your part.  Many of the better things in combat just look incredible to see.  So much of what you can do looks incredible and stylish.  It also moves at a really fast pace.  There are times, however, when Bayonetta's combat can feel like button mashing.  It's not all button mashing, but much of it really is.  There is, however, an incentive to lay off the face buttons for a second and evade.  It may not sound like much, but evasion is actually one of Bayonetta's most important aspects of its system.  Neglecting to evade will make much of the game harder than it really has to be.  Besides, you'll want to master evading because doing well timed evasive actions will allow you to enter "Witch Mode" in which time slows down for your enemies but not for you.  This allows you to pull off some devastating combos and attacks. 

For the most part there's a lot to the combat that can really assault your senses.  Some of the moves just look incredible and there's a lot of variety.  Enemies will also drop weapons for you to use in the middle of combat, if you desire as well, though they're only temporary fixtures.  If there was anything about the combat that might be a little off putting, it would be that when swarmed by enemies there's A LOT going on at one time and it all moves fast.  Thanks to all that you can sometimes lose track of yourself in the middle of combat.  The boss battles in particular are stellar looking but there are certain moments where some of the action in the middle of the battle can be hectic that you lose focus of where you are.  The animations are incredible and it's great to watch as bosses really move and manipulate the environment (or how some levels can change) but it might take a moment for you to find your footing, leaving you open to damage.  Bayonetta isn't too challenging, but that's not to say its easy, either.  There are a few different difficulty levels to choose from.  For those wanting to just get through the game there's a Very Easy and Easy mode, but they're a little too easy given that much of the game will do things for you.  If you're only interested in getting through the game it can be nice, but it takes away A LOT of the fun.

Music wise Bayonetta has a pretty mixed soundtrack.  For the most part it's pretty good.  On the other hand there are some tunes and mixtures thrown in that can feel a bit out of place at times.  Overall, though, it's not too bad.  The voice acting on the other hand, could use some work.  This mostly comes from a pretty bad script.  The story is pretty interesting but some of the cutscenes are laughable in dialog.  In particular some of the voice acting also tries a little too hard.  Most of the cutscenes are really neat, though, although sometimes you'll have to sit through still shots as the story progresses.  Probably won't bother anyone in the long run (it'll certainly get your head to stop spinning from all the action for the moment), but at the same time some of these moments you'll wonder what was wrong with being given a full on animated scene.  Of note, however, is that for once there's a huge distinctive difference between both versions.  If you have to choose between the PS3 and 360 version... it's no contest.  Get it on the 360.  Somehow SEGA messed up the PS3 port and there's a lot of slow down and loading.  With a game filled with as much non-stop, fast paced action as Bayonetta is, long load times and frame rate issues are the last thing you need. 

If the PS3 is all you got, you shouldn't miss out just because of that, but if you're not a patient gamer you might want to hold off for a second.  The problem isn't entirely related to how long the load times are on the PS3 so much as it is the frequency of them.  In the future it's possible there will be a patch released or something for it, but t's a little odd that these issues weren't ironed out before release.  Sure the PS3 port might've dropped down a little later if that happened, but at least it would've been better than what PS3 owners have.  I'm sure many gamers will probably get past that, but there will be others who just might be annoyed enough to ignore the PS3 version fo the game entirely. 

Bayonetta is a pretty fun game, for the most part.  There's a lot of intense, epic action to behold, and even some replay.  It's simple to play and difficult to master.  Most of all it's just fun.  Small flaws aside, Bayonetta is a great action game.

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January 08, 2010
Good review. I actually played a little bit over my friends house and was enthralled with the action. What I love is how you are rewarded for blocking and dodging so the game becomes more than a simple button masher. I'm definitely going to pick this up soon.
January 08, 2010
can you combine kicks and shooting her guns? That would be awesome! Your opening paragraph just grabbed me (I liked GOD OF WAR). Thanks for adding the bit about picking the 360 version, a lot of reviewers may neglect that info but you never forgot. You are breaking my bank, man! U are SO THE MAN.
January 08, 2010
been meaning to ask you; did you review the SILENT HILL franchise?
January 10, 2010
Actually if I have to be honest, I've only ever played the first Silent Hill game (and at the time it scared the living hell out of me) but I've never actually played more than that.  Odd...
January 10, 2010
he-heh. Glad to know I wasn't the only who was scared shitless of that game. LOL!
More Bayonetta (Xbox 360) reviews
review by . March 20, 2011
Bayonetta Review: A Hair Raising Experience
In Bayonetta you are a witch who is as awesome as any female lead character in any video game has ever been. You have awoken after a 500 year “sleep” and you have no idea who or what you are. Over the course of the game as you dispatch foes in some of the most creative ways I have seen to date you start to get bits and pieces of your memory back. You remember that you are an Umbra Witches, who are followers of darkness and that you were at one point waged in a bloody battle with their …
review by . March 13, 2010
The Good:    * Non-stop action even after the credits roll.  * Lots of weapons and spells for Bayonetta to use.  * One of the best soundtracks in a video game in a long time.  * Great replay value and difficulty levels to fit any gamer.  * Great story pulls you in, which makes it hard to put the controller down.  * Great use of animation and cinematics.      The Bad:    * Button-mashing …
review by . February 24, 2010
posted in The Gaming Hub
Sometimes, being a good girlfriend means sitting on the couch and watching him play a game or playing a game together. I'm a moderate gamer; the new controls are generally more complicated than I'm willing to commit to. He is a hard core gamer. Some games are easier to watch than others, and some are easier to play. This review is not for the hard core gamer. This review is for the girlfriend (or boyfriend, who am I to judge?) that sits on the couch and watches.    Before Bayonetta …
About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #6
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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About this video game


Blurring the borders of good and evil, this cinematic and stylized adventure stars Bayonetta, a heroine bent on sending supernatural forces to the depths of hell. Armed with her four enchanted guns known as Scarborough Fair, she battles both monstrous behemoths and angelic enemies. By combining special magic attacks, summoning primal forces and unleashing devastating weaponry, she impressively punishes anyone who gets in her way. From its fluid and intuitive combat system to its gripping story line, Bayonetta is one action thriller that won't disappoint.

Unleash your powers
Unleash your powers
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Amazing graphics
Amazing graphics
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Utilize Deadly Combos
Utilize Deadly Combos
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Variety of Weapons
Variety of Weapons
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In addition to the weaponry on her hands and feet, Bayonetta also has gruesome devices in her arsenal, such as the Iron Maiden and Guillotine. Charge her Magic gauge to send enemies packing. Even her hair is designed for devastation, serving as a magical conduit to summon demonic beasts for aid in battle. And, with the ability to transform into panthers, bats and other forms, she's prepared to handle any situation. When it comes to banishing sinister supernatural forces, Bayonetta's the best man for the job.

Key Game Features:

  • String together deadly combos and special attacks to bring down angelic enemies, including small minions and gigantic behemoths
  • Rely on Scarborough Fair, a collection of four enchanted guns, plus shotguns, bazookas and fiery claws
  • ...
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Number of Players: 1
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Platinum Games, Nex Entertainment
Console: Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Release Date: October 29, 2009
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