There’s no denying that Bayonetta is one of the sexiest
gaming characters and from way she talks, flirts and flaunts her
assets, the game is definitely oozing with a titillation factor.
Obviously the creators had this in mind and whether it's the way she
sucks on a lollypop, those candid butt and crotch shots, it may not
be pornographic but it's definitely a selling point. So we’ve
established that the character Bayonetta is a siren who would wipe
the floor with Lara Croft, but what about the gameplay?
Well my dear gamers, as the man behind The Devil May Cry
Kamiya is involved, you pretty much know what to expect but thankfully the developers
have thrown in enough subtle changes for this title to stand on its
own in this acrobatic fast-paced action adventure game. Of course,
there is a healthy amount of button mashing but good button mashing.
The story revolves around Bayonetta, a witch who is more than
500 years old who fought to retain the balance between chaos and
order, unfortunately her memory is quite fragmented after being
awaken in the modern world. Although a little disjointed, we
discover that Bayonetta is searching for an artefact called The
Eyes of the World and she needs to travel to the city of Vigrid.
Hopefully this search will also unlock her memories.
Add in some over the
top comedy and titillation and you actually have an interesting
story that will bring a smile to your face. Of course it does help that our anti-hero has sided with the
demons of Inferno which causes the Angels of Paradiso to want her
blood and more specifically dead. Apart from Bayonetta, she has some
great supporting characters from her sidekick Enzo to Rodan and a
mysterious witch wearing red, needless to say it’s definitely a visceral experience.
The presentation of the game is quite impressive, whether it’s the
pre-rendered cutscenes or the stills with some animation that get
mixed together, making it appear like frames from a movie, Bayonetta definitely goes out of the comfort zone of
Western development and it succeeds immensely. It’s the subtle
touches such as the loading screens that allow you to practice some
manoeuvres and best of all, it even displays what you need to do.
Very cool indeed! Add in some spectacular animation, thanks to the
graphics department and Bayonetta definitely raises the bar for 2010.
Let's not get carried away and although it helps when you have a killer body but our Umbrian Witch is
a walking time bomb of almost unimaginable power as she
journeys through the game, learning not only more about herself but
also her powers. Bayonetta has guns on her feet and when she’s
not using her hand to hand combat or witch powers, she can deliver
some truly astonishing damage through some great combination
attacks. By defeating enemies, Bayonetta is
awarded trophies and halos which can then be used to purchase
additional equipment and upgrades from her friendly bar, The Gates
of Hell. This friendly little bar is also run by Rodan, a powerful
man with an extremely shady past but supports the story well.
Although the cutscenes can be quite lengthy at times, they are
actually interesting, unlike Metal Gear Solid that sometimes went on
forever. Thankfully the game does not throw you in the deep end
(apart from the story) as it slowly teaches you how to control our
raven haired seductress and needless to say, the combinations that
Bayonetta can pull off is thoroughly impressive and will give even
some professional gamers some difficulty in memorising. Best of all
as you progress, the game keeps throwing different challenges and
enemies for you to fight which greatly assists in the enjoyment
factor of this title. Whether it’s a half naked Bayonetta spinning
around as her hair becomes a demon or the great one-liners from Enzo, Bayonetta is as whacky as a game could ever be that
shatters all boundaries of what has become before.
relation to combat, we’ve mentioned the kicks, punches and guns, two
strapped onto her heels and another two for her hands, it’s the
special manoeuvres that make the combat of Bayonetta so damn fun.
She can even draw on bullet-time (witch time) but as mentioned as
you punch, kick and use almost every part of your body as a weapon
and it's a real acrobatic hoot.
An interesting ability is changing combinations, midway that offers
some great options for fighting the various angels and demons that
you come across. Best of all, all these different combinations and
attacks that Bayonetta performs are quite fluid and is definitely
one with the gameplay. Thankfully the game does come on three
difficulty modes that include Very Easy, Easy and Normal and if you
complete normal, well, than you’re in for a whole new world of pain.
If you do get injured, you really need to practice your dodges more
but thankfully, there are some items to heal and the save system of
the game is quite lenient as well. The only problem with the PS3
version of Bayonetta are the rather lengthy loading times which does
add an element of frustration to the gameplay, especially certain
interactive cutscenes with bosses and you need to push a button at
the exact time it appears, annoying to say the least.
Graphically, the title is pure eye candy… most of the time. Although
there are some scenes that looks a little dated, the majority of
game is very well designed. From great character designs, flawless
animation and some great background designs, the only flaw with the
game is the sometimes annoying camera angles and at times a few
frame rate issues. It's a shame that one of the analog sticks could
not be used to control the cameras and if you want to change the
angle, you need to face the direction and push down on the analog
stick. Annoying? Yes but thankfully the gameplay prevails.
The star of the game is easily the attractive and
well-designed Bayonetta from her realistic movements that would not
look out of place in a strip club. The attention to detail is great
on Bayonetta such as the way she moves her glasses or the way her
hair moves to become the demonic creature and lastly, her double
jumps that create butterfly wings on her. The camera is a little off
at times, however through the movies, the sexual innuendo is only
increased by close ups of certain parts of Bayonetta’s body. Game
The soundtrack of Bayonetta matches it’s retro 70’s feel and if
you’ve found yourself humming along or singing some of the songs at
a later date, than Bayonetta has you hook, line and sinker! The
voice acting is pure cheese and sounds like those classic Capcom
games. Thankfully, although Bayonetta is quite seductive, she
actually suits her character perfectly and doesn’t sound too forced
or contrived as she speaks proper with her oh so sexy British
accent. The sound effects match the graphics well and through a
surround sound system, Bayonetta is pumping!
the end of the day, Bayonetta is easily one of our most original
gaming experiences that we have enjoyed in a long time and even
though at times, it feels like a bad 70’s action movie, the story,
characters and quirkiness of the gameplay is pure ingenious. The
combat is quite fluid and diverse and whether you’re shooting,
kicking or summoning demons, everything comes together perfectly.
For male gamers, it does help that the character is oozing with sex appeal
and even though some of the close-ups or open leg shots may be a
little too much for some, it dares to be different and proves that a
game can not only be fun but sexy as well.
Penny Drake at E3 as Bayonetta