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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Game review: Bayonetta (Xbox 360)

Killing angels have never felt - and looked so good!

Bayonetta is a third person shooter centering around a sexy four-gun wielding witch named Bayonetta who spends her days killing all kinds of angels in the most stylish manners.

What did I expect from Bayonetta before I began playing it?
I had heard that the game's pace was very fast, the visuals were cool and the heroine - Bayonetta herself was smokin' hot. That's about it.

Did it deliver on these aspects? Hell yeah it did! That and more!

One thing I hadn't heard about it that I love is the immensely entertaining "combo fighting style" the game uses, which I consider to be a mix of a fighting game and a hack n' slash. Or maybe most hack n' slash - like God of War and Devil May Cry - are like this. I haven't played many games in this genre. But if they're like Bayonetta, then consider me a future fan of those two franchises :)

There are a heap of different combos one can use, so it didn't exactly become boring right away. It did however get a bit tiring towards the end of my overall playtime, because I tend to use the same few moves most of the time, because those were the button combinations I felt most comfortable pressing. If I wanted to use something I wasn't used to - or didn't "fit" me all too well, I really had to put my mind into it.
This did come with a certain upside however. It forced me to keep my mind alert while playing. The furious button mashing during the quick time events doubled this effect. And I ALWAYS mashed the buttons as fast as I possibly could. So it was effective to say the least. 
So Bayonetta has great longevity - but don't expect it to be everlasting.

When I'm saying it has great longevity, people need to understand that the game isn't very long if you simply blast through it chapter after chapter. In that regard it's actually quite brief. No, the thing that ate up most of my time was the constant replays to find every hidden item, every alfheim challenge and optimizing my playthroughs for higher scores and better trophies. And this is addictive! I felt compelled to replay every chapter (except the "rocket riding" one) several times right after I finished them.

The fun and addictive gameplay was a saving grace in some manners. Why? Because the story wasn't especially interesting. I hardly ever cared where the story would go, and where it eventually led to wasn't very interesting either. And the supporting cast isn't much to cheer about. No one - except for the main villain - is terribly bad, but when you have a main character of such caliber as Bayonetta - who's cool, sexy, bad-ass, and funny - the others just pale in comparison.

Say hello to Bayonetta's demon friends
As for the technical side of things; It looked very nice with it's neat character and creature designs, stylish visuals, highly entertaining overall directing, and precise controls.
There are very few games that gives me the feeling of watching a movie or series, but Bayonetta sure as hell is one of those games.

Now that I've covered the visuals I guess I'll continue with the music. The choice of standout songs as background music is good. The problem, however, is that the few songs they have are so heavily overplayed.  I love "Fly Me To The Moon" in most of it's form and I didn't think I would get sick of it. But after hearing it a gazillion times - I did.
This isn't a big issue considering how I was always so engrossed in the battles that I hardly payed any attention to the music. But big or not - it is a negative aspect of the game.

The story and most of the characters may be placed into the 'meh' category, and the music can get on your nerves at times - but because of the incredibly fun and addictive gameplay and the stylish visuals, I can't help but to give this a full score.


Playing Bayonetta is one of the most fun games I've ever played in single player. It's pure entertainment.

I recently read that Bayonetta 2 is in production and will be released for Wii U. Which means I will definitely buy Wii U. I'm almost more excited for Bayonetta 2 than the new Legend of Zelda (which is my favorite game series).

The good:
Replay value!
Super sexy heroine
Great combo battle system
Button mashing at it's finest
Stylish visuals
Good music

The bad:
Repetetive music
Story is rather uninteresting
Supporting characters pale in comparison to Bayonetta

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