Reader Review: Bayonetta

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Steven does, as he flies to the moon and sings among the stars.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD or Blu-ray releases.

This review was submitted by Steven McKenzie. If you’ve played Bayonetta, or just want to ask Steven more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Bayonetta (Xbox 360)

Bayonetta is an action game from Platinum Studios helmed by Hideki Kamiya, notably the director of the original Devil May Cry. Starring a buxom heroine who fights angels by conjuring demons and giant boots with her hair, Bayonetta certainly has style, but is there any substance?


Over The Top Action: Combat in Bayonetta may look out of control when viewed without a controller in your hand, but fear not, the combo system is deep and handles exceptionally well.

Easy On The Eyes: Bayonetta is a gorgeous game and, from a design standpoint, wildly inventive. With unique enemy designs and level design full of jaw-dropping vistas, this is a visual delight.

Aural Sex: From the jazz and funk of most standard encounters to the sweeping orchestral and choral scores that underpin the game’s epic boss battles, the soundtrack to Bayonetta’s angel-slaying is the perfect compliment to the visuals.

Worthy Opponents: Ridiculous, impeccably well designed and a whole lot of fun, the boss battles are some of the best in recent memory.

“Heard that in a game once”: There’s more to fanservice than T&A, and Platinum knows that. Bayonetta is full of classic gaming references and in-jokes that should provide most gamers with at least a few chuckles.


Undeveloped negatives: A large chunk of Bayonetta’s many cutscenes are presented in a static film-strip style that serves only to take you out of the moment and, occasionally, cause confusion in the otherwise easy to follow plot.

Presentation issues aside, Bayonetta’s often bizarre decidedly Japanese stylings are underpinned by near-flawless gameplay foundations that live up to the developer’s impressive pedigree and then some. It won’t be to everyone’s liking, but those with a taste for Bayonetta’s style will find a lot of substance to fall in love with too.

Reviewed by: Steven McKenzie

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 300 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


    I am loving this game. Agree the cutscenes are a bit crap, and skipping them requires too many inputs! If I go to the effort to pause the game, and select to skip a cutscene, it doesn't really need to ask me if I'm sure... I'm sure dagnabbit! But that's a tiny quibble.

    More distressing to me, is that after completing on Normal difficulty, I have been trying to play the game on HARD, and man, it's soooo hard.. I can't even get through the Prologue level! Made even worse since every time I die, I have to go through the tutorial sections again, and again, and again. There certainly needs to be a difficulty level between Normal and Hard.

      Simply press R2 and Select to quickly skip a cut scene. For the 360 I would assume you press RT and Back/Select (whatever it is). BAM! All problems gone.

      I love this game. After completing it, I felt the urge to play it all over again! Very few games have this effect on me. Too damn fun. Now back to getting my ass handed to me in hard mode. :D

    What I want to know is, for someone who did not enjoy the dmc series, is this game worth my time?

    Is it just a next gen dmc with a female lead and fan service?

      over-hyped! i liked the first dmc, 2nd was same ol and 3rd i just didnt like.

      as for bayonetta, its ok, i found it really repetitive and too busy. looks amazing but so much going on. i felt like it had very little depth in combat and yeha i didnt like it that much...

      i had just finished darksiders on 360 and i rated that waaaay better than bayonetta. looking foward to god of war 3 though...

      If you liked the idea of the hack-and-slash comboing element of DMC but disliked how the game seemed to hate you and punish you heavily for the occasional stuff up, then I think Bayonetta may be worth a try.

      Your standard difficulty (Normal) is actually what you'd expect in the way of a normal difficulty (unlike DMC), but there are two even easier difficulties that will hold you hand and do all the cool combos just by pressing the one attack button, if you so choose. Combos are fast, furious and over-the-top (in a good way), and there is a large range of weapons you can switch out for as you unlock them, most of which are different enough to make them worthwhile.

      A nice touch is that any health or magic upgrades, as well as any weapons or items collected, are kept between difficulties. So if you find you're struggling at a particular difficulty (or doing much better than you thought), you can change it inbetween levels and keep everything you've collected, as well as your progression through the game.

      If the fanservice is a bit of a concern to you, my missus has watched me play through the entire game on normal (including cutscenes, where most of your fanservice resides), and now wants to play through herself. While there is plenty of fanservice to be found, it's presented in a campy, obvious way. This is a game that doesn't take itself seriously, and it really benefits from it.

      To summarise, Bayonetta is like a DMC game that doesn't hate you. If you think that might be worth a try, I suggest hiring it for a few days, or taking advantage of a retailer's return policy (EB, Game, et al). If you don't like it, return it and just get your money back. ^^

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