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This review was submitted by Jared Araniego. If you’ve played Bayonetta, or just want to ask Jared more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Bayonetta (360, PS3)
Off the critically acclaimed (but rarely purchased) success of Madworld, Platinum Games formerly known as Clover Studios are at it again with the highly stylised Bayonetta. While Bayonetta may have style, smarts and hair long enough to double as her clothes, is there enough substance to live up to the game developers lofty standards?
Epic Scale: This game is epic. It starts off with two witches fighting off hoards of angels on a large piece of a tower clock falling through the air, before the opening credits have been shown. As the game proceeds, large set pieces are played out that always somehow end in a furore of blood and guts, followed by a quip from Bayonetta. However the best thing is that whenever you feel like the game has reached its peak of epic-ness, it’ll outdo itself in the next level. This only ends when the game has finally felt like it’s done enough, in other words, the end credits. But then of course there’s always the option to play the game again.
Stylish But Simple Gameplay: Bayonetta thrives on style, and Platinum Games have made sure that there is never a shortage of it during the gameplay. Three difficulty choices are available from the start, from Easy Automatic to Normal. While Normal will force you to input specific combos, Easy Automatic allows the player to randomly press a combination of buttons, which still results in Bayonetta’s flashy repertoire of moves. It’s a great way of allowing each individual player, from button masher to combo enthusiast to fully experience the style that Bayonetta is famous for.
Boss Battles: In line with the grand scale of the game, boss battles are a blast to play. While it requires the player to hit the weak spot for damage, it never gets old triggering ‘Witch Time’ (essentially bullet time) and pummelling the boss and in the process seeing massive chunks of the health bar go down. The end result is Bayonetta uttering some kind of chant which results in her clothes/hair transforming into some kind of monster which proceeds to gore the enemy in a brutal fashion. It’s quite amazing.
Story: This isn’t a bad part of the game, but amidst all the gory boss battles and stylish moves Bayonetta pulls off, it gets left behind. Basically it involves heroine Bayonetta searching for the ‘Right Eye of the world’ to regain her lost memories. Amongst this there is also some fanatical religious cult out to get the same item for world domination and a little girl who looks like a younger version of Bayonetta. It’s not very compelling, but when a game involves a character whose hair doubles as her clothes and a dragon, something has to give.
Although Bayonetta’s story lacks substance, the gameplay has plenty of it. It’s fast and stylish and as a result, as satisfying as break dancing while having guns strapped to your stilettos and shooting angels in the process.
Reviewed by: Jared Araniego
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 500 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.