Bayonetta


by Wencke Schuncken
author awarded score: 85/100

Bayonetta Review
Developer: SEGA
Publisher: SEGA
Format Reviewed: Xbox360
Reviewed by: Wencke Schuncken

Can you strike a pose and let the television implode? With Bayonetta it is as simple as ABC, or as this is the review of the Xbox360 version, as simple as ABXY. The year just started and with a game like Bayonette, the bar is set high for new games to follow as it simply is an astonishing game. A little bit strange, but with the cool temper of the female protagonist Bayonetta and the button pressing precision of the player, it’s a journey into a new dimension which everybody should experience.

 Bayonetta female gamers review

Bayonetta is a third-person 3D action, hack & slash game, and we should spell action with big capitals as it features multiple action scenes, whether casted by the player or in game animations. As stated above, the game simply let’s your TV implode and your surround system does what it has been build for and makes the action even more stunning. The game is set in a fictional city in Europe, although the player quickly has no notice anymore of where the action is going on as there are varied environments with fantasy, fictional influences. It’s Bayonetta’s world and beyond where she’s is looking for answers regarding her past, but to find answers she has to defeat enemies by using both melee and long ranged attacks, complex combo strings, and multiple weapons. She is encouraged to explore ways to dispatch angelic enemies with as much flair as possible, and staying cool as always without any sign of being nervous. Special commands or actions are woven into events, finishes, executions, and unique "Torture Attacks" in which Bayonetta summons a variety of devices to deal devastating blows to her enemies. Such devices range from guillotines to iron maidens. She also has unique but limited abilities that her enemies do not possess, such as "Witch Time", which activates when the player makes a well-timed dodge to an attack. This temporarily slows time to allow Bayonetta to inflict massive amounts of counter damage before the enemies can react. Last but not least she also has Wicked Weave techniques, which turn her outfit / hair as a conduit to summon enormous forth demonic entities. So far the action / battle part. Pretty impressive, although you haven’t seen her in action yet. Is there also a story? Oh yes!

 Bayonetta female gamers review

The story is about Bayonetta, a witch, who awakens after a 500 year sleep and finds herself in an unfamiliar area with no memories of who or what she is. Over time, she begins to remember what caused her current predicament. 500 years before the incident that caused Bayonetta's memory loss, there were two factions of warriors—the Umbra Witches, who are followers of darkness and their counterparts, the Lumen Sages, are followers of light. The factions shared two distinct treasures, the 'Eyes of the World' that were separately named the 'Left Eye' and the 'Right Eye', which they used to oversee the just passage of time. Both factions mysteriously disappeared under unknown circumstances. Bayonetta still has an ornate piece of jewelry, close to her heart which contains a small red gem, and believes this gem is the 'Left Eye' of the 'Eyes of the World'. While searching for the "Right Eye", she often receives flashbacks that make her remember what caused her current predicament.

There’s enough to explore and certainly to defeat in this game. Make progress and let Bayonetta find the answers she’s looking for, even when they’re unrealistic. The path to the end is well-paved and as an action gamer, you’ll love every step as it brings you more power-ups, more varied moves and techniques, and more breathtaking moments when the marvelous designed monsters show up. By defeating your enemies, they’ll transform in halos and by collecting them you can exchange them in a devilish shop against new weapons, more moves, more techniques and goodies to keep Bayonetta alive and in top shape. By defeating bigger and more important enemies, you’ll be rewarded with music records or pieces from it. These are real gems as you can exchange them for very unique weapons! Also the more impressive enemies leave weapons behind, make sure to pick them up and use them in future battles!

 Bayonetta female gamers review

The best rewards though are the Xbox achievements and the award at the end of a level. It rates your performance in medals and an award statue. For example if you didn't bring any damage and killed them all while chaining combos, they'll give you a pure platinum medal which is the best medal in the game and it really feels satisfying. Of course if you took damage, took long to kill the enemies, or didn't chain as much combos, you may get bronze, silver, gold or just platinum. Each environment also hidden treasures, such as bullets. Bullets can be used at the end of each level in a bonus mini-game called “Angel Attack”. As if we didn't have enough action already in the story mode, this mini-game is a shoot out game. Shoot mini enemies to win enough points which can be exchanged against lollipops to boost the energy or to heal Bayonetta, a heart for vitality, or a red hot shot that can save Bayonetta from the depths of mortality when vitality is depleted.

From a female point of view, we’re begging for years for more female leading characters. And now that we have a new one, she seems too sexy for some female gamers. Let me reassure you that you won’t feel intimidated by her; the way she moves, her acts or even the way she looks. Actually while making progress you’ll see the humor in it. For example when she’s spinning on a pole (special weapon), which can be associated with a peep show erotic act. You’ll attract enemies but by the spinning, you’ll easily knock them down. And what about her clothing? Bayonetta is just, like most of us, a character who likes to change outfits. She starts with a tight nun’s outfit, then turns into the black cat suite which is designed to change form into multiple huge demonic entities to deal damage. And in case you wonder, the stronger the demonic entity, the less Bayonetta keeps on but she never will take of her shoes. Doubtlessly because they were exclusively designed for her, with stylish guns attached to the heels. While making progress you and Bayonetta find clues to her past, and how she adapts to her role from a nun, a female action hero, to perhaps being a mum? Anyway, don’t be intimidated by her looks and behavior, save that for the opponents you’ll encounter while you’re traveling through Bayonetta’s world and beyond.

 Bayonetta female gamers review

Bayonetta turned out to be more than just a plain hack & slash action game as the story is decent, motivating and sometimes stunning and surprising. Also it contains more than just pressing buttons in a certain sequence to make chain combos and spectacular moves, creating mega heel kicks and punches. Bayonetta also needs to race on a motorcycle and surf on a board to reach her enemies. In the background, the music is playing but somehow I don’t think it fits to the game. It reminds me of the music used in the TV show Charlies Angels, hear tunes from Britney Spears song “baby one more time” or could be music which they play in the lounge of a cruise ship. Another minus is that the game is rather short. In twelve hours, you should have made it till the end. And that my gaming friends, is a big bummer for a good game. But if they’re already planning or even creating a second part, you won’t hear me complaining! Bring it on!