Review: BAYONETTA (2017)

Being bad never felt so good.

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Bayonetta is a third-person action game developed by PlatinumGames and published by Sega. Originally released for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2009, the game was ported to Microsoft Windows this year. The player assumes the role of the titular character, a powerful witch who can shape-shift, perform magical attacks, and can summon demons from her hair.

(Yes, you read that last one correct.)

Is It Worth?

One of the best hack-and-slash games ever has finally arrived on PC. Why wouldn’t you want to give this a try?

A little about the Gameplay

I’m not even going to try to describe the plot here because, well, it’s pointless. You play as a sexy witch who has got guns attached to her shoes and can summon demons out of her hair. Oh, and her hair is also her costume. So… yeah.

This is not to say that the game does not try to offer even an outline of a story. The world is rich with demons, witches, angels, journalists, bartenders. But that’s not what Bayonetta is about. Bayonetta is about using complex combos and multiple weapons to kill angels with your bullets, kicks, punches, and hair.

Finishers and executions are woven into the combat. Building special combos will unlock “torture attacks,” where Bayonetta brings in elaborate torture machines to destroy her enemies. Apart from this, Bayonetta also possesses “witch time,” which is unlocked every time the player evades an enemy attack as late as possible. This temporarily slows time for everyone except Bayonetta, allowing the player to inflict massive damage before the enemies can react. As the game progresses, the player can unlock new moves, techniques, weapons, transformations, etc.

The game features an elaborate rating system, and depending on how well the player performs at the end of a chapter, they are offered one of the following award: Stone, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum or Pure Platinum. And trust me, you really have to work for those.

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The Good

1: Bayonetta is such a fun game. I probably had a stupid grin throughout the thirteen-ish hours I took to beat it. Video games should be fun!

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2: I criticize often how modern games, at least the ones in the last four or five years, lack boss fights. And yes, this is just my opinion, but if a game does not have an epic boss fight at the end of every level, or if a game does not have at least that one boss that takes you multiple retries to beat, what’s the point really?

Not only does Bayonetta offer many boss fights, it does them right. Frankly, they are insane!

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Yup, that’s her hair turned into what looks like a giant stiletto gladiator sandal, maybe?

3: Although Bayonetta gets categorized as an hack-and-slash game often — I did that too a while ago — it is so much more. The gameplay is relentlessly innovative. The game will throw racing missions at you where Bayonetta speeds down a highway on her motorcycle; the game will let you ride a missile and you can use that missile to shoot more missiles; and so, so much more. Every level feels fresh even though you are essentially building off from your previous exploits.

4: The combat system is fantastic. In my humble opinion, it probably is the best off games that offer similar gameplay. It is fluid. The transitions are smooth. Consider this: you can build combos, evade an enemy attack, and then continue to build that combo. The game offers you so much freedom.

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How To Kick in the ‘Witch Time’ 101

5: I can’t run 4K, but my oh my, the game looks gorgeous. There would be some issues, of course. For example, I wouldn’t really expect this to run on an ultra wide screen or something because, well, the original is almost a decade old. Nevertheless, this is as perfect as a port can be.

The Bad

1: I found myself wondering often as I played the game whether Bayonetta is sexist. I’ve not been able to reach at a conclusion still. She carries herself with such confidence that even when she does her ridiculous climax moves and the camera focuses on her ass and breasts, she is the one in control. She probably is a cheesecake done right, if there is such a thing, but whether the character is sexist or sexy is still open to discussion, more than almost a decade after the original was released.

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Conclusion

A fantastic port of one of the best games ever, Bayonetta comes highly recommended.

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About Amandeep Singh Virdi

My name is Amandeep Singh Virdi and I love video games among other things that include comics, movies, music and pro wrestling. Follow me @thatvirdiguy on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, whatever.
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