Some Kind of Black Magic: A Review of Bayonetta


Move lady, get out the way.

No kids, this game isn’t for you. I haven’t even started talking about the game, let alone told you the title, and already you know the game isn’t for you. Adults, this one’s for you! I’m full of glee at Bayonetta (kids, you weren’t supposed to even read the title), a game that seems to do everything right but absolutely isn’t for kids. Have I established that this isn’t for kids?  Okay 18’s and olders, let’s move on!

Living Up To The Hype

So for far more of last year than I care to remember I found myself increasingly annoyed by seeing things advertising Bayonetta and hyping it before it was even out. I can’t stand publicity for the sake of publicity, especially if there isn’t any evidence beyond “But I heard it’ll be good” to go off of. A good game hype does not make. Knowing this, the developers apparently decided to just make a good game.

You see demons there? Those should not be. It's your job to fix that.

Bayonetta’s plot is, as usual, unimportant. You play as Bayonetta, a witch with all sorts of powers and guns. She has two guns that she uses, plus two attached to her feet. Hold on for a second and think, just THINK, about the concept of a witch with a gun on each limb. Does that sound like a good idea? Yes, of course it is. Bayonetta even allows you to customize which gun goes on which limb, so at times you’ll have shotguns and rocket launchers coming from Bayonetta’s ankles. I’m almost too happy to even continue.

Continue I shall! The main draw here is the fluidity of the combat. There are a lot of comparisons between Devil May Cry and Bayonetta, but just forget Devil May Cry for a while (especially Devil May Cry 4), and listen when I tell you that you haven’t had this much fun controlling a completely chaotic video game character in a long time. The controls just work. You’ll see gameplay footage and think, “No way, I can’t pull that stuff off,” but then surprise yourself by learning that, yes, you can indeed do exactly what the game would like you to do at a level that makes you feel quite good about yourself.

She can summon giant boots from portals! I have glee!

Of course the game isn’t just going to roll over and let you defeat it, though. The game can get tough, but the regular difficulty feels fair and the hard feels like a big step up. I like seeing games that have a very clear difference between difficulty settings since, you know, you don’t want the harder mode to be just another few enemies and the easy mode to just give you some extra health. After a while you’ll slip into your groove and rawk the demons in the game at whatever level you feel you can play at.

Bayonetta is just creative. It’s meant to be stylized. The main character should make this apparent enough by her ridiculous proportions and attitude. There’s no way Bayonetta would be a real person, nor should you expect her to be. Don’t believe me? How many people do you know that have a living suit made from their hair? Probably not too many people, and the ones you do know aren’t anything like Bayonetta.

The game is also great when it comes to pacing. Remember what I said about it being creative and stylized? You’ll get to deal with some really fun enemies and bosses, and later you’ll get to fight some boss characters as if they were just normal enemies. While that sounds like it’d be repetitive, it actually isn’t. The game switches things up just enough to give you a good grasp on the game while still adding in new things.

If you haven’t figured it out by my free publicity, Bayonetta is a game worthy of praise. We’re only a few weeks into 2010 and we have a game that’ll be brought up for Game of the Year in another 12 months. Would you like some negatives since I was too positive? Well, the camera can be a pain every so often (then again what game doesn’t have an unruly camera?), and the PS3 version is clearly inferior to the Xbox 360 version. Take a look at some side-by-side comparisions if you don’t believe me.

Dance she-witch, dance.

On that note, all I can do is recommend this game. As long as you’re over 18, I highly suggest you either go rent Bayonetta or pick it up to own and then let all your friends play. That’s what good friends do after all. But not me. No, I’m much too busy to lend people anything. Also greedy and selfish, but mostly just busy. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to figure out how to attach pistols to my ankles.


About Author

Chris was the former Head Writer/Editor of Toy-TMA. He did a great job overseeing the site and getting new content published regularly. Always more than willing to respond to a comment or two, but pitiless with trolls! He has since moved on from TMA, and we wish him the best.

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