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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Life + Arts

Bayonetta worth the money

Before anything else about Bayonetta is explained, just know this: the game’s main character is a 500-year-old witch that uses her magic hair (which, somehow, is also her clothing), to destroy God’s minions. She also has amnesia. There is nothing in this game that resembles anything moderately close to sanity.

That being said, Bayonetta is also one of the most brilliant action games I’ve ever played.  The combat flows well, the graphics are exceptionally done, and it is constant fun to play.  The game eases players into becoming a master of pulling off Witch Time, where Bayonetta dodges an attack right before it lands, stopping time and allowing you to smash in combinations on whatever you’re fighting at the moment.

Most of your time is spent fighting various combinations of chicken-looking creatures the game calls angels. They all have sharp, pointy things to kill you with, and they excel at it. Players will die to groups of these things over and over again. Bayonetta is difficult, but it rewards effort each battle is intense and every checkpoint feels earned.

The main character alone makes the game a worthy play.  Bayonetta is a cross between a dominatrix and a porn star — she drips sex when she walks.  When you taunt enemies in the game, she literally caresses her body and asks people if they want to touch her. When you use her magic hair to kill people, her clothes fall off and turn into huge magic animals that eat everything around you. 

She uses not one, not two, but four guns at all times; two in her hands, of course, and then one on each foot. And she can slow time down to a crawl pretty much at will. She is a ridiculous character, one that is perpetually two steps ahead of her enemies and is fun to play at all times.

The story to Bayonetta is, unfortunately, quite bad. There are two opposing witch clans in the world, the Umbra witches and the Lumen sages. The Umbra witches are the dark side to the Lumen’s light, and they keep the universe in order with the two Eyes of the World. Then everyone starts killing each other and things went downhill.

Because Bayonetta has amnesia, most of the game’s cut scenes involve different people saying Bayonetta is more powerful than she knows and that she needs to “rise to her true potential.” From there, the game is a train wreck of clichés, ranging from Bayonetta not knowing her parents to trying to figure out a giant conspiracy.  Most of the voice acting is way too overdone, but it lends the game a certain charm, keeps the mood light and tries to explain what is going on. Besides, expecting a well-constructed narrative from a game that allows you to drop kick angels into medieval torture devices is a bit much.

The game was directed by Hideki Kamiya, who also directed Devil May Cry, Viewtiful Joe and Okami. It is the best action game he has made so far. It definitely exceeds Devil May Cry 4 and sets a high mark for action games that only titles like God of War or Ninja Gaiden can reach.

Overall, Bayonetta is definitely worth the purchase price. It’s a great action game, and it’s already sold 1.1 million copies in the U.S., so other people seem to agree as well.

If you like games that take “over the top” to the next level, Bayonetta is your best bet.

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