I finally got around to playing Bayonetta from developer Platinum Games, a whole two to three years roughly after its release.
I will honestly admit that I came at this game expecting to dislike it. The character design is awful. Even getting past the fact that her head is creepily tiny – her proportions, dress and attitude all pretty much put me off…
But the game itself isn’t really that bad. It certainly isn’t amazing. The general feel of the game is very ‘Devil May Cry’, which is not a terrible game to emulate. With its range of difficulty levels it is fairly easy to just pick up and play. For the most part.
Bayonetta does have a few occasions where the timing of a quick time event is very close, and I did need to repeat them a few times. On the whole, however the game is quite playable.
The real downside to the game-play are the moments that feel overly drawn out. When a game play mechanic such as the motorcycle racing or the arcade style flying forward and shooting is introduced – it’s a nice change. But they really outstay their welcome after a while, with the enemies and locations you’re rushing past just repeating over and over to fill time and it becomes very boring.
Outside of the main character, the design and graphics were quite interesting. I quite liked the locations of the game, although you didn’t really spend a lot time in most of them. Sadly, you could really equate them with simply a series of corridors that you fight in between getting to cut-scenes.
This really leads to the main downside I felt with the game. I thought the plot (while not told in necessarily the best way) was pretty interesting. I liked the Witches and Sages, and their whole plot – I thought it was pretty ‘colourful’, is really the best word that comes to mind. Because really you could use the fighting system to make a much ‘safer’ game, and the developers didn’t. But there isn’t much to it other than that – it feels like it took the material and used it a bit lightly, with the player not having a lot of real interaction with the story or ideas. That’s mostly dealt with in flashbacks and in-game reading (which I always feel is a little lazy, is that just me?)
So, to finish up here on this short review of Bayonetta – despite my dislike of the main character, I don’t think it was really that bad, but it could have been better, and certainly less shallow.