Friday, December 16, 2011

Bayonetta

Angel May Cry: Non-Stop Climax Action
It is somewhat of a rare occurrence to be graced with an action game of this caliber that attempts to redefine its respective genre. Hideki Kamiya, the director of the first Devil May Cry game, returns at helm with Bayonetta on the table with PlatinumGames behind his efforts. What we have here is an action game in vein of Devil May Cry, and Kamiya's masterful efforts shine through and through in every aspect of Bayonetta. There are similarities here and there, as well as a few nods to Devil May Cry and a couple of more references to Kamiya's other works. 

While Bayonetta will obviously be put up for debate against Devil May Cry, what you're about to witness from this game is an action game that's on-par if not better than every one of the Devil May Cry games. Can Kamiya truly out-do his original action game with Capcom, Devil May Cry?

Tired of fighting enemies from Hell? Take the fight to Heaven - Angels May Cry.
Bayonetta is an amnesia-stricken witch who really doesn't know much of her past. As go progress through the game, you'll unlock and remember key events leading up to who you truly are and what you're aim is. You'll come across flashback sequences that are vague, but start to come together as you move on - this layout works really well since it keeps the player interested and eager to play more. 

In order to find out and unlock your past, you will need to battle through the angels from Heaven with your quad-pistol arsenal, as well as your other weapons. Bayonetta battles through a variety winged angels that seem pretty horrific under their holy facade - some players may form some sort of morbid curiosity as to why you're fighting "the good guys" from Heaven.

Non-Stop Climax Action!
The main draw for Bayonetta is obviously the combat. It has been much touted from Sega and PlatinumGames that Bayonetta features "non-stop climax action" and this holds a lot of weight. As previously mentioned, Bayonetta is a quad-pistol packing witch with a variety of other weapons to use in combat. If you've ever played a Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden game, then there are some notable similarities here. What Bayonetta does is mix in Devil May Cry's free-form, free-style combat with Ninja Gaiden's dial-a-combo mechanics - this allows the player a certain level of freedom when mixing different combos. 

You can also equip melee weapons at a time, with guns always attached to Bayonetta's heels. Bayonetta's arsenal doesn't end there, she can also conjure torture devices (such as guillotines and chain saws) to scare the living Jesus out of your angelic foes. These torture devices are truly something to behold and are worth not losing a combo over for. Chain enough hits, kill enough enemies, and you'll be earning magic points to be used for these torture attacks - there are many different types in the air or ground, as well as for different types of enemies. In order to initiate your torture attacks, you must have sufficient magic points - you lose magic points if you get hit. Thankfully, this game encourages you to time your dodge to execute Witch Time - a feature that slows down time if you dodge an enemy's attacks at a specific moment before it lands. 

You thought that our quad-pistol packing witch with an arsenal of torture devices stopped there? It still doesn't end there, Bayonetta can summon hellish creatures using her hair. That's right, her hair - and these always have some sort of mini QTE sequence. To give you an idea, Bayonetta can summon a dragon to chomp on your bigger foes, but there's a few more for you to witness that will leave you in awe the first time you see them.

Challenge me.
Bayonetta challenges you with 16 chapters, a prologue, an epilogue, a lost chapter, and PlatinumGames' personal (optional) challenges to you, the player, on certain levels via Alfheim Portals (hidden through out certain stages). Even with all of your super-crazy torture attacks and other arsenal, enemies are no push-overs. Even on normal difficulty, some of your enemies will put up a fight, and encourages you to use different weapons and combos. After you beat the game, you unlock two difficulty modes: hard and non-stop climax mode. With online leaderboards, you can maximize your time with Bayonetta. You'd need to be signed in to your online account to be able to get your stats up and running. The AI is challenging enough in which button mashing will get you killed.

Would you like to touch Bayonetta?
Coupled with the amazing gameplay offerings, Bayonetta offers a control scheme that makes the experience smooth and fluid. You've got a simple control lay out - square for your guns, triangle as your main melee button, circle for kicking, X for jumping, R2 for dodging, L2 to switch weapons on the fly, R1 for lock-on, and the d-pad for using any items you've set from the menu. 

Speaking of items, you can concoct items for you to use - you gain red, yellow, and green orbs from enemies or smashing crates, pots, etc. Back to the controls, Bayonetta controls very fluidly in battle. Even though everything on-screen seems to be going by so fast, PlatinumGames manages to make things clear for the player so you don't get lost in the shuffle with all of the hub-bub going on.

Hideki Kamiya, kudos to you and your team!
To reiterate the previous question, can Kamiya truly out-do his original action game with Capcom, Devil May Cry? With Bayonetta, he has. Featuring over-the-top boss battles that are just incredibly fun, an aesthetically beautiful, unique looking game, a combat system with the uncanny ability to emphasize Bayonetta's sexyness, this is a game that should be enjoyable to those who love action hack and slash games. If you've got a PS3 or a 360, then you're fine with either one - just play Bayonetta and you'll be in for a non-stop climax action adventure.
NAME: BAYONETTA
SYSTEM: Play Station 3, XBOX 360

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