Friday, January 15, 2010

Videogame Review: Bayonetta (Action - 360/PS3)

Ah, first game I have bought in this decade. It was an impulse buy at that!

I really had a tough time in deciding which version to get. Everyone says 360 is the definitive version since it was the main platform that it was developed for, while SEGA only ported it to the PS3. In addition, it seems like most of the flaws are in the PS3 version - blurry textures, lower framerates, and insane loading times. So, why did I had a tough time? I was wary of using the 360 controller for anything other than a shooting game. I have played Dead or Alive 4 using the standard 360 pad, and it wasn't pleasant to say the least. Plus, I was too lazy to plug every cord back again to the T.V. because I haven't touched said console for almost a year. That, and I wanted to let the guys in my PSN Friends List know I'm playing this game. Oh, and Trophies, I want to collect them to increase my e-peen.

Yes, I realized they were trivial, so I mentally slapped myself and went ahead to get the 360 version.

First, Bayonetta looks absolutely gorgeous. No, not the character (I find her strangely disproportionate, I guess it varies for each person) but the game itself. So that takes care on the argument pertaining to the Graphics Department.

The game starts off with you immediately taking control of the heroine, Bayonetta, standing upon a huge slab of a destroyed giant Clock Tower fighting amongst your comrade against angelic monsters as it falls down to the ground. You'd that think that scenes like what I've just described only happen in in-game cinematics, but actually playing and kicking all sorts of ass as the narrator lays down the introductory plot for the game actually made my jaw drop. Platinum Games really went all-out with this title, and the best part is, the game didn't lose steam throughout my entire playthrough.

Usually, as I've experienced in most games, they start to become boring and tedious come at the first 1/3 of the game. Bayonetta actually manages to keep its flair, even constantly overdoing itself in almost each scene of the game. So don't expect to lose interest, this game will hook your attention all the way through the end. As for the controls, they are pretty great for an action game. However, my one main gripe is the camera, as sometimes the enemies get moved out of the screen to only focus on you. Using the right analog sticks moves the camera, but doing this during an intense fight where there's a lot of crap going on might be asking for a lot. Plot is ridiculously absurd in this game as there's no need to follow it, but it's not something as complex like in many RPGs so there's a high chance you'll know what's going on at least. Still, it's crazy.

But for action games like Bayonetta, what really matters is the gameplay. As you've already read earlier, the gameplay doesn't disappoint. Boss fights are intense as hell, as the scale of each Boss range from human size to really damn huge; no doubt you'll be left with a grin on your face after you defeated each one of them. Most of the moves you'll be doing will be so over-the-top that you won't even believe you're controlling the character, even your grandma could make Bayonetta do it. Of course, there's a ton of combos that you can mix and match, so for those people who like depth in their games, Bayonetta's got them in spades. Well... except for the plot. However, difficulty's another matter, as Bayonetta is not as forgiving as most games released these days. It will literally kick your ass if you're not paying attention. Yes, even on Normal Mode. Though, that doesn't mean its balls to the wall hard, the difficulty is balanced enough for the player to actually enjoy. But that's just for Normal Mode, Hard and Infinite Climax Modes, which you unlock upon beating the game, might actually want you to throw away your controller in frustration.

In addition, the game actually rewards you for doing good on a level, based on how much damage you dished out, as well as how much damage you received, and the number of times you died. The rewards will be more money for you to spend on the store, as well some stuff to unlock later in the game. Speaking of unlockables, Bayonetta's got a whole lot of them, adding more incentive for a player to re-play the game once they've finished it.

One playthrough of a game, without skipping cutscenes, will net you a good 12-15 hours of gameplay. Couple that with unlockable modes and items that further enhances the gameplay, you might actually end up twice, if not three times more than your first playthrough. Of course, that solely depends on how much you like the genre.


+ Fluid and Over the Top action
+ Good graphics
+ Combos are easy to pull off, but can be complex once you start experimenting
+ Nice soundtrack (Just ignore the "Fly me to the Moon" remixes)
- Camera needs a little work

Therefore, I rate this a game good 9.5 out of 10.

Not bad for the first game I have bought this decade!