Bayonetta Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3
Bayonetta screenshot
Bayonetta screenshot

"Seven years ago I created Devil May Cry. Many of you have said that it kick-started the action genre into 3D, but did it really? Have action games really progressed past what we accomplished seven years ago? I don't believe they have. We as creators have squandered the opportunity to make things better, smoother, more intense, more engaging; that is why I have come back to 3D action. It is time to make good on the promise of seven years ago and I feel that we are the only team who can do it. The era of style and action is over. Today we take action to its climax."

Devil May Cry creator Hideki Kamiya, May 2008

It was certainly a bold statement to make, but no one ever questioned him. This is a man responsible for creating one of gaming's biggest franchises and he speaks with an authority that few developers possess. A year and a half later, Kamiya's latest baby, Bayonetta, has finally made it into my hands, and it really does take action to its climax. Kamiya can talk the talk, and he's delivered the goods to back it up.

Bayonetta has it all. It's hardcore in the extreme, with a combat system so advanced the majority of gamers will never experience it to its fullest, yet also flashy enough to appeal to a broader audience; it's got a style that's unique while also unquestionably Japanese; it's completely and utterly bonkers, with a lead character unlike any other I've ever played before and a cast of enemies so crazy in their design that it's hard to imagine how they were dreamt up in the first place; and it's an insane amount of fun once you know what you're doing.

I could try and explain the storyline, but most of it is so barmy I felt as if I was just along for the ride, rather than able to take much of it in. You play as Bayonetta, a witch who is suffering from temporary memory loss after a 500-year sleep. As she tries to remember her past she tackles wave after wave of angelic enemies, summons demons to rip the heads off giant snakes, and encounters humans who live in another realm. Oh, and she can fire guns from her hands and feet, her hair forms her clothing and transforms into weapons, she can turn into a panther, lollipops heal her and most of the game is played along to a sound of a remixed version of Fly Me to the Moon.

The combat is fast, brutal and packed with depth.

The combat is fast, brutal and packed with depth.

The cat-suited, dark-haired, spectacled beauty is from the school of female game characters whose bodies defy biology, and she's not shy about showing it off. During her adventures in the fictional European city of Vigrid, players will be treated to more than a little bit of virtual flesh and plenty of risqué camera angles. Bayonetta is a game that is a bizarre mix of top-drawer combat, punishing difficulty and crazy tongue-in-cheek cutscenes.

It's the combat that will win most plaudits, such is the quality of what's on offer here. Your move set revolves around kicking, punching, firing your selected gun and dodging. Combinations of these will perform attack chains, unleashing more advanced attacks, while dodging an enemy's attack at the last second will temporarily send you into Witch Time, in which Bayonetta moves at normal speed but everything else is slowed down. You've got two weapon sets, switchable at the press of a button and customisable from the game's menu.

There's a recharging magic meter too, which when full allows you to perform Torture moves of varying degrees of brutality. A guillotine isn't a friendly way to end an enemy's life, but the Vise is a real work of brutality. By rotating the left analogue stick Bayonetta turns the crank, ending with the trapped enemy being crushed into a bloody mess. All these torture moves require some form of QTE, usually just repeatedly hammering one button, but they're brilliantly designed and never cease to be entertaining.

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14 Comments

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Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

I love the aesthetics of the angels, and the game is a lot of fun. I like the frantic, arcadey nature of the game, but I can understand why many people, after playing Darksiders and Ninja Gaiden might find it too frantic. It is typically Japanese and over-sexed, but that all adds to the fun.
Posted 13:26 on 10 January 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

I'm just repeating myself,
but I gave up after the first little bit before the cut sequence. The gaming is everywhere and frantic and I had no idea wtf was going on.
Posted 11:09 on 10 January 2010
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

A mate has totally put me off this game. I got a text asking if I played the Bayonetta demo yet? Answering no i was told. It reminded him of playing games on the Sega Saturn. Basically its dated and gameplay should have evolved from this time. I kind of like the games he does as we have similar choice in games. I'll play the demo but won't expect a lot.
Posted 10:33 on 10 January 2010
mikejosh1978's Avatar

mikejosh1978

Played demo on both ps3 & 360 & it does seem like its been built for 360. I gotta say how boring it got in the start just pressing Y&B or triangle & Circle for 10 mins. This to me is a rent or a complete button bash avoid like a lot of games that have been on demo lately . Dante's was the same but with a god of war copy style. Is 2010 going to be the button bash yr as '09 was FPS?
Posted 11:05 on 05 January 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

Wow, I played the demo and didn't get past getting off the train. It just didn't grab me. Maybe I'll have to give it another try?
Posted 20:51 on 04 January 2010
Wido's Avatar

Wido@ GeNeCyDe1993

Indeed. Valid point you made there. Bioshock 2 is going to be the game which people will buy. Too many good games are coming out in the first 3 months of this year!
Posted 20:30 on 04 January 2010
GeNeCyDe1993's Avatar

GeNeCyDe1993

Thanks Wido, still think £35 is a bit steep for me to splash out. Ill wait for it to drop around when GOW comes out, then ill get it on 360 because i dont have a ps3 + cant go spending all my money when Bioshock2 is on the horizon!
Posted 20:03 on 04 January 2010
Wido's Avatar

Wido

Sounds like you really did enjoy yourself while playing this game Tom.

Does indeed look good and I have played the PS3 demo. Very good in the gameplay terms and hits the nail on its head. Does it have the longevity to replay again? I don't know but its a game which I would buy when down in price.

Shopto.net are selling Bayonetta £34.95 while most places are selling at £40.
Posted 19:57 on 04 January 2010
dudester's Avatar

dudester

Am happy to wait for lovefilm to send it to me as its not something I would go out and buy.
Posted 18:31 on 04 January 2010
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx

Well I played on the PS3 demo and thought it was quite good tbh.
Not my cup of tea though but others have rated it highly.
Posted 17:54 on 04 January 2010
GeNeCyDe1993's Avatar

GeNeCyDe1993

I may have to wait for a drop in price, dont think im interested enough to pay £40 for it.
Posted 17:36 on 04 January 2010
renegade's Avatar

renegade

PS3 version is a bit meh, Most reviewers say to avoid if you can, even sony had to step in to fix it a bit, not good Platinum Games not Good,

This will be a 100% Miss for me sorry
Posted 16:50 on 04 January 2010
Rickitis's Avatar

Rickitis

Apparently the Xbox 360 version of the game is a lot better than the PS3 version, so if you have both consoles get the Xbox version. It sucks that PS3 is still getting bad conversions of games though.
Posted 16:06 on 04 January 2010
thpcplayer's Avatar

thpcplayer

hmmm great! Might pick it up cheap.
I'm more intrested in darksiders at the moment tbh
Posted 16:03 on 04 January 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Bayonetta
9
Out of 10
Bayonetta
  • Looks superb
  • Deep, fluid combat
  • Great sense of style
  • Story could have been told better
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 08/01/2010
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3
Developer: Platinum Games
Publisher: Sega
Genre: Action
No. Players: One
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 2,473 1096
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