- Original release year: 2009
- Consoles: Xbox 360, PS3 (later: Wii U)
Bayonetta was always a game I wanted to get into. On paper, it sounded awesome. It’s a fast paced action brawler, with a sexy, strong protagonist, it features crazy combos and moves and it’s made by PlatinumGames. It plays like a zanier, more fun Devil May Cry, but when I finally bought the game, something just didn’t click for me. The problem, I believe, was down to the fact I was playing the PS3 version… A quick look at reviews and you can see the game is dogged by framerate issues on the PS3, a problem that is especially annoying in a game that is built on fast-paced, fluid gameplay. I got reasonably far in the game, but ultimately did not complete it.
Fast forward to 2014 though and Bayonetta 2 has just come out for the Wii U, with a port of Bayonetta 1 bundled with initial copies. Wow, it’s like night and day. I bought Bayonetta 2 on release day and knew I had to finish the first game first, so I started a new game on the Wii U. The game looks and plays gorgeously well on the Wii U. In fact, besides its sequel, it’s probably the most fun I had with gaming in 2014.
Despite its deep fighting mechanics, Bayonetta is not a complicated game. You run through gorgeous, bizarre levels and just kick major ass. The amazing thing about Bayonetta though, is how fights just escalate continuously throughout the game’s length and you never know what to quite expect next. The numerous boss battles just get crazier and bigger the more you progress.
As I already mentioned, the strength in Bayonetta lies in its deep combat system, which is one of the most fluid, intuitive and satisfying systems I have ever played in a game. You have basic button inputs, which correspond to kicking, punching, shooting, jumping and dodging. Fights become a rhythmic affair, with you having to time dodges just right, in order to be successful. Well-timed dodges trigger Witch Time (think bullet time), which slows the enemy down, so you can unleash some brutal attacks. There are also plenty of special moves and ‘finishing’ moves, loaded with some epic attacks, supported by QTEs.
It’s difficult to describe just how good Bayonetta is, but without a shadow of a doubt, it is one of the best games I have ever played. Both this and its sequel are two games that are as close to perfection as any game has ever come.