Review: Bayonetta

Bayonetta is a spectacle fighter that originally released for consoles in 2009. The game has finally ported over to PC, and is still as good as I remember.

I’ll start off by quickly saying that the PC Port is great. Textures look better than they used to, it runs at 60fps, you have mouse control in menus and can rebind keyboard controls.
Now that being said, I still prefer to play games of this genre on a controller, so that’s what I did. Although, I did test the keyboard/mouse controls and it’s definitely playable.

Onto the game itself. You play as Bayonetta. A witch that feels the need to fabulously pose in all sorts of over the top ways while you fight, and it is really a joy to watch. Combat feels so meaty in this game, with spells shooting out different colours, loot and gore flying everywhere while you string your combos together. It’s really fluent and satisfying.

The combat mainly consists of combining your light and heavy attacks in different ways. Depending on the orders you press them, the directions you move in or how long of a break you take before pressing the next button, you will perform a variety of moves. Equipping different weapons also changes your attacks.

You can also freely incorporate your guns into combos whenever you want. Including your foot guns. Yes, she has guns on her shoes as well.

New enemies are constantly introduced throughout the game to keep it from getting stale. You will have to adapt to their moves, and can sometimes even pick up their weapons to temporarily use against their allies.

Obviously you’ll need to make sure your health doesn’t deplete, but you also have a magic gauge that will drain if you get hit. Upon filling it up, you can perform “torture” attacks that will inflict a huge amount of damage on enemies. They usually include stuff like kicking enemies into Iron maidens or guillotines. It feels awesome to watch, but each “torture machine” is unique to different enemy types. If you fight a few enemies of the same type, you might find yourself doing the same torture attack repeatedly, which can get tedious at times since it requires that you button mash or spin your mouse/analogue stick.

When you kill enemies, you gather their halos in order to spend them in the store. Here you can buy weapons, accessories that grant you powers like invincibility or cloning upon activation. As well as consumable items or costumes. Items are quite expensive, so it might take you a bit of time to gather enough money to really afford a lot of stuff.

Depending on how well you do in a chapter, you will earn a larger bonus of money. Every fight you partake in will be rated individually. The speed at which you complete the fight, your combo intricacy or number of hits taken all factor into your final score. This is great for replay value, and it’s pretty satisfying when you score higher up.

Although, I feel like scoring very high in some areas on your first playthrough is really difficult, and will require revisiting that chapter once you’ve upgraded.

All the gameplay feels super rewarding and is just so much fun to play. Although the story isn’t the selling factor behind the game, it had me gripped enough. Bayonetta is quite likable as a provocative, cheeky anti-hero, and the mystery behind her past is quite intriguing.

One relatively big gripe I have with the game is the inconsistency behind cutscenes. Some of them are animated great. Fluent, and look nice. While the other half are still images that shift back and forth as if you’re looking at a slide-show. I’m not sure why they went with this. Obviously it was cheaper and easier to make, but that’s not something you generally see in the base game. It’s something developers typically do in DLCs. It’s not a huge problem, because it gets the story across and they’re still mildly interesting looking, but it would have been much nicer if everything was beautifully animated the whole time.

Although the music is decent, you won’t be hearing it much over the combat sounds without turning it up, and it seems the me the same fight music is played over and over throughout the game. I didn’t get tired of it though, which is surprising. Perhaps it’s because I could barely hear it. It does successful set the mood for Bayonetta’s personality though, which is nice.

Overall, I’m having a tonne of fun playing through the game a 2nd time after all these years, at 60fps. Boss fights feel epic, combat is satisfying and tight, the writing can be pretty funny at times, and it’s just a cheesy fun experience to go through. Big props to the devs for reflecting the game’s age in its price. I think for how cheap it is, if you are a fan of the genre, definitely do yourself a favor and pick the game up!

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