Stapled as an action adventure/hack ‘n slash, Bayonetta was originally released in 2009 in Japan then in 2010 in North America and Europe on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Later in 2014 it was released again for the Wii U. Now it has come to the Nintendo Switch here in 2018.
I’m going to start this review by saying that I have no prior experience playing Bayonetta or Bayonetta 2. So I was completely new to the story and characters involved in this series. I only knew of Bayonetta because of her character in Super Smash Bros.
Bayonetta begins with a big flashy intro with enemies coming in on you and a companion (more like a partner perhaps). You quickly destroy them using an assortment of hand to hand combat and gunplay followed by a quick explanation of some the story with some cut scenes.
Director Hideki Kamiya does a good job with the introduction introducing key characters and story. The game has a nice soundtrack that ranges from noir inspired tunes to energetic and classy.
The story for Bayonetta is not what I expected–especially since the description for the game is very vague. It didn’t grab my attention in the beginning as much considering it was mostly tutorials combined with game play. The plot gets a lot deeper as you play. The more I kept going, the more I wanted to know. There are some humorous parts to Bayonetta, and you will find yourself laughing out loud a few times during your run. It will definitely leave you wanting more.
The graphics hold up very nice in docked mode as well as in handheld mode. The only problem in handheld mode is that when the camera pans out in certain situations it gets hard to keep track of what is going on the screen. I’ve come across almost no frame drops even in the heat of some intense fights with the hordes of enemies the game throws your way.
Bayonetta’s attacks are very quick and responsive, something I appreciate in a game that expects you to react on time. The combos Bayonetta pulls off are something special. The game uses a feature called “Witch Time” and a torture attack system that nets extra points while making attacks brutal and gory. Once you fill up a special meter you can unleash one of these powerful attacks. Combat always keeps you on your toes ready for the next attack to come. Though, counter attacking without thought will easily end the “Witch Hunt”.
The developers even added touch controls for those who care to use them. I tried the touch controls for a bit but in the end still preferred to play with a pro-controller.
Boss fights are extremely entertaining as you’ll be facing huge enemies that will definitely leave a mark on your memory. Just like the standard enemies the boss fights are diverse, different, and require you to think strategically.
Bayonetta is combat focused but that’s not the only itch it can scratch for core gamers as it tosses in platforming and puzzles throughout the game.
From assembling keys piece by piece as an onslaught of enemies attack from everywhere, to triggering “Witch Time” to move quickly through an area to progress. During your play-through of chapters you can search for pieces of weapons and take them to be assembled into powerful new weapons which aide you in scaling your damage. You can also concoct your own healing items or purchase them from a shop. Books are scattered throughout the levels for those who like to know every detail of the world they are playing in.