Monday, August 2, 2010

Games I can't put down: Bayonetta

I've been a fan of the Devil May Cry series and Viewtiful Joe. Those were some of the best games I ever played on Playstation. When The creator, Hideki Kamiya was working on a new action series I was very curious. At first glance I thought it looked terrible. I mean a witch that uses her hair to fight angels? I mean Devil May Cry was a crazy game but it was an over the top action game. Viewtiful Joe was like playing an animated movie. You could manipulate the whole environment.

Bayonetta didn't make since to me until I played it. I actually downloaded it from the Japanese Playstation Network. It was just too fun. The mechanics were like Viewtiful Joe and DMC combined. You could pull off combos, acrobatics and gunplay but the the game also rewarded split second timing. If you dodged an attacker at the right time Bayonetta would trigger magic called Witch Time. Anyone familiar with the mechanics used in The Matrix know what I mean. The combat is just a sight to behold. It's amazing.

Basically Bayonetta is a witch that was a part of a clan called the Umbra Witches. The witches fought together with the Lumen Sages until an untold event tore them apart. The Witch Hunts started and the Umbra got wiped out. Fast forward to the present and you learn Bayonetta is unearthed from a watery grave. (She dies several times and revives apparently) She makes a career out of taking jobs to hunt angels. If she doesn't kill angels every day she'll get dragged back down to Hell.(That's the deal witches make to become one.) Her contact and driver is an overweight mafioso stereotype named Enzo. Bayonetta's demonic gunsmith is Rodin.

Bayonetta's mission is to restore her lost memories by any means necessary. She travels to Europe and meets Luka. He's a reporter and he blames Bayonetta for killing her father when he was still a child. (That gets explained too.) I didn't really like him until towards the end. He's actually a great foil for Bayonetta. Not that this game has a story on par with Uncharted 2 or Metal Gear Solid 4 or anything.

The other thing I really enjoy about the game is the humor. This game is straight up hilarious. Bayonetta herself is almost a parody of a hyper sexualized action heroine. The game will pan around to her boobs or ass constantly in the cutscenes. Her taunts include her gyrating her hips. It's all a joke though. Thankfully it's not creepy like Dead Or Alive Xtreme. The game never takes itself seriously until the end. Even when she's in danger she's making jokes and strutting her stuff. The way the cutscenes play out are so ridiculous.

The supporting cast doesn't add too much to the game. They do have their own personalities and motives but they're never really explored. I feel like Rodin was very underused. He's definitely my favorite side character. The story about Cereza (Spoilers if I get into it.) was cool but protecting her wasn't very fun. With the multiple difficulty settings, new game plus and many unlock able weapons and features this is one game I will be holding on too.

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