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Saturday June 20, 2009 3:21 pm

E3 2009 Idle Speculation: Bayonetta

Posted by Alex Lifschitz Categories:


Bayonetta had been making a few waves even before rolled around this year, what with the tight fitting clothing and the guns in the shoes. But at the conference, the game ended up being the critical darling of many of the journalists that waited patiently in line to play the demo. It’s unusual for a new IP to make such headway on its own merits, but Bayonetta managed to prove itself to us in the best way possible.

Also, breasts. Let’s get that out of the way.

Hit the jump for our breakdown of Bayonetta.

What is it?
Devil May Cry with tits.

No, really, the guy behind this game is the creator of Devil May Cry (and Okami), and it feels very familiar. I mean that, of course, in the best possible way. Bayonetta hit me like a semi at E3. I had seen some cool trailers, and the prototype footage looked promising, but I wasn’t expecting this level of polish from the demo. The combat is some of the best I’ve ever played, and it ramps up with a God of War-level rate of ridiculous one-upsmanship on any previous encounter.

I’m not going to comment on Bayonetta herself, because every jackass on the interblag is going to pay special attention to the sex appeal, but the level of character is more evident in Bayonetta’s moveset and methodology than anything else. She’ll trap enemies in iron maidens, slice them down the middle with axes, plug them full of holes from her shoe guns, and summon huge, monstrous demon heads made of her hair, which is also her clothing.

Yeah, this game is ridiculous.

Why should I care?
Damn, was Bayonetta ever fun to play. If you’ve been hurting for a God of War/Devil May Cry-esque exploratory brawler, Bayonetta will fill that lonely void in your life between those major releases. It’s fast, it’s fluid, it’s over-the-top, and it’s worth your $60.

What did you play?
One level in which Bayonetta fought through what I think was a loose allegory for heaven, fighting enemies and a series of hulking boss monsters in a number of settings, and another in which she fought another witch (a boss level, essentially).

What was cool?
Combat, combat, combat. I’ll stop singing it praises here, because you probably got the gist of it by now. It’s easy to chain combos, change weapons, evade and close distance, and execute QTE-style finisher moves, and it leaves you plenty of space to create your own style of combat. There’s just enough flow in each encounter that the difficulty matches your skill to a respectable degree. At no point do you feel overwhelmed, but you never really feel like fighting is cheap at any point.

The game also looks fantastic, never chugging despite the action on-screen. The bloom lighting may have been slightly excessive in the first level, but the artistic direction the game is taking is strikingly unique (particularly the enemy design). Cohesive, I’m not sure, but unique nonetheless.

Whether or not you’ll be able to customize Bayonetta’s fighting style has yet to be seen, unfortunately.

What sucked?
Well, I’m a narrative sucker, and where Batman: Arkham Asylum oozed it from every pore, Bayonetta is all about the action. The floor was a little too loud to get a grip on the cutscenes prior to each level, and the dialogue and setting left me in the dark. It seems that we’ll have to wait for the whole game to get exactly what’s going on.

When will I be able to play it?
Dunno yet, but it’ll be on the 360 and PS3.

You’ll probably like it if you liked…
Any sort of super-stylized action games, but mostly Devil May Cry. I’m sorry for drawing so many comparisons, but it’s almost impossible not to.



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