If Dante was a girl, she’d be his counterpart, and if Kratos was looking for a bride, she‘d be the perfect match.
Meet Bayonetta, the sultriest, sexiest witch that should grace your console this 2010. Oftentimes, over hyped games usually fall flat when the reviews come out, thankfully Bayonetta is an exception, with some critics even claiming it to be the best action game they ever played. Created by the same man behind Devil May Cry 1, Okami and Viewtiful Joe, Hideki Kamiya establishes his legacy as one of the finest game directors of our time with a masterpiece that every gamer should play.
Bayonetta tells the story of two clans—the Lumen Sages and Umbran Witches who maintain the balance between light and darkness. The Lumen, aligned with the god of Paradiso, controlled the power of light, while the Umbra, who gets their power from the demons of Inferno, watched over the darkness. Both clans had deep respect for each other until a tragic event caused the two clans to enter into a terrible war. At the end, only one Umbra Witch remained: Bayonetta.
Five hundred years later, Bayonetta wakes up from her tomb at the bottom of the lake with a hazy memory remembering only that she is on a quest to obtain the “Eyes of the World.” The story might sound compelling enough, but is actually one of the weaker aspects of the game, so don’t get too excited.
What you should be excited about is how Bayonetta embarks on her mission and how she dispatches the hordes of angelic legions in heels and with style. Although her sexuality may be the first thing you’ll notice about her, Bayonetta definitely has more than just killer looks. Despite the complex-looking attacks and combos, the combat system is easy to grasp. The face buttons are used to punch, kick, and fire her weapons. She has the ability to equip weapons on both her hands and her feet, which lends a very unique taste to the combat mechanics. At the start, she wields a set of four pistols, named Scarborough Fair, as both upper body and lower body weapons—one gun for each hand and foot. As you progress through the game, you get to try out more weapons including a demonic katana, clawed gauntlets and more. Weapon combination results in a new set of combos, and a whole new set of attacks. Bayonetta can likewise perform Torture attacks by filling up her magic gauge and simultaneously pressing both punch and kick buttons. These attacks are unique to each angel type and can deal tremendous amounts of damage. These include guillotines, a massive spiked heel and other fiendish devices to help beat your angelic opponents to a pulp.
To evade enemies, you use the right trigger button. Time it correctly and it will activate Witch Time and allow Bayonetta to move at incredible speeds leaving her opponents trapped in a sluggish state. Do this properly and you’ll be treated to game’s astounding special effects. Executing combos and successive kills will earn you halos, the game’s currency, and you can use these to buy items like restorative lollipops and weapons from the saloon called Gates of Hell.
While the game has its share of unique enemies, the boss battles steal the show. Bosses include “Cardinal Virtues” or the agents of Paradiso that represent the most powerful extensions of divine will. The fights are truly a spectacle and often culminate into Bayonetta’s fantastic moves that summons demons from Inferno to finish the battle.
While Bayonetta will undoubtedly be among the best action games ever made, it still has its flaws although they are minimal and will not ruin your gaming experience. The story, for one, could have been better written to make you care more about the other characters. Another problem is the game’s screen tearing and slowdown, which happen during explorative sections and intense action sequences and can be quite distracting. And finally, with a game as good as this, the developers should have utilized fully animated cut scenes to tell the story instead of the static models.
So, if you’re looking for the first great game of 2010, look no further than Bayonetta, and if you want to get the best value for your money check out Datablitz as they have copies which comes bundled with the game’s soundtrack.
PC PICK OF THE WEEK DARK FALL: LOST SOULS
The dead are waiting. They have stories to tell. Tales of darkness, loneliness and despair. Be careful you do not join them, as it could be an eternity until the next curious visitor opens that old, rotten door, to find you within. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
What tale would you tell? Would you know how to explain what happened, that dark night when your curiosity got the better of you? Would you be able to speak its name . . . the ancient name . . . or would you simply warn the new arrival to beware . . . to beware the Dark Fall.
System requirements: Operating System: Windows XP / Vista; CPU: Pentium IV 1.4 GHz or equivalent.
RAM: 512 MB (1GB for Vista); Disc Drive: 4X DVD-Rom drive; Hard Drive: 2.5 GB available free HDD space; Video Card: 128 MB DirectX 9.0c compatible 3D accelerated.