First off, I’d like to thank my wife for the cool new layout on my blog. She’s had a good deal more practice with the Blogger layouts than I have and when I grumbled about a few things, she knew exactly where to go so things like wider columns and easier to read article boxes hopefully make things a bit easier on the eyes – let me know if there’s something specific you do or don’t like – I’m more than willing to tweak it. So… moving on – Bayonetta.
This is a game I heard about on and off for awhile before it came out, and I saw that it got some really good scores from most of the review sites and some decent ones from players on the same sites rating the game. I got the game cheap from a friend and just never really got around to playing it. I dig the occasional action game, but this was one that always looked a bit cool if over the top. I finally gave it a pretty good going over recently, figured now was the time to write about it.
Graphics – 8.5:
The game is pretty, I’ll give it that. There’s some very cool animations, plenty to see and look around at, the art style is cool as well. Perhaps the biggest gripe I could levy at this game is how most of the storyboard scenes go. For a game that is so alive and full of animation, the cut scenes are just filmstrip stills with some voiceover. It’s all highly stylized visually, which is inline with the rest of the game, but the game itself always seems to have some sort of activity taking place, so these motionless moments feel a bit out of place to me.
Sound and Music – 7:
The music is not bad in and of itself – but it seldom seems to fit the game in my opinion. The oddly upbeat music reminded me of something from an anime cartoon. Again, not necessarily bad, and the game is fairly over-the-top in its storyline and presentation, but it never quite sat ‘right’ with me. Voice work was fine, if a bit campy at times, but it told the story. Sound effects were good and there were some quality chorus type effects (it is a game where you fight angels and such ‘divine’ creatures so that part fits well enough).
Gameplay – 9:
One of the game’s strongest points. Combat is fast, fluid and most importantly – fun. You string together combos while jumping in the air, slashing your sword, using a shotgun strapped to your ankle, switch techniques and lay into them with rapid fire pistols and as crazy as all of that sounds – it is pretty cool most of the time. I also have to give props toward some of the more epic set pieces. I’m not sure if it falls under gameplay, or graphics or what – but some of the boss encounters are really entertaining and have a crazy sort of epic scale to them that has to be seen in action to be fully appreciated.
Intangibles – 8.5:
The game’s fun, so that’s key. It’s a little campy and over-the-top. I like my storylines and delivery of said storylines so maybe this irked me a bit more than it will others, but it was at least creative. Also, there’s plenty of things to buy and discover, and you can easily replay prior levels if you are worried you missed something or just want to experience something again, so there’s definitely some replay value to be had. There are also several different difficulty settings as well.
Overall – 8.25:
This was a good game. It was somewhat long as an action title and there was plenty to do and do again. It was very stylized and overall the game looks really good and handles even better. Overall, if you like high action games like Devil May Cry, this is similar enough you’ll probably like it quite a bit as well. There are some caveats I think I should cover however.
First, I’m reviewing the 360 version. I’ve heard that the PS3 version is a port that some viewed as being rather inferior, especially graphically. Additionally the game is rated M, and it earned that rating. Religious themes, gore and violence, strong language, partial nudity and suggestive themes – it is not for your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle loving 10 year old kids.