Tara Voelker's thoughts. A lot about video games, a little about life
(Is it just me, or does she kinda look like original-form Midna? (Twilight Princess))
One of Sega’s newest titles follows a style similar to that of the popular hack and slash series God of War. Bayonetta is a sexy, stylish, and dark addition to anyone’s collection if they like titles are fast paced and combine a little bit of corn with some high class. Bayonetta takes place in several different environments and settings. There are instances of flashbacks where you are in a beautiful stone church setting, and jump to present day city scapes with airplanes and cars, then to a steam punk, old fashioned train station located next to an outdoor enchanted garden with stone statues and arches. Many cut scenes occupy this title and intend to help you embrace the characters and their individual personalities. The hack and slash controls are easy to follow, and during load screens you are presented with the opportunity to test out new combos as the game records your button pushes so that you can see exactly what combos you executed. The movement is flowing, smooth and simple, nothing too challenging if you are new to gaming. When you are shown your difficulty selections, you can only choose very easy, easy, or normal. I always start with normal, regardless of the title, and this mode presents no significant challenge in Bayonetta.
The game is very easy going, and far from stressful. The only qualm I have developed with this game is trying to see what exactly is going on. There is so much happening on the screen at any one time that figuring out where you are and who you are attacking presents a little bit of a problem at first, but you get the hang of it before long. The fact that your enemy selection cursor is a pair of nearly translucent lips give no quarter to the issue, nor does the fact that you cannot select which enemy you wish to attack at any given time. You automatically lock-on to whichever target is closet until you either defeat them, or another pursues you and gets closer than the previous, unless you are constantly moving towards a particular target. The cut-scenes are done in several different ways including actual in-game graphic animations as well as still-shots on a scrolling old style movie reel with moving accessories and cinematic dialogue. The credits appear in the first level of the game, and are incorporated into the cinematic, which is very cool. They names of the creators are on tombstones in the first area, which is a clever way of getting credits into the game without inducing sighs.
You play as the epically proportioned femme fatale Bayonetta, (which you will find is connected to butterflies- she has butterfly wings when she does a double jump, her shadow shows tribal-design butterfly wings when she is standing still, and many little butterflies appear when she lands from a jump) and with the help of your money-loving gangster grunt named Enzo, you awaken your bartending /bouncer/upgrade shop owner ally named Rodin, from the dead. There is no known particular reason why they aim to aid you, they just do. And specifically you, as every item in Rodin’s shop consists of butterfly, crescent moon, and floral motif upgrades, as well as provocative dance-move-esk physical attacks and evasions. (who else would want those, except Bayonetta?) My personal favorite is the lollipop health and magic replenishers that are shaped like hearts, among other girlie things. I would like to take a moment to make note of the “Green Herb Lollipop” which, guess what, restores health! (Resident Evil series) Getting back to the story.. You are Bayonetta, a witch from the depths of Hell, as it would seem, and your main objective is to go around and kill angels, while trying to gain your memory back, as you have been under water in a lake somewhere for the last 20 some-years. There is also another mysterious character that keeps showing up amidst all of this named Jeanne. She seems to also be a witch, even though you are said to be the only one left alive. I don’t know all of the details, as I have only begun this title, but if I did know them, I wouldn’t want to ruin any surprises 😉
There is a fun little mini game in Bayonetta called “Angel Attack” where you go into a first person view and try to cap some angels and earn some bonus points. These points can go into your monetary earnings, or be used on special items that you can only receive through Angel Attack. Your monetary earnings are the halos that fall from the bodies of the angels that you kill, and bear a striking resemblance to Sonic the Hedgehog’s collectible items, the “Power Rings”. Some enemies have big weapons such as axes, spears and even trumpets, which you can collect and fight with- each with their own unique specs, amounts of deliverable damage, and animations. Bayonetta herself also has some pretty cool tricks up her sleeve. When combo multipliers are at a high, she can do damage using the “Wicked Weave”, which strips off all of your clothes, except for a few convenient places, and morphs her hair into a giant fist, leg and stiletto shoe, or other damage inducing shapes, attacking your enemies and delivering quite the heavy amounts of damage. The game may be a little hard to follow at times because there is no map or list of objectives. Though the path is pretty straight forward, there may be times you get a little confused, and just have to explore. The story goes beyond Bayonetta herself and speaks of the everlasting feud between heaven, hell, the world people live in on earth, and purgatory. Bayonetta’s story takes place in purgatory, and even though she is traveling around upon the earth, all mortal people appear as grey and black silhouettes, symbolizing that nothing you do can directly affect them, (such as shooting them) and visa versa.
This game is definitely one I’m going to finish. There are many more characters yet to be introduced, as well as story to unfold. It’s got me gripped for the time being, (I’m listening to its soundtrack in the background right now) which is one other thing I’d like to note…The music in this game is pretty nice. Though it goes into some peppy Japanese pop every once and a while, the score is mostly moving instrumental tracks and is pleasant enough that you can stand it for the duration of your play time. All in all, I have to say that this game is one to check out if you’re not afraid to tap into your girly side a little bit, and want a little bit of recreational game play in your collection that is more on the mature side.
(If you want a laugh while playing this game, just hit the left bumper for some provocative body taunts and somewhat dirty dialogue.)
Until next time, Game On!