In light of yesterday’s Devil May Cry post, I figure it’s appropriate that I take the time to share some of my thoughts on the similar, but also very different game:
Please bear in mind that, as of this post, I’ve only got about 2 and a half hours of gameplay under my belt.
Every pixel, frame, word and beat of Bayonetta is absolutely gushing with Japanese zaniness and anime-esque melodrama, such that my first few minutes with the game were almost too much to bear.
The aesthetic is way over-the-top, and the story and characters decidedly tongue-in-cheek, and for the most part, not all that appealing to me from a personal standpoint.
Despite this, I will say this:
The artistic design of the game, while not necessarily up my alley; is actually quite impressive.
The costuming and ornamentation of the character designs, while perhaps a little bit too flashy and intricate for it’s own good, are quite unique and certainly praise worthy.
In fact, I could honestly see myself owning a coffee table book of the production materials for Bayonetta at some point.
They’re overlong, they often show the characters behaving contrary to how they do in-game, (Anybody at all tired of seeing Dante be invincible in cut scenes, only to be a total pussy in-game? Anybody?) and they feel artificial, like flash for the sake of flash.
Kind of like any movie by:
I guess the cut scenes just frustrate me because they are actually quite intrusive to the gameplay experience.
Like Devil May Cry, Bayonetta is a game all about action, and when the action is frequently interrupted by cut scenes, showing my character busting out awesome moves that I’d like to see myself do in-game, I get just a little bit frustrated.
Bottom line, 2 hours into Bayonetta, I can’t help but feel that the pacing is not quite up to snuff, as the gameplay seems to come in all too infrequent spurts.
Which brings me to my 2nd, and ultimately far more critical gripe:
Bayonetta’s learning curve is just plain mean.
While the game, like any current gen game, comes with the obligatory introductory tutorial sequence that seems to be essential to the illiterate, non-instruction manual reading gamers of today, outside of teaching you the basic button inputs of the game, Bayonetta doesn’t really teach you how to play the game.
Sure, you can put up a good fight, and sure you know what you’re doing for the most part, but at the end of the day, if you’re playing the game straight through as I am, you’re just not given enough time to get a grip on the gameplay before the game starts tossing you some serious shit to deal with.
This is coming from someone that utterly beasted half of the Devil May Cry series.
My problem is this:
Bayonetta didn’t give me enough time to warm-up to it.
In the Devil May Cry series, the basic enemies are reactive to your blows, staggering and generally being reduced to punching bags the moment you first lay into them.
This is not the case in Bayonetta.
There is no fodder in Bayonetta.
All of the enemies in Bayonetta are able to put up a decent fight, thusly leaving you with nobody hone your skills on.
Every fight is a desperate struggle.
From what I can tell, my complaint may in fact be a result of me having failed to grasp the concept of the dodge system and the Witch Time AKA Bullet Time mechanic.
Anyway, at this point, I’m tempted to say I like Devil May Cry 4 better, but I’m only a few hours in, so we’ll see.
I’m still having fun with Bayonetta.
I love the gorgeous presentation and liberal use of the context sensitive button mashing segments.
I’m diggin’ the core gameplay, but at this point I truly do suck at it.
Time will tell…