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Bayonetta

Every weapon Bayonetta uses has three kinds of attack, and any two weapons can be switched mid-combo. Hammer buttons and you’ll get a string of attacks, insert a few pauses amidst the hammering and the attacks will be different. Hold the trigger and lock on to a specific enemy and your options change again. Hold any attack button and you’ll get more attacks; grab an enemy’s weapon and you’ll have even more. That’s a lot of options.

It sounds impressive when Platinum Games boasts Bayonetta has so many combos that they couldn’t actually test them all, but what really matters is the sheer number of options that fact gives in any given fight. With just four buttons and an arsenal of weapons, you can get truly creative with Bayonetta’s moves and develop a fighting style that’s all your own. The variety – both in combos and content – is just one of the ways Bayonetta manages to subvert an entire genre.

The others don’t sound like much: a slow-motion mode and a cracking sense of humour, but they’re both critical. Evade at exactly the right second and Bayonetta enters Witch Time – a brief second or two of slow motion to make your combos even more beautiful. Instead of a dedicated and arbitrary slow-mo button, Witch Time is a reward for absolute precision in a game where you’re beset by impossible odds. You can evade at any time, but if you can keep your head and evade only when you’re in the most danger you get a second’s clarity where you can pick your targets and carefully dish out the most complex and devastating combos.

And then there are the laughs. Without its sense of humour, Bayonetta would be deadly serious fanboy bait – all teasing titillation and gratuitous sexual excess – but Bayonetta is played with tongue firmly in cheek. Every time Bayonetta inexplicably contorts herself into a pole dancer’s pose to pick up a gun, or sucks on a lollipop while winking at the camera, it’s played for laughs, not erections. Every line of dialogue is performed with irony and every scene is loaded to the brim with touches a gamer can’t help but love – Hideki Kamiya’s name on a tombstone being pissed on by an angel, Magical Sound Shower on the car radio, and a trumpet you can fire like a gun. Genius.

Bayonetta’s absolute faith in players isn’t reflected in Sega’s faith in Bayonetta, who pulled the game out of the path of the three-way sequel bloodbath that is Assassin’s Creed 2, Uncharted 2, and Modern Warfare 2. It’s out in Japan but won’t arrive in the West until January. A delay which might just make Bayonetta the best action game of both 2009 and 2010.

Nov 19, 2009

17 comments

  • Gamejunkie9214 - January 15, 2010 2:58 a.m.

    I was stoked when i saw the preview on tv!!!! can't wait to get it on 360!!!!!
  • kOlivas - January 1, 2010 10:21 p.m.

    I feel like this game deserves more exposure... I just saw the commercial 3 days ago. Im completely sold!
  • Conman93 - December 5, 2009 2:44 p.m.

    Juat played the demo!! It was COMPLETELY INSANE!!!
  • DaJoker - November 24, 2009 5:21 p.m.

    I already pre-ordered it, it looks sick
  • Tomsta666 - November 24, 2009 2:40 a.m.

    Let it be known that I have NEVER played a Devil May Cry game... I CAN'T FUCKING WAIT TO PLAY THIS!!
  • eLyUKayEe - November 23, 2009 9:49 p.m.

    hey i've heard that the more damage you take in this game, the less that covers her body, so.... (Boy, are teenage boys gonna attempt to take as much damage as they can)
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - November 23, 2009 9:24 p.m.

    Hypnotism by retarded storylines :)
  • JohnnyMaverik - November 22, 2009 6:52 p.m.

    Looks ugly and ridiculious in a calculated money spinning way... god I love being cynical ^_^
  • jackthemenace - November 21, 2009 8:21 p.m.

    crumbdunky, you REALLY don't like the lok of bayonetta, do you? like i said on the DI review, i hope it'll find a way to bring the ideas and charm of DMC to a new series, so that the ideas don't get stale and the whole series turns into DMC2
  • crumbdunky - November 21, 2009 5:05 a.m.

    I thought the demo played like DMC lite with tits and added mental. And that was it. Anyone else would get torn a new one for doing EXACTLY what he always does but somehow Kamiya gets away with just about anything. As do Platinum-Madworld was a nice distraction but was NEVER long aniugh for a full retail price tag! Anyway the demo felt and this sounds like yet more of Kamiya's under developed ideas and just throwing loads of stuff at a gamer and thinking it's enough. Well maybe if you're a baby or a magpie but not for me. More is not always best and just once I'd like to see his true action games fully evolve ONE(just one!) idead to it's logical conclusion or highest quality and not just chuck whatever he thinks of at us like he always does.
  • GamesRadarMatthewKeast - November 20, 2009 8:13 p.m.

    It's currently set to release first week of January.
  • Amnesiac - November 20, 2009 6:22 p.m.

    Want very much.
  • jackthemenace - November 20, 2009 4:17 p.m.

    GR are so annoying, putting out reviews of both bayonetta and dantes inferno witin hours of each other! Now i can't decide which to buy :( i said i might by DI, but bayonetta looks so awesome too... i don't suppose GR can send out free copies?
  • skynetiscoming - November 19, 2009 10:29 p.m.

    AWWWW S*** YEAH!
  • MagicalSarai - November 19, 2009 9:42 p.m.

    Second the "gun trumpets" motion...
  • Corsair89 - November 19, 2009 7:46 p.m.

    God, I can't wait for this game.
  • Samael - November 19, 2009 7:38 p.m.

    I was sold at "gun trumpets".

Showing 1-17 of 17 comments

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