Bayonetta Hands-On Preview
Xbox 360 | PS3
Bayonetta box art
System: X360, PS3 Review Rating Legend
Dev: platinumgames 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: SEGA 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Jan. 5, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
Action Overdose
by Amanda L. Kondolojy

June 25, 2009 - Bayonetta is a hugely anticipated game from the creators of Devil May Cry. Describing the game as belonging to the action genre almost seems like an understatement. We recently got to spend some time with this game, and the amount of things happening on screen is really overwhelming. Of course, all of the action can be attributed to the game’s titular heroine, who pretty much defines the term “over-the-top.”

Bayonetta screenshot

With guns on both her arms and incorporated into her high-heeled boots, Bayonetta certainly makes an intimidating first impression. But, firepower isn’t the only asset that this witch is packing. She also has a super powerful spells that she can cast with just the press of a button. Most of her magic attacks revolve around her insanely long hair, which does everything from clothe her to form giant dragon heads capable of chomping enemies in half. She also has a nice pair of… glasses.

The combat system is very similar to Devil May Cry (for obvious reasons) and features some simple one-button attacks primarily involving shooting and brandishing a sword. The shooting mechanics aren’t terribly complex, and the legions of enemies that I was able to take down with feet-bullets to the face were staggering. The swordplay is equally simple to handle, but the real gem here is in the combos system. Button-mashing these two attack buttons together produced some pretty amazing special attacks, and although I really didn’t know how I was performing most of the moves that were executed on screen, the combo system is so fluid that you don’t really need to.

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One thing I was really impressed with while playing was the speed of the attacks. I mashed buttons as fast as I could, and as long as I was mashing, the action never slowed down, and I was amazed by just how quickly things got insane on screen. Another thing that the game doesn’t skimp on is gore, and enemies lose limbs and bleed out quite frequently. And, with the volume of enemies that you’ll encounter in this game, you’ll be painting the floors with blood, which is thrilling to say the least.

Bayonetta screenshot

Another interesting mechanic that we got to experience was Witch Time. This mechanic comes into play when someone tries to attack you and you dodge at just the right moment. You’ll then have a few precious seconds of slowed time to counter attack. This mechanic works very well, and slowing down time is a great way to pull off more complicated moves, including special Torture moves that help you regain health. Although we weren’t able to perform one of these attacks by ourselves, we were told that players can summon a giant Iron Maiden or Guillotine to slam enemies into as well as demons capable of equally brutal attacks.

Once I was finished running through a few rooms, it was time to check out a mini-boss battle. The structure is very similar to other action games, but again, the action was definitely punched up to the next level. The boss was a giant moving statue, whose design was faintly reminiscent of the God of War series. After wearing the big guy down with some heavy gunfire, I was able to take advantage of it in a vulnerable state and then unleash one of Bayoneta’s, pardon the pun, hair raising attacks. After a few well-timed button presses, Bayonetta’s suit of hair flung from her body and re-assembled in the sky as an evil dragon/dog with very sharp teeth. Of course, while all her hair was flying up in the sky, it was no longer on her body, which left our girl very exposed. Of course, there was a small bit of hair left covering the most essential regions, but there is no doubt that Bayonetta’s disappearing clothing will be flaunted throughout the game.

Bayonetta screenshot

Playing through the game, it was clear that the emphasis on brutal action was only trumped by style. Everything from the architecture to the enemy design screams originality, and the fantastical world around me was sharply presented with stunning detail. Demons as well as just regular enemies had amazing clothing and weaponry, and the stylistic elements of the game certainly fit with the game’s decidedly over-the-top feel.

Bayonetta is not a game for everyone. It’s crazy action, gore, and, of course, nudity will definitely be a turn off for plenty of gamers. But for what it is, Bayonetta is outstanding. The action is incessant, and I could actually feel my pulse pounding as I blasted away enemies. Needless to say, I couldn’t be more excited for this game’s release this fall. If you are an action junkie, prepare for an action overload with Bayonetta, as this witch is fully loaded and ready to kick your butt!

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor

Game Features:

  • Bayonetta is a cinematic and stylish action game from the creative mind of Hideki Kamiya.
  • As a gun-wielding witch with powers beyond the comprehension of mere mortals, Bayonetta faces-off against countless enemies in a game of 100% pure all-out action.
  • Outlandish finishing moves are performed with acrobatic grace as Bayonetta flows from one fight to another.
  • Bayonetta pushes the limits of the action genre with magnificent over-the-top action and fast-paced, dynamic climax combat.

  • Screenshots / Images
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