Bayonetta: Infinite Climax Action

By Spencer . November 4, 2009 . 10:30pm

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The back of Bayonetta’s box says “infinite climax action” and it’s an accurate description. Everything in Bayonetta explodes with flair and builds up from one slick action sequence to the next. Even shattering barriers, usually a forgettable part of any game, is done with style. After defeating her angelic assailants with hair punches (hello Kabuki Quantum Fighter?) and sword slashes, Bayonetta blows a kiss to shatter the barrier so she can move on.

 

Bayonetta is eye catching, but it’s not only eye candy. PlatinumGames created a solid combat system that emphasizes evasion. Enemies hit Bayonetta hard. She loses life plus precious magic used to activate ultraviolent torture attacks if an angel gets its hands on her. Dodging is a must and there is a specific button that makes Bayonetta cartwheel out of danger. Wait until the last second to dodge and Bayonetta turns on witch time, a skill that slows everything down except her. When activated, witch time is the perfect time to hit angels with a flurry of heel stomping weave attacks. The advantage of witch time is so great players are encouraged to risk getting hit just to activate it. Eventually, you learn how to time dodges where Bayonetta leaps towards her enemies. Offensive evades are the way to go. Witch time is also used for other events like an area where Bayonetta has to jump on water geysers, frozen in time with magic, to reach distant platforms.

 

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Remember the monstrosities in Contra? Bayonetta has creatures equally as demented like this two headed hydra linked to a gargantuan stone face. You fight it a couple of times, once in a church where it pulls the building off the ground while you’re inside slashing at it. Suddenly, you’re caught in a mid-air battle.

 

See?

 

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That’s not even a major boss fight. In one of those, a boss covers the ground with flame and smashes the bridge you’re standing on. Fortunately, a magical hourglass allows you to reverse time and bring it back. Boss fights are grandiose, especially the final encounter. Each boss is finished off with a climax attack, a move that conjures hair dragons and spiders out of Bayonetta’s wicked weave. When its time to deliver the finishing blow you can mash a button to deal gigatons of damage. Tap it enough times and you’re rewarded with bonus halos.

 

Halos are the game’s currency. You use these at the Gates of Hell to purchase new moves – things like sliding kicks and "breakdance” a windmill bullet attack and accessories. Rodin, the bar’s operator, spouts out video game references like “Whadya buying? I heard that in a video game once” and a Madworld joke about Jack’s chainsaw arm. Both are nice touches. Give Rodin angelic hymn LP pieces and he’ll make new weapons for Bayonetta. Swords, claws, and different sets of guns are some of the toys she can get.

 

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Bayonetta can also earn halos by playing Angel Attack, a Duck Hunt style mini-game at the end of each chapter. Points earned from shooting angels can be spent on lollipops, items used to heal Bayonetta. The leftover points become halos. There’s also a small crafting system where ingredients, collected from angels and smashing pots, can be thrown in a pot to create more life-refilling and power boosting lollipops.

 

Between each verse and chapter Bayonetta is packed with cutscenes that delve into Bayonetta’s past. At the beginning of the game she’s an amnesiac. Only one other witch, Jeanne, is left in the world and she seems to know a thing or two about Bayonetta’s past. For an action game, Bayonetta has a lot of cutscenes. Sometimes, especially if you die right after one plays, you’ll want to skip seeing the same cutscene again.

 

Loading… (wait three or four seconds)

 

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Is what you’ll see. The PlayStation 3 version loads whenever you pause the game or pull up the item menu. I don’t have both games so I don’t want to make any comparisons. However, the PS3 version loads… and loads… and loads. Sometimes Bayonetta even tries to load two things at once! When a verse starts “loading…” and “saving…” appear on the bottom right. When I paused the game while that was going on another loading message popped up in the center of the screen. Fortunately, PlatinumGames added a training area where you can practice combos to keep players busy while the next level loads. 

 

Bayonetta appears to suffers from some slowdown issues too, usually when the action gets hot and heavy. Technical problems like this disrupt the game’s flow. Maybe the Xbox 360 version is the “better” version, but if you only have one console the PlayStation 3 port is still fun to play. And Bayonetta is a hell of a good time.

 

My favorite moment? The missile stage where Bayonetta surfs on a missile.


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  • http://twitter.com/atmey Atmey

    “Everything in Bayonetta explodes with flair and builds up from…”
    I don’t why I read it: explodes with white fluid

    Yeah, thats it, I’m getting the 360 version.

    • Aoshi00

      For those who plan to import this for the 360, it is confirmed that the game is entirely in Jpn/Eng just like the PS3 ver (thanks Qoo! bow). I’m tempted to pick it up myself, but I’ll try myself to wait till Jan (pre-ordered from Amazon yesterday). The whole game just oozes w/ quality.

      The angelic enemies actually remind me more of the angels in the old Evangelion movie, you know the vulture-like packs who ripped Asuka to pieces. I really like the various weapons you can pick up from the enemies letting you do different combos, and the punch/kick seem intuitive to pull off the moves, usually I’m not that great in this kind of DMC-like action game that requires one to pull off perfect combos. The witch time and everything seem very rewarding to pull off.

      • Akimitsu

        The only problem I’ve heard with the 360 version is that it’s region locked, meaning you’d need a Japanese 360 to play it.

        • Aoshi00

          Yeah, it is region locked unlike PS3, I didn’t mention it as I thought people were aware (there are several readers here who have Jpn 360). So far the only exception I know of Jpn 360 games being region free are BlazBlue and the upcoming Mushihime-sama Futari (support that if you want more shmups guys!). I have a Jpn sytem, but I think I can hold out until January w/o withdrawal :) No load times for me, thank you…

          • malek86

            Blazblue is not completely region free though. Won’t work on PAL consoles.

            And… oh man. Now that I think about, I sure hope Cave won’t be pulling that on me. Darn. Now I’m getting slightly anxious.

          • http://www.younganimal.com/berserk Mr_Qoo

            You know, I can’t 100% remember but I think they were talking about the US when they were discussing possible CAVE game popularity. I hope for your sake it _is_ completely region free, though. That would stink if it wasn’t!

          • malek86

            I still have time to delete my preorder, actually. So, before it ships, someone better ask Cave about this! :P

          • Aoshi00

            You’re right, it escaped me because I just looked at the chart and go “Jpn check, US check, great”, I forgot about my European brethren haha. Hm.. since Cave wanted as many people as possible to try out Mushihime-sama, I would hope they don’t leave out PAL.

          • XjaybirdX

            “So far the only exception I know of Jpn 360 games being region free are BlazBlue and the upcoming Mushihime-sama Futari”
            Where did you get this info from? I looked at play asia’s compatibility chart it just has a “?” under NTSC U . If it is region free ill preorder it right now. Any info is appreciated.

          • Aoshi00

            P-A is probably waiting for an actual copy to confirm before they put a check in their compatability chart (they always do that unless it’s total region free like PS3). Cave said they would make it region free for Mushihime-sama as an exception to gauge the interest from market outside Japan. Some have raised the concern it might only be region free for NTSC J/NTSC US and not PAL, but I guess it’s safe to say it’s compatible w/ both Jpn and US systems at this point. Unless they want to take back their word in the last minute for some reason.

            I alrdy pre-ordered the LE thru NCSX.com. You could check their website on release day or e-mail them since they always do updates and impression as soon as they get their shipment. Quite reliable people.

          • malek86

            As for me, I’ve cancelled my order. It pains me, but I have to be sure, before spending 90+ dollars (plus custom). If it goes like DDP and Deathsmiles, I should be able to easily find a copy even some days after launch.

        • http://www.younganimal.com/berserk Mr_Qoo

          You know, Akimitsu, I think Aoshi and I are such vocal 360 importers that we forget about the region locking all the time. Spencer mentioned it and it didn’t even strike me. I can see why so many people import the PS3 version now. I’ve found several games worth importing for 360 so I’m glad I did it. Anyway, I think there are rumors that there is slight screen tearing on the 360 version but I’ve yet to personally see it or hear it on multiple occasions so I’ll give my verdict later if any are interested. =)

          • http://www.siliconera.com Spencer

            You guys are vocal 360 importers! I was kind of afraid of putting up the English Xbox 360 news on the front page since people might get the idea that Bayonetta was wrongly region free and end up with a Bayonetta coster.

          • http://www.younganimal.com/berserk Mr_Qoo

            That’s why you’re the bossman and I just play random crap! ;) Thanks for the impressions, too. I can recommend the PS3 version to people who only have a PS3 with faith that it’s not unplayable.

          • Aoshi00

            My newer US 360 runs a lot quieter than the old Jpn system, so that’s one major reason I’m sticking w/ the upcoming US version. One superficial reason for me to import is the attractive cover art featuring Bayonetta’s buns, so sexy right? Compared to the US version of her doing a kick which looks good, but kind of generic…

            I tell ya, I’ve really grown fond of the new PS3 band on the top of the box instead of the Spiderman font, like Ratchet, FFXIII, they just look so cool, except Uncharted which has an awful cover art I think, look at the Jpn one,

            http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-bp-77-3-49-en-15-uncharted+2-70-3ie9.html

            not the greatest, but the US one looks like a random screenshot like those standalone DBZ DVDs…

            the US one
            http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-bp-49-en-15-uncharted+2-70-39ew.html

            I work for P-A now haha…

  • Kris

    Sounds great! I’ll definitely pick up the PS3 version when it hits the States! You’ve assuaged my fears.

  • Aoshi00

    The creatures remind me of the angels in the old Evangelion movie, you know the vulture like beasts who ripped Asuka to pieces. I only tried the demo, and really like the variety of weapons that you can pick up from the enemies, and switching btwn two weapons at any time, and punch and kick attacks are also intuitive to remember, and I’m usually not great at this kind of DMC-like action games that requires one to pull off complex combos.

    BTW, for those who want to import this on the 360 now, this is from Mr. Qoo’s info (thanks man), it is confirmed to sport complete dual language in both text and audio just like the PS3 version (his friend got it and he’s getting his copy soon). I’m so tempted to get it now, but I’ll try my best to wait to January. Everything in this game just oozes w/ quality.

  • badmoogle

    I’ll be buying this on day 1 when it comes in the West.
    And i have a small hope that Sega will try to polish the PS3 version a bit more before it comes out here.

  • nyoron

    I spent a few hours last night playing the 360 version (installed to the hard drive) and I didn’t notice any extraneous loading. Actually, a few times I got frustrated because the load screen “training area” would end before I could even try out a move! I also recall a bit of screen tearing, mostly when I was in a narrow/enclosed area and I quickly swung the camera around, but nothing too annoying.

    I’m loving the game so far, it is so awesomely over the top. Can’t wait to play more tonight.

  • Volcynika

    I’m slowly making my way through the PS3 version and loving it. Only at Chapter VIII, but man is each sequence fun. The Ch 7 finish was especially memorable, and don’t forget quotes like “Bust a cap in yo ass.” The loading kinda gets annoying after while, but that’s my only gripe for now. Also ordered the soundtrack, it’s a hefty one!

    But I’d recommend it to anyone that’s a fan of action games, it’s an excellent title.

    Can’t wait for the two harder difficulties and completing those challenge rooms. Crazy!

    • http://www.younganimal.com/berserk Mr_Qoo

      If you hold “Back” during the load scenes, it’ll keep you in Training mode. Then you hit “Back” when you’re done to go back to the game. Amazing of them to include that feature!

      • nyoron

        Oh wow, that’s really cool. Will try it out later, thanks! :D

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