NS Review: Bayonetta (Wii U)
I will cover this in as little time as I can, simply because I know that the sequel is the one that everyone wants to know about. Because of this, I will talk enough about the first game as is needed to catch up those that haven’t played it, but spend a little more time on the features exclusive to this version of Bayonetta’s first adventure.
Blatant sexual referencing and sheer off-the-wall insanity are the names of the game with Bayonetta. Playing as the titular witch, with guns both in her hands and attached to her feet, you blast your way through hundreds of enemies across various levels. The enemies in this question are angels, and the reason you’re killing them? To stop yourself being dragged down into hell. There isn’t much more I can say about the story without spoilers, but needless to say it’s convoluted and filled with a considerable amount of twists.
The visuals in this game are stunning, bringing out the best in the Wii U, with some absolutely incredible water and lighting effects. The character herself is wonderfully lithe but completely unrealistic in body shape, and brought to life in one of the most sexualised voiceovers I have ever heard in video games. The only downside in this side of the package is the music, which is undeniably disappointing. Considering the over-the-top nature of the rest of the game, the soundtrack is largely forgettable; in fact, the only track I remember is the one that gets played almost every damn battle. Although it is a great track, that doesn’t stand as a compliment for the soundtrack.
The gameplay is where things get interesting, owing to a few dynamics that separate this title from others of it’s genre. It is a hack-n-slash adventure (in the veins of, say, Devil May Cry), but it’s predominant ideal is evasion. The idea isn’t so much to go in all guns blazing, but to evade at the right moment to activate “Witch Time” (a brief spell in which you are able to move as normal but enemies are slowed down) and mount a counterattack. Add to this dynamic some interesting boss battles where “Witch Time” is essential and there is enough variety in the battles to maintain a high level of interest in the gameplay, and an even higher level of frenetic action. Furthermore, the difficulty in Bayonetta is considerably excessive, even in Normal mode, so prepare to see the Game Over screen a lot.
Now, the Nintendo-exclusive features, which are just as crazy as they seem. These give you not only the ability to dress Bayonetta in her own “sexy” takes of famous Nintendo mainstays, but alter aspects of the game to suit these changes. For instance, the Link outfit changes the halos (in-game currency) to rupees, along with changing every in-game chime to it’s Zelda counterpart (such as the chime for opening doors whenever you use a key). The addition of these is largely cosmetic, but it does add a lot to the ridiculousness of the game that these are even options.
To be honest, in just these few words (and the comparison to DMC), you will know if this is the sort of game you will try. If you are even the slightest bit intrigued, I would urge you to pick it up; it has its flaws but it is an incredible game at heart with some of the most genuinely funny moments of adult humour I think I have ever seen in a game. Its tongue is firmly in it’s cheek, and it loves it that way.