Hack-and-Slashers Face off
With no new Devil May Cry out anytime soon, Kratos and his God of War III probably thought he’d own 2010. Yet they have to face off a triple offensive of Darksiders, Bayonetta and Dante’s Inferno one after the other. Out of the three, original Devil May Cry director Hideki Kamiya has changed tactics the most by sending the sassy temptress Bayonetta in, instead of yet another angry man. She’s hoping to charm her way in before going berserk in a way we’d forgotten Japanese games could to do.
Bayonetta on the PS3 is a mixed experience. On one hand you have some excellent Devil May Cry-style action with some of the most enjoyable combat you’ll ever play. While on the other, you have a half-assed port of the same game on the Xbox 360, with a ridiculous amount of extra loading screens, lower frame rate and dulled graphics.
The long load times between areas aren’t too bad because you can practice a list of Bayonetta’s moves in the loading screen. It’s all the little ones for the smallest of things that really start to grate on you. Picking up an item or accessing your inventory triggers a loading message for a few seconds while the game slams to a halt. Sometimes, it will take over ten seconds from pressing start for the pause menu to come up. The long winded process of going to the game’s store involving multiple loading screens and cut-scenes is a complete waste of time too. There’s been talk of a patch, but nothing confirmed so far.
The graphics are lazily ported on Sony’s console too. With a lack of detail and the vibrancy from many of the colours sucked out and everything covered with a light grey mist. I’ve played both systems’ versions and the difference is easily noticeable.
On the plus side for us PS3 gamers, our Xbox 360 cousins have had to put up with the same dreadful story and cut scenes as we have. It gives the Metal Gear Solid games a run for their money when it comes to the number of infuriatingly frequent and pointless interruptions. Some of the dialogue is truly awful. There are some well coordinated action scenes in some of them, but mostly you’ll be sitting there bored while waiting for your turn to go. At times you’ll start to think that more enemies are killed in the cut scenes than by you. Even worse are the many cut scenes made up of bland film-cell images with voice-overs and almost no movement as they flash between frames. They are credit-crunch cut scenes at their very worst.
It does kind of kick ass though
The fighting in Bayonetta is excellent, with a huge variety of combos available from the start. There are so many in fact, you might not even care to buy any more from the agonisingly long-loading store. The PS3 versions slightly reduced frame-rate might give you some problems in the higher difficulty settings with your button-timings as the fights are ludicrously fast.
Poor framerate and too many loading screens