by Brendan Griffiths
reviewed on PS3
It does kind of kick ass though (cntd)
Weapons include guns, kicking, swords, whips and gauntlets, collected by picking up pieces of LP records and trading them in. You can swap between melee weapons mid-combo which can be devastatingly effective. Hold down an attack button at the end of a combo and Bayonetta will hold the final position while shooting her guns from her hands or feet. It is brilliantly stylish and a very cool way to finish a killer combo.
Instead of blocking, Bayonetta can nimbly dodge any attack with a push of R2. If you do this at the last moment before getting cut in half you activate Witch Time. This slows everything down for a few seconds letting you get in a handful of unanswerable blows. It looks, feels and plays awesomely and is easily the most important feature of the combat.
That’s saying something seeing as you can also shove your enemies into a cruel variety of torture instruments or activate a Wicked Weave move which is where a portal will open and your hair transforms into a giant fist or foot to smash and stomp enemies. This gets even more nuts with Climax attacks for boss fights where you summon various demons (still made of your hair) like giant dogs or birds to tear them up like chew toys while you bash buttons to inflict extra damage.
Bosses are suitably huge and time consuming. They’re generally floating deities or giant stone statues, often with a giant axe and kind of a baby-faced dumbness about them. You chip away at their health with the guns before getting in close with your melee weapons to do some proper damage. There are also plenty of double-button Quick Time Events to make sure you’re paying attention. Many of these epic opponents are recycled throughout the game with alarming frequency though, which feels a little cheap.
With the exception of a few sections where you slow down time to move through fast closing gates there aren’t any puzzles in the game and platforming is kept to a minimum. This is fine because the fighting’s that good, just a shame about all the interrupting cut scenes.
Take it (very) easy
The two easy modes with the "auto" functions are no challenge and are rapidly gaining reputations as "one-handed" modes as it locks-on automatically and players can just bash the attack buttons with a wide variety of combos spewing forth with no need for precise timing. Normal on the other hand is much tougher with some foes able to take 90% of your health in one combo. However, if you are finding it too tough you can change to Easy Automatic at the start of a chapter and if you go into your accessories menu and unequip the Immortal Marionette you’ll find you have much more control over your attacks, similar to Normal mode.
Xbox 360 gamers can add an extra point to the score because of the lack of technical issues which adds a noticeable limp to the PS3 version. That and an awful story aside, this is still a wild ride of a game that you should experience. The fighting is much deeper and more enjoyable then games like the recent Darksiders or Brütal Legend. It’s right up there with Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 as one of those tough games that when played right, makes you feel like a gaming badass. All that is left now is to see how it faces up to Dante’s Inferno and God of War III.
Poor framerate and too many loading screens