With pictures like this, you could be forgiven for thinking that Bayonetta is little more than flash and panties.
By who? Sega
On what? Xbox 360 / PS3
On first impressions, a hyper-sexualised, fetish fulfilling, gun toting nun who beats down angels in massive heels whilst occasionally breaking into a pole-dancing routine.
Pre-playthrough I thought of this game as little more than a pre-pubescent’s wet dream. A sexist and off putting cover if the adverts were anything to go by.
Bayonetta had put more than one feminist in a tizzy, So chance happened that she was in the disk drawer of the shared 360 of my dingy little student house, and curiosity took the better of me. In a dimly lit front room at 7 am it became apparent that she wasn’t what she seemed.
Bodacious babe: The sass mastery of a single lady.
If I was given the choice, I would become Bayonetta, wardrobe and all. The attitude on this character is palpable, and the actions that can come across as quite degrading to some women, comes across as empowerment for me: Here’s a woman, unabashedly sexual, not for any male character, but because she’s confident in herself. Play the game through. Yes, the sweeping ass and crotch shots the camera makes are purely for the viewer and can’t really be defended or excused, but look past that, to see how well-crafted this game is.
The women in this game hold the straws, the female cast drive the plot. This game sees a little rivalry and tension between Jeanne and Bayonetta, and it becomes clear that these two characters are the two dominant figures in this game.
Bad girls do it well, apparently…
Let’s talk about my opinion on Bayonetta, and why it flipped.
I’d seen the promos. Seen the advertisements rippling across social media.
And I cringed. Place any vaguely sexualised female character in front of my sights, and normally I’ll push the game away, for fear of repeating some past plays, where women are little more than a pair of breasts on a lamppost. Bayonetta’s sultry seduction of lollypops, killer heels and pole-dancing routines raised many a warning flag for me, more so when the fans began their titillation over how much or how little she could wear. That being said, I expected her to be a flat, soulless fish-lipped babe, but out sauntered one of the most fearless characters I’ve seen to date. On par with Dante, but seemingly much stronger, (kicking a building at an enemy? Damn girl!). She knows what she wants, how to get it, and you’ll be damned if you get in her way. She’s intelligent and very quick, with a scathing mouth. Her retorts are killer.
She has a rich, filled out background story, (which I will not spoil, but witches, angels, etc etc) .
A new improved Dante perhaps.
Visually sumptuous, as can be expected from Hideki Kamiya, following in DMC’s footsteps. Combat is outlandish, fast paced and dynamic, achieved with balletic grace, Bayonetta flows through combat moves seamlessly and effortlessly.
Finishing moves are brutal, and don’t interrupt the flow of combat. Very easy to pick up and master, and the five levels of difficulty will keep you entertained. It has a scoring system very reminiscent to Viewtiful Joe, Stone, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Pure Platinum statues awarded at the end of each sequence according to scores of damage taken/given, items used during play, and time used. The camera is third person, and you are able to engage in melee or long ranged combat, stringing together combos and unleashing Bayonetts’s witchy wrath. ‘Witch Time’ is a useful but limited ability activated by a successful dodge, which take Bayonetta out of her enemies time stream, allowing Bayonetta more opportunities to inflict damage. The game encourages you to dispatch your enemies in the most stylish way possible, and with flair. This game delivers about as much fun as you can get out of a 360.
She’s a Killer Queen.
Enemies are just as aesthetically pleasing, and often of behemoth stature. Borrowing from Dante’s inferno, you encounter a variety of beings from Paradiso, Purgatorio and Inferno. No prizes for guessing which realm is which. These creatures are transparent when viewed from the human plane. All have distorted angelic appearance, and are great fun to mangle. And true to Sega, you must collect golden rings as currency that drop, amongst other things, from enemies, (*cough* halos? Are you sure?)
With just about as much substance as style, Bayonetta delivers hours of entertainment, and will get you playing repeatedly, to collect all the odd and down-right cool additional weapons and costumes. See it to completion to watch an awesome team up between Jeanne and Bayonetta.
Brit Chics have to look out for each other, and Bayonetta is a game I can get behind!