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Old 02-17-2010, 09:37 PM   #1588
Joe Redifer
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,149
Xbox 360

The game includes a pack of tissues.

I never cared much for Devil May Cry. Each time I tried one of the versions I found it too hard, too quirky and too uninteresting. I also hated the music. Along comes Bayonetta which everyone says is a Devil May Cry clone, mainly due to the director of this game being the creator of DMC. I guess it can be seen as that, but not really, at least not from what I personally remember about Devil May Cry. However just like DMC, Bayonetta prominently features guns in its artwork and advertising. Similarly, the guns do next to nothing and you will use them basically never except to keep your combos going, if that's important to you. There may be other similar comparisons between the games, but it was the Sega fan service that was thrown into this game that tipped the scales for me. I also consciously chose the Xbox 360 over the PS3 version, but more on that at the end of the review.

Story: 5/10
The story is, ummm, weird. I think I can follow most of it. But be warned, it is way over the top and very cheesy. That alone kind of makes it fun, but it does begin to take itself seriously a bit too much. Just don't expect too much out of it. This is a game which is designed to be played, nothing more. Remember arcade-style games which basically just had a set-up and nothing more? This game would be perfect if it was like that.

This game is full of hilarious sexual innuendos, even when doing seemingly mundane things like pulling a lever.

Graphics: 8/10
The graphics aren't half bad in this game. It runs mostly at 60 frames per second in 720p. It does slow down from time to time and there is a lot of screen tearing/v-sync problems. It's kind of interesting to see a throwback to 32-bit-style 3D graphics where the leaves on the trees and the such are actually 2D "sprites", for lack of a better word. Because of this, they can look infinitely more detailed than any random polygon can, but once you start turning the camera or moving in 3D space, it starts to look very odd as the same tree leaves are always facing directly towards you. The designs of the levels look fantastic and are a sight to see. The enemy designs get generic after a while… they are all angels, so they are all white, adorned with blue and gold trimmings. Some of the larger enemies have cool designs simply because they are so weird. What God would create such a thing? Everything bleeds in this game since the developers are still on a 1992 Mortal Kombat high, apparently. The character design of Bayonetta herself is odd to say the least. Her head is miniscule, her ass giant and her legs spidery long. She is very disproportionate, I find it incredible that she can even walk. I guess that's supposed to be "hot", though. There is some very mild nudity, but certainly no boobies.

The boss fights can be a bit overlong as is the case with many games these days which try to
give you that "epic" feel. What's worse is that most of them have to be beaten again later.

Sound: 7/10
The sound in this game is very good for the most part. Lots of subwoofer when you use Witch Time and some good surround effects here and there. Sometimes the voices are drowned out by the music during the cut scenes, so it is a good thing they are subtitled. I guess nobody listened to the final result before shipping the game. There are tons of f-bombs dropped here which all seem a bit forced and unnecessary. I think that the Japanese developers are using them just to sound "cool". The game's soundtrack spans 5 CDs, but there is actually only one piece of music in the game. That happens to be a horrible version of In Other Words/Fly Me to the Moon which you may know as it was made popular by Frank Sinatra (though he did not write or originally perform it). This plays nearly every single time you are fighting an enemy. The choice is not only odd, but damn repetitive! It's cute once or twice, max. Oh, there are a few other pieces of music, like your typical orchestral/choir stuff that you find in any videogame these days when they are trying to be way overly dramatic/epic. Once you beat this game, you also unlock something that is EXTREMELY RARE in videogames these days. That's right, a sound test with nearly every single piece of music in the game, even the Fantasy Zone themes. I heard a Zillion theme somewhere in the game but I must have missed that in the sound test… I wouldn't be surprised if it is in there, though. The game sound did cut out/skip on me a few times during the cutscenes and then picked back up making the voices happen about 5 seconds or so later than the subtitles. This was fixed after I installed the game to the hard drive.

Bayonetta's costume consists almost entirely of her hair. She can use it for "wicked weave" attacks as well.
Shown here is the stiletto smash. Actually I don't know what it is called, but most special and
finishing moves are made out of hair. So if you have a hair fetish...

Gameplay: 7.5/10
This game is basically a button masher. What you want to do here is press the Y button. After that, press it again. Then press it about 2 billion more times. That's it! OK, there is jumping, kicks and really cool combos you can do as well. Not to mention dodging, which if you do at the right moment will engage Witch Time which turns the screen purple for you to admire. The enemies also slow down at this time to give you time to admire the screen, but I found a secret! You can attack the enemies when the screen is purple and they are defenseless! I should win a god damn Nobel Peace Prize for this discovery since they are handing them out for nothing these days. There are also expensive weapons, techniques and items you can buy to help you out, and I suggest not ignoring the shop like I did for the first 7 or so chapters. The game is composed of about 15 or 16 chapters and each chapter has about 600 verses each. Yes, many levels seem sometimes perhaps a bit too long. And it can be fuck-all hard at times. Still, it is gratifying, stylish and really fun to play through. I really enjoy the wackiness of everything, the over-the-top torture and finishing attacks and just how crazy it all is. And it is crazy! You can run on certain walls and even fly on missiles while you play Space Harrier. There is also an Out Run stage. Both of these tribute stages seem nearly as long as their original games, though with markedly less variety. DVD just doesn't have the storage space of a 2 MEGA POWER cartridge, so there are fewer enemies and backgrounds during these stages. This game has extremely long loading times which be cut down a bit by installing the game on your hard drive. Overall I found Bayonetta very enjoyable if a bit too frustrating for its own good at certain points.

Can you tell what is going on in this picture? The game is exactly like this, with many crazy
things happening at once along with a spastic camera which does not always obey your wishes. It
is easy to get lost in the visuals. There were many times I could not even find my character.

Wrap up:
Now why did I chose the Xbox 360 version over the Playstation 3 version even though I am afraid of my Xbox 360 breaking down at any given time? Well, the PS3 version has major framerate issues. During the PS3 demo I noticed that it was running at half or less the framerate of the 360 version, and it stuttered quite a bit as well. The colors were far more muted on the PS3 whereas the Xbox 360 seemed much more colorful. It was as if someone dialed the COLOR control on my TV down a bit. My Xbox 360 is hooked up via component cables and my PS3 via HDMI. Thirdly, the sound is better on the 360 version despite the PS3 delivering 5.1 uncompressed audio to the receiver. There is much more bass present when you use Witch Time on the 360, it's not even there when you use it on the PS3. But the PS3 does have some strong subwoofer here and there. The surrounds are also much quieter on the PS3 version for some reason. Despite these issues, the PS3 version is still very playable. In fact, after playing through the entire game on the 360, playing the demo on the PS3 felt soooo smooth in comparison due to the controls. I really prefer the controls on the PS3, the buttons aren't as rock hard and the controller simply isn't as stiff. They have updated the PS3 version to include and install option which decreases load times and helps with a couple of the framerate issues, but I have not seen those improvements. I'll chalk it up to a horrible conversion. Not sure why a Japanese developer would ever choose the 360 as a lead platform to develop a game on, but then again many western developers (Criterion, for example) choose the PS3 to lead development on, so who knows? Besides the audio dropping out a few times during the cut scenes and one time where I was informed that my disc was unreadable, the Xbox 360 worked like a champ. Installing the game cleared up both of those issues.
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