Bayonetta - Xbox 360

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Bayonetta (Xbox 360)
Also for: PS3
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Combat Game
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Platinum Soft. Co.: SEGA
Publishers: SEGA (GB)
Released: 8 Jan 2010 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 18+, BBFC 15
No Accessories: No Accessories


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Firing up Bayonetta, there's a fairly obvious comparison to be made – it looks a lot like Devil May Cry. While Bayonetta is not the latest DMC game, however, it is the brainchild of Hideki Kamiya, the creator of Devil May Cry. While Bayonetta is set in the same twilight demi-monde as the DMC series, instead of featuring Dante, this new game features a statuesque leather-cum-hair clad witch who carries the same name as the game.

Bayonetta is a witch, and she wields the dark arts. The game's story revolves her having been missing for 500 years and then woken up with little memory of who she is. Unfortunately, she's found herself stuck in the middle of a pitched battle between good and evil, and she's on no one's side but her own. Her opponents are angels and heavenly hosts who she has to defeat on a daily basis to avoid being thrust down to hell, so the morality of the storyline is ambiguous to say the least.

Bayonetta is, basically, a series of boss battles linked by a series of high-camp cut scenes. There is exploring and collecting items, but not so much that you'll actually notice it. Bayonetta is more about fighting one huge and apparently invincible monster before going on to then battle two of the same monster, with some other smaller monsters thrown in for measure.

That, when you get down to it, is what Bayonetta's all about – fast, furious, all-out combat. You wield weapons from a garden-variety samurai sword to a fireball-producing heavenly horn to guns that take the place of your bootheels.

When Bayonetta destroys an opponent or deformable set dressing items (plants, benches and the like) she is rewarded with collectible items and golden halos. The latter are the currency of the game, and can be spent in the 'Gates of Hell' bar and shop. Each battle results in a score and a medal. You are rewarded for combos and for not using items. You are penalised for taking damage. If you take too much damage it is possible to lose points in the course of completing a level of the game.

Players might complete Bayonetta in a little over 10 hours. But it's unlikely that you'll do so with a very high score, or a collection of platinum level completion statues, so there are bucket-loads of re-playability. There are also five difficulty levels. 'Normal' is challenging, so you'll have to come back prepared and practised to complete it in the most difficult mode. It's also worth noting that there's an ultra-easy setting, which pretty much just requires you to just hit a button from time to time and the game will do the rest, so while this is a decidedly hardcore game in style, it's hugely accessible to newcomers. Even if you do become a grand master of Bayonetta, working your way up through the difficulty levels, this is not a game that is going lose it's visual appeal any time soon.