There could be worse ways to die!

Hello my fellow gamers! Well, non-gamers also, if you’re not one… and read this… interwebs hugs going your way!

After my mad dash last night to download the Bayonetta demo, because I could not stop playing Dragon Age long enough to do it, I finally played it this morning.

So now I have words… to type… about it.

First things first, please do not get me wrong… I like it. Actually, I really like it, I think it’s a bold step in a bold direction and of course Hideki Kamiya did the whole “weird for being weird” thing again, really well.

That being said, let me start with the negative stuff, just to get that out of the way.

Something about Bayonetta just feels… like it’s try TOO hard to be off the wall. This is saying a lot, considering all of the Devil May Cry games are nuts and/or crazy to begin with. But… Bayonetta really stretches that, starts throwing angels at witches, and guns on every foot and hand, and hair that eats her victims. I mean, hair as a weapon isn’t anything new, Millia Rage did it (and she’s in one of the weirdest and coolest games ever) and Sindel did it, but I don’t think either of them ever ATE anyone with their hair.

Also, as far as I know, their clothing wasn’t made of their hair.

It does make for some interesting nudity though, so I’ll let that one slide.

On that note, Dante in Devil May Cry 3 did block all of Lady’s bullets… with his bullets:

So crazy is cool, you know!

My next qualm is dodging. So this one doesn’t really even count as a negative towards the game, so ignore it basically. But seriously, R2 as dodge? Really Sega? Really?

I kept trying to jump dodge (Devil May Cry) and Right Stick dodge (God of War.) Hopefully I can change the button layout in the full game, I’ll go nuts if I can’t.

Next up, is the story. Luckily, this is another somewhat trivial one, as I don’t know the full story from little tidbits in the demo, but I get the feeling it might be kind of paper-thin. Which is sad, I really do want to care about Bayonetta, she seems fairly cool… but how many angel and witch clichés can we take before we deem the story “stupid?”

Time will tell.

Finally, the one that really grinds my nerves is the J-Pop battle music. The music in between battles, sort of the ambient-background-soothing-lulling-you-into-a-false-sense-of-security music is actually pretty decent, but once you encounter an angel, it’s like they plucked the smallest, cutest, peace sign throwing Japanese girl out of the crowd and threw her into a recording studio.

It just doesn’t fit, in my opinion.

With all that being said, get ready for some crazy shit when you play this game.

The combo system will automatically feel familiar if you’ve played any Devil May Cry games, and even God of War. It’s your standard light attack (Triangle) tapped in succession, followed by your standard hard attack (Circle) and a combination of the two. As with most of these games, especially Devil May Cry, if you pause after a strike, you can actually change-up the combo and have light or heavy do something different.

One added splash to the system, which I really enjoyed, is at any moment (and I mean ANY moment) during a combo, you can hold the button you just pressed, and she will complete the last move and transition into rapid gunfire.

From some combo videos I saw, this makes for some ridiculously cool looking combos.

It seems that Bayonetta rewards you for executing these seamless, sexy combos and not getting hit. As you damage the enemies, you gain “magic” and this magic, when full, allows you to do “Torture combos” which basically finish off one opponent in… well, your hair. So things like a Guillotine, or an Iron Maiden, come out of nowhere and destroy, with gusto, your opponent.

To make it easier to fill up this gauge, and to really test your skill in action games, Bayonetta has what’s called “Witch Time,” which is like a Max Payne‘s “Bullet Time.” If you dodge correctly, just at the right moment, she enters this “Witch Time” and you can go nuts, allowing you to fill up your magic and kill at least one opponent fairly quickly. All and all, it seems like a fairly solid gameplay mechanic, and I hope to find killer ways to look… killer.

Now, although I like the idea Bayonetta has thrown out there, this next thing is sort of… a love/hate. For any of my female readers, this is where your opinion would be much appreciated.

Bayonetta is full on about the sex. The demo was even called “First Climax.”

It seems they REALLY try to stress the sexuality of Bayonetta, and I’m a bit on the fence on whether I like it or not. Her final boss kills are also called “Climax” and well, it just seems a bit much… sort of. The sort of stems from the fact that Bayonetta was created on this idea. She walks like a woman who know’s she’s killer, in both definitions of the word. She’s got the goods, again, in both kicking you face in and giving you eye candy. So why not show it off?

Now, the fact that her hair grows into a dragon, and eats her victim, leaving her basically naked (with strands of the dragon conveniently covering her nether regions) may seem like a bit much… but I guess it could be worse. She’s not an airhead, she’s seems like a cocky women with a mission (like a female Dante!)

On that note, I found one thing to be really interesting, and I noticed this in Street Fighter IV as well.

A lot of games give women big breast. It’s just the way it seems to go. Many people have cried foul by this, but it’s just the way it is… Bayonetta, doesn’t really particularly have the absurdly big ones that most games depict. She seems fairly normal actually, her actual assets being her hips and her butt.

Does that make it better? Well, either way, I don’t care, I like both. But I feel more attention was focused on other parts of her anatomy that make her a women. When you control her, you really feel the lengths of her legs, her nimble movement, but at the same time her strength.

It’s… hard to describe honestly, unless you play the demo. Yes, she has a particularly sexy butt… but it’s so much more than that…

Also, she kind of looks like what you wanted your Middle School teacher or librarian to look like… well some of us at least.

Anyway, if you get a chance to play the demo, make her walk slowly. She does the runway model walk, it’s actually kind of humorous.

With all that being said, it’s also behooves you(I just wanted to use that word) to note that guys will mostly be playing this game, and I find that interesting because there are a lot of butterflies… like, butterflies.

When she spins in the air, the powerup you get to refill your magic, the wings that appear when you double jump, the ones that appear when you land… throw on top of that the hearts that comes out when she kisses one of the bosses goodbye, it’s really, really girly and well… it’s interesting to note that there could not be a less manly, but still kickass, character you could control. It’s an interesting mix of “awwww, awesome duuuude, she’s got a killer ass!” and “dude, those butterflies are faaaaaabuuuuloooooouuuuss!”

Be prepared to check your masculinity at the door.

But for the better.

I’m looking forward to this game. This, Darksiders and God of War 3 and I should have more than my fill of killer action games.

And how could I say no to this face:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/platinumgames/3182697816/in/set-72157612359710378/
Painfully, that’s how.
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~ by machombie on 12/05/2009.

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