Review: Bayonetta 1 (Wii U)

If you read my article from yesterday you know that I’m not terribly fond of games that portray sexuality in an over-the-top way. That said, I feel like I’m relatively good at separating aspects of something that I don’t like from aspects that I do like.  Despite my dislike of the way that Bayonetta deals with sexuality it’s still a great game.  I’ll get more in depth as to the reasons that I liked it, but suffice it to say that the good things about Bayonetta far outweigh the bad.

At it’s core Bayonetta is an action game, and a very solid one at that.  Bayonetta punches, kicks, jumps, and dodges wonderfully; her moves all feel fluid, and the pace of combat helps to accentuate that.  Everything about how Bayonetta fights is cool, and playing as her makes the player feel cool.  There are more fun combos, and interesting moves than I can even mention here, but one of my favorites is the way you can rotate your stick and hit the punk or kick button to have Bayonetta shoot a bunch of baddies at once.  Again, I can’t stress enough how much fun Bayonetta is to play, and as someone who has made a habit of getting all over games that have too much story and not enough gameplay, Bayonetta is a welcome title.

I don’t know what’s going on here but I know that it’s awesome.

That’s not to say that there is no story in Bayonetta.  There is one…although I’m not entirely sure what it is.  To be fair, I haven’t played the game to completion.  Truth be told I’m only a few chapters in.  Even so, it seems as though Bayonetta’s story is there less for plot and more as a vehicle to create insane and grandiose setting for Bayonetta to fight in.  You know what, that’s cool with me.  I know that Bayonetta is a witch, that there are two eyes of the world, and that there are angels, demons, and all sorts of other things to shoot and kick and generally destroy.  That’s as much as I need for this game to make sense.  In a way Bayonetta is the polar opposite of the last game Chris had me play, Metal Gear Solid 4.  Where MGS4 seems to take itself incredibly seriously, not seeming to realize just how bonkers it is, Bayonetta goes the other way; it knows it’s ridiculous, knows it, and absolutely thrives on that fact.

As an aside, while I still Bayonetta’s looks are unnecessary and kind of ridiculous, her sexuality makes slight more sense in the context of the game world than the other example from my article, MGS4.  Bayonetta’s willingness to throw logic completely out the window makes it more believable that the main protagonist might look and dress the way Bayonetta does.  Again, I’m still not a fan of it, but in context, it’s slightly more forgivable.

So far my experience with Bayonetta has been pretty great.  As much as I’d like to dive into Bayonetta 2, with its better graphics and all, I think I’ll go ahead and finish the first installment before I do that.  I have a feeling that it won’t be wasted time.

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