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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Bayonetta’ pretty but shallow

    “”Bayonetta,”” the new title from developer Platinum Games, holds its merits in absurdity. From the story to the art design to the heroine herself, “”Bayonetta”” is an example of Japanese game design at its best.

    “”Bayonetta”” is a single-player action game starring a heroine of the same name. The plot follows two clans, the Umbran Witches and the Lumen Sages, both of whom are vitally important to upholding the proper balance between dark and light. Our heroine is the last Umbran Witch left, and it’s up to her to restore the proper balance. The details stop there, however. Although the mythos is intriguing, the plot never really gets going and ends up feeling like a huge waste that serves as one giant set piece for all the individual action sections.

    Fortunately, the action is just as absurd as the plot and this is where “”Bayonetta”” excels. Bayonetta has several sets of weapons with which she can equip either her hands or her feet. This results in an amazing level of flexibility with regards to the combo-based combat system. Loading screens are cleverly designed to be practice arenas, and the inventive enemy designs are fantastic. The angel enemies featured in this game are a fascinating mix of grotesque and beautiful — it is truly a testament to what an art design team can do.

    The music is subtle but casts an eerie spell over the backgrounds during exploration sequences. The quirky jazz during combat sections provides a better metaphor for the personality of the game than perhaps anything else could. As you’re torturing angels with medieval devices and conjuring demons out of your hair and clothes, a woman sings catchy and relaxing jazz in the background. It’s fitting.

    The combat is the point of any action game, and I couldn’t help but be disappointed. The gorgeous settings make one wish the compelling mythology behind the plot had been further explored. As a game with no multiplayer modes at all, the lacking story really leaves much to be desired and makes it difficult to recommend this game to anyone who cares about narrative value.

    While a consistent visual spectacle, “”Bayonetta”” ultimately does not provide any depth. If this matters to you, don’t purchase this game without knowing what you’re in for. If all you care about is a riotous good time and not much payoff, you’re in for a treat.

     

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