Review: Bayonetta (Wii U)
In early 2010 the world was introduced to the seductive, shape-shifting witch, Bayonetta and her delightfully ludicrous world of angelic foes and misguided friends. Bayonetta immediately stood out of the crowd. While the initial reaction to the game was that it was simply another typical hack-n-slash title the intricate differences quickly proved otherwise.
The Umbra Witch, Bayonetta has awoken in an underwater tomb after being in a state of slumber for 500 years. Her memory is shattered and she knows well that she has to get hold of a treasure called the “Eyes of the World”. Things start to get pieced together fairly quickly as Bayonetta makes her way to the city of Vigrid where the over-the-top action kicks up a gear.
Bayonetta is aesthetically pleasing, so are the games graphics mind you. *cough*. As smooth as the visuals might be, the combat and the intense action are undoubtedly where the game excels. The amount of combos that can be comprised from two primary attacks are absolutely jaw-dropping. There are various complexities that place the game in a class of its own, more specifically; Witch Time. When a dodge has been pulled off and timed at the last moment time is slowed down and you have an opportunity to gain a significant advantage and take out the now handicapped enemies. As you progress through the game you earn a in-game currency which allows you to alter abilities through various wearable items. This will incease Bayonetta’s attacks making her more dangerous with each upgrade. These upgrades expand to your weapons, of which there are four; one for each hand and one for the corresponding foot. Yeah, Bayonetta shoots guns from her feet! These customisations alter combat, mixing and matching combo’s and attacks until you feel happy with your arsenal of unique blood-splattering move sets. Bayonetta’s hair itself is also a deadly weapon. As a matter of fact her magical hair can transform her into various different forms including a panther, crow and a bat. Think of this as a demonic wig that BraveStarr would wear. These attacks generally come through in the form of Climax Attacks which occur after a combo build up during your attacks.
Bayonetta has various difficulty levels with the ‘Normal’ difficulty being challenging enough for newcomers not to be overwhelmed. The Wii U game pad integration allows for off-TV play however one must note that the gesture actions numbs the overall experience and substantially waters down the difficulty, especially in the ‘automatic’ mode. The gamepad allows you to use a number of touch, swiping and frantic tapping gestures in order to pull off your chosen attacks and actions such as running and dodging, similar to that found in generic mobile phone games. This control scheme my appeal to a more novice audience but once you get used to the attack dynamics you might feel more at home or crave a more of a traditional experience by using the Wii U pro controller or Classic Controller which are compatible with the game. So other than the gamepad controls what makes the Wii U version of Bayonetta unique? The obvious difference is the addition of Nintendo-themed costumes which are available from the beginning of the game. Bayonetta, along with all her infamous sexual innuendos. Princess Peach, the awesome Princess Daisy, Link and Samus Aran costumes are available. These ‘skins’ are far more than a quick way to skimp out these fan-favourite characters from the Mushroom Kingdom. The Princess Peach outfit substitutes attacks with Bowser’s limbs. The Link costume comes along with iconic sound clip from the Legend of Zelda series and, possibly one of the best additions, is Samus’ classic arm cannon which fully justifies armoured Samus as opposed to the better visually matched Zero Suit Samus.
It may well have taken over four years for a Nintendo platform to have Bayonetta included to its library but as is often the case the wait was well worthwhile. The soundtrack is both unique and memorable; if you don’t have ” Fly Me To The Moon” as an infinite loop in your head after playing Bayonetta then we need to have a talk. With the Nintendo exclusive, Bayonetta 2 around the corner what better way to ease into the franchise again than a battle between Umbra Witches and Lumen Sages… dressed as provocative Nintendo characters.