Thursday, May 3, 2012

Retrospective: Bayonetta

This week was met with talks of Bayonetta's sequel may or may be not cancelled. Bayonetta is an action game made  by Platinum Games and published by Sega, and is considered a success of critic and market. the game is centered in the titular character fighting weird creatures who may be angels, using his arsenal of guns (including in her heels) and her hair-slash-outfit to do some magic tricks.

All in all, Bayonetta is a great game. The gameplay, soundtrack and design is all top, making this a very fun game to play. But the main character and its story is the weakest link in my opinion. Bayonetta is a weirdly proportioned witch with an weird accent, probably supposed to be British, fighting monster because... I am not so sure, the story is confusing and hard to follow, and somewhat not interesting enough.

Her head is half the size of a normal human.
Bayonetta is prone to be sarcastic and joke around, while making ridiculous arousing poses and getting almost naked when using her hair-clothes (yes, her hair is her clothes) to attack enemies. And while this make her a different character, she is hardly a memorable one. All her attitude and sexiness hides the fact that she is not interesting as a character. She is shallow, that is it. I almost forgot (and, considering the internet rarely mentions her, a lot of people forgot her too) that she was a thing. It shows that a character needs more than just sex appeal and cool design to become a classic.

The mess of a story, who apparently involves time travel, angels and demons and some powerful magic artifacts is also detrimental to the game. Today, great gameplay makes fun games, but great story make them unforgettable. If Bayonetta had a more easy to understand story and this story was interesting, probably even the characters would be more well developed, but as many games of the past, story here is more of an after thought to justify the game's mechanics than to be part of the game's essence.

The battles were full of fun, though.
In the end, Bayonetta feels like an old-school game, like the old 16-bit action games. and that is OK. I heartily recommend Bayonetta to anyone wishing to have fun and play a nice, challenging game. A game like this doesn't really need an story to be entertaining, nor a deep character. It is what it is, and it is pretty good game with some of the most incredible bosses and enemies in recent time.

In the end, it is the fails of making this game something to be remembered in the years to come that doomed Bayonetta and probably its sequel. Everybody was excited for her when the game came out, but fast forgot as the launch window passed. You hardly see her in lists, or people comparing new games with this one. The lack of talk may have made Sega to scrap the sequel, despite its good sales and reception.

Or they got nightmares with long legs and small heads.
If Bayonetta's sequel really got canned, I doubt many gamers would feel like they are missing something. They have being very silent about her in the last year. It would be nice to see a sequel with a better story, a minor redesign of the character to be more well proportionate but with the same spirit of over-the-top characters, fights and world.

Again, i recommend Bayonetta to anyone wishing to have fun. But it needs more than that to make her one of the great games we will remember forever.

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