It’s raining Platinum Games on the PC! For years now PC players pleaded the well-known studio to port some of its best console games onto personal computers, but to no avail.
Lo and behold, Sega decided to grant the PC crowd not with one, but two titles from their console catalogue with Vanquish and Bayonetta appearing on Steam. What a lovely time to be alive and a fan of high heels and fighting!
Oh, Sega. You brilliant company you. Not only have you bought such splendid PC companies as Amplitude, Creative Assembly and Relic, you helped those companies expand their catalogue and create one of their best games to date. And now you, all of a sudden, you are bringing Bayonetta, that weird console masterpiece to the PC crowds.
A Different Perspective
From Software has shown us how much juice you can get from looking at a culture from the perspective of a totally different country, with its own attitude and myths. This is how Dark Souls was born, a Japanese version of the medieval myths. Bayonetta, on the other hand, is what happens when a Japanese falls in love with Dante’s Inferno, who discovers old drawings of angels and just goes bananas with it. And it’s glorious.
Bayonetta is a witch who wakes up from centuries-long sleep only to discover that the two factions that maintained balance in the world, the Lumen Sages and the Umbra Witches, are gone. And so she starts her long journey to understand what happened, why she lost her memories and why everyone, including angels and virtues, are trying to kill her. She goes about this business the only way she knows how – with pistols in her high heels and magic hair that summon demons. Oh, those witches!
By a Hair’s Breadth
This is a Platinum Games’ production, however, so the details of the story are not really that relevant. After all, they are just the basis for insane fights and beautiful vistas out of this world. In this case it’s all about the European city of Vigrid, which looks a version of Rome on some very heavy drugs.
Bayonetta is the star of the game on so many levels, that I’ve just stopped counting. She’s strong-willed, deadly, funny, over the top and believable (as far as witches go) at the same. And how she fights!
If you’ve played games from this genre you know what to expect: a range of melee and ranged attacks which you can combine for better damage. Dodging and positioning is essential, so you have to learn quickly not to restart levels every several minutes. All of this is known but the speed of the game and the complexity of its fighting system, which includes additional modifiers in executions, finishes and combos. Add to it “Torture Attacks”, which involve Bayonetta using some very nasty equipment to a devastating effect, for example iron maidens. Oh, and the witch can summon a powerful demon, the Madama Butterfly with her hair through a Wicked Weave attack. The farther into a combo you include the Wicked Weave, the more powerful it becomes.
Additionally, players can customize Bayonetta’s arsenal of weapons. How about shotguns instead of pistols? Or a katana? Or a whip? And how about different combinations of those weapons for the character’s legs and arms? There’s also a slow motion mode that kicks in after performing a successful dodge, because you can’t have a Platinum Games’ production without dodging now, can you?
Oh, and did you know that the game had a Very Easy Automatic Mode, if you really want to enjoy the wackiness of Bayonetta but are for some reason afraid of the superb fighting mechanisms. It places the witch in the right spot for the attack and you only have to hit one button to perform an amazing combo.
If you’ve never played Bayonetta before, but you love fighting games, this one is for you. If you’re a fan of Japanese popculture, you should definitely try this game out. If you were jealous for years that your console friends can enjoy the witch’s adventures and you are stuck with RTS games, give this one a try. The only real reason for not playing Bayonetta is if you do not like to have fun, but that’s not Bayonetta’s problem, isn’t it?