XBOX360 PS3 Release: 2009
The E3 presentation of Bayonetta may have been one of the most surreal experiences I've had in and about video games. It is, assuredly, the only time ANY of my notebooks has ever included the phrase "hair dragon ate ogre," and really, that was just a highlight - not the pinnacle of the odd. Through it all, though, Bayonetta looked really COOL, which is apparently what Platinum Games is going for. At the very beginning of the presentation, they stated that "Bayonetta will be the best 'style-action' game on the market. There are others, and we will be better than them. You will want to play Bayonetta." Wow - that's brassy! In terms of guarantees, it really seemed more "Joe Namath" than any of the shallow guarantees we get these days - so how did they follow up this proclamation? Well, let's see...
First up, the main character. Bayonetta is a witch. She's a witch in head-to-toe Hair. Hair that glows with magical sparkles when she moves around, or does anything like "jumping." In fact, when she jumps a colorful haze appears around Bayonetta, takes the form of a magical butterfly, and helps her glide where she wishes. But remember, at her heart - she's a witch. Apparently, witches fight intimidating monsters and steal their halos ... so that's what she does! Bayonetta fights with (among other weapons) guns, which are held in each hand and strapped to each ankle. This creates a fantastic effect whenever she performs any kind of gymnastics, as she maintains fire with ALL available weapons. If she's in a handstand, she's firing with her feet. If she's performing a cartwheel, she's firing with a sequence of guns, defined by whatever's not supporting her weight. Well then ... so far we've certainly upheld the monicker of 'style-action'!
The next bit of the demonstration focused on some limited weapon stealing. A girl (read: interdimensional witch) can't survive on gunfire alone! When that craving strikes, Bayonetta is able to swipe a variety of weapons, typically of the hand-to-hand persuasion, and lay about her with the very tools of those she's battling. Or really, slaughtering in a fanfare of slick combos. We saw her steal a glaive and toss foes around the room, which was neat - but she was STILL shooting whatever guns were free. Nice!
The last point of focus that we saw in Bayonetta is probably her most potent weapon ... her hair. Interdimensional witches apparently have an empowered coif that can create and reach into dimensional portals, drawing forth all SORTS of useful things. One category of portal-product at your disposal is the torture device. Yes, Bayonetta's hair can reach into an alternate reality, and pull out a rack, then grab an enemy and stuff him into said rack to suffer for a quick stint while you take on other enemies. The 'do can also become empowered by its portal-formation, and we saw a variety of attacks where a giant fist formed of hair appeared from the hair-portal and punched or smashed enemies on the screen. Hair kicks are also fair game, and many a foot-based hair attack (You see? Hair-feet!) levelled an angelic beastie for rapid halo-harvesting. At the end of the demo level, Bayonetta faced off against a giant foe. As she whittled him down, his armor deteriorated (which is a visual health indicator) until she was eventually ready to finish him off. At this point, her hair began to whip about her head in a black cloud of "uh oh" until it formed an especially big dimensional portal. It then ducked inside, and reappeared a moment later in the form of a giant dragon's head! As you may guess, the dragon chomped down on the level boss and shook him like a terrier. A giant, interdimensional, hair-dragon terrier, chowing down on an angel-ogre. Wow!
I have no idea what to make of Bayonetta. For 15 minutes in the Platinum Games room, it was about the coolest thing ever, and they certainly STATED that the game will be the best around. I hope that the rest of the game pans out as well as the bits that we saw, because it was a fun quarter-hour.
=Watch the trailer ^^ http://www.gametrailers.com/player/usermovies/218819.html
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