Howdy hidey ho! Bayonetta 2 introduced me to Bayonetta’s titular, over-the-top style and I absolutely adored it. Yea, that’s right: I played the sequel before I played the original, and I don’t regret that: Bayonetta 2 was an absolute action-packed gem. But it’s been a long time, and even the likes of Devil May Cry 5 showed off a franchise rebuilding itself from scratch to continue. Does Bayonetta 3 cement the series for the modern era after an 8-year hiatus?
…surpassing the words “over-the-top” with another word: “insanity”.
Let’s get the bad out of the way first: the foundation is incredibly dated. In an effort to expand on the predecessor, there is more exploration and platforming, and these pretty much never feel polished and instead harken to the jankiness era of the PS3 days. Expect to miss jumps, fail challenges, and/or experience some weird difficulties not because the game is hard or you suck, but because there’s a lack of refinement in movement systems outside of combat. Ah, but then there’s that combat, and its attempt to expand on its predecessor can also be a hit or miss. When it’s a hit, it’s an absolute charmer, a true tour-de-force of action. When it’s a miss, it’s because there are times the bigger-than-life enemies and camera do not work well together, and you’ll take blows simply because you can’t see shit. You might be thinking things are pretty grim, but then the game almost completely redeems itself in this category by surpassing the words “over-the-top” with another word: “insanity”. If you thought Bayonetta 2 was crazy, there’s apparently a notch above that. And though I clearly have no desire to spoil it, the things you’ll do mean there’s absolutely no way you could possibly fall asleep while playing this game. I promise you: you won’t be bored because of the most unpredictable things the game throws at you to the point where you simply can’t help but smile. So if you can get passed the dated and often janky foundations, you’re in for whatever it is that’s considerably more exciting than a roller coaster ride!
…Egyptian tanned Bayonetta is just hnnggg!!!
It doesn’t take too long to get to the credits even if you took your time, as I rolled credits around 12 hours and spent some time afterwards to look into what’s left. What’s left is primarily just challenging yourself and replaying the game, and the reward is naturally more currency for unlockables and apparently a fight with Rodin (speaking of unlockables, might I add that Egyptian tanned Bayonetta is just hnnggg!!!). Of course, I might suggest you wait until after you beat the game to go after these challenges simply because you’re far more powerful and it’ll be easier to get top scores. I won’t pretend the game is jam-packed with content because it’s not, but it lends itself well to completionists who haven’t climaxed, yet.
…the Switch suffers far beyond its due…
We’ve got some serious problems, here. No, not the tired rhetoric of the Switch being too weak, but the devs trying way too hard. There IS such a thing as going too far, and the Switch suffers far beyond its due because of it. The framerate ranges and stutters from the 20s and rarely up to the 60 mark when backgrounds are open space, and cinematics have a cap of 30. I won’t even blame you for emulating this game to enjoy it more. But to make matters worse, we’re not looking at a visual charmer, either: most of the game’s world itself is, much like its gameplay foundation, stuck in the PS3 era. This all comes from the fact that the cinematics and gameplay are, as previously defined, insane. And therein lies the plus side: the insanity carries right into the cinematics and I found my retinas glued to the screen at the digital concoction of utter mayhem. They even tried to better animate the faces which I give credit for, something many Nintendo game’s lack (though mocap would have naturally been the better choice). Naturally, you expect me to close on commenting about the story, and I can’t precisely say certain things without spoiling it, but there is a sense of both closure and predictable confusion in its multiverse villain approach. There’s no writing home about it, but it is the end of one era.
…you see how hard this is to describe, yet?!
Whew, I’m still catching my breath trying to figure out what’s more exciting than a roller coaster ride! Sure, the 8-year hiatus didn’t quite modernize the game: it’s clear its foundations need to be scrapped and the series rebuilt from scratch like DMC5, but they made sure to do everything they could possibly do to make up for it. And in that lies a level of insanity that both punishes the Switch but moistens the mental giblets until they’re gushing with… uh… you see how hard this is to describe, yet?! You know what, did I ever tell you the definition of insanity? Bayonetta, it’s Bayonetta.