Bayonetta 3: The Kotaku Review
When Bayonetta 3 was first announced at the 2017 Game Awards as a Nintendo Switch exclusive, I knew then and there that buying Nintendo’s handheld was inevitable by virtue of it being my Bayonetta machine. Now that Bayonetta 3is here and I finally got credit, I wish it wasn’t made in the first place. Although Bayonetta 3 is chock full of shiny new weapons and monsters to test them out on, there isn’t enough fanservice in the world to make up for how much of a disastrous letdown it is, thanks to its trash-fire of a story and its mistreatment of beloved characters.
PlatinumGames’ Bayonetta 3 is an action hack-n-slash game. You play as Bayonetta, a powerful and fashionable Umbrian witch with the power to slow down time with a perfectly timed dodge. Although Bayonetta 3The launch should be cause for celebration given that it coincides with the series’ 10th anniversary, the legacy won’t be a triumph; this is the worst game in the trilogy for how it rakes fans over smoking hot coals during the march to the lackluster finale.
In the grand scheme of things, Bayonetta games are roller-coaster rides of high-octane action that let you unleash a multitude of satisfying combos on waves of monsters amidst creative battle arenas. They also all have convoluted storylines with dense jargon, timely plot structures, and low-interest villains with vague or basic motivations. Usually, fans can excuse these shortcomings because they don’t dampen the thrill of the brutal rollercoaster ride of Bayonetta’s infectious bravado and fighting prowess. While Bayonetta 3The story is easier to follow than usual, it does so much damage to both new and old characters that it would have been better to let it be told.
The MacGuffins this time are the Chaos Gears. Apart from sounding an awful lot Sonic‘s chaos emeralds, they also work in the same way in that collecting them gives the user powers to manipulate time and space. IN Bayonetta 3, the Umbran witch must collect all the chaos gear before the game’s primary antagonist, the Singularity. The short and sweet of Singularity’s grand plan involves jumping into the multiverse and killing Arch-Eve, i.e. the most powerful Umbran witch in existence, and draining her powers until he is the only living being in the universe.
Read more: One of Bayonetta 3‘s new magical powers transform her into… a train
While there is nothing inherently wrong with a game being formulaic, Bayonetta 3its dedication to this recipe prevents any exciting gimmick in the game’s chapters. In the past Bayonetta game, chapters felt completely unique to each other thanks to their inventive setpieces. One moment you can be fighting a bunch of angels in the Vatican, and the next you’re surfing through a typhoon battling a giant manta ray. Although Bayonetta 3 has its fair share of fascinating set-pieces, which go on Bayonetta 3 starting to feel like sleepwalking through the same concepts over and over.
Bayonetta 3its stages proceed as follows:
Meet a Bayonetta from an alternate universe
Witness Everything. Bayonetta and her Alt. Jeanne dies at the hands of the Singularity
Receive their chaos gear and gain one of their abilities
Take a trip into the next universe and repeat
Even initially exciting additions like Bayonetta 3The 2D kaiju battles lose their luster after a while because they overstay their welcome and feel completely disconnected within the game’s repetitive structure.
His Gammorah slams.
In a break from previous entries, exploration is key Bayonetta 3. The game has a dedicated waypoint toggle button so you don’t have to guess which routes lead to bonus items and optional challenges, and which lead to story progression. You may want to skip the extra stuff, like Bayonetta 3 becomes exhausting to play if you try a completion run. It gets boring to go off the beaten path to take on witch trials, and the trials of the platform age are a bore. While completing these trials unlocks things like new items and moves over the course of the game, the amount of challenges mostly serves as padding to make room Bayonetta 3its half-baked history.
Visually speaking, Bayonetta 3 is not much of a looker. For whatever reason, the graphical artifacts on everyone’s faces make them look like they’re made of sandpaper, especially in the Switch’s handheld mode. While I don’t usually harp on the graphics of a game, it was hard not to notice that Bayonetta’s model looked smoother and shinier in the eight-year-old. Bayonetta 2. Bayonetta 3 has a new, barebones photo mode feature, but it seems pointless.
Naive angel mode remains off in this household.
Combat wise, Bayonetta 3 is arguably the best series ever, a pure platinum glittering statue of the witch herself, if you were to grade it on the game’s combat performance scale. A new gimmick in place Bayonetta 3 lets you take control of demons on the battlefield. But doing so renders Bayonetta immobile, so you’ll need to be aware of where she’s positioned so your combos aren’t unceremoniously interrupted by an attacking enemy.
Another, Demon Masquerade, allows Bayonetta to fuse with her weapons, take on their form, and unleash a host of demonic combos at the expense of magical power. My favorite Demon Masquerades were Dead End Express and Ribbit Libido-BZ55l, which transformed Bayonetta into a demonic train and turned her singing voice into a weapon, respectively.
Demon Masquerade is a welcome addition to Bayonetta’s toolkit, adding a whole new dimension to the game’s combat by allowing your domesticated demon to start your combos or serve as an exclamation point. The only downside here is how unsatisfying it feels to use these attacks against the uninspired new enemies.
Is it a MF’ing devil may cry reference? (It is).
Bayonetta 3The main enemy types are homunculi, artificial constructs created by corrupt humans. Their humanoid forms are a pain to hack through and even less visually impressive due to their bland, neon green Pepsiman design. The challenge modes give you a break from the dull homunculi by bringing back the infernal demons and angels from previous games, but this backfired in that it just made me want to play Bayonetta 3their predecessors instead. While the new additions to the game’s combat system managed to coax me out of simply hating the 20 hours I spent playing Bayonetta 3its storytelling made me question whether it was worth the five-year wait.
The one that shines light in Bayonetta 3The story is its new playable character, Viola. In the same way that Nero was a breath of fresh air devil may cry the series, as is Viola Bayonetta 3 thanks to her charming personality and killer features. In contrast to Bayo and Jeanne’s sultry and snotty dommy-mom personalities, Viola is a goofy punk rocker who stumbles over would-be-cool one-liners and bumbles her way through boss fights. But her antics never cross the line from endearing to grating thanks to how charming she is. Instead of triggering witch time through dodging, Viola parries attacks with her long katana. This requires some getting used to before Bayonetta games taught us to avoid whenever possible.
Unfortunately, Viola’s inclusion is marred by the relatively limited amount of time you get to play as her compared to Bayonetta, as well as a major story beat.
I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory.
In chapter seven – midway through the game – it is revealed that Bayonetta and Luka, the failson journalist, are Viola’s parents. Previously, Luka served as a predominantly unreliable character who could only serve as comic relief for Bayonetta to emasculate. But i Bayonetta 3, the Umbrian witch treats Luka like a husband she can’t take anywhere, her little mew mew. It is also revealed that Luka is the werewolf-like hellbeast that gave Bayonetta and Viola trouble in previous chapters, despite never having that kind of power in previous games.
Although I had braced myself for the second stiletto to drop after this bizarre revelation, no amount of preparation time could dampen how frustrating it was to witness Bayonetta 3 shoving Luka down my throat both as a major player in the franchise and as Bayonetta’s love interest when Jeanne, a better written character who has much more chemistry with Bayo, was being abused left and right.
Since Bayonetta first debuted in 2009, the hinged witch has been an icon in the LGBTQ+ community, celebrated by queer fans. Bayonetta even managed to become a point of obsession for queer idol Lady Gaga. Bayonetta’s quirky popularity comes from her camp waacking, battles against Christian figures who try to persecute her, and her relationship with Jeanne. The whole point of Bayonetta 2 was for Bayonetta to go to hell and back just to bring Jeanne back to life. Outside of the games, series creator Hideki Kamiya has referred to Jeanne and Bayonetta as a couple, and Bayonetta character designer Mari Shimazaki released official art of the friends’ domestic life. So you can see how Bayonetta 3The decision to make Luka and Bayonetta canon comes off pretty horribly.
Read more: Bayonetta 3 Reviews say it’s stylish and fun, but that’s about it
When Bayonetta and Jeanne finally share the screen together towards the game’s finale, giving me an impression of the chemistry I had come to love Bayonetta franchise, Jeanne is unceremoniously killed by the Singularity. It turns out that Dr. Sigurd, a character that Jeanne was charged with saving during a side scroll Metal Gear Solid-esque spy quest, was Singularity all along. Even when the game threw Jeanne a leg up by giving her something to do instead of being a damsel in distress, it was just killing her, making the time spent during her missions feel pointless. At this point I chose to skip most of the once enjoyable witch and time processes and just take up the rest of the action so I didn’t have to spend more time than necessary playing Bayonetta 3.
I could give a bloody blow-for-blow in every way Bayonetta 3The third act plotting lets the character and her fans down, but suffice it to say PlatinumGames let me down one last time by killing off Bayonetta as well. Of course, this happened right after she took off her glasses to kiss her “destined” lover Luka one last time. The game then has the gall to include a self-congratulatory dance number to pass the torch to Viola, as if getting a new series protagonist at the expense of Bayonetta and Jeanne’s character assassination was worth celebrating.
Although Bayonetta 3 the sequel gives itself away in the post-credits, its bad twists have really dampened my enthusiasm for further adventures in this universe. If I were to visit again Bayonetta franchise again, I would most likely choose to play again Bayonetta 1 or Bayonetta 2 instead of exposing myself to Bayonetta 3its flawed history again.
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