Sexy Hands-On Bayonetta Demo Preview (PS3)

By BlueZeroBlueZero


Welcome to the world of Bayonetta! Some witch cult has some impure child and has considered her an outcast. Someone rescues the girl named Bayonetta from the bottom of a lake. Next, she battles the blond haired woman in the red dress because that woman decided to fight the outcast as her witch challenge. Enter boss fights so seamless and fast, that they shine as a molding of Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden. I thoroughly enjoyed the Japanese demo and spend almost 30 minutes playing to the end. Do note I wrote this write-up before the English demo came out; enter the demo spoilers:

The demo starts out with Bayonetta learning all her seductive moves in the Tutorial level. Here, we have the triangle button be her physical attack with her hair and magic attacks. The square and circle button do her ranged weapon, which in the demo is either pistols or a shotgun. The X button allows Bayonetta to jump and double jump. The R2 button allows her to dodge and it’s an important part of the game. L2 switches her stance between the default pistol and the shotgun/sword stance. L1 is the taunt button which raises her special bar if you are fighting enemies. R1 is your special move button you hold while pressing the face buttons. R1 + triangle seemed to be the best move with the sword to get around quickly in the air. Since I am writing this hands-on preview a few days after I played the demo, I can see what sticks in my memory.

Action games live or die by their controls and speed. The most impressive part of the game is that her moves are so well animated and flow well with her combat. She doesn’t feel stiff like other action games. She can go instantly from physical attacks to a ranged attack and can interrupt any down time from a move with an instant jump. The frustrations of slow Devil May Cry 1 (DMC) moves has been replaced with the fast action of Ninja Gaiden Sigma. Unlike Ninja Gaiden, the angels are not throwing a billion things your way or getting some super cheap grab move, not yet at least. The dodge button is very liberal in going into the bullet witch time. I appreciate that Bayonetta actually dodges the attack with the blade or whatever traveling under her instead of some games where the items clips through the person and it is hidden with a lot of sparks (God of War). A unique move for the game is a 360 rotation of the control stick plus a projectile button. This puts her into a frenzy of firing and you can aim her attacks from over the shoulder. The attack was very useful.


The game speed seemed to be locked at around 30FPS unless the game was doing cinematics like boss intros or some Bayonetta in game cutscenes. Again, Sega has done a decent job getting the game to run well. Yeah, the comparison videos show that there is more color in the 360 version of the game. When I was playing the demo, I didn’t think “Oh, these textures are kinda murkey and the colors could be more vibrant”

The demo starts off with Bayonetta on a train after a brief video about her back story. She just sits there until the train stops and she leaves. The other people in the world are represented as shadows for some reason. I’m going to assume that the angels make people oblivious to the battle between witches and the angels; the battle between magic and time as hinted in the trailer. Then some magical voice starts talking to her and I didn’t think it was important.

As soon as you can control Bayonetta, you will notice that the camera controls are extremely slow and must be immediately changed to mid level so you can rotate the camera to see enemies. She likes to walk with one hand on her hip and runs full force at maximum run. Even when she is in the air, she will put a hand on her hip while she is firing with the square button. The creators have done an excellent job making her look sexy while she is fighting. She can strafe enemies and faces them at a kind of angle that makes it look like she is dancing with them. When she does her double jump, I was surprised that she has magic butterfly wings that give her extra height. When she lands, magical looking butterflies come from her impact. Her dodge move is a very high flip which if done enough makes her do a really high jump and go into a recovery mode where she can’t move for like a second. I see this intention to prevent spamming the dodge move for easy witch bullet time where all enemies are slowed for a few seconds.

Bayonetta exits the train station and can destroy pots and objects for Sonic looking rings. I’m not sure their purpose, I assume they will be used to buy new moves/items ala DMC. When she gets outside, the angels come out of the heaven. They are introduced by a cutscene and their name written in a book which flies away. The introduction of the enemies with their name written in a book might get old if they do that for every enemy we meet. There are a few ground and air enemies. Since I was playing on the Normal setting, the highest level allowed in the demo, there was a danger icon before each attack and I had to do my own combos.


Who Knew Glasses Could Be So Sexy?

After the enemies, a boss demon enemy appeared. He had a red spot on his back. The Japanese text did not make it easy for me to understand that I could use her Torture move to finish the boss. As you dish out the pain, your torture/special meter starts filling up. When it is full, Bayonetta’s body glows purple and you can press L3 to unleash a finishing move. The finishing move against the boss is a huge dragon head emerging from Bayonetta’s hair, which is naturally the source of a woman’s power, and then doing “Megatons” of damage to the angel.

Fast forward through the demo to the next boss fight. As soon as Bayonetta gets on a suspended bridge over a cliff, another angel comes from the pit and starts grabbing onto the bridge. Bayonetta unleashes her stylish moves and near the end, the boss actually rips the bridge from the world and eventually tosses it with her on it. The player has to press the jump button and she lands with a graceful picture of her landing. The boss returns as she walks toward a door on another bridge and drives her back to a platform. The rest of the boss fight builds suspense with the platform getting more cracks and the boss is hanging off the edge swiping at Bayonetta. Once you whittle down the health bar, you get to do another finishing attack with the dragon hair spawn.


The game next loads a fight with the blondish woman from the trailer. The fight takes place in a rectangle room and can go on all surfaces. This boss fight is quite challenging as the other woman can guard most of your attacks. When I fought her with the sword style, it was much more difficult than using the normal style. Dodging her attacks doesn’t enter witch bullet time because both people are witches I suppose. If you manage to beat her, then the demo ends and shows a brief trailer.

To sum the game up, Bayonetta is not a full witch probably because a witch had a daughter with a regular human. Thus Bayonetta is an outcast and the witch council doesn’t want to accept her in their clan. Also for some reason this blond hair witch wants to fight Bayonetta as her initiation ritual. Yeah, that’s going to really show off your mettle battling half a witch. My opinion is that the creator is going to make a sequel to this game, thus the story is going to not be tightly wrapped up at the end. Yeah, Bayonetta is most likely going to beat down the angels, but it’s not going to be conclusive. I'm going to be buying it day one anyway.

*Images from the Official Bayonetta Website and the Bayonetta Flickr Account.

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