Bayonetta won’t be out in the US until the beginning of 2010, but that wasn’t going to stop me from trying out the Japanese demo.
I’m not sure what to think of Bayonetta to be quite frank. The demo seems shorter after the fact for some reason, but there was more than enough there to give me a true sense of the game. I’ll admit when I first pressed start I was so ready to compare Bayonetta to Devil May Cry, but the more I played the more I realized this was no DMC — It was better. Even though the controls seemed awkward to my fingers, they felt really fresh and natural as well.
The gameplay is all about nonstop action and then a climax. It truly felt cinematic. I really got the hang of the game despite the fact that all of the text was in Japanese. (The dialogue is all in English.) There aren’t buttons for locking on to targets or blocking. Instead the game has an auto lock on once you start attacking. You can then manually change attack directions and targets. At first the game helps to you notice when incoming attacks are coming with a huge “Danger” sign so you know when to press the dodge button, but after that you’re all on your own. I think this was implemented in the game instead of blocking to really keep the action going and the player engaged in what’s happening on screen. There is a real benefit to dodging at the last possible second. If you’re successful you not only get to keep your health, you also initiate what’s called Witch Time.
During Witch Time Bayonetta dishes out more damage and if I’m correct in my assumptions, we get to see the world the way Bayonetta does. The fact that you can walk through NPC’s who look like they are wearing MGS stealth camouflage kind points to this theory. You can dodge earlier and not get punished, but you don’t get the benefits of Witch Time. Try not to get hit because for some reason Bayonetta is like Sonic and loses rings when she gets hit. Another part of combat involves torture sequences and boss finishers. The developers could have easy just made these QTE and left it at that, but they decided to attach a score bonus to QTE based on how fast you can press the indicated button in a set amount of time.
Overall the demo was decent. The visuals look nice, but I’m sure you’ve seen better. I’m still getting Bayonetta because it plays great and looks pretty enough. If the game wasn’t region locked I’d import since it’ll be out at the end of October in Japan. If you have a Japanese PSN account give the demo chance.
PSN Bayonetta First Climax Demo 1195MB
The demo basically consists of a light tutorial and 3 fight sequences and one of them includes the boss from the E3 press footage.
Since the controls are all in Japanese I’ve decided to just list them for you all here.
Left Stick – Movement
Right Stick – Camera (rotates slow)
R3 – Center Camera Behind Bayonetta
L2 Cycle Through Targets
L2 – Switch Between Set A Weapons and Set B Weapons
R2 – Dodge
Square – Hand Guns (Set A ) Katana (Set B)
Triangle – Punch (Hold to fire guns)
Circle – Kick (Hold to fire guns)
X – Jump
Triangle+Circle – Torture/Finisher (When Prompted)
Left, Up, Right on D-Pad – Opens specific item sub-menu (Holding a specific direction uses assigned item)