Great game, but could’ve been so much better. Lets cover the bad first. Voice acting is cheesier than a triple cheese pan pizza from pizza hut with a cheese stuffed crust. The only voice actor I liked was the little one, Cereza. Luckily, Bayonetta’s voice was tolerable most of the time and good some of the time, even if the writing was still a block of cheddar.
The story was utterly and completely nonsensical. The background and world were somewhat interesting, but the who, why, and how of all the events was not only confusing, I think it actually killed brain cells. Level design was adequate and the still-frame style of many of the cutscenes just seemed lazy.
Now that that’s out of the way, lets talk goodness. Bayonetta is a button masher that is so far over-the-top it might actually be in orbit. I mean, she uses her hair as a conduit to summon a demon foot—wearing high heels—to kick and stomp her enemies. At one point you actually ride a motorcycle up the side of a rocket as it hurtles into outer space. The things you do in this game, you will not do in any other game, ever.
If you are a heterosexual male, Bayonetta will likely have you in a near constant state of arousal. She is smoking hot, sultry, and frequently near naked, though never all the way. >.< See, her hair also forms her outfit, and when she uses her hair to summon demons, it leaves her bare ass but with conveniently covered tastey bits. This is reason enough to keep playing hour after hour, but the gameplay is also quite satisfying. There are a multitude of combos that can be performed and a convenient practice area accessed during loading screens. The game also rewards timing and finesse. Dodging at the right moment triggers Witch Time, which basically freezes your enemies momentarily, allowing you to pummel them at will. Finesse will improve your rewards and score. Every encounter and every level give you a rating from stone to platinum, with online leaderboards to see how you stack up.
As you progress, Bayonetta unlocks new techniques and acquires new weapons and accessories. The result is that you’re constantly adjusting your play style to include these new methods of dishing out pain, or avoiding it. She gains the ability to turn into a panther, a crow, and a swarm of bats. The first two are useful both in and out of combat. There is a decent arsenal of weaponry to choose from and two weapons are equipped at any given time, one on the hands and one on the feet. Yes, rocket launchers mounted to your feet is a perfectly valid option. Despite the variety however, the katana is the best hands weapon by far, and you’ll likely use it exclusively once acquired.
Battle arena’s are littered throughout the game world that provide rewards for completing ridiculously arbitrary challenges: for example, kill this angel in 2 minutes or less using no more than 7 punches and 7 kicks. It’s fun though and adds to the game’s replay value, which is considerable. The main campaign takes about 15 hours on Normal difficulty, but it really only scratches the surface. There are two more difficulties that must be unlocked, and certain items that are only available after completing specific challenges, many of which require multiple playthroughs. Not to mention, one playthrough will only give you enough Halos (currency) to buy a small fraction of the items available.
All in all, the game is a blast to play and offers lots to do even after the campaign is over. The story is terrible and voice-acting cheesy, but stylistically Bayonetta is unlike anything else and filled to overflowing with sexiness.
Please note: Bayonetta is a witch, she has made a pact with the demon’s of Inferno, and she relishes killing angels. (In this world, angels aren’t necessarily good, it’s all about balance.) So… yeah… keep that in mind if that sort of thing offends you.