So about Bayonetta…

Finished “Bayonetta” this afternoon.  Having done so, I’m very glad that I took the advice of the community and ratcheted the difficulty down a notch, to “Easy” (although there is a “Very Easy” difficulty that I didn’t have to stoop to).

I was feeling a bit sheepish about playing on easy, mind you, because I got to the very last level of the game with an inventory full of all kinds of healing and protective and buffing items that I hadn’t had to use and my only deaths had been owed to the game’s proclivity to, in the middle of a cutscene, throw a QTE at you with an instant death penalty should you muff it, and then I blew through that entire inventory surviving the Big Goddamn Boss Fight.

So “Normal” would not have been a good plan.

Anyway, some random thoughts:

The “was that particular camera angle REALLY necessary?” aspect of the game’s cutscenes never really goes away.  Ignoring that, there are a lot of cutscenes and they tend to drag on a bit.  Normally I’m a fan of lots and lots of story and exposition, but this really pushed it.

Combat remains nicely crazy to the end of the game, and the last bits of the game feature fights of truly massive scale – there’s lots of “woah” moments.

The visuals in general are amazing; I had to stop myself blindly charging through levels and remember to slow down and look AROUND from time to time.  There were some jaggies, but nothing to really quibble about.  There was, however, an awful lot of screen tearing in some levels, which IS something to quibble about, but it seemed to go away in later levels.

The nods to Sega fanboys were many and appreciated.  I especially enjoyed the Space Harrier level.

If I DO decide to go back and tackle it on a harder difficulty level, it looks like there’s lots left to unlock.  Different weapons, assorted “challenge rooms”, new outfits…  it’s not a one-time-through-and-you’ve-seen-everything sort of game.

The aforementioned QTEs are awfully annoying.  Not quite “The Force Unleashed” levels of annoying, but still… “Press A not to die” is a lame game mechanic.

All in all, a very well put together game with a few quirks, and I’m glad I got over my apprehensions and gave it a chance.

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