registry = ipsRegistry::instance(); $this->settings =& $this->registry->fetchSettings(); } public function getOutput() { return; } public function replaceOutput($output, $key) { require_once( IPSLib::getAppDir('ibprobattle') . '/sources/battleHooks.php' ); $this->battleHook = new battleHooks( $this->registry ); return $this->battleHook->statsTopicView($output, $key); } } ?>registry = ipsRegistry::instance(); $this->settings =& $this->registry->fetchSettings(); } public function getOutput() { require_once( IPSLib::getAppDir('ibprobattle') . '/sources/battleHooks.php' ); $this->battleHook = new battleHooks( $this->registry ); return $this->battleHook->statsTopicViewJS(); } } ?> [01/11/2010] Bayonetta - 1Emulation.com Reviews [/reviews] - 1Emulation.com

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[01/11/2010] Bayonetta

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#1
Agozer

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Title: Bayonetta
Platform: PlayStation 3 (PAL)
Developer: PlatinumGames
Publisher: SEGA
Release Date: January 8, 2010
Misc: Online Leaderboards, Trophies, No HDD install option, Video: 720p/1080i/1080p (uses highest available)

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Originally released for the X360, the PlayStation 3 port of Bayonetta was handled by SEGA. There has been a lot of talk about problems with the port, mainly framerate issues and very long loading times, as well as the texture work not being as sharp as in the original X360 version. So let's see how this EU PS3 version stacks up against expectations.

"500 Years In a Box Does Nothing to My Complexion" aka The Story
Being part of an ancient sect called the Umbran Witches must be cool: Call upon the powers of the moon and the dark, as well as demons from the depths of Hell to do your bidding. Adding to the allure is the fact that these powers manifest through the witch's hair, to the point where even her clothes are made of hair. However, things are not going too well with our Umbran Witch heroine Bayonetta, who was sealed in a coffin and dumped at the bottom of a lake, after being treated as an outcast and then apparently falling prey to the witch hunts that ravaged across Europe. Fast-forward 500 years and Bayonetta was freed, having no memory whatsoever of her past.

Wasting no time in trying to unlock the mysteries surrounding her past her past, she teams up with a demonic arms dealer Rodin and a sleazy, cowardly, trash-talking informant named Enzo. One day, Enzo found info about something called "The Eyes of the World" which the angels apparently want very much, and are willing to go to war in order to get it.

"Demons Have Some Serious Attitude" aka The Characters
Bayonetta: The titular heroine, with a huge bag of tricks at her disposal. Her penchance for lollipops is weirdly endearing.
Rodin: A demon who took a human form. Works as an amsdearler/bartender/record collector in his bar at The Gates of Hell. Has a way with vocabulary and mannerisms that perfectly match Bayonetta's.
Enzo: a Human working for Bayonetta as an informant and researcher of sorts. A fat, sleazy and cowardly man.
Jeanne: Another Umbran Witch that Bayonetta meets early in the game. Her skills are easily on par with Bayonetta's and two seem to have a long, sordid history together.
Luka: A womanizer and a journalist who witnessed Bayonetta's awakening all those years ago. Due to the trauma of the event, he's become obsessed with Bayonetta and tries to track her down, despite witches and humans living in different planes of existence.

"TNA + Funky Hair = Did I Just Witness Something Great?" aka The Graphics
From a comparison standpoint between the screenshots from the X360 and the real-time graphics on the PS3, the PS3 has less detailed textures. However, the graphics are still superb nonetheless. Whatever loss in quality the PS3 graphics have suffered, the game moves in such a fast pace that you often don't have the time to start gawking at the finer details. When you do stop to look at your surroundings, it's great a great view for sure. Chapels, gardens, cities and other locations feel and look the part, complemented by some nifty lighting and particle effects, not to mention gore - and lots of it. Character models are wonderfully crafted, from the humanoids to the often grotesque and downright bizarre angelic creatures.

Also, whatever screen-tearing/framerate issues the original japanese release had, they seem to be mostly gone now, although there are a few places where I thought I spotted some tearing or a dip in the framerate.

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"Umbran Witch's Breakdance of Bullets" aka The Gameplay
Where to even begin? The Devil May Cry series is know to have a fluid, highly customizable and fast paced combat system with swordplay and gunplay integrated nearly seamlessly together with lots of different ways to experiment way to lay down the punishment. Bayonetta runs with all of this, and kicks it up to 200.

Bayonetta's main selling point have been the quadruple-weilded pistols, two for each heel, two for each hand, and the use of Witch Time, Bayonetta's answer to Bullet Time. The basic fighting repertoire consists of punches and kicks (or whatever additional weapons you might have) that can be combined in a mindboggling number of ways. Each combo can be "extended" to include gunplay in the end. Then there's the "Wicked Weave" in Which bayonetta's hair forms a giant fist or a foot bursting out of a portal, and they act as combo finishers. However, because of the way the combat system is designed, Wicked Weaves are more like powerful combo linkers. The combat system in general is so flexible that it allows very long combo strings, provided that the player is fast enough. Any weapons you get can be assigned as either 'Set A' or 'Set B' and you can freely switch between the two at any time, similar to the system found in DMC3.

Witch Time is activated when you dodge an enemy's attack at the last possible moment. The world slows down for roughly five seconds, making Bayonetta faster and leaving enemies completely defenseless. Witch Time is an integral part of the game as it makes Bayonetta invulnerable during her dodge, and certain enemies can only be defeated during Witch Time. Then there are the much-hyped Torture Moves that can be pulled off when Bayonetta has enough Witch Magic in store. These moves are basically instant kills where Bayonetta summons various torture devices from the Underworld, such as an iron maiden and a guillotine, and let's a poor angel receive punishment unlike nothing else. Highly entertaining to watch (require some button mashing to reap additional benefits) and required to finish off certain enemies.

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"Gravity? What Gravity? - And More Lollipops Please" aka The Gameplay Part 2
Bayonetta's sense of style is completely off the wall, and the game loves to showcase improbably physics, spectacular action and Bayonetta's "assets" every chance it gets. The game's fully aware of its naughty antics and often plays around with the design concept, so the game's 18 / M rating is deserved. Quick Time Events are also prominent in the game, and they are very well integrated, be it during battle or during cutscenes. Chapters are broken into Verses or fights, which are graded after completion. At the end of a chapter, each Verse is tallied and final ranking revealed. Many stages contain several verses, many which are sometimes well hidden. Some of these hidden Verses are portals leading to special, often very difficult fights, with very stringent rules.

Outside of combat, you need to get more weapons and items. As an arms dealer and a record collector, Rodin is more than happy to take the Angelic LP's you find in exchange for new weapons at his shop. Aside from weapons, Rodin also sells items, techniques, accessories and a number of other things - for a certain number of Angel Halos of course. Rodin isn't cheap either, you'll find that many weapons and techniques are can be very expensive, ranging from 15,000 to 100,000 easily to start. The developers also give the player a choice to compound items using materials found in pots, vases and the like. A great option so that you don't have to worry about whether you have enough Halos to buy more lollipops to suck on.

"Stuck In Your Head" aka The Sound effects, Music, and Voice Acting
The soundtrack is fantastic, featuring many upbeat battle tunes, be it akin to J-Pop or not. Bayonetta's own theme is ridiculously catchy and plays during regular battles. Sound effects are also on par with the rest of the presentation, with a special mention going to the bone-crunching effects of the various torture devices. Voice acting is also great. How did they manage to find a voice actress for Bayonetta that fits the character so well? It's wonderful to hear Bayonetta talk, and all the other characters certainly don't get overshadowed - voice acting in the game is really that good.

Another aspect that surely plays into the Mature rating is the raunchiness of the dialogue. Strong language such as motherfuckers, fucks and shits can be heard during cutscenes, but in some weird twist these profanities fit well into the game's dialogue and they aren't overused. Well, it's not like the game would be worse without them and Bayonetta doesn't seem use them at all.

"Twitching Fingers" aka Difficulty, Controls, Camera
At first Bayonetta gives you two cohices for difficulty: Easy, which automates many battle-specific aspects, and Normal. The game starts easy enough and boasts a very comprehensive tutorial for every imaginable technique. After the first chapter, the game does get noticeably harder, though. each new encounter is harder than the next, and mastering Witch Time and dodging becomes essential - stages are surprisingly long, and you'll face lots of enemies simultaneously with unexpected boss/mid-boss fights. With penalties for damage, items used and continues it can be quite an effort in perfection if you want the best rankings. The game's first "true" boss fight in Chapter IV drives the point home that bosses require some really twitchy fingers and even better understanding of their attacks. Multiple health bars certainly don't do any favors in lessening the beatdown.

In the controls side of things, they are as tight as they can be in a game like this. Each button is in use with multiple uses for each button depending on the situation. Of course, the Taunt button is also there, which can be used to pose, taunt and thus enrage enemies for a bit of gained magic power.

The camera is once again somewhat problematic in a game of this genre. You won't have time to adjust the camera in the heat of battle, so it's inevitable that some enemies will attack you from off-screen, making any audible cues crucial. The Lock-on feature helps in some situations, but it's not an all-purpose remedy.

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"Game of the Last Year?" aka The Conclusion
The PS3 Bayonetta has nothing to be ashamed of. Period. The game is so well designed all around, that whatever gripes anyone might have had based on prior info will be playing second fiddle to the sensory overload and gaming joy that Bayonetta offers. The game's funny, downright naughty, technically competent despite some hitches in the port, and completely off the wall with it's presentation. The music is great, the action and art direction is something you have to see for your own eyes. Having its roots in the same pit as DMC, Bayonetta borrows a number of features from DMC while polishing them to a whole new shine. Bayonetta has an incredibly deep battle system with countless way to string up moves, and after a while you'll become fixed at getting the best rankings, grinding chapters just because the game is so much fun. Even if the difficulty eventually shows it's darker side to the player, you'll blame yourself and not the game.

For the final touches, a few words about the loading times in the game. I can't really compare with anything since I've never seen the japanese release in action, but the loading times can be fairly long. It's not really a problem for me personally, as there is a practice mode you can occupy yourself with and try out different moves while data loads. PlatinumGames' (or SEGA's) decision to completely omit an option for HDD installation strikes me as a bit strange though, as such an option would undoubtedly help with the loading times. Make your own call on this one.

For whatever graphics or other technical problems remain in the game I'm that future patches alleviate them. Had Bayonetta come out in the West in 2009, it would have been the best game of the year. No such luck now, but man what a way to start 2010.

Pros:
+Great audiovisual presentation
+Story is surprisingly good and makes Bayonetta a very likable protagonist.
+Action is over the top and non-stop
+Gameplay is deep, involving and very satisfying
+Angelic enemies are a sight to behold, bosses especially
+Dialogue is often funny, even in the more darker parts
+Soundtrack is catchy
+Excellent characters and voice acting

Cons:
-Loading times are still pretty long
-Some slowdown and tearing issues still remain.
-No HDD installation option
-Hard to put down when you get into it
-Soundtrack is maybe too catchy at times
-Can get difficult fast if you're not paying attention
-Camera isn't the best possible. Again.

Story (so far): 9
Graphics: 9.5
Sound/Music: 10
Controls: 10
Difficulty: 9
Feel: 10

Total 9.6

#2
emsley

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I take it you like this game. :D

By the power of grey skull I can safely say im getting this game.

#3
L.S.D

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Rodin: A who took a human form. Works as an amsdearler/bartender/record collector in his bar at The Gates of Hell. Has a way with vocabulary and mannerisms that perfectly match Bayonetta's.

need fix.

Nevertheless, great review! Make up my mind to get this soon then :D Heard that R3 is the same as R2 but cheaper so will definitely get that version :)

#4
Agozer

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Yeah, fixed.

#5
Devia Eleven

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I'll take your word Agozer, I'll pleasure myself to reading this sometime this weekend, thanks for posting.

#6
emsley

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Its a very concise review finely detailed.

#7
2eyez

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I want to know is, is this game better than Darksiders? The gameplay seems kick ass. I just might get this game.

#8
Devia Eleven

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I've seen people around here on base play Darksiders, it looks like a very good game, somewhere near the caliber of Uncharted 2, where Darksiders utilizes elements from other games, and makes them generically good, instead of trying something drastically risky.

If you were to ask me, these two new Hack and Slashers, are taking on a new formula. The past large Hack and Slashers series from the past decade, God of War, Ninja Gaiden, Devil May Cry, and Onimusha are reaching their rotting point, (or perhaps not).

#9
Agozer

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If you were to ask me, these two new Hack and Slashers, are taking on a new formula. The past large Hack and Slashers series from the past decade, God of War, Ninja Gaiden, Devil May Cry, and Onimusha are reaching their rotting point, (or perhaps not).

While it's very true that Bayonetta and Darksiders are definitely shaking up the genre, the "old folks" of the genre still hold up very well. Out of those four you listed, Onimusha is the only one that needs a sequel or on a next-gen console (Nobunaga was dealt with during the course of the first three games, then Hideyoshi in Dawn of Dreams - what's in store for no.5 I wonder?).

...

Which reminds me that I have to finish Dawn of Dreams. Damn thing's hard.

P.S. Bayonetta is starting to get punishingly difficult, but it's not like I'm complaining. It kinda tells you something when you need ten continues just to clear a chapter.

#10
Devia Eleven

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If you were to ask me, these two new Hack and Slashers, are taking on a new formula. The past large Hack and Slashers series from the past decade, God of War, Ninja Gaiden, Devil May Cry, and Onimusha are reaching their rotting point, (or perhaps not).

While it's very true that Bayonetta and Darksiders are definitely shaking up the genre, the "old folks" of the genre still hold up very well. Out of those four you listed, Onimusha is the only one that needs a sequel or on a next-gen console (Nobunaga was dealt with during the course of the first three games, then Hideyoshi in Dawn of Dreams - what's in store for no.5 I wonder?).

...

Which reminds me that I have to finish Dawn of Dreams. Damn thing's hard.



I never finished Dawn of Dreams.

#11
L.S.D

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I have friends who have both Darksiders and Bayonetta. In their opinions, Bayonetta fares better gameplay-wise where as Darksiders semms overrated. It tried to be good in everything it borrows from but excel at none.




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