So it's no secret that I'm a huge fanboy for Platinum Games, formerly known as Seeds and Clover, the Japanese game studio founded by Resident Evil mastermind Shinji Mikami. Their PlayStation 2 brawler God Hand is in my Top 10 of all time, and they're just masters of creating stylish, fast-paced action titles with wicked humor. So it is with great pleasure that I can report that Bayonetta, their second next-generation title has everything I've come to love from Platinum and more. Check my impressions after the jump.
So here's Bayonetta in a nutshell: you're a sexy witch in clothes made from your own hair and you want to kill angels. Like, a lot of them. Oh, and you wear glasses, which is super hot. I snagged the demo from the Japanese PSN store and booted it up. Immediately, I was hooked by the game's hilarious atmosphere - even though you play basically a Japanese fetish object, Bayonetta takes its goofy genre trappings anything but seriously - you shoot, slice, and smash your way through hordes of enemies, pausing only for over-the-top dialogue. Like God Hand, Bayonetta has no "block" button - instead, you must evade enemy attacks with well-timed button presses. This keeps you plugged into the combat at all times, instead of letting you turtle and wait for an opening. The game's combo system is robust and fun to experiment with, with all sorts of over-the-top closers.
The only downsides so far are the somewhat forgettable environments - sure, they look nice, but they're bland in that Devil May Cry way that makes them seem, essentially, like 3-D wallpaper for you to splash angel blood all over. However, like those games, the boss fight in the demo is a dazzling setpiece that takes place over the walls, ceiling, and yes, the floor of a massive cathedral. It's a blast to play through, and if the whole game can keep up this intensity, it's a must purchase on launch day.