Bayonetta 3 Review

In 2009, Sega and PlatinumGames released the first Bayonetta as an over-the-top action game similar to Capcom’s Devil May Cry series. The first Bayonetta was well received by critics, but unfortunately, it fell short of Sega’s sales expectations. The franchise was dead by then, but Nintendo stepped in to help finance and distribute Bayonetta 2, ensuring the game became a Wii U exclusive in the process. Once again, Bayonetta 2 garnered critical acclaim but lackluster sales, so Bayonetta 3 was confirmed as a Nintendo Switch exclusive at The Game Awards 2017, shocking fans convinced the titular witch’s action-packed adventure had already been released. passed. Five years later, Bayonetta 3 is finally out on Switch, and it’s another must-play entry in the underrated franchise.

Bayonetta 3 retains the kind of extreme action gameplay fans have come to expect, with skilled players able to effortlessly dodge enemy attacks and activate the series’ signature time-slowing Witch Time mechanic to deal devastating combos. In addition to her returning powers, Bayonetta also has significant new abilities in Bayonetta 3 that give her massive move set even more depth, as she’s now able to meld with her demon summons instead of just using them for finishing moves.

By fusing with the demons she collects throughout the game, Bayonetta gains new traversal mechanics and attacks, with the option to purchase further abilities through the skill tree. Each Bayonetta/Demon combo has its own skill tree, allowing players to invest in the demon they feel most comfortable with. The demons themselves are tied to specific weapons that Bayonetta uses in her default form, and these weapons all have their own quirks, moves, and uses to keep in mind as well. Players who take the time to remember Bayonetta’s massive combos will tear apart enemies with sheer force in every phase, though her abilities have uses outside of combat as well.

Bayonetta  3 Lets  Dance Bayonetta 3 not only offers the deepest action setting in series history, but it also has the densest levels, all filled with hidden enemy encounters (called “Verses” in the game), collectibles, puzzles, and platform challenges to complete. Bayonetta 3’s puzzles are all fairly basic and easy to solve, and the platforming can get annoying with Bayonetta’s fast-paced action, but other than that, it’s nice to have some rest from the relentless action sequences.

Diversity really is the name of the game in Bayonetta 3. Bayonetta 3 doesn’t stop with just letting players explore levels and complete verses as usual, adding jaw-dropping scenarios and massive monster battles. Bayonetta is able to use a new power called the Demon Slave to directly control the multitude of demons she summons, all of which have their own attack and skill trees, giving players near-infinite options during combat.

Taking direct control of Bayonetta’s demons leaves her vulnerable to enemies, so players can’t simply spam them and come out unscathed. There is a layer of strategy for players looking to score the highest points in each verse. Overall, Demon Slaves add a lot to the experience and give Bayonetta 3 a distinct identity from its predecessors in terms of core gameplay, and it’s also fun to see all the demons that could add to Bayonetta’s roster. The best and weirdest won’t be spoiled here, but early demons include a giant Godzilla-like monster, a lava spider, and the humanoid Queen Butterfly, which happens to be the size of a building.

bayonetta-3-gameplay-showcase Using her demons, guns, and combos, Bayonetta wiped out countless enemies old and new. There were some scrapes with enemies in the first two Bayonetta games, but most of the fights were with Homunculus. Homunculus is mostly made of green slime and takes on various forms during the game, though fans may not be interested in them. From a visual standpoint, the creepy-looking angel in Bayonetta’s Paradiso is far more interesting, and the design of Homunculus actually conveys one of the twists in the storyline.

In terms of gameplay, Bayonetta 3 may be the best the series has ever seen, but the story leaves a lot to be desired. Bayonetta 3’s plot is ridiculous, even by Bayonetta standards, and it dives headlong into the multiverse fad that has dominated the media for years. Bayonetta 3 uses the multiverse for some cool moments, but it all gets off to a slow, monotonous start, with overly long cutscenes, tons of instructions, and poor dialogue. Bayonetta 3’s ending will also leave a bad impression on many fans, though others may be interested to see where it all goes from here.

Fan-favorite characters from previous Bayonetta games return in Bayonetta 3, and at least it’s fun to see them again. Bayonetta’s old friend Jeanne has her own set of side-scrolling stealth missions that are fun in their own right, and Rodin is once again at the helm of the shop, where players can use Bayonetta 3’s various currencies to buy useful items, accessories, and more.

bayonetta  3 viola Luka and Enzo are also back this time, along with their new character Viola. Multiple chapters put players in direct control of Viola, who has her own set of moves, though she’s not as versatile as Bayonetta. Instead of shooting guns, Viola throws darts, and her primary weapon is a sword. Instead of dodging enemy attacks to activate Witch Time, Viola must block at the last second to parry incoming attacks.

Viola’s combat is more challenging than Bayonetta’s, and while some may find this frustrating, those who manage to find a rhythm will find it incredibly rewarding. Viola might not have as many attacks or abilities as Bayonetta, but she’s still fleshed out enough to build an entire game around her. Viola doesn’t have access to all of Bayonetta’s summons, but she does have one of her own, a demonic Cheshire cat that’s perfectly capable of wreaking havoc on enemies unfortunate enough to get in its way.

Viola’s Cheshire Cat looks great as do the other demons in Bayonetta 3. Action runs at 60 frames per second, and it rarely drops no matter how many enemies, explosions, or special effects are onscreen. The game pushes the Nintendo Switch hardware to its limits, though some may still be disappointed by the graphics in certain areas. Blurred textures combined with bland color choices at several stages kept the game short on visuals, but most of Bayonetta 3’s visual deficiencies are likely due to the increasingly outdated Nintendo Switch hardware.

It took five years for Nintendo Switch gamers to get their hands on Bayonetta 3, but the wait was worth it. If Nintendo decides to fund a sequel, it seems likely that Bayonetta 4 will arrive on the next Nintendo console, and perhaps this entry can fix this sometimes disappointing graphics and story issue. Platinum apparently has ideas for at least nine Bayonetta games, and if they’re even half as good as Bayonetta 3, they should all be a hell of a fun time.

Bayonetta 3 is available now, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.

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