Hello and welcome! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.
Platinum Games is such a fascinating company these days. Their games swing wildly in quality from game to game. For every massive hit they also release a bargain-bin disaster. Still, they have such a strong, loyal fanbase eager for whatever they come up with next. Today’s game was my first experience with Platinum Games, Bayonetta. Originally released on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2009.
Bayonetta is an action game heavily inspired by the popular series Devil May Cry, as the director of Bayonetta, Hideki Kamiya, also directed the first Devil May Cry. Players play as the titular Bayonetta, a witch who can use dark magic as well as four guns, one on each limb, to fight angels on a journey to recover the Right Eye of the World and determine why she was placed in a coma for 500 years.
Action is frenetic and stylish as players are encouraged to use various combo moves to take out opponents. Levels typically have Bayonetta traveling through the city of Vigrid in England while moving from battle arena to battle arena, similar to the PS2 God of War games, with story sections paced out along the way where Bayonetta encounters a variety of characters such as Luka, a man trying to find out who Bayonetta is, or her rival witch Jeanne.
Bayonetta can enter a bar called The Gates of Hell through portals scattered throughout levels. This bar functions as a shop where Bayonetta can buy new weapons or items for Bayonetta to equip. There are also challenge areas in each level that let Bayonetta fight with predetermined restrictions to earn medals.
Bayonetta received critical acclaim upon release, with many claiming it surpassed all of the games that inspired it, including God of War, Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden. IGN went on to call it the game of the year in 2010. Despite the critical praise, Bayonetta sold relatively poorly. Platinum Games would comment that it was their best-selling game but this was rather faint praise considering their only other game up this point had been Madworld, the famously overlooked Wii action game. They also have stated that it did not meet their sales expectations. Bayonetta has continued as a franchise but only by the skin of its teeth, with Nintendo funding the production of Bayonetta 2 as a Wii U exclusive. Bayonetta 3 is currently in production for the Switch.
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