Good grief... that is exactly what Charlie Brown would say were he ever to play Bayonetta. This is because the game has an extremely over-sexualized sense of style.
Don't let any of that fool you though, because Bayonetta is one of the greatest action games ever made. From the creator of the Devil May Cry series, it's easy to recognise the similarities; but what sets Bayonetta apart is its brilliant combat system, over-the-top sense of style and wonderful leading lady.
Bayonetta as a character is strong, confident and sexy. More specifically she's an Umbra Witch who possess great powers, one of which includes the ability to summon powerful demons with her hair. Interestingly most of the enemies you face are divine beings such as angels. This does not make you a villain, however. In the world of Bayonetta everyone seems to have his or her own agenda and it is never really made clear what these are.
The backstory is that two clans used to oversee the worlds history until a devastating war wiped them both out, with the exception of Bayonetta. Now 500 years after these events, an amnesiac Bayonetta is searching for… something.
In truth, the story is brilliant, but is told quite poorly and becomes confusing by the end. A lot of characters motivations are not explained clearly enough, nor is the back-story fleshed out as much as it should be to make sense. This really is a shame, because the concepts behind the story are very cool.
Speaking of cool, Bayonetta's combat system is the best I have ever played in these sorts of games. Throughout the game you will get multiple weapons that are easy to swap out between combat thanks to the easy controls. The face buttons are used for your punching, kicking, shooting and jumping. Almost any button combination will form an actual combo in the game, however, with time spent paying attention (and practising during the loading screens) you can learn the ins and outs of this amazingly deep system. The most important part however is learning to dodge. This is because if you dodge just before the enemy will strike, you will activate witch-time, which slows everything down, speeds you up and gives a pretty cool visual effect. This is an excellent feature and I hope to see it used in other games of the genre, as it rewards a player for using skill and gives you the breathing room you need against some of the tougher enemies, of which there will be plenty.
The enemies in the game are very cool from an artistic perspective. The developers have really outdone themselves in creating some wonderfully odd opponents throughout the game. The most spectacular of these, of course, being the boss fights. You fill face down some BIG suckers in this game. Many of the bosses will require creative thinking on your part to get the better of them. They also serve the purpose of setting the stage for a lot of impressive scenery.
Because the game jumps around in different dimensions but in the same space, it treats you to some wondrous sights. The environments are truly spectacular and will have you in awe more than a few times while playing. Best of all, these environments will not always be static. Often you have to navigate through a constantly moving and shifting world; which can keep things at an exciting pace. The game also sports some special sequences outside of the regular gameplay style, which break things up a bit and are great throwbacks to some classic gaming genres. It actually reminded me of just how special gaming as a medium can be.
Much like its leading lady, the game itself is a very attractive package. The use of colours and special effects are very cool and add to the style - something this game has oozing out of every orifice. The music, however, may not be for everyone. While it has some cool beats, you may find them extremely annoying and out of place in parts. You could say the same for the voice acting too, as this is clearly a Japanese game. If you do not like the campy feel found in most Animes then you probably will not like this. If you like that sort of stuff though, then this should be right up your alley as most of the supporting characters are just as charming and likeable as Bayonetta herself - a cute little girl in particular will steal your heart.
The game should take 12-15 hours on your first play through and going at it a few more times is definitely encouraged as there are a ton of things to unlock and purchase in the game. This is done by spending halos, which you accumulate at the end of levels for killing enemies. The more stylish the kills the more halos of course. The best way to do this is by performing torture kills, which are done by filling up your magic gauge and then unleashing all hell on one poor victim. These attacks are context sensitive and different for each enemy. They are a lot of fun to watch and often show off the games sense of humour with some very entertaining kills.
Bayonetta is one of the finest action games I have ever played. Its combat system is fantastic and a lot of fun, it has wonderful graphics and fun characters, and the scale of the boss fights take the genre to a whole new level. It also is one of the most stylish games I have seen in a long while. The downside is that the story is not told very well, there is a little bit of screen tearing (but not enough to ruin the game in any way) and I encountered one bug where I got frozen in mid-air and could not move. These are little things that hint at the game having a smaller budget than it would first appear, which makes the achievements it makes all the more impressive. However, recently games have been proving they can have great gameplay and tell a good story at the same time - heck God of War proved that in this very genre a few years ago. It is because of this that Bayonetta does not score higher.
If you do not care much for the story in games, then you can probably consider this as a 9.5/10. If the story means something to you, don't worry too much because it's still pretty good, just difficult to understand. Either way Bayonetta is a fantastic game that gives a shot in the arm to the action genre and we could not ask for a better way to kick off gaming in 2010.