Bayonetta is a great game, but I like to nitpick.

Posted by SuperfluousMoniker (2907 posts) -

So I've put about twenty five hours into Bayonetta now, so it's safe to say I like this game. I loved the DMC games and this plays pretty similar. However, during my first playthrough of the game I was pretty close to writing the game off as "Ok, but not even close to as good as Devil May Cry 3," because of a few things.
 
First of all, this game cheap shots you. Frequently, cutscenes will end with enemies shooting or lunging at you, and when you take control, you have to dodge that attack. This wouldn't be so bad, except when you skip the cutscene and forget to mash Dodge. Sorry Platinum Games, but that's just cheap. There are also QTEs that will kill you when you fail them, which you almost certainly will the first time when you don't see them coming. All it does is add frustration to the game.
 

 Why am I even in this game?
The next subject of my wrath is Luka. I have no idea why this Kato Kalin looking motherfucker is even in the game. His connection to the story is tenuous at best;  he thinks Bayonetta killed his father, then of course it turns out she didn't. That's it. Of course, on the way to that incredibly predictable revelation, he gets used for (rarely successful) comic relief and babysitting Cereza.
I'd advise anyone playing the game for the first time to just hit 'Skip Cutscene' whenever Luka appears. Don't worry, you won't miss anything cool or important.
 
 First I thought, "Hey, this is pretty cool." Then I thought, "This is taking a while." Then I thought, "Damn, I need to write a blog post about this."
Finally, this game has a sequence where you ride a motorcycle and a rail shooter section (think Starfox). These parts aren't badly done, but they are most certainly way too damn long. About twice as long as they should be. Seriously, I looked at my times for the revelant Verses in the score screen after beating the game, and the motorcycle section clocks in at about eight minutes. The shooter section was almost twelve. Note that this is without dying either. I probably could have done the motorcycle section a little faster but the speed on the shooter level is locked, so beating the bosses fast is the only way to hurry that one. Again, these sections aren't bad, but they are not nearly interesting enough to last as long as they do.
 
Oh, and there's a challenge mode like the Bloody Palace in DMC4, but the only way to unlock it is to beat all the Alfheims (secret missions), some of which are kind of a bitch to do. Lame.
#1 Posted by SuperfluousMoniker (2907 posts) -

So I've put about twenty five hours into Bayonetta now, so it's safe to say I like this game. I loved the DMC games and this plays pretty similar. However, during my first playthrough of the game I was pretty close to writing the game off as "Ok, but not even close to as good as Devil May Cry 3," because of a few things.
 
First of all, this game cheap shots you. Frequently, cutscenes will end with enemies shooting or lunging at you, and when you take control, you have to dodge that attack. This wouldn't be so bad, except when you skip the cutscene and forget to mash Dodge. Sorry Platinum Games, but that's just cheap. There are also QTEs that will kill you when you fail them, which you almost certainly will the first time when you don't see them coming. All it does is add frustration to the game.
 

 Why am I even in this game?
The next subject of my wrath is Luka. I have no idea why this Kato Kalin looking motherfucker is even in the game. His connection to the story is tenuous at best;  he thinks Bayonetta killed his father, then of course it turns out she didn't. That's it. Of course, on the way to that incredibly predictable revelation, he gets used for (rarely successful) comic relief and babysitting Cereza.
I'd advise anyone playing the game for the first time to just hit 'Skip Cutscene' whenever Luka appears. Don't worry, you won't miss anything cool or important.
 
 First I thought, "Hey, this is pretty cool." Then I thought, "This is taking a while." Then I thought, "Damn, I need to write a blog post about this."
Finally, this game has a sequence where you ride a motorcycle and a rail shooter section (think Starfox). These parts aren't badly done, but they are most certainly way too damn long. About twice as long as they should be. Seriously, I looked at my times for the revelant Verses in the score screen after beating the game, and the motorcycle section clocks in at about eight minutes. The shooter section was almost twelve. Note that this is without dying either. I probably could have done the motorcycle section a little faster but the speed on the shooter level is locked, so beating the bosses fast is the only way to hurry that one. Again, these sections aren't bad, but they are not nearly interesting enough to last as long as they do.
 
Oh, and there's a challenge mode like the Bloody Palace in DMC4, but the only way to unlock it is to beat all the Alfheims (secret missions), some of which are kind of a bitch to do. Lame.
#2 Posted by MrRojan (78 posts) -

I think it is a close second to DMC3.  Niero is just a better villain than Jeanne.   I fought tooth and nail against Niero and I earned every victory against him.  With Jeane, it was more... predictable personally.
 
I agree that Luka is more Johnny S. from MGS4 in that he is just a lame character. 

#3 Posted by PopeAnonymousVII (112 posts) -

I like Luka.  I'd agree though that Bayonetta has enough small nagging issues that pile up and hold it back from being the greatest action game ever made.  DMC3 still has that crown, DMC3 flows better, and the Dante/Virgil/Lady dynamic is just as good if not better than the set up with Bayonetta/Luka/Cereza.  Of course I understand Bayonetta has a much less serious tone than DMC3 had. (Young Dante shenanigans aside) It's just that Bayonetta had this nasty habit of going from OMFG awesome to OMFG BULLSHIT WTF IMMA BREAK MY CONTROLLER NOW FUK U PLATNUMB!!!!11!!!1 from stage to stage the further you got in.  DMC3 did a better job testing your skills as well, Bayonetta, with cheap shots right out of virtually every cutscene and some of the worst QTE's I've ever seen in a videogame, as well as poorly executed motorcycle and rocket shooter sections, leaned more towards testing your patience.
 
Too bad really.  But they just tried to do too much all at once, and as a result, Bayonetta can get very, very messy at times.

#4 Posted by Galbrezu (126 posts) -
@SuperfluousMoniker said:
Finally, this game has a sequence where you ride a motorcycle and a rail shooter section (think Starfox). These parts aren't badly done, but they are most certainly way too damn long. About twice as long as they should be. Seriously, I looked at my times for the revelant Verses in the score screen after beating the game, and the motorcycle section clocks in at about eight minutes.
 
I just finished the motorcycle section last night, I thought i was going around in a giant circle and was doing something wrong, ended up dying several times because i thought i HAD to enter oncoming traffic over the bridge to continue.
#5 Posted by OllyOxenFree (4970 posts) -
@SuperfluousMoniker said:
"  First of all, this game cheap shots you. Frequently, cutscenes will end with enemies shooting or lunging at you, and when you take control, you have to dodge that attack. This wouldn't be so bad, except when you skip the cutscene and forget to mash Dodge. Sorry Platinum Games, but that's just cheap. There are also QTEs that will kill you when you fail them, which you almost certainly will the first time when you don't see them coming. All it does is add frustration to the game."
I totally agree with you there.  Platinum games robbing me of mah Platinum.
#6 Posted by zombie2011 (4972 posts) -

The QTE are a little annoying but if you do fail it, you will probably pass it the next time because you're expecting it. 

#7 Posted by Mysterysheep (347 posts) -

Yup, I thought Luka was pretty annoying as well...... UNTIL I REALIZED HE WAS MOTHERF@*!ING YOSUKE!!!!  Oh wait, he was also pretty annoying...

#8 Edited by SilvarusLupus (310 posts) -

I like Luka. :(
Some enemies are cheap, looking at you Grace and Glory, but it's rewarding to beat the crap out of them.

#9 Posted by Whisperkill (2969 posts) -

The bike sequence waaas a bit too long...

#10 Posted by Brendan (7734 posts) -

I watched my friend play the motorcycle bit, and I remember a real fear developing in my mind that he was going to run out of gas. 
#11 Posted by OllyOxenFree (4970 posts) -
@SilvarusLupus said:
" Some enemies are cheap, looking at you Grace and Glory, but it's rewarding to beat the crap out of them. "
Oh God  yes I hate those two.  Having two sets of those can be their own final boss.
#12 Edited by Maclintok (177 posts) -

You are a wise man, indeed.  I tapped out a long-winded comment over on the EDGE website detailing pretty much everything you just outlined.  The cut scene attacks flowing into game play are total cheap shots.  And while the timing windows of the QTEs are pretty forgiving, they are so infrequent and spaced apart that you're totally caught off guard.  And like someone else has pointed out, a failed QTE is a death, and a death is a  permanent mark on your end-of-chapter score. 
 
My other problems with the game focused on the ludicrous, uninteresting story, the recycling of enemies, the softball puzzles, the overlong and un-fun motorcycle sequence...  It just seems like so many review were happy to gloss over these minor, yet very noticeable flaws.  The one thing I did forget about was Luka specifically.  Yes, he's not much of a character but neither is anyone else for that matter.
 
Bayonetta is definitely a game of insane, euphoric highs and really miserable lows.  Then the game is clicking, it's great. I love the combat system, the art design and the overall creativity put into how the game feels.  But man, it also seems to be trying to push me away every time I want to fully embrace it.  It's a confusing game. I want to love it but i can't.

#13 Edited by Linkyshinks (9880 posts) -

  1)  I have no problem at all with the cut scenes, they force you to watch cut scenes attentively with fingers on buttons. I only died twice throughout my entire first play through, perhaps if you did the same you wouldn't have died so much.  
 
2) I liked Luka, it was pretty obvious to me what his slant of comedy was. I never skipped any cut scene in the game.
 
3) I thought both sequences were of a perfect length, I appreciated them a great deal as far as a means to rack up a high amount of points.         

#14 Posted by SuperfluousMoniker (2907 posts) -
@Linkyshinks said:

"   1)  I have no problem at all with the cut scenes, they force you to watch cut scenes attentively with fingers on buttons.

See, that's the thing. To me, cutscenes are cutscenes, not gameplay, so killing me for putting the controller on my lap when a cutscene takes over is what I consider 'cheap.' For the record, I didn't skip cutscenes either on my first playthrough, so my complaint on having to dodge attacks after skipping a cutscene refers to the second runs of chapters I've done when I did skip the cutscenes, then got hit by a Fairness' fireball or whatever half a second after taking control again.
 
@Linkyshinks said:

2) I liked Luka, it was pretty obviously to me what his slant of comedy was. I never skipped any cut scene in the game."

Yeah, I just wasn't a fan of the guy, he seemed to exist solely to stretch out a story that didn't deserve stretching and for "Bayonetta is sexy" jokes, some of which worked but others fell flat. The scenes with him and Cereza were just boring to me. Again, I didn't skip cutscenes my first run through but I sometimes wished I had, hence my (only slightly facetious) recommendation. 
 
Overall, I wish the story had taken a more comedic non-sequitur, fourth wall breaking angle as seen in God Hand or Viewtiful Joe. I think a game this ridiculous should not have taken itself so seriously. But the actual gameplay, which is what I'm really interested in anyway, is top notch, so that's why this is 'nitpicking a great game' instead of 'genuine issues that really pissed me off.' We're on the same team here.
#15 Posted by Teran (877 posts) -
  @SuperfluousMoniker: 
 
I like Luka... really I like all the characters in the game.  They're hardly original in terms of personality but this works to the game's advantage as they serve as a foundation adding a bit of stability, something for the players to cling to as the story spirals out of control and into "strange" territory.  
 

 
First of all, this game cheap shots you. Frequently, cutscenes will end with enemies shooting or lunging at you, and when you take control, you have to dodge that attack. This wouldn't be so bad, except when you skip the cutscene and forget to mash Dodge. Sorry Platinum Games, but that's just cheap. There are also QTEs that will kill you when you fail them, which you almost certainly will the first time when you don't see them coming. All it does is add frustration to the game.   

 
Usually these events are implied by the contents of the cutscene.  This doesn't really bother me and I can't recall any sudden death moves you had to make.  I do agree that the game should be more consistent though.  Sometimes the implied attack in the cutscene is literal thus requiring the dodge but usually it's just a means of transitioning to battle from cutscene. 

 The next subject of my wrath is Luka. I have no idea why this Kato Kalin looking motherfucker is even in the game. His connection to the story is tenuous at best;  he thinks Bayonetta killed his father, then of course it turns out she didn't. That's it. Of course, on the way to that incredibly predictable revelation, he gets used for (rarely successful) comic relief and babysitting Cereza. 

 
   I'd advise anyone playing the game for the first time to just hit 'Skip Cutscene' whenever Luka appears. Don't worry, you won't miss anything cool or important.   
  
I saw him more as a fanservice character.  Basically every character in this game is a stereotype.  The devs didn't care about depth because it's unnecessary in this game however seeing all these charicatures really works for me.  Luka is probably my least favorite of the bunch however I thought his introduction cutscene was great and enjoyed his ladies man/mystery solver personality.  Some of his jokes do fall flat to be sure however most of the time it's not just us that notices as players but also the people he's talking to in game.
   
Your advice on skipping the cutscenes seems a bit harsh.  Technically you could skip ALL the cutscenes and not miss anything cool or important because the presentation in the cutscene can rarely match the spectacle of the in game graphics.

Oh, and there's a challenge mode like the Bloody Palace in DMC4, but the only way to unlock it is to beat all the Alfheims (secret missions), some of which are kind of a bitch to do. Lame. "    

The purpose of beating/playing the "challenge" levels is to be challenged.  Some of them are a bitch to complete because they are quite challenging... which is the point.  In general I was pleased with the format and feel that investing time into beating them often makes me a better player.
 
 
 

#16 Posted by makari (597 posts) -

Bayonetta is a game that puts women (or more literally, femininity) foremost in concept. Luka is there to show a part of Bayonetta's persona: She is strong willed, super-confident and powerful, but she is still has the heart of a woman underneath it all, and has affinitys for stuffed animals, pretty clothes, and confident yet goofy men that are determined to chase them and give them attention, even if she finds it hard to openly admit it, even to herself (just like in real life! :P). Luka and Cereza exist so that Bayonetta's persona sacrifices no part of a woman's femininity, and stops her from becoming just another super-bitch with funky powers. It's probably easy for a male to find Luka annoying as his endearing traits are anchored in the type of woman Bayonetta is, and what man really understands how a woman's mind works? :P

#17 Posted by Maclintok (177 posts) -
@makari: That's a pretty good analysis of Luka's intended purpose of being in the game.  Emphasis on intended purpose, as I would still say the execution leaves a bit to be desired.
#18 Posted by SuperfluousMoniker (2907 posts) -
@Teran: Take the 'skip the Luka cutscenes' remark with a grain of salt. I just found most of the scenes he's in to be long winded and ultimately irrelevant to the plot. He could have been written out of the game pretty easily IMHO. I did like the cutscenes that involved Bayonetta being badass, killing angels or dueling with Jeanne.
 
Regarding the Alfhiems, my main gripe with that is that I really liked the Bloody Palace mode in DMC4, and was disappointed to not find one unlocked after beating the game. So I checked gamefaqs and found that there are cheat codes to unlock weapons and characters that would require insane dedication to the game to get otherwise (like getting all platinum awards or beating the game on Infinite Climax) but there is no other way to unlock Lost Chapter than beating all Alfhiems. Worse, the score screen doesn't say which ones you've beaten, so I have no way to get it without going through the game again to figure out which ones I've missed. It's not that big of a deal, but I just wanna play Lost Chapter already!
 
@makari: You've obviously put a lot of thought into this :) I noticed Bayonetta's (initially) begrudging acceptance of Cereza was a main part of the development of her character, but I saw Luka as just a guy she toyed with.
#19 Posted by Teran (877 posts) -
@SuperfluousMoniker:  That's fair enough.  The cutscenes in general don't really do it for me and Luka seems to be the guy who debriefs you after a level, explaining certain things or just being a method of  baby sitting the child. 
 
I've never played the DMC games so I don't really know what the bloody palace is but based on your description I assume it's a way of farming currency?  There are ways of making a lot of halos in bayonetta  without requiring extreme dedication though.  
 
I do agree completely that not having a record of which alfheim's you've beaten already adds a lot of annoyance when trying to find that last one... that should have been handled differently.
#20 Posted by Urmean (599 posts) -

Luka is voiced by Yuri Lowenthall, so that means he's da best.

#21 Posted by SuperfluousMoniker (2907 posts) -
@Teran: Bloody Palace in DMC4 is a timed survival challenge mode where you fight increasingly difficult waves of enemies, and you get extra time for every enemy you kill based on your combo rank. Eventually they start throwing pumped up versions of bosses and crazy combinations of tough enemies at you... When you've beaten the game a bunch of times already and just want to jump in and fight stuff, it's the only way to fly.
 
And for sure on farming halos, I found that I can get 800,000 or so by playing one of the boss levels (think it's Temperance.)
#22 Edited by Teran (877 posts) -
@SuperfluousMoniker: Ohh I see.  Something like the Bloody Palace would have been nice then, perhaps it will be a dlc.  I don't know how far I'm going to take Bayonetta, I've beaten it on normal and am now working on getting platinum rank on each level in normal forcing myself to get rid of my training wheel (auto dodge) accessory in favor of the taunt accessory.  I haven't grown tired of the game yet which gives me hope that it'll hold my attention for quite some time. 
 
I can say though now that I'm doing a lot of rapid level repeating the fact that there is no quick cutscene skip is starting to wear on me haha.  "Start, down, jump" is two steps too many in my opinion... or am I retarded and haven't found the quicker way of skipping?
#23 Posted by Getz (2996 posts) -

Your complaints are valid but, as you say, they are nitpicks. DMC 3 had just as many cheap shots and annoying sequences if not more yet you still hold it high on a pedestal. 

#24 Posted by SuperfluousMoniker (2907 posts) -
@Teran: It's "Start, Down, Jump, Left, Jump." :) Burned into my brain almost as much as the 'Restart Race' command in Burnout Paradise. And there is something like Bloody Palace in Bayonetta, it's called Lost Chapter. It's just a pain in the ass to unlock.
 
@Getz:  There is no perfect game, (well, maybe Metal Slug 3) so I'll always find something to nitpick, and the better the game is, the more petty I sound.
 
 I do hold Devil May Cry 3 on a pedestal, mostly because I think the combat is a little deeper than Bayonetta's. Now before anyone freaks out, what made DMC3's combat so cool was that all the weapons were completely different and fun to master, and on top of that it had the various styles (Swordmaster, Gunslinger, Trickster, Doppleganger, etc) you could choose from. In Bayonetta, I've noticed most of the weapons have the same or very similar moves and combos, the main differences between them being the 'hold and fire' damage and speed, and there are a few that I find pretty useless like Odette and the shotguns (after you get Killgore anyway). 
 
That said, Revan in DMC3 was pretty worthless, despite being an awesome concept for a weapon... And a couple of those styles were duds... And that one boss where you fight a dark version of yourself was kinda lame... And that giant flying worm boss was terrible...
 
Tune in for the next episode of Superfluous Moniker's epic blog series, "Aimless bitching about little things that pissed me off in otherwise great games."
#25 Posted by PopeAnonymousVII (112 posts) -
@zombie2011 said:
" The QTE are a little annoying but if you do fail it, you will probably pass it the next time because you're expecting it.  "
Yeah and that's the problem.  Anything that can't be passed the first time is broken and cheap, and has no place in a modern day videogame.
#26 Posted by PopeAnonymousVII (112 posts) -
@Teran said:
" The purpose of beating/playing the "challenge" levels is to be challenged.  Some of them are a bitch to complete because they are quite challenging... which is the point.  In general I was pleased with the format and feel that investing time into beating them often makes me a better player."
I don't mind being challenged, so long as my skill is being challenged.  That said, a good bit of the Alfheim stages challenge your patience, not your level of skill and competency with the game.  That's poor game design.
#27 Posted by c1337us (5751 posts) -

I agree with you about the motorcycle section (and other other similar bits) I was as fussed with the game when they changed the style of genre like that. However I don't get why you are attacking Luka on the basis of relevance to the story. It's fucking Bayonetta the story is ridiculous and makes no sense, who cares.

#28 Posted by Arjuna (887 posts) -

8 minutes!  Heaven forbid!

#29 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6141 posts) -

I liked QTE's back in the days of Shenmue 2, but by this point, they've become a nuisance. 
Moderator
#30 Posted by Teran (877 posts) -
@PopeAnonymousVII: Could you be more specific?  The statement below is about alfheim's in general but I may not have played the ones you're commenting on (I've done about 75% of them)
 
I have played and beaten most of the alfheims now and in my opinion the ones involving fights are the only ones that pose a challenge.  That said, the fights often handicap you which is what challenges your skill.  The ones that tried my patience (stay in the air) before I had more knowledge of the game are not beaten effortlessly because my skill has developed to a point where I can play through a handicap. 
 
The fighting alfheims test your skill in numerous ways but most commonly you have to have a strategy in mind while playing it.  These challenges refine your skill and test your precision and knowledge of combos or force you to use very unfamiliar weapons.

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