E3 2009: The Five: Bayonetta
The 10-Cent Tour: I've been hearing about how terrific Bayonetta is for ages now, but didn't get the chance to see for myself until E3 last week. I was ushered into a tiny room off the show floor, which was crowded with fat, sweaty E3-goers. Sitting off to the side was the bare-pated Hideki Kamiya, Bayonetta's director, and creator of the Devil May Cry series. This game, from what I saw, is well worth a revisit on Crispy.
1. Don't try to make sense of the game. I was sitting next to Yahoo's Ben Silverman during the demo, and I kept whispering to him, "I'm usually very good at following things, but I have no idea what is going on in this game." And it's true. Like Devil May Cry, this is style over substance through and through. But when the style is this, um, stylish, I'm willing to overlook the utter lack of coherence in the game.
2. Is it a videogame masquerading as an erotic experience? Or is it an erotic experience masquerading as a videogame? Either way, this game is sexy to the nth degree. Maybe I'm a sucker for witches who wear librarian eyeglasses and heels, and are cloaked in their own magical hair.
3. The game's graphical fidelity rivaled pretty much anything I saw at E3 this year, with the lone exception of Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 2. The way Bayonetta pops visually made me feel like I was wearing newer, more powerful eyeglasses.
4. The game's celebration of cartoonish violence elicited many very-deserved gasps from the demo room. While beating the crap out of metallic slug-thing, Bayonetta finished off the beast by planting a rotating wheel covered with spikes into its head, then giving it a spin. It's all so over-the-top that it verges on being over-over-the-top.
5. These are boss fights on a scale I've never seen before. During one particularly memorable boss fight, a dragon head crashes through a stained-glass window. And as Bayonetta starts going to work on the dragon head, the camera pulls back to reveal that the dragon 1) is now airborne; and 2) has a second head that's trying to reach around the remaining walls of the now-airborne room and bite Bayonetta's backside. Cue more "Whoas" and "Holy craps."
The Crispy Forecast: Clear sky; no chance of rain. I'm a sucker for this kind of nonsensical stuff. It's my Achilles Heel, I tell you. Do I wish it made more sense? Absolutely. Will I still play the ever-loving crap out of this game? You bet I will.
This preview is based on a developer-driven demo of the game at E3 2009.