Monday, February 22, 2010
Bonjour Fellow Write Clubbers! Welcome to the first official entry of “Game Club”, our video game review and discussion group here on the site! Mooch Rex logged in and reporting for duty! I’ll be your guide as we look at some of the white hot games burning up the charts during any given month across any and all viable platforms. In our premiere entry, we’re turning our giant, flame rimmed eye towards Sega’s Wonder Witch “Bayonetta”, which is available on both the Xbox360 and PS3 gaming consoles. Demos for the game can be downloaded for free if you want to experience the madness for yourself.
For those not in the know, here’s a quick story breakdown: Bayonetta is a Witch who has lost her memory. She wields four pistols and casts sick magic spells using her hair as the conduit. She’s got a sassy attitude. She slays Angels. You’ll have to actually play the game to find out why. Having finished it twice I can firmly state that I believe I’ve witnessed a gaming masterpiece.
I know, I know. Lofty praise to heap upon a video game, right? But once you get past all of the hip swaying, half clothed swagger and orgasmic fueled moans of the main character, there’s an action game of unparalleled imagination at work here. I’ll be damned if the game hasn’t had me laughing out loud at all of the ridiculously cool things that have been unfolding on my TV screen. Want to race at breakneck speeds across an impossible stretch of highway, dodging angel bombs, flipped cars and exploding tractor trailers? This game has got it. Want to fight bosses so colossal and utterly strange they make your acid fuelled nightmares look meek by comparison? This game gives it to you. Want to witness unique cut scenes that are full of weird and wonderful character dialogue and interaction? Look no further. It’s got a dance off contest between Bayonetta and her doppelganger for Christ’s sake!! Why are you still reading this?? Why aren’t you experiencing this game on your favorite console already??
A lot of flak has been hurled on both sides regarding the way Bayonetta acts during the game. Personally, I don’t have a big issue with the way Bayonetta is portrayed. Hell, I’m always game for a strong and sexy female lead for any type of original property. At times, I must admit, it can feel like I’m being beaten over the head with a baseball bat covered with lingerie, but I get it. Bayonetta’s sexy, she’s confident and she’s strength personified. Believe me, It’s coming across loud and clear without all of the ass shots ;) I do have to say though, that there’s something refreshing to be able to see a female game character that’s so brazen with her sexuality. She owns it, and flaunts it, and it’s powerful because she’s in complete control, wielding it like another weapon in her insane arsenal. I can’t remember a character quite like Bayonetta in all my years as a gamer, and there’s something rather wonderful about that. Her design doesn’t hurt either. “Modern Witch” was the design tenant given by Hideki Kamiya and I have to give major kudos to Bayonetta’s visual creator, Mari Shimazaki. The subtlety of her design speaks to the talented female hand behind it. It’s nice to see a character that possesses a fair amount of elegance in the way she holds herself, in her height, the length of her legs, etc., instead of just being a brick house with a full “Double-D” cup. Bayonetta is a fashion drawing come to life, in proportion and attitude. Bayonetta, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, is cheesecake personified. And I’m a big fan of cheesecake.
Playing Bayonetta is like experiencing a symphony of strangeness. It’s the id personified. It’s every wonderful thought that’s ever spilled from Hideki Kamiya’s warped mind and tempered into an action game that’s second to nothing. It takes the conventions of action video games, those cookie cutter creations that tend to bore after one play through, and shatters them with the precision of Shuraba itself. It’s what happens when a studio and development team are allowed to run wild and give us something so incredibly different it can’t really be classified. It ramps up the action to a crescendo that threatens to shake the skin right off of your already blistered fingers only to shatter the bone beneath.
We’ve been hungry for this experience ever since we’ve all been old enough to grasp a controller.
Bayonetta is that experience.