Payback’s a bitch.
Do you know what the major problem with the Devil May Cry series is? Outside of the slowly declining quality of the sequels, Dante’s not really the kind of eye candy I’m looking for. Sorry, but albino dudes in oh-so-fabulous red trench coats just don’t get my motor going. That’s the first issue addressed in SEGA’s upcoming fast-paced hack-and-slasher, Bayonetta. The lead eponymous character is like a super hot Tina Fey (not that she isn’t hot to begin with) or Sarah Palin; she’s so hot, she’s making me sexist. And she does nude scenes too.
[image1]You’ll play as the titular character herself. She’s a member of a witch coven, but unlike the covens that all the Goths chicks at my high school belonged to, she actually has all sorts of crazy magical powers at her disposal. But she has no idea how she got them or why she has to kill angels every day to avoid being sucked into hell... because she has a classic case of soap-opera-standard amnesia. Of course, this will play an important role in the overall plot, providing a slew of questions that will hopefully be answered as you progress.
In this very Mature title, you can expect to see Bayonetta buck ass nekkid quite a bit. Her clothing is made out of her hair, which she also uses to kill angels by transforming it into giant beasts and various torture devices, which are called Climax kills in the game. It works kind of like how Venom’s symbiote suit can change into whatever he can think of, only you end up with a hot naked chick in front of you while it’s going on. And that’s just the beginning of the craziness.
'Over-the-top' barely begins to describe the combat. Along with the standard punch, kick, flip (and repeat) combos, visual augmentations have been added for shock appeal, such as shoving a boot with a gun heel up an angel’s rectum and then cutting off his head with a magic guillotine made out of your hair. Street Fighter-like d-pad commands have been added to flesh out the move roster even more than your standard beat-'em-up as well, such as the quarter-circle and kick (QP+K) which makes you do a handstand and shoot at enemies with your gun stilettos.
[image2]Combat looks to be graciously accented with feats of dexterity. If you can time your dodges just right, you’ll enter witch time and get the opportunity to pull off one of the dozens of crazy combos. In the demo we played, there was also a level where you take on another witch in full-on 360 combat, running and leaping from wall to wall and ceiling to floor in hot girl-on-girl combat.
More skills and abilities will be unlocked as you progress, and you’ll be able to upgrade weapons and moves with a system very similar to the soul gems from DMC: kill things, break stuff, receive halos. Certain enemies will also drop weapons with limited uses, such as the angelic trumpet that makes heads explode.
Bayonetta is looking to redefine the hack-’n’-slash genre by moving away from the all too common roided-out badass with a troubled past, and emo-bikers with a mysterious origin towards a more, shall we say, lighthearted or at least less serious tone. All the action and gameplay you would expect from this type of game are there, but come on, a lipstick kiss for a lock-on target and little butterflies that appear when you jump? Not to mention the S&M overtones and quirky fast-paced action.
If staring at a Spartan over-flexed muscle man in a loincloth is making you start to question your lifestyle preferences, Bayonetta may be what you’re looking for. But like any good dominatrix, she’s going to make you wait for it, as the title has been pushed to 2010. Or I could always set you up on a date with Nick and a copy of God of War. [Sorry, I don't like QTEs in bed. ~Ed. Nick] Otherwise, be on a lookout for Bayonetta on the PS3 and 360 early next year.