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Video Game Vintage Title Bayonetta

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Bayonetta is a third-person action game for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, developed by Platinum Games in cooperation with publisher Sega. The game was released in Japan in October 2009, and in North America and Europe in January 2010. Bayonetta centers on its title character, the witch Bayonetta, who uses firearms and magical attacks to fight against angelic enemies. The game's developers designed its characters with modern style and fashion in mind, and is composed with a largely upbeat soundtrack.

Reviews praised Bayonetta for its easily-learned yet deep combat, fast pace, boss battles, time slowdown or "Witch Time" mechanic, and character and stage designs. The game has sold over 2 million units worldwide as of January 18, 2014. A sequel, Bayonetta 2, was announced exclusively for the Wii U, to be published by Nintendo. An anime film adaptation of the game by Gonzo, Bayonetta: Bloody Fate, was released in Japan in November 2013.

Bayonetta Plot

In the present day, an informant named Enzo has joined up with Bayonetta, a witch who was revived twenty years ago from the bottom of a lake and has no memories of her past. Owning one half of the "Eyes of the World", Bayonetta leaves for Vigrid when Enzo informs her of rumors the other half is there.

After a confrontation with another Umbra Witch named Jeanne, as well as a young man named Luka; the former seemingly has ties to Bayonetta's past, while the latter blames Bayonetta for his father's death. Bayonetta then battles through Vigrid before encountering Fortitudo, one of the four Cardinal Virtues, and defeats him.

Making her way through the Crescent and Sunrise Valleys, Bayonetta finds Jeanne conversing with Temperantia, the second of the Cardinal Virtues; after defeating Jeanne, she then meets a lost child named Cereza. Much to Bayonetta's frustration, the child believes she's her mother and follows her; after eventually returning to the human world, Bayonetta leaves Cereza with Luka and confronts Temperantia, who she defeats. Continuing her search for the Right Eye, Bayonetta follows Luka and Cereza down Prominence Bridge in an attempt to reach the island known as Isla del Sol; she is attacked by Justitia, the third Cardinal Virtue, and defeats him.

The trio board a Valkyrie jet headed for Isla Del Sol, only for Cereza to become lost. After finding her and fighting Jeanne again, Sapientia, the final Cardinal Virtue attacks and downs the jet, and Bayonetta defeats him. The three then head for Isla del Sol by helicopter, and then by missile. When they reach the island, Bayonetta is confronted again by Jeanne, who explains Bayonetta was a child born from an Umbra Witch and a Lumen Sage, which was forbidden and resulted in Bayonetta being ostracized. Bayonetta defeats Jeanne, who reveals the reason Bayonetta possesses the Left Eye is because she has accepted her fate. Bayonetta hands Jeanne the gem she had been carrying, making her remember she is Cereza, and that Jeanne was once her friend; it was Jeanne who sealed her away, giving Bayonetta the gem to protect her and the Left Eye. After Jeanne then sacrifices herself to save Bayonetta, she continues through the tower with Luka and Cereza.

Upon reaching the top, Bayonetta finally meets Father Balder, the last of the Lumen Sages. Balder reveals he is Bayonetta's father, and that he plans to reunite the three universes by resurrecting Jubileus, the Creator; however, since Bayonetta could not remember her past, Cereza was sent back to her to help her remember, allowing Balder to use her as the "left-eye". After revealing he was responsible for the death of Luka's father, Balder throws him to his death, before fighting Bayonetta among rubble falling from the tower. Bayonetta ultimately manages to defeat Balder, before saving a falling Luka and Cereza.

After making a time portal to return her younger self home, Bayonetta returns to the present, only to collapse after regaining her memory; seemingly unharmed, Balder transports himself and the unconscious Bayonetta towards the statue on top of the tower, beginning the resurrection of Jubileus. As the statue launches into space, Jeanne reappears after earlier escaping both death and Balder's control narrowly. She ascends the launching statue on her motorcycle by riding along the surface; after reaching Bayonetta, she saves her, only for Jubileus to come alive. Jeanne floats away from the statue, leaving Bayonetta alone to fight the deity, which concludes with her summoning Queen Shiba, who punches Jubileus into the sun. As the statue left behind by Jubileus plummets towards Earth, Jeanne is revealed to be alive, and after destroying the last of the Jubileus statue, Bayonetta and Jeanne end up in a free-fall towards Earth; after surviving the descent, the epilogue shows them continuing to battle against the Angels.

Bayonetta Gameplay

Bayonetta is a single-player, third-person 3D action game. Its combat system is similar to that of director Hideki Kamiya's previous title, Devil May Cry. The player controls a witch named Bayonetta, and using both melee and long ranged attacks, complex combo strings, and multiple weapons, is encouraged to explore ways to dispatch angelic enemies with as much flair as possible. Special commands or actions are woven into events, finishes, executions, and unique "Torture Attacks" in which Bayonetta summons a variety of devices to deal devastating blows to her enemies. Such devices range from chainsaws to iron maidens. Bayonetta also has unique but limited abilities that her enemies do not possess, such as "Witch Time", which activates when the player makes a well-timed dodge to an attack. This temporarily slows time to allow Bayonetta to inflict massive amounts of counter damage before the enemies can react.

The player can double jump for extra height, perform evasive backflips, and destroy background objects and doors. Camera views can be rotated, enemy targets can be locked on, and weapons can be switched during play. With unlockable transformations, the player can make Bayonetta become a panther or one of various other living creatures to enhance her abilities. Lollipops can be used to heal her, replenish her magic, induce invincibility or increase her strength, although using these items, as well as dying, lowers the score for that chapter. By finding various component items, the player can combine them into new items. Many enemies and objects drop halos when destroyed (resembling the rings from Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series), which the player can use to buy items, techniques and weapon upgrades. The player can also use enemy weapons, either to directly attack or as props for movement. Bayonetta's strongest attacks transform her hair into giant boots, fists or monsters that assault the enemy. Bayonetta starts the game with four guns, two in her hands, two on her feet. By finding golden LP albums, some of which are in multiple pieces, players can earn new weapons, such as shotguns, a katana and a whip. These can be customized to Bayonetta's arms and legs in various combinations.

The game consists of multiple chapters, each consisting of several verses. Depending on how well the player performs, they are given one of the following medals at the end of the verse; Stone, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Pure Platinum, similar to the rating system of Viewtiful Joe. There are some medals that are earned off the beaten path, such as special areas with set challenges. At the end of the chapter, a final score and an award is given depending on the type of medals achieved, with the score being deducted for any items used and deaths occurred. In between chapters there is a minigame called 'Angel Attack', in which players use Arcade Bullets found in the main levels to shoot at angels and earn points. These points can be traded in for items, with any leftover points exchanged for halos.

The game includes five difficulty modes: "Very Easy", "Easy", "Normal", "Hard", and "Non-Stop Infinite Climax". On Easy and Very Easy, a "Very Easy Automatic" mode is made available in which the game positions Bayonetta to perform attacks on enemies, and the player only needs to press one button to execute elaborate combos, unless they wish to perform their own choice of movements or attacks. Kamiya, who first added such a mode to Devil May Cry, posted a video on the game's official website in which character designer Mari Shimazaki demonstrated the mode (which Kamiya "jokingly called 'Mommy Mode'") in Bayonetta. He expects players to first complete the game in 10 to 12 hours, but believes that its rating system (similar to that of Viewtiful Joe, which he directed) and the pursuit of high scores will provide replay value. The game has a fixed button configuration; Kamiya said "we found that there wasn't really a point to changing ".

Cam Shea of IGN Australia praised the developing game in March 2009 as "absolutely stunning-looking" and "a balls-out action game set amongst glorious European architecture", and called its titular witch their "new favourite videogame character ever ... even cooler than Dante ... she has the playfulness and versatility of Dante, but wrapped up in some of the most visually inventive combat we've seen in a long while". Similarly, GameSpy's Gerald Villoria praised the game in July that year as highly original to the point that it could end up like the poor-selling Ōkami (another Kamiya-directed game) for it—"the premise, the characters, the action sequences, they're all entirely different from anything else I've ever seen," he wrote—and called its lead a "constantly moving", "remarkably multi-faceted" character "presented in an ultra-stylish way".

Matt Leone of 1UP.com said of a pre-release version of the game's PS3 port at E3 2009: "The first thing I noticed was that, at the end of a normal combo, you can hold down the final button in the string to continuously fire gunshots—which looks incredibly cool when you kick someone and then keep your leg pointed at their face as your foot pours bullets on it." He added, "I'll be amazed if Bayonetta doesn't end up being one of the best action games this year." Staff at GameSpot UK were also generally impressed with the PS3 port, which they played on June 3. They called the "Witch Time" mechanic a "cool move" and one of the two boss battles they fought "pretty intense", and said "it's easy to see the similarities between the two over-the-top action games ". They added, "Rampant violence and sexism is par for the course" in the game. 1UP's staff again played a PS3 version for 15 minutes on the weekend of August 31 that year, at Platinum Games's "Feel Bayonetta" event in Tokyo's Roppongi district. They said that it "was very blurry" compared to a 360 version displayed there, and that its frame rate "was all over the place. ... it was often hard to keep track of the action because of the graphical issues on PS3."

Bayonetta was one of twelve games to receive a Japan Game Awards 2009 "Future Division" award at Tokyo Game Show 2009. At the show, Daniel Feit of Wired News played both versions and felt the 360 version was "a little brighter and more colorful ... while the PS3 version cut scenes feel like you're watching a movie through a sepia filter." He found the game's commands easy to learn and perform, but criticized the camera angles sometimes used in the game in both versions: "When Bayonetta runs too close to the edge of a scene, the camera can automatically focus on her and the wall instead of showing the enemies cornering her. Some of her larger hair-based attacks can also obscure the action." Other reviewers compared her to former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin, who was famous at the time due to the 2008 presidential elections, for her appearance, most notably her hairdo and glasses. Kamiya has said of the comparisons, "in the US they say Sarah Palin. In Japan, they always bring up people like Angela Aki. I think they say something similar in every country. That country's famous glasses girl. ... The thing with that impression is, you know, we've put out plenty of trailers now, and when you play the game and see the cutscenes, I think people will recognize Bayonetta as Bayonetta. Then people will look at Sarah Palin and say that she looks like Bayonetta."

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