I recently beat Bayonetta... three times. I started out planning just to play through it once, but then penny arcade challenged me with a contest to beat it on hard mode. I don't generally end up beating games multiple times, usually because I play through the first time slowly enough that I don't feel the need to. bayonetta, though, was gripping. And I wanted a t-shirt.

it's easily one of the best games i've played in ages. the fighting mechanics are ridiculously well polished. when you get the hang of it, you can blaze through enemies feeling totally unstoppable.

a lot of people didn't like the story much. they complained either about how it was too complicated or too cliched (light vs. dark, in broad terms). Maybe that's true. Even if the particulars of the story didn't overly interest me, the game world did. I especially liked the lore about the angels and heavenly figures themselves. apparently there are something like 9 ranks of angels in increasing order of power or status. Each rank has various types of footsoldiers and a kind of captain. then, aside from these "regular" angels are several "auditiones", or overseers, I guess.

The character and enemy designs were great. The enemies (angels) in particular were really unique designs and had a lot of great details, too. The human(oid?) characters like bayonetta, jeanne, luca, rodin, and cereza were also very well done, though that is more dependent on taste. At the very least, the animation was fantastic. Even the facial animation was pretty good, something that few games seem to do really well.

I didn't mind the half-animated cutscenes either. I can understand how it could be seen as a trick to save budget, but it also lent a unique style.

I had absolutely no problems with any of the voice acting either, which is much more than I can say about most games.

yeah, so after i beat it on normal, i had to beat it on hard for the PA contest. then i was having enough fun that I beat it on "nonstop infinity climax" mode too. For accomplishing this, you get a really sweet lightsaber. I still want to go back and get some of the final unlockables, like beating the game in under X hours and getting enough money for the platinum ticket to fight rodin.


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