Gameplay does not attract people to the game, but it can alienate people from the game.

It’s been quite a loooooooong time since I revisited Bayonetta. Mostly because I play too many games and working, but mainly because the game just isn’t interesting enough to keep playing for a good while.

I finally beat the game, however, after the trials and tribulations of having a grand total of 46 deaths. Yeah, I counted.

I can safely say that Bayonetta is quite frankly a HAM. Why would I say this? Because this game is reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally fucking hard.

It’s difficult to say a game is terrible because of it’s difficulty. It’s easy to disregard anyone who claims a game is bad because it is hard as it is perceived as a mark of weakness. Gamers are prone to extolling games for difficulty out of some desire to claim that society is weak and spoiled. Most would say you suck at a game even if you don’t imply it.

I don’t think I could claim any game is bad due to difficulty except for this game overall. DMC3 was obnoxious with those Vergil fights, but this title takes the cake. This game feels nigh impossible in many situations, but there are several factors of why this game is hard. And why it’s ultimately a bad thing.

1. 3D and Camera issues.

I’ve stated in the past that a challenging game is better in 2 dimensions than 3. After this game, I hold steadfast to that claim. It is undeniable that this game is hard more so because it is in the 3D. And that is not a good thing. Allow me to explain. I’ve read on a particular forum that making a Zelda game in 2D makes it easier to asses the area and the situation at hand. This is because, as the game is being viewed on a flat surface (2 Dimensional output), your depth perception is measured by the X and Y Axis. This is perfect as it is much easier to concentrate on your surroundings.

However, it was stated on said forum that Zelda games are usually best in 3D because in 3D, you don’t have full visual access to your surroundings and thus must explore in order to find all the goodies abound. It’s bullshit reasoning as it justifies intricate puzzles, but I understand that all 3D games operate on this logic in some regard. 3D games are best suited when it comes to exploration based gaming. With the addition of the Z axis, your visual depth perception, however, is affected tremendously. If said 3D game has any bout of combat, the game becomes a little difficult because now you may have to play around with the camera to get a gist of your surroundings as well as deal with enemies off-screen. Not to mention if you have mostly close range attacks, then measuring your distance from an enemy is hampered by this visualfuck.

For example, lets say you’re playing RE4 and for some stupid reason you want to knife an enemy. You don’t want to get to close, but just close enough to slash at them. There may be moments where you might slash the zombie, but there may also be cases where you miss because you thought you were close enough. In order to get better depth perception, often times you must situate the camera so that your character is on a left/right side while the enemies are on the right/left side. The exception are games with long range attacks (that are useful, that is). This is why First/Third Person Shooters aren’t such a huge problem because you’re mostly using a cross on a flat surface to target enemies and pull the trigger. You’re not required to do any more than that. But for action games with only close range attacks, it becomes a nightmare.

The games might not be such a visual screw if the camera is up close and personal, but Bayonetta’s camera is so far back from the action, the most you can do is wing it. Bayonetta is a pretty tiny character when you look at her from the perspective of that asshole camera. Your greatest enemy will be that camera, especially when fighting enemies like Grace and Glory. Oh those bastards can make someone gray in the hairs.

So the first problem is the issue of Bayonetta being a 3D game with shitty camera issues. Don’t believe me? Check out this vid with the boss fight of baby face tentacle rape.

This is one of the more annoying boss fights due to be situated on tiny platforms with very little room to maneuver. Note the position of the camera is level with Bayonetta’s ass. Note the constant barrage of tentacle attacks, but most importantly, note the poison spray attacks. These attacks were confusing to judge their distance on. Concerning the low camera view, it’s hard to take note of how close or far the poison spray is from you, so evading it and moving on to hitting the baby head becomes a choir. I like how the camera only zooms out when platforms are being destroyed.

This camera, combined with the nigh unpredictable attack patterns of the boss, make for an exercise in pain.

2. Chaotic situations.

Speaking of unpredictable attacks, I recall the very first boss fight, I think it was that 2 headed dragon or what not. It seems as though as soon as you start the fight, you have at least half a second to dodge an incoming bite that takes out a large chunk of your health. That is fucked up design beyond all reason.

Anywho, it isn’t to say that simply having the game in 2D makes a hard game a “fair challenge”. You might be familiar with the term “Bullet Hell”. IE, Shmups that have a “lot of shit” that you must dodge and avoid to not die. It borders on fucking insanity half the time as you have shit flying at you from all directions and you’re expected to avoid all that like a pro. Normal human eyes can’t process loads and loads of shit all at once, unless you’re a freak of a nature (like me. Shmup king here biznotches). Tis why people still often have trouble with games like Contra and the like.

In 2D, it’s still easier to asses the situation and the area. In 3D, however, you don’t have full visual access to your surroundings. So when you’re fighting bosses, often times they will throw loads and loads of bullshit your way, and you probably won’t see it coming. There is so much other shit to pay attention to (like where you’re going), camera fiddling, and even the field of battle changing before your very eyes. Amma help you if there are some QUICK TIME EVENTS thrown into the mix for any particular reason. For example, Jeanne fight#4. Nevermind that bitch has factually unpredictable attacks (Aside from those damn weaves), you also have to contend with random missile attacks where you have to quickly press 2 buttons before it hits you. Your mind could be focused on attacking that crazy bitch from all sides as you were trained to keep all eyes on her and her signals, but now you have to pay attention from external, off-screen attacks as well.

I won’t comment on the final boss as Final bosses are supposed to be hard, but the part where the room is frozen and you have to avoid ground and aerial freeze bombs while they both come at you at the same time is obnoxious as fuck.

Now, you already have the chaotic battle fields going on. Chaos is that which cannot be predicted. Enemies operate in the same function. When you have enemies like Grace and Glory who have nigh unpredictable attack patterns, it’s usually best to keep your distance. Course, when you’re fighting a pair (which is all the time), the focus is much more difficult as one may be in the background while you’re dealing with one in the front. Some of these sneaky mother fuckers have energy waves and can blast you from afar when you’re not even looking because… you know, you have to keep yourself from getting slashed in the neck by the other claw thingy wishing to eviscerate you.

3. Feeling Powerless.

If you recall, I had several grievances against the game Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor’s Edge, easily the death of one of the greatest action game franchises of all time. One of which were enemies that could dodge, block, and counter almost everything you could throw at them. The only thing you could do was use charge attacks and hope the enemies would die from that. It’s almost the same thing here except there’s no auto-win mechanic to abuse. You WILL die… a lot.

When it came to fighting Grace and Glory the first time around, I learned that getting to close to them was a bad idea. I used shot guns at first, but overtime that strategy wouldn’t work as the enemies started to block those attacks. Then I had the idea of using the whip as I could still maintain my distance. Overtime, that didn’t work. Then, I used the katana and just winged it because it was powerful enough. Overtime… THAT didn’t work. It seemed as the further I progressed into the game, all of my tactics started becoming ineffective. I had to check my blood pressure to see if my final death in this game wouldn’t be my own. Since I couldn’t find anymore record pieces, I figured whatever weapons I missed out on were out of reach permanently and the game didn’t balance out to compensate for my lacking equipment. So what happens is that combat is a pain in the ass primarily because the enemies start entering probeastgodmode and dominate my ass. It doesn’t help that after they block your attack, you’re stunned and even when I’m slamming that fucking dodge button, it doesn’t want to work before they slap my ass into the air and do those gay ass air combos to take out a chunk of your health.

And a good majority of these enemies are pretty fast too. So predicting their attacks, combined with the zoomed out camera and the sometimes tiny models of these enemies……it’s all a bitch. And it’s not just camera screws, the enemies sometime have these little “auras” surrounding them, like fire or electricity which is constantly in motion, so that makes it even worse when trying to read these enemies when they have these graphical effects in the way. And fire enemies have to be handled delicately because you can’t harm them up close. But fuck, if you try long ranged attacks, you have about a 20% chance of success at killing them if they aren’t a grace or glory enemy.  Kamiya was not using his brain when designing this game.

4. Control issues.

When it comes to action games like this, the controls simply… have… to… be… perfect. You cannot fuck them up for any reason. Or better yet, let the PLAYER reconfigure them to their heart’s desires. This game offers no control configuration option whatsoever, so you’re dealing with control problems. My only real complaint is the dodge button is situation on a pressure sensitive shoulder button. Kamiya has NEVER gotten the dodge thing right. DMC2 wasn’t even made by Kamiya which is probably why it worked for once, but when it comes to making dodging in his games, he fucks it up so much. First off, dodging attacks is highly essential to your survival and a key component of one of your special gimmicks which is witch time, a mechanic that slows down time for a good 3 seconds for you to get free hits on your enemies.

Which would be nice if dodging was placed on the Circle button like in DMC2, but Japanese devs tend to despise everything about projects they’re not involved. Using R2 for dodging is awful. Dealing with pressure shoulders on Gamecube was bad enough, but see… you press them bitches down, they go straight down into the mother fucker. BS3’s shoulders just gotta be slanted. That does not feel natural for any game for any length of time. Especially when it comes to the most important ability you could have in this game. I don’t know if it’s bad springs, but it doesn’t really feel like you’re pressing anything without breaking them. And sometimes, the fucking move won’t even work. If you’re simply dodging out of combos, or even just running around trying to avoid enemies, there are cases where the dodge move simply won’t work. Think I broke the damn R2 button playing this game. I want to say I’m pressing it at the wrong time, but if I’m pressing the button right before the enemy attacks, and the bitch just keeps running around before eating a combo, something is fucked up.

Aside from that, the game feels very floaty. A floaty action game is going to be pretty bad. Since there is a focus on aerial combat to an extent, having floaty jumps is a big no no. Floatiness means less mobility in the air, and for a game where being in the air might have some advantages to combat, this ain’t workin at all.

5. Retread Bosses.

It’s not enough that you have had to conquer some of the most infuriating boss battles in your entire life. But when the game throws the same finger missile, head laser boss at you for not one… not 2, but 3 fucking times, where does one simply find the top level of pisstivity? Throwing the same bosses at you several times throughout the game is not fun. Especially bosses that take more than 10 minutes to kill. You have a retread level where you fight Fortitudo and Finger Missile statue thing in a row, and they take for fucking ever to kill. The game is sadistic.

Perhaps it’s because I’m playing the “inferior” version or w/e, but when you have all these issues combined (camera, sporadic battlefields, nigh-invincible enemies, and mildly crappy controls, and not to mention and very poor frame rate), you have a game that is much harder than it needs to be. The impaired focus along with “high-octaine action” simply does not create a game that is anywhere near the term enjoyable. It beats F-Zero GX’s story mode in tedium on ALL accounts. Now, when you combine that with generally boring content about a witch who’s dress code is a bad weave, incredibly… and I mean INCREDIBLY bland environments (that you’re forced to revisit, I might add), forgettable characters and music (aside from the chapter menu and ending credits themes), the game as a whole is nowhere near the term “niche”. “Shit” is much more appropiate. And I’m saddened by this. Kamiya was the main somabish behind Devil May Cry, probably one of the most enjoyable action games of all time. None of those games (aside from perhaps 3) had ANY of the problems Bayonetta has. I’m not sure if it was meddling from Sega or whatnot, but this does not seem like a Kamiya game at all. It’s like some pre-teen’s fucked up idea of a Michael Bay movie, something you couldn’t blame a pre-teen for thinking seeing how awful Bay’s movies are. But how do you move from having a nearly decent camera in DMC4 to some bullshit completely zoomed out view point in Bayonetta?

Kamiya was not using his brain when designing this game, and feels like a futile effort to pad it out with overly long battles like with NG3RE. It’s as if it was a game thrown together by a child. And seeing Kamiya’s behavior in regards to people asking about Bayonetta 2 (“FUCK OFF YOU EXCLUSIVES GAMERS” on twitter recently), immediately wanting to be second party to Nintendo just for funding a sequel to a game that clearly bombed and for good reason, and talking about crafting Bayonetta’s ass perfectly, I’d have to wonder why I ever respected this person at all. It’s clear he’s lost his goddamn mind and is incapable of making rational decisions, which seems to be a running gag for everyone who ever worked for capcom. Inafune makes MM9 and 10 for “creative reasons”, Mikami wanted to keep Resident Evil 4 exclusive to a console with no real install base, and Kamiya got “creative”. I don’t know why Capcom’s ex-devs have such a raging hard on for Nintendo, btw. But I have to laugh at the rage for Bayonetta 2 being exclusive to the Pii U in the first place. My initial assumptions were right on the money that this game simply isn’t worth being mad about in the first place. And it’s much worse than I had thought as well.

Now, if Nintendo got a hold of lets say “Metal Gear Rising 2” or “Anarchy Reigns 2” for Pii U, then I will join in the fucking rage. But for Bayonetta, a game that is hard for no good reason, I laugh myself to death.

I also just realized. Bayonetta got a hair cut because Nintendo is a castrated pussy that fears nudity.