With all the style we’ve come to expect, Bayonetta 3 has reunited us with the titular Umbra Witch. So, whether you’re a newcomer to the series (good luck tracking the dense lore) or returning for another outing with everyone’s favorite bespectacled witch, you’re in for a button-mashing treat.
With set pieces that must be seen to be believed, fashion choices that defy imagination, and the frantic pace of every battle, Bayonetta 3 is excessive in all the best ways. So strap on those gun stilettos, summon some cool demons, and get to homunculus-slaying.
10/10 Skipping Cutscenes
Bayonetta is and always has been an action-packed series. It’s impossible to expect anything less from such a beloved entry in the character action genre, and Bayonetta herself is exceptionally stylish. She moves through the world as if it’s a stage, and she’s the prima ballerina. We love her for it.
It’s just that, sometimes, we don’t want to watch Bayonetta do impossibly cool stuff, we want to help her do it. As a result, the cutscenes in Bayonetta 3, while filled with great action scenes, sometimes run a bit long. If you’re already a little lost in the plot, the cutscenes definitely do not help, and are more frequent than they should be. Sometimes, all you can do is skip ahead.
9/10 Shooting Flowers
You could just run through the crystal flowers that litter the ground of every level, sure…or you could shoot at them. With your guns. You know, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll get all the money they provide if you’re just running around. It’s better to be sure. And yeah, Bayonetta 3 doesn’t make you manually aim at things, but we can totally pretend its target practice.
Or, maybe it’s just about straightening the area out. You know, doing some lovely landscaping, some much-needed lawn maintenance. Being a witch is challenging work, but weeding out those flowers is relaxing. Even if we’re doing it with a gun.
8/10 Using Summons Even When You Don't Need Them
Demons rock. In Bayonetta 3, you are introduced to pact demons early on. They are massive creatures that Bayonetta can summon in the middle of fights to do some extra damage. You get to control them as they wreak havoc.
You can use them even in fights with inconsequential, basic enemies. Not because they’re a threat or anything, but there’s because such a joy in being ridiculously overpowered. Of course, it only lasts as long as your magic meter does, so it’s not a situation where you need to save these devastating attacks for stronger enemies. What’s the point of being one of gaming’s most powerful witches if you’re not going to have fun with it?
7/10 Don’t Run, Jump!
Bayonetta is a speedy runner. We have no complaints about her ability to quickly cover ground. Yet, we still make her go a bit faster by jumping. Not even to platform anywhere. Just for the joy that a solid double jump gives you. You can also shift into one of her more demonic forms, making her move even quicker.
But really, we just want to see the wind in Bayonetta’s gorgeous hair. Besides, we can’t double jump in real life. So we have to make do with making Bayonetta do it…constantly.
6/10 Dodge, Dodge, Dodge Again
Whether you’re fighting for your life or just moseying to your next objective, a good dodge is always fun to perform. Activating Witch Time in the heat of battle brings a sigh of relief – it’s a second to catch your breath while you pulverize your enemies.
While this gives us a reason to dodge, the truth is that it’s just fun. No harm comes when we have the mighty dodge button on our side, and we will push it. Constantly.
Bayonetta 3, like its predecessors, gives you a lot of ways to crush your enemies – sometimes literally beneath a giant, disembodied foot. Learning to use your abilities well is a core part of any character action game, and Bayonetta expects no less.
Of course, we all understand the compulsion to learn every ability to absolutely annihilate your enemies with well-timed and perfectly executed combos. Still, we sometimes end up button-mashing frantically. You just get caught up in the excitement and rush, and then your fingers move of their own accord. We’re trying to be better.
4/10 Costume Changes Galore
Does Bayonetta need our help to look good as hell? No. Will that stop us from messing around with her hair, clothes, and accessories until we’ve settled on the best possible combination? Of course not. Giving Bayonetta a makeover is part of the joy of playing the game.
Some of us actually have good fashion sense. As such, we take any opportunity to experiment with fashion. Bayonetta is the perfect canvas, as she can pull off anything and probably wouldn’t even judge us for spending too much time picking between pink and purple hair.
3/10 Taunting No One
Bayonetta can taunt her opponents into a fury as a combat strategy. But, considering all the button mashing you’re already doing during fights, it can be a little difficult to remember to taunt when appropriate.
So, sometimes, you end up taunting absolutely nothing during those peaceful moments in between battles. With no one there to see it, it feels a little goofy, but in the end, we just want to see Bayonetta at her quippy best.
2/10 Letting Bayonetta Vibe
Being an Umbra Witch is no picnic, especially when you’re one of the last. Our girl Bayonetta is not one to complain, but her light/dark situation must weigh heavily. So, if anyone could use a short pause, it’s her. And we’re definitely willing to give her those moments of respite.
If you simply sit idle for a few seconds – maybe you’re grabbing a drink and forgot to pause – Bayonetta will start performing some idle animations. Mostly, you’ll catch her primping – looking that good must take some work, after all.
1/10 Spending Too Much Time In Photo Mode
We all love photo modes. So, if we can set up the perfect picture while spending precious minutes (or hours) of actual gaming, we're going to do it. This is no different in Bayonetta 3. With such a striking cast of characters, we want to capture them in all their glory.
The one issue with Bayonetta 3’s photo mode is that it is a little crowded, especially if you’re playing it handheld. In addition, there are so many buttons and options, and it’s not as intuitive as it could be. Still, you will feel like a high-end photographer trying to capture that perfect shot.
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