So I just played Bayonetta for the first time, and... it wasn’t very good. In a surprisingly objective way, I couldn’t believe how the game was so critically acclaimed with all of the questionable decisions they made.
I like the idea of the combat, but it never really lets you get going. There is always some kind of gimmick fighting you more than the enemies themselves. Whether it’s half second warning QTEs that result in insta death if you fail, attacks part of cutscenes that give you almost no time to dodge, camera angles from hell, or attacks that immobilize you (lion enemy roars, flames on the ground/ignited enemies that interrupt combos, or the ice attacks towards the end of the game). It’s sad because the actual combos are super fun, when you’re fighting enemies that don’t mysteriously party your moves or interrupt you with attacks that have poor animations and hitboxes.
It doesn’t help that every other level is some kind of shitty minigame or vehicle segment, and it really drags the game down. I’m normally fine with this, and even enjoy a simplified attempt at another genre. But instead every one of these has a design decision severely flawed, that I am astounded made it past play testing. The motorcycle level had a horrible sense of speed and control. The boat level was painful as well. I loved the idea of the Space Harrier level, but they made your entire screen spin when you dodge. And your character obscures what you’re shooting at. And since every enemy spams green blobs, you’re just making yourself sick while also not really making progress.
The story is nearly incomprehensible. I have a loose understanding of what happened, and I figure more will be made clear in 2 and perhaps 3. But holy shit there is so much weird and unnecessary, funny, odd things that I’d normally love. It feels like someone on drugs made the game based on their stream of consciousness. Inconsistencies and continuity errors abound, throwing in a lot of random humor and “camp” for seemingly no reason.
I’m baffled by the reception to this. It’s like DMC, but without all the good parts. What’s stranger is Kamiya should have been able to learn from his past games, yet it seems like he has just doubled down on the number of weird little mistakes. It’s death (of fun) by a thousand paper cuts. I am actually questioning Kamiya himself now, for some reason all of his games are incredible attempts to iterate on a beloved game genre, but they all have really glaring problems that are somehow overlooked by critics. Are they afraid to be blocked on Twitter? I really am shocked by what was supposed to be a legendary GOAT action game, and what I experienced was a 5/10 troubled experience masquerading as a 9/10 classic.
Interested in what the rest of you have to say, or if I’m somehow alone in questioning my sanity after this mess.