I know this is the second video game piece for my weekly ‘Why I Want’ feature in a row, but so help me, I can’t think of anything else right now. We have already looked at Shadow of Mordor 2 (which coincidentally, has been announced as Shadow of War, and sounds like it has taken into account my thoughts on what could make it unbelievably great) and last week, we took a look at how good a new Animal Crossing game would be on the Nintendo Switch. This week I’ll be talking about Bayonetta 3, and what I’d like from it.
The first two Bayonetta games, from Platinum Games Inc. are spectacular experiences, and if you take a look at my reviews for the two games (which can be found here and here), you’ll know that I’m a big, big fan of their bombastic approach to action game design. Here’s a snippet of what I had to say on the series’ play-style:
“Bayonetta is an action game, something of a hack n’ slash, akin to the gameplay style of the Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden series, it is fast, frenetic, over-the-top, stylish and difficult”.
Alongside the frantic, buttery smooth gameplay, you’ll find plots of witches destroying armies of angels and Gods. The plots in both games were bonkers, but they fit the fast-paced flow of the gameplay. The games never got overly complicated however, and each one was simple enough to follow. To be honest however, the plots in Bayonetta and its sequel were nothing in comparison to their ultra-slick, beautiful gameplay. Both contained hugely enjoyable and memorable boss-fights and set-pieces, but the second instalment upped the drama and scope.
Bayonetta 2 was bolder, bigger and altogether better than the original. The graphics saw a nice little upgrade, the combat was a little more diverse, with more weapons to choose from, and the set-pieces and bosses were bolder, bigger and better too. Overall, Bayonetta 2 was the better game of the two, and it still stands as one of the best in the genre. Platinum knows what they’re doing when it comes to action games, with the just-released Nier: Automata, proving to be a big hit, a game that builds upon all of their vast experience in the action-RPG genre. It’s an excellently bonkers game that covers all of the action/RPG gameplay tropes you can think of. I’d argue that Platinum could 1-up themselves again with a return to Bayonetta.
It hasn’t been that long since Bayonetta 2, but the multiple award-winning series should come back sooner, rather than later. The series has proven to be a commercial and critical smash for Platinum Games, and they’d be foolish to leave it dormant for much longer. Since the cancellation of Scalebound via Microsoft, Platinum Games’ look as if they aren’t working on much, especially after the release of NieR: Automata. I wonder if they are working on Bayonetta 3, right now? If they are, it’d be safe to assume that it would be a Switch exclusive, as the series by this point has become synonymous with Nintendo after an excellent port of the original game, and Bayonetta 2 hit the Wii U, with Bayonetta herself becoming part of the Super Smash Bros. character roster through paid-DLC.
If Platinum, Sega and Nintendo are working on Bayonetta 3 now, I’d like them to take into account one or two little changes that would improve the series even more:
Fix the Cutscenes
The Bayonetta games’ biggest crime is their use of cutscenes. The gameplay is slick, fast stuff, so why should the cutscenes be slow-moving and even use endless amounts of still images? I get the whole time thing, and that Platinum like the consistent use of the clock motif, but why play it over still images? It slows the game down, taking away from the slick, quick gameplay. The cutscenes that employ still images (of which there are a lot) kill Bayonetta’s momentum and feel cheap in a game series known for its bombastic action gameplay.
Get rid of the blasted sea snake
Bayonetta 2 improved upon the original, and part of this was down to allowing a little more exploration in the game’s beautiful environments. However, some of this was done via turning Bayonetta into some kind of sea snake. Bayonetta can transform herself into a crow, a puff of butterflies (when dodging well) and a black panther, but unlike the sea snake, these control well and add to the game. Her sea snake transformation is awkward to control throughout, and turns up a little too often. I’d argue that instead of trying to fix the transformation, they should just forget about it altogether. Focus on other areas of exploration that aren’t underwater.
If Platinum games can avoid these issues, or change them for the better, than Bayonetta 3 could be even more incredible than its predecessors. The grand scale, the soundtrack and the super slick gameplay of Bayonetta 2, but built upon further would be immense. I really hope that Platinum are making Bayonetta 3 right this second, and that it isn’t another three years off from release.