Deconstructing the game: Bayonetta

Wait, I missed part of the stage?: Ever since Super Mario Bros. there have been alternate extra rooms in games that are lined with rewards for diligent gamers, but in Bayonetta, if you miss some of these areas you might just miss out on an extra weapon to play around with. Now I don’t mind the missing areas lowering my overall score when I finish a level, but I do find missing out on permanent new weapons to be a bit frustrating.

I think the initial intent is that the extra bits of stages, etc. are all really meant to be done when you go back into the missions to replay them for better scores, but what if I don’t want to do that? Should I miss out on some fun gameplay aspects? I know I hate on God of War, but at least the game makes sure you get all of the extra weapons, boring and unfinished as they may be.

This is a fairly minor gripe though, and Bayonetta is a game that I really WANT to go back and play through, something that is generally rare these days for me.

What is the deal with vehicle levels?: If there is something I will never get, it’s when in a game that has revolved around a certain gameplay mechanic without straying too far from the norm for the majority of the game all of a sudden whips out like an airplane dog fighting level, or some tank bullshit that, more often than not, controls about as bad as the vehicles in Banjo Nuts and Bolts do.

I know most game designers are thinking, “Yeah now we’ll ramp it up with some awesome off the wall exploding bus driving level that will really throw the player for a loop, YEAH!”… Yeah, no. More often than not it just doesn’t work, not even when a great game like Bayonetta decides to send you cruising at high speeds down Route 666 on a motorcycle. The motorcycle level is a pretty cool addition, in theory, but it isn’t fleshed out enough and ends up being quite a bit more stilted and just overall less fun than the rest of the game as a whole. So instead of maintaining the feeling of building excitement toward the climax of the game, the bike level is pretty much a divider between fun levels. Now if only you would have been allowed to use the bike earlier on and fleshed it out, perhaps then the level would have been play tested and made to be actually, well, fun…