Space Harrier!: Remember that whole diatribe from before about not pulling vehicle levels out of your ass at random times in a game unless they are well thought out? Well one level has you riding a fucking missile toward an island with enemies attacking you in an on rails shooter fashion very similar to Space Harrier, and it actually works! I never thought I would rather be playing one of the on foot stages and the stage kept an excitement level throughout.
This was a key example of a level that was clearly put together with some nice TLC and succeeds in it’s mission while also explaining how Bayonetta got so close to the island that seemed so far away before. Everything about the stage is entertaining while also giving the player enough of a fill so that it doesn’t feel like we are missing out by not throwing out the stage type again at another point.
Boss battles: I feel like boss battles have been marginalized in games of late. I think most people who played older games loved coming upon a really hard enemy whose destruction would lead to the next level. Bayonetta makes sure to put a boss at every moment where you would think one should be, and even brings some back in one stage as a gauntlet or sorts.
The boss battles are fun and some require you to traverse platforms and dodge huge chunks of debris while making your way up to the current weak spot. No two bosses really feel the same and they are all huge and over the top. The finishing maneuvers are always entertaining to watch as you jam on whatever button is required to see the boss get his eyes chewed out or arms ripped off, or whatever other cruel ways you can kill a boss angel. Most importantly the bosses give the player a sense of accomplishment for winning which is always an important aspect of any game, video or not.