Bayonetta offers pleasure after pleasure designed to feel at least a little guilty. This third-person action extravaganza is a glorious, self-indulgent mass of sound, fury, and fun. You play as the sexy-librarian-looking Bayonetta who wears a skin-tight black bodysuit over her curvaceous form and has automatic pistols in the heels of her boots. Except she's not a librarian, she's a witch, and the body suit isn't black leather, it's her hair and it can turn into giant spike-heeled boots and stomp on people. In addition to the twin shooters in her shoes, Bayonetta can also double fist another pair of guns or swords or clawed gauntlets or (my favorite) a glowing pink whip. Press those buttons just right and she'll cavort through an astonishing array of combos and attacks, up to and including a floor-spinning break dance routine that sends bullets flying in every direction, all while delivering saucy one-liners in a sexy British accent.
The game's setting evokes the classic trope of a war between heaven and hell, or Paradiso and Inferno in the parlance of Bayonetta (horning in on EA's Dante's Inferno territory?), but these heavenly minions and the game's arcane and obscure story have little to do with Judeo-Christian tradition. The monsters are however awesome. They have a gilded, baroque feel to them, with angelic and cherubic faces surrounded by golden filigree and melded onto outlandish, huge monstrous forms. In a fun twist they all carry names of various virtues like Glory, Ardor, and Joy. The combat, which is the heart of Bayonetta, never ceases to please, even in the big boss fights (which are usually a sore point for me in games). While definitely demanding of careful timing and skilled execution on the game's harder difficulty systems, players looking for some crazy fun can set it to Easy and go to town.
(Video after the jump.)