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Bayonetta 3 Review (Nintendo Switch)

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Bayonetta 3 Review

When Bayonetta first came out in 2009, it was difficult to imagine how Platinum Games or any other action-adventure developer could top that. But Platinum Games did it flawlessly with Bayonetta 2 in 2014. Then came the long wait for Bayonetta 3, which was just about the most difficult to picture how Platinum Games could match up to or succeed over the unstoppable. For far too many moments than I’d care to admit, I’d had the feeling that Platinum Games had taken on more than they could handle. So, did they? Did Platinum Games bite off more than they could chew? Exactly how worthwhile is Bayonetta 3Let's find out in this Bayonetta 3 review.


Umbra Witch vs. Homunculi

Bayonetta 3

Right off the bat, Bayonetta 3 throws you to the wolves of what the Bayonetta series is all about. Which, let’s face it, the chaos of it all is probably one of the top must-haves any Bayonetta fan wants to add to the recipe. 

As with most gaming titles and films these days, this one’s an “Umbra Witch vs. Homunculi, Everywhere, All at Once” special incorporating the pretty much strung-dry multiverse universe – not that I’m complaining, especially after I’ve definitely wanted to see more diverse environments dashed with that Bayonetta spectacle all over the game’s chapters.

Bayonetta, the strong, confident, sexy, butt-kicking, havoc-wreaking (throws some more adjectives deserving of this iconic witch), is getting beat down. Just the right premise to get your teeth sunk in. And not by the previous games’ angels/demons dynamic, but by this new threat to the multiverse called Homunculi donning their drippy blue forms and green-glowing butts. 

The multiverse then proceeds to lay itself on thick with the multiple other variants of Bayonetta herself – all voiced really, really well, I must say, with their distinct nuances and attitudes – all running into each other from across different realities because the reality they know is facing the same Homunculi threat and slowly but surely descending into chaos.

We’re also introduced to a new playable character, Viola, with a punk vibe, who's also from another reality. Though don’t let her hard-exterior fool you. She has a dorky side too. 


“I’m Just Here for Support”

Bayonetta 3 Review

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Now that all that's out of the way, you’re probably expecting a whole lot more. Should we just assume that Angels and Demons are no longer threats because, well, the city just collapsed in on itself? Yes, we should. 

Okay, but why and how are these Homunculi here? Apparently, these Homunculi are man-made, so maybe some very bad person has some motive to destroy the multiverse or their creations just went rogue, killing everyone on Earth, except our protagonists, of course, and proceeding to lay waste to other realities as well for the rest of the game. Wait, but where did the multiverse even come from? Oh, I know. From Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, of course. 

Save for the bomb-ass premise, the rest of the plot is just a whole lot of mess. And, yes. The “I’m just here for support” claim is warranted in Bayonetta games, except that the previous games put in so much thought while developing their fictional plots that creating this new standalone ends up feeling pretty rushed. I can see a silver lining here, though. Newcomers won’t need to play catch-up to jump on this one, so yay.


Mixed Feelings

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Before we get to what’s most exciting, I’ve got to review the graphics, which have two sides to them. On one hand, Bayonetta 3 doesn’t come to play when it comes to its unique sense of style, playfulness with a concept of sexiness (which you can now choose to censor), and the overwhelmingly diverse environments, from ancient islands to urban streets to China-themed lava, so much so that you couldn’t ever tell what you would run into next.

Also, it’s no secret that the Nintendo Switch is quite limited in its hardware capabilities. And even with its limitations, Bayonetta 3 still manages to work around them to create a memorable action-adventure ranking as high as God of War, Devil May Cry, and the Batman Arkham games.

But perhaps the new game stretched the Nintendo Switch’s limits a little too thin. Because of the giant demon summons introduced to this game, Bayonetta is now a micro-sized character you can’t quite see clearly in some areas without squinting your eyes. 

Against the massively huge demon beasts, she’s but like a fairy, like Tinker Bell, ironically the all-powerful protagonist we’re relying on to save the multiverse. There’s nothing annoying like a huge demon blocking your screen. Some gamers may also prefer controlling Bayonetta throughout the game. But there’s yet another more annoying graphics technicality called frame rates. 

For the most part, the frame rate is a steady 60fps. However, Bayonetta 3 does tend to get overambitious leading to frame drops and performance issues that may cause you to lose your cool at times. 

I’ll go as far as to say, though, that Bayonetta 3 remains one of the most stunning games on Nintendo Switch. The soundtrack, too, is one you could even listen to way after you’ve put your Switch down. So, even with the infrequent frame rates, it’s something you can definitely get past, especially with the impeccable combat that it’s time we get into.


From Straightforward Combat to a Beautiful Mess

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Most of us go into action games for combat, and Bayonetta 3 is no different. Fortunately, the combat here is far from a letdown. Previously, the most fun you have is relentlessly trying to keep up, switching between Bayonetta’s moves to find what works for you. Though if you kept it linear, going hard at your controller, you could still narrowly make it through to the end. 

This time, Bayonetta’s core punch, kick, jump, shoot, and “Witch Time” gameplay is back. However, Bayonetta 3 gets more creative, introducing some out-of-this-world weapons and the attack feature everyone is talking about: Demon Summons. These giant demon beasts come equipped with unique skills, nuances, and combos. So, you can’t just summon any demon wherever. Each one has a role to play, plus summoning them drains your magic meter system. 

Your job is to creatively deal Bayonetta’s deck of cards, either using your physical moves, your weapon arsenal. This activates your “Witch Time” mechanic when you dodge an attack, which slows down time. In turn, giving you leeway to rain down hell on your opponent; or summoning your demon buddy who could take down your opponents for you.

Whether exploring the insane carnage that is the weapon assortment at your disposal or playing around with the new quick-swap weapons system, soon you realize how accessible the game is to freely explore varied difficulty levels and how satisfying the high risk-high reward ratio is when you successfully weave together different combo attacks. And with new additions like turning into a spider, summoning a frog dance that causes acid rain, controlling train tracks, and much more, Bayonetta 3’s power fantasy does come through a notch higher than previously.

Dorky “Viola”

You can also choose to play a second playable character, Viola. Viola comes in donning a cool leather jacket, too many belt buckles, and her main skill: a samurai sword strung behind her back. 

She’s got her own oddly surreal demon too: a jovial cat called Cheshire. When Cheshire is out, she uses her fists and her weapon arsenal is limited to her sword. And she doesn’t have Witch Time. So, instead, you’ll need to switch to blocking an attack with her sword.


Bayonetta 3 Review

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There is no concrete reason to not want to check out Bayonetta 3. Sure. The story is a mess, starting off at a high peak and heading absolutely nowhere. There is definitely a lost opportunity to explore the multiverse crawling with insane, out-of-this-world monsters. Instead, Bayonetta 3 barely tries to tell us the whys and hows of all the chaos, everywhere, happening all at once.

Also, you might feel disappointed coming off from the spotlight shining bright on Bayonetta to her minuscule appearances against the massively huge monsters blocking the screen sometimes. At least, though, her personality shines bright. With her impeccable acting that realistically nails every nuance and attitude of every version of her across the multiverse you'll love her. Plus, Viola’s scenes are a breath of fresh air, and she also marries pretty well with Bayonetta.

Overall, Bayonetta 3 is a highly polished and ambitious game. Sometimes too overambitious, which is exactly what I love most about it. Sure, the previous games are a statement of their own in the action gaming genre. But Platinum Games doesn’t let that stop them from building on its predecessor’s success and taking the madness way higher 

In the end, you’ve got yourself superb fast-paced action with an insane assortment of weapons, demon summoning, and jaw-dropping action sequences from out of this world, literally out of this reality, thus creating a game that lets you in the driver’s seat through to a masterpiece final showdown.


Bayonetta 3 Review (Nintendo Switch)

Bayonetta Returns, Way Better Than Ever

Bayonetta 3 is a perfect example of a game that doesn’t shy away from being different, experimenting, and treading uncharted ground, no matter how overambitious. While Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 were great, Bayonetta 3 carves its own path, creating a chaotic, whole new experience of its own.

Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.