Bayonetta 3 review on Nintendo Switch

System: To change
Release date: October 28, 2022
Developer: PlatinumGames
Editor: nintendo


The wait for Bayonetta 3 has been a long one as fans have been waiting since its logo reveal at The Game Awards in 2017. Although previous entries have been ported over to Switch to play, the latest addition to the series is finally here in what looks like a fever dream. Bayonetta has had long gaps between each game, but each entry from gaming’s most powerful witch has been well worth the wait, with Bayonetta 3 being no different. PlatinumGames’ excellence in storytelling, gameplay, theatrics, and mastery of hack-and-slash improves with each one, and while Bayonetta 3 falls just short of what Bayonetta 2 achieved in 2014, it is still a masterful title in a league of its own, held back only by the aging hardware it finds itself limited to.

Bayonetta 3 continues the trend of battling a multitude of enemies in large-scale arenas from beyond the ether. But rather than confront the demons and angels that plagued the first two titles, a new class of cosmic enemies known as the Homunculi threatens the multiverse, all led by a powerful deity-like creature known as the Singularity name. Since the multiverse comes into play, multiple Bayonettas in parallel universes have been seen, and Singularity has destroyed countless numbers, with Bayonetta 3’s main Bayonetta being the next target.

The game has the usual cast of in-game characters, so not only is there a beautiful new design for the witch Umbran, but series staples like Jeanne, Luka, Rodin and, yes, even Enzo return to help Bayonetta protect the world once Sequel. There are some new faces among the familiars, however, the main one being Viola – a punk rock-clad character wielding a katana who patrols in time like Trunks in Dragon Ball. His goal is to keep the Bayonetta 3 universe from collapsing, while collecting five Chaos Gears – all in separate realities – to restore balance to the multiverse and prevent Singularity from further torment and destruction.

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The story, like the others, is fairly straightforward, but it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when Bayonetta has always had a bevy of fights which, while an exciting and engaging thrill ride, tend to cause the player to lose focus on the bigger one. image. Even so, every cutscene, sequence, and climax is hugely entertaining. Even if in the end you struggle to figure out how to explain the story to someone else in more detail, the memories and fun that Bayonetta has consistently given since 2008 are worth it thanks to PlatinumGames combat prowess .

With the Multiverse being a narrative hook, the game takes advantage of this by providing several settings and realities that may not feel traditional to the lore and direction of the series. In doing so, Bayonetta 3 feels like a constant rollercoaster where the player is whisked from theme park to theme park in such a fast fashion that the dopamine hit is constant throughout. The only real “soothing” moments in gameplay are during the general exploration segments where collectibles, challenges, and secrets are riddled around almost every corner. Bayonetta’s abilities in and out of combat make the exploration factor get another level of fun throughout each chapter of the game, and even in areas that seem like they’re meant for window dressing or have no real reason to hide a collector’s item or the genre, it’s relatively surprising to end up acquiring a new color palette for Bayonetta, piece of music, or figure for his gallery to name a few.

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With Bayonetta’s multiple transformations that help her climb, sprint, fly, slide, and more, the fluidity of switching between forms when switching between two player-designated presets is fantastic. Being able to mix and match weapons, infernal demons and now customize Bayonetta on a more detailed level by choosing the color of hair, costumes and glasses is a real treat for fans of the series and emphasizes the look multiverse by having your own sort of Bayonetta. Granted, though, as I enjoyed the different timelines, costumes, and palettes, I found myself frequently reverting to the traditional look, but with each chapter, it would be nice to see a change and how that is reflected in the in-game cutscenes.

Having the options available to switch it to various weapons and demons makes Bayonetta 3 feel fantastic and fresh throughout, and with a host of combos that are also fairly easy to memorize and execute, the game does well to feel like its most accessible to date. Even for those getting started for the first time (although I highly recommend getting the Bayonetta 1 and 2 ports on Switch first to really enjoy Bayonetta 3), there’s an excellent archive that records everything throughout the adventures. of Bayonetta. Also, as an added measure of Bayonetta 3 feeling like it encompasses all things Bayonetta, there are quite a few moments where she’ll revert to her child form as Cereza to solve witch-time puzzles. , manipulating time forward or backward to change the environment so you can access certain areas and progress or acquire secrets. They’re not particularly difficult to master and mostly feel arbitrary, but they’re still a neat little feature to add another layer of depth to environments, mechanics, and gameplay.

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The rewards are also substantial and significant when fighting waves of enemies due to the multitude of currencies that can acquire items, features, attachments, and more at the Gates of Hell. Apart from that, one can upgrade just about everything Bayonetta and co. are capable in a skill tree-like fashion – this also includes the ability to boost health and mana through Broken Witch Hearts and Moon Beads respectively. There’s just so much about the world of Bayonetta through its chapters that even with another linear progression system in its gameplay, there’s enough aside to entice the player to look deeper into the corners to see what new treasures can hide.

Bayonetta 3 isn’t all about Bayonetta, however, with quite a few moments and missions that focus on Jeanne and Viola, and each has its own feel and look with a unique but mechanically similar moveset. However, the settings in which they are used are different, and it is certain aspects of each that will require some brain adjustment to get used to. Viola, for example, has more or less the same movesets and abilities as Bayonetta, but Witch Time for her works slightly differently as her sword must parry an attack using the shoulder “R” button rather than dodging. with the “ZR” trigger. ” entry as done with Bayonetta and Jeanne. What’s a nice change, though, is that Viola can move around and still attack after summoning Cheshire, even though she’s fighting with her bare hands and her moveset is a bit more limited without her katana. As others generally sit idle while the player takes control of demons in battle, it’s nice to have a bit more freedom to fight and resist becoming an easy target. Viola is a great character and an addition to the series, although she can feel a bit out of place at times. More often than not, his involvement felt a little forced and unnecessary at times, but it bears repeating that the gameplay is so spectacular that it in no way detracts from the enjoyment of the game.

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Everything about Bayonetta 3 is close to perfection, and the game never stops being fun no matter how you look at it. It’s unfortunate, however, that the game could have been so much more on much more Intense-capable hardware. It’s clear that Bayonetta 3 over the other two in the series is pushing its model density, animations, and capabilities, and while they all look great, its performance is mostly all over the place, with obvious technical shortcomings that frankly disrespect all the artistry behind PlatinumGames and Bayonetta. I don’t know if this game was supposed to run at 60fps, to begin with, but despite playing at 65% on the dock and 35% in handheld mode, performance when playing on a TV hit rarely this brand of personal experience. Handheld mode, on the other hand, had much higher consistency hitting 60 FPS, although it’s clear the resolution takes a hit once that happens, and unfortunately Bayonetta 3 could use all the help. it gets to get decent resolution on both the handheld and docked modes. It doesn’t matter once the player tries to take advantage of its photo mode – a feature I was extremely excited to see – only for it to erase the image until it looks like a flashback of the 3DS and has effects that show no real sign of on-screen functionality. Adjusting the depth of field or focal point only really works when you swipe to maximum or minimum – as with pretty much every other slider that Photo Mode offers – so the detail of the composition of the image are both blasphemous and fictitious. Quite frankly, it feels like a downgrade to what Astral Chain offers, and you can count every jagged edge on full screen with Astral Chain both in photo mode and out of mode.

Technical shortcomings aside, Bayonetta 3 is a marvel with what it offers from the moment a new game begins until the credits roll, and there’s rarely a dull moment in between that gives this feeling of wanting to put the Switch down to do something else. . Bayonetta is spellbinding in the best way, and she’s as witty, seductive, and confident as ever, with her whole personality showcased in the most beautiful and theatrical way through combat and various summons, boss battles, and environments. it is in everything. Although there is too much emphasis on the kaiju aspect of Bayonetta 3’s gameplay which almost feels like a necessity rather than an option and parts of the game vary in production quality, overall Bayonetta is ever so elegant and PlatinumGames has created another template to not just how to do hack-and-slash combat well, but to make them accessible and still fun with perfect pace, charisma, appeal and wonder where frustration never comes than a lack of investment on the part of the player. Bayonetta as a character and as a series has reached a new height of iconic artistry, cementing itself as a symbol of quality and appeal rarely seen elsewhere. The only thing to really be jealous of is the prospect that in another universe, SEGA has still invested heavily in ownership out of Nintendo’s hands and made Bayonetta shine more on capable hardware.


The verdict


Bayonetta 3 is a fantastic game through and through that once again shows off the prowess and excellence in the art form of the hack-and-slash titles that PlatinumGames has become known for. It’s another game development masterclass from the studio that has outdone itself time and time again. However, while Bayonetta 3 is a borderline masterpiece from start to finish, it’s a shame it’s held back by the hardware it gets trapped in as the game mostly shows the age of the Switch.


Bayonetta 3 copy provided by the publisher for the purposes of this review.

About Jason Zeitler

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