REVIEW – Just a few months after the otherwise enjoyable (and thus could be considered one of the killer apps for the Nintendo Switch) Bayonetta 3, PlatinumGames has added another game to its franchise, but you should expect something different, and consequently, treat it differently. It took nearly a decade and a half for Bayonetta to develop into a stable franchise, but it was worth being patient.
Indeed, Bayonetta 3 wasn’t outstanding compared to the first two titles, but it was worth the wait, and it’s no wonder a spinoff was finally made.
Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon (from now, it will be called Bayonetta Origins, and then again by its full name at the end) can be described in the shortest possible way with the words “origin story.” Cereza is still just an apprentice witch. As a forbidden love child (Rosa is an Umbra witch and her father a Lumen sage), her family has been torn apart: her father is banished, her mother thrown in a cell, and she is looked down upon by her village and taken under the protection of another outcast witch. A white wolf turns up, speaking of the power hidden in the Avalon Forest, and Cereza can use it to save her mother. She goes to the forest, but as a last resort, she tries to summon a friendly demon but brings it to life unwillingly in her plush Cheshire. He can’t hurt Cereza but doesn’t want to help her either.
They must rely on each other to follow the white wolf’s trail, fight off the fairies, and, in the process, seek out the four elemental cores to harness their powers. The visual style is almost storybook-like, so it stands out from the three main parts, and the target audience is presumably younger. It’s a tricky move, but fans will be interested in the game, as we haven’t seen or heard much about Cereza’s youth. Still, it should also be pointed out that the shift in style and tone between the spinoff and the main trilogy is too significant, so the jump from one to the other will be jarring, even though Bayonetta Origins has some darker ideas (e.g., Such “childification” was perhaps last seen in Twisted Metal (Twisted Metal: Small Brawl. Incognito. PS1. 2001.). Despite it, the game is well-written and has solid voice acting, and is tonally pleasing, but perhaps too much in the style of The Legend of Zelda on the beats. The narration is different (older lady, fabulous atmosphere again), and the animations are minimal. You’ve seen this sort of thing elsewhere, so it’s not something to criticize. A limited drawing distance matches the nice-on-the-eyes art style, but the decent performance both in docked and handheld mode. Loading times are not frequent, but they will be noticeable. So performance is somewhat in place.
In wooded meadows
An action adventure with a fixed camera and a primarily linear route in an external view, but you can often deviate to find extra challenges or uncover different treasure chests and collectibles. Once you have the right skills, there will be some to return to later. As a result, you could even call Bayonetta Origins a Metroidvania (as bad as it sounds) with its varied locations and perhaps overly simplistic boss fights. You can’t get lost, as the trail of the wolf’s paw always shows you where you need to go to roll the story forward. However, remembering that you can control Cereza and Cheshire simultaneously is worth remembering.
The left analog stick controls the young witch, and the right handles the stuck-in-plush demon. As a result, the game sacrifices complexity for a feature, but it can be exciting when you can control two characters simultaneously. Cereza can trap her opponents in one place with a spell, making them vulnerable, and Cheshire can turn into a plushie at any time, so you don’t have to control two characters at once all the time. Kind of like The Lost Vikings, but not with three characters. Cheshire does the more demanding tasks of combat and exploration with the new abilities. So yeah, Cereza is mainly focused on not getting hit by anything (she has an HP bar, while Cheshire just turns into a plush). There’s no real jumping ability, and the fixed camera is in some pretty idiotic places. Opponents are typical, and difficulty is not a problem, so it can be a fun challenge to control both at once. There are plenty of checkpoints; you can always roll down the difficulty so Cereza doesn’t get hurt. There’s also pot crafting (HP, mana, pushing opponents away..); both characters have skill trees, so there’s the depth that you may never get to exploit.
The demon is not lost
Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon gets a seven-and-a-half out of ten because it’s perhaps too easy, and maybe it’s a much more significant departure than expected from what we’ve paired the franchise with so far. PlatinumGames has done an excellent job, but kids might find the jump from here to the first episode too much. There are about 11 hours of fair gameplay as it is, so you can’t give it a lower rating than that.
+ Origin story
+ Two characters can be handled at the same time
+ Stylish, but not in the usual way
– Maybe too easy
– A huge difference from the past
– It has a bit of a Zelda twist
Style: Metroidvania for kids
Release: March 17, 2023.
A Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon
Gameplay - 6.7
Graphics - 6.8
Story - 8.6
Music/Audio - 7.9
Ambience - 7.5
Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon gets a seven-and-a-half out of ten because it's perhaps too easy, and maybe it's a much more significant departure than expected from what we've paired the franchise with so far. PlatinumGames has done an excellent job, but kids might find the jump from here to the first episode too much. There are about 11 hours of fair gameplay as it is, so you can't give it a lower rating than that.
Leave a Reply