Bayonetta Origins is an uneven adventure with just enough Platinum punch

Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon depends on the unknown. What is at the heart of the enchanted forest where young Cereza finds herself? Why is he being guided by a mysterious white wolf? Will he make peace with his snarling demon sidekick? But the mystery we can’t get past is this: who exactly is Bayonetta Origins for?

On the one hand, this is a continuous expansion of the Bayonetta game universe-like creation, which is intended to live in the multiverse. Bayonetta 3 and now fleshed out with a story that fills in the gaps of one of the game’s more confusing alt-reality versions. Coupled with the origin story – which shows us how the young witch bound her first demon and mastered her escalating fighting style – it feels like a laser aimed at the most committed Umbra head.

But on the flip side is the game itself: an often twee adventure set in a playable picture book that softens the usually hard-edged combat and slows down the relentless pace to something resembling. Platinumthe first child-friendly game. Coupled with a rich selection of power-ups and impressive accessibility options that further simplify combat, it evolves into an action game anyone can play, set in a story few are likely to fully appreciate.

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Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon

But if Origins pulls in two directions and makes it an unusual sell, it somehow emerges from those tangled woods unscathed. In fact, it sees Platinu stretching long, dormant muscles. With its skill-driven exploration and mild confusion, it has more in common with Okami, the studio’s stunning Zelda masterpiece. Capcom Precursor, Clover. The difference is that you control two heroes at the same time: Cereza on the left Joy-Con, her demon Cheshire on the right. It’s a one-man collaboration in the spirit of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.

A lot to take down, sure, but Origins carefully distributes power so it doesn’t get overwhelmed. Side-by-side steering is taught in unhurried gambols over gentle terrain, before opposing fairies teach the basic principle of combat: Cereza messes up enemies and Cheshire claws them down. That rock-solid underpinning is layered with nuance over the next ten hours—at the end, Cheshire uses all sorts of magic to unlock elemental weaknesses in impressionist defenses—but it never forgets that basic one-two punch.

If anything, it does such a good job of fitting you into the couple dynamic that you wish it would push the duo a little harder outside of combat. In the final battles of the game, you have to guide Cereza around all kinds of nasties while unleashing demonic defeats.

Strong puzzles are rarer and are given to Tír na nÓg dungeons, which often split the pair apart and force them to work side by side. Putting out the flames on Cereza’s path while simultaneously revealing levels beneath Cheshire, all under the pressure of a looming wall of death, is the kind of belly-rubbing/head-tapping finger-gym that sadly just doesn’t happen mainstream enough. adventure trail.

Instead, the forest offers a tangle of paths that slowly lead to a dead end, with a growing collection of grappling hooks, splashes of water, and ground nails. A few powers bring the action to life – hydro-powered lily pads turn witches’ drowning pools into space zones of hidden potential – but others, like Chesire’s fireballs, act as unimaginative keys to ordinary elemental obstacles.

It doesn’t help that as the focus of Origins shifts back, you become more reliant on a very useless map. Areas are too generically sketched to provide clear guidance, and sudden camera moves make it difficult to get a handle on the shape and flow of certain areas.

“The world of Tír na nÓg is particularly striking on the Switch OLED, where the fresh blues really pop and the shocking exit animation reminds you of the stylish excess of the Bayonetta series.”

A fast travel system and helpful paw print markers mean you’ll never lose track of the main quest, but scavenging for character upgrades and hidden keys feels like an exercise in trying every dead end until you get lucky, rather than a power-up. touch the old ground.

That’s a shame, because the world itself is a triumph of art design, its dreamlike watercolors clashing impressively with the jagged glass shards of the fairyland. The kingdom of Tír na nÓg is particularly striking Change The OLED, where the fresh blues really pop and the shocking exit animation – a giant eyeball oozing blood – will remind you of the stylish superiority of the Bayonetta series.

And that’s the key to Origins; For its uneven adventure, it’s never less than beautifully done. I don’t think Platinum can deliver a game with unsatisfying attacks – when it starts, Origins combines Cheshire’s twitching jaws with oh-so-satisfying syrupy slow-motion – and you’re never far from personable boss fights. offer pickup. A special shout out to the soundtrack as well, which blends demonic circus chaos with soft fantasy and pays homage to the original trilogy in unexpected ways.

In fact, in its final hours, Origins finally lives up to its name with more juicy fan service and unexpected developments that will put a Cheshire grin on this fan’s face. And upon completion, revealed the same generous spirit you expect from mainstream games. But these are your surprises. And if you’re not already a witch’s acolyte? This might be the ideal gateway drug to Platinum’s more substantial work.