Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sonic Colors (Wii) Review

For nearly a decade, Sonic games have continued to diminish in quali--I'm going to shut up. It's been said too many times, but here's a surprise: Sonic Colors could, arguably, be the best 3D Sonic game ever. Does that mean it's exceptionally brilliant? No. But compared to a consistent trend of mediocrity, it hails as the greatest in its respective series. And note, I wrote "could" because, despite its genre, Sonic Colors is not exactly 3D. In fact, it's almost entirely 2D, only with a fresh variety of new features, clever platforming, and eye-popping visuals to boot. That said, with positives come negatives: cringe-inducing dialogue, wonky physics, cheap hazards, overly simplistic boss battles, and lackluster co-op.

Sonic Colors is set in an interstellar amusement park, supposedly created by Eggman as an act of redemption. Needless to say, Sonic and Tails' suspicions lead them to the park, where they come across a strange species of aliens called "wisps," discover Eggman's true diabolical intentions, and attempt to save the day. Despite the typical plot present, the tone in the game is lightened to the point where the story feels like a Saturday morning cartoon. That is, a cartoon with clich├ęs and jokes you'd expect from a '80s-'90s show orientated for five year olds. It's an arduous task to describe just how bad Sonic's dialogue is, but it may be even more difficult to express my disdain for the new voice over Sonic has been given, which has amplified his quirkiness and cockiness to the next level. That said, Tails' voice is much better fitting, and Eggman is as lovable as ever. Thankfully, the story isn't the main emphasis of the game.

The most prominent aspect of Sonic Colors is, obviously, the gameplay. With its roots deriving from Sonic Unleashed, it certainly feels like the daytime stages in that game. However, do not be fooled, as the game deviates drastically from its predecessor due to its level designs. For one, Sonic Colors is almost entirely 2D, with only a few 3D segments sprinkled onto a majority of levels. During these brief parts, Sonic will either be pretty much automated, or the player will have to execute quick steps or drifts. When the game decides to give the player full control during the 3D sections, Sonic will move like a racing car with its wheels popped, so, excluding the cosmetic side of things, most will probably want to stick to 2D.

In the 2D perspective, Sonic will have to go through myriad platforms, use wisps, and even solve puzzles; Sonic Colors emphasizes on platforming over speed, unlike Sonic Unleashed. This isn't to say players won't get the fast-paced action they crave, but the game is certainly more of a platformer than a 1-player racing game, and the speed sometimes tends to get killed the minute Sonic embarks onto a 2D segment--not a bad thing! As Sonic blazes through platforms, the awkward physics will also become apparent to gamers; gravity itself doesn't seem to want Sonic to leap into the air fluently. Luckily, a double jump has been implemented to execute jumps more precisely. Indeed, you will be relying entirely on the double jump to perform the simplest feats. This isn't exactly detrimental to the overall experience, but it can have a small learning curve. Later levels will also contain unforeseen cheap traps and hazards, though nowhere near as much as Sonic Unleashed contained. Also, developers decided to be less sadistic by adding warning symbols that appear before blazing into a bottomless pit.

To compliment the 2D gameplay, Sonic Colors introduces wisps, which are essentially power-ups that allow Sonic to either progress or reach alternate routes in the levels. For example, the Yellow Drill wisp can be used to burrow the ground, find rings, and access underground areas, while the Orange Rocket allows Sonic to soar to the sky and land on platforms above. Other wisps play a pivotal role in the actual platforming, such as the Blue Cube wisp, which influences platforms around Sonic--though this didn't necessarily have to come in the form of a power-up. White Boost wisps allow Sonic to perform the boost present in Sonic Rush and Sonic Unleashed. Unfortunately, many level designs tend to discourage that type of super speed until they shift to 3D parts, which as mentioned, aren't very long; with a simple boost, players will find themselves quickly bypassing these brief segments, enjoying them for less than anticipated. While not mandatory 100% of the time, the wisps give the game substance, and will probably be used frequently by players. Without them, the game would present a rather bland or even generic experience. That's not to say they're perfectly executed, however, as some abilities may be hard to control, such as the Purple Frenzy wisp in a 3D environment.

On the side of the main gameplay, the game also includes bosses and special stages. Out of seven bosses, three are repeated, and only two are somewhat challenging. In other words, they provide an underwhelming experience. As for special stages, the game presents a "Sonic simulator" as an extra world. It contains a series of hideous levels that try to replicate worlds from the original Sonic games. In these stages, players can also choose to play co-op with a friend. However, no one will probably bother since the levels themselves are short, and the co-op system is terrible and unfitting.

After finishing the game, which will only take about 8 hours, players can revisit worlds to collect red rings and chaos emeralds for a very special reward--a reward so special that it strips the game of all its substance, and serves only to worsen the game's mechanics, ironically. For competitive gamers, a ranking system is present to provide incentives to go back and improve their scores. Cutscenes can also be accessed in the options menu if you want to watc--I can't write this with a straight face.

Sonic Colors contains some of the most stunning graphics on the Wii. As mentioned, Sonic will be traversing through a multitude of wacky-themed levels, such as a world filled with giant desserts, an asteroid world, and an aquatic one where Sonic can actually go underwater--yes, you don't have to fear submerging yourself into a bottomless pit after not holding your boost. Despite this, the levels offer little to immerse the player into the actual environments, and it will be easy to ignore the fact that you're going around a donut-shaped loop, as that's a staple feature in all Sonic games. During the 2D segments, platforms in the foreground look bulky and randomly situated on top of a blank void, while the background seems static, for the most part, and the camera is zoomed out, almost giving the impression of playing a stage created with a gamer-friendly level creator, such as Super Smash Bros. Brawl's. Of course, that's not to say they look bad, but it can appear awkward as opposed to traditional 2D Sonic levels.

Sonic Colors' soundtrack is nothing spectacular, but it does deliver; while it contains some memorable tracks, like Planet Wisp Act 1 and Aquarium Park Act 1, the rest can be bland, forgettable, or downright redundant. The sound quality is loud and grand. Unfortunately, the loud music mutes many PA announcements Eggman gives during the course of the stages, which is a shame because some of it is actually pretty amusing.

Overall, Sonic Colors is not without flaws. Of course, that goes without saying. The 3D segments are practically non-existent, and when the transitions to that perspective arrive, players will have little or no control of Sonic, or find themselves boosting right into another 2D segment; the physics are a bit off, forcing players to make mandatory use of the double jump to make it to nearby platforms; a few cheap traps toward the end of the game will prove aggravating; the boost is almost superfluous; the bosses are far too simplistic and repeated; the co-op isn't any good; and the dialogue is dreadful. However, the game still provides an engaging experience through the use of wisps to uncover new paths, has several clever platforming sections that make use of the power-ups, consists of plenty to do after completing it, contains some of the best visuals on the Wii, and has a few catchy tunes. Sonic Colors is the best 3D Sonic game in many years. While not a must-get game, it's certainly fun for all ages, especially a younger audience.

Score: 7.5/10.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Final Fantasy XIII - Impressions (Part 2)

I'm back, and I have played over 13 hours of Final Fantasy XIII! I've been wanting to write a continuation to my previous blog entry for a while, but I've been too busy. Anyways, I'm currently in Chapter 8 of the game (there is, apparently, only 13 chapters), and to be honest, not that much has changed in the way the player progresses through the game, but I'll get to that later. Let me jump to gameplay features that were not initially present during the start of the game.

First of all, in an early chapter (forgot which one), the player is given a new weapons upgrade option that can be triggered in any save station. Upgrading weapons is rather simplistic: you use junk gathered from battle, and increase the EXP of whatever weapon you want with it. Some junk gives more EXP than others. Likewise, some weapons require more EXP than others (especially at later levels). It is also possible to use inferior junk first, obtain bonuses that multiply the amount of EXP from general junk, and use it to level up your weapons faster.

The weapons upgrade feature plays a significant role in the game because acquiring enough gil -- the game's currency -- to purchase new weapons is f'ing impossible. The money is so scarce that you're practically forced to upgrade what you have. Of course, there is probably a method of obtaining money that I'm not aware of, so don't take this too seriously.

Aside from the weapons upgrade option, I've also encountered and obtained my first summons (Called "Eidolons" in FF13). Like in all Final Fantasy games, Shiva and Odin appear! That said, I'm anxiously anticipating the arrival of my personal favorite: Bahamut. Anyways, the Eidolons I've gotten act as party members when summoning them, but you can press the X button to ride them (yes, ride) and manually kick some enemy ass. That said, before even obtaining a summon, the player has to battle it after a story sequence. These battles are unique because if you don't use strategy, you will -- I can't stress this enough -- lose. But fear not! The game's battle system encourages strategy thanks to the paradigm system I vaguely mentioned in my previous blog!

As first, I didn't know what to make of the paradigm system. I thought it was just a way to organize the actions of each character, similarly to the Tales series by Namco. However, later I fought my first boss and lost...miserably. I was quite upset because I hadn't had a game over until that point, and did not save either. But my frown turned upside down when I figured out that losing is not something to dread in this game -- you can restart right where you left off! Anyway -- I keep going off-topic here -- the Paradigm System consists of several different roles you can assign each party member: Commando (Offense), Ravager (Magic), Medic (Healer), Sentinal (Bodyguard/Distraction), Synergist (Team Strengthener), and Saboteur (Enemy Weakener). Basically, depending on the number of members on your team, you can assign the characters any of these positions (assuming they have them), and they will carry out their respective tasks. For example, if I have a Paradigm consisting of one commando, one Medic, and one Ravager, the Commando will attack enemies, the medic will consistently heal party members, and the Ravager will cast offensive spells. In total, the player can preset up to a maximum of six Paradigms outside of battle, and change the roles of characters in-battle by using the LB button. You don't have to worry about wasting MP by switching to Ravager or Medic either -- there is no MP! Yes, you can heal your party members and cast spells until your heart's content! And no, this doesn't over simplify things because bosses will probably kick your asses regardless. Overall, the summons and paradigm system define the battles because without them, battles are pretty dull, repetitive, and monotonous.

From what I've played, Final Fantasy 13 consists of nothing but mashing the A button to defeat all normal enemies. This is because you'll be pressing Auto-Chain in virtually every regular fight. Attacking enemies on your own is time-consuming and useless due to the speed of battles, so you'll find the game doing much of the work for you. Since there's no MP, characters will just bash enemies with all they've got until it dies. That is, unless it's a big monster. Bigger enemies require a different variety of mashing! The player will probably have all the characters gang rape the poor guy until a gauge on the upper right fills and it is staggered (weakened). At this point, the enemy takes much more damage, and can be quickly killed (sometimes, this is the only possible way to defeat an opponent unless you want to fight it for over an hour). After battles, all characters are instantly healed, so there's no need to worry about stocking up on potions (In-Battle, just use Medics to heal the party members!). Luckily, boss battles compensate for all the mashing, and require the player to utilize paradigms, summons, and staggering techniques to overcome the foe. Unfortunately, sometimes these fights drag on for too long. Speaking of dragging on for too long, I haven't clarified what I mentioned in the first paragraph!

As I stated, I'm only in Chapter 8 and the game has not altered in the way characters progress through the story. In other words, during my 13 hours of playtime, the game still consists of moving through narrow, linear paths; attacking myriad enemies; watching cutscenes; and fighting a boss at the end of the characters' segments. I say "characters'" because unlike conventional RPGs, the party members constantly split up, forcing the player to play as characters he/she may not like. I suppose this is a storytelling technique as opposed to a gameplay one, but this is not a movie. On the bright side, in this ceaseless, linear adventure, the player will witness some incredibly stunning environments. Unfortunately, that same player will probably rather see a giant wallpaper in his room. Why? Because there is absolutely no interactivity in these settings. You may glimpse at a beautiful ocean, but that's about it. I suppose I should expect this from a game that uses scripted jumps instead of platforming outside of battles, but eh, at least I get to see pretty pictures and not get lost in overly complex areas.

Well, that's it for now. I've heard that Chapter 11 is challenging, includes sidequests/missions, and allows players to organize party members, so that should be fun.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Final Fantasy XIII - Impressions (Part 1)

After 5 years or so of development time, Final Fantasy XIII was finally released this month. It has been easily one of the most anticipated titles this year among both Final Fantasy and RPG fans, and I managed to purchase my copy of the game yesterday. The first thing I noticed about the game as I popped the disk in were the awe-inspiring graphics--they are incredible! I cannot emphasize enough how beautiful this game is. The first time any gamer plays FF13, the work and budget put into the game will immediately become clear. However, graphics alone don't make a game.

Any fan of Role-Playing Games will place story as high (sometimes higher) than gameplay. From the little I've seen, the plot in FF13 will not disappoint. On the contrary, it will be the main source hooking the gamer in. And note, I'm only saying that because I REALLY feel like playing the game as we speak! However, I admit I was confused about what was going on in the game when I first started playing. Everything became clear once I took the time to read about the plot while playing. Yes, anything concerning unique terminologies, backgrounds, and ongoing events can be read in the game's menu screen. This is a very convenient feature for individuals who don't have the time to consistently play the game, and need to be reminded where they left off. Unfortunately, this also serves to show how broken the story is, and how developers felt a need to write down important information instead of elaborating on it through good story-telling. But I don't necessarily have high standards for a video game story to nitpick.

To summarize the plot (from what I've seen) without spoiling anything, the game takes place in Cocoon--a utopia in the sky--which was created by benevolent Fal'Cie (godlike beings), but ruled by Sanctum, Cocoon's government, which is composed of humans. Below Cocoon exists the Pulse, an underworld feared by the humans of Cocoon. One day, a Pulse Fal'Cie appears in Bodhum, a city in Cocoon. Pulse Fal'Cie are capable of cursing humans by turning them into L'Cie. As L'Cie, individuals gain magical abilities, but must accomplish a "Focus." If they don't, they become Cie'th--zombie-like creatures. Needless to say, the L'Cie are seen as contaminated humans and feared for making contact with Fal'Cie from the Pulse. The story begins when the Sanctum decides to Purge (exile) all the citizens from Bodhum to the Pulse after learning of the Pulse Fal'Cie's existence in the city. This leads to a great revolt, as well as the deaths of many innocent civilians.

Initially, the player experiences the revolt in Bodhum through the perspective of several different characters before their stories overlap and they join forces. I personally enjoyed experiencing the game through the point of view of different characters with deviating backgrounds and goals. The only two characters I do not like so far are Lightning and Vanille--the only girls in the game! Now, I'm not sexist, but Lightning seems like a generic "badass" protagonist, and her attitude has irritated me so far. Also, for a main protagonist, her side of the story doesn't seem very interesting at all. Of course, her ambiguity will likely diminish later on--I'm only 4 hours in! Conversely, Snow, the leader of NORA, a paramilitary organization that patrols Bodhum for trouble, seems more like the main protagonist than she does. As for Vanille, her creepy optimism during a time where thousands are being exiled and executed around her make me want to punch her in the face. Luckily, I'm sure the characters will develop as I progress, so I cannot judge them entirely just yet, and won't bother to discuss each of them.

Now for the most important aspect of a game: the gameplay. Unfortunately, there's not much for me to say about it as of now; during the beginning of FF13, the player isn't given much options when fighting enemies. All you do is press attack until the fight is over. By Chapter 3, the battle system becomes significantly more complex and strategy-based, but not enough for it to be deemed amazing. During this chapter, the characters can finally use magic, as well as a Paradigm system to organize the actions of other party members during battle. From what I've seen, the player can only control one party member while fighting, which is disappointing. Final Fantasy XIII does not have a conventional level up system either. Rather than simply earning experience points in battle and automatically leveling up, the characters earn Crystogen Points. These points are used in the Crystarium menu option, and allow the player to power up a character's individual stats or abilities, making the level up system much more customizable than in a traditional RPG.

As for overworld gameplay, the game has been pretty linear from what I've played, with no real exploration value. During my 4 hours of gameplay, I have only followed straight paths (split only when there are items to collect), fought enemies (which are, thankfully, visible and avoidable outside of battle), and watched cutscenes. Quite frankly, I've felt like I've been watching an interactive movie, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, traditional exploration and cities/towns to goof around in would be nice too.

Finally, the music has been okay. Nothing I'll listen to on an iPod, but soothing enough to keep the environments interesting.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Connect 4 - The Electronic Handheld!

Does anybody remember the days when handheld electronic games (like Tetris) were on sale everywhere you went? You know, before smart phones with myriad applications existed, and sophisticated handheld consoles by major first party companies did not have similar capabilities to home consoles? Well, I do, and I think they still sell them in many gifts shops, but back when I was a kid, I saw these electronic handhelds everywhere. I admit, I used to annoy my mom so she would buy them for me, and, well, she would cave in and do so. I don't know why I wanted them so badly considering I HATED most of them. Since I played many home console games, I was under the impression that every video game out there came to an end eventually, so I used to waste time playing these electronic handhelds and not getting anywhere. Little did I know that certain games never ended as long as you continued to increase your high score (yes, I was an idiot). But I digress.

A while ago, I found a little gem in my home: a Connect 4 electronic handheld. If you don't know what Connect 4 is, it is basically the same as Tic-Tac-Toe, only you have to connect four dots/disks in any direction to win instead of three circles or Xs. The game is also played using a seven-column, six-row vertically-suspended grid. I admit, I only played Connect 4 one day when I was in Middle School. I remember it being very fun and addicting. My friend, however, had a low attention span and was bored quickly. After he ditched me, I stayed sitting in the table staring at the game...alone. But, you see, now I don't need anyone in order to play this game because I have my beautiful electronic handheld!

This Connect 4 handheld is, without a doubt, the greatest portable electronic game I have ever played. It records your wins and losses, has a difficulty setting, and has two gameplay modes. You can either play the normal mode, which is a traditional game of Connect 4, or the invisible mode, which temporarily shows the grid during your turn before disappearing. The latter requires you to not only use strategy, but also your memorization skills. However, I prefer the normal mode. The best feature this portable Connect 4 has is its difficulty setting. At LV.3 (the highest level), your opponent plays like a pro. I don't think I've ever encountered an electronic handheld with such a great AI. Playing with an AI that plays just like a human makes this a very addicting experience.

With all that said, I tend to play this game everyday before going to sleep because, well, it's usually next to my bed. Oh, and if the friend that abandoned me that day in Middle School is reading this, I want you to know that you've been replaced, meanie!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bayonetta (360) Review

For years, the beat-em-up genre--now referred to as the Hack and Slash genre--has continuously evolved with titles such as Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden, and God of War. To this day, the genre continues to advance with games utilizing more intricately nuanced battle systems. Bayonetta is no exception to this trend. Of course, this is no surprise considering it was designed by Hideki Kamiya, who directed the original Devil May Cry game.

At its core, Bayonetta tells a story of the balance between light and darkness. Many years before the start of the game, there existed two clans that maintained balance between these two forces: the Umbra and Lumen witches. The former controlled the powers of darkness, while the latter watched over the power of light. Both clans shared mutual reverence until an incident caused them to wage war against each other. In the present time, there is, apparently, only one Umbra witch left: Bayonetta. However, she's lost all memory of her past.

The story seems to be interesting enough to give the player incentives to progress in the game, right? Wrong. While the general story is good--in the video game sense of the word--the plot is all over the place. Many important elements to the story are not explained clearly, and the player is likely to be puzzled until the very end of the game, where everything becomes clearer. Even then, the backstory will not be elucidated until you collect in-game notes (or books) detailing the past and describing the random enemies/bosses you encounter. To further add to the confusion, the transitions between some stages don't make sense, and some settings are so surreal that the player will wonder what is going on. Perhaps if the main character did not have amnesia, had development in her character, and did not display constant "badassery" in virtually every cutscene (despite the situations), the player could relate a bit more, and a desultory plot would not exist. Of course, then the story would be too simplistic. Needless to say, if you want to play this game just for the story, look away. If you want to play it for the gameplay, look no further.

Bayonetta, like any other Hack and Slash game, emphasizes entirely on its battle system. That said, unlike many other games of the same genre, this is a battle system anyone--yes, even casuals--can enjoy because of the difficulty settings (Very Easy, Easy, and Normal by default), and fairly easy combos that can be executed. Now, don't get me wrong, the battle system itself isn't simplistic; it has an unbelievable amount of depth. While many basic combos are easy to pull off (like punch, kick, punch), there is so much variety that you'll be pulling off new moves each time.

As mentioned before, casual gamers, in particular, will be awestruck when they see themselves pulling off so many devastating attacks with so little experience. This is due to Bayonetta's "Wicked Weave" attacks, which utilize Bayonetta's shape-shifting hair and main weapon to inflict heavy damage on enemies after full combos. Bayonetta also, initially, sports guns on her hands and feet that do not require reloading, similarly to Dante from Devil May Cry. Later on, you can equip newer weapons, such as swords, gauntlets, and ice skates. Each one pertains to the same basic combos you can do at the start of the game, but come with their own unique animations, special attacks, and attack powers, giving the combos a fresh new look and feel. With experience, they can be used to perform greater combos. However, it is up to the player to come up with these advanced moves.

One of the most significant aspects of the game's battle system is the concept known as "Witch Time." After dodging an enemy's attack at the right second, time will freeze, allowing the player to beat up the frozen enemies any way they want to. This concept encourages players to play on the defensive, rather than the offensive. Bayonetta is also capable of using enemy weapons when they've been defeated this way, giving more variety to the combos that can be executed.

The battle system also has a Magic Gauge. When it is full, Bayonetta can perform "Torture Attacks." These can be used as instant-KO moves on the smaller enemies, or moves that inflict heavy damage on the larger enemies. Regardless, it's cool to see Bayonetta slicing up an enemy with a chainsaw or smashing them with a spiked wheel. Later on, the magic gauge can also be utilized to perform unique moves that can be used in conjunction with basic attacks for greater combos. They can be purchased in the game's only shop.

In Bayonetta, enemies drop Halos, which are the game's currency. They can be used to purchase items, techniques, accessories, weapons, or treasures in the Gates of Hell--Rodin's shop. If you do not wish to waste money, you can always go to the item menu and concoct your own items because, well, Bayonetta is a witch.

Aside from the battle system, there's not much else to say about the gameplay. The puzzles in the stages are so simplistic and scarce that they do not need mention. The stages themselves are terribly linear. In the end, Bayonetta is basically a 3D incarnation of a 2D Beat-Em-Up game; all you do is fight enemies, move forward, fight more enemies, move forward, etc. This might sound repetitive, and for many gamers, it will be. However, the battle system keeps each fight fresh, and players will probably be craving more enemies to kill. The only exceptions to these types of stages are two mini-game levels, and of course, the boss battles.

The bosses in Bayonetta are incredible. They're colossal, challenging, and fun. The setting do these bosses even more justice. You fight these enormous creatures in environments such as a Colosseum, inside a whirlpool, on top of flying debris, etc. One of the most enjoyable aspects of fighting the bosses is reaching the second phase of the battles. At this point, the music intensifies, the bosses change their attack patterns, the setting changes, and the player receives a sense of adrenaline, encouraging him/her to finish the boss once and for all. The only thing in the game that might draw people away from all the fighting is probably the ranking system.

A ranking system, in general, is not too bad. However, you are graded after every single battle in Bayonetta. If you have OCD or are a perfectionist, and receive a bad score, you are likely to restart until you grow sick of the game. This is even more true if you're seeking to acquire all the Pure Platinum medals/trophies (the highest ranks in the game). These medals/trophies are reserved to the most skilled gamers, and quite frankly, not everyone will want to go through the task of collecting them all, aggravating many gamers. If you don't care about completing the game 100%, then this is irrelevant. If you do care, you might or might not find the ranking system to your liking. That said, it is not the only thing implemented into the game to give players incentives to continue playing after finishing the story.

After completing the game, there are tons of secrets to unlock. It is apparent that replay value was the developers' highest aim when creating this game, so if you enjoy the general gameplay, there is a lot in store for you after beating the game, such as unlockable weapons, characters, accessories, treasures, and other goodies. It is also worth noting that cutscenes can be skipped at anytime, so they won't interfere with your chapter replays. Now, if you find the game repetitive, which is expected of people who do not like fighting enemies after enemies, then the game will certainly end for you after the credits.

Aside from the gameplay, Bayonetta also possesses really nice graphics. Nothing revolutionary by today's standards, but enough to keep newer gamers from finding anything ugly. Furthermore, the character and environment designs are incredibly well-done as well. The game's soundtrack is not a let-down either, and has some catchy tunes, such as the fighting themes. In terms of sound, some of the voice-acting is a bit laughable, mainly due to the stereotypical accents of many characters, but overall, it's okay.

Story - Even though the general story is decent, the plot is all over the place and confusing.

Gameplay - The battle system has an unbelievable amount of depth put into it, and the bosses are incredible. However, aside from fighting, there's not much else to do in the game. This might get either repetitive or addicting depending on how much you like the overall genre.

Graphics - Nothing you haven't seen in this generation of gaming, but still really good-looking, especially the character designs.

Sound/Music - The game has many catchy tunes, but the VAs, while not horrible, tend to be laughable at times.

Replay Value - There is a lot to do after completing the game, such as unlocking new weapons and characters, or simply replaying the stages for fun.

Overall - Bayonetta is a great game for anyone into this sort of genre, so if you've enjoyed action games such as Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden, then this game is a must-have.

Score: 8.5/10