Bayonetta Screenshot

Started Bayonetta the other night as part of my gargantuan "catch-up" process, and in retrospect, I think it was a good choice. I couldn't stand playing it, so I got to kick it off my list after only three hours or so. Done!

Seriously though, this is one of the most ridiculously over-rated games of 2010. The number of perfect scores it received is absurd, and I would call into question the thought process and value system of anyone who gave it a ten.

On the good side, the graphics are pretty eye-popping, the combat system has a lot of interesting bits to it, and the whole guns-on-feet thing was gold.

On the other hand, it has some of the most wretched storytelling I've ever seen in a title. The bizarre dichotomy between super-serious cutscenes and insanely-over-the-top-goofy during play doesn't work at all, with each side canceling out the energy of the other. I'm usually one who gets a great deal out of story and cutscenes, but they were verging on painful here—awkward, long, senseless, and adding nothing to the experience.

As for the rest, there was entirely too much going on during play to be able to see what was happening clearly—the definition of visual chaos. The mission structure was pure Devil May Cry, and the rest was God Hand, except not nearly as cohesive or as well-done as either. The whole thing felt like some kind of arch in-joke the developers were having at my expense, and the combat system wasn't so entertaining that I was about to sit through who knows how many hours of it before the end.

Unpleasantly atavistic, intentionally obtuse, and displaying poor sensibility in nearly every aspect, Bayonetta has been ejected from my 360 in unceremonious fashion, and it won't be back.

Monday Night Combat Screenshot

Spent a few hours with the good fellows at Uber Entertainment today. They were gracious enough to invite me over for a good look at their upcoming XBLA title, Monday Night Combat, and show it to me they did.

I'll be talking about it on the podcast this weekend and I'll have a proper interview up shortly, but for right now I can say that Monday Night Combat is looking like a very impressive title, and one that was certainly deserving of its spot in this year's Summer of Arcade lineup.

Although many people have dismissed it as a Team Fortress 2 wannabe, the similarities are only vaguely cosmetic. After actually having a hands-on, the gameplay was much deeper and entirely different than I was expecting it to be.

In a nutshell, each team of players is trying to destroy the "money ball" of the opposition. This is done by guarding a stream of robots that emerges from each end of the playing field. When enough robots hit the money ball, it's destroyed and the game is over. Teamwork is key, and the mix of character types means that players have several different strategies to choose from. For example, I started as the Assault player and waded into things as if I was playing a standard shooter, but that didn't last long. At all. Switching over to a Tank character, I found that his particular build suited my tendencies better, and I began to see the ebb and flow of the action. It's a much more structured and complex style of game than most people are going to expect.

(Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I do think it needs to be said that the Uber team pretty much wiped the floor with me from start to finish. They took it easy on me for about the first 30 seconds of the first match, and then after that I spent a lot of time as chunks on the ground. Still, it was quite fun.)

For more info on Monday Night Combat, check out the Uber Entertainment website, and definitely watch the videos while you're there.

More to come.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
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22 Comments on "Bayonetta sucks, Monday Night Combat doesn’t"

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Anonymous
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Anonymous
6 years 1 month ago
[quote=FZeroRacer]Okay, first, you lost count of fighting the boss Temperantia. Here, I’ll give you the count. Four times. I’ll also give you the example of how each fight goes down 1. The major boss fight, first introduction to him 2. The clone Temperence. Smaller, and much weaker. Easy to kill. 3. This time you fight him while during the Space Harrier sequence. This is entirely different than the previous fights. 4. Finally near the end of the game with the Cannons. The only fight I didn’t really like. By the way, Bayonetta does have a way to quick skip cutscenes.… Read more »
Crofto
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Crofto
6 years 1 month ago

Just posting to say ‘my bad’ on the misquote. =P

FZeroRacer
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FZeroRacer
6 years 1 month ago
Okay, first, you lost count of fighting the boss Temperantia. Here, I’ll give you the count. Four times. I’ll also give you the example of how each fight goes down 1. The major boss fight, first introduction to him 2. The clone Temperence. Smaller, and much weaker. Easy to kill. 3. This time you fight him while during the Space Harrier sequence. This is entirely different than the previous fights. 4. Finally near the end of the game with the Cannons. The only fight I didn’t really like. By the way, Bayonetta does have a way to quick skip cutscenes.… Read more »
Alv
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Alv
6 years 1 month ago
Okami on the PS2/Wii is probably the most visually beautiful game ever to have graced any system, and it’s brilliant, expertly composed soundtrack is right up there with the best of them. It is one of those extremely rare gems that really expand the boundaries of what computer games can deliver as an immersive artform. Structurally similar to Twilight Princess / Ocarina of Time in terms of gameplay, the innovative (although sometimes frustrating) celestial brush mechanic injects much freshness into proceedings. Additionally, the basis of real Japanese myth, rather than the fictional mythology of Zelda, conveys a far more tangible… Read more »
nightdreamer
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nightdreamer
6 years 1 month ago

Crofto, you misquoted. I was the one who said the drivel thing while FZeroRacer was the one who said “hands-down 10/10”.

Crofto
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Crofto
6 years 1 month ago
Paul: “The narrative manages to be shallow *and* obtrusive which is a flaw in my book. Making the user click through slow dialog really brought some of the design down a notch for me, though the charm of the art and character design compensated for this. I also thought the game was a bit too long for what it was.” It obviously has flaws to a minor extent, but my defintion of 10/10 is purely meant as exceptional gaming design, not perfection. That said, I disagree about the game length; I think it manages to maintain itself as fun and… Read more »
Raiden
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Raiden
6 years 1 month ago
The main difference is that God Hand is entertaining in its goofiness and there are long stretches of gameplay between easily skipped cutscenes. Bayonetta is not entertaining anytime that Bayonetta herself isn’t kicking ass, since when anyone in the game talks it puts you to sleep. Also, I’ve lost count of the amount of times you have to fight that thing with the tubes for fingers. You first fight it at the airbase, I think? It’s a main boss, and even if it’s weaker in battles later on, it’s still the same enemy being thrown at you over and over.… Read more »
crackajack
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crackajack
6 years 1 month ago
[quote=nightdreamer]but I could’ve played Bayo without ever seeing any of its cutscenes.[/quote] If the biggest problem for someone in this game are the cutscenes then he should just skip them. I didn’t watch them in any of my reruns after the initial playthrough. It’s not essential to see them, to have fun with the gameplay. Still have to love that: “flying” and “sliding” around the world was very cool. [quote]all trying to act funny but never for once managed to make me laugh[/quote] It was not exactly my type of humor either but i don’t think they tried to be… Read more »
nightdreamer
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nightdreamer
6 years 1 month ago
[quote=FZeroRacer][quote=nightdreamer][quote=FZeroRacer]Here, let me pick apart what is wrong with this. You say that Bayonetta has ridiculous cutscenes and a ridiculous story, yet you bring up Godhand.[/quote] Except that Godhand never takes itself seriously and the cutscenes tend to be short, while Bayonetta goes on and on and on and on and on with drivels about angels this and evil that.[/quote] Bayonetta may seem to take itself seriously. This is, in fact, a facade. Much like how Vanquish can appear to be a serious third-person shooter. It is not. Both of them are meant to be entirely ridiculous both in the… Read more »
Sparky Clarkson
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Sparky Clarkson
6 years 1 month ago
First of all, I love Okami, especially the Wii version (despite the waggle combat). But it’s definitely not a 10/10 game. It’s about 50% longer than it should be, the story’s structure is bewildering and even demoralizing, and it handles its dialogue very poorly. However, the art design is fantastic, the game can be quite moving at times, and the way it incorporates the Celestial Brush is brilliant in many ways. I wouldn’t say that everyone needs to play it all the way through, though I would heartily recommend that everyone play up to the battle against Orochi. Going further… Read more »
FZeroRacer
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FZeroRacer
6 years 1 month ago
[quote=nightdreamer][quote=FZeroRacer]Here, let me pick apart what is wrong with this. You say that Bayonetta has ridiculous cutscenes and a ridiculous story, yet you bring up Godhand.[/quote] Except that Godhand never takes itself seriously and the cutscenes tend to be short, while Bayonetta goes on and on and on and on and on with drivels about angels this and evil that.[/quote] Bayonetta may seem to take itself seriously. This is, in fact, a facade. Much like how Vanquish can appear to be a serious third-person shooter. It is not. Both of them are meant to be entirely ridiculous both in the… Read more »
Raiden
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Raiden
6 years 1 month ago
Agreed on Bayonetta for the most part. The gameplay was okay, not quite on the level of Ninja Gaiden or its sequel (though that game had design flaws of its own… the original NG’s still the definitive action game for me) but so much of what the designers thought was ‘cute’ or ‘wacky’ left me cold. And there’s a lot of it. Way, way too much. You can’t kill twenty enemies before another five minute plus cutscene kicks in where they just… talk nonsense. Bosses are repeated way too often, instant attacks out of cutscenes are never fun and instant… Read more »
Paul
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6 years 1 month ago

I wouldn’t give the game design in Okami a 10/10, not by a long shot.

The narrative manages to be shallow *and* obtrusive which is a flaw in my book. Making the user click through slow dialog really brought some of the design down a notch for me, though the charm of the art and character design compensated for this. I also thought the game was a bit too long for what it was.

nightdreamer
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nightdreamer
6 years 1 month ago

[quote=FZeroRacer]Here, let me pick apart what is wrong with this. You say that Bayonetta has ridiculous cutscenes and a ridiculous story, yet you bring up Godhand.[/quote]

Except that Godhand never takes itself seriously and the cutscenes tend to be short, while Bayonetta goes on and on and on and on and on with drivels about angels this and evil that.

Crofto
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Crofto
6 years 1 month ago

While I have no doubt we’re on the same wavelength regarding Bayonetta, I would certainly suggest that you try not to associate any of your bad experiences with Bayonetta when thinking of Okami Brad.

There’s only two games in the past 10 years or so that I would consider truly worthy of a 10/10 for superb gaming design, and Okami is one of them. If/when you do start playing it though, be aware that it can take around 45 minutes/an hour before you can realise the potential, so stick with it!

crackajack
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crackajack
6 years 1 month ago
“3 hours” “super serious” I assume you haven’t chosen (very) easy so you are hardly halfway through? I think it makes more or any sense only when you finish it. The weird story is presented in a sort of serious manner but in the end it’s pretty much serious nonsense, sort of a parody to western seriousness in games, imo. Tough i didn’t like it myself very much, it’s nothing i would call wretched. I agree that it is being overrated, but i liked it overall so much to play through it more than 5 times i think. I haven’t… Read more »
FZeroRacer
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FZeroRacer
6 years 1 month ago
Honestly? Here, let me pick apart what is wrong with this. You say that Bayonetta has ridiculous cutscenes and a ridiculous story, yet you bring up Godhand. The same game where you fight a giant gorilla, spank women as part of one of your many beatdown moves, kick enemies in the balls and deal with a female axe-wielding maniac who threatens to cut off your arm. Also, poison Chihuahuas and a gang of power-ranger midgits. God forbid I bring up some of the DMC3 antics… I love both Godhand and Bayonetta, and both of them are entirely meant to be… Read more »
Brad Gallaway
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Brad Gallaway
6 years 1 month ago
Hey guys. Although I can appreciate that you both enjoy the game, it’s just not my cup of tea. Specifically in regards to the storytelling, I find it hard to ignore the smoking train wreck of a plot regardless of what the action is like. I mean, I can sometimes ignore a badly-written story if the action is superbly entrancing, but the action in Bayonetta is just okay for me. Okay play with TERRIBLE story means that the game just isn’t very enjoyable. Also, I wouldn’t be so quick to write the story off as being Japanese as a way… Read more »
Zolos
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Zolos
6 years 1 month ago
Brad, does having a crap story really matter in a game like Bayonetta? I agree that the story and cut scenes make absolutely no sense. However, as far as the combat/gameplay is concerned i thought i was the best i’ve seen since the original Ninja Gaiden. I really enjoyed playing this game and while i never took the plot seriously i also liked the main character. The combat was perfectly balanced making it very accessible forcing you to learn moves and combos without being masochistic like DMC3. It’s a shame you are not continuing this game as i think you… Read more »
Jason Karney
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Jason Karney
6 years 1 month ago
I liked Bayonetta a lot. I liked the music, the camp, the style, bits of humor, fluidity… and the depiction of the angels was pretty neat in my book. But it ain’ nothin’ without gameplay, and I thought Bayonetta was good in that department too. I felt like I could play the levels with style and aplomb, and that’s what mattered to me. When I did combos I felt like I was getting somewhere. When I failed, I could realize where and why it was my fault, rather than feeling like the game was cheating. (Enemies that can interrupt my… Read more »
Crofto
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Crofto
6 years 1 month ago
Heh, this is pretty weird as I just recently got Bayonetta myself and, after finishing the game yesterday on normal difficulty, I have to say that I completely agree with you Brad. This game has got to be one of the most overrated action games ever. After playing Godhand I was expecting a lot more, but am left severely underwhelmed and actually annoyed that I bought the game. 10/10 from Edge magazine? Yeah. >_> But seriously, you praise the visuals; I wouldn’t even go that far. Massive amounts of screen-tear and frame-rate dips, and overall I’ve seen PS2 games that… Read more »
Anonymous
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Anonymous
6 years 1 month ago

i agree, bayonetta’s cut scenes are probably the worse i’ve ever seen! i just started skipping them part way through the game. though i didn’t dislike the overall experience quite as much as you, i also think that it’s one of the most overrated games i’ve played (i’ll place it just below littlebigplanet and infamous on my list). i enjoyed *parts* of it enough to power through the stretches that weren’t fun but i happily traded it in as soon as i finished.

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