Bayonetta Origins analysis: You would be wrong to underestimate the new from Platinum Games, because it is an adventure that surprises from the beginning

It has rarely brought me such a big surprise with a video game, but I can assure you that Bayonetta Origins: Cherry and the Lost Demon It’s much better than many people expected. Announced somewhat discreetly a little over three months ago, this spin-off did not arouse even remotely the expectation of a game within the main saga of Platinum Games. In fact, the turn in terms of style and gameplay is important. It has a fairy tale aesthetic, the protagonist is a girl and also the adventurous touch is much more remarkable. There is action, but without the excessive hack ‘n slash maelstrom that we know so well.

However, I am particularly delighted. And that the start of the game deceives. Start over low heat, to gradually introduce a very present narrative and a gameplay to which various layers of depth are added. As I told you in the first contact, I was afraid because it seemed too short, but its duration is adequate for the genre (about 12-15 hours), and although its degree of challenge is not extremely difficult, it is not the walk that someone might have intuited. But the best thing is that this game has shown me that the Japanese studio is in top form: it contains great playable ideas and shows the passion for making video games a true art.

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Cherry in Wonderland

It is very likely that if you are here, you are a follower of the bayonetta games. This installment is very oriented to these users, because it narrates the origins of the Umbra witch: her childhood and how she entered the forbidden forest of Avalon with the aim of saving her mother. then known as Cherryand accompanied by her teddy Cheshire (that you will remember of Bayonetta 3), we venture into a place full of mysteries that contains a powerful narrative charge, with a good handful of sequences.

The plot is fine. I am not going to tell you that it is magnificent, because it is not, but I have at least followed it with great interest, including twists and exciting moments. So if what pushes you to play is discover more about the Bayonetta universe, here you will find new details about characters like Lukaon and the enigmatic Kingdom of the Fairies. And there is another element that I particularly liked, because it is a clear reference to the book of Alice in Wonderland: follow a White Wolf that guides us through the journey.

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One of the most important playable keys of Bayonetta Origins is based precisely on exploration. The stage is large and divided by region. The progress is very guided, but has elements of metroidvania-style backtracking to obtain unlockable items and 100% completion of the adventure. Despite this somewhat intricate design, I’ve never felt lost (there are plenty of visual aids) and it also has an efficient tool for fast travel to move seamlessly between the different areas.

I am not going to say that the plot is magnificent, because it is not, but at least I have followed it with great interest.

Now you will tell me, but is it so much fun to explore? Well, the truth is that at Platinum Games they have surprised me a lot in this regard. You have platforming elements and little environment puzzles that are based on the cooperation between Cherry and Cheshire. For example, we can launch the beast so that it reaches higher places, and it in turn makes use of a special power to move platforms. Combining the skills of both protagonists, a gameplay that reaches a certain depth is given, which is progressive as the hours go by.

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The best expression of this gameplay can be found in the Tir na nÓg shrines. There are several scattered throughout the game and they test both the techniques that Cherry and Cheshire learn. Artistically they surprise, because they have a very differentiated artistic aura, but they also do it in the playable aspect, with a good amount of fighting, which is the other great ingredient in the gameplay of Bayonetta Origins. There are many confrontations, and to succeed it is necessary to use the elemental powers that we are unlocking (water, earth, vegetation…).

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For example, there are enemies that have a shield that is only vulnerable to one of these elements, which makes it essential that we have to toggle between powers while we fight For this reason, as we advance in the adventure, everything becomes more interesting, because you are obtaining new techniques, which join the progress in a skill tree most elaborate. In the end, it is a very solid scheme that gives a feeling of progression thanks also to the fact that Cherry can increase its vital and magical container. It’s phenomenal.

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But if there is something that Bayonetta Origins really stands out for, it is for tracing the solitary-cooperative scheme of Brothers: A tale of Two Sons. If you remember the game Joseph Fares, we were driving a brother with each stick of the controller. Well, something similar happens with the Platinum Games title: with the Left Joy-Con we drive Cereza and with him Right Joy-Con headed to hell Cheshire. This gives rise to a very characteristic gameplay, in which we must coordinate our hands depending on each situation. It can be somewhat cumbersome at first, but as the hours go by you end up enjoying it a lot.

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Basically, everything is built on the idea that Cherry focuses more on the use of magical powerswhile Cheshire is more dedicated to hack’n slash how well we know Thus, there are parts more focused on skill, while others lean more towards action. The existing balance has seemed sublime to me, and although the variety may suffer on occasion, I think that the overall result that Platinum Games has obtained is more than satisfactory. In fact, there are some final bosses that present flashes of genius, with approaches that show a certain inventiveness.

If for some reason you think that the difficulty of the game is going to be too much for you, or you don’t know very well whether to play in case you haven’t tried previous Bayonetta games, I say don’t worry at all. The narrative follows very well and there are quite a few aids to make the difficulty more affordable. From the options menu you can reduce the damage suffered and the strength of the enemies, as well as make the magic consumption less. Everything so that accessibility is not a problem, and it seems to me a good solution.

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So, in summary, Bayonetta Origins is all about a combination of exploration, lots of combat, skill tests, and a ton of progression. You always have more than one way to go, there are plenty of collectibles along the way and you even have the task of saving a series of little characters (wispfires) hidden by the vast scenery. For this reason, it is a launch that lends itself to dedicating more hours than the established ones, since its contents are abundant enough. In my case, I played slowly and was tempted not to always follow the paths marked out by the white wolf, but to deviate and see if there were hidden chests or any other surprise. And usually there were.

The screenshots do not live up to the real quality: it is necessary to see it live

It is a game to taste it. His artistic side is a little genius, recreating the fairy tale aesthetic which has been drawn by hand. And I already anticipate that the screenshots do not honor the real quality: it is necessary to see it live. In fact, there are many things about this game that remind me of okami, also in the audiovisual aspect. It is art captured as it is on the screen, and in this case also with a soundtrack that may seem like a minor job, but none of that. He becomes spectacular in certain confrontations, with a lot of style, as is usual in Platinum Games.

You can now try Bayonetta Origins for free: Nintendo Switch receives a demo of its witch's most particular adventure by surprise

So My recommendation is that you give it a try.. There is demo playable on Nintendo Switch, the perfect excuse to verify that behind what seemed like a launch of little relevance there is a real great game. Being a stalwart of the creative spirit of the Osaka company, I couldn’t be happier, because it shows that they have done what they wanted (they are independent) and on top of that it has turned out well. I hope they follow this path in the future and are encouraged with more projects in which innovation and production values ​​are a constant.

Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is the proof I needed to believe that at Platinum Games there is still a spirit of innovation to do whatever they want and to do it well. It is a spin-off and it was easy not to expect too much, but I was really surprised with an adventure full of action and inventiveness when it comes to proposing to explore a mysterious forest while discovering the origins of Bayonetta. Its duration is not very high, its difficulty is not too high, nor is its tremendous variety… but it is good for me that the Japanese company has shown me that it retains the artistic talent with which they were born.

Buy Bayonetta Origins: Cherry and the Lost Demon

  • Exploration, combat and puzzle elements very well combined in an interesting design.

  • The use of the two sticks to control Cherry and Cheshire gives many game possibilities.

  • The feeling of progression is intense, with the obtaining of very varied abilities.

  • It is not very difficult, nor is it very long, although as a narrative spin-off it is more than enough.

  • Artistically it is crazy and it is necessary to see it live to appreciate it in all its fullness.

Players: 1-2

Language: Texts in Spanish and Voices in English

Duration: 12-15 hours

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