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Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon – Melis in Wonderland

TechGamingBayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon - Melis in Wonderland
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the difference in direction between the Bayonetta trilogy and the latest entry in the series, Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon, It is impossible to ignore. We know that in place of the confident dominatrix, Love is a timid young girl who is far more comfortable clutching a stuffed animal than a pistol. Instead of the massive, action-packed set pieces and unexpectedly over-the-top style of the mainline series, we’re treated to enchanted forests, well-worn book pages adorned with soft illustrations, and gentle, childlike curiosity. is done. As such, the first few hours I spent with Bayonetta Origins were completely and utterly filled with confusion. I didn’t get the connection between Bayonetta Origins and Bayonetta Trilogy, or the threads that tie the two experiences together. But thankfully, the team behind Bayonetta Origins could.

Bayonetta Origins is an achievement, both within the Bayonetta series and games as a whole. It’s proof that the rules and limits imposed on some big budget series are worth breaking – especially when you can do it with so much creativity and finesse. The engaging adventure-puzzler is also a delight to play, and it’s a lot more than what appears on the surface. As its story unfolds, it slowly transforms into a recognizable Bayonetta game – one full of excitement, darkness, destruction and feminine liberation – all while maintaining its own identity. All this combined with a touching tale of companionship and motherly love – which may or may not have made me cry Very– Makes for a game I urge you not to overlook whether you are a fan of Bayonetta games or not.

Now playing: Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon Video Review

Set long before Cereza steps into Bayonetta’s souped-up shoes, Origins is described as a “coming-of-half-lumen-sage” story. After witnessing her mother’s imprisonment due to a forbidden romance with Cereza’s father, the young girl is forced to seek refuge under the protection of a powerful witch who lives on the outskirts of the forbidden Avalon Forest. Her teacher is firm-yet-kind – clearly intended to show the part where Bayonetta’s calm demeanor comes from – but is often frustrated by Cereza’s cowardice. As such, when a spirit visits Ceresza and tells her that the courage is needed to become a proper witch and go deep into Avalon to save her mother, the young witch quickly sets off in search of her.

Cereza faces Avalon Forest

In Bayonetta Origins, you control both Cereza and Cheshire simultaneously, with all of Cereza’s controls assigned to the left side of the Joycon, while all of Cheshire’s are located on the right. Similar to any Hazelight production (It Takes Two, A Way Out, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons), the game is filled with odd puzzles that require you to explore your environments and use the various talents of both characters to progress. is required to use. For Cereza, this means using her magic to bring helpful plants to life and stun enemies, as well as taking advantage of her small frame to traverse vines. Cheshire, on the other hand, uses his brute strength, large size, and elemental powers, which he slowly unlocks, to advance. When Cheshire is unable to cross a certain area, Cereza steps in to make way. When Cereza cannot reach a high ledge, Cheshire allows himself to be shrunk to his stuffed animal form and thrown over a once insurmountable ledge. Although not particularly difficult, the puzzles are well balanced, interesting, and consistently built up in little ways, which set you up just right for the kind of thinking you might need for the next obstacle.

With this style of gameplay and the nature of the controls, there were a few instances where I felt my wires got a little crossed and I would accidentally transfer to Cheshire instead of Ceresza or vice versa. Thankfully the results are never awful and I found that these mix-ups became less and less common as I progressed. Considering all the actions you can take as both members of the demonic duo – the game’s skill tree is quite dense – the mapping is actually incredibly smooth, and the smoothest and most exciting single-button combat I’ve come across. have seen. a game.

A big reason why the game’s combat is so satisfying is how the puzzle aspect of the game extends to your encounters. Against the vast majority of enemies you’ll end up needing either Cheshire’s elemental abilities or Ceresza’s magic—which takes shape as a small-scale rhythm game—to make them vulnerable to attack. This makes the battles – and the particularly challenging Tir na Knogs stages, which feel like a somewhat more combat-oriented breather – require quick thinking and careful coordination on the part of the players. To make matters more exciting, as the enemy types and number of waves increase, it does feel like you’re actually playing an action-packed Bayonetta game – albeit one that came before. Very different.

serezha walks with a vine
serezha walks with a vine

That said, players may find that Bayonetta Origins’ combat is where the aforementioned crossed-wire problem occurs most – and is most frustrating. While I found the technique of repeatedly recalling Cheshire to narrow my focus to one character to control, the bulk of the time it requires you to play as both, resulting in some irrelevant gameplay at times. Can Additionally, this complexity can feel a bit out of whack with the light-hearted and breezy nature of the game. While the game’s story and world make it an easy recommendation for younger players, the controls can make the experience a bit of a struggle.

This feeling increases as you progress in the game. While I won’t go into spoiler territory – clearly the game’s story and callbacks are too specific to ruin them – it impressed me how much Bayonetta Origins starts in one place and lightly dances to another that We are more familiar. Thankfully, though, crossing this bridge doesn’t change the tone. I worried as Serezha became more competent and convinced that sport could force sexuality on a young girl and rob her of the wonder of her childlike play. I can assure you that this does not happen, but rather allows Serezha to be a child discovering his own strength and confidence in different ways before venturing into the world of guns and leather.

Serezha mourns for her Cheshire plushie
Serezha mourns for her Cheshire plushie

And aside from the sheer inappropriateness that accompanies that tonal shift, Bayonetta Origins is so charming that I didn’t want To see it transform itself into something more familiar – I wanted to enjoy every second of a game that felt too unique to exist as a part of the Bayonetta series. And sure, there are aspects that overlap and parts of the game that connect Bayonetta Origins to the mainline trilogy in essential ways, but its focus, direction, and its belief in both never change.

While previous Bayonetta games also divided their narratives into chapters, the chapters in Bayonetta Origins are much more literal, as the story is told as if it were a children’s book. A gentle, mature woman narrates the story, adding unique voices to some of the characters, such as the irritable Cheshire, while illustrations fade in and out on the old pages. The game as a whole has a whimsical, painterly quality that’s perfectly in line with its sense of wonder, and uses color and camera angles to create spectacles that add a bit of grandeur and magic to the intimate experience. While the Nintendo Switch may not be able to keep up with its fellow current gen consoles graphically, Bayonetta Origins is a great example of how developers can combat this by focusing on artistry rather than fidelity. However, it’s important to note that the game’s more free-flowing art style looks a lot sharper in portable mode.

Cereza and Cheshire find a place to rest
Cereza and Cheshire find a place to rest

However, all of this is overshadowed by how sweet and affecting Bayonetta’s origin story is. For years now, the games industry has called for games to showcase motherhood, and this game is exactly Platinum Games’ winning attempt to fill that need. Additionally, Sereza is every bit as charismatic as the older version of herself in this play. Her lines are delivered with sincerity, youthful joy, and emotion, and her moral direction and strength make her easy to love. Both Cereza and Cheshire bounce between kindness with unabashed and reluctant ease and pure adoration, and it creates a delightful dynamic that develops into a truly special relationship. While some who caught sight of Bayonetta 3’s story may be wary of the direction Bayonetta Origins is going in its debut – you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is a testament to thinking outside the box. While I don’t doubt that Platinum Games will pivot to this new style of gameplay and storytelling in future Bayonetta games, in the same way that Breath of the Wild or God of War (2018) changed the direction of their respective franchises, I can’t help Thankfully the studio trusted enough in its team’s vision to create this experience. Despite how great every aspect of the game is, I understand why the developer did this.

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