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‘Bayonetta 3’ turns witchy weirdness into an art form

Only this game can give a demon-train hybrid a sense of normalcy.

A new Bayonetta game is comparable to the arrival of the circus. Of course, the ringmaster is Bayonetta, who appears out of nowhere with a boxcar full of bizarre creatures, odd allies, lethal spells, exquisite attire, and never-ending promises to wow. Even if her stories don’t always make sense, they are full of melodrama, action, magic, and gunfire, and once Bayonetta is featured, it’s impossible to turn away. Especially not when 40-story creatures are fighting to the death at her back as she dances her way through a spell while dressed in a costume made of her own hair.

The madness from the original Bayonetta is all present in Bayonetta 3, but it has all been amplified. The stakes are bigger than ever, the foes are enormous, Bayonetta’s magic is extraordinarily strong, her clothes are stunning, and the battles never cease.

A flimsy storyline unites the entire game: an army of man-made bioweapons known as Homunculi is endangering the multiverse. But, this is only a pretext for Bayonetta and her companions to engage in an infinite series of fights in various decaying cities. In that regard, Bayonetta 3 isn’t all that far from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, despite the fact that Platinum Games’ most recent game features far more witchcraft, foolishness, and shoe-operated weapons than anything directed by Robert Downey Jr.

Bayonetta 3 is just as complex mechanically and structurally as its predecessors. Throughout her adventure, Bayonetta gains new abilities and weaponry. She gathers enemy fragments to buy goods, consumables, and accessories in the Gates of Hell store, while orbs unlock skills on her skill tree.

Combat is all about pulling off elegant combinations and timing your dodges well, and each battle can be replayed endlessly if you’re after high scores. Each level has a tone of obstacles and surprises to be discovered.

Like with other frantic action games on the Switch, Bayonetta 3 is a Switch exclusive that struggles at times with input lag and making it hard to see whether moves are properly lined up. Although there is a rhythm to the fighting and the game does a good job of showing visual clues for attacks, everything happens in Switch Reaction Time (does not adhere to daylight saving).

Fans of the franchise won’t find anything lacking in Bayonetta 3; rather, they’ll find more. More strangeness, one-liners, swag, and combat techniques. For instance, in one portion, players take control of Jeanne, Bayonetta’s witchy friend, in a side-scrolling action scene with a touch of 1960s espionage. Another mechanism enables Bayonetta to briefly alter time and occasionally revert to her younger self.

The Demon Slave talent enables Bayonetta to call and command enormous demon creatures, each of which has a unique move set, while the Demon Masquerade ability allows her to turn into numerous demons and adds infernal qualities to her weaponry.

The majority of Bayonetta’s demons are modelled around conventionally frightful creatures like spiders and moths, but one of her forms is a real train. Around halfway through the game, Bayonetta gains access to the power of Satan’s choo-choo and may summon a devilish tank engine to employ in battle.

Hitting as the train with Demon Slave briefly slows down time, enabling players to quickly map out damage areas along the course, ideally in the way of close adversaries.

As you release the Demon Slave button, the train starts moving down the ghost track in real time and hits anything in its path with significant damage. By Demon Masquerade, Bayonetta also gains the capacity to transform into a real-life train-witch hybrid, advancing quickly.

By the time the train demon finally comes, it really blends in well with the other elements of the game. As has always been the case, Bayonetta’s universe is absurd in 3. You can manage some light locomotive play if you can handle the concept of Umbra Witches and bartending angels.

Considering how lightly I treat Bayonetta games, especially after playing the third one, this seems like the correct course to follow. Although the series has a deep feeling of fighting and a complex plot involving holy wars and alternate universes, it still feels like an excuse to have Bayonetta dance her way through a spell as enormous monsters battle in the distance.

Bayonetta is strong and battling in her (gun)shoes feels wonderful, but her personality is what makes this franchise a cult favorite. Luckily, this is the best portion of the series. Bayonetta is self-assured, sardonic, and always right. Her companions and costumes are equally lovely, and she dances like an angel with her hair perfectly in place.

The absurdity and little lack of cohesion of Bayonetta 3 are exactly what make game so fantastic. It is based on a variety of strange and witchy concepts, and it provides what viewers of the show anticipate—something completely unexpected.