I saw -- but wasn't allowed to play -- Sega and Platinum Games' "Bayonetta" at a press event in New York City today. And I saw some bizarre things in this game, bizarre even for a game that stars a woman whose skintight outfit is made of her long and aggressive (!) hair.
Know this, "Bayonetta," watchers. This PS3/Xbox3 360 action game from some of the architects of the "Devil May Cry" series is perverse -- and weird and possibly wonderful ways.
I was shown the game's first level during a Sega press event this week. And maybe the best thing to do is just to list some of the most... interesting... sights:
-The hair-raising nudity: I knew this already but hadn't really registered that the game's heroine both wears and fights with her long hair. So the flashier the hair-attack you make her use in combat, the more her long hair unwraps itself to hit the enemies -- so, the more nude she gets. Oh, but she wears eyeglasses the whole time. And strands of hair always strategically cover her most private of parts. Wouldn't want to scandalize people, right?
-The guillotine-spanking: Bayonetta can do more than kick, punch, shoot guns with her hands, shoot guns with her feet, undress herself of her hair so she can fight and .. she can run a lot. But there's more! She can also trigger "Torture Attacks" if the player can make her fight well enough to fill up a special power meter. The game's brand manager showed me one torture attack: it involved the sudden spawning of an iron maiden, which clamped around the enemy for a vicious kill. That prompted me to ask if there was a water-boarding attack. (No reaction.) Instead, I was shown the guillotine one. Imagine the lovely Bayonetta waving her hand. A guillotine spawns, complete with big wooden platform. Bayonetta pushes her enemy toward it, knocks him over, spanks him into position (we don't kid here at the Multiplayer blog, mind you), and positions his head beneath the blade before it drops.
-The dragon-monster: There were several enormous so-called mini-bosses just in the game's first level. (Did I mention yet that it begins with a fight atop a plummeting clock tower?) These large bosses include a giant who ripped a stone bridge from its moorings, and started swinging it around. Bayonetta was standing on this bridge and fighting the giant the whole time. The game automatically kept her balanced. Ah, but that's so... ordinary. At least when compared to this other mini-boss I saw: a two-headed dragon with -- drumroll -- a giant human head for a body.
-Lips and butterflies: There are a lot of butterflies and floating red lips in this game. I think the lips are a lock-on icon that appears when you target enemies. But I'm not sure and was becoming afraid to ask anything. Plus, I was trying to listen to the game's jazzy soundtrack. Jazzy, J-pop soundtrack.
How do I sum this game up?
Let me leave you with two quotes:
From the reporter sitting next to me at the demo: "The glasses are a nice touch."
From a public relations guy discussing the game with me as I left: "Do you think Bayonetta could be an icon like Lara Croft?"
Madness. Weirdness. Do I really want to know who's going to buy a game like this and why they'll enjoy it?