Japan’s Bayonetta causing quite a stir in the video game world

Currently BLOWING UP the video game world, Bayonetta is a video game created in Japan that is causing quite a ruckus worldwide. The New York Times wrote a nice review of the game, highlighting some of the reasons that gamers in the United States have reacted so positively to the game. An excerpt from the article:

Imagine Sarah Palin equipped not only with glasses but also with Jennifer Lopez’s posterior poured into a backless black skintight jumpsuit, double-barreled pistols strapped to both hands and both ankles, an angel-munching dragon demon concealed within her topknot and a more spectacular repertory of acrobatic moves than Nadia Comaneci. That’s Bayonetta. Lara Croft should go run and hide in a closet because Bayonetta, the character, is both more alluring and more powerful than any female game lead I can recall.

I haven’t played Bayonetta yet myself, so the Sarah Palin similarities struck me as odd…until I saw a side-by-side comparison between the game’s powerful lead character and the much-maligned ex-Presidential candidate from Alaska.

Once you see the two of them next to each other, the similarity is striking and rather humorous. I doubt the Japanese creators of the game were intending to make Bayonetta look like Sarah Palin, but it’s amusing nonetheless.

The main person behind Bayonetta, Platinum Games director Hideki Kamiya, is no stranger successful video games. He was behind Resident Evil 2, Devil May Cry, and Okami, games from the past that were also supremely successful and popular among the gaming community.

The game sounds pretty impressive. It was designed on the Xbox 360, so that console runs the game smoother than the Playstation 3, understandably. As another snippet from the NY Times review states,

Bayonetta punches, kicks, shoots, impales, decapitates and otherwise brings the pain with such grace and style that it is as if an otherworldly female Bruce Lee had taken the lead of the Kirov Ballet.

As someone from the United States, I observed just how ridiculously popular the Tomb Raider games were, primarily because Lara Croft was such a sex symbol. Bayonetta seems to have appealed to gamers for the same reason, plus she kicks a lot of but in a wide variety of ways, whereas Lara just walked around shooting stuff.

I can definitely see why this game is making such a splash among the worldwide gaming circuit.

It’s particularly surprising that SEGA created Bayonetta, since the company has definitely seen better days in the past, and seems to mostly stick to lame-duck movie-based adventure games of late, incluing lackluster games based on the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, and the Golden Compass. It’s good to see they might still have some good ideas up their sleeves.

I’ll have to play this game sometime when I have a few free hours….to see what all the fuss is about.

What do you think of Bayonetta? Have you played it? Is it worthy of all the hype?

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