Bayonetta was a disaster on PlayStation 3. Plagued by load times and frequent frame rate drops, it was by far the worst version of the lot when it took the world by storm in 2010. Since then, however, the franchise has gone from strength to strength away from Sony hardware as it blossoms on Nintendo Switch. The series' second iteration and an upcoming third instalment are highly unlikely to ever release on PlayStation 4, so it was a pleasant surprise when SEGA announced that it would be remastering the original experience. And in returning to the scene of the crime, it has finally done itself justice. Bayonetta plays and runs like a dream on PS4.
Indeed, load times are effectively a thing of the past for the Umbra Witch. Gone are the near 30-second waits for levels to load, the frustrating 10-second load between gameplay and cut scenes, and even the baffling delay to simply access the pause menu. They have all been replaced by a load screen which doesn’t even give you enough time to experiment with a combo.
The longest we had to wait was maybe two seconds -- they're that short. And because of that, the PlatinumGames highlight becomes a much more enjoyable title to play. A gripping cutscene may strike fear into the hearts of many as a newly-introduced boss towers over you, and now you'll find yourself back in the action and proceeding to conquer it quicker than ever. It might not seem like a big deal for those experiencing Bayonetta for the first time, but for the fans who lugged it out with the PS3 version, it's a revelation.
One more fatal flaw attributed to the last-gen release was a woeful frame rate that fluctuated at the most inopportune times. It was a completely unacceptable port of the Xbox 360 version, making this perhaps the most important aspect for returning players interested in the remaster. Thankfully, SEGA got it right this time around. The game runs at a silky smooth 60 frames-per-second on PS4 Pro without even a hint of drops across both gameplay and cutscenes. Rather confusingly, we did encounter a single crash back to the dashboard, but on the whole, Bayonetta finally makes for a reliable and smooth experience on a PlayStation console.
Its visuals aren’t so up to snuff, however. Sony's supercharged system does boost things to a 4K output, except it isn't enough to cover up what is a very brown and muddy art style. The game, simply put, still looks incredibly outdated in 2020. This isn't a huge detriment, nor will it have too much of an effect on your enjoyment, but don't expect too much visual splendour from a remaster that can't even better PS4 launch titles Killzone: Shadow Fall and Knack.
That's because much like Vanquish, which Bayonetta can be bought alongside in a bundle or separately, this is a re-release devoid of any bells or whistles. The campaign will take up a solid 10 hours of your time, with harder difficulties unlocked upon completion, but you're not going to find any hidden modes or special features within its menus. It's a very basic remaster which just about gets the job done, letting the experience it has to offer do all the talking.
In truth, returning to that same style of hack and slash action a decade later does present some issues. The controls take a lot of getting used to with a scheme that'll have your right hand feeling like it's on fire while your left hand doesn't do much more than dictate movement. We eventually got the hang of things, but there's definitely a learning curve to circumvent should you commit to learning the combat system's intricacies and complex combos.
It is still quite the spectacle when you manage to pull off a series of attacks which decimates a group of flamboyant enemies, though. Filling up the magic gauge and performing a Torture Attack is supremely satisfying, triggering Witch Time and laying waste to a ferocious foe before they've even had time to realise their predicament is elating. It's going to take some time getting used to it, but when all is said and done, this is still Bayonetta. The inventive, dazzlingly brilliant combat system is what you're here for -- something which still more than manages to hold its own 10 years after the fact.
Bayonetta may not look the part anymore despite a bump in visual resolution to 4K, but the enhancements this remaster brings to the game's load times and frame rate make it the definitive PlayStation release. Combined with a phenomenal, flashy combat system, the PlatinumGames classic shines brighter than ever.
This is probably a landmark release for Platinum on their journey to publish on all platforms...
I'll double dip just to support it and to hopefully show them the huge crowd they're missing out on...
Maybe then Bayo 4 will release on PC and other consoles along with 2 and 3...
there is still no separate release for bayonetta and vanquish, at least not in the uk and eu regions.
@huyi somebody...nessionant maybe...commented on Vanquish review that they can be purchased separately from ps store.
@shuvamg009 These games need as much support as they can. So hopefully people go out and support them. Although it's highly unlikely that Bayonetta 2 and 3 will ever go multiplat, for obvious reasons. But perhaps Bayonetta 4 is a possibility.
Shame about the visuals but a better framerate and short load times are very welcome. I always enjoyed pulling off witch time and its one of the games i actually managed the finish the very hard difficulty on and didnt completely loose my mind. Except for the last boss of course
Had the pack delivered on Saturday for my one X. Great to have the games running 60Fps but the cut scenes looks rough and the graphics look out dated.Like the review states,they are basic remaster but still playable. Shame Platinum didn’t go to town on these two games.
@JoeBlogs If I had to guess, they're probably referring to Bayonetta 2. The comment wouldn't make sense otherwise.
@Akurusu Nintendo fanboys port beg, PlayStation fanboys port beg, Xbox fanboys port beg, PC fanboys port beg..... if you can't show me some hard stats that one fanbase port begs more than the other then your comment is completely useless.
@Akurusu Port has clearly been achieved otherwise they wouldn’t have reviewed it.
@Akurusu no need to port beg, someone will make the sequels in Dreams 😉.
I bought this day 1 on 360 and been a fan ever since. Way before it became a big deal because you can only play the sequels on Nintendo.
Tried on the 360, couldn’t get into it. Tried on Switch last year and loved it. Have since bought for the Wii U as well. The game is just fun!
@Juanalf All fanbases port beg. I call it how I see it.
One of the best games ever made in my opinion. I already own it on Switch and its better sequel but i will double dip yet again as i adore this series.
@huyi There is in the Au store, so it should be there to or eventually.
The only PS I've skipped was PS3 for 360 and this was the one game I've been missing. I can't wait to jump back in tomorrow with 60fps 4k!!
It's sad how a remaster like Modern Warfare shows how a "remaster" should be done. Bayonetta, Vanquish, Resident Evil 4, Skyrim, Yakuza 3, 4, and 5, are some of the laziest remasters ever.
Played all the version of the games, this is the best one yet! So crisp and fluid. Will get the platinum (again) - trophies do not sync with ps3 version
Love Bayonetta..got it on switch.
Thought 2 was such a better game, have no real desire to go back to this
FPS on normal PS4?
Never played it but I look forward to trying it out at some point!
@Akurusu Persona 5 i think their was quite a bit of begging there. 😆
@taylorsparks294 I thought about the Shadow of the Colossus.
I sold the PS3 it was like their was fog on the game i was so mad i sold it straight away.
"He who lives in the glass house..."
Got it in the double pack with this and Vanquish yesterday. Agree with the review, though I'd probably give the game a higher score. Love that it was cleaned up from the PS3 and that the PS fanbase can now finally experience a good version of the game. Also like that there is virtually no load time at all and it feels like the framerate is smoother than on the Switch (enjoy playing it on that as well).
... I remember this game was the sole reason I purchased an Xbox back in the day - because PS3 version was so bad! xD Fast forward 100 years and this game hasn't aged well at all... I played it on XB recently.. alas games have moved on.. even the stilted / repetitive DmC 5 feels years ahead of this... which of course it is (but it's a bit retro too)... I think games like this have evolved into games like Sekiro / Nioh / even Monster Hunter World... alas she's to be consigned to fond memories and videogame history...
I'm excited PS4 game Bayonetta 2 & 3
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