Review: Bayonetta and Vanquish 10th Anniversary (PS4)

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Just make sure you stick the landing, Miss B.

BVYou’re not buying that excellent Bayonetta/Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle ($39.99) from Sega strictly for the plots of both games, that’s for sure. Both titles hold up mostly excellently in terms of visuals and controls, but the writing is more of an excuse for some lengthy and visually lovely in-game cinemas that pad out both run times. Granted, both games are made to be highly replayed, especially Vanquish, which seems short at about six hours, but there’s a lot more to it once you mess with the difficulty and as with Bayonetta, play through like the bad-asses both characters are. If you’re into both games, they’re far from “one and done” experiences.

 

 

The two stories here actually enhance how wonderfully crazy and brilliant the gameplay is for both titles, especially when you go from hanging onto every word in cut scenes and free yourself from simple button-mashing to pulling of perfectly timed strikes of all sorts in the flagrantly sexy Bayonetta to taking down enemies and bosses with the fast slide and shoot moves from Vanquish. That said, the latter’s plot about Russian-led forces commandeering a huge US-built microwave-powered space cannon to decimate California and threaten to do the same to New York might be something a few players might find blows their minds a bit. Bayonetta’s still phenomenal opening just throws you into battle as it plays out, then teaches you the ropes before the real challenge begins. Trying to explain the plot here? Good luck – just enjoy the cut scenes instead and kill a lot of enemies and bosses when they’re done.

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“I thought you just used microwaves for Hot Pockets and cold coffee!”

Both games allow for unskilled players to get in their kills although the latter game is more punishing if you try and flail through it and refuse to pick up on all it’s trying to teach you. Then again, it may take a bit of getting used to the controls in both titles for some who’ve not yet played both games – your mileage will vary based on how adept you are at picking things up and dealing with the forced camera angles in Bayonetta. Vanquish has a bit more freedom in its camera, but on the harder modes (there are four difficulty settings), speedy, precise play becomes a must. Continue reading

Gonzo Made a Bayonetta Anime Movie. That’s All You Need to Know (For Now)…

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If my mangling is correct, Bayonetta: Bloody Fate is supposed to hit selected theaters in Japan on November 23. Of course, a US release isn’t even being considered, but it’s sure to get a Blu-Ray/DVD at some point down the road with a sub and or dub. Of course, in a perfect world this flick would at least get snapped up for distribution here, but mostly traditional animation like this doesn’t do well in the US. Hell, even if every fan of the game went all at once, that box office won’t touch the usual Hollywood rom-com or big budget blockbuster that’s going to be spanking poor Bayonetta with that advertising overspend.

That said, yup… It does look really nice, doesn’t it? Go, Gonzo! Now, all I need is a US release date for Bayonetta 2 on the Wii U and I’m all set.

Metal Gear Rising Mural Project: Games As Art (And Lesson of the Day)…

 

It’s always really cool to see and type of video game art go up in public as advertising and a way to get a few artists noticed by folks who’ve never heard of them. Here’s Yoji Shinkawa’s incredible line art brought to life by artist Jim Vision (EndoftheLine) in this slick time-lapse video. I’m sure there’s a Metal Gear fan out there buying up cheap airline tickets and trying to pack a hammer and chisel in that carry-on bag. Of course, the SMART thing to do is bring an empty bag, BUY the appropriate tools in each city, crate up and ship your prize back (via seamail) before you leave (which will be a few weeks to years, as you’re going directly to jail for taking down the side of a building just to get that piece of amazing art for your collection)…

Metal Gear Rising Revengeance Trailers: Platinum Games Leaves Me Speechless (Almost)…

 

Konami in Japan has been posting a bunch of spectacular trailers and game footage from this upcoming Kojima/Platinum collaboration and I’ve just been looking at them and shaking my head at the rather insane amount of talent these guys have. Despite their rather vocal fan base, i don’t think Platinum Games gets true recognition for their work from some pro gaming journalists and that’s too bad. Granted, if you’re a supremely jaded internet know-it-all and just look at their action games as similar to other titles based on first impressions, you’re cheating yourself immensely.  Bayonetta and Vanquish have some interesting depth and details you’ll discover only upon multiple replays and it looks like Revengeance will be their most impressive game to date.  Of course, getting some hands-on time will be the true barometer of whether or not the final product is a winner, but I’m gathering that given the combined experience of all involved, that won’t really be something to worry much about.

 

 

November’s Here (And So Is The Wii U)…

With all the big games hitting this month for other consoles, it’s actually going to be Nintendo’s big Wii U launch that will probably be key to a huge part of this year’s holiday sales successes or failures. The system has a number of solid-looking launch titles from first and third parties with more on the way in enough different genres that almost all bases are covered. Granted, there are a few things that could spoil Nintendo’s financial fun from idiot speculators dooming the console prematurely to families simply not having more money to spend of a new system this holiday season in favor of buying cheaper Wii games or even another console. I know for a fact that NO ONE with half a brain will be buying a tablet or other device OVER a console, despite the fever dreams of those in the mobile industry sitting on the cheap games bubble about to burst and take a lot of them down to reality sooner than later. People want dedicated consoles because they want to play games that aren’t all short bits of pay to play addiction or clear clones of other successful casual games. That and hell, Mario isn’t coming to iOS or Android any time soon and Nintendo has him and a few other classic characters you won’t see anywhere else but on a Nintendo system (which is how fans prefer it). As always, we shall see what’s what soon enough – I think the console will indeed do well, but Nintendo needs to get people used to paying a premium for a replacement controller (the one thing that will make some rethink a Wii U purchase down the road)…

Nintendo Wii U Preview Event: About An Hour of Playing With Power

In case you missed it earlier, here you go, the press event in its entirety. Pull up a seat, put on that gamer grin and check out all the new software and services coming your way through the Wii U. There’s a lot of stuff left unanswered on a few fronts, but I’m betting even the nayest of the naysayers will be silenced as all is revealed over time. The only thing that concerns me is I understand that new touch screen GamePad won’t be sold separately. This means that Nintendo is eating a LOT of that cost for the console and yes, you’d better be REALLY careful with that new controller….

Update! Wii U Launch/Launch Window Release List

Amusingly enough, no sooner than I post that Wii U article below, I get an email with a complete launch/launch window listing. For those not swimming in gaming lingo, the term “launch window” is a rather broad one that includes games on the way within a few months of a console’s release. In this case, the Wii U launch window is defined as the period beginning Nov. 18, 2012, and ending March 31, 2013. Also note that this list doesn’t include a few titles shows as just in development (Bayonetta, for example).

Got it? Good! Now onto the GAMES!  Er, List! Games list that is. As in, it’s below the jump.

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Wii U on the Way. November 18 Is the Day.

Let’s keep it simple: The Wii U is coming. North American launch date: November 18 (Europe, you’re up November 30). Two different models: $299 for a Basic white system: a console with 8GB of memory, one GamePad, AC adapter, sensor bar, and HDMI Cable. $349 nets you a black console with all of the above, but 32GB of memory, a copy of Nintendo Land and to push digital a bit more, a promotion that allows buyers of the more expensive system access to a rebate system for purchases made online. Guess which one I’m recommending. Bet on black, kids. YES, the console is indeed backward compatible with current Wii titles (but forget about GameCube functionality, something missing since the Wii was streamlined into its current incarnation). WIll the console support standard RCA jacks for those who still aren’t set up for HD? Probably, but I’d imagine you’d want to poke around Nintendo’s site to double check (use the first link above, of course)

There’s also TVii, a function I personally will never use, but one Nintendo is targeting at those millions of more connected users and consumers who love watching their favorite shows in a more social manner (I call it “Distracted Viewing” but hey, people seem to love doing this, sooo…):

Anyway, there will be a raft of games on the way from the launch onward, notably some amazing exclusives as well as titles Nintendo-only fans will be thrilled to see- but those (well, SOME of them) are below the jump…

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E3 2012: Platinum Games’ “Project P100”: Classic And Current All In One Must-Buy

 

As soon as I saw this trailer and then the actual gameplay reveal on Spike TV, I got really excited and had to put my first thoughts down. The team at Platinum Games has basically created a modern day mash-up of the ancient Game Boy classic Mercenary Force and Lucasarts’ awesome Zombies Ate My Neighbors on the SNES, added their own stylistic brilliance with Wii U functionality and is setting this loose on Nintendo fans for their approval. I like this one a lot, so it’s a must-buy in my book. Go Platinum!

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Trailer: Give PlatinumGames Some Respect, Please!

Sure, the big, fat secret game Platinum was working on (despite denial to the contrary) is indeed Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and sure enough, the floodgates of Hell have opened with some MGS fans (and professional Raiden haters) getting all up in arms about the trailer for a few crazy reasons. Most of these are at best unfair (as not one of these people griping has actually played the game) unless they have a time machine) and at worst, insane (you can’t apply ANY actual rules of “reality” to ANY Metal Gear game if you think about it). Anyway, I plan to wait with bated breath until Konami jets into NYC with a playable demo at some point so I can draw my own conclusions after some play time. Continue reading