So if you go in to Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon expecting another ridiculously over-the-top action romp (like last year’s Bayonetta 3), you’d best prepare for some disappointment. That’s because this is more of a story-based prequel, built around a unique new gameplay approach that’s more about exploration than all-out obliteration.
But…surprisingly enough, this change isn’t a bad thing.
In fact, Platinum Games has enough of an enriched touch here to make this an easy recommend. Maybe not as much as the trilogy that follows this little journey, but still worth checking out if only to learn more about the lore – oh, and take control of a demon that has no trouble clawing its way through enemies. Can’t forget about that.
The Dual Sense
The game follows Cereza, a young child with elements of Lumen Sage and Umbra Witch within her blood. However, unlike the total bad-ass that is Bayonetta, she’s more of a cautious dreamer, one that works to build up her power in the hopes of rescuing her mother from an otherworldly prison.
Along the way, she gets help from a demon, who first takes possession of her stuffed teddy bear before becoming a free-flowing entity that’s far bigger. To switch between the two is a neat tactic, as you can utilize this Cheshire in both grown mode and shrunken mode for different abilities.
The combat isn’t as feral as the previous Bayonetta games. But it’s satisfactory, with elements that tie in with the story. What’s more, there’s a dual character control system that, after some getting used to, works really well for a game such as this. It’s not co-op, by any means, but it does lead to some exquisite puzzle-solving, as well as some fun battles with enemies. There are some challenging elements to keep in mind too, like keeping the characters close together (to avoid the destruction of their link).
The new forms that you’ll come across are a nice touch, and the game never really loses that flow between puzzle solving and action. Again, it’s very different for those of you used to the Bayonetta series, but it’s not entirely a bad thing. It’s certainly more approachable for newcomers that aren’t used to the ways of Umbra kick-assery.
A Unique New Set-Up
While Bayonetta Origins isn’t quite as fluid as the witch’s other adventures, it does have a charm missing from other games on the market. This is mainly due to its wondrous, hand- drawn art style that really stands out. The level design is an absolute sparkling feat, and the atmosphere is well worth soaking in. Not to mention the animation is fluid, especially with the character movements. I’m also really enjoying the use of colors, starting with dank environments but then introducing some fun new components to brighten the place up.
Also worth noting is the audio. The soundtrack is a collection of classically-inspired tunes, something of the Celtic variety, that’s well worth a listen, even if there’s no sign of a “Fly Me To the Moon” remix. Throw some awesome voice acting (particularly for the curious Cereza) and sound effects, and you have a well-rounded package good for both on-the-go and home
Is It a Fit For Bayonetta Fans?
Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is definitely a curious beast. It doesn’t quite live up to the high-flying antics of the games that came before it, but it does somehow fit into the lexicon with its own original style. The dual-control system takes a bit to master, and it’s a little slower than most adventures of this type. However, with an enriched presentation and a fine mixture of action and puzzles, we have a pretty good feeling some fans won’t mind. It just depends on what you’re expecting from it.
The Bottom Line:
Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is a neat little spin-off chapter in the series that continues to show Platinum Games’ solid direction with the franchise. Try out the demo first if you want to make sure.
Need a new Nintendo Switch to enjoy the Bayonetta games on? We’re giving one away!