When Bayonetta came out 10 years ago, it was one of the premiere action games of that generation. The tight gameplay, ludicrous action and infectious style made it an instant classic. The franchise found a home on Nintendo in the middle of the decade, with its sequel being an exclusive. To everyone’s surprise, a special edition of the first game is now out on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Does it do the original release justice?
At its core, Bayonetta is a hack and slash game. The titular character is an outcast of the Umbra Witch clan, making her living by dispatching angels for the shady underworld. When Bayonetta encounters a figure from her past, she embarks on an mission to uncover the mysteries behind her origin. The story for all intents and purposes is zany and at times incoherent, but the cutscenes are outlandishly fun. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and all the actors are having a blast.
Content wise, there aren’t new features in the anniversary edition. If you enjoyed Bayonetta 10 years ago on the Xbox 360, this is the same fantastic action game. Perhaps the only noteworthy change is the pausing menu being delegated to the touch pad on the PS4. If you’re looking for additional content, the Wii U and Nintendo Switch versions are the only place for that.
Where the anniversary really shines is the performance. This is especially fantastic for PlayStation owners since the original PS3 release was fraught with a lot of issues. From slow load times to choppy frame rate, it was easy to recommend the Xbox 360 version over its crippled PS3 brethren. This was mostly due to the outsourcing of the PS3 game to Nex Entertainment.
Thankfully the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions have none of these issues. Not only does the frame rate remain rock-solid at 60FPS, but the loading is almost non-existent. In fact, to remedy the excessive loading, Bayonetta could practice her moves during the loading process until the level loads. Since there are almost no loading times, it’s near impossible to practice all of Bayonetta’s attacks. Regardless, I’d choose better flow over practicing attacks any day.
The game also supports 4K resolution, and while the game is definitely showing its age, it is still a beautiful game to look at. All the different locales are gorgeous, and Bayonetta herself looks sharper than ever. That being said, there aren’t many new graphical flourishes that enhance the graphics in any way.
To sum up the 10th anniversary edition of Bayonetta, it’s the same classic from the last generation. The performance boost doesn’t only help the game look better, but play better as well, even if its showing its age. If you double or triple dipped before, there isn’t a real reason to play the game again. But if you are a true collector or you never experienced Bayonetta before, this is the version to get. Final Score: 8.5 out of 10