I am a diehard Bayonetta fan.
I remember back when the first game in the series was released. I was a 13 year old boy who was obsessed with action games. Being a big God of War and Devil May Cry fan, I was blown away at how incredible the combat in Bayonetta felt. It was so stylish and absurd, yet, it felt so sincere and intentional. Bayonetta had not only cemented itself as the best action game I had ever played, but Bayonetta herself was such an iconic protagonist. But WHO is Bayonetta? WHERE does she come from? Those are questions I’ve always been curious about myself. So when Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon was announced, I was curious. Well… I was curious, but I was mostly worried. I was actually very afraid that this totally new take on the Bayonetta franchise might be a bit of a tonal mess. I thought that the art style looked really cool but I thought it might have been used on the wrong IP. I was nervous and worried up until the moment I installed the game onto my Switch. I am very happy to tell you about how wrong I was.
Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon absolutely rules.
You could call Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon “baby’s first Bayonetta” and it wouldn’t be an insult or wrong. It really is Bayonetta for a younger audience. First of all, the art style is so gorgeous. It’s got this really fantastic pop-up book aesthetic that you don’t often see in video games nowadays. Every area in the game is really well designed and thought out while also keeping the aesthetic in mind. Nothing ever looks out of place, and that includes all of the characters, enemies, and puzzles you come across. The game has a T for teen rating due to its violence and blood; however, I do think Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demo would be a great introduction to the series for a young one. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a kid who wouldn’t be immediately grabbed by the presentation and art design. I kept finding that I was experiencing some childlike wonder myself while in this world.
The gameplay loop is pretty interesting. You control Cereza and Cheshire, your big huge cat demon. Cheshire does all the fighting, while Cereza does a lot of dictating on how the puzzles get solved. One Joycon controls Cereza, while the other controls Cheshire. I found it interesting how intuitive and fun this control scheme was in this game, whereas it didn’t really work very well in the Blanc, which has an extremely similar control scheme. Obviously there is combat and combos to be done in this game, Blanc didn’t really have any of that. But Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demons showed me that I can enjoy this style of gameplay. The combat and abilities don’t evolve all too much, nor do they have to. Some people may have issues with the lack of evolution in the gameplay, but I found it worked really well and I didn’t see many issues with it at all.
The Bayonetta series is known for its over the top music. It’s got a reputation for having some of the best action music around, and Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon, while in a different sort of vibe altogether, does not disappoint. It’s very heavily Irish inspired as is most of the overall aesthetic and environment designs. There is a track that really stuck with me. It’s called “Together in the Moonlit Forest.” It sounds like it’s right out of a Disney movie. It’s really gorgeous and should be heard by a larger audience. I’d like to see this game sell really well because it deserves to be played and soundtrack deserves to be heard.
I really don’t want to say too much or give anything away. Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is a game you should play. I’ve been knee deep in some really dark and heavy games lately. Playing Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon felt cathartic and gave me many feelings of childlike wonder that I just don’t get to experience a lot. I was genuinely shocked at how enthralled I was by what PlatinumGames has been able to do here. They turned a very over the top action game into a laid back and often relaxing experience that made me think of times when I was younger and life was easier. The storybook presentation really gripped me and I found it hard to put it down.
Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is a delight from start to finish and it should be in your Nintendo Switch library.