Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon Review
Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is not the Bayonetta you remember. If you hated Bayonetta 1, 2 and 3, I suggest giving Bayonetta Origins a shot. If you loved Bayonetta 1, 2 and 3, I suggest giving Bayonetta Origins a shot. I’ve been very vocal about my general distaste for the serious. In fact, I initially brushed this origin story aside because I wasn’t interested in exploring Bayonetta further. I was wrong, and I’m here to tell you why!
The story minus the spoilers
There isn’t much I want to say here outside of setting up the game. You’ll play as witch in training Cereza, and her stuffy-turned-demon Cheshire. Under the tutelage of Morgana, Cereza does some training before heading off on her own to investigate dreams she had about the surrounding forest. You’ll control Cheshire and Cereza as they work to save those they love, while learning and battling a variety of individuals along the way.
Bayonetta Origins is as much a narrative adventure as an environmental puzzle game. For me to comment further on the story would be a disservice to those looking to play, but rest assured it was an engaging story that I felt was solid throughout. There were moments that didn’t impact me as much as I might have wanted, but overall I was quite impressed.
Beautiful in every single way
In our preview of Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon, we had this to say about the world created:
Bayonetta Origins is going to shock people, both positively and negatively, when it launches. Some are going to love this art and audio direction (it is beautiful), but perhaps dislike the game play. Others might dislike the entire experience. What is obvious, not just from my preview but also from watching trailers, is that this is a different experience than the franchise it is based on.
Before we even touch on the gameplay and how it all works, I need to say that this game is absolutely gorgeous. The use of a story book to tell the story is phenomenal, and it is all beautifully detailed. I found the art style to be fairly unique, using colour palettes I probably wouldn’t have expected. It is an odd look, I concede, but it work so well when combined with the story being told.
Further to the graphics, I love how the game sounds. The fantastic audio cues, music, and sound effects transported me to this magical world, and kept me there. When I found that the game was voice acted as well, I was mesmerized. Solid voice acting can really take a game over the top, and I think it was very well done here. PlatinumGames left no artistic stone unturned with this release, and while some may scoff at the AAA price tag, I’d argue it’s appropriate for what you get.
Different, albeit not unique game play
Bayonetta Origins isn’t the first game to control two characters at once – each mapped to a separate Joy-Con – and it also won’t be the last. However, where I’ve had issues with other games using this mechanic – Blanc comes to mind here in a few instances – the dual use of the Joy-Con in Bayonetta Origins is very well utilized. Swapping between walking alone and also walking with Cheshire is fantastic, works really well, and was much more fluid than I thought it would be as I started out.
Here is what we said about the gameplay in our preview:
The core gameplay of Bayonetta Origins is fairly simplistic, with the Witch Pulse dance action probably being one of the more difficult…Holding down ZL allows Cereza to ‘tie down’ an enemy with vines while using Cheshire to attack (with the opposite Joy-Con controller and ZR). There are instances when you will pull Cheshire back into your arms, times when Cheshire cannot move forward because of dangers in the world that Cereza needs to deal with, and more. But all the actions, mostly mapped to the triggers and bumper, are simplistic.
And I think the simplistic nature of the game that we talked about in our preview is what makes this game so great. Bayonetta traditionally is a game with a lot of systems in play, combos to remember, and more. In Bayonetta Origins, that complexity has been stripped back to create a more accessible title. I’d argue that it works really well.
A must play narrative adventure
A great story and a unique art style is likely to grab me in most situations, and Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon definitely did that. The fantastic story coupled with complete voice acting, gorgeous visuals, and a simplistic yet engaging combat and environmental puzzle system has be excited for when I can dive back into the world of Origins again. As someone less enthused by the combat heavy numbered Bayonetta titles, this was a nice breath of fresh air, and something I enjoyed throughout.