Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Jul 102023

Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is a spin-off of the Bayonetta series as well as a prequel, starring Cereza when she was a child.

Being a T-rated action-adventure game instead of an M-rated stylish action game like the main series, it caused some doubts among fans when it was announced, especially since Bayonetta 3 was already divisive.

Adding to that is the fact that the fairytale storybook aesthetic and simpler style made a lot of people assume it would be a short game without much to offer.

Well, that’s not true!

I finished Bayonetta Origins yesterday with a playtime of around 18 hours or so, and I had a fantastic time with it. As a child, Cereza ventures into the forbidden Avalon Forest, driven by dreams that say she’ll gain the power to save her mother. Yet the forest is home to malicious faeries, and she only survives by summoning a demon into the body of her stuffed cat, Cheshire.

You control both Cereza and Cheshire, either together when Cereza is carrying him, or separately. This is especially important in combat, where Cereza acts as support with limited magic techniques while Cheshire is your primary fighter.

Controlling two characters at once takes a bit of getting used to, but I found the combat surprisingly fun and more involved than I expected. It won’t have you using crazy combos like the main series, but it has a lot more action than you might have expected from the trailer. As you progress through the game, you also gain new abilities for Cheshire that play a role in both combat and exploration.

Exploration is a big part of Bayonetta Origins, and one of the main reasons I enjoyed it so much. Avalon Forest is more or less one huge interconnected map. While you could stick to the main path, there are a ton of side paths to take to find upgrades and other collectibles, especially once you have more abilities. That lends it some light Metroidvania aspects – each new power means new places to explore and items to find if you care to backtrack for them.

Meanwhile, the story is quite heartfelt. I found myself invested in the relationship between Cereza and Cheshire, as well as the development of Cereza herself from a timid, uncertain girl to someone I can see growing up into the Bayonetta we know.

Although… Bayonetta’s 3 story does raise some questions about that, making me even less a fan of the multiverse.

Click for major Bayonetta 3 spoilers
(Yes, this is primarily a spoiler for 3, not Origins.)

Which Cereza are we playing as in Origins?? Since Viola has Cheshire in 3, that made me think this Cereza was her mom, the Bayonetta who died at the start of 3. But parts of Origins strongly imply this Cereza is the Bayonetta we play as in 3 (who may or may not be the same as the protagonist in 1 and 2; join the debate). Being uncertain about whose origin story this actually is makes it feel less special.

Complications from being directly tied to Bayonetta 3 aside, Bayonetta Origins tells a compelling story with some truly excellent moments. While it’s certainly a very different genre for the series, Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is not a minor spin-off to be ignored, but a great game I had a fantastic time with.

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Mar 082023

We talked about Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon when it was announced during the Game Awards 2022.

Bayonetta Origins is a T-rated prequel spin-off starring a young Cereza.

How it fits into the series overall is a little unclear, particularly in light of certain aspects of Bayonetta 3’s plot, but the premise seems intriguing and it sounds like it will expand on the role of faeries in this world. It also has a gorgeous storybook-style presentation that I love.

While it had a tiny teaser demo within Bayonetta 3 itself, a proper Bayonetta Origins demo is now available. It covers first couple of chapters, and your save data will transfer to the full game.

I haven’t finished the entire demo yet, but I’ve played enough to be interested. Although following a young, unsure Cereza takes some getting used to compared to the usual Bayonetta, the game looks beautiful and plays well so far, and the map makes it look like it will be a decently sized game after all.

I’m looking forward to finishing the demo and playing the full game when it launches later this month. Have you tried the Bayonetta Origins demo yet?

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Nov 182022

Bayonetta 3 is out, and I have a full review up over at MonsterVine.

Like many people, I was put off by the game’s ending.

(While there won’t be unmarked spoilers in this post, it might not mean much to you if you haven’t played Bayonetta 3. Instead, maybe you’ll prefer the confirmation that Granblue Fantasy: Relink news will be coming in January or the unveiling of Ace Attorney merchandise at Fangamer.)

Getting back to Bayonetta 3, I felt some aspects were unearned, and one implication at the end left me worried about what was planned for the future of the series.

But lately, Hideki Kamiya from PlatinumGames has made some tweets that sound as though we might have the wrong idea.

Running tweets through Google Translate is never a great way to get information, but let’s do the best we can. First up is a tweet from a few days ago in response to a comment about the ending, in which Kamiya says “everyone seems to have a misunderstanding” but that he can’t say too much because it’s related to the sequel.

Now in another tweet from earlier today, he also says, “it seems that the ending of Bayo 3 wasn’t conveyed correctly to everyone, so I think Bayo 4 will be an unexpected development for everyone.”

These two tweets both suggest that something about the ending is being misinterpreted by a majority of fans.

Click for major Bayonetta 3 spoilers
The main thing I disliked was the implication that Viola would be the main character going forward, so I hope that – and everything related to it – is what he’s referring to.

And yes, he’s also casually referring to Bayonetta 4 like it’s a given, but I wouldn’t take that as official confirmation of anything since he’s already said in the past that he has ideas for future Bayonetta games. Bayonetta 3 definitely felt like it left the door open for a sequel, though.

How did you feel about Bayonetta 3’s ending? What do you think about these suggestions that something about the ending has been misinterpreted?

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