GameZone’s 31 Games of Halloween 2013: Bayonetta

Over the past few days, we've been taking a look at some pretty dark games. Death, despair, insanity. These are just some of the themes we've delved into this week. Our last entry The Thing was a successful homage to the legend of horror John Carpenter, and it was rife with disturbing imagery. This time on GameZone's 31 Games of Halloween, we're going to lighten the mood a bit. Don't worry,  today's game still has gruesome monsters and deals with heaven and hell, but it's not as serious as some of our recent showcased games.

So let's jump right into the overly sexualized world of Bayonetta, which happens to star a witch, making this game quite the ideal choice for our month-long Halloween series.

Bayonetta - 360, PS3 - 1

Why it stands out

The first thing anyone ever notices when they take a look at Bayonetta is the titular protagonist. Despite being several centuries old, the charming witch is still quite stunning. She's not just a one-dimensional character, either. Despite the fact that she often fits a stereotypical bombshell mold, Bayonetta's quite complex, and the further you get into the game, the more you see that there's a real person behind that cocky, easygoing exterior.

Despite the fact that beat 'em ups are often simplistic button mashing affairs, Bayonetta does a great job of slowly rewarding you with new moves and mechanics. Oh, you can certainly still mash away at those controller buttons to your heart's content if you desire, but that would be a great disservice to what this game's all about. Taking the time to learn combos and purchasing upgrades is an essential part of enjoying everything Bayonetta has to offer. Ultimately, it's the more complex moves that give you the greatest feeling of satisfaction while dishing out loads of pain and beating the crap out of your enemies.

Bayonetta - 360, PS3 - 2

Is it scary?

Bayonetta isn't a scary game, though it does have its share of strange and creepy themes and images. Boss characters in particular are absolutely hideous, and seeing these monstrosities take shape before you is just a tad unsettling. Though there's something strangely glorious about the way they glow in their gold-plated armor, it's hard not to be disgusted by their horrific faces.

The world itself isn't all that scary, either, though there are a few stages that are much darker than others. These stages look great, and they compliment the brighter areas in a nice way. It's almost as if there's this persistent heavenly quality to the hellish nightmare world that Bayonetta treads. In addition, a constant gloominess is present in the clouds that rest ever so peacefully above this steampunky world, creating a not-so-cheery mood.

Bayonetta - 360, PS3 - 3

Why play it on Halloween?

Why should anyone play Bayonetta on Halloween? Because witches, that's why! Okay, so that's not the only reason. Despite the fact that the game is quite lighthearted and hyper-sexualized, there are some eerie parts to it. For starters, you're a major component in what's essentially a war between the game's versions of heaven and hell. That's pretty powerful, and if you're the type who gets easily offended by anything even remotely related to religious overtones, Bayonetta may bother you.

For those who enjoy a good beat 'em up with fun characters, though, this game is as good a choice as any. It's quite the offbeat title to play on Halloween, but even then, it's surprisingly appropriate. The monstrous beasts you battle, the beautiful yet ominous setting, and the gory executions you can pull off all combine to create some good themes for the Halloween season.

But honestly, you should mostly play Bayonetta on Halloween because witches.

Want to talk about indie games, Kirby, or cheap pizza? Follow me on Twitter @dr_davidsanchez.