Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is the fourth game in the Bayonetta series made by Platinum games but is the first chronologically as it takes place when hundreds of years before the first game when Bayonetta or Cereza was still a young witch in training. The game takes a departure from the first 3 games in the series and instead focuses on teamwork and puzzles, though it still contains fights just not as fast-paced as the first three.
The game starts with diving head first into the lore (read in the voice of Matpat) of Bayonetta and the world the games are set in explaining more of the history between her parents which is fitting as the main plot point of Cereza is for her to find and rescue her mother from the Umbra witches. The is makes use of clear storytelling by turning the whole narrative into a storybook where the cut scenes are shown as the pages often with minimal to no animations. While this is may be viewed as a strong departure by many from the previous games, fans will tell you it’s a clear call back to the original where they made use of film reels during the cut scenes.
The game is visually stunning with an art style that reminds me of Child of Light though it is a lot more stylized. This may be viewed as a negative by some who may prefer a more realistic art style like the first three games rather than a whimsical storybook style. The soundtrack is just as stunning with a slow tempo and magical feel that is used brilliantly to complement the game, story, and art. With both coming together seamlessly to build the world.
The gameplay does take some getting use to with the left Joycon being used to control Cereza and the right being used to control Chesire (the demon residing within her cat plushie), which is another call back to the first game cleverly linking the series back together. How you control the characters is very similar to that of a Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, with each joystick controlling the movement of each character individually, and the bumpers and triggers used for their attacks and abilities. While this can be a bit confusing at times, I was at the start constantly forgetting to control Chesire as well and would leave him behind, once you get use to it is easy.
The two are used simultaneously in battle with Cereza being used for support and Chesire being used to deal damage. While during the puzzles and terrain exploration Cereza is used to solve or get through most of the puzzles while Chesire is the support and used to do environmental damage to get past obstacles. With the two constantly needing to work together. A top tip would be to bring Chesire into “Hug” mode while moving over large areas that have no enemies or puzzles as then he is carried by Cereza and you do not have to control both of them at the same time.
The game does have a basic crafting system to create potions that regrate health and give Cereza buffs. As well as a few rhythm mini-games, these are fairly simple and some can be automated so you do not have to do them all the time, as the developers realized that this may get tiresome or some players may not enjoy.
The game’s main focus is for those who are familiar with the previous games and are very lore-heavy (again read in the voice of Matpat) and dives more into the past of Bayonetta and how she becomes who she is. This does not mean that you need to have played any of the previous Bayonetta games in order to play Cereza and can be enjoyed as a stand-alone game or as part of the series. Though if you are looking for a similar to the first three you are going to be disappointed as they are nowhere near the same if you go into the game with an open mind and heart you will be drawn in by its charm and story.
You can purchase the game from the Nintendo eShop (R1129) and the Nintendo Distributor South Africa (R1299) store.