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Sultry, stylish 'Bayonetta 3' slays on Switch

Bayonetta 3.jpg
Posted at 10:49 AM, Oct 31, 2022

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — "Bayonetta 3" is the type of game the Switch needs more of.

Edgy and irreverent, the saucy hack-and-slash romp is a breezy, wild experience that is just about the polar opposite of mild, family-friendly fare in the Mario, Zelda and Pokemon universes.

Developer PlatinumGames has honed its skills to razor-sharp edges as it carved out the capstone to its trilogy — the previous games were released in 2009 and 2014 — with a magnificent coup de grace worthy of a standing ovation.

The protagonist is a Halloween costume-style witch with some naughty librarian mixed in for good measure. A one-woman hurricane of destruction, she blasts, kicks and smacks screen-sized enemies with aplomb.

The game is a ceaseless romp of loosely-connected action sequences that flow with thunderous battles, sly humor and did-I-really-just-see-that moments.

Just about all enemies you face are far more robust and powerful than you, but you can equalize the playing field by doling out a power-up that slows time, allowing you to make precise maneuvers, as well as summoning giant fists from beyond, as well as other supernatural attacks.

Battles tend to finish in quick-time-event-driven flourishes, and you're graded on your style and performance at the end of each level.

While the difficulty can seem overwhelming at times, it's amazing how rapidly it dissipates when you dive back in for a rematch. The slightest tweak in tactics and power distribution can render even the most towering beast as a weak object of pity in short order. The empowerment fantasy that emanates from the gameplay is intoxicating. You truly feel as though you're a masterful tactician capable of marauding all comers.

A feel-good romp of an action game, "Bayonetta 3" is one of the better title releases on Switch this year, as well as one of the most satisfying action games in this console generation. Its spell lingers strongly in between encounters with this wily witch.

Publisher provided review code.

Phil Villarreal is the senior real-time editor for KGUN 9. He is also a digital producer and host of "Phil on Film" seen weekly on Good Morning Tucson, Phil moved to KGUN after 17 years with the Arizona Daily Star. He is married and has four children. Share your story ideas and important issues with Phil by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.