On The Ball: Pimping Bayonetta

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

On The Ball: Pimping Bayonetta

Sega's marketing of its latest brawler may have been a bit too... eager.

Read Full Article

Ill admit some of the marketing does make it feel less than it actually is.

But, the game 'Works'. It dosnt hide what it is, it dosnt try to pretend to be serious. It knows it is rediculous and it knows it is way out there and using high amount of sexual tension.

Thats one reason why I like it. Aside from the awesome gameplay, it knows what it wants to be

You sort of skipped over the part where you fight an "angel" and the cut-scene essentially introduces her as she's mastrubating right in your face. Why? Because that's how they activate their powers. Is this what honestly passes for logical inference in Japan? It's just so pointless, I would have otherwise approved MORE of the game if it didn't have such blatant attempts to make all the teenagers playing it pop a boner. What's worse is it does it under the guise that it's ACTUALLY just part of the plot, lore and characters when in reality it's likely so sega can officially license some bayonetta hentai and get some more dollars.

I find bayonetta to be so shamelessly about sex that it's just flat out creepy.

AC10:

I find bayonetta to be so shamelessly about sex that it's just flat out creepy. It's like the game is some realization of a crazy ass hentai anime.

Heh heh, now now, that's not quite true, I haven't found any tentacle pRon or penis-fingered angels in the game yet. :P

In all seriousness though Bayonetta is shamelessly sexual. So much so that were we to have an R18+ rating in Australia I'm almost certain that this would not have been rated MA15+ as it was. That's not to say that it's overly explicit, just that the innuendo and visuals are not terribly subtle. That aside, it's still a kick-arse combat game and adds just enough touches like witch time to keep things interesting. I'm enjoying it immensely even though I find that I keep swapping back to Darksiders when my carpal tunnel starts acting up.

Wilbot666:

AC10:

I find bayonetta to be so shamelessly about sex that it's just flat out creepy. It's like the game is some realization of a crazy ass hentai anime.

Heh heh, now now, that's not quite true, I haven't found any tentacle pRon or penis-fingered angels in the game yet. :P

In all seriousness though Bayonetta is shamelessly sexual. So much so that were we to have an R18+ rating in Australia I'm almost certain that this would not have been rated MA15+ as it was. That's not to say that it's overly explicit, just that the innuendo and visuals are not terribly subtle. That aside, it's still a kick-arse combat game and adds just enough touches like witch time to keep things interesting. I'm enjoying it immensely even though I find that I keep swapping back to Darksiders when my carpal tunnel starts acting up.

I should have mentioned that. The game IS a good game, it's a lot of fun. I just dread each time I know there's an embarrassingly awful cut-scene ahead where we can again be ordered "FIND BAYONETTA SEXY! LOOK!"

For me, the marketing has a pretty direct correlation to the gameplay contained within (at least as far as I've heard, having not played the game myself). The marketing angle shows Bayonetta as a sex object, and the game is descibed to pretty much continue that. That is my problem. Despite the quality of the gameplay, the entire game is hinged upon you actually liking Bayonetta and enjoying the "sex sells" premise. I, however, don't like the character and when she sells sex, I'm not buying.. either the "sex" or the gameplay, even though I'm a genuine fan of the fast paced combo oriented action game genre.

To me, it's sort of like if the marketing of the Tomb Raider games continued into the actual game. If every jump you made and every cliff you scaled caused the camera to zoom in and pan slow mo around Lara Croft's "assets" the fact that you were exploring and solving puzzles in an ancient underground tomb wouldn't make any difference. Lara managed to become a sex symbol through the marketing, character design and lonely fanboys.. not because the game shoved her crotch in your face at every turn. You could, as I did, find Lara not particularly attractive and yet still enjoy a solid adventure game.

Oh, and for the record, I enjoy both DOAX and Rumble Roses. Certainly they sell sex just as directly as Bayonetta does to be sure, but I actually like the characters involved, which really is my point. When a game focuses so much on a character and not on gameplay, you'd better like that character or else the entire experience fails.

StriderShinryu:
For me, the marketing has a pretty direct correlation to the gameplay contained within (at least as far as I've heard, having not played the game myself). The marketing angle shows Bayonetta as a sex object, and the game is descibed to pretty much continue that. That is my problem. Despite the quality of the gameplay, the entire game is hinged upon you actually liking Bayonetta and enjoying the "sex sells" premise. I, however, don't like the character and when she sells sex, I'm not buying.. either the "sex" or the gameplay, even though I'm a genuine fan of the fast paced combo oriented action game genre.

To me, it's sort of like if the marketing of the Tomb Raider games continued into the actual game. If every jump you made and every cliff you scaled caused the camera to zoom in and pan slow mo around Lara Croft's "assets" the fact that you were exploring and solving puzzles in an ancient underground tomb wouldn't make any difference. Lara managed to become a sex symbol through the marketing, character design and lonely fanboys.. not because the game shoved her crotch in your face at every turn. You could, as I did, find Lara not particularly attractive and yet still enjoy a solid adventure game.

Oh, and for the record, I enjoy both DOAX and Rumble Roses. Certainly they sell sex just as directly as Bayonetta does to be sure, but I actually like the characters involved, which really is my point. When a game focuses so much on a character and not on gameplay, you'd better like that character or else the entire experience fails.

This is exactly the problem. Bayonetta does not just leave it to you to find her sexy or not; it grabs you by the head and jams your face into her breasts. It ORDERS you find her sexy. It DEMANDS it. Quite frankly, I was never a fan of being told what to think.

Maybe the guys in marketing should have played the game first?

The advertisements come dangerously close to taking the whole enterprise seriously. Not only does this turn-off the kind of people who would enjoy the game (who might laugh at the adverts for all of the wrong reasons yet would laugh at the game along with its creators in the ways that they intended) but it lets down the people who actually buy in to the ads. It's a losing proposition all around.

That is as ill-advised as selling James Bond (or Austin Powers) movies as training videos for British Intelligence or promoting a drag review to people wanting to watch a Broadway show.

AC10:

Wilbot666:

AC10:

I find bayonetta to be so shamelessly about sex that it's just flat out creepy. It's like the game is some realization of a crazy ass hentai anime.

Heh heh, now now, that's not quite true, I haven't found any tentacle pRon or penis-fingered angels in the game yet. :P

In all seriousness though Bayonetta is shamelessly sexual. So much so that were we to have an R18+ rating in Australia I'm almost certain that this would not have been rated MA15+ as it was. That's not to say that it's overly explicit, just that the innuendo and visuals are not terribly subtle. That aside, it's still a kick-arse combat game and adds just enough touches like witch time to keep things interesting. I'm enjoying it immensely even though I find that I keep swapping back to Darksiders when my carpal tunnel starts acting up.

I should have mentioned that. The game IS a good game, it's a lot of fun. I just dread each time I know there's an embarrassingly awful cut-scene ahead where we can again be ordered "FIND BAYONETTA SEXY! LOOK!"

Haha yes, no argument here, they certainly poured that aspect of it on pretty thick. *Reverts to 14 yr old* "How do I get her to show me her snatch?" :P

It would be good if you included some sales expectations and actual sales figures or comparisons with similar releases as evidence that Bayonetta is underperforming sales-wise.

But Bayonetta has strategic errors that go beyond marketing.

The critical consensus is that Bayonetta runs great on the XBox and poorly on the PS3. Great, you've just alienated somewhere around a third of console gamers in the U.S. When the topic of Bayonetta comes up, you have a third of gamers saying: "meh, whatever," or staying quiet. If they couldn't make an equal game for the PS3 then maybe they just should have released it only for the XBox.

Furthermore, since the XBox probably skews toward younger and less hardcore gamers (this is just my general impression, exceptions abound of course) then that is going to go over real well having Bayonetta content spill out into the living room in front of the rest of the family. Halo, Gears of War, and Modern Warfare play just fine there, not Bayonetta. At least if it were geared to the PS3 it would be played more in shadowy rooms and basements.

Also, over the years I have seen a pattern where games with subtle (or overt) anti-religious messages, themes, and content perform poorly in terms popularity relative to the overall quality of the game.

A game marketing its sexual content is the kiss of death for me, since what I hear is: "we need to throw in pixelated tits because this is a sucky game." But were it not for the PS3 issues I might have made an exception for Bayonetta because it is so open and kooky about it. But she is a bit skinny, and crotch shots don't really do it for me.

I like the game, its a visual feast for the eyes (in terms of colour balance, design and effects), it has an easy learning curve while maintaining an acceptable increase in progessive difficulty and whats more important is the game's sexuality isnt insulting (Dead or Alive Volleyball and Rumble Roses for example, are). The story can be hard to follow, but once you know it (i wont post spoilers) you will enjoy it.

When you like your job, you do it well, and Bayonetta likes her job.

My problem with Bayonetta is, and probably will remain, that it's trying far too hard.
The combat is sure to let me know something awesome is happening, but I'm never entirely sure what it is. The main character strikes me as obnoxious and, while your point about it being an interesting attempt to break down the delusions and just make a hyper-sexualized without putting on aires is well put and interesting to think about, it's not likely to endear me to it and even that comes across like it's trying too hard to be interesting. Hyper-sexualization has been in the movies and in certain comics for years, and doesn't particularly interest me.
I don't know. I was slightly biased against Bayonetta from the start and nothing I've seen or played has given me cause to change my mind.

I just realised how much this sounds like a system of a down song...

Great article Jordan, really echoes with Leigh Alexander's article.

I think that a lot of gamers have issues with sexuality and games like Bayonetta makes them uncomfortable. I'm not saying it's the case for everyone not liking the game, but technical considerations aside, there is something to be analyzed in this game.

AC10:

I find bayonetta to be so shamelessly about sex that it's just flat out creepy.

See, you find the over-sexuality creepy but I find it bold. She is to sex what Kratos is to violence. Bayonetta cannot be anything else than a female. Lara Croft is a female Indiana Jones (and retro-actively Nathan Drake), Samus could be a male space bounty hunter and no one would notice, but no men could do what Bayonetta does. There is a certain brand of feminism around her. She is sexy, she won't hide it, she will use it to go forward, and she kicks ass. I also find amusing how everyone is glancing over the maternal side of her character. It's not perfectly developed but it's there and I think it is a major part of her.

Meh, I'm still going to call it God of War with boobs.

And why does her clothing have to be form fitting to be demon posessed?
Also, revolver... heels? I could understand stiletto knives, but revolver heels?

Jordan Deam:
On The Ball: Pimping Bayonetta

Last week, I wrote a pretty positive review of Platinum Games' latest stylized, hyper-violent beat 'em up. (Summary: The fantastic combat and world design more than make up for the obtuse storytelling.) It's a game that clearly knows its audience, slyly referencing everything from Sonic the Hedgehog to Resident Evil 4 and Space Harrier in its presentation and gameplay. Unfortunately, Sega's marketing team wasn't quite as aware of the player base as the developers. By focusing on Bayonetta's sexiness to the exclusion of all else, they encouraged players to view it as overpriced softcore porn rather than an incredibly polished action game with some serious pedigree behind it.

The lesson? Sex sells, but for gamers, it's just as likely to repel.

Read Full Article

This is why I love The Escapist. This is one of the few and far-between places where gamers actually get some respect; where gaming is discussed as an artistic medium and not just a sort of digital crack cocaine for juvenile delinquents who are only concerned about violence and tits.

Thank you Mr. Deam.

I'm still going to play this game. Honestly it's not just the sexual eye-candy, I played the demo and I actually liked it. Although I don't think it's worth 60 dollars at least it deserves a chance.

I did spend quite a while trying to figure out if she was a sex object or a figure of female empowerment. Or a parody of both. The jury is still out.

AC10:
You sort of skipped over the part where you fight an "angel" and the cut-scene essentially introduces her as she's mastrubating right in your face. Why?

Why? Because it's fucking hilarious.

Sebenko:
Meh, I'm still going to call it God of War with boobs.

God of War is Devil May Cry with Manchest and clumpy slowness.

Also, Bayonetta plays very differently to God of War.

Also, revolver... heels? I could understand stiletto knives, but revolver heels?

Good job we didn't tell you about the rocket launcher heels then. Your head would probably explode. (Oh wait, oops.. Well I'm not cleaning that up.)

The leg weapons in Bayonetta are one of the core things that it adds to the DMC clone genre, the fact that you can mix and match between melee and ranged weapons, having both active at once, and the way that many weapons can do different things on your arms or legs means that there's a great deal of variety available, and it's all under the player's control. You don't have, like in other games of this type, one moveset per weapon, you have a moveset that evolves and alters depending on which combination of weapons you have equipped. You have far more control over your character in this than in any other DMC clone.

Selling a game or movie for its sex appeal means that the people promoting it feel that sex is the only thing good about it. Think of porn. Do they display their "creativity", "story" or "talent" outside of panting and big Jim and the twins? This means that the promoters of Bayonetta feel that its audience are earth shattering sexual repressed and will buy anything if there is sex in it. It's too bad that they think so low of themselves and their audience.

I'm just gonna live a simple:

"I liked it."

Because I did. The combat worked well and I'm not gonna deny that Bayonetta did her job and did it pretty sexily, and I enjoyed it.

I kinda thought Bayonetta purposely exaggerates and satirizes sex (and to a secondary extent, violence) in a parodic way much like Pulp Fiction exaggerates and satirizes violence, and also of course, in a way many Japanese....err..ummm..."more sexually focused" animes do as well, because apparently sex is funny.

Bayonetta doesn't use sex to make her character appeal to people so much as sex IS a part of her character, and she kinda seems to be in on the whole "let's parody sex, guys" theme the developers seem to be exploiting.

Rad article, by the way.

Just popping in to say "thank you for bashing on evony, since that game deserves it"

Thank you.

I have a problem with The Escapist's reviews from the beginning.
Essentially, I'd like to read this kind of content in them, but they seem much more sterile and by-the-books.
Needless to say, I love the article and hope to see more. Thanks!

Please. Some of you act like this is first game to presented to the masses in such a fashion. Anybody remember the infamous commercial to Dead or Alive 3 with the 2 guys chilling on the couch ("...She kicks high.")?

I think Bayonetta is a refreshing change to the usual femme fatale formula in that she's one of the few if not the only female lead character who's sexually aware of herself: she knows what she has, and knows how to use it to her advantage. C'mon now... the various so-called soldiers of heaven go nothing short of ballistic when Bayonetta says "You want to touch me?" Too bad that there are people reading this post and are resenting the game even more due to phrases like that featured in-game.

[sighs] Unpleasable fanbase indeed.

Sex and violence are both baser instincts, so it makes sense that they might work together, though that doesn't mean they should.
Sometimes I feel, however, that you overestimate us. Many would buy Bayonetta regardless of weather it was good or not; the fact that it's a quality game is just icing on the cake.

I was REALLY afraid to see why the words "Masturbation Mode" were linked...

Now that I did however... Wow that is just wrong, but thankfully not as wrong as I first thought.

Excellent article. It seems to be a good day for people willing to defend the highly unpopular, with you defending Bayonetta and Stephanie Zacharek defending The Rock over at Salon.com. If all your articles are this good, I look forward to On The Ball!

_Nocturnal:
I have a problem with The Escapist's reviews from the beginning.
Essentially, I'd like to read this kind of content in them, but they seem much more sterile and by-the-books.
Needless to say, I love the article and hope to see more. Thanks!

Well, therein lies the difference between a review and an Op-Ed.

Review: "Should you buy this game / is it any good?"

Op-Ed: "This game is interesting for X/Y/Z; this game was mismarketed, etc."

Great article Mr. Deam. It goes nicely with Leigh Alexander's view on Bayonetta in which she praises that game too.

The pole danceing attack was one of my favorite moves in any fighting game ever. It is just so over the top awesome.

I'm kind of sorry it probably won't come to the PC. It looks fantastic, and the author's description of the sensibility makes it sound downright refreshing.

The sad thing is, I've seen so many reviews of the game that fail to realize this. They always say that its all too weird and bizarre and its trying too hard. The whole point of it is comedy; its one thing to say that the game may take the humor too far (which it doesn't IMHO) but it another thing entirely to say its just trying too hard to be sexy. THIS is why Bayonetta is able to rise above the Lara Crofts and the DOAs. The game knows what it is and does everything it can to exploit that, pure and simple.

John Funk:
Well, therein lies the difference between a review and an Op-Ed.

Review: "Should you buy this game / is it any good?"

Op-Ed: "This game is interesting for X/Y/Z; this game was mismarketed, etc."

It's a useful clarification, thank you.

Still, maybe I'm spoiled, but I'd like to think the perfect review is a combination of both examples. It could be that I'm expecting fullfilment for my interests from a piece that's not supposed to be about them. Though I think there's something to be said about the differences between tech and art reviews in this context (the former being more closely related to the first example and the latter - to the second, in my opinion).

Fortunately, you guys have all kinds of pieces that make me happy. Keep up the good work!

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here