Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon (Switch)

Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is the newest title in the Bayonetta franchise. Unlike its predecessors, this game is more of an adventure game than a fast paced action game. Being a prequel to the other games in the series, the game follows Cereza before she becomes the Bayonetta you see in the rest of the series. The game released exclusively for Nintendo Switch on March 17th 2023.

The story of the game follows Cereza, a young witch who later on will grow into the Bayonetta we see throughout the series, as she travels through an enchanted forest to find a way to save her mother. Along the way she summons her first demon, Cheshire, who winds up possessing her stuffed doll. Cheshire has his own motivations, he wants to find a way home. The story of the game focuses on the two of them as they travel through the forest, reluctantly working together to try and achieve their goals. The relationship between Cereza and Cheshire forms the real core of the story with the game being full of interactions between the young witch and her demon companion. The story of the game feels like a fairy tale story, a massive departure from the insanity of the other games in the series but personally I feel the change in pace works in the games favour, the games presentation also helps the game feel very charming with some story sequences being set out as if they were pages of a picture book. I enjoyed the story of game and feel the change in direction was a refreshing change for the series.

The gameplay is another aspect where this title is a big departure from the series. The Bayonetta series is known for its flashy action combat with huge set pieces but Bayonetta Origins trades the over the top action for a more relaxing experience. This game is more of an adventure game with controls being split between the two protagonists. The left joy con controls Cereza whereas the right joy con controls Cheshire. You navigate the forest with the two of them, solving puzzles involving the characters different abilities to progress through the forest. Cereza has a few magical spells she can use to progress while Cheshire is able to break through obstacles blocking the path.

Splitting the two characters up to find a way forward is a fun mechanic, letting the two characters abilities shine in their own right. For example, Cereza can throw Cheshire up onto an unreachable ledge while he’s in the form of Cerezas plush doll before returning to his bigger demon form to find a way forward. While I love the over the top craziness of the mainline Bayonetta games, I found myself really enjoying the more relaxed experience this game brings, however I feel its important to know different the game is to the rest of the series going in so you know what you’re expecting.

The games focus on adventuring doesn’t mean that there’s no combat at all. The combat is still present in the game, with Cereza and Cheshire running into trouble throughout the forest. Your main way of dispatching enemies is using Cheshire to attack the enemies, with Cereza not having any direct attacks, with her being more focused on using her spells to entangle the enemies so that Cheshire can attack and take them down. The combat has a lot less focus on long flashy combos compared to the mainline games in the series but I personally still found some enjoyment in running around with Cheshire destroying all the enemies in his path while dodging attacks with Cereza. Overall, I feel the gameplay is great and if you go into the game with an open mind knowing it’s unlike the other games in the series there’s a lot to enjoy.

The presentation of the game is where it truly shines. The games visuals are presented as if they were straight out of a storybook with colourful environments that have an almost drawn feeling to them that just oozes charm and really adds to the relaxing experience the game offers. The two main protagonists look fantastic in this style, particularly Cheshire’s different elemental forms unlocked as the game progresses. Another highlight is how some story sequences are presented as if you’re reading through a storybook which I think is a great touch which adds to the almost dreamlike atmosphere the game has.

The games music fits the theming and setting perfectly with its charming and whimsical feel to it but I personally don’t think it reaches the heights of the soundtracks of the mainline games in the series, but that’s not to say there aren’t some great tracks in the soundtrack, “Together in the Moonlit Forest” being a particularly good track that fits the feel of the game very well. The voice acting is also fantastic in the game with the VAs for Cheshire and Cereza both putting in great performances through the game, personifying their characters well and the interactions between the two characters are made better through their voices. Overall, I think the game has some stellar presentation and has a lot of charm to it which pairs well with the rest of the game.

Overall, I think that Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is a breath of fresh air for the series. While fans of the series may initially have trouble adapting to how much of a departure from earlier titles this game is, I found the game growing on me pretty quickly and I feel it is a great entry into the series. While it lacks the over the top action the series has become synonymous with, its more relaxed approach combined with the games charm makes it a great game that I found myself enjoying a lot through its runtime.



A refreshing entry to the Bayonetta series that has a lot of charm with an amazing art style and some fun gameplay

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