From the first teaser of Bayonetta, the audience already had Devil May Cry in mind. Both game features fast pace and cool battle system. The two game sure share very same aspects, but Bayonetta sure has a stand on its own.
The story of the game is your typical "I'm the hero and I will save the world." But platinum games did an excellent job on hooking the the players up to the game with its typical type of story with deriving it to a little different that you will forget its your typical story (I really don't like saying more about the story, I don't like doing spoilers). The cutscenes are fun and exciting to watch, especially in cutscenes with fighting going on.
First is the graphics. The graphics of the game sure is brilliant, the developers sure made wonderful environment graphics and excellent character modeling. There are hits in the graphical department for sure, first I noticed is the facial modeling of a guy named Luka in the game, his face looks so dull or sub par quality rendered compared to the facial modeling of Bayonetta and other characters in the game, Dante of Devil May Cry 4 still looks better for sure even it is almost 2 years old already when Bayonetta came out. In the PS3 version, screen tearing is everywhere, even with no enemies on the screen, rotating the camera view will already cause screen tearing. Not only screen tearing is the technical issue of the game, but also dropping frame rate is a lot in the game. When you are in place with wonderful environment and enemies, drop of frame rate occurs but still the game is playable.
The soundtrack of the game is great. When in battle, the background music sets the atmosphere to be engaging which is the same way in Devil May Cry. There are problems when voice dubbing, there are some that the voice kicks in earlier than the character's mouth.
Gameplay is the spotlight of game. From the same maker of Devil May Cry, the gameplay even exceeds Devil May Cry. There are so many attack combinations you can use, when I look at the attack combinations list, I remember Tekken. Not only there are so many attacks you can perform, you will also have lots of weapons such as guns (handguns, shotguns), katana, whip, large claws. Not only you have many weapons, you can make different combinations on how you want to equip them like you can equip shotguns on your feet, then handguns on your hands which really makes the game stands out. Other gameplay from other Japanese "Hack'n Slash" games is merely plain, what I mean is you just run around the place and slash all you want. But this game have more, you'll be fighting a boss on an ocean with you having surfing on the water also, you get to control a missile as a rocket ship, you get to blast a boss using a big artillery gun. Another factor that makes this game stands out are the finishing moves you can do, all are so fun to watch and rewarding like summoning a large monster and eating the boss, and the boss is like "Oh my god! Help" while running away from the monster and get eaten. The game is not easy, normal mode can even make you frustrated, then a certain feature comes in, which is the witch time. This phase puts the enemies around you to slow motion and you'll have an increase of movement speed (running and attacking) by about 2 times faster than normal which really feels engaging, rewarding and unique. Bayonetta also can turn into a 'non-human' form, she can turn in to a panther so you can run faster and do long jumps, and also be a bird to temporary fly and attack opponents with sharp feathers like missiles.
Each attack you made to your enemy makes it feel strong and engaging that will make you want to hit the enemies more, in this aspect Bayonetta outperformed Devil May Cry.
Ranks are on the game, and it is really comparable to Devil May Cry. The game rates you with the total time you complete a chapter, how much damage you've taken, how much combo points you made, and if you used any item.
There is also economy on the game, there is a bar that is called "The Gates of Hell" on where you can buy techniques, weapons, items, accessories and treasures from the bar tender or the owner. The money that you'll use are the halos that you get from killing enemies and from bonuses when you finish each chapter. The better the rank you get, the more halos you'll get as bonus.
The game disappoints me in one aspect. In other japanese action games like Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden Sigma II, Megaman X4(yes..a PS1 game), an rpg named Star Ocean 4 and many others...Bayonetta suffers from the repetition of boss battles, where in the transition going to the final boss, you'll have to pass through the previous bosses again. (I don't get why japanese likes it that way)
In general, as a big fan of Devil May Cry, having played this game, I'll say...(this hurts me but its true)...Bayonetta is BETTER than Devil May Cry.
Action game players should really play this game.