Bayonetta and Sam Gideon are back! Two of PlatinumGames‘ earliest heroes are returning ten years after their launch to remind people that from the very start, the developer was doing some pretty cool things. We’re super glad to see them again in Bayonetta and Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle because these are absolutely games more people should have access to. Getting them on as many systems as possible gets them into more players’ hands.
It’s a shame that the two games don’t, well, do anything really special now that both are back in our lives again.
Bayonetta Brings Back the Witchy Woman
What happens when a witch with a powerful MacGuffin, magical hair, guns on her hands and feet, and no memory finds herself waking up in the modern world after being asleep in a lake for years? She starts kicking angelic ass. Bayonetta has a general idea of the predicament the world is in and knows she needs to find the matching Eye of the World to the one she has, but keeps running into people accusing her of being responsible for their parent’s death, trying to fight her, or calling her their mother.
Bayonetta has always been an action game that oozed style, and nothing has changed here. It still looks amazing. Bayonetta has a great move set that lets you easily chain together attacks. The artistic direction is lovely. The music is incredible. It also rewards you for playing well and smoothly with Witch Time, a mechanic that slows enemies’ actions down and lets you more swiftly handle the situation. It is, in a word, lavish. And, with its reappearance in this collection, we really get to appreciate that.
Especially since, back in the day, Bayonetta had some issues. It was great on the PlayStation 3; don’t get me wrong. But there were certain fights and situations where it could feel like the system couldn’t keep up. The remaster makes things look a bit better and definitely keeps things as silky smooth as Bayonetta’s luscious locks. There are especially some segments in the game’s later chapters with bigger bosses and larger groups of enemies that could really tank the framerate in the original release. I’m talking about sections like The Burning Ground, The Broken Sky, and maybe even Isla Del Sol.
That doesn’t happen here, which is the best thing about the Bayonetta and Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle. Especially on a PlayStation 4 Pro. Going through each area is incredible, and the 60fps seemed largely consistent. Though compared to the original, it’s like night and day.
Vanquish: Saving the World From the Power of the Sun
Vanquish is another story about the battle between good and evil, except this time it involves science fiction, super suits, and spaaace. The Order of the Russian Star took the Russian government and the United States’ Providence colony and is going to use the solar power to destroy US cities. Gideon, a genius engineer who created an Augmented Reaction Suit that gives its bearer enhanced abilities and is an incredibly capable warrior, has been recruited by the U.S. President and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. His task is to head to the captured colony, defeat the terrorist group, and keep what is supposed to be a peaceful means of generating energy from being turned into something that can kill everybody.
What I always loved about Vanquish is the way it encourages activity. In most third-person shooters I play, I can be rather cautious. I take my time clearing out areas. I don’t rush into danger. With Gideon, I always felt like PlatinumGames gave me the tools and moves necessary to take risks. I loved boosting into an area, getting a gun (or a fist) up in a foe’s face, and absolutely dominating. Especially since the AR mode makes it easier to do all these things without worries, as you can slow down time to more quickly react. (Think of it as a more sci-fi, space-y version of Witch Time, maybe?)
While I never noticed as severe framerate issues in Vanquish as I did in Bayonetta back in the day, the Bayonetta and Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle helps eliminate any possible instances where the game lets me down. It’s incredibly fast-paced on a PlayStation 4 Pro, keeping up with the terrorists like nobody’s business.
Bayonetta and Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle Is About Accessibility, Not Additional Content
Bayonetta and Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle puts me in a weird position. These are both fantastic games. PlatinumGames did an excellent job with both. They have some elements that defy the expectations people should have of both action games and third-person shooters. The problem is that this particular release doesn’t do anything special. Yes, it is prettier than usual on a PlayStation 4 and can run at 60FPS in 4K on a PlayStation 4 Pro. It also results in a far smoother experience for Bayonetta, especially when you hit especially intense areas like Chapter 12.
But aside from being clearer and crisper, it’s difficult to point to how Bayonetta and Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle is special. It runs great. It gives people an excuse to play two ridiculously fun games again. Unfortunately, there’s nothing else to make it really pop. We’re living in a world where we have entirely remade remasters like Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, which adds new features like save systems and an additional playable character, or Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age with its improved textures, new job system, and speed up mode. Even though Bayonetta and Vanquish are sliding into our hearts again and people should definitely play them, this definitely isn’t one of the better remasters out there.
Bayonetta and Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle review code provided by publisher. Version 1.00 reviewed on a PS4 Pro. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy.