Review of Bayonetta Origins Cereza and the Lost Demon

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Aside from the universe and its characters, Bayonetta Origins: Cherry and the Lost Demon doesn’t feel like a Bayonetta game. It takes place long before the events of the main trilogy, when Bayonetta was a young, untrained witch, known simply as Cherry. The narrative follows Cherry as she ventures through the forbidden forest of Avalon with her Cheshire cloth cat, who is possessed by a demon after an accidental calling. With a mission that came to her in a dream, Cherry and Cheshire travel together, following a secret white wolf through the peril fairy forest to obtain a promised power that can be used to save her imprisoned mother and send back the angry demon Inferno.

It’s a story about loss, strength, growing up, companionship and coping with your fears, beautifully told in the style of a watercolor picture book, narrated in its entirety by a talented cast of voice actors. The fairy tale aesthetic is brought home through the use of chapters as a narrative method, with pages that can be virtually switched between game segments. There is a lot of substance that she takes into account and builds on the established Bayonetta tradition.She shows some familiar faces and helps us to better understand the strong woman who would become Cherry later. Although I’ve never been exactly on the edge of my seat, the narrative has piqued my interest from start to finish, and it’s very likely that even those who aren’t familiar with Bayonetta will enjoy it.

The gameplay of Bayonetta Origins makes you take control of two characters at once, which sounds difficult on paper, but actually becomes very intuitive after a little practice. Cherry is controlled with the left side of the controller, while the right half controls Cheshire. Each character has their own abilities, which must be used together to solve puzzles and traverse the enemy-infested forest. Cheshire is the muscularity of the duo, capable of damageing almost everything in her path, while Cherry is more passive and uses her limited, albeit strong magical powers as a trained witch to support Cheshire in action and exploration.

During exploration, there is no need to worry about getting lost, because colorful wolf tracks are almost always visible, which will lead you in the right direction. However, they are encouraged to deviate frequently from the mostly linear path, as there are many secrets to be found throughout the forest. Items such as mandrake roots, unicorn horns and baked geckos can be found in chests and bushes, which can then be turned into tonics, syrups, mists and cocktails to be used later in the fight for an advantage, such as a health boost. Avalon drops and deyxix roses can also be found and collected to build the Cheshire and Cherry individual skill trees. There are a variety of skills that you need to learn to make your movement set more solid.

From the very beginning, our two protagonists have pretty standard movesets that are easy to understand. Cherry can interact with objects, jump from ledges, use “Witch Pulse” to influence plant growth, cast a “Bind Thorns” spell to briefly fix an enemy encounter in place, and freely switch (with some restrictions) Cheshire back and forth from to “Unleashed Mode”.”In Cheshire goes from being a horse-sized monster to the size of a normal stuffed animal, which allows Cherry to carry him, stretch out to grab objects and throw him on the platforms, which she herself cannot reach. The unleashed mode is exactly as you would expect, as you control Cheshire independently to attack enemies and damage barricades. These mechanics generate some very interesting puzzles as you continue to travel through the forest, and although they are never too complicated, they are always fun to solve.

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