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Bayonetta (JP) is a multiplatform hack-and-slash video game that stars the shapeshifting witch of the same name. Nintendo published the Wii U and Nintendo Switch versions of the title.

Although Bayonetta was conceived by PlatinumGames, the ownership of its IP is split between Sega and Nintendo. Nintendo owns the copyrights to the Wii U and Switch versions as a result of financing the development of both, while Sega owns the copyrights to all other versions as well as the Bayonetta trademark as a result of financing the development of the original version for the Xbox 360.

Bayonetta would be followed by a sequel, Bayonetta 2, that would remain exlusive to Nintendo platforms.

Gameplay

The player controls a witch named Bayonetta, and using both melee and long ranged attacks, complex combo strings, and multiple weapons, is encouraged to explore ways to defeat angels with as much flair as possible.

Bayonetta also has unique but limited abilities that her enemies do not possess, such as "Witch Time", which activates when the player makes a well-timed dodge to an attack. This temporarily slows time to allow Bayonetta to inflict massive amounts of counter damage before the enemies can react.

By finding various component items, the player can combine them into new items. Many enemies and objects drop halos when destroyed (resembling the rings from Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series), which the player can use to buy items, techniques and weapon upgrades

The game consists of multiple chapters, each consisting of several verses. Depending on how well the player performs, they are given one of the following medals at the end of each verse; Stone, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Pure Platinum, similar to the rating system of Viewtiful Joe.

The game includes five difficulty modes: "Very Easy", "Easy", "Normal", "Hard", and "Non-Stop Infinite Climax". On Easy and Very Easy, a "Very Easy Automatic" mode is made available in which the game positions Bayonetta to perform attacks on enemies, and the player only needs to press one button to execute elaborate combos, unless they wish to perform their own choice of movements or attacks.

Plot

Bayonetta takes place in Vigrid, a fictional city in Europe who is an Umbra Witch who shapeshifts and uses various firearms, along with magical attacks she performs with her own hair by summoning demons to dispatch her foes. She awakens after a 500-year sleep near Eggman's tombstone and finds herself in an unfamiliar area with no memories of who or what she is.

500 years before the incident that caused Bayonetta's memory loss, there were two factions preserving the balance between darkness and light in the world: the Umbra Witches, who are followers of darkness, and their counterparts, the Lumen Sages, who are followers of light. The factions shared two distinct treasures, the 'Eyes of the World' (separately named the 'Left Eye' and the 'Right Eye') which they used to oversee the just passage of time. Bayonetta still has an ornate piece of jewelry which contains a small red gem, and believes this gem is the Left Eye of the World. While searching for the Right Eye, she often receives flashbacks that make her remember what caused her current predicament.

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