Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and The Lost Demon is a prequel to the popular Bayonetta trilogy that showcases a very different side of the series. The game is a charming adventure-puzzler that features enchanted forests, childlike curiosity, and a touching tale of companionship and maternal love. Despite its deviation from the over-the-top, action-packed style of the mainline series, the game builds into a recognizable Bayonetta experience that fans of the series should not miss.
A Coming-Of-Half-Lumen-Sage Story
Bayonetta Origins follows Cereza, a timid young girl, who seeks refuge under the tutelage of a powerful witch after her mother's imprisonment due to a forbidden romance. In search of the courage to become a proper witch and rescue her mother, Cereza embarks on a journey deep into the forbidden Avalon forest. The game's narrative is a coming-of-half-lumen-sage story that explores the roots of Bayonetta's cool demeanor and Cereza's character development.
Asymmetrical Puzzles and Combat
The game's controls allow players to simultaneously control both Cereza and Cheshire, with all of Cereza's controls assigned to the left JoyCon, while all of Cheshire's are on the right. The game features asymmetrical puzzles that require players to explore their environment and use both characters' various talents to progress. The puzzles are well-balanced, interesting, and continuously build in small ways that prepare players for the next obstacle. The game's combat is a satisfying experience that requires quick thinking and careful coordination between the two characters.
The Skill Tree and Single-Button Combat
The game's skill tree is dense, and the mapping is intuitive, making for the smoothest and most exciting single-button combat. As players progress, they can unlock Cheshire's elemental abilities and Cereza's magic which takes shape as a small-scale rhythm game. The vast majority of enemies require either Cheshire's abilities or Cereza's magic to make them vulnerable to attack. This creates a need for quick thinking and coordination as the number of enemies and waves increases.
Bayonetta Origins is an achievement in the Bayonetta series and the gaming world as a whole. The game's creativity and tact prove that rules and limitations placed on big-budget series are made to be broken. The game's narrative explores companionship, maternal love, and subversions while maintaining an identity of its own. The game's asymmetrical puzzles and single-button combat are well-balanced and interesting. Players should not overlook this charming adventure-puzzler whether or not they are fans of the Bayonetta games.