Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle Review
Together at last.
There may be a selection of people (hopefully very small in number) that will roll their eyes knowing there's ANOTHER Bayonetta re-release, and true, while the game has seen a ton of coverage across different systems, this dual package is actually something pretty significant.
Platinumgames are, hands down, one of the best developers out there, having been born of Clover Studios (famous for Godhand, Viewtiful Joe and Okami) and going on to rock the world with the likes of the Wonderful 101 and the outstanding Neir: Automata.
This is a studio that has come a long way, and across this time of staunch refusal to tell their tales in a more traditional fashion, they have been able to carve out a niche as the studio that creates pure action spectacle.
Therefore this 10th anniversary bundle of both Bayonetta and Vanquish is an important milestone that allows us to celebrate this tenure with the same tenacity that Platinumgames has used to deliver it's games. It's also lucky that both Bayonetta and Vanquish run like they were made of warmed butter, keeping that 60fps locked down and looking better than ever before in 4K on the PS4 Pro.
Even when you've got a million bullets flying past you in slow motion or the angelic hordes of heaven surrounding you, the performance never dips. The sound is incredibly crisp and the visuals, while definitely showing that they were product of the previous decade are sharp in all the right places.
Thankfully the same visceral game play remains intact and you'll never be more than 5 minutes away from an incredible action set-piece. Bayontta might feel a little sluggish when compared to the likes of DMC5 (Bayonetta being a spiritual successor to Devil May Cry) but it still packs more action than most games are capable of today, and Vanquish? Well Vanquish is as thrilling as riding down a snow covered mountain except that it's not snow. It's cocaine.
In essence these are the perfect ports. And yet as an overall package it feels slightly hollow. There's nothing new on offer here, which feels slightly odd considering this is meant to be a celebration of the two titles.
I can't fault what I'm playing, but you might have expected something extra added on, or even some of the critiques of the past to be addressed, namely the camera and dodge button moving to something other than a trigger for Bayonetta, and the....well, nothing for Vanquish, as I unashamedly love this beyond all reason. Still, I don't think this was a huge ask, especially when you see other remasters and remakes come and go with much more content.
Behind the scenes artwork, documentaries of the making of, developer insight - all would have gotten over the most important things about these games; the passion behind them.
So, is this bundle an essential purchase? Well it's paradoxically yes AND no. Yes, because it's a chance to play two of the most exhilarating games pumped out by an outlandish studio, tweaked and perfected to run without a hint of slowdown. No, because while these games offer a lot, nothing here is actually new, instead being based on PC ports already out there.
However, I err on the side of this being a must have purchase, simply because while this isn't a bundle built around quantity, it is based on quality. And with support, who knows, there might even be a Vanquish 2 on the horizon (please?)
5/5 (if you're a fan on PG titles!)
4/5 (If you're looking for something new)