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  • Writer's pictureNoah Yard

Cereza and the Lost Demon: A Charming Bayonetta Tale.

I never really liked the original Bayonetta series. There’s too much going on at once. But when Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon, was revealed I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a total 180 from the original series, more like a child’s storybook come to life than a high-octane hack ‘n’ slash.

It’s beautiful, for one, truly the character design, the level details and the voice acting all bring you into the illusion that this is a pop-up book in the flesh. There’s a beautiful watercolour theme, everything seems a little faded, but the colours are still bold. The characters, in cutscenes and in gameplay, are like walking dolls. A beautiful theme is really solidified with the cutscenes. They are played out like the turning pages of a book, while the Narrator, voiced by Jenny Lee, tells a cute story of a young witch who enters a dark wood to save her mother.

The story follows Cereza (Bayonetta), as a youngster whose mother has been imprisoned. She rebels against her witch mentor Morgana, to travel into Avalon Forrest, where a great power promises her the power to save her mother. To navigate the forest she has conjured the demon, Cheshire, an apt name since the demon looks like a big buff Cheshire Cat, who inhabits the body of her toy cat.

The two characters are played at the same time, which is something I’ve never experienced. Cereza and her magic are controlled by the left joystick and triggers, while Cheshire is controlled with the lower right joystick on the Switch and the triggers on the right. You can choose to move them in unison or move them one at a time to solve puzzles, but most puzzles require both characters and controller combinations to complete.

As the game progresses you are able to unlock more abilities for both characters. Cereza gains the ability to trap enemies with thorns, stopping their movement, while Cheshire learns to charge enemies and volley back projectiles. The way the two work together is also important for navigating the charming puzzles as well. To use their collective abilities is a treat and is very satisfying when pulled off correctly. Cereza can open gates, grow plants, and climb ladders, while Cheshire does the heavy lifting when it comes to fighting the faeries in the forest.

It’s a bit simple. There’s not much of a challenge in the regular levels and the otherworldly stages where you do more hardcore puzzles. So this is definitely a game for people who are more chill or prefer easy gameplay. I think anyone who loves the Bayonetta series thinking this will be anything like it will be disappointed. There are also some story elements that fall a little flat, but as stated before, the style and flair of the game kind of mask all its imperfections.

Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is a charming little tale, a vast change from its predecessors in the series. Its beautiful graphics and character design, and simple gameplay make it more suitable for less hardcore gamers, or those who just want to enjoy something unique, with its dual-character play. It’s more than worth it and I hope there are more Bayonetta Origins games that uncover the history of Nintendo’s favourite witch.

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