Bayonetta Origins: A Nintendo Switch Prequel Filled with Co-op Puzzles

Bayonetta’s next adventure, a story-style prequel called Bayonetta Origin: Cereza and the Lost Demon, which requires a different kind of agility required to play video games — especially games from the PlatinumGames developer pedigree. Unlike existing Bayonetta games, which are filled with fast-paced, fast-paced action, Origin of Bayonetta there is a much easier way. Nintendo Switch games are powered by puzzle solving and storytelling, not ass kicks.

But Origin of Bayonetta does not require a degree of dexterity with either hand; players control two characters at the same time in Platinum’s new game. Cereza, the young Bayonetta, is controlled with the left of the Switch controller, and Cheshire, a demon-possessed stuffed cat, with the right. Each character’s movements are mapped to each of the Joy-Con’s analog controllers. Actions, such as attacks and spells, are performed using the shoulder buttons. Use some light and magical battles – some of which are aided by a little rhythm game – and Origin of Bayonetta started to become a more complicated game than it was presented.

Cereza climbs a ladder-like vine on the left side of the screen, while the Cheshire demon cat slashes at the thorny wall blocking its way to the right in the screenshot from Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon.

Cereza and Cheshire often find themselves separated, exploring the forest in ways that only each character can.
Image: PlatinumGames/Nintendo

I jumped into a game of Origin of Bayonetta several chapters in which, at that time, young Cereza is studying and exploring the spooky Forest of Avalon. As a young witch, Cereza is still learning basic magic, using her magic to grow and transform vegetation called Infernal Plants. These roots grow out of the ground to build new bridges and paths through the forest. Cereza can also trap enemies in a magic circle called Thorn Bind.

In combat, Cereza doesn’t have many abilities. That’s where Cheshire, a disgruntled demon summoned into (and unable to escape) Cereza’s shaggy stuffed cat, enters. His powerful claws can cut through evil fairies and the thorny roots that hinder Cereza’s advance. The Cheshire is a huge beast – heavy, but not very agile. He can also shrink the size of a regular stuffed cat toy, letting Cereza carry him like a big baby. (Adorable, holding and holding Cheshire is called “hug mode.” Otherwise, Cheshire is in “relaxed mode.”)

Screenshot from Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon, in which little Cereza holds a Cheshire demon cat in her arms.  This scene is presented by presenting a storybook, with dialogue and narration on the right side of the page that says “'Let me out now!'  Even in this form, the demon doesn't seem happy to be cuddled.

The story of Bayonetta Origins is told through storybook style dialogue and narrative.
Image: PlatinumGames/Nintendo

Cereza and Cheshire must work together to journey through the Avalon Forest. And they need to be close to each other to survive. When the duo encounter a group of villains, Cheshire must overcome them while Cereza avoids danger (or traps one in a magical spell). And when they come across a swarm of rosemary – poison to poor Cheshire – Cereza must summon a new path using a little rhythm game spell for her cat-demon friend to follow. Together, while in hug mode, the two can jump from platform to platform, using the Cheshire as a grappling hook.

Using all these elements of cooperation and co-dependency turns the forest into a series of increasingly complex puzzles to solve. For that my practice on time with Origin of Bayonetta so early in the game, the way developers can build on these puzzles is an intriguing prospect. There are additional elements that I haven’t explored, such as magic potion concoctions, that seem to add depth.

So while Origin of Bayonetta It certainly looks and plays differently from other Bayonetta games on the Switch, but it’s no less compelling. Players can discover the fairy tale charm for themselves when Bayonetta Origin: Cereza and the Lost Demon Released on March 17th.

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