Ah, Valentine's Day, a day for lovers. Cupid unloads on your ass with heart-shaped arrows, and then it's flowers and chocolates and all that jazz. Well hoobidy-hoo-blah on that; life isn't a Twilight movie, and romance is never simple. Nine times out of ten, true romance starts with physical attraction. Some like them cute and innocent while others like them dripping with sex appeal. Well, Bayonetta, the star of Sega's newest hack and slash, is definitely the latter.Like all bad girls, Bayonetta's story is a complicated one. Having no memory before she woke up in a coffin that was buried underwater 20 years ago, our heroine kills angels to sell their halos to the damned in exchange for them not taking her. In between that, we discover that Bayonetta is a witch who's involved in the balance between heaven and hell. Take that for a messed-up childhood.
Visually, she's got curves like nobody's business, and she knows how to work 'em. Her environment isn't shabby either, with the idyllic sights of Paradiso contrasting perfectly with the chaos of Inferno. If you're going to fight angels, you better have the right weaponry. Packing two pistols, and with two more forming the heels on her boots, Bayonetta isn't wanting for firepower. While strapped, most of the combat is of the hand-to-hand variety, with an almost infinite set of combos for maximum carnage. Also, Bayonetta's witch powers allow her to use her hair, which also doubles as her cat suit, as combo attacks. In other words, the more hair you use in your combos, the less clothes she wears. This culminates in the cleverly named "maximum climax," where our sexpot finishes off larger enemies with all her hair. Subtle? Hardly. With lollipop power-ups, giant stripper poles doubling as attack posts, and often corny voiceovers, we may actually be faced with the girl who tries a little too hard to be sexy. Too bad, 'cause beneath the layers of sex appeal lies a great action game with wicked controls. That might be the point though — like any quality woman, the true value is on the inside. Bayonetta embraces her sex appeal for what it is, and pushes it to campy levels for her own enjoyment, as much as ours. Such girls are a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so don't be intimidated — she may let you take her home.Send comments to [email protected]