Strategy Guide Review Policy:
My goal for these strategy guide reviews is not to discuss whether one needs the guide to complete the game. Every gamer has different strengths and skills, and one may need every bit of a guide, another may need to look up information for quick assistance once, and another may laugh at the idea of ever using a guide, even the online freebies. My goal is to determine whether the guide is 1) helpful in the first place, 2) does it encompass gamers who need hand-holding as well as those who need a quick reference and 3) how much information does it really have.
The strategy guide for [amazon-product text=”Bayonetta” type=”text”]B001YI0Z2U[/amazon-product] was released quite a bit after the game’s release in January 2010, due to SEGA and Platinum Games’ high expectations for its content. My first thought when I heard this was, “Why?” but after seeing first hand all of the game’s collectibles, medals, abilities and unlockables, this game obviously required a great deal of playing time. Inside the front cover of the guide, the authors acknowledge that they spent over 6,000 playable hours perfecting this guide. That’s some serious dedication. But of course, I’m a skeptic, so I had to know how much that time really paid off.
The answer is indubitably. I honestly do not believe there is another way of discovering everything Bayonetta has to offer without this guide or without spending 6,000 hours playing it yourself.
The walkthroughs [amazon-product region=”uk” text=”Bayonetta Strategy Guide” type=”text”]3869930039[/amazon-product] are divided up into three sections: the Scenario Guide, the Pure Platinum Guide, and the Angels Guide. The first section is a general walkthrough of the game; it points out all collectibles in all difficulties and points the player in the general direction of what to do next. No real, in-depth strategies are offered here. For those, there is the Pure Platinum section, which provides the most efficient strategies throughout the game for the player to earn those coveted Pure Platinum medals for every verse. If you need extra help to see how these strategies can be done, FuturePress provides movie codes for each strategy (see image to the right) for FuturePress registrants to view. The last section, the Angels Guide, offers in-depth strategies for the various Angels Bayonetta will encounter, including all bosses. These last strategies are so in-depth that for the bosses there are two sections: a general overview section of the boss’s attacks (prep) and a strategy section (for actually attacking).
So as you can see, no stone is left unturned, and the guide is sectioned off to accommodate a variety of players and player styles. However, this asset is also a bit of a detriment. Since not everything is in one place, players who may need additional assistance or who want to use the Pure Platinum section and find all the collectibles will have to flip back and forth through the guide often. It becomes a hassle over time, especially switching between the walkthroughs and Angel strategies for the boss fights. But this is a minor annoyance, and in no way detracts from the usefulness of the guide.
As an extra bonus, the back of the guide is packed full of the game’s secret battles, costume unlockables, the Angel Slayer challenge tips, Speed Run challenge (defeat the game in 3 hours), Easter eggs, concept art, interviews with the developers, and a concordance of all the angelic and demonic references. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a guide with this much bonus information. I could easily spend a Sunday afternoon just reading the back section to learn all there is to know about Bayonetta and her world.
Simply put, Bayonetta is a game about finding everything and seeing what happens next, despite what the overall story and gameplay leads you to believe. If you want to chalk up your Pure Platinum medals and chapter awards, not to mention find out what happens when you collect all 101 of the Umbran Tears of Blood, this guide will get you there and it may be the only way to get there without pulling your hair out or overheating your console. This is exactly what every guide should be, and Future Press has raised the bar yet again when it comes to the standards of strategy guide quality.
The Bayonetta Strategy Guide by FuturePress rightfully earns its 5/5.