It's pretty hard to get bored playing this one. Bayonetta 3 is an over-the-top assault on the senses, stuffed to the gills with bonkers battles, imaginative visuals, and scene-stealing one-liners from a parade of memorable characters. The action sequences steadily grow in dazzle and fervor throughout the game, reaching multiple crescendos that involve such spectacles as tidal waves crushing cities and towering kaiju monsters battling each other in Street Fighter-style battles. It's kind of a throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach -- the 2D stealth platforming levels featuring Jeanne are at odds with the rest of the game's pacing, and some of the non-combat exploration and traversal can get a little frustrating -- but overall, it's a blast. Bayonetta's evolving collection of weapons and moves provide plenty of opportunity for action fans to strategize, and the controls are responsive and satisfying. Plus, players uninterested in spending time to master combat can just set the difficulty to casual, mash buttons, and watch as Bayonetta and her friends lay waste to their enemies with eye-popping demon summons and wonderfully inventive magic attacks.
The overblown multiverse story might be a little hard to make sense of in places, but it can be gulped down easily enough if you just go with it. Don't ask questions that begin with "why" and you'll be fine. But what does require a little closer examination is how Bayonetta 3 deals with its titular character, who has become iconic amongst cosplayers and drag queens. She's a celebration of femininity, proof positive that you can be strong, smart, and successful while also expressing yourself in unabashedly feminine ways. That said, there are also scenes where the camera hovers over parts of her body a touch too long, and changing into a body thong for certain moves just seems a bit gratuitous. But this is a game meant for older gamers who, hopefully, will be able to maintain a critical eye while playing and form their own opinions about both its feminism and objectification. There's no denying Bayonetta 3 delivers spectacular action and sassy wit. Just keep in mind this one's not for kids.