Nintendo Switch Review: Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon

Will this game make me grin like a Cheshire Cat?

Turn back the pages of the Umbra Witch’s story to learn where it all began. Take control of Cereza and her first demon Cheshire to fend off faeries and solve puzzles.

The Bayonetta series has spawned 3 games with the titular witch who is famous for her combat and risqué moments with her hair/armour. They have never really taken themselves that seriously and each has been good fun from start to finish. Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is a completely different game from what we are used to, but can it still be as fun and memorable?

Before she was Bayonetta, she was called Cereza and this is the story of her becoming an Umbra Witch as a child. Her story is quite sad as she is shunned by the Witch/Sage community for being Half-Witch/Half-Sage, her mother is locked up for the crime and her father was exiled to a land far away. She dreams of becoming an Umbra Witch and rescuing her mother by entering the nearby Avalon Forest and gathering power to do so. At this point she is struggling to even summon a demon, let alone fend off what terrors await in the forest…but after a bit of luck, she manages to summon one into her stuffed cat Cheshire and the two begin their journey forward.

Cereza cannot attack, while Cheshire can. The two can work together in battle though as she can hold enemies in place and then Cheshire can unleash their attacks on them. The game does let you either carry Cheshire during certain areas or in some you need to be separate and each go in different paths, solving puzzles until you can reach back. Each character is controlled in this way by each control stick with Cereza moving with the left and Cheshire with the right. It can be a bit confusing at first but it did remind me of another game from the past, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons with this mechanic.

The story plays out as if told from a storybook with a narrator explaining the events around you. The game itself has a beautiful art style that makes it feel like the world around you is hand-drawn directly into the storybook itself. It’s a huge leap from the over-the-top action and thirst-trap camera angles you would get from the main series, that’s for sure. The framerate is steady throughout and I didn’t encounter any bugs throughout my playthrough.

The visuals are impressive with this art style and the voice-acting isn’t too bad either. It’s not got much in terms of innuendo but it makes up for it with a more touching story and decent soundtrack to boot.

The Verdict

Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is a big departure for the series, but one that works really well. I honestly wasn’t expecting it, but I really hope we get to see more of Cereza’s earlier adventures in the future.

Score: 9.0